Friday, June 29, 2012

You're Reading What?

It's been kind of a strange few weeks at work. Although... I mean... It's been normal, just kind of odd.

We've discussed in the past (I think) that I work as an editor. And I like that gig a lot. It may not be exactly what I was thinking I'd be doing when I was in school for 6 years getting my degrees, but at least it's in my original field. And, really, how many people with English majors can say that a few years down the line?

The wacky thing about it, though, is that you never really know what is going to come across your desk on any given day.

I've worked on ranting political treatises, Christian romance novels, books on mortgages, and children's picture books. There have been some mysteries, and some books for which it was a mystery to me why they were written. Books on love and relationships, books on time travel and war. And lots (LOTS) of memoirs.

Yes, it's cliche, but truly the only thing consistent in the books is the inconsistency. (Sadly, that's both in subject and ability - but that's a different topic.)

In the past couple of weeks, though, I've worked on a book of essays about sex slavery, something about a guy who woke up one day able to talk to his aloe vera plant, and a really good book of folk tales. It's kind of cool that way.

Of course, when I come home and Christopher asks me about my day and I say something like "Well, I was working on sex again, today..." he looks at me a little strangely. But that's nothing compared to the looks I got this week when the 16-year-old intern walked in as I was talking about one of those essays.

Stressful? Sometimes. Frustrating? Frequently. Boring? (Sadly) Often. The same thing day after day? Never.

So what are you reading?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

In Proud Support of Oreos

Last weekend, the folks at Oreo put a picture up on their Facebook page with the slogan "Proudly support love!"

It was what I've been calling a "sextuple-stuf" Oreo and each interior layer was a different color. And, at the base it said "June 25 | Pride". In fact, it was this, but with "Proudly support love" in the upper left corner:

But that was it. There was nothing about pushing an agenda. There was nothing negative or derogatory against anyone. There was simply a positive message to "proudly support love."

As soon as I saw it, I shared it on my own Facebook page. Which, at latest count, more than 77,400 other people have also done. Almost 246,000 people have "Liked" the picture on the Oreo page, alone, let along the others who have signaled their approval through other means.

To me, it wasn't ever really an "us/them" situation. I didn't see it as hateful or against anyone. I looked at it as a company taking a simple stand for positive, affirming love.

And, I'm guessing, so did that nearly quarter of a million people who clicked on the image.

Today, though, I saw that there have been protests over the image. People are threatening to boycott Oreos, claiming this is tantamount to blasphemy and worthy of having the Oreo folks spend some time in the deepest level of hell. (Although, if that's where all the Oreos go, that's where I'm going to want to be, too...)

(I'm going to ignore the fact that the image is a photoshopped picture. And that all of the people who are up in arms are yelling and screaming about an Oreo which does *not* exist.)

What bugs the heck out of me is that all of these people, who are claiming to have God and Jesus and the Bible on their side - in other words, they're all calling themselves Christians - are up in arms because the folks at Oreo came out in support of LOVE. Yes, they did it using an iconically gay symbol, but their message was LOVE.

LOVE one another. LOVE yourself. LOVE proudly.

There was no hate in there. There was no "we love the gays, but we don't love the straights." There was no "we want you all to convert to homosexuality, and we're going to force you to do so by looking at a rainbow Oreo." And ther was certainly no vitriolic ranting.

But... Wow... in some of the negative comments that were posted, there was all kinds of vitriol, and ranting, and hatred, and namecalling. Some of it was the kind of thing that kids used to get their mouths washed out with soap for, even. And it made me sad, and a little confused.

Maybe it's just the way I remember my church teachings. Maybe I simply missed something along the way, so you'll have to tell me if I'm wrong, here, but didn't Christ primarily preach "Love thy neighbor"? I mean... In the New Testament, after the "eye for an eye" stuff got tossed aside, wasn't that pretty much his point? When you boil all of his teachings down, wasn't that pretty much at the base of it all? Sure, there were a lot of different ways that he said it, but... really... didn't that seem pretty clear to most people?

Or, you know, in the words of the campfire song "They'll know we are Christians by our love (by our love)." And, no, I don't know any other words to that song. Those are all that stuck with me. My guess is because they're the most important ones.

So I'm opting to offer my own proud support to Oreo and their campaign for Love. I sent them an email on their company website to thank them for their rainbow Oreo, and - just to show I was serious - went out and bought a package of regular Oreos on the way home tonight.

I figure that if they'll support me and my love, I'll gladly support them.

Of course, if they'd also make an Oreo with six layers of filling - rainbow or not - that would be a whole different level of love.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Movie-ish Monday: The Graham Norton Show

Have I talked about "The Graham Norton Show," before?

It's a BBC chat show, which airs over here on BBC America on Saturday nights. I almost never see it when it's actually airing, but I record it and watch it later. And, invariably, I laugh more while watching it than I do for any other TV show I watch all week.

The great thing about it - in my opinion - is that he (almost always) brings out all of the guests at once. So he sits and plays host and makes sure that everyone gets a chance to talk, and it ends up being a three- or four- or sometimes even five-way conversation.

On some nights it's very much Graham interviewing people. And it's all Q & A with just a little conversation. But some nights the guests kind of go their own ways and the conversations go all over the place. And I find that I'm laughing for people I've never liked, and cheering for people I already liked.

If you know me, then you know why this is the ultimate show of its kind for me. It's because it's a bit like sitting at a dinner party and watching the evening unfold. You hope that it's not going to unravel, but since you're not the host, sometimes you find yourself thinking "Well, if it unravels just the slightest bit, it wouldn't be *so* bad..."

Which is not to say that I'd ever want a dinner party to unravel. I'd much prefer semi-planned hilarity to ensue - which is, in essence, what happens each week on ths show.

Speaking of dinner parties, I wonder if Graham Norton would come to dinner if we asked him over. Hmm...

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gay Pride - The Tiz List

We seem to have run around the calendar and ended back up at Gay Pride Weekend, once again. There is a ton of stuff going on in the Twin Cities (and lots of other places in the country/world) to celebrate it, but I'll probably celebrate as I have most of the years since I came out - in other words, I won't be out at the parade or the festival or anywhere else where a porta-potty is in play.

Which got me to thinking about the whole "Pride" thing and so I started to make a list in my head of things that struck me as... well... Tiz-List-able. And here they are:

1) I kind of like to think of the whole "Pride" idea from a lion standpoint: We're all family, one way or another. We may not get along. We may not like each other. Or we may hit it off and take over the world. But we've got a bond that we all share. (Yes, I know... Cue "Circle of Life.") And that's kind of cool.

2) Now that I have The Lion King going through my mind, I'd like to ask why it is that every gay event seems to have to have music with a thumping dance beat playing in the background? What's up with that? And why - when I'm proudly in my 40s - do I seem to be required to like it? Tastes change. We grow. I'm okay with that. Why aren't most people who program the music in bars and restaurants?

3) I'm proud to live in a country where, for the most part, gay people are able to be out and open and not fear for their lives. And I'm in awe of the people who came before me to make it that way.

4) I'm proud that so many Minnesotans of all orientations, political parties, and ages are vocally coming out in opposition to the proposed state constitutional amendment which would further codify the already-in-place state law banning gay marriage.

5) I'm proud to have a group of friends that is both gay and straight (and sometimes in-between). And that can mix and mingle and really not care that we're gay and straight (or in-between).

6) I'm proud - and honored - to be part of both an immediate and an extended family who accept me, my life, and my relationships with no questions and no judgments. (Well, except for the judgments on things like hairstyles, clothing choices, vacation planning, dinner menus, and all the things that family are *supposed* to be judgy about.)

7) I'm proud of myself for being out in my daily life. I've found - especially since the MN marriage amendment stuff has been going on - that I'm more outspoken about who I am. I mention "my partner" in conversations when people ask about my "roommate." And I talk about "my in-laws" when people ask about Christopher's family. After all, if I don't speak out about my own life, who will?

8) At work, I've learned to joke about the offensive language in the edits I work on, while also pointing out just how offensive it can be. Let's face it, my boss can be kind of oblivious and insensitive, and I'm proud that I work with other people who will also point that out to him, not just on my behalf, but because it's the right thing to do.

9) I have to admit that I'm proud of the fact that this is the third year that I've blogged about Pride. You can see the older posts here: That Pride Feeling (2010), and Celebrating Pride (2011). (I'm not sure why I missed 2009, but I've looked through all of June of that year and there's nothing in there about Pride... I think I may have been out of town...?)

10) And if you're paying attention... Yep. That means I've been blogging for almost 4 years, now. I'm kinda proud of that, too.

So, here's to Pride in all of it's many-colored glory. May it outspokenly, humbly, disco-thumpingly, peacefully, happily wave for all of us for years to come.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

So, You Want To Publish Your Blog...

Because I work in Self-Publishing (no, really, it's an actual field -- I'm not making it up), I sometimes get asked questions by people who want to self-publish. Or, frankly, most people want to traditionally publish (meaning that someone pays them to publish their book), but then they decide to go the self-publishing route (where they have to pay for it all themselves).

However it comes about, though, when I tell people that I work as an editor for a company that helps people self-publish, I invariably have people ask me about something that they're writing. Lots of people ask me about things like how to get an agent, or what the proper format is for submitting to a major publishing house. And, frankly, I haven't a clue on those things. That's kind of like asking someone at Pepsi for the secret recipe to Coca-Cola. In the end, both of them wind up with colas, but the ingredient lists are definitely not the same.

In the past week, I've been working on a book that is a collection of 60 essays by 60 different authors. And, as luck would have it, many of those came from blogs that the authors have. Granted, I'm not saying that is good luck. I'm just saying it's luck.

You see, for better or worse, the world of the blogosphere is a lot different than the world of the printed book.

I have no issues with using slang in a blog post, or having paragraphs that are only 1 sentence long and may have no real point to them, or even using the number "1" instead of writing it out as "one." I can bold words or italicize them just on a whim. I can talk to you as if you know the story of the past few years of my life because at least some of you have been reading my blog for that long and kind of do know about the past few years of my life. I can forget to punctuate things or even spell puntuate wrong

(You have NO IDEA how hard it is for me to leave that last sentence the way it is.)

I can hyperlink to random things. I can include pictures which - with attribution, usually - I am "borrowing" from other sources. And I can even make up names for things like "Tiz Lists."

But if I wanted to publish this, and make it accessible and - god forbid - marketable to a wider audience, I'd have to take out some of that. I'd have to take out the hyperlinks and the "borrowed" images (and quotes, unless I'm using under 10% of the full text, in which case I could simply use an attribution under "Fair Use" regulations), and I would probably want to tone down the funky fonts and treatments.

I would need to make the references non-time/site-specific. So no saying "Did you see the channel 12 news, yesterday?" I would have to take out my made-up jargon (or put in explanations) and I'd have to stop typing as if I were writing TXT msgs + stf.

Unfortunately, not everyone who wants to self-publish realizes that. Which is why, for the past week, I've been cleaning and polishing and removing refuse from a stack of 60 essays. Some of them are actually quite good and can stand on their own. Some of them left behind only mere cobwebs by the time all that stuff was stripped away.

On the up side, if people like that want to keep self-publishing in the print world, my job is secure. On the down side, if people like that want to keep publishing in the print world, my secure job may not be fun.

But, for now, let's just focus on the up side.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Movie Monday - Tuesday Two-fer

Last night, about 20 minutes after Christopher and I got back from a movie, I was settling in and getting ready to write a nice Movie Monday blog post, and then... well... the power went out. This would have been no problem if I had plugged in my computer to charge before we left. But, as you've probably guessed, I hadn't. So now it's Movie Monday on a Tuesday. And before anything goes wonky tonight, I'll cut to the chase:

First, the movie from last night: "Prometheus." It's sort of a prequel (but not really) to the "Alien" movies. Which means that, when I said to the guy at the concession stand that I was looking forward to a good romantic-comedy, he got really nervous for a few moments.

The movie was kind of fun, and visually cool (although... bloody and gory in ways I could have lived without - especially in 3D), but also oddly boring at moments, and never really seemed to get its feet under it. I mean... It started out well enough, but it left holes everywhere it went. (And I don't just mean holes of the "an alien just blew out of my abdomen" variety.)

Overall rating: C. It has a really good pedigree, and it's just really sad that it didn't live up to it.

The second half of the "Two-fer" is from last week. It was also a visually stunning movie, with plenty of room for interpretation, but definitely nothing like the first. Last week, I saw "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

This is a movie about a group of British pensioners who are enticed (for various reasons) into trying out a retirement home in Jaipur, India. The only problem is that, when they get there, they find that the brochures had been photoshopped, and that nothing is quite as it seemed.

It's the kind of movie that really only gets made by the British. After all, it was a travel movie, as well as being a bit of a romantic-comedy, starring >gasp< people over the age of 25. Which, of course, means that I spent half the movie marvelling at Judi Dench and Maggie Smith and Celia Wilton and Penelope Wilton (and the menfolk - Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, and Ronald Pickup - but we all kind of expect men to age and still be in movies, so I didn't really focus as much on them). Dev Patel (you'd remember him from "Slumdog Millionaire" if you saw him) and the stunning Tena Desae play the youthful counterpoints as the owner of the Hotel and his girfriend.

But the movie is as much about the transformative power of travel, and change, and new experiences, as it is about any of the individuals. There is romance in each generation, as well hardship and understanding. There are amazing moments where the cultural divides are crossed (with and without words), and - although I really don't have any desire to go to India - I found myself watching the movie and dreaming of travel.

Faraway travel.

Travel with no strings attached and all of the possibilities that go with it.

Me, Christopher, the pup (well, maybe?), and the world at our feet.

While I watched "Prometheus" and thought "Wow, that looks like an interesting place to go," I never found myself thinking "I should go explore some place I've never been." But, when I watched "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" I not only wanted to travel somewhere new and interesting, I also felt like - if I went there - I'd already know something about it and that it would be easy for me to enjoy.

I also, somehow, felt like I might know more about myself by watching that movie. And that, as they say, is priceless.

Overall rating: A+. If there is any way that there could ever be a sequel, I'd give it another +, just because.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Keeping One Eye on the iClouds...

How many of you are on Mac computers of some kind?

Do you have a email address?

Have you tried moving over to the iCloud, yet?

Were you successful?

I've been getting the Mac-sponsored not-so-veiled threats that I'd be losing my email account if I didn't get upgraded to the iCloud before the end of June. And so, although I'm kind of terrified of most major computer changes, I figured I needed to do the upgrades so that I could move my stuff over.

Christopher helped me through finding out what steps I needed to take. He assured me that the folks at FirstTech (a local Apple-approved service company that's been around for years - long before Apple stores) would be able to help me out. Since I CANNOT STAND to go to Apple stores, this was some very good news for me.

So I went to FirstTech, yesterday, and bought "2 Gigabytes of RAM" (Christopher taught me how to say that and sound like I knew what I was doing). And then I came home and Christopher installed the 2GB of RAM for me and I started the first upgrade I needed to do.

My MacBook Pro took to the upgrade from Tiger to Snow Leopard pretty easily. I was able to play around with it and make sure it all worked, and then went ahead and installed a bunch of updates that were possible now that I had a newer operating system. (That second set took a while, but I figured it needed to be done, right?)

Then, in my attempt to take a big step all on my own, I decided to upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion this morning. (You have to be on Lion to get to the iCloud.) And, guess what? My MacBook Pro can't move to Lion because the processor is too old.

Which is interesting, because in the past week or so, the "YOU MUST MOVE TO iCLOUD NOW OR LOSE YOUR EMAIL!!" notices have started showing up with a secondary line in smaller type saying that "If your devices are not compatible, you'll still be able to keep your email, but you won't get any of the other iCloud features."

So... Here I sit... Having spent $49 on my 2GB of RAM, and having installed the Snow Leopard, and - I have to admit - rather enjoying the currently much faster email on my computer. But still pretty much just as far from being able to get to the iCloud as ever before.

Where's a typewriter and a set of encyclopedias when I need them?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Sartorial Splendor?

The other day I forgot to mention one of the things things that actually got me into my questioning/ranting frame of mind. Luckily, each day brings a new chance to blog, so you get to hear about my elusive extra: People wearing plain white undershirts as regular clothing.

I remember when I was a little kid and my dad would wear his undershirts around the house and my mom would make him put on an actual shirt (or at least a more presentable t-shirt with something on it) before supper.

And, sure, I've seen plenty of Hollywood types wearing t-shirts under blazers or leather jackets (for the James Dean/Fonzie look), and some of them look pretty good. But these also tend to be guys who pay personal trainers and work out 7 days a week.

Unfortunately, the guys that I've seen sporting plain white t-shirts lately... well... they're not quite cut out for them. (And - believe me - I'm definitely not, either. But that's why I don't wear them out as my main pieces of clothing.)

Oh, and don't get me wrong - I don't really care for women wandering around in them, either. I just really don't think that clothing made to be undergarments should be used as outerwear. (I feel the same way about boxer shorts, white tank tops, and most sports bras.)

There are myriad options for patterned t-shirts, colored t-shirts, t-shirts with idiotic sayings and pictures. All designed to be worn in public. Why wouldn't these people choose those, instead? Could someone please go out and explain the difference to them all?

In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to keep hoping that at least one out of each ten guys I see in all their white cotton splendor might have the body to carry it off.

If not... well... Serendipitously, this post from Catalog Living showed up, today. Seems appropriate (on so many levels) to include it, considering I'd already titled this post before I saw it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Words of... Well... Not Exactly Wisdom...

I wouldn't (usually) profess to being wise. I would, however, profess to having some fairly random insights into really random things.

Okay, sure, some people might say that I simply rant at random times about strange topics. Po-tay-to/Po-tah-to.

Why don't you decide for yourself by reading through the following 10 moments of Tizdom?

1) If you've just had an accident, you probably shouldn't be staring at your phone to text as you drive away. Or at least wait until the cop is gone before you do.

2) If you grew up loving trilogies, and you've always wanted to write a trilogy, try writing three books. It doesn't count to write a short novel and name it "Blah Blah Blah: A Trilogy."

3) If you feel that something has been done wrong, and the person who did it "wrong" says he didn't know it was wrong, you might get further if you simply explain what to do the next time, instead of yelling about how wrong it is. (Especially when the person you're yelling at can point to the instructions to prove you wrong.)

4) Just because you have headphones in the car does not mean you should use headphones in the car.

5) If you don't want your personal life to be public, don't put all of your personal details on the Internet. The Internet is *not* a private space. How can the rest of the world be expected to keep your secrets if you can't keep them, yourself?

6) Telling someone "I need it tomorrow, and if you can't get it to me I'm going to complain to your boss" when you've already been told that the turnaround time is supposed to be three to six weeks, isn't going to make it get to you any faster. Although it may make it slower.

7) Sometimes, an unexpectedly gorgeous blue sky on a crisp late-spring morning makes carrying a poop bag worthwhile.

8) Yes. If you stop at a green light, or turn in front of me without using a turn signal, or walk into traffic while texting, or ride your bike through the signal into traffic, or cut me off on the freeway, I will honk my horn. Or, if I'm feeling quiet, I may flip you off or simply swear loudly in my car and post about you online. I figure that's probably better for both of us than me running you down and backing over you three or four times and then claiming "temporary insanity."

9) Want a bigger tip? Give me better service. I'm not a haggler or bargainer by any means - and I'll give anyone the benefit of the doubt for possible bad days and all - but if you're going to give me crappy service, you're probably going to get a crappy tip. And I think you should be okay with that.

10) Before you complain about bad workmanship, be sure that you aren't the one who caused the problem. If you caused the scratch by walking into a door, or mis-spelled every instance of "their" because you were sure Spellcheck was right and I - I mean "your editor" - was wrong, or you got the wrong drink because (surprise) you ordered the wrong drink, then suck it up and admit you were wrong. Then get on with your life. That's Accountability 101.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

"Diamond" John Barrowman Sighting

It's been a while since I've stumbled across any John Barrowman sightings. And, since I TiVo'd all of the Queen's Jubilee celebration on BBC America, it took me a bit longer than it probably took other people to see him.

But, there he was on the "Belfry boat" at the front of the procession down the Thames, looking a bit stressed out, but also looking very excited to be there. And, later on, he actually got to sit down and talk about the whole experience, too.

I was happy to see the interview, because I wasn't sure if he was just being overly frenetic for no reason on the boat. But he explained that he was dealing with such overwhelming emotions that he had to kind of "wave and cry" all at once as the boat went down the river. Since I was tearing up just watching it all on TV, I can't imagine what it must have been like for someone in his position!

I was also happy to see that he didn't look quite as Botoxed as usual in the interview. Of course, that could just be me - since I've noticed more grey hair, lately, and prefer to have other people who are my age also look... well... my age.

It was a bit odd to realize that he had his "American" accent working for him even in the midst of the British festivities, but - again - that could just be me, since I do enjoy a British accent. (But that's kind of a different story...)

If you'd like to see the video of the interview, it seems to be here on YouTube: .

Barrowman in the morning, and the Tony Awards on tonight. Sunday is looking pretty good!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thotful Thursday - Post-vacation

I realize I'm kind of stretching it with some of the vacation conversations, but there are reasons for that. So I thought I'd give you some of them:

- The Wisconsin recall election. Hatred and greed, after being exposed, still got voted back into office. In part because they outspent the opposition 8-to-1. Yeah, that's a good electoral system, isn't it?

- The Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth. A celebration of sixty years of service and dedication, filled with pomp and circumstance and fireworks for all the country/commonwealth/world to see. I've been watching parts of it that I TiVo'd. Yes, there have been tears.

- An attempt at less online time. Having come back from a full week with *no* internet access (by choice), I found that I actually rather enjoyed that I hadn't been in touch constantly with the flow of "news" from the world. I didn't turn my computer on after work on Monday, either. And I'm only on to post, tonight. It's weird, but I'm enjoying it.

- Photo sorting. I haven't even started to try to go through the gazillion photos I took on our trip. I really need to do that, soon. But I also need to upgrade my Mac before the end of the month (the whole "iCloud" thing is coming and has to be dealt with), and I'm kind of weirded out about whether I should deal with the photos, first, or the upgrade, first. So... umm... stalemate at the moment.

- Something I'm going to call "blogger's block." All of the above has me kind of stymied for what to write, this week. I'm hoping that it's temporary, though, and that I'll be back in fine fetter after a few more days. After all, the Tony Awards are on Sunday, and if those can't get me out of a funk, I'm not sure what can.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Travel Tuesday - AfterEffects

Yesterday morning, on my first day back at work, I was actually pleasantly surprised by how rested and relaxed I felt. I was driving to work thinking "It seems like I haven't been there in ages." And that is a good thing. It's the mark of a good vacation, in my eyes. And the more I think about it, the more I think that Christopher and I really did have a good vacation last week.

Granted, it was a freakin' hot and humid vacation, at 85 degrees and 85% humidity, but we could sweat with a badge of honor, since the locals were all saying it was even hot and humid for them. In comparison, the 80 degrees with 50% humidity that we're getting at home this week seems like a breeze.

My left wrist started peeling, yesterday. Amazingly, with all of the time we spent in the sun, we seem to have used enough sunscreen to make it back with few burns. I missed spraying a streak of my left wrist on our first day. Christopher missed the area just where the left sleeve of his t-shirt rested (and blew up in the breeze). So we've both been peeling, but only a little. Which is pretty amazing for two guys who don't tan.

I've declared myself adjusted to my new glasses and sunglasses. I've even gotten used to swapping out the glasses in the case with the ones on my face while walking. (It's not as easy as it sounds, trust me.)

The wounds on my feet from the sandals I bought just before going on vacation are mostly healed. I don't know what possessed me to buy the sandals and not wear them and break them in before I went. Unfortunately, the first day out one of the "pads" that keep the straps from shaving off skin rolled under and... well... the strap did the whole "shaving off the skin" thing. By the end of that day I had gone to Walgreen's for a box of Band-aids - which was about half empty by the time we came home.

I haven't stepped on a scale since we got back. Although we walked all over the place, we also ate some amazing meals. And, since sweating only takes care of fluid, I'm sure I probably gained some weight. I plan to ignore that, for now.

The one thing I can't really ignore is how tired I've felt the past couple of days. I had a lot of energy on Saturday and Sunday after we got back, but it faded fast. Kinda like the plot of this post.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Back to Reality Melancholy

Yep. In case you didn't guess it, Christopher and I were out of town last week for vacation in the Florida Keys. I'll talk more about that in the next few days, but since I'm sitting here kind of dreading the return to reality tomorrow morning, I figured I'd focus on that right now.

Here's the thing: Vacation was great. We ate some amazing meals. We saw some very cool sights. We were - let's face it - away from normal life for seven full days. And that was good.

Unfortunately, this means that tonight the "it's Sunday night and I have to prepare myself for the week ahead" feeling seems an extra seven times stronger than usual.

I've been trying to figure out which stories to tell my co-workers about my trip. And trying to figure out if I should pack lunch tomorrow or not. And, just for fun, also trying to guess whether I'll have the energy to be social at all, or if I should just log in, do my work, and come home without talking to anyone.

Hmm... I wonder if anyone would notice if I took the book I almost finished while in Florida and just read it all day, instead of doing work...? I'm guessing the fact that it's hardbound and not something to read on my screen, that might be a problem.

Oh, well. Reality has to set in at some point. Might as well get it over with on a Monday, right?

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Food - Who Would Eat That?

I often wonder who was the first to try to eat something.

A friend of mine was recently asking about Escargot, and I was happy to tell her that - although they're a little chewy - they're usually buttery and garlicky and really tasty. But, really, who in the world was the first person to see a snail and think "I bet that's good eating"?

I feel that way about a lot of food. Not that the way things looked before being cooked typically makes me not eat them. But I always want to know who took the first bite, thought "Okay, I'm not dead, so I guess it was good" and then decided to serve it for dinner.

Think about it. I mean, some fruits and vegetables are pretty obvious, but not all of them.

An Apple looks like it is there for the picking. So does an Orange. But if the person who was used to biting through the apple skin tried to bite into the orange. That probably would have turned me off oranges at the outset.

And who decided that juicing the orange would be a good idea? Who decided that little tiny Key Limes should be made into desserts that require the average person to juice a gross of them just to get a pie?

Who first decided to try an Artichoke? Or dug up a Potato and thought "It looks like a dirty rock, let's eat it"? Who looked at Milk that had gone bad and thought "I bet that would become Cheese and it will go great on Pizza"?

I've read that Conch is a delicacy, but who saw all the little legs sticking out of a spiky shell and thought "I bet there's a meaty body in there that would go great in a fritter"?

I guess it's a good thing that I'm not living a few thousand years back (or planning to be dropped on a deserted island - or in many reality TV shows - any time soon), because I don't think I'm adventurous enough to have gone first in a lot of these situations.

But after the first taster doesn't die, the curds and whey are separated, and the fritters are fried, then feel free to call me for dinner.