The Universe and Me

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Terrapin Station revisited

My Grandmother recently sent me some pictures including a couple of her parents. Her Mom, my Great Grandmother, was a teeny lady. I remember seeing her once when she was extremely old. Must've been about 4'7" or something - and she had 11 kids. Whew! My Ma mentioned that this woman used to make her grandsons turtle soup. And my first thought was mock turtle soup, but then a wave of horror hit me when I realised it was probably in the 1940s and so I had to ask, "With a real turtle?" "Yes," Mom said.

Oh man. So I looked up some info on how to make this soup although I never would because I view turtles more as pets than edibles. As anyone would imagine, the most difficult part is catching and cleaning the turtle. Chopping its head off doesn't kill it so the head can still bite you (and who can blame it?) and the body can still crawl away. When it stops wanting to clear out, dip it in boiling water to scrape off the exterior skin. Then remove the shell and after that scrape off the fat. Or you can take the easy, but more expensive route and buy turtle meat, although it's probably not carried by most grocery stores and can cost from $14.75-$19.75 per pound.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pilkingtonisms : Christmas edition

  • I saw a little crumb movin’ and I thought what’s goin’ on there?
  • At the end of the day, you can’t make nature up.
  • You don’t normally see a fat beetle.
  • They’re not happy with acorns now, they want a bit o’ croissant. (re: squirrels)
  • I saw a cockroach playing Pac-man.
  • It’s like the three wise men, what did they get the 2nd year for Baby Jesus?
  • You won’t get anything done by planning.
  • Christmas: I might not be in the mood for it December 25th.
  • Easter’s alright…you’re not forced an egg and everyone can afford an egg. There’s no one bein’ left out.
  • To be honest, that’s doing me head in at the moment ‘cause I’ve outgrown the sink (re: the washing up)
  • You can’t just kick ‘em off can you? It’s a big upheaval. (re: Dr marten boots)
  • Since I’ve found shoes with Velcro – brilliant!
  • The world is getting more and more scruffier.
  • If you’ve got loads of bees, they’re not all pulling their weight, are they?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Þegar jólin koma

Every year at Christmas when the gang gets together at my parent’s house, we have a family picture taken. And every year I ruin the picture. Just by being in it. I’m not sure why the rest of my family are all attractive people and then there’s Munster-reject me. Try to figure out why I look so hideous. Is it the glasses? Is it the frumpy clothes? Is it the witchy hair? Is it my abnormally small pinhead? (Was it always this small or has it shrunk, along with my brain?) Is it the strained, fake smile? Is it the combination of all of the above? Probably. I whined to my Mom about ruining this annual picture last week and she says, “Oh no, you’re always so photogenic!” So the real question is: if that’s the photogenic me, how hideous is the real me???

Happy happy! Joy joy!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Where should you travel?

Train through Europe
You scored 54% culture, 19% social, 36% activity, and 30% adventure!
A train trip through Europe is a fantastic way to enrich yourself with many different cultures within a relatively short distance. The train service in Europe is out of this world and almost always on time. It doesn't lump you together with a group since you prefer to be independent, yet it takes the scariness out of navigating around a new country in a rental car, trying to make sense of the map. The train system brings you from downtown to downtown and there are often hotels within a short walk of the station. You could decide which countries interest you the most and if you are eligible, buy a rail pass in advance to save a bundle of money. Arriving at a European train station is an architectureally beautiul way to introduce yourself to a new city and it sets the perfect scene for your new experience. If you had fun dreaming about where you might go, don't forget to rate my test. Thanks!

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:" border=0>">%20alt="free%20online%20dating"%20src="
You scored higher than 19% on culture" border=0>">%20alt="free%20online%20dating"%20src="
You scored higher than 1% on social" border=0>">%20alt="free%20online%20dating"%20src="
You scored higher than 47% on activity" border=0>">%20alt="free%20online%20dating"%20src="
You scored higher than 13% on adventure
Link: The Where Should YOU Travel Test written by thinkandcome on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

Monday, December 18, 2006

If you don't stand up, you don't stand a chance

Movie: All the King’s Men. I read this Robert Penn Warren novel when I was probably in junior high school and that was so long ago, all I could remember about it was that it was southern and political. Largely based on the career of politician Huey Long who was a poor hillbilly who seemed to want to look out for other poor hillbillies. Build schools, roads, bridges, give people jobs and health care. All sounds very noble but there are some questions as to the morality (if not legality) of the means by which he worked to achieve this. Seems to me America usually decides to assassinate its charismatic politicians and leaders while other nations place them in power. And one wonders how things would be otherwise, especially with Long’s plans to put a limit on how much money a person can have before it’s redistributed to the needier. I also found it interesting how little seems to have changed since the 1930s. Power is still held by major corporations. Is this the only way something that’s supposed to be a democracy can actually work? The critics didn’t like this film and I was prepared not to but I did anyway. Thought Sean Penn was great in the Long role.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Your most hated...

BEVERAGE: Diet Pepsi and Pepsi. It's like drinking corn syrup.
COLOR: Red. I like darker reds like burgundy and lighter reds like rose. Hate the Christmas red.
TOWN/CITY: Don't remember anywhere I've been that I hate. Cheektawaga, perhaps because Bo & I got lost there once.
MOVIE: Reservoir Dogs. Overacted and violent just for the sake of it.
ASPECT OF BLOGGER: Flamers who flame for the flamin' fun of it.
ANIMAL: Dunno. Coyotes? They all look a bit rabid and in need of some prozac. Settle down...
SEASON: The end of spring. Seems like it lasts forever and I just want it to be warm and sunny.
TALKING ON THE PHONE: "Can ya hold?"
WATCHING TV OR MOVIES: DVD's without English subtitles. It's all mumble something mumble.
SHOWERING: The water is scalding hot one second and freezing cold the next.
DATING: I'm not attractive enough for anyone to want to date.
THE BEACH: Things that crawl in the sand and onto one's leg and decide it'd be a good idea to bite.
THE GROCERY STORE: When they move everything around and I can't find anything for 6 months. Why is the bread located between the produce and bakery?
HOUSEHOLD CHORE: Scrubbing the bathtub. It has some non-stick spray on it so you won't slip but unfortunately all the dirt sticks to the non-stick spray. I can scrub my hands off but can't clean the dirt off.
HABIT IN OTHERS? Their dislike of me, but that's really my fault.
HABIT OF YOURS? Clenching my jaw.
THING ABOUT MEN? Liars and/or the ones who say what they think you want to hear even though it's miles from what they really think or feel.
WHAT'S ANNOYING YOU TODAY? I have to finish writing Christmas letters. Put it off every year until the last possible moment and this would be it. I also have to help a friend's website today and dread it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Pilkingtonisms : Thanksgiving edition

  • That bit between Christmas and New Year’s, you might as well delete that out of the calendar.
  • I’m just sayin’ that I don’t like fun…organised fun.
  • I wouldn’t put a date on that Pancake Day. Just have it when you want…You have to make ‘em yourself.
  • I had me paper round when I was 10 and that was hard graft. That’s why I’m bald and that, getting up at half 4, it all adds up.
  • When I kicked me height…I was that chuffed that I got that high, that I didn’t think of putting me leg back down again.
  • Am I in charge of me brain or is me brain in charge of me?
  • I was still using me eyes even though I had ‘em shut.
  • Every noise has been used at least 5 times.
  • Say like a new frog comes out.

Monday, December 11, 2006

All I want for Christmas

I saw an ad on TV last night urging us all to check out the personal gift finder at Gifts. So I did. Since I don't have anyone left to buy for, I stuck in my personality which they determined is The Thinker. Oh great. More to live up to. Anyway, they returned a lot of ideas. Surprisingly, I'd be happy receiving most of them, including:
  • Pen scanner
  • Backrest
  • Brain games
  • Book bag
  • Autobiography journal
  • Paperweight
  • Lap desk
  • Cheese of the month club
  • Magazines for writers & poets
  • Electronic crossword puzzles
  • Movie gift certificates
  • New Yorker cartoon books
  • Multi-language talking translators
  • Books about the universe
  • Mini reading lights
  • Amusing travel memoirs
  • Best in foreign film on DVD
  • Top titles in folk music

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Always choose Jimmy Choo's shoes

Movie: The Devil Wears Prada. Since I recently read the book, it was interesting to see the changes or omissions in the movie. I’m curious why Meryl didn’t play the Miranda character with a British accent since she was written that way and Meryl’s so fantastic with accents. The book’s subplot all but disappeared in the movie, making Andrea’s choice at the end too quick a turnaround. It needed the book’s monumental events to jolt her back to reality. But I understand time constraints. All the actors were great. A little bit of a stretch to try imagine Anne Hathaway as ugly or fat, no matter how she’s dressed. Several times Meryl made Miranda seem human and made me feel a (very) slight sympathy towards her, which certainly never happened in the book. Comparisons aside, I loved the movie. Trying to identify which designer Anne was wearing left me glad I wasn’t being tested on it because I’m sure I’d have failed. And as an unfashionable consumer, I find it extremely frustrating when I want a style or colour or something that hasn’t been dictated by the fashionistas and so is unavailable in any store. Is it asking too much to be able to find a knee length skirt or dress somewhere besides a thrift shop? Nice quote: “By all means, move at a glacial pace. You know how that thrills me.”

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Lookout for that Piranha!

Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. Although I saw this in the theatre, I wanted to catch the DVD because I was reasonably sure I fell asleep at least once in the theatre. No reflection on the film. Just my tendency to zonk out anywhere. So I liked this even better the 2nd time and it seemed less “slimy” as we’d said when we first saw it. I was most surprised that I never recognized Bill Nighy. Maybe it was the CGI tentacles. Maybe it was the wee Scots accent. Everyone did a spectacular job. Bonus points to the Voodoo Gal. I loved Mackenzie’s debate about the word Kraken (“in the original Scandinavian…”) I don’t know if they used the Kraken as any sort of a nod to the wonderful John Wyndham 1950s novel The Kraken Wakes or the Tennyson poem, but I appreciated the literariness of it. The movie’s ending was just as good the 2nd time, even though I new it was coming. Some fine lines including: “Don’t blame the bird,” “What bodes ill for Jack Sparrow bodes ill for us all,” and “One soul is not equal to another.” Nice blooper reel.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Gus and May grow up