- Fizzy Thoughts: October 2006

Well, I won't be doing that again

Monday, October 30, 2006

Saturday I went wine tasting. 29 years on the Central Coast, and this is the first time I've ever been. And also probably the last.

Let me start by saying I had a good time. Really, I did. I went with a group of my mom's friends...this is the third year they've done this. They rent a limo and have the driver take them to 5 or 6 wineries. So I also got to ride in a limo for the first time. And also probably the last.

We met at Nancy's house around 10:00 and had yummy little quiches and fruit. The limo picked us up around 11 and we headed up to North County. First stop was Tobin James. Mmmmmm. They've got some great wines. Then we went to Bianchi, which is a beautiful little winery with a little pond. About this time my mom and I noticed we have expensive taste in wine. The spendy stuff definately tastes better! We ate lunch by the pond, then loaded back up and headed to Midnight (I think that's the name) Cellars and Dark Star. This is where I stopped tasting, since I'm such a light weight. At this point I had probably had two glasses of wine...at the most. Our last stop was Peachy Canyon, where I hung out with the resident kitten. After that, we headed back to Los Osos. We were probably 5 miles from being dropped off when I got sick. Me, who never gets carsick, who didn't even drink enough to be tipsy, got sick in the limo. Lovely, huh? I'll spare you the details, but at least I didn't get sick on anyone or anything.

Which is why I don't think I'll being doing that again.

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Tickle Me Elmo

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The newest Elmo:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFCcN146WBw&NR

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This and that

Mackenzie's travelling art exhibit is now official! I just hung the two photos that Mack so generously lent me...one at the top of the stairs, the other at the bottom. The Celtic cross is at the top of the stairs and the hanging laundry is at the bottom. Both HB and my mom love the pictures Mack!

I saw another English movie at the Palm today..."Keeping Mum." It was hysterical. Almost as good as "Little Miss Sunshine." Actually, it was just as good, but in a totally different way. It's about a vicar and his family (the vicar is boring, his wife is bored, his daughter is a nymphomaniac and his son is picked on by the school bullies) who live in a small (population 57) village and how their life changes when the new housekeeper arrives. There's much more to it than that, but I'd ruin the movie if I said more. Kristin Scott Thomas plays the wife and Patrick Swayze is quite entertaining as the golf pro.

I never commented on my San Diego trip. I had so much fun hanging out with Mack and Matt and staying in their new condo! My inaugural trip to IKEA was a blast and I loved the walk along the coast at La Jolla. Matt took a funny picture of the back of our (Mack and me) heads as we sat on a bench and enjoyed the view. I have a few pictures, but they're still on my camera.

Last week's finished book was The Icarus Girl. There was lots of Nigerian folklore involved, so I'm afraid I missed most of the book's meaning. I won't even begin to explain what it was about. I enjoyed the writing, but I would have enjoyed the book a whole lot more if I had a better understanding of Nigerian culture.

I'm currently reading a book of short stories that Mack gave me. :-) And today I bought four more books at B&N...like I need more books! I got a book of stories about France (Kate, if you're reading this, you might be interested in it), a book about a novelist's life in Verona, The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood and a novel about Brooklyn that looked funny. Holler if you'd like any of them when I'm done.

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Need a laugh?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Today I received an email from my friend Heather with loads of puns. Enjoy!

"TO MAKE AND UNDERSTAND PUNS IS THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT..."

Here are the 10 first place winners in the International Pun Contest:

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says "Dam!"

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft. Unsurprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories After about an hour, the manager came out of the office and asked them to disperse "But why?", they asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said," I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has twins and gives them up for adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain; they name him "Juan." Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her hu sband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8. A group of friars were behind on their belfry payments, so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds. Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of God, a rival florist across town thought the competition was unfair. He asked the good fathers to close down, but they would not. He went back and begged the friars to close. They ignored him. So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade" them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that only Hugh can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten different puns to friends, with the hope that at least one of the puns would make them laugh. No pun in ten did.

More...from CarTalk's web site:

A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree and reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him. Even the king of the jungle knows readers digest and writers cramp.
* * *
An Indian chief had three wives, each of whom was pregnant. The first gave birth to a boy. The chief was so elated he built her a teepee made of deer hide. A few days later, the second gave birth, also to a boy. The chief was very happy. He built her a teepee made of antelope hide. The third wife gave birth a few days later, but the chief kept the details a secret. He built this one a two-story teepee, made out of a hippopotamus hide. He challenged the tribe to guess what had occurred. Many tried, unsuccessfully. Finally, one young brave declared that the third wife had given birth to twin boys. "Correct," said the chief. "How did you figure it out?" The warrior answered, "It's elementary. The value of the squaw of the hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides."
* * *
There was a Scottish tradesman, a painter called Jock, who was very interested in making a pound where he could, so he often would thin down paint to make it go a wee bit further. As it happened, he got away with this for some time, but eventually the Presbyterian Church decided to do a big restoration job on the roof of one their biggest churches. Jock put in a bid, and because his price was so competitive, he got the job. And so he set to, with a right good will, erecting the trestles and setting up the planks, and buying the paint and, yes, I am sorry to say, thinning it down with the turpentine. Well, Jock was up on the scaffolding, painting away, the job nearly done, when suddenly there was a horrendous clap of thunder, and the sky opened, and the rain poured down, washing the thin paint from all over the church and knocking Jock fair off the scaffold to land on the lawn, among the gravestones, surrounded by telltale puddles of the thinned and useless paint. Jock was no fool. He knew this was a judgment from the Almighty, so he got on his knees and cried: "Oh, God! Forgive me! What should I do?" And from the thunder, a mighty voice spoke: "Repaint! Repaint and thin no more!"
* * *
After Quasimodo's death, the bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame sent word through the streets of Paris that a new bell ringer was needed. The bishop decided that he would conduct the interviews personally and went up into the belfry to begin the screening process. After observing several applicants demonstrate their skills, he had decided to call it a day. Just then, an armless man approached him and announced that he was there to apply for the bell ringer's job. The bishop was incredulous. "You have no arms!" "No matter," said the man. "Observe!" And he began strikng the bells with his face, producing a beautiful melody on the carrilon. The bishop listened in astonishment, convinced he had finally found a replacement for Quasimodo. But suddenly, rushing forward to strike a bell, the armless man tripped and plunged headlong out of the belfry window to his death in the street below. The stunned bishop rushed to his side. When he reached the street, a crowd had gathered around the fallen figure, drawn by the beautiful music they had heard only moments before. As they silently parted to let the bishop through, one of them asked, "Bishop, who was this man?" "I don't know his name," the bishop sadly replied, "but his face rings a bell."
* * *
WAIT! WAIT! There's more . . . .The following day, despite the sadness that weighed heavily on his heart due to the unfortunate death of the armless campanologist, the bishop continued his interviews for the bell ringer of Nortre Dame. The first man to approach him said, "Your Excellency, I am the brother of the poor armless wretch that fell to his death from this very belfry yesterday. I pray that you honor his life by allowing me to replace him in this duty." The bishop agreed to give the man an audition, and as the armless man's brother stooped to pick up a mallet to strike the first bell, he groaned, clutched his chest, twirled around, and died on the spot. Two monks, hearing the bishop's cries of grief at this second tragedy, rushed up the stairs to his side. 'What has happened? Who is this man?" the first monk asked breathlessly. "I don't know his name," sighed the distraught bishop, " but . . ."he's a dead ringer for his brother!"
* * *
A Russian scientist and a Czechoslovakian scientist had spent their lives studying the grizzly bear. Each year they petitioned their respective governments to allow them to go to Yellowstone National Park to study the bears. Finally, their requests were granted, and they immediately flew to Yellowstone. They reported to the ranger station and were told that it was the grizzly mating season and it was too dangerous to go out and study the animals. They pleaded that this was their only chance, and finally the ranger relented. The Russian and the Czech were given portable phones and told to report in every day. For several days they called in, and then nothing was heard from the two scientists. The rangers mounted a search party and found the camp completely ravaged, with no sign of the missing men. Following the trails of a male and a female bear, they finally caught up with the female. Fearing an international incident, they decided they must kill the animal to find out if she had eaten the scientist. They killed the female bear and opened its stomach to find the remains of the Russian scientist. One ranger turned to the other and said, "You know what this means, don't you?" The other ranger nodded and responded, "I guess it means the Czech is in the male."
* * *
A spokesperson for the U. S. Mint announced that a new fifty-cent piece was being issued to honor two great American patriots. On one side of the coin would be Theodore Roosevelt and on the other side, Nathan Hale. Asked why two people were going to be on the same coin, the official replied, "Now, when you toss a coin you can simply call, Ted's or Hale's."
* * *
Two robins sat in a tree. "I'm really hungry," said the first one. "Me, too," said the second. "Let's fly down and find some lunch." They flew down to the ground and found a nice plot of newly plowed ground that was just full of worms. They ate and ate and ate until they could eat no more. "I'm so full I don't think I can fly back up into the tree," said the first one. "Me either. Let's just lay back here and bask in the warm sun," said the second. "OK," said the first. So they plopped down, basking in the sun. No sooner than they had fallen asleep, a big fat tomcat snuck up and gobbled them up. As the cat sat washing his face after his meal, he thought..."I just love baskin' robins."
* * *
A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One day his supply of the birds ran out, so he had to go out and trap some more. On the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them, he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with transporting gulls across sedated lions for immortal porpoises.
* * *
An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine man. After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of elk hide and gave it to the chief, instructing him to bite, chew, and swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said, "The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."
* * *
A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk remedies with the assistance of a tribal brujo who indicated that the leaves of a particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the anthropologist expressed his doubts, the brujo looked him in the eye and said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, who needs enemas?"

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Last week's books

Monday, October 02, 2006

To follow up on Banned Books Week, Mackenzie asked me what my favorite banned books are. Going off of this list, I would say the Harry Potter series, A Wrinkle in Time and To Kill a Mockingbird.

I didn't read any banned books last week, but I did read these books...

Alligator, by Lisa Moore. I could've skipped this book and been a perfectly happy person. The book hops between some loosely intertwined characters. There's Colleen, a budding eco-terroist, who put sugar in the gas tanks of tractors. Colleen's mom, Beverly, is still lost in grief after the death of her husband 6 years earlier. Madeleine, Colleen's aunt, is consumed by her career as a filmmaker. Valentin, the sociopathic Russian sailor...well, Valentin has issues. And then there's poor Frank and his hot dog stand. Frank is the only reason I stuck with the book. Just my luck, Frank gets hosed. Anyway, Lisa Moore is a Canadian author and this book was a Canadian best seller. I usually love Canadian authors, but this was a dud.

The Memory Keeper's Daughter, by Kim Edwards. Better than Alligator, but still a bit of a disappointment. The book begins in 1964, when Dr. David Henry's wife gives birth to twins at his clinic during a snowstorm. The daughter has Down's Syndrome, and thinking he's doing everyone a favor, he gives the baby to his nurse to take to an institution and tells his wife the baby died. And then he never tells her the truth. Ever. Meanwhile, the nurse disappears with the baby and raises her as her own daughter. Dr. Henry has issues from his childhood that led him to make certain decisions, but good grief, get over yourself! Anyway, the book follows the two families for the next thirty years and then has a tidy little ending. However, I still can't get past Dr. Henry and his mammoth self-centeredness, not to mention the fact that most of the main characters couldn't quite seem to be truthful about their lives.

The Problem With Murmur Lee, by Connie May Fowler. Finally, a book I liked. Hard to explain, though. Murmur Lee drowns, and different narrators (including the drowned Murmur) explore her life in an effort to discover how she managed to drown. Lots of quirky characters, which explains why I liked this one.

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In a real sense, people who have read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read. It is not true that we have only one life to live; if we can read, we can live as many more lives and as many kinds of lives as we wish. ~S.I. Hayakawa

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.
~St. Augustine

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
~Mark Twain

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