Archive for July, 2008

Thanks Shushala: one word meme

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 by tom

Respond to each item giving a one-word answer… and no word can be repeated.

1. Where is your cell phone?  Handy
2. Your significant other?  Busy
3. Your hair?  Keratinized
4. Your mother?  Patient
5. Your father?  ibid
6. Your favorite time of day? Night
7. Your dream last night?  Epic
8. Your favorite drink?  Liquid
9. Your dream goal? Unnightmarey
10. The room you’re in?  Menageric
11. Your ex?  Succubus
12. Your fear?  Exsanguination (not really.  It's just a fun word)
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years?  Earth
14. What you are not?  Dull
15. Your Favorite meal? Each
16. One of your wish list items? Wish
17. The last thing you did? Toothbrushing
18. Where you grew up?  South
19. What are you wearing?  Out
20. Your TV is?  Outdated.
21. Your pets?  Diva
22. Your computer?  Loaner
23. Your life?  Borrowed
24. Your mood?  Green
25. Missing someone?  Sure
26. Your car?  Truckish
27. Something you’re not wearing?  Beret
28. Favorite store?  Guitarium
29. Your summer?  Moist
30. Your favorite colour?  Green
31. When is the last time you laughed?  Monologue
32. When is the last time you cried?  80's
33. Your health?  Please
34. Your children?  Unproven
35. Your future?  Tomorrow
36. Your beliefs?  Simple
37. Young or old?  Immature
38. Your image?  Blurry
39. Your appearance?  Special
40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know?  Differently

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A request

Posted in Uncategorized on July 29, 2008 by tom

My dear friend Jill is having major surgery this afternoon.  If you could, say a prayer/send good energy/implore Ceiling Cat/think good things/light a candle–whatever works for you. 

Thanks.

 

t

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Vox Hunt: My Favorite Poem

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on July 29, 2008 by tom

Share your favorite poem. 

Friedrich Schiller, "An Die Freude" (1785) 

(Translation here)

1] Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
     Tochter aus Elisium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken
     Himmlische, dein Heiligthum.
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
     was der Mode Schwerd getheilt;
Bettler werden Fürstenbrüder,
     wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

Chor
Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
     Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!
     Brüder – über'm Sternenzelt
muß ein lieber Vater wohnen.
[2] Wem der große Wurf gelungen,
     eines Freundes Freund zu seyn;
wer ein holdes Weib errungen,
     mische seinen Jubel ein!
Ja – wer auch nur eine Seele
     sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!
Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehle
     weinend sich aus diesem Bund!

Chor
Was den großen Ring bewohnet,
     huldige der Simpathie!
     Zu den Sternen leitet sie,
Wo der Unbekannte tronet.
Freude trinken alle Wesen
     an den Brüsten der Natur,
Alle Guten, alle Bösen
     folgen ihrer Rosenspur.
Küße gab sie uns und Reben
     einen Freund, geprüft im Tod.
Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,
     und der Cherub steht vor Gott.

Chor
Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen?
     Ahndest du den Schöpfer, Welt?
     Such ihn überm Sternenzelt,
über Sternen muß er wohnen.
[3] Freude heißt die starke Feder
     in der ewigen Natur.
Freude, Freude treibt die Räder
     in der großen Weltenuhr.
Blumen lockt sie aus den Keimen,
     Sonnen aus dem Firmament,
Sphären rollt sie in den Räumen,
     die des Sehers Rohr nicht kennt.

Chor
Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen,
     durch des Himmels prächtgen Plan,
     laufet, Brüder, eure Bahn,
freudig wie ein Held zum Siegen.
Aus der Wahrheit Feuerspiegel
     lächelt sie den Forscher an.
Zu der Tugend steilem Hügel
     leitet sie des Dulders Bahn.
Auf des Glaubens Sonnenberge
     sieht man ihre Fahnen wehn,
Durch den Riß gesprengter Särge
     sie im Chor der Engel stehn.

Chor
Duldet mutig, Millionen!
     Duldet für die beßre Welt!
     Droben überm Sternenzelt
wird ein großer Gott belohnen.
[4] Göttern kann man nicht vergelten,
     schön ists, ihnen gleich zu sein.
Gram und Armut soll sich melden,
     mit den Frohen sich erfreun.
Groll und Rache sei vergessen,
     unserm Todfeind sei verziehn,
Keine Thräne soll ihn pressen,
     keine Reue nage ihn.

Chor
Unser Schuldbuch sei vernichtet!
     ausgesöhnt die ganze Welt!
     Brüder- überm Sternenzelt
richtet Gott, wie wir gerichtet.
Freude sprudelt in Pokalen,
     in der Traube goldnem Blut
trinken Sanftmut Kannibalen,
     Die Verzweiflung Heldenmut —
Brüder, fliegt von euren Sitzen,
     wenn der volle Römer kraißt,
Laßt den Schaum zum Himmel sprützen:
     Dieses Glas dem guten Geist.

Chor
Den der Sterne Wirbel loben,
     den des Seraphs Hymne preist,
     Dieses Glas dem guten Geist
überm Sternenzelt dort oben!
[5] Festen Mut in schwerem Leiden,
     Hülfe, wo die Unschuld weint,
Ewigkeit geschwornen Eiden,
     Wahrheit gegen Freund und Feind,
Männerstolz vor Königstronen
     Brüder, gält es Gut und Blut, –
Dem Verdienste seine Kronen,
     Untergang der Lügenbrut!

Chor
Schließt den heilgen Zirkel dichter,
     schwört bei diesem goldnen Wein:
     Dem Gelübde treu zu sein,
schwört es bei dem Sternenrichter!
Rettung von Tirannenketten,
     Großmut auch dem Bösewicht,
Hoffnung auf den Sterbebetten,
     Gnade auf dem Hochgericht!
Auch die Toden sollen leben!
     Brüder trinkt und stimmet ein,
Allen Sündern soll vergeben,
     und die Hölle nicht mehr seyn.

Chor
Eine heitre Abschiedsstunde!
     süßen Schlaf im Leichentuch!
     Brüder – einen sanften Spruch
Aus des Todtenrichters Munde!

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Sunday night questions

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2008 by tom

My 36 "Alleged" Secrets

Stolen from May, who stole it from LeendaDLL. 🙂 I hope they won't mind. Thank you.

[1] what is your natural hair color?

·       Calico.  Seriously, it's some sort of uninspired brownish thing, like salisbury steak gravy but with a few grays.

[2] where was your default picture taken?

·        I think by the Hubble Space Telescope.

[3] what's your middle name?

·         My middle name is the one I've only really heard when I'm in serious trouble.

[4] your current relationship status?

·         Quo

[5] does your crush like you?

·        I'm sure she would, if only her attorneys would cancel the restraining order.

[6] what is your current mood?

·         About 10 amperes.

[7] what color underwear are you wearing?

·         I couldn't decide today, so I'm just wearing a waistband.

[8] what makes you happy?

·         Mixing Diet Mountain Dew, Maxwell House Dark Roast Instant Coffee, and Lexapro, then driving really fast across the bridge.   Okay, any of those four.

[9] if you could go back in time and change something, what would it be?

·        .I would not have put off my foreign language requirement off till my last three semesters of college, and I'd have double-majored in English and German.  Or I'd have been Jeff Beck.

[10] if you must be an animal for one day, what would you be?

·         A thestral.  Most people wouldn't be able to see me, and I'd scare the crap out of those who could

[11] ever had a near death experience?

·         A pretty good one back in December.

[12] something you do a lot?

·         Breathe. 

[13] what's the name of the song stuck in your head right now?

Either View from the Hill's "No Conversation" or  Simple Minds, "Sanctify Yourself"

[14] who did you copy and paste this from?

           May

[15] name someone with the same birthday as you?

·         NFL Hall of Fame Quarterback Dan Fouts.  Oh, and this girl named Vanessa who lives in India.

[16] when was the last time you cried?

·         Not in a few decades.

[17] have you ever sung in front of a large audience?

·         Yes.  Thank God U2 was singing too, and they had amps and stuff.

[18] if you could have one super power what would it be?

·         The Jedi mind thing Obi-Wan Kenobi could do.

[19] what's the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?

·         Hands.  Especially if they're covering bare breasts.

[20] what do you usually order from starbucks?

·         A venti seven-shot Americano, iced and black

[21] what's your biggest secret?

·         I'd tell you, but only if I limited this to Neighborhood Only

[22] favorite color?

·         Green

[23] when was the last time you lied?

·        Probably some time in the past 22 questions.

[24] do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows?

·         Only when I'm on narcotic pain meds.

[25] what are you eating or drinking at the moment?

·         Zephyrhills Spring Water, masquerading as Smart Water.

[26] do you speak any other language?

·         Tuwing umuulan at kapiling ka.  That pretty much exhausted my supply of Tagalog.  I used to sprech some pretty gut Deutsch, and I know enough Spanish to get myself slapped.

[27] what's your favorite smell?

·         The naturally seductive, feral scent of tropical rain falling on Donna the Sales Assistant while she was eating freshly baked spicecake, wearing Estee Lauder's "Beautiful," and lying on newly mown grass.

[28] if you could describe your life in one word what would it be?

·         Tangential.

[29] when was the last time you gave/received a hug?

·         At dinner Sunday night–a couple hugs, and even a kiss.

[30] have you ever been kissed in the rain?

·         Yes, although it was more pleasant being kissed on the mouth.  (rimshot)

[31] what are you thinking about right now?

·         How lucky I am that I didn't put Shia Lebouef on my auto insurance.

[32] what should you be doing?

·         In all honesty, probably ten years to life.

[33] what was the last thing that made you upset/angry?

·         I really don't get upset/angry.

[34] do you like working in the yard?

·         You mean the one outside? Oh, hell no.  There's too much nature out there.

[35] if you could have any last name in the world, what would you want?

·        I'd keep the one I have.  Otherwise, I'd have to get my driver's license replaced.

[36] do you act differently around your crush?

.      It depends on whether my girlfriend's around.  😉

Happy Monday.

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By popular demand…

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2008 by tom
I've never made them myself, but I'll vouch for their yumminess.  Good luck, and let me know how it works for you.

HONEY BARS

 
¾ cup vegetable oil                                1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ cup honey                                            ½ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar                                              1 egg
2 cups flour                                             1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp. baking soda
 
Mix oil, honey and sugar well.  Add rest of dry ingredients, then add egg and pecans.  Mix well.
 
Put in a 9” x 13” pan lightly greased with Crisco (or margarine)  and bake at 350° for 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
 
Mix glaze and pour on warm bars.  Cut into squares while warm.

=0 A

 
GLAZE
Mix the following ingredients together and then spread on the warm bars.
 
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring                          1 tablespoon water
1 cup powdered sugar                            1 tablespoon mayonnaise

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More Mental Chex Mix

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28, 2008 by tom
  • I apologize for yesterday's rather paltry MCxM.  I basically ended up writing about invention.  Feel free to call our customer service number for a full refund.  Herewith, random crap with no connection.
  • As part of my new job/next step toward global domination, I've noticed anew the phenomenon of the Clydesdale.

      I've met an actual Clydesdale, one of the seriously large and badass horses Anheuser-Busch uses to cart their small and less-badass beers around, and it's an amazing animal.  They're tall–as high as 20 hands (6'8")–and can weigh up to a ton.  I'm not one of those people that goes all gooey at the sight of a horse.  I rode one once when I was ten.  I got thrown off it.  Since then, the equine world and I have maintained a steady, respectful detente.  I haven't attempted to ride one of their kind, and they haven't attempted to drive my truck.  I'm rather like Hagrid with the Hogwarts centaurs.  Anyway, a Clydesdale could drag you and your family a long way.  They can pull wagons and plows, and they can sell lots of beer.  One thing a Clydesdale will not do is sneak up on you.  They're horses, for crying out loud, and big horses at that.  You can hear them clop-clopping for half a mile. 

  • In that spirit, I've noticed there are human Clydesdales in the hooman world.  Typically, human Clydesdales wear chunky high-heeled shoes that prevent graceful walking.  Thus, those damned heels clunk loudly, like Thor banging on his anvil, or nearby thunder, or a series of M-80's in a garbage can.  From half a mile away, this percussive, heavy metal drum solo lurches ever closer, oblivious to the fact that, say, people are trying to talk on the phone without it sounding like Murrow broadcasting during the Nazi V-2 attacks on London. 

"Good God, man, are those anti-aircraft cannons?" 
"Nope.  Just Nancy from sales, heading to the break room." 
"Oh, you have Clydesdales there, too?"

  • Clydesdales would never be recruited to the company's ninja training program.
  • I think it would be cool if companies actually had ninja training programs.  "Tom? HR has transferred you to the secret ninja training program.  You'll report to conference room C Monday.  Bring your black pajamas, your sword, and your Blackberry.  Oh, and Tom? Leave those stupid clogs at home, okay?"
  • I wonder what ninjas and monks wear on casual Fridays.  Are there Dockers Cossacks for such things? (Dossacks?)
  • There's a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig difference between the Mexican food at Estella's and Taco Bell, but there are times in life for each of them.

  • There are zillions of therapeutic herbal sex remedies, apparently.  I took the quiz.  I failed.  The only herbal remedies I've ever used were various distilled combinations of grains and hops and, on occasion, juniper berries, and sometimes in college with various indiginous plant leaves.  Amazingly, "hops" was one of the answers on this quiz.  "Crushed, macerated leaves, mixed with acidified water and benzene, IDON'THAVETIMETOEXPLAINTHISGETOUTTAMYWAYIGOTTAGOTOTHEBATHROOM" was not an answer.

  • It would be a far snarkier world if people said things like, "You deserve it," when misfortune befell somebody:

"Oh, my gosh! Woe is me! My wife left me, took my car, and ran over my dog on her way out."
"Well, you treated her like shit, so you totally deserve it."

"Oh, noes! I didn't get that promotion.  Now I won't have enough money to afford manicures."
"Good.  You're a lazy slacker who doesn't deserve employment, much less a promotion.  Oh, and your gigantic fake orange whore-talons look ridiculous."

  • At my new job, we have lots of various tv personalities walking around, but the only one I've seen who caused a huge distraction was Cruiser, the 3 lb 3 oz teacup Yorkie who occasionally guests on one show.
  • Cruiser was very nice, by the way, although he wouldn't sign an autograph for me.  When I worked with Dick Clark, he signed my wall and was far less self-absorbed. 
  • I've reached the conclusion that if you ever get too old to geek over cupcakes, you should really just cash in your chips.
  • Have a great week, puddin' pops.

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Mental Chex mix for a July Saturday night

Posted in Uncategorized on July 27, 2008 by tom

<sponsored message>

This is a full solar eclipse.  These are very beautiful, rare celestial events, The problem is, they'll burn your retinas clean through to your pancreas if you even so much as glance at them.  In fact, if you're even outside during the event, you'll grow a tail, turn green, and vote to amend the Constitution so Dubaya can have four more years as President.

Okay, they can destroy your retinas.  That much is true.  The rest might discourage people from looking at them.  Invariably, people do. 

 

There are many ways to view an eclipse safely.  I'll let more reputable

sources than this describe them for you.  I'm only here to implore that–for the love of Pan–if you and your goat plan to watch next Friday's total eclipse, please take precautions.  If you go blind, that's your own bidness.  If you let your goat stare at the thing, you are evil.  Paid for by Goggles for Goats, a United Nations Livestock Eyewear Directorate Project)

</sponsored message>

As you know, we here at The Tom Zone pride ourselves on our technological sources.  Thus, when we stumbled upon this invention, we had to share it.  For years, children of all ages have quarreled over one of life's most basic necessities: the brownie.

The problem has always been that nobody wants one of those forlorn brownies from the middle.  Brownie connosieurs the world over have always treasured the corner brownie, savoring the crunchy crusty border, and it's juxtaposition to soft, gooey, chocolatey awesomeness.  Without the border, a brownie is just really dense chocolate cake sans frosting. 

Thankfully, brownie technologists have developed the most fantabulous thing since the George Foreman Grill:

 

Gone are the days where one has to suffer with a gooey, messy middle brownie.  We are now one step closer to world peace.

Even with unlimited crust brownies, America's gastronomic patriotism has always been linked to hot dogs and apple pie.  However, I propose that there is no more patriotic food than Chicken McNuggets.  When America began, this was just a giant wasteland of trees and clean water and praries, crap like that.  It took this great nation to carve it up into cities, to pave it, and get rid of all that pesky nature. 

Similarly, God/Nature/Ceiling Cat/Whatever created the noble chicken.  Chickens are perfect animals.  They're covered in food, and they're dumber than a box of rocks, thus making them easy to catch.  Hell, drumsticks and wings even have convenient handles to facilitate our carnivorous uses.  But just as it took humanity to tamp down all that awful "nature," it took a great American corporation like McDonald's to carve up the chicken into even easier to eat form: the McNugget.  I mean, how are we supposed to drive our gas guzzling SUV's while eating chicken, if we have to worry about bone disposition? Thank God the food scientists at McDonald's took this problem under their wings, as it were, and created the McNugget.  Only those geniuses who developed the Filet-o-Square-Fish were suited to help the chicken realize its destiny.  Best of all, as a tribute to this great land of ours, they carefully designed the McNugget in three patriotic state shapes: Illinois, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. 

The sauces even pay tribute to our varied lineages.  Hot Mustard is an homage to all those spicy food-loving cultures.  Sweet and sour links our western tastes with the expanding, exotic Far East, while barbecue celebrates our own American heritage of charring animal flesh. 

Hot dogs and apple pie are fine, but only the McNugget takes food and makes it into something conveniently shaped and bad for you.  God bless America, and her McNuggets.

I know this country is down now.  Our economy is tanking, we're mired in an unwinnable war, and we have a vacutard running things, but there is hope.  If we can solve the brownie-crust conundrum, make chicken more edible and less poultry-like, and develop goat-goggles, then by damn, we'll make it.  John Wayne would be proud. 

Julia Childs, however, is probably spinning in her grave.

Probably just jealous she didn't think of it first. 

Happy weekend.

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