November 2010


[Start playing your hee-haw music]

Turkeys live on my street. And around my street. And on the next street over – and let me tell you,  the dang things have not figured out that if a car is approaching, they should run off the street, not into it. I digress.

[Cue end of hee-haw, begin playing theme from unsolved mysteries]

But there is a mysterious aura surrounding these turkeys.

Why, you ask?

Every year around the summer they appear, and get larger/fatter accordingly. And then, around the end of every November, they disappear. Surreptitiously.

There are several possibilities here:

1. (Being the most biological reason) They migrate. Because it’s cold. And they only have feathers, unlike their neighbors the woolly sheep. (Do turkey’s even migrate? They’re not very aerodynamic.)

And you thought going home for Thanksgiving was hard...

2. They disappear into the bushes for all of winter. Again, it’s cold. (But the chickens seem to handle it ok…)

3. They hide from me. Seeing how many times I’ve very nearly hit them with my car, I don’t blame them.

Really, dude?

4. [The final and most morbid of all the possibilities] We eat them. Thanksgiving + chubby “free range” turkeys has very few outcomes, most of which don’t really end well for said turkeys. But would you want to eat turkeys that ran around all day? Would they be gamy? And I’ve seen some turkeys that are huge; these, not so much.And I like the idea that they aren’t all, you know, stuffed.

It’s a mystery.

Suggestions?

In other news,  instead of making a complete Thanksgiving dinner a la last year, I will this year be making: pies. Gluten and dairy-free pie recipes to be posted soon, featuring pumpkin pie and healthy(er) pecan pie! (I’m also thinking of making mini mandarin orange curd tarts. We’ll see.)

image 

It is my firm belief that one should watch assorted Monty Python on a regulated basis, because it makes you think about the important things in life.

Or at the very least, its well-crafted British humour (note the spelling) may lead you to wonder about poignant, worldly intellectual issues. Or at least ponder its funnies.

Take, for example, a scene from The Holy Grail, in which the knights are attempting to decipher an inscription that will lead them to the grail:

Brother Maynard: "It reads: ‘Here may be found the last words of Joseph of Arimathea. He who is valiant and pure of spirit may find the Holy Grail in the Castle of A-a-a-a-a-gh…"

King Arthur: "What?"
Maynard: "The Castle of A-a-a-a-a-gh."
Bedevere: "What is that?"
Maynard: "He must’ve died while carving it."
Lancelot: "Oh, come on."
Maynard: "Well, that’s what it says."
King Arthur: "Look, if he was dying, he wouldn’t bother to carve ‘A-a-a-a-gh.’ He’d just say it."
Maynard: "That’s what’s carved in the rock."
Galahad: "Perhaps he was dictating."

 

And this made me think of all the times throughout history when spelling, grammar, and authorial intent has gone flying out the window, often spectacularly.

Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of translation:imageMmmm, tasty.

Or maybe, a word is left out:

image I don’t see this ending well…

Perhaps, a well-intended handwritten sign:image

Or even “intellectuals” asleep on the jobimage

The word ‘phusei’ was spelled with an ‘S’ rather than the Greek letter sigma, which looks similar to a capital ‘E.’ Whoops!

 

image

“M-A-R-….O-L-Z…H?”

And then we go back in time, and see odd junk like this, where even the chisel doesn’t make excuses for the illegible mess.

(But, then again, even the Romans F’ed up – and we know they were the shit. )

image

Or maybe some careless craftsman broke it, and left it there to puzzle future scholars, and to inspire countless future theses and dissertations.

  And for that reason, I offer my thanks to humanity, for keeping the wonder/frustration/scholarship/face-palming alive since the B.C’s.

image

image Courtesy of Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

Hodie, descripta mediavale, quae mihi placent maxime:

(nonnullus senex, nunnullus nova)

And the contents of Wikipedia continue to disturb me; did you know about “Necropants?” Got Medieval

Trust me, you don’t want to sit next to Beowulf on a trans-atlantic flight…McSweeneys

“Hic sunt lacrimae rearended!” Best use of “ripper-offer” in Middle English, and I’d like to read the Aeneid + zombies, please  Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

I can hath cheezburger? Geoffrey Chaucer Hath a Blog

I’ve often thought to myself, “if Hell was real in the exact Biblical-sense, then practically anyone worth knowing is going to end up there.”

Well, here’s where I’m going, apparently: (I blame the 8th level mostly on my belief in fortune-tellers, because, why not?)

 

The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Eigth Level of Hell – the Malebolge!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Low
Level 2 (Lustful) High
Level 3 (Gluttonous) High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Moderate
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Low
Level 7 (Violent) Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) High
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) Moderate

Take the Dante’s Inferno Hell Test

Some interesting quotes from Facebook/Twitter today:

“We live in hard times, NOT END TIMES.” ~ Jon Stewart, 10/30/10

“If you care about things like health care reform, well-funded schools, gay rights, smart financial regulation, actually getting things done in Washington, renewable energy, and/or reforming immigration laws then support the party that’s most likely to move forward on those issues. Please go out and vote for members of the Democratic Party tomorrow because they need your support now. “

“I’m so disappointed in you Hulu for running ad campaigns, and I can’t believe that her people let Meg Whitman utter the words “And I’ll treat you like a grown up, California”. Really like? Grown up? Try treating me AS an ADULT you wench.”

“algore $70 million in dirty energy ads: http://bit.ly/9vLLKH

That’s right people: it’s almost election time! (Side note: I cannot wait for all those eternally obnoxious ads to get off the TV, though the one with Meg Whitman as Pinocchio did make me chuckle.) And you now have 2 days to read up on the measures.

Please, don’t vote blindly! Vote thoughtfully, get some non-partisan information on the issues. And please don’t buy into the hype – that’s all it is. I shudder to think that people could be persuaded into changing their vote from all those slanderous ads; they’re full of glittering generalities, buzzwords, and nonsense. And this election season has been pretty rank, in terms of mudslinging.

It’s the career politicians vs. the CEOS: frankly, even though the former don’t always make the best choices, I would rather have someone in office who made it their life’s work to be there, rather than a wealthy former CEO who decided to make an appearance and use their own money to propel themselves forward.

Even if I wasn’t a Democrat, I don’t think I could ever trust anyone with that amount of money to understand and work for the issues that face me and my social class – the priories are just different, and that’s how it is. But that’s just me.

This election year I really hope that we Californians can look past the hot-button issues (abortion, religion, party alliance, etc) and look at the ones that are most pressing: our environment, energy, education, health care, the economy. Parties  try to win us by playing to our most basic belief systems, and they are hyper-conscious. If you are a Christian, don’t vote Republican just because of religion (news flash: most politicians are all Christians – there has never been a President who wasn’t a church-going man, regardless of party.) Don’t vote Democrat just because you drive a Prius. Stereotypes don’t help us.

But, if you have read up on the issues and seen the pros and cons of each measure and candidate, feel free to choose who makes sense to you – this is, after all, America, right?!

I remember the first election season after I turned 18 in October 2004. (And Bush won. Sigh.) I waited in line at UC Davis for about an hour, and when I finally got that ballot it was quite a moment. There was a sense, an inkling, that I could now really participate in the debate.

Maybe it’s not like that for everyone, but apathy doesn’t help anyone, except maybe for the people running against those you might have voted for.

I don’t know about you, but these little stickers give me a thrill. Get yours!