Thursday, November 26, 2015

Random Brilliance

People give their pets unique names at times. Some give humdrum names, too. There are literary names, Bible names, TV show names, etc. Right now our only remaining cat is named Harper, after the engineer on the TV show Andromeda.

I loved the different names in the musical “Cats”, especially Old Deuteronomy. Some pets are named after physical attributes. “Spot” and “Bootsie” are the first that come to mind. Growing up, we had a cocker spaniel named Kringle, because he was born on Christmas Day. One of his litter mates was Kris.

In the comic strip “Monty”, the character of Moondog named his parrot Pilsner, after his favorite drink. I thought that was brilliant. There are a lot of alcohol names that would make awesome pet names.

Color names
Bailey's Irish Cream (just Bailey for short)

General booze names
Tequila (must be a chihuahua)
Smirnoff (should be a russion wolf hound)
Fosters (must be an australian dog)
Drambuie (love this one!)

Then there is the wonderful world of pharmaceuticals...
Pets are said to do wonders for all kinds of ailments. If you have a pet, you are healthier and happier. SOOOooo.....

Zoloft (my favorite!)
Prozac (another fave)

Then if you want a calmer pet:

You get the idea here. Come up with some of your own and tell me about them.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I was poking through one of my memory boxes the other day. Trying to downsize. Over the years I've gotten rid of a lot, but a few things still remain from my childhood.

Cellophane toothpicks. I loved these things! In restaurants, they would be poked through sandwiches and hamburgers. I would collect all the ones at our table and take them home. Don't quite know why they fascinated me so much. I would usually play with them for awhile and then slowly pull all the little pieces off until the pick was bare. Then I'd thrown it away. Did this every single time we went out to eat. It even sparked a dream so vivid it has stayed with me to this day. I dreamt of a pine forest, but instead of the needles being normal green, they were cellophane, in the usual colors of the toothpicks. They shone brilliantly in the sun and just took my breath away, they were so beautiful. I can still see it clearly in my mind's eye.

Cocktail umbrellas. Rarely saw these as a kid, so they were extremely valuable to me when I did come across any. Loved the way you could open and close them like a real umbrella. Loved the pretty colors and Asian designs. Of course, I would play with them so much they would end up coming apart. But I sure loved them.

Honeycomb tissue bells. Have no clue how this came into my possession. It had the name of one of my cousins written on it, so I would guess it was a place marker for a wedding or something. All my cousins were quite a bit older than me. It was folded flat, and I had no idea just what it was. I could sort of pull it sideways and see the honeycombing of it, but didn't know what it was supposed to be or how it was to be displayed. Why I never asked anyone, I don't know. I was very intrigued by it, though, so it stayed in the memory box. It was years down the road when I finally played with it enough to actually twist it in the right way and...doggone!! It was a bell!!! I was floored...who would EVER thing that thing was really a bell in disguise?? I got such a kick out of that, and was rather chuffed that I figured it out all by myself.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Only in America

I read an article about stuff that apparently baffles non-Americans. I've had a Brit penpal for many years, so I knew some of the things. She and I like to compare notes on American vs Brit food, language, customs, etc. Here are a few that I thought were interesting.

We put peanut butter on everything. Formerly very hard to find, but it sounds like it's now fairly common. Matching it with jelly for a sandwich is not done, though.

Sales tax not listed on goods and services. I found this amazing. I guess when you see a sales tag on something in the UK, that is exactly what you pay. I actually like this idea.

They don't use ice! They think it waters down the drink and cubes are considered dirty. I had a friend who told me when she asked for something with ice, she was served ice cream. I love my drinks super cold, and don't mind a little dilution.

Men here wear shorts down to the knees. I guess they like 'em real short in the UK.

Red Solo Cup!! Although it's now catching on to have “American” parties. Popcorn hamburgers, beer pong.

NOT metric. I know, I know...metric is better. Too bad.

High school proms. Don't know what they do for fun at UK schools. I'll have to ask my penpal.

Baby showers/bridal showers. They just don't do these. My penpal really likes the idea of parties for these events and wishes they were popular in the UK.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 2015 Book Report

The Dandelion Caper (1986) by Gene DeWeese

Kid's sci-fi. Second book in a series. Calvin and Kathy are friends who have discovered that Earth is a tourist spot for aliens. In this book, they discover an alien cat named Dandelion who is trying to thwart the evil aliens who want to take over Earth for themselves. Calvin also discovers that a certain “special sense” runs in his family. Cute book.
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The Cup and the Sword (1942) by Alice Tisdale Hobart

Sprawling saga about the grape empire in the San Joaquin Valley in the years between WWI and WWII. Two main families merge through marriages to become the reigning wine growers. When the patriarch dies, the rest of the family tries to keep the industry going despite Prohibition.
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The Norby Chronicles (1983) by Janet and Isaac Asimov

The first two books in the Norby series by the great Asimov and his wife. Young Jeff wants to become a cadet in the Space Academy, but needs help with his Martian Colony Swahili to pass the courses. He only has enough money to purchases an old, “pre-owned” Teacher Robot (Norby) who seems to have secret powers.
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The Noblest Frailty (1983) by Patricia Veryan

Regency Romace that is part of the Sanguinet Saga. Yolande has been promised to her distant cousin Alain since childhood, but when the time comes close to announce their engagement, another cousin from Canada shows up to lay claim to his lost inheritance. Now she must chose between Alain and cousin Craig.
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Lavender-green Magic(1974) by Andre Norton

I'm a huge fan of Ms. Norton, and her YA books are particular favorites. Lots of historical research go into these books. And this is the first one I've come across where the main heroine is a black high school student. Holly and the twins move in with their grandparents when their dad goes missing in Vietnam and their mother must work elsewhere to make a living.
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Mother Was Always in Love (1959) by Philip Van Rensselaer

A book about the futile lives of the very rich in Europe between the wars. I can't imagine a life more useless and self-serving. Nothing but a never-ending round of parties, liaisons, etc. Young Peter grows up watching Mummy go from one man to another.