Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Please get up and dance around the room

TVB mainstay God Is My Codependent passed along this 1977 clip of Belgian/French pop star Plastic Bertrand:

Don't bother trying to puzzle out the lyrics--they're nonsense, basically. But I dare you to dislodge that tune from your head the rest of the day. (It's actually a note-for-note cover of an British punk song, "Jet Boy, Jet Girl," whose lyrics are more than a tad smutty. I like this French version a lot better.)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Nurse! NURSE! Get that $#&@% cat out of my $#&@% room!

Oscar the cat predicts patients' deaths

Another reason why dogs are better than cats. Dogs would chase Death out of your room. Cats say, "Hey, come on in!"

(I once had a dream that a cat was trying to suffocate me, but that's between me and my therapist.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I like to read. I like to eat. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that I like to eat books.

Er, no--that's wrong. I like to read cookbooks, that's what I meant.

A favorite, sheerly for entertainment value (I haven't actually attempted any of the recipes) is The Medieval Kitchen, which prints recipes from medieval times, mostly from France and Italy, and then translates them into modern cookbook-speak so they can be followed.

Like my late grandmother's recipes, the originals tend to be rather vague. (My sister cleaned up many of Grandma's recipes, which tended toward "handful of this" directions.) Here's an original Italian recipe for meat ravioli:

To make ten platefuls, take a half libra of aged cheese and a little of another fat cheese and a libra of fat hog's tripe or calf's head, and cook it in water till very tender. Then chop it well and take nice herbs, thoroughly chopped, and some pepper, cloves, and ginger; and if you add the chopped breast of a capon, so much the better. And mix all these things together. Then make the dough very thin and enclose the mixture in the dough as it should be. And these ravioli should be no larger than half a chestnut; and cook them in a broth of capon or good meat, colored yellow with saffron when it boils. And let them boil for the time it takes to say two paternosters. Then serve and put on top grated cheese and sweet spices mixed together.

You can use all the nice herbs you have--I have trouble getting by the tripe and/or hog's head, which the modern version thankfully leaves out. And the timing is a bit more precise than telling you to say two Our Fathers.

Any good, interesting-to-read cookbooks you'd recommend?

Oh, and reduced posting ahead. I'm sure you'll muddle through somehow.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Why I bought a rather shabby copy of a book called A Century of Humour

How could I possibly resist this inscription?

In case you can't quite make it out:

From Fred & Ethel

To Jim

Wishing you a very happy Christmas & good New Year


I figure it has to be from the Mertzes. How many Fred & Ethels can there be? In 1934, they would have been 40ish and (I hope) relatively happy.

(Bibliophiles might enjoy a site called the Book Inscription Project that features other inscriptions. Oh, and a tip o' the hat to Susan Hated Literature for that book-inscription link.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Photos of the Day

Leftover vacation photos, taken at Longwood Gardens. These are different varieties of orchid. But doesn't the one on the bottom look like it has baby chicks inside? Most adorable orchid ever!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Kristol meth

All you really need to know about neocon Bill Kristol's latest column in the Washington Post: It's titled "Why Bush Will Be A Winner." Unless he just bought a scratch-off lottery ticket at the 7-Eleven, I find that doubtful.

"I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one," begins the column.

No, I would expose myself to harmless ridicule if I asserted that Paris Hilton had some sort identifiable talent. For your constant support of this ridiculous regime, Mr. Kristol, you deserve to be tarred and feathered.

But that's not why I'm posting the link to the column. I'm posting the link because of the (at present) 245 pages of comments that follow. There might be one or two notes of support in there, but I can't find them. The outpouring of disdain for this wrong-at-every-point pundit is just plain wonderful to behold.

Oh, I've got some leftover tar in the garage. Anyone got any extra feathers?

Perhaps I amuse easily, but ...

Inside the "Featured" box on the main Yahoo page is a link to a feature from last year (yeah, there's nothing like fresh content, Yahoo), which asks the question: "How do I avoid getting drowsy after lunch?" The answers are supplied by Yahoo users, not experts. Most are of the "take a nap" or "eat fewer carbs" variety, but toward the bottom of the page was this 10-month-old gem from a user named Antony: "you won't believe it!, but masturbation does work!"

First of all: No, it doesn't.

And Yahoo? You might want to actually read what you're linking to before posting to your main page.

(It's now semi-hidden behind a "This answer has a low rating" link, but it's still there.)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

With love, Cookie Puss

Commenter Eartha Kitsch points out in response to a post further down on this page that many of Tom Carvel's Cookie Puss TV ads are on YouTube.

How does one explain the TV ubiquity of Tom Carvel during the 1970s and 1980s?

One doesn't. One sits back and marvels.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Why the decision to bury my money in the backyard seems as good a plan as any

Stock market report, end of day Thursday:

Wall Street soared Thursday, propelling the Standard & Poor's 500 index and Dow Jones industrials to record highs as bright spots among generally sluggish retail sales allowed investors to toss aside concerns about the health of the economy.

Stock market report, midmorning Friday:
Wall Street's drive into record territory stalled at midmorning on Friday after new data showed retail sales fell sharply last month.

Rather than following financial analysts, you'd be better off looking for omens by examining the entrails of a black cat slain by Dick Cheney on Friday the 13th.

13 things that frighten me

1. Black cats. (Really, if they're black from nose to tail, they creep me out.)

2. Dick Cheney.

3. Heights. (Well, not "frighten," exactly. It's sort of a mixture of fear and thrills.)

4. Dick Cheney holding a black cat on his lap.

5. Driving on unfamiliar roads at night in the rain.

6. Dick Cheney reaching into the chest of a black cat, pulling out its heart, and eating it.

7. Driving on unfamiliar roads at night in the rain with Dick Cheney in the passenger seat, eating the heart of a black cat.

8. Filling out a list of 13 fears.

9. President Dick Cheney.

10. That creepy guy on the TV commercials who plugs some cheap law service in the New York area. What's with that mustache? What is he hiding in it?

11. Certain bugs, especially big ones.

12. Getting through through the next presidential election.

13. Dick Cheney pulling out the heart of the creepy lawyer guy and eating it.

But, Friday the 13th? Nope.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

C'mon--admit it

You assumed Lady Bird Johnson was already dead, didn't you?

Burn, baby, burn

What fire alarm sounds like in office: Giant mutant bees.

What fire alarm sounds like in stairwell: Giant mutant cicadas.

Winners: The giant mutant cicadas.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Disturbing Google Search of the Day

my back itches and smells like corn chips

Given that this landed the visitor here, my advice would be: Lay off the kibble.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

How to get a dog onto a raft

A rerun from last July. Why? Because it's hot. (That's Freddie, for those of you who are new around here.)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Reality shows, coming soon

--America's Got Lack of Shame
--Blowing for Dollars
--Help! My Toe Is Stuck in the Bathtub Faucet!

(With thanks to God Is My Codependent)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Goodbye, Chani. You're dead to me now.

First, the doors were closed unexpectedly. I went by Chani's, my favorite local Indian restaurant, and it was locked. There was some official-looking note about a permit change on the door, and I figured the place was getting a renovation. The answering-machine message was vague, saying something about being closed for a few weeks.

Now the phone's disconnected, the back patio is gone, and there's a truck (teasingly labeled Top Chef) parked outside to haul off the kitchen equipment.

It's closed. Closed! Where am I supposed to go when I want samosas? Chicken tikka masala? Lamb vindaloo?

Oh, the lack of such great food is bad enough, but sneaking off in the night like that ... I feel so spurned.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Alternative ways in which Scooter Libby will be punished for his crimes

--Only a low-end gift basket from Harry & David
--A Cookie Puss, slightly melted
--$25 gift certificate from Target

(It occurs to me that the Cookie Puss reference might need an explanation to those outside the NY metro area. Or, at least, those unfamilar with the Beastie Boys.)

Monday, July 02, 2007

Photos of the Day

So, how many vacation photos can I really force on you folks?

Well, here are a few more.

Longwood Gardens, formerly an estate owned by the du Pont family, is a beautiful spot, with unbelievable gardens outside and a huge conservatory, too. I was quite taken with the water lilies.

Are you with me?

I want to start a campaign to make Independence Day the first Monday in July, and scrap this Fourth of July nonsense. Who the hell wants Wednesday off?