Over on Facebook, several of my friends were posting this meme of ten favorite albums, “no explanations.” The “no explanations” aspect of the record meme made it just a bunch of random covers someone posted.
Since I have an eclectic, arguably terrible music tastes, I started my own un-meme using fruits an vegetables. I’m also going to add some recipes and original photos (except for the cartoon):
Day N of Y days. In no particular order, Y all-time favorite fruits and vegetables that really made an impact and are still in my daily diet, even if only now and then.
After laboring to post it, I was thinking how the content gets lost because there’s so much stuff on Facebook. Fuck that. I’m going to be back-posting stuff I should have put here in the first place, and then maybe post more than once every nine months.
But back to the fruits and vegetables:
Green beans: Wash and pat dry. Toss with a little bit of oil and schmancy French grey salt, roast at 400F (200C) for 20-25 minutes.
Heirloom tomatoes: Slice thick and alternate with fresh mozzarella and basil. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic. Sprinkle French grey salt and fresh pepper to taste.
Beets. Golden, orange or red, as long as they have greens. (Not. Canned.) Wash them well, remove inedible parts, and cut into halvsies. Heat 2T oil, juice of one lemon, a chopped green onion, 1/2 teaspoon dill weed, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a clove of crushed garlic in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add beets, greens and 1/4C water. Cover and steam over medium heat until tender.
Cherries! During peak season (late June – July), Bing and Rainier cherries are sold along roadside or the farmer market*. The only way my rate of pitting can approach consumption is through specialized kitchen gadgetry.
The cherry dutch baby: 3/4C flour, 2T granulated sugar, 3/4C milk, 3 eggs, 1/4t salt, 4T butter, 2C of pitted, Bing (*not Google*) cherries, and powdered sugar. Preheat oven to 425F. Combine flour, sugar, milk, eggs and salt in a blender until smooth. In a 12″ cast iron frying pan, melt the butter. Add the pitted cherries and cook 2-3 minutes until warm. Pour in the batter. Bake 18-20 minutes until puffed and golden. Dust with powdered sugar.
(*Despite working a block from Pike Place, I still adore my local farmer’s market.)
Bananas. They’re delicious, full of carbs, available year-round, and also facing the bananapocalypse.
When overripe, you can freeze them for smoothies or bake them in breads. Or leave hidden messages to help the next person waking up have a surreal day:
Winter Squash are awesome enough that they would merit their own 10-day meme, but I’ll spare you that. Uchiki (red kuri) squash make great pies. Below are photos of the Tamal Pie (https://wapo.st/2Khz8I2) made over Thanksgiving. Somewhat easier to make is the Khoresh-e kadu Halvai-o Alu ba Morgh, learnt during a PCC demo class last fall.
Broccoli (mini-trees) goes well in soups, while Cauliflower (zombie brains) can add depth (and fiber) to macaroni and cheese. Both roast exceptionally well and are essential ingredients in one of my favorite staples: Hippie bowls.
Lemons, sometimes known in the more polite geocaching circles as “absolutely not a durian,” add a wonderful tart flavor to desserts, keep guacamole and apples from turning brown, provide 99.97% of the flavoring in lemonade, and, in much smaller quantities than shown in the photo, can even be used on pizzas. Avoid the mistake I made in my youth of not knowing how the zest could be flavorful (a zester is inexpensive ). They’re also great with Lemon Ricotta Pancakes.
Claire posted a lovely note that I (and I’m sure you) have thought about writing. I liked it so much, that I’m co-opting and adapting it slightly to my own quirkiness.
I know you don’t post things on Facebook to specifically entertain me. (Sure, in my fantasy world, I occasionally indulge in thinking that’s why you’re posting…) But what the heck, I’ll make some requests.
I want to read your thoughts and wisdom. I don’t need to see another quote from Martin Luther King Jr., the Bible, Garfield, or Nietzsche. I do, however, want to read your words, even if they aren’t as elegantly stated or superimposed on a waterfall, mountain or beach photo taken by someone else. I’m friends with you, not Garfield.
We’re all human. If you are combating illness or remembering a friend that you lost, then post your struggle. I’ll read that, and open my heart to you. You are a parent of female teenagers with wacky hormonal mood swings? Post about your experience. I’ll read, and your difficulties will be all too real to me. Don’t repost some placard that then implies I’m a jerk for not reposting.
I love reading about the small joys and trials of your day. Post the description of the gazpacho you had for lunch, progress on the sock you’re knitting, seeing a child off to college, finishing your executive MBA, or spending 48 hours camped out for a search-and-rescue gig. You’re all awesome.
Photos you’ve taken are wonderful. Some of you (DaveVaughn) are amazing photographers and could easily be doing this for a living. Others, not so much, but it’s all good. I love seeing the humanity in photos of your kids and your elderly dad or quirky stuff you noticed today — a fire hydrant where none ought to be, scattered hermit crab shells when walking on the beach, barefoot.
Novel music that you like that I otherwise wouldn’t be exposed to is great. Through friends like you, I’ve discovered awesome cover songs like Tom Jones’ take on Burning Down the House, 2Cellos doing Smells Like Teen Spirit and even Chris Isaak doing Neil Diamond’s Solitary Man. It’s cool if you post that 1997 ear-worm by Chumbawumba. As with everything, little throttling on the quantity would be appreciated, though.
As Claire mentioned, please don’t like commercial products unless you really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really like the product. Facebook creates a metric crap-ton of ads for everyone else. (And as far as I can determine, there’s no way I can filter them on my phone. Hey Zuck, I am so not the target market for match.com.) Conversely, I have “liked” Linode (my hosting provider), a few of localcoffeejoints I frequent, and some cyclingevents I’m fondof. If you are seeing endless ads from these, let me know and I’ll whip out the stash of unlike buttons I keep in my underground bunker.
Those of you who know me well know I’m all about learning. It may come as a surprise that I enjoy political and historical analysis that’s competently argued and makes one think, especially from a perspective I haven’t considered. The italics are for emphasis. If you’ve read something that made you think, link to it. Educate. I do have a major request: don’t be a dick. Among the ways you can be a dick or engaging in ad hominem attacks or name calling. A couple of recent examples involved threads that devolved into making fun of someone’s appearance. For example, Bill Krawietz wrote an editorial regarding cyclist behavior. In his editorial, he was expressing some views I strongly disagreed with. Unfortunately, the cyclists in the forum took the lower-road, going waaaay off-topic and getting personal.
Hoaxes: There has never been an article containing “forward it to all of your friends” that wasn’t a chain letter, hoax or bullshit. Similarly, “shocking” items with “forbidden” knowledge that does not appear on a reputable media source are likely bogus. Please, check snopes.com. Use your judgement. Yes, sometimes we’re wrong. It’s forgivable if you learn from it.
OK, to sum up. I’m friends with YOU. I mostly to hear and see and read about YOU. Your thoughts, your wisdom, your breakfast, your life, your hopes, your sorrows, your joys. I’m also friends with you because you might have a different perspective. If there’s something you found interesting, or is in alignment with how you see the world, link to that. That’s how I learn more.
THANK YOU for being my friend. I especially like hearing from the more quieter among you (as I am…).
Continuing the cleanup, I present the second of three Facebook memes that I still find both benign and entertaining, the Album Cover Challenge. Like the others, I felt funny about any implied social obligation in “tagging” someone, so I toned down the mandatoriness a couple of notches.
This is the original post. Do check out Wai Fong Fung‘s other photos as she’s got a great imagination. It’s also nice seeing Flickr making a comeback.
1 – Go to “wikipedia” ‘s random topic selection — The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 – Go to “Random quotations” — The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
In anticipation of the Facepocalpyse, I’ve been cleaning out some of my FB profile of nuggets I’d like to save on my own blog – today’s is the 100 Books, Omnibus Edition, based on a recurring meme that I see pop up every fortnight. In concept, I don’t mind this one as much because who doesn’t like lists. However, when both of these appeared concurrently on my feed, one purporting to be from Some Committee whose name escapes me, and the other from “The BBC,” I took issue with the tone of the introductions being crafted to guilt one into proving themselves worthy by responding. This is akin to the bullshit Facebook status we’ve seen in the form of:
“I bet 99% of my friends don’t love puppies|kittens|piglets|basal metabolism enough to repost as their status this utterly pointless chain-letter masquerading as making a difference”
I combined them into the 100 books Omnibus edition.. and substituted my own candidate, the venerable Green Eggs and Ham. The list remains interesting to me because as it’s been a few years, I no longer remember a few of these books… or partial derivatives.
Blah blah blah critics I’ve never heard of blah blah blah 100 novels blah blah blah alphabetically plus the BBC’s list. Instructions: send guitars. (cough) I mean, boldify books you’ve read, italicize ones you’ve started and have not finished. Tag me back if you’d like.
A – B
The Adventures of Augie March (1953), by Saul Bellow
All the King’s Men (1946), by Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral (1997), by Philip Roth
An American Tragedy (1925), by Theodore Dreiser
Animal Farm (1946), by George Orwell
Appointment in Samarra (1934), by John O’Hara
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (1970), by Judy Blume
The Assistant (1957), by Bernard Malamud
At Swim-Two-Birds (1938), by Flann O’Brien
Atonement (2002), by Ian McEwan
Beloved (1987), by Toni Morrison
The Berlin Stories (1946), by Christopher Isherwood
The Big Sleep (1939), by Raymond Chandler
The Blind Assassin (2000), by Margaret Atwood
Blood Meridian (1986), by Cormac McCarthy
Brideshead Revisited (1946), by Evelyn Waugh
The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927), by Thornton Wilder
C – D
Call It Sleep (1935), by Henry Roth
Catch-22 (1961), by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye (1951), by J.D. Salinger
A Clockwork Orange (1963), by Anthony Burgess
The Confessions of Nat Turner (1967), by William Styron
The Corrections (2001), by Jonathan Franzen
The Crucible (1953), by Arthur Miller
The Crying of Lot 49 (1966), by Thomas Pynchon
A Dance to the Music of Time (1951), by Anthony Powell
The Day of the Locust (1939), by Nathanael West
Death Comes for the Archbishop (1927), by Willa Cather
A Death in the Family (1958), by James Agee
The Death of the Heart (1958), by Elizabeth Bowen
Deliverance (1970), by James Dickey
Dog Soldiers (1974), by Robert Stone
F – G
Falconer (1977), by John Cheever
The French Lieutenant’s Woman (1969), by John Fowles
The Golden Notebook (1962), by Doris Lessing
Go Tell it on the Mountain (1953), by James Baldwin
Gone With the Wind (1936), by Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath (1939), by John Steinbeck
Gravity’s Rainbow (1973), by Thomas Pynchon
The Great Gatsby (1925), by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Green Eggs and Ham (1960), by Dr. Seuss
H – I
A Handful of Dust (1934), by Evelyn Waugh
The Heart is A Lonely Hunter (1940), by Carson McCullers
The Heart of the Matter (1948), by Graham Greene
Herzog (1964), by Saul Bellow
Housekeeping (1981), by Marilynne Robinson
A House for Mr. Biswas (1962), by V.S. Naipaul
I, Claudius (1934), by Robert Graves
In Cold Blood (1966), by Truman Capote
Infinite Jest (1996), by David Foster Wallace
Invisible Man (1952), by Ralph Ellison
L – N
Light in August (1932), by William Faulkner
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (1950), by C.S. Lewis
Lolita (1955), by Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies (1955), by William Golding
The Lord of the Rings (1954), by J.R.R. Tolkien
Loving (1945), by Henry Green
Lucky Jim (1954), by Kingsley Amis
The Man Who Loved Children (1940), by Christina Stead
Midnight’s Children (1981), by Salman Rushdie
Money (1984), by Martin Amis
The Moviegoer (1961), by Walker Percy
Mrs. Dalloway (1925), by Virginia Woolf
Naked Lunch (1959), by William Burroughs
Native Son (1940), by Richard Wright
Neuromancer (1984), by William Gibson
Never Let Me Go (2005), by Kazuo Ishiguro
1984 (1948), by George Orwell
O – R
On the Road (1957), by Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962), by Ken Kesey
The Painted Bird (1965), by Jerzy Kosinski
Pale Fire (1962), by Vladimir Nabokov
A Passage to India (1924), by E.M. Forster
Play It As It Lays (1970), by Joan Didion
Portnoy’s Complaint (1969), by Philip Roth
Possession (1990), by A.S. Byatt
The Power and the Glory (1939), by Graham Greene
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), by Muriel Spark
Rabbit, Run (1960), by John Updike
Ragtime (1975), by E.L. Doctorow
The Recognitions (1955), by William Gaddis
Red Harvest (1929), by Dashiell Hammett
Revolutionary Road (1961), by Richard Yates
S – T
The Sheltering Sky (1949), by Paul Bowles
Slaughterhouse Five (1969), by Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash (1992), by Neal Stephenson
The Sot-Weed Factor (1960), by John Barth
The Sound and the Fury (1929), by William Faulkner
The Sportswriter (1986), by Richard Ford
The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (1964), by John le Carre
The Sun Also Rises (1926), by Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937), by Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart (1959), by Chinua Achebe
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), by Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse (1927), by Virginia Woolf
Tropic of Cancer (1934), by Henry Miller
U – W
Ubik (1969), by Philip K. Dick
Under the Net (1954), by Iris Murdoch
Under the Volcano (1947), by Malcolm Lowry
Watchmen (1986), by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
White Noise (1985), by Don DeLillo
White Teeth (2000), by Zadie Smith
Wide Sargasso Sea (1966), by Jean Rhys
1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (and Zombies!)
2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch – George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Green Eggs and Ham – Dr. Seuss
24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
34 Emma -Jane Austen
35 Persuasion – Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm – George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
50 Atonement – Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel
52 Dune – Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
72 Dracula – Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses – James Joyce
76 The Inferno – Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal – Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession – AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I happily report that this blog has been nominated for The Liebster Blog Award by Horse Bits. I was expecting a focus on ritualistic hazing, drinking and debauchery, followed by debauchery and drinking. But in reading John’s intro paragraph, I am corrected that the intent is for the little folk (blogs with fewer than 200 followers) to answer eleven questions of the nominator’s choosing. I am obliged to come up with my own list of eleven questions and “pay them forward” to the Liebster nominees.
And the insights John wishes revealed:
What are your three favorite movies and what about each got them on this list?
This is a really difficult question to answer because there’s no “of” in the sentence. My entertainment preferences are mood-driven, and thus often fickle. Trying to limit it to three is difficult. I need to qualify the question: Movies that were awe-inspiring the first time (but have no interest in seeing again)? Movies I’d watch over again? Weird stuff I got because Netflix’s Machine Learning algorithms wanted to throw something different at me?
In the interest of completeness and adherence to the spirit of the question, let’s take one from each category. I’ll let you guess which is which.
District 9 – it was visually jarring and kept my attention throughout. I was exhausted when it was all over.
The Matrix. Visually stunning, surreal and offering (what were then) novelties like bullet-time. It’s the kind of movie I’m glad would never have a sequel because it would suck. Oh.
Trois coleurs: Bleu, Blanc, Rouge. As Ebert says, they’re the anti-tragedy, anti-comedy, and anti-romance. All just wonderful movies. I’ve been hoping to finding Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue and the implied ten hours to watch them.
Of the visual arts, are you more a fan of painting, photography, or sculpture? Why? If you have a favorite artist, list their name.
Body painting. But if you’re considering socially-accepted art that might be on display in a museum, then sculpture. For self-participation, photography. Sometimes ofsculptures and statues seen during travels.
Museum-style paintings are very hit-or-miss for me. I love the framed prints of Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (John Singer Sargent) and Impression soleil (Monet) hanging on my walls. I would not turn down an offer of free framed prints of Monet’s other works. But as for other popular paintings like The Scream or The Mona Lisa – I don’t get them. (Leonardo’s drawings, however, are fantastic.) And a lot of the stuff from the early Renaissance period… hey, it’s late, we need to go look at sculptures now.
If you had to give up one sense (sight, smell, hearing, taste – let’s keep touch) which would it be and why?
Taste. It would help me resist potato chips, helping in my passive weight loss goals.
Purple, 42, or the Roman Legion? (Don’t think about it – just answer.)
You win an expense-paid 3-week vacation to an isolated retreat up in the mountains on the shore of a pristine lake. What books do you take and why?
A collection of Audubon books to identify the local plants, fungi and critters. Because, let’s be honest, I am just not going to be able to stay cooped up indoors all day. Specific titles on my to-read list:
The Sun Also Rises – I really enjoyed The Old Man and the Sea, but oddly, haven’t explored Hemingway’s other works. I only know of him from the Michael Palin book.
Anathem – Neil Stephenson. Kiri says this is a great book. I’ve been discouraged by its mass and have been leery of allocating time to tackle it.
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee, because John posted a review. (You might also find the less popular Black Boy, by Richard Wright, interesting.) I have more interest in revisiting the classics now that I’m not being forced to read them.
Shampoo and conditioner? Or shampoo and conditioner in one? (If you use more than 2 hair care products, leave your answer blank.)
Shampoo. My hair is short/thinning enough that I need only one.
Why do you blog? (I reserve the right to start using your answer if it’s better than my own.)
For the conversation with erudite women and men.
(Nearly) Ten years ago, I got into blogging with some other folks at Amazon.com’s personalization team. It remained a fun & creative outlet for posting recipes or opinions about cycling events, and the software (at the time, Movable Type) was a lot easier than editing manual web pages.
I had a lot of fun posting on random things I learned but that took a lot of time away from other things I wanted to do. (Now if I could earn a living that way…)
For a variety of reasons, ranging from “other real life priorities” to “do I really want to be asked about this by a potential employer” to “everybody’s on Facebook,” I’ve been tapering back on the public posts.
What non-human, non-plant living creature would you rid the world of? And why?
Mosquitos – doing so would let me enjoy my expense-paid 3-week vacation to the isolated retreat up in the mountains on the shore of a lake much more. Runner up: the wasps that keep trying to burrow into my master bedroom.
Sunrise or sunset?
Music. How frequently do you listen? To whom? And via what media? List 3 musicians you’re listening to right now.
I listen a few times a week, rarely just for the sake of listening, but more commonly while I’m doing something else like commuting or degaussing after an animated meeting. Three musicians I’m listening to right now:
Dog Days of Summer, Florence + The Machine. She has amazing vocal range on this song. The World is What You make It, Paul Brady. Shambala, Three Dog Night.
Media: mp3, because I’m fracking tired of re-buying the same songs because the delivery format (vinyl, cassette, CD) has changed or broke. It also supports distribution for this model.
This quiz goes to eleven. Is the internet really making us stupid?