Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Month: March 2012

And I’ve now become an expert on the subject I like most.

From the echoing annals of history, it’s the interview meme! Here’s how this works. I’ve been given questions from various people, in sets of five. I will answer them, for your enlightenment and entertainment. You can then comment on these answers, and if you choose, request that I give YOU five questions, for which to use on your own blog.

My first set of questions come from Brooke (


1. What’s a work of non-fiction you really enjoyed reading?

Wow, that’s a lot of non-fiction, because I read a lot of it.  I read a lot of history and science for fun.  If I had to pick a single book, I might pick Isaac Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare, which is a wonderful, enormous book which endeavours to give Elizabethan contexts to many things that make little sense to modern audiences.  And includes of a lot of the sort of writing that made Asimov’s non-fiction so compelling.

Another book that I return to frequently is Robert X. Cringely’s Accidental Empires, which is a fascinating anecdotal history of the personal computer industry.

2. The hobgoblin’s hat is on your desk! But you left your sensible restraint in your other jacket, so you cannot resist dropping an inanimate object inside just to see what happens. Also you can’t resist describing the resulting chaos, neatly skirting the lack of a question mark anywhere in this paragraph.

I reached for the first thing at hand, which turned out to be a smallish paperclip.  For hours, nothing seemed to happen, but over the night a change came, and suddenly the entire house was filled with aluminium armoured praying mantises.  At first we tried to fight them, and then we realised that all they really wanted was to go outside and sit on branches, so they could glisten in the sun.  So we let them outside, and the scampered up the sides of trees and our apartment complex thinks its some sort of subtle art installation.

3. What’s your favourite limerick that has an educational purpose that you just wrote?

Imagine, if you will, that this is read by NPR’s Carl Kassel.

There are many paths leading to power
But your rise might lead others to glower
One part lemon, one lime
Jack and syrup combine
Win their love with a great whiskey sour.
You can find more drink recipes for world domination in my new book, "First, We Make Manhattans."

4. I just tried to order an autographedcat, and the bartender had no idea what I was talking about. What’s the recipe again?

A very reliable drink!  It’s sweet, with a tiny dash of bitters, and is highly adaptable to different liquors to suit different palates.  

5. Oh god, it’s EVIL ROB, he has a goatee and an eyepatch and everything. How does he TAKE OVER THE WORLD BWAHAHAHAH? I ask out of simple curiosity.

Evil Rob takes over the world by using his vast evil fortune towards controlling all the worlds reality shows.  Once he has completely buy in of the market, he launches Who Wants To Be a Global Despotic Meglomaniac.  Despite his great advantage, he’s eliminated in Week 4, and then cancels the rest of the show out of spite.    (All of Evil Rob’s plans tend to foil themselves.  He’s not a very good villain, mostly because he’s not that good at being genuinely evil.

Don’t Cry, My Dear, Have A Cracker

Don’t Cry, My Dear, Have A Cracker
(Or, “I Always Swore I’d Never Be One Of Those Parents”)
by Rob Wynne
TTTO: “Don’t Cry For Me, Argentina” (Tim Rice/Andrew Lloyd Weber)

You are unhappy
I don’t know why
And I try to work out how you feel
But you cannot speak words
You just sit there and cry
You don’t believe me
When I say that
It will all be okay
Although you are fed, warm, and dry
I guess it’s just that time of day

You threw aside your bottle
You’ve just been changed
Couldn’t spend your whole day on my lap
Looking out of the window
Taking naps in the sun
So you chose screaming
Running around grabbing everything near
But nothing could calm you at all
And so my last resort is clear

Don’t cry, my dear, have a cracker
It has cheese on, and some salami
It was an hors d’oeuvre
Made for a party
But you can eat one
There’s no one looking

As for nutrition and all that jazz
At this point I really don’t care
You can eat the whole tray
If that’s what you desire
At least you’re quiet
And if you remain still
And promise to nap
Then we can have ice cream for lunch
And soda and all of that crap

Don’t cry, my dear, have a cracker
It has cheese on, and some salami
It was an hors d’oeuvre
made for a party
But you can eat them
There’s no one looking

Have I done too much?
There’s nothing left here, I can’t feed you any more
But all you have to do
Is look at me and cry
And I’ll run to the store…

Inspired in small part by a conversation with Brooke. No actual children were fed inappropriate foods in the making of this song, though a sandwich may or may not have been misappropriated…

I’ve got the brain, you’ve got the looks…

Jeff has been visiting this weekend, which means the conversation level in our house gets more surreal than normal. (This is no bad thing.)

We were having a discussion about a great list of songs by band which were mostly one-hit wonders, and I was saying how I had kibitzed over the inclusion of the Pet Shop Boys, who had numerous top-20 singles in the 80s, and were even bigger in Europe.

Me: And of course, they were pioneers of gay disco, and that’s no small thing.
Larissa: I didn’t even know there was such a think as gay disco.
Me: Oh yes.
Larissa: Apparently, I’ve been hanging out with the wrong people.
Me: You obviously haven’t been hanging out with gay people at discos.
Larissa: I like gay people. It’s the disco I object to.
Jeff: How do you know a disco is gay, anyway?
Me: Easy. It makes passes at other discos.
Larissa: So what does a straight disco make passes at?
Me: (shrugs) A laundromat?

When I find myself in times of trouble…

So, having made a solemn pledge to start updating again, I promptly stopped updating. Which isn’t to say things have been boring around here. [personal profile] runnerwolf came to visit, which was shiny and awesome, and then I went to California for Consonance, which was also shiny and awesome, and then I came home and had the plague, which was dingy and boring, and then Marian Call was in town for a concert, which was back to shiny and awesome.

So, rather than talk about those things, each of which deserves at least a post unto itself, I want to talk about Pop Culture Comfort Food.

This past weekend was mentally fragile for me. I do pretty well most of the time these days, but depression still sucks, and every so often it gets the better of me. There are some things that reliably help, but it’s mostly a matter of just getting through them until my brain chemistry balances out.

Since I had managed to lure [personal profile] kitanzi into playing The Old Republic with me, I got the notion over the weekend to rewatch Star Wars. I followed it up with The Empire Strikes Back because, well, it comes next, doesn’t it. And a couple of things struck me while I was watching it:

1) The Special Editions are fine. Seriously. There’s really nothing wrong with them. (Before you start, I want to note something: Han still shoots first. Really. Go watch. He shoots Greedo, whose gun discharges at strikes the wall. At the very worst, they shoot simultaneously. It’s Not Even A Thing, stop griping about it.)

2) These films are, for me, the cinematic equivalent of a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. I’ve seen them enough times now that they really are like comfort food. I go back to them and I’m 10 again and the world is okay.

[personal profile] kitanzi and I were discussing this last night, and she said that she couldn’t really think of a movie that fit that category for her, but she certainly had books which did, most notably Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan series, which she claims to have read more times than she can actually count anymore.

So what are *your* pop culture comfort foods? When you just need something warm and familiar, what entertainment do you turn to?

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