Wish I'd Said It

Weeds are flowers too - once you get to know them.

- A. A. Milne

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Five (5) Things

Amy tagged me to write five things most people don't know about me. This won't be easy because much of my writing the last few years has been about my life. I spill my guts at the drop of a memory! But I'll try.

1 - I threw up nearly every day of high school. It was caused by anxiety that I might be called upon to read aloud to the class. What was a mild phobia for most of us was a major one for me. I might have enjoyed school otherwise. Or become a politician or actor instead of a writer. Life's weird. Plus you pay taxes, then you die.

2 - I pick up every earthworm or caterpillar I see crossing a road or sidewalk and carry it across lest it fall victim to a car tire or carelessly-placed shoe.

3 - I make faces at babies and very young children in stores, especially grocery stores. I love engaging them in a rousing, smile-inducing session of Peek-A-Boo. Usually their Moms don't mind.

4 - I hate fishing.

5 - I usually lie at least once when drafted to do a list-type meme thing. See if you can spot today's.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Michael Richards Thing

The media's all atwitter about Richards' epithet-filled diatribe directed at a black heckler at a comedy club. Condemnation has been pretty universal from what I've seen and heard so far. Can't argue with that. His language matched his mood. It was ugly.

I'm not going focus on dancing on the grave of his career though. What interests me about this whole thing is how technology has turned what once would have been a fart in a windstorm into a nuclear mushroom cloud.

15 years ago - heck, make that 10 - it's highly unlikely that Richards' verbal venom would have been caught on tape. Even if it had, it wouldn't have gotten national airplay except as a series of bleeps. Most likely, some few folks from the audience would have complained to the proprietor of the club and maybe fired off a letter or two to a newspaper.

The ripple effect would have been indiscernible.

Instead, a video camera, now as ubiquitous as a pack of cigarettes used to be, captures the event and within hours it's available for world-wide viewing via the internet. As a result, Richards is obliged to appear on national tv and apologize. And apologize. And apologize.

Nobody and nothing is private anymore.

I find that to be a lot scarier than a closet racist outing himself.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Blogger (read "Google" since they own it now) wants me to switch over to the "new, improved" format/thingy. At this point it's voluntary. They're trying to induce me by saying it's got spiffier features and it's more reliable. If I continue to resist those blandishments, they'll up the ante.

It won't be long before they sadly inform me that I'm among the 4% of "blosers" who stubbornly resist changing over. They'll do their best to make me feel like that gawky, pimply kid watching all the other kids dance and have a great time.

I don't care. So I resist change? Big whoop. For every leading edge there's gotta be a blunt backside. That's me. Let other people blaze trails. Some of us like well-trodden paths. That way we're more likely to see what's lurking around the bend, hoping to ambush us. Like glitches. I hate glitches. And I didn't just tumble off the techno-turnip truck yesterday: new versions are chockful of glitches.

So, I'm gonna stick with the old version of Blogger until Google won't support it anymore. I figger that won't happen for at least another six months, maybe longer. By then they'll be touting Version 3.02 or something and I'll ease my way into Version 2. Most of the glitches should be fixed by then and there still might be a cute girl or two around that I can ask to dance.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Chicken Soup

I have a head cold. I do not like having a head cold. I mostly haven't liked having a head cold since I became an adult. You know, since Mom wasn't around to make chicken soup and fuss over me and I could take a day or two off school. Wives and girlfriends, God bless 'em, bring a lot to the table but I've not found one who fusses like a Mom.

I also haven't found one who makes good chicken soup so I had to learn by myself. My first few attempts weren't so hot. Possibly because I refused to look up a recipe or ask anyone how they made theirs. As my great-grandmother used to say, when she read my cards or tea leaves, "you're too hendy-dependy." She meant "independent" of course. Some might say "mule-headed." One or two might shorten that last one.

Anyway, I'm gonna make a pot of chicken soup today as well as take extra garlic and vitamin C tablets. In two or three days I'll be cured. Or desperately looking for a mother substitute.

Here's how I make my soup:

Put a whole chicken or chicken parts (usually leg quarters or thighs) in a large pot and fill the pot three-quarters full with cold water. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to simmer for a while - usually about an hour. Remove chicken and put on a plate to cool. Chop up an onion and a few cloves of garlic and add it to the de-chickened water. Also add some veggies like bits of carrots. (Do NOT add celery as celery is God's revenge on us for everything bad we have ever done.) You may add some peas. I usually dump in some frozen ones. Canned ones are too mushy. Frozen corn is also okay as are green beans but not too many of those because I don't like them all that much.

Add several tablespoons of the powdered chicken broth/soup fixings or several cubes if you prefer them. I like the powdered stuff. It dissolves quickly and you can taste as you go until it gets that good chickeny flavour.

Now peel off all the skin from your chicken and separate the meat from the bones. It should just about tumble off because of the previous simmering. Break the chicken meat into bits and plop them back into the pot. Nibble on some as you go. It's okay. Nobody is watching.

Now you've just got to add some egg noodles. I usually dump them right into the pot and let them cook via simmering along with everything else. However, I recently received one complaint that my soup was too starchy. I may, or may not, cook the next batch of noodles in a separate pot and then add them to the soup. Depends on whose turn it is to do the dishes. (HAHAHAHA! That might have been a joke!)

I've started adding dumplings to my last few batches of soup too. I like the meal-ish quality they add. Plus they taste good. My sister Theresa told me how to make them. I was not too hendy-dependy to ask. Just add a little water to salted and peppered flour and stir it around until it's thick and gloppy. Then, using a spoon, dribble the glop bit by bit into the simmering soup. The blobs cook through in a few minutes.

Now it's just a matter of adding salt and pepper and maybe a bit more of the powdered stuff and waiting a decent interval for everything to cook through and the flavours to marry - maybe another hour or so.

Soon, you can enjoy, in a miserable, head-coldish kind of a way, a delicious bowl of hearty chicken soup.

Almost as good as Mom used to make.

Now if only someone would bring me a bowl of it, murmur "poor darling" while placing a cool hand against my forehead and pick up my discarded kleenexes, life would be fairly bearable.