Saturday, April 14, 2007

Outside is downstairs in MY world! / Blogthings and Quiz Heaven stuff

Hey, Randal also got me two cute Jelly Belly factory postcards - very sweet! I'm always amused whenever Henry refers to the apartment complex courtyard as "downstairs." Not because I like laughing at people's weird / malformed English in general, of course. It's just that "outside" is not really downstairs, but I know what he means. ("I'm downstairs now / I'll call you when I'm downstairs," hahaha... and if Eric reads this, he'll think I go crazy on Henry when he's driving me places - NOT A CHANCE! :P) It was nice of him to call and confirm that he was picking me up, too! Also, it would help if certain people - not Henry or me - actually answered their phones when their friends call them to quite possibly change plans at the last minute. :P

When he picked me up today, we discussed how we'd both had noodles for lunch - he had to do a translation (or a "transliteration" as he put it) from Chinese to English for his beef stomach noodles since he only knows the Chinese name! No worries, since I know exactly which dish he means! Then we talked about hockey, Easter, Pastor Edward's sermon load (three a week?), ABC Restaurant / Knight & Day / food quality at those places, Nehemiah and Bible Study, Sunrise Service ("why is it sunrise?" "that's when Jesus was found to be not in the tomb!"), their praise and worship program which I hadn't heard about till just then, and how it was warmer out than the last time we had Awana. He asked if I minded having the windows open and sunroof down - not until the wind nearly blew off my hat, no! :P (I knew I shouldn't have worn the ANGEL hat today, partly because I lost a fake diamond on the floor!)

Got to Awana and gave Chrystal her peppermint bark and birthday card, which she thanked me for. She seemed not to mind that it was only half the box, which is a good thing. I might have bought her a full box if I hadn't fallen sick in March! I asked Winnie about her brother's Bible - she figured I was talking about the white one, and said that people had been asking her and John about it forever. One of John's friends apparently likes writing John's name in stuff, so I just erased the name and put it somewhere with the rest of the Bibles. Heh, I did wonder what John's Bible would be doing in the library on a Friday night of all the times! Mike and Joey were testing the kids on math, and then Mike decided to up the ante by testing them on derivatives - uh, I don't THINK grade school kids know THAT! Joey asked whether I was going to Nathan's tomorrow while telling Mike about the hockey / movie night - maybe! Later, I heard "EWWW!" from their section, so went over to see what was so gross. Apparently Brian kissed a Miss Lee, who is five times his age - he denied it, as well as Justin's assertion that he kissed guys. Ah, Grade 2 / 3 kids... there were also these two kids a few years ago (Raymond and Carmen) who apparently "liked" each other, but that could have been weird kiddy rumors from the other children!

Jason thanked me for the cookies, and his brother Amos mentioned that they'd almost finished them all. Well, I'm not surprised because teenage boys can eat a lot! Andrew asked which cookies they were talking about, so I told him about the Dad's cookies pack: yup, you can definitely get them at Save-On Foods! Good thing Auntie Sarah didn't really notice the box inside the bag - I don't really think she'd kill me for opening her sons' eyes to the goodness that is Dad's cookies, but sometimes I like to err on the side of being paranoid. :P I like Jason, Amos, and Andrew - they're pretty cool once they got past the LASSIE / immature kid stage! (that was mostly Andrew and his brother Adam, to be honest) We also discussed blue jewels, Staples tape, money, change, the hockey games, online RPGs, and other things. Saw Bob with one of his younger brothers, who was fussy and wanted to put his coat down somewhere. I took care of it, and Heyman asked me afterwards where it was - on the chair next to me! Gotta be caring and gentle toward these kids, for sure! I think I broke their reserve when I was half-chasing Bob, Heyman, and Johnny around the basement once before an Awana session started: good times!

Later, I asked Ian if he liked coloring and if he had crayons at home. He said yes to both counts, so tomorrow he gets a 2006 Holiday Coloring Page that Ana (glamourcorpse) mailed to me for Christmas. It's a bit out of season, but I doubt he'll care - Henry and Julie S. were joking around about singing Christmas tunes for the song time today, heh. Henry DID have to tutor at 6:30, but his student cancelled on him... good thing, since we actually didn't leave till 6:35 after debriefing and small group meeting! So when he dropped me off, he was complaining to Teresa via phone that he was the last to know about everything: hey, I get the EXACT SAME TREATMENT! ("Let's get our sister Janet to believe we're going to Best Buy randomly when Uncle just wants to buy her a present! Haha!") Jon says that 9:10 should be fine since he's playing piano - Daniel's leading tomorrow since Eric's doing the Sun Run. Hopefully, I can still find a few of my fave people around! (been promised some decorative tea set with dragons, and new clothing every week - how much do I honestly NEED?!)


Here are some quizzes:

You Are the Ego

You take a balanced approach to your life.
You definitely aren't afraid to act out on your desires - even crazy ones.
But you usually think first. Morals drive you as much as hedonism does.
You've been able to live a life of pleasure... without living a life of excess.



You Are a Believer

You definitely believe in God - and you're very unwavering in your religious beliefs.
In fact, religion and spirituality are definitely big parts of your life.
Religion shapes how you view right and wrong, as well as the decisions you make.
It's hard for you to imagine how your life would be without your beliefs.

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Nougat overload / NOT using the photocopier as a bathroom!

I had all my Australian Golden Boronia Original Soft / Original Crunchy / Green Tea Soft / Apricot Soft / Cappuccino Crunchy nougat today! It doesn't help that the best-before date was March 1, but that's my own fault for not opening it till now - shouldn't be too bad since it's just nougat! There were only two packages of blue Original Soft, but plenty of burgundy Original Crunchy (including one which was totally glued to its package) / peach Cappuccino Crunchy / green Green Tea Soft / orange Apricot Soft. So good for breakfast, especially when the sun wakes you up at 7 and you can't sleep TOO much despite trying for the next two hours! Oh well, at least I have lots of time to do laundry and check blogs instead of being pressed for time as usual... although I wonder who this Max Adrian person is on my Caller ID! What's so important that you call four times in one hour?! It's not Henry, since he'd use his cell to call me if anything came up. (blood donation / being sick / needing to find an alternate ride...)

Randal's met up with a friend, and reflected on his experiences on the Chinese bus tour - ooh, snazzy! (except not, heh) I predict the email address he posted on his blog will soon get a lot of spam from the crawler bots that are out there! Alyssa posted stuff about editing and deleting blog entries: since she's just beginning to blog, she'll figure out the balance between public and private long enough! (although you COULD argue that journal sites like LJ / GJ / DJ are blogs, too...) She's got stuff about some band called Paramore, Pure Volume, baby milestones, snow, Cadbury Mini Eggs, games, movies, Easter, and more - music's cool, hehe.

Dawn's definitely looking forward to her boss being away - no tiptoeing around when she needs to use things like the bathroom, kitchen, and photocopier! Note: I do not recommend using the photocopier as a bathroom OR a kitchen, since that will result in some big-time trouble! (even more trouble than you'd get into if you simply used the photocopier for its intended purpose on certain body parts - enough said!) She'll miss her boyfriend while he's travelling, but would've really liked Easter Monday off work! Ah well, her Good Friday sounded excellent at any rate. Off to play some Bookworm now that I've got the TIME... I guess waking up EARLY isn't too bad, but not if it takes you till 4:30 or 5 to actually fall asleep after getting to bed later than you should have! (changing names and entries galore!) Yes, I checked the time early this morning - maybe I'll sleep at a decent hour tonight, even if I'm not waking up at 5:45 AM like I did last Sunday!

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These subs are NOT booze!

Bleh! We lost 2-0 to Dallas tonight! A goal by Jeff Halpern 24 seconds into the first (on the first shot by the Stars, no less) didn't help. It was a new dubious club record which eclipsed Mark Messier's goal 33 seconds into a playoff period when he was with the Edmonton Oilers in 1986! Then there was an identical goal 45 seconds into the second period.... SO BAD!

Hey, I still have these nougats that little Rachel's grandma gave me for Chinese New Year! Between that, some stuff my mom gives me almost every week, and Randal's surprise present of Jelly Belly jellybeans from his trip (which were made much of on the car ride home)... I think I have a lot of snacks and such! I still have some Mexican bubblegum lollipops and chocolate eggs: I really CAN be the Candy / Gum / Sticker Lady, as Eric dubbed me a few years back when he thought I'd kidnap the kids (especially David) and spoil them! Sweet! (sure, sure.. it's a pun.. don't kill me for that one :P)

I was a little late this afternoon, but it was good timing as Eric pulled into the parking lot just as I got there. We went to Chicago Subs, where we got the exact same thing: I had no decision-making skills, so chicken souvlaki on brown bread seemed just fine to me! In the car, I put them in a brown paper bag: Eric wondered why I was putting them in the garbage bag, but there wasn't really any other place for the food! (I looked in there when he picked me up since he looked in my bag on Sunday - "sorry to disappoint you," indeed!) Then he got to grouse about the traffic since there were so many people going into Vancouver at the same time we did! I tried to keep the ride balanced with some craziness, although I'm not sure he appreciated it. Then I guessed that his lines were from HALF-LIFE 2, which surprised him. It wasn't what he was watching, and it's not what he's playing... although he did play it some time ago! It didn't sound like a WORLD OF WARCRAFT thing, and maybe the "it's a good time for procreation" line was still stuck in my head from ages ago!

Got to church after talking about screaming and yelling and my hat. When I appeared in the basement with the two subs, a few people in the Daniel Fellowship committee meeting wondered whether it wasn't two wine bottles instead. Just because they're in two paper bags doesn't mean you need to come to THAT conclusion, kiddies! Jeremy was eating Pho at another table and I decided to join him - when he wondered the same thing as a joke, I told him to shut up. No, I wasn't joking. (then Randal did the same thing and asked Alan if he wanted any upstairs... just give me the darned things so you can't take them anymore!) After I got some tissues, I settled down to eating / listening to the committee meeting while Eric practiced his guitar. Jeremy had to take the drums from upstairs, and Cindy came downstairs while he was doing that. Talked to her about yucky water from work and teaching Grade 1 for the first time yesterday - yup, God helped her survive! Our weeks were okay, although they seemed to drag on. Funny how that works... later, I gave Karen Lew's chips and birthday card to Jon to give to her since Vivian said her sister would be here tonight. (talked briefly to Vivian and Dawn in the kitchen, and to Dianne in the basement)

Randal came up to me in the basement and commented that I was expecting something from him - no, I certainly wasn't! He mentioned that he had committed a sin while he was in Reno: Jeremy asked "Gambling?" to which I replied "Probably." Then he said that he'd committed two sins then: his other one was not watching a certain TV show! I pretended to be mad about it, and then figured that he HAD to watch the previous episode because of certain things which happened then. He tried to convince me that he didn't need to since he got the general idea when he started watching it a few episodes into the season, but I wasn't having any of that! (thank goodness my mom said yes when I asked if he could have the tape even though she wasn't finished recording on it yet!) He gave me the aforementioned jellybeans, which was nice of him. :)

We were moved upstairs, and I thanked him again for the candy after worship. He figured that since I was nice enough to give him postcards from my Alaska cruise (without knowing that he'd been there himself), that he'd return the favor. Oh, I could have done certain things with that Fruits and Passion hand cream he was telling a bunch of people to sample, but didn't. Hehe. (Steph told us later about an email she'd sent out to Randal informing him that he was the winner of the hand cream, and the reply that she and Vanessa got.. haha, she thinks it's funny!) I guarded Eric's sandwich and went up to Phil's office for Bible Study. That was cool, although Jeremy had to lead since Dylan was busy working on his boat for work. Pretty good job for having been pressed into service at 11:30 last night! Stats Canada numbers, debt, socio-economic status, his turn to prompt me by calling my name on two separate occasions (man, I was spacey tonight...), paying back the $7 I owed Eric for the sub since he was doing stuff with his wallet anyhow... ah, good times!

Andrea got a phone call from Chuck at the end, who was in Halifax visiting his best friend. Must be nice since he hadn't done anything NOT related to school in a while! We all went back downstairs, and hung out near the entrance. Andrea alerted me to a white Bible belonging to John Ng since that name was written in childish handwriting - I'll see his sister Winnie at Awana, so I'll give it back to him then! (I must have confused Andrea for a second when I told her that, haha... different spelling of Jon and John!) If it's not his, then I don't know whose it would be... then again, I don't know what his Bible would be doing at the church on a Friday. Oh well, not a big deal. Connie decided to go home when Lesley invited her to go to some Congee King restaurant - she invited Randal, who decided to go with them. Jeremy stuck around for a while to talk about Bible Study, his bike helmet, movies, and various other topics before leaving. It wasn't so easy to go home even if his head felt kinda funny and such! We also let various Chinese Congregation people and the cleaning crew inside the church since the door was locked! Kevin can be our doorman at the new church, haha.

Waved to Quan, Darren, Joey, Mike, Mark, Isabel, Daniel, and others coming upstairs when they were finally done. The "different woman" Teresa got a ride home from Danielle - so not on the Richmond Crew's way, haha. Mentioned how we needed at least a week's notice before big changes happened, like Jeremy shaving off his beard. A bunch of people (including me) did a double-take when we first noticed him that Friday / Sunday, and Steph had to look into his eyes to determine that this familiar-looking Caucasian guy WAS Jeremy! Steph bugged Vivian about the cruise, saying that she and Karen would lock her out of the stateroom. When asked by Dianne where we were cruising to, Steph said: "Vancouver." Cheap cruises involve flights to the cruise ship destination and then cruising back to where you started from, after all... just like the Alaska cruise!

We finally got Jon out of there by moving toward the door, and Christon talked to Anthony briefly before everyone headed home. Jon wanted bubble tea even though he just had some two days ago, but Steph had consumed too much junk food during the football movie... Eric and I simply wanted to go home! Steph asked when Harmony was getting into town - the latter part of May sounds good, and she might even be there for the TV finale! Discussed how Sam was "studying" for exams - yeah right, he was probably watching the hockey game instead! Jon said that Mom and Dad were going on the other cruise on May 17 and 18, and that he was going. Amtrak on the return trip from Seattle, baby! Learned that Steph wouldn't be here during the latter part of June since she's seeing Melissa in Toronto - eh, we'll survive!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Actual dates / Jeremy and movies / Mrs. Dole's Pecan Roll Cookies

Eric bugged me this after noon over MSN using some phrases from HALF-LIFE 2, which I guessed correctly. Then I decided to check my old email account: I found an email from Danielle saying that she and Citrus would have to bow out of the hockey / movie night at Nathan's on Sunday because it was their anniversary. An actual date that doesn't involve running errands - YAY! Of course, the next two emails I checked were from Nathan and Eric bugging Citrus about getting his priorities straight, and not planning ahead for Game 3 of the Canucks-Stars playoff Round 1. *laugh*

Then there was one from Jeremy listing off a whole bunch of movies that a few of us might be interested in watching, and possible dates around the playoff schedule. I asked him later if anyone had responded to him, and he said no. (but he had watched at least one or two at Nathan's yesterday, and asked me if I remembered any of the ones we were going to watch - nope, since I just skimmed that email, dude!) Then I told him that he'd emailed it to my old email address - he said that he'd been mixed up. No worries! Volunteered the information that I'd only checked it because Dylan said he'd emailed me some important questions about the Fellowship directory, which Jon told me that he'd forward. Being my brother, he obviously did not. So I had to do my own digging, and trashed too many spam emails in that process! At least Dylan mentioned to me later that he'd gotten my email - I hope Jeremy responds soon to that one since I'd apparently reminded him to do so! (the deadline was the 9th, but we're stretching it!)


You Are a Brownie Cheesecake

A little chunky and a little gooey, you pretty much run on sugar!
You take hedonism to the extreme.. And people love you for it.



There's a 39% Chance That You Need Therapy

You may need therapy, but you're probably doing okay at working out your own problems.
In general, you are able to solve any troubles that come up. But there's no harm in talking to a professional.



Mrs. Dole's Pecan Roll Cookies

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 45 servings

1 cup Margarine; room temp
1/4 cups Powdered sugar plus more

For coating baked cookies
1 tablespoon Cold water
1 teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups All-purpose flour
2 cups Pecan pieces
Recipe by: St. Louis Post-Dispatch 8/12/96

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Grease baking sheet. In medium bowl with mixer on medium speed, beat together margarine and 1/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth and creamy. Beat in water and vanilla. On low speed, gradually beat in flour. Mix in pecans with a wooden spoon or by hand. With floured hands, roll 2 teaspoons dough for each cookie into a datelike shape. Place cookies on greased baking sheet. Score top of each cookie lengthwise with knife. Bake 45 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm. Yield: 3 3/4 dozen cookies.

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Dream about washing many dishes and Matt Good music / Cannon's NOT a name! / Friday the 13th

Eric just called me on his cell and from his work, and also left me an MSN message about "smelling the ashes" which I'm ignoring temporarily in favor of checking my friends lists and posting this entry. (and maybe showering...) Yes, my priorities are all crazy! :P Then again, he signed off a while ago - I guess I'll call him when I'm done, but he just emailed me. Much easier to figure out, haha. Then again, he just signed on MSN again to give me the same copy-pasted message about ashes and waking up. Uh yeah, I don't think I'm going to be in the car with YOU tonight (Cambie / Jacombs at 6?) even if that means staying home! :P

"Rise and shine, Ms. Ng. Rise and shine. Not that I wish to imply you have been sleeping on the job. No one is more deserving of a rest. And all the effort in the world would have gone to waste until... well, let's just say your hour has come again. The right woman in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world. So, wake up, Ms. Ng. Wake up and smell the ashes. No, I don't want you to die in a towering inferno. I want you to save the earth from the combine. Now your first task is to answer calls to your house. Once you've got that down, you can get here by 6. You could also reply to instant messages. If you don't start acting normally, I'm not going to pick you up." Uh, he should KNOW that I don't act normally at times! DORK!


Yes, it's Friday the 13th today. My sister forwarded this to me from her co-worker Lambert:

The fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia (a word that is derived from the concatenation of the Greek words meaning Friday, thirteen, and phobia respectively; alternate spellings include paraskevodekatriaphobia or paraskevidekatriaphobia) or friggatriskaidekaphobia, and is a specialized form of triskaidekaphobia, a phobia (fear) of the number thirteen.

Also, I just got warned over in baby_names: I DO NOT CARE, SINCE CANNON IS NOT A BABY NAME! Time to leave that community and go back to the Baby's Named A Bad Bad Thing forums! Then again, someone else also got warned for this suggestion: "Shooter, Hunter, Smith, Wesson, Gage." I find that the most hilarious thing I've read today! Hey, here's a warning for yet another person because they suggested "Catapult John? Artillery Matthew? Missile Christopher?" HAHAHA, at least some people have a sense of humor! :D

"There are six levels of membership, based on how many posts you have. These mean pretty much nothing, except the stars look pretty. The levels are...
Madison member / 0-49 posts / 0 stars
Madycyn member / 50-99 posts / 1 star
Madycynne member / 100-249 posts / 2 stars
McMadycynne member / 250-499 posts / 3 stars
MacMadycynnylynne member / 500-1999 posts / 4 stars
Mac'Mahd'ysséighnnughllynnëe member / 2000+ posts / 5 stars"


Now, to get to the real reason I opened this update page: I had another strange dream, which I hope isn't associated with the cruise... but one never knows! This one opened up with my dad yelling at me and Karen Lew to do a few sinkloads of dishes. We were both VERY annoyed and kept yelling back at him. This resulted in my mom adding even more dishes to our existing load: you'd think we would LEARN. We'd had hot pot (as evidenced by the gold scooping implements), but we were still extremely torqued because it was 6:35 AM and we just wanted to SLEEP! Of course, Mom and Dad didn't understand this because we were simply there to do their dirty work for them!

Suddenly, all the cupboards in the room slowly turned into Frosted Flakes cereal boxes with Tony the Tiger. Then, they started blasting Matthew Good songs - interestingly enough, we'd never heard the songs before, but were able to instantly classify them as Matt Good tunes! The songs made us feel a little better, and the bonus was that Mom and Dad weren't able to turn them down OR off! After a few threats from the parentals, we perforce finished the dishes and then got outta there before we could be assigned more work! The dream ended when we got together with certain friends and sailed away on someone's boat...

Interesting stuff, since sailing is almost exactly what we'll be doing in less than a month... and 6:35 AM is the time that we'll have to be at the airport because of Homeland Security rules. I already know that Karen, Vivian, and I are NOT fans of getting up early! As for the dishes, that better not be showing up anytime soon in waking life... but it might, at the townhouse! Haven't had Frosted Flakes in quite a while, and I haven't really listened to Matt Good in a bit, either! Weird stuff... as for the yelling and threats, you probably don't want to know what memories my subconscious is drawing on. =/

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Why send pics to IVAN?! / Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Seasoning Blend

Hey, cool stuff! Randal sent a bunch of us pictures from his trip to San Francisco and the surrounding area! Although I have to wonder: why the heck is he sending it to IVAN?! I didn't think the two knew each other.... oh well, to each his own! Cool pictures, heh. That reminds me, I should ask Ivan about his parents - but that could get awkward as he doesn't know me that well. Maybe not, I'll see. But I will definitely give out certain birthday cards this weekend! (Karen Lew, Chrystal, Lily, Hannah L., etc.)

I also had a Bookworm game in which I tied my record for not having to scramble letters till Level 25. However, the scramble didn't do me any good because I died very shortly thereafter! Stupid letter "U" stuck in an inconvenient position among the tiles... and now I'm bouncy. This is not going to be good if I want to sleep earlier! UGH!


Mrs. Dash Salt-Free Seasoning Blend

So here's the challenge with this clone recipe: Not only do we have to get the right ratios for nearly 20 different spices, but we also have to come up with a way to get the same lemony tang that makes the real Mrs. Dash the tasty salt-free seasoning blend we've come to know and love over the years. Sure, we could use powdered citric acid that is sometimes found in health food stores, but not everyone is going to have that scary-sounding ingredient readily available. Then we still need to figure out the "lemon juice solids" part. Ah, but wait, there's citric acid and lemon juice solids in Kool-Aid unsweetened lemonade drink mix. It's perfect! Add a little of that drink powder to the spice blend, and we have a clone that in a blindfolded taste test could fool even Mr. Dash.

1/4 cup crushed dried minced onion flakes
4 teaspoons crushed dried vegetable flakes (Schilling)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried orange peel
2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon Kool-Aid unsweetened lemonade drink mix
dash crushed dried rosemary

Crushing the vegetable flakes with extreme prejudice.
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. As you stir, crush the leafy spices for a finer blend.
2. Store the spice blend in a covered container or a sealed shaker bottle. Makes about 2/3 cup.

Tidbits

It's best to use a mortar and pestle to crush these sometimes tough little onion and vegetable flakes to about the size of rice, before adding them to the mix. But if you don't have one of those handy kitchen tools, you may also use the back of a spoon and a small bowl - plus a little grease. You know, the elbow kind.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dream with Kieran and trucks / Blogthings / Lemmings

I will include this picture because this post mentions lemmings:

I definitely need to fix my sleep patterns. Let's just say that if I woke up on Saturday at the time I woke up today, I would be SO dead! Stupid late-night distractions and stuff that no longer seems to work... *grumble* Had a weird dream that somehow involved Eric's brother Kieran, squishing together with a bunch of my friends in a dump truck, and getting away from people at a food market. No idea what's up with my subconscious!


What Your Favorite Color Blue Says About You:

Emotional --- Affected --- Sensitive
Peaceful --- Tranquil --- Connected
Spiritual --- Experimental --- Deep



You Are 63% Feminist

You are certainly a feminist - whether you know it or not.
You believe in gender equality, at least most of the time. You also believe there are a few exceptions.



Today's Ancestral Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The practice of burying the dead may date back 350,000 years, as evidenced by a 45-foot-deep pit in Atapuerca, Spain, filled with the fossils of 27 hominids of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

Culled from: Discover.Com
Generously submitted by: Amos Quito and Barry

**********************************************************************

I have run out of time in trying to find a new email server and after trying out numerous services without satisfaction, I've decided to go the free route and use Google Groups. The list will be an announcement-only list, which means it is set up to send out emails, but not to be a discussion list. If you want to start a discussion on any of the facts, you can use the existing Google discussion group.

I will go ahead and move everyone over to Google Groups tonight, so you should be receiving a notification when you have been added to the list. I'm going to set everyone up to receive emails as they are sent; if you want to change this for any reason, or unsubscribe, you can follow the instructions on the email.

I haven't had time to tweak the page exactly as I'd like, but hopefully I will be able to do that in the coming weeks. The MFDJ will be sent using Google Groups starting tomorrow, so please let me know if you have any issues with the new format.

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions. Let's hope this works out for the best.

*******

Morbid Word Du Jour!

Rutybear sends another morbid word our way:

"I found this in the Urban Dictionary - I think it sums us up *Perfectly!*"

Thanatophile: A person who is fascinated with death.

"Thanatophiles like to see dead people. They like to see people die."

Wow - I think you're absolutely right, Ruty! Perhaps I should create a bumper sticker? "Thanatophiles Of The World, Unite!" Actually, I think I will! Coming Soon to A Plethora Of Viscera!

*******

Urban Legend Du Jour!

grim747 has some sad news for us all (except the lemmings in our midst):

"The world as I knew it just came crashing down. Who knew that [the] famous lemming footage was STAGED?

"Curse the Disney Nature Films of my youth!!!!"

"White Wilderness is an Academy Award-winning nature documentary produced by Disney in 1958 noted for its splendid visuals as well as its propagation of the myth of lemming suicide.

"The film was directed by James Algar and narrated by Winston Hibler. It was filmed on location in Alberta, Canada over the course of three years.

"White Wilderness famously contains a scene supposedly depicting a mass lemming migration, which ended with the lemmings leaping to their death into the Arctic Ocean; however, the entire sequence was staged. The lemmings were not even local (there are no lemmings in Alberta); the film makers arranged to buy wild-trapped lemmings from Inuit schoolchildren in Manitoba and transported them to the set. A few dozen lemmings, placed on a large, snow-covered turntable and filmed from a variety of angles, became a mass migration. As a grand finale, the captive lemmings were herded over a cliff into a river (in the film, this was the 'sea' and the herded lemmings were on a 'suicide drive').

"Generations of TV-watching schoolchildren grew up on the Disney nature films, and the myth of lemming suicide persists to this day."

"(however, that The Far Side panel with the lemmings jumping to their death and getting diving scores from their peers remains in my fave top 50)"

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QUADRUPLE OVERTIME?! / Riots and epitaphs / Mrs. Fields White Chocolate Chip

Note: LJ Mojo... White Hat!


QUADRUPLE OVERTIME?! Man, the Canucks and Stars have played two full hockey games and are about to do one more period until someone scores! This is what hockey's like - shootouts are entertaining and all, but overtime after overtime is something else! Punishing and tiring for the players especially, though...

Speaking of the playoffs, Nathan sent a bunch of us an email about a playoffs and movie party at his place on Sunday. I'm in if the Richmond Crew is in! Jon will love the "bring homework!" advice, haha.

Edit at 12:32 ---> WE WON 5-4! Henrik Sedin's goal from his twin brother was AWESOME for this marathon (second playoff overtime winner), and so was Roberto Luongo's save a few minutes before! 138:06 of total hockey sets a franchise record and is the sixth-longest NHL game ever, and ALMOST quintuple overtime... 76-56 total shots with Roberto Luongo making 72 saves! No wonder he was the first star, followed by Marty Turco and Henrik Sedin.


Today's Sordid Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The massacres that took place in the city of Paris from September 2-6, 1792 were among the bloodiest episodes of the French Revolution, serving as a cruel prelude to the Reign of Terror of 1793. Roving mobs, seeking revenge on anyone connected with the recently overthrown aristocracy, stormed the jails where many noblemen, royal attendants, and clergy were imprisoned. What happened to the Princess de Lamballe was typical: she was dragged from prison by her hair, hanged, and then disemboweled. Her mutilated body was dragged through the streets and put on display for two days.

At one prison, clergy were led outside two at a time. Their throats were cut and their bodies exhibited to torment the next victims being led out. Citizens paraded the streets carrying the heads and bodies of victims on pikes, a kind of spiked pole used as a weapon during the period. Mangled bodies lay piled against houses as men, women, and children were decapitated, hanged, run through with pikes, and even roasted alive. Before this sordid orgy came to a close, some 1200 prisoners perished, along with a number of their tormentors, who were killed while fighting over their victims' valuables.

Culled from: The Pessimist's Guide To History

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Okay, I was overly optimistic in thinking I'd be able to roll out the results for the Ruthless Rhymes Contest today. Looking for a new mailing host has sidetracked me from the task. I'm hoping that tomorrow I'll have time to prepare the results, but it could be this weekend before I get to it.

Tomorrow, I will also have made a final decision on the new mailing host, since Friday is the deadline for my current host. Yeah, they didn't give me much notice, did they? A pox upon them!

*******

Morbid Sightseeing!

The next time you're cruising through the U.P. (that's what Midwesterners call the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), why not stop and spend some time at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum? It's only open from May 1 through October 31, so you'll have to plan your visit for the summer. I'm going to try to make a trip in 2007.

Thanks to Elizabeth for the suggestion.

*******

Morbid Link Du Jour!

The Epitaph Browser is a collection of epitaphs from the graves of famous people. It makes for an entertaining browse!

Thanks to Michael for the link.


Mrs. Fields White Chocolate Chip

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 24 servings

2/3 cups Butter plus 2 tbs.
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 1/2 cups Flour
3 1/2 oz Macadamia nuts; chopped
6 oz White chocolate; chopped in

Heat oven to 325°F. Grease cookie sheets. In large bowl with electric mixer... beat butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla at med-high speed until fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low, add flour, increase speed gradually, and beat just until blended. Stir in nuts and chocolate. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto cookie sheets. Bake about 15 minutes or until edges are slightly brown and tops look dry. Cool on cookie sheet on wire rack about 5 minutes, then remove to rack to cool completely.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Dreaming of bizarre OREGON TRAIL / Jolly Rancher Double Blasts / Quizzes

I had an interesting dream last night that consisted of playing a bizarre version of Oregon Trail. The players could blow up wagons, hunt for as much food as they liked, and set fire to random buildings along the way: one of them even looked like BC Place's dome! Then I was suddenly in the church basement, trying to tell Eric and Steph just why I should scold my mom on a certain subject. ("she KNOWS she's not supposed to bring it up unless I do it first, and yet she's continually violating that!") After leaving my mom alone in the basement, we went off to the church nursery: we discovered Randal fixing it! He waved at us cheerfully, but said we could not come in because of structural issues: the floor and walls were NOT looking good! We asked if we could help him fix it, but he alone had the esoteric knowledge necessary to do that. So we just left via the back door and hung out at someone's house until the dream ended.

Let's just say I know very well what the dream trigger was: some people should really learn to shut up about certain issues! *grumble*


I'm finally trying the Jolly Rancher Double Blasts hard candies I got thanks to my parents' trip to the States a while ago. They're pretty good, but they're so sweet that I actually can feel the sugar on my teeth after a while! Brushing your teeth is certainly something you've gotta do while consuming these things! Cherry-Orange, Strawberry-Apple, Raspberry-Lime, and Mango-Lemon are the available flavors: so good! I think I saw this at Out of Africa when I was there, too. That reminds me: I need to ask Tim whether the owner is his dad, since he DOES look like the guy I met in Tim's company once years ago! (independently confirmed by my sister!)

This candy does not blast you anywhere or blow up. BLASTS implies, hints, or otherwise suggests an experience as in: "Dude, that was a blast!" or "I had a blast last night!" You get two different bold flavors: one bold flavor in the crunchy outer shell, and a second intense flavored powder inside. You might say it's a blast of two bold flavors, or you could say it's a blast to eat the candy. Whichever you prefer: pop in or blast off.


Men See You As Choosy

Men notice you light years before you notice them.
You take a selective approach to dating, and you can afford to be picky.
You aren't looking for a quick flirt - but a memorable encounter.
It may take men a while to ask you out, but it's worth the wait.



Your Mind is 57% Cluttered

Your mind is starting to get cluttered, and as a result, it's a little harder for you to keep focused.
Try to let go of your pettiest worries and concerns. The worrying is worse than the actual problems!



You Are Not a Cheapskate

When it comes to money, you're very fair.
You're generous when you can be, and you never cheat anyone out of what they deserve.
If you have the money, you enjoy splurging. But you never overspend.

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Mrs. Fields' Pecan Supremes

Mrs. Fields' Pecan Supremes

Categories: Cookies, Mimi
Yield: 36 servings

2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup quick oats
3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pecans (4 oz)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda, salt, and oats. Mix well and set aside. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add eggs and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the flour mixture, pecans, and chocolate chips. Blend at low speed until just combined. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies to a cool, flat surface.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

White diamond on FLAX, clowns being crushed, defenestration!

I got a white diamond in Bookworm just now after a few days of being back playing it! Got it on the word FLAX - LAX were all yellow / gold tiles, and I used the white diamond on the word YOU! (the white diamond was on the Y)


Today's Clowning Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

A hot-air balloon caught fire during a circus stunt, killing a clown acrobat as dozens of children watched. The accident happened as the Royal Russian Circus was performing in Scariff, County Clare, a village in western Ireland. About 100 people were in the audience, most of them children. Police said the clown was a 26-year-old man from Belarus, but didn't release his name. Witnesses said the man, dressed in a clown outfit, was hanging from a cage suspended by ropes and a hot-air balloon inside the canvas tent. When the balloon exploded in flames, the cage fell on top of the man. The man's wife, who was also part of the act, suffered a broken arm. "We were all sitting down, and they were doing their act. They were up fairly high, but they were doing fine. Next thing, he was down on the ground," said audience member Hazel Harrington. She said many people in the audience initially thought the falling cage was part of the act. About a half-dozen circuses, employing mostly Eastern European performers, tour Ireland each summer.

Culled from: Optimum Online
Generously submitted by: Ren

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Too bad it isn't part of the act. If circuses showed clowns being crushed, I'd start attending them!

Thank you to everyone who sent me suggestions for my mailing list problem. I am thinking that my best bet (at least for the interim) will be to switch the list over to a Google Group "announcement-only" list. Although I've had terrible luck with Yahoo Groups deleting groups without any warning, so far there have been no issues with the MFDJ discussion group on Google, and it's definitely the cheapest option! If anyone has experienced problems with Google Groups, please let me know before I make a decision I come to regret!

And I will announce the Ruthless Rhymes winner with tomorrow's MFDJ. (Fingers crossed.)

Oh, and one more thing: Go See Grindhouse Before They Ruin It By Splitting It Into Two Separate Movies!!!!

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Morbid Link Du Jour!

Remember "Good Idea, Bad Idea" from Animaniacs? Well, here's one for you:

Good Idea: Fire Alarm Box

Bad Idea: Fire Alarm Box That Locks The Hand Of Alarm Sender Until Released By Policeman Or Fireman With A Key

Thanks to Shifter for the link.

*******

Morbid Word Du Jour!

Patrick has a contribution to our semi-regular Morbid Word feature:

Defenestration: the act of throwing a thing or esp. a person out of a window

Definitely a handy word!


DEFENESTRATION is definitely one of my favorite words! :D

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Food survey

Food survey, from Alyssa via Myspace bulletin:

**Breakfast**
Eggs: Sunny Side Up, Scrambled, or Hard-Boiled? Scrambled.

Sausage or Bacon? Sausage.

Pancakes, Crêpes, or Waffles? Pancakes.

Croissant, Danish, or Pain au Chocolat? Pain au Chocolat.

Coffee, Juice, or Hot Chocolate? Coffee.


**Lunch**
Pasta: Spaghetti, Tortellini, Lasagna, Ravioli, or Gnocchi? Spaghetti.

Pasta Sauce: Cheese, Tomato, or Meat? Meat.

Soup: Mushroom, Tomato, Broccoli, Carrot, Vegetable, Chowder, or Other? Mushroom, Chowder, and Other. (hot and sour, wonton, etc.)

With Soup: Crackers, Toast, Croutons, Bacon Bits, or Baguette? Crackers or Croutons.

Pizza: Cheese, Hawaiian, Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Veggie, or Other? Pepperoni and Italian Sausage.

Pizza: Square Slice, Pointy Slice or Deep Dish? Pointy.

Sandwich: White or Brown Bread? Brown.

Toppings: Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Peppers, Mushrooms, Mayo, Salt, or Other? All except Onions.

Chinese: Springrolls or Eggrolls? Springrolls.

Chinese: Sweet & Sour Pork, Crispy Sesame Beef, or General Tso Chicken? Sweet and Sour Pork.

East Indian: Veggie Korma (curry) or Tandoori Chicken? Tandoori Chicken.


**Dinner**
Meat: Well done, Medium, or Rare? Medium.

Mashed Potatoes or Baked? Mashed.

Salad Dressing: Vinaigrette, 1000 Island, Ranch, or Other? Vinaigrette or Ranch.

Cheese: Cheddar, Mozzarella, Havarti, Ricotta, Feta, Cottage, Brie, Soy, or Other? Cheddar.

Milk: Regular Soy, Chocolate Soy, 1%, 2%, Skim, or Chocolate? 1% or Chocolate.

Sushi: California Rolls, Spicy Salmon, Crab, Eel, Egg, Octopus, or Other? All of it!

Sushi: Wasabi, Soy Sauce, Neither, or Both? BOTH.


**Fast Food**
KFC: 2-piece combo, 3-piece combo, Family-Sized combo, or Chicken Club? 3-piece combo.

KFC: Coleslaw, Potato Salad, or Macaroni Salad? Coleslaw.

Pop: Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, Root Beer, 7-Up, Orange Crush, Cherry Coke, or Other? Root Beer or Sprite.

Burger King, In & Out, McDonald's, Harvey's, Hardee's, White Castle, A&W, or Other? A&W.

Burger Toppings: Lettuce, Tomato, Ketchup, Mayo, Mustard, Mushrooms, Or All-Dressed? All-Dressed.

Fries: Tater Tots, Poutine (if you're Canadian), Cheese Fries, Wedge, or Regular? Regular fries or Poutine.

Pie: Apple, Cherry, Lemon, Lime, Blueberry, Sugar, or Other? Apple.

Pie: With or Without Ice Cream? With!

Dessert: Ice Cream, Frozen Yogurt, Gelato, or Jello? Ice cream.

Dessert: Cake, Pie, Brownies, Cookies, or Fresh Fruit with Whipped Cream? All of them.

Popcorn: Buttery, Caramel, Strawberry, Or Plain Old Salted? Buttery. Who the heck has STRAWBERRY popcorn?!

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European nationalities / Mrs. Fields Pecan Pie Bars

You scored as Belgian.

Belgian

88%

Polish

75%

Italian

63%

Danish

63%

Irish

50%

British

50%

Molvanian

50%

Dutch

38%

French

38%

German

38%

Turkish

25%

Swiss

25%

Spanish

25%

Russian

0%

Which European nationality should you have
created with QuizFarm.com



Mrs. Fields Pecan Pie Bars

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 1 serving

Pastry:
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 cup Salted butter; chilled
5 to 6 tablespoons Ice water


Filling:
5 tablespoons Salted butter
1 cup Dark brown sugar; firmly packed
1/2 cup Light corn syrup
2 teaspoons Pure vanilla extract
3 large Eggs; beaten
1 1/2 cups Chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine flour and chilled butter with a pastry cutter until dough resembles coarse meal. Add water gradually and mix just until dough holds together and can be shaped into a ball. Or, use a food processor fitted with a metal blade to combine flour and butter until they resemble coarse meal. Add water by tablespoonfuls, and process just until a dough ball begins to form. Wrap dough tightly in a plastic scrap or a plastic bag. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. On floured board using a floured rolling pin, roll out dough into a 10x10-inch pan. Fold dough in half and then into quarters. Place it in an 8x8-inch baking pan. Unfold the dough and press it into the corners and up along the sides of the pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

TO PREPARE THE FILLING: Melt 5 tablespoons of butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar and corn syrup. Mix until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat with spoon until thoroughly combined. Fold in chopped pecans. Pour the pecan filling into the pastry-lined pan. If dough extends beyond filling mixture, trim dough with a knife. Place pan in center of oven and bake 50-60 minutes or until filling is set. Cool on wire rack. Cut into 2x2-inch squares, and top each with a pecan half. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Finding $50 bills in the bathroom, awesome killings, botched executions

Went to the 7-11 near the townhouse to see what they had there - I used the garbage can to dispose of miscellaneous junk, and found some brand new Sara Lee strawberry cheesecake ice cream. It was over a dollar cheaper for twice the amount than Ben and Jerry's ice cream, which had a way better selection than last summer! (for some reason, my family was surprised that I bought it :P) Got to the townhouse and found Eric's and my knapsacks in the corner by the door - sweet! Found a $50 bill in the upstairs bathroom later, and gave it to my grandma: it had to be hers since nobody else would carry around that amount of money in the house! She thanked me a lot, and my mom said that it was very honest... er, yeah. I wasn't about to take it home as unexpected "compensation" for annoyances, after all. :P

24 was awesome! Jack killing Fayed with all he had at his disposal, Palmer bluffing about the nuclear strike, Palmer also getting addicted to adrenaline shots (GO TO MEDICAL OR YOU'LL DIE! NO THIRD SHOT FOR YOU!), CTU bluffing Fayed with the Arabic team, Nadia detecting "Samir" as a duress code albeit a bit late, Milo being jealous and stupid, Doyle securing the remaining two suitcase nukes, and the music made it all good! I have no real emotional investment in Cheng calling Jack to tell him that he had Audrey Raines as a hostage - maybe she was the high price that he mentioned in the first hour. But the nuke storyline is over, so we'll have "Jack rescues his girlfriend from the Chinese!" for the rest of the season. Jon came home after it had ended, and asked us about show developments, but we told him about those after CSI had a commercial break. THAT show had Indian reservation casino money, a bellman scalping a guy for revenge against his people, hypnotic drugs in food, a girl from Horatio's past, and other such niceties. (blood and hairspray in confetti WILL get you later on down the line...)

I told Eric about the timing of the red issue, and we were reunited with our knapsacks. He wrote a cheque for the bumper parts (not brand new, since that costs $400), ate grapes and pineapple, and told me not to touch him since I wasn't his sibling. Hey, I was just passing on the playful hits from my Funshine Bear-loving sister... but I did draw the line at touching his face! After we both got some TINY mandarin oranges from my mom (who also gave me plum lime tea and told me not to be difficult - I wasn't! :P), he drove me home. For some reason, my parents think Steph or I should treat Eric to dinner - we'll see about that! On the way home, we discussed death threats / my dream with blue ink and pads / our friends: Karen's afraid that her mom will put her on a diet after the cruise like she did to Vivian when she got home from France! Apparently, my grandma's going to Hong Kong for a few months the day we leave for the cruise... man, that'll be a BUSY day!


Today's Botched Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

Since 1983, the number of botched executions involving lethal injection have been more than double the number caused by the electric chair.

Culled from: Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals From Death Row

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I am a very angry and most distressed Comtesse tonight. I just received notification from my mailing list provider (YMLP.Com) that they will be changing their billing policy so that I will now have to pay based on the number of emails I send per month, as opposed to a flat rate based on the number of subscribers on the list. This means that during a 31-day month, my fee will go from $20.00 to around $115!!! Ridiculous!!

I've voiced my dismay about this policy change, but I doubt it will do any good, and even with your generous donations and the money I make from merchandise, I can't afford to pay over $100.00 a month to send out the newsletter. So, I am on the lookout for another mailing service. In the meantime, I'll continue to use YMLP.Com, but if I don't find another service by April 13th, I will need to quit sending the Morbid Fact Du Jour via email for a while until I find another solution. It will, of course, still be available online and on My Space.

If anyone out there has a suggestion for a new mailing list provider, please send it my way!

By the way, I haven't forgotten about the Ruthless Rhymes contest. I will be announcing the winners within the next couple of days. Sorry for the delay...

*******

Epitaph Du Jour!

Culled from:
Over Their Dead Bodies: Yankee Epitaphs & History
Authors: Thomas C. Mann & Janet Greene
Date: 1962

Unbolstered by dates and reported as in Vermont or Iowa:
Here lies our darling baby boy
He never crys nor hollers.
He lived for one and twenty days
And cost us forty dollars.

Thanks to Miyuki for the contribution.

*******

Morbid Link Du Jour!

Have you seen the Merry-Go-Round of Death yet?

Kids these days! Why, back in my day, we used to do sensible things, like jumping off roofs into gravel pits, not crazy stuff like this! Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out if the girls were injured. I can't imagine that they *weren't* injured, at least somewhat. Anyone have a scoop?

I did find this ridiculous news story that suggests if we don't show this sort of thing to kids, they won't do it. Yeah, sure, and if you don't provide kids with sex education, they won't ever have sex either.

Thanks to Sandy for the link.

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IRON CHEF photos, redrum, inconvenient poop hilarity, dreaming of blue stamp ads

Steph sent me the links to the IRON CHEF action of a couple weeks ago, and I'm much too lazy to Photobucket the pictures:
Group Pictures and Food (summary shots)
Action Shots from the evening


Oh, yay. I have redrum now. Luckily, it held off until about 10 PM yesterday, so it wasn't bothering me all day as Eric thought when I told him why I was taking a shower at 10:55! It was just tiredness, heh. I'll tell him that later when I see him - although I feel like staying home, I need to get my stuff!


Maternal hilarity from Saturday night:

Jon: So what did you do last night at church to entertain the teens?
Steph: Oh, we watched 300 and other things.
Me: Yeah, Mike and Sam and Joey were discussing that during dinner at Pho!
Mom: Is that Al Gore's new movie?
Jon: No, it's about...
Me: SPARTANS! Greek people!
Mom: Oh, so what's the Al Gore movie?
Jon: An Inconvenient Truth.
Mom: An Inconvenient POOP?!

After correcting her, my siblings and I went into the kitchen to laugh over what would truly be considered inconvenient poops. I came up with the obvious: "Ack! I'm literally about to get married, and I HAVE TO POOP!" Steph wondered to Jon (since he's done a lot of weddings) if brides just had to hold it in all day since they're at the church for HOURS! Jon said he HOPED not... major disaster waiting to happen there!


I had a weird dream last night:

* seeing Lily looking visibly pregnant, and Joe said he could tell it was going to be a boy - baby Hannah wasn't anywhere to be seen! (we were on a college campus with lots of houses and buildings)
* Nathan, Steph, Jeremy, and I going into a music building in order to check the place out (plus look for Jon and Harmony)
* in a crowded cafeteria, we saw Uncle Vincent's mom with a purple wool hat (she's one of my grandma's friends)
* at the same place, Steph decided to give a piggyback ride to someone's crying baby even though we told her that the tears and fluids would probably stain her jersey
* I went around the building by myself since Nathan and Jeremy decided to duck into a particularly noisy room to see if they could find Jon and Harmony
* I went right past the room where they were on another go-through, and went to the library again - Auntie Cathy was there (she's a VPL librarian in real life), and asked me various questions which I wanted to avoid
* I busied myself with the Gmail CDs and trying to get 100 in a column so that they'd automatically return to the shelf and lower the mountains of returned items
* when I couldn't do so anymore, I left the stacks where they were, and browsed the CDs and books on offer until Auntie Cathy seemed to hound me
* I got out of there, and went into the room that Nathan and Jeremy had been in previously just in time to hear an announcement over the building intercom that we were being too noisy at 1:30 AM (all the musicians in there laughed it off since they were creatures of the night, and would make a certain amount of noise anyhow!)
* found Nathan and Jeremy, who had located Harmony at a piano and Jon playing drums to rock out
* asked Harmony whether she knew of any "epic family drama" books - she gave me a few suggestions, and I thought: "Wow! I'm using my brother's girlfriend!"
* went back to the library and didn't find anything, but resolved to go back there later since Auntie Cathy was now giving me the evil eye!
* returned to the noisy music room, where Jeremy told me that we had to go now after getting certain documents from people who were staying there all night
* while waiting for Jon, we also saw a commercial on the TV for blue self-inking customized advertising on menstrual pads ("Stamp the ad BEFORE wearing it! Like, STOP GLOBAL WARMING!" "I wonder how that would feel... ew!")
* located Steph in the parking lot (wearing her blue Helly Hansen jacket), where she said that I had to go with her while the guys went in another car
* ended up wearing my jacket and Nathan's black coat before figuring that I couldn't wear Jeremy's blue jacket AND wear a few knapsacks at the same time... there, the dream just ended!

Not sure what could have triggered it, except the blue ink ads thing. Eric told me that certain commercials would have him believe that my red issues are actually blue issues - nope! If they had commercials that reflected the reality, it certainly would make for GROSS advertising! Although I *did* see a younger version of Uncle Hansel (Cathy's husband) on Fairchild TV the other day, too... and I haven't played any Tetris-like games in waking life lately, unless Bookworm Deluxe counts! (but I haven't played that since Friday!) Maybe the "separate cars" thing means something also, but I'm not sure on that one...

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Easter Crime, Holocaust, Games, Mrs. Fields Peanut Butter Oatmeal Ranch Cookies

Something Awful thread link for my own reference later. It's a follow-up to this thread. Do NOT look if you don't want to hear about secretions and such! :P


Today's Norwegian Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

It's murder in Norway at Easter. Rushing off to their mountain cabins for one last ski before the snow melts, Norwegians are also stocking up on thrillers for a national tradition known as "Easter Crime." Sales of crime books jump around 500 percent in the week leading up to Easter, estimates bookshop chain Tanum. Television and radio programmers schedule back-to-back thrillers over the Easter break, which in Norway lasts 5-1/2 days. "People sit inside their cabins, watch crime on television, and then read crime books at night," said book reviewer Ane Farsethaas, who prefers 19th-century British detective Sherlock Holmes to the modern thrillers most of her compatriots devour. "It's a very Norwegian thing to do," she said. Nobody knows when the Norwegian tradition of crime telling at Easter began, but their warrior ancestors -- the Vikings -- were renowned for raiding trips to the British Isles.

On their return, the Vikings would settle down with flasks of mead (an alcoholic drink made from honey), and recount tales of murder and pillage to their women and children. This April, Tanum's top 10 bestsellers are all crime novels, headed by Swede Stieg Larsson's new book Men Who Hate Women. "I think it's something to do with being in your cabin," Lars Slethov, a 28-year-old student, said. "You come back from a day's skiing, relax in your cabin by watching crime on television, and then reading it later." Log cabins dot Norway's rugged countryside -- covered by forests, mountains, and deep fjords -- and are used by Norwegians to escape from the towns on weekends and holidays. The United Nations has rated Norway the best place to live in the world for the last five years. Oil revenues ensure its people are among the richest in the world and they enjoy one of the lowest crime rates. Hanne Roer, 30, was heading off to a library to pick up a handful of crime novels before leaving Oslo for Easter. "I really don't ever normally read crime novels," she said. "It's just at Easter, it's a sort of tradition."

Culled from: Yahoo News
Generously submitted by: Bruce Townley

**********************************************************************

Need I mention that my paternal grandparents were both from Norway? :-)

Sorry about missing a newsletter yesterday - I quite simply lost track of time. Last night, I went with some friends (yes, surprisingly enough, I do have them) to a fantastic theater called Hollywood Blvd in Woodridge, Illinois where you sit in comfortable high-backed chairs and can order food (real food) and drinks (real drinks) during the movie. Those of you in the Chicagoland area should really check it out!

We saw Grindhouse - the new Tarantino / Rodriguez film. The movie replicates the experience of watching a G-movie double feature in a rundown theater (a "grindhouse") in the 70's, and it's absolutely brilliant. The first feature, by Rodriguez, is a funny, chaotic take on the zombie movie genre. The second feature, by Tarantino, stars Kurt Russell as a psycho who uses his car to kill women... until he messes with the wrong group of women. I preferred the second film, myself, but my girlfriend (who is much more of a horror movie buff than me) LOVED the first one.

Probably the best part of the experience is that the films contain missing reels and abundant scratches and missing frames to give it that vintage grindhouse theater look. Also, the intermission is filled with funny fake trailers for such would-be movies (would B-movies?) as Don't, Werewolf Women of the S.S. and Thanksgiving. Such great fun.

If you've seen the trailer for this one and thought, "That looks dumb" (as I did), give this one a chance. I doubt you'll be disappointed. And definitely try to see it in the theater. You'll lose the Grindhouse effects on the small screen.

Grindhouse Official Website

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Morbid Sightseeing!

K. has a sightseeing suggestion for Berlin:

"I don't know I would strictly say this is a morbid sightseeing example, although if you include the museum underneath, it might qualify. Regardless, it certainly is worth a wander through, if you are in that part of the world.

"In 2005, I was backpacking through Europe, and made a point of getting to Berlin to do a tour of the city. On the tour, we stopped at many places... including the remaining sections of the wall, Hitler's hiding place, and the Holocaust Memorial. It was the memorial that intrigued me the most. It is made up of hundreds of pillars all of differing heights, and placed on the ground which was a series of dips and rises. Our guide explained that part of the reason for the design was to show how you might meet up with people for a while, but then turn off and only see people for a second before they disappear behind another pillar, which was an effort to show how people passed each other in the death camps during the Holocaust as they were shifted around.

"The thing that really intrigued me was part of the controversy of the memorial. Each pillar is covered with what they call an 'anti-graffiti agent,' made by a company called Degussa, making it possible for any graffiti to be easily washed off. Yet Degussa also makes Zyklon B Gas, which was used by the Germans in their gas chambers during the Holocaust.

"A lot of people on the tour thought this was appalling; however, I thought it to be quite fitting. Sure, it could more than likely come down to their bottom line and how much profit / publicity they could get from it. Hell, that is what business is about, after all. But I prefer to think that they saw how they had contributed in such a horrific way, and this is some small way of saying sorry.

"There are heaps of articles about it on the Internet, and here are just a couple of them where I checked information.

"I have attached a photo I took while in the middle of the memorial. You can see how the ground looks like a wave, and how high the pillars get. It really is quite unnerving being in there after hearing all the tales of what happened."

There are some more photos that show the full memorial here.

*******

Wretched Recommendations!

Katie has a vintage gaming recommendation for us:

The Residents: Bad Day on the Midway (PC / Mac)

"I used to have this, and I am going to buy it again. It's a great game that fits well into our morbid interests."

Here's the description:
"A twisted 3-D graphical adventure from the minds of the Residents, the infamous and anonymous rock and roll band / performance art troupe. The player explores the world of a demented carnival midway by inhabiting (possessing) its freakish denizens. Events appear differently when viewed through the eyes of different characters. Each time the player leaps into a new character, his or her story is told via a graphic novel drawn by a well-known comic artist. Visit the 'Kill a Commie' shooting gallery as Oscar the Racing Rat, or watch a sperm whale give birth to an electric eel as Dagmar the Tattooed Dog woman. Strangeness abounds when you have a bad day on the midway."


Mrs. Fields Peanut Butter Oatmeal Ranch Cookies

Categories: Cookies
Yield: 42 servings

3/4 cup Whole wheat flour
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking powder
1 cup Oats: old-fashioned or quick
1 cup Light brown sugar
1/2 cup Butter; softened
1/2 cup Creamy peanut butter
1/4 cups Honey
2 large Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 cup Raisins
1/2 cup Sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a medium bowl... combine flours, baking powder, and oats. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer at medium speed to form a grainy paste. Blend together the peanut butter, honey, eggs, and vanilla. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add the flour mixture, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Blend at low speed just until combined. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 23-25 minutes until bottoms turn golden brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sunrise Service 2007 wasn't as freezing as Easter 2006!

Happy Easter, everyone! This post will probably make clear that I know a bunch of people at church who share the same first name, if not a last name!

Woke up at 5:45 AM - by the time I got downstairs, my siblings were having issues with the printer, which caused us to run late. Oh well, the same side printed on both top and bottom of 30 sheets of paper made for some hilarity when Sunrise Service finally got under way! ("let's have an extra-long service!") Had some milk before leaving the house to pick up Eric - thanks to Steph's fast driving techniques, we made it to Van Tech in 18 minutes from Eric's while Jon fielded phone calls from Nathan / Jeremy (first to arrive!) / Harmony. (talked about certain people / the lack of traffic / Dad being a proud father when it came to Steph using aforementioned driving tactics / Steph meeting Melissa later tonight since she's in town to visit friends) Talked to a bunch of people who were there already: those of us who remembered how FREEZING it was last year had toques / mittens / scarves galore! We had to share mittens and such last year [one mitten for two hands], and designate people / poles to serve as windbreaks in 2006 - Steph predicted on the way over that we'd overcompensate and have winter parkas and such to protect us this year! She tried to make me notice certain things, but I moved closer to Eric and away from Jeremy so I wouldn't have to see them, haha. (not that a couple of inches to the left made any difference...)

The service was pretty good even with Danielle reminding us that we'd better not take too long since she'd have to go sooner or later (we definitely remember last year!), and I received help from people along the way too! Mike K. on Danielle's announcement: "Hey, we ARE behind a high school..." No, Mike... it would be a BAD idea to pee there! It seemed we all had issues with reading aloud this morning, and with answering the "call-and-response" that Jon had for us: "Christ is risen!" *silence from everyone except Daniel* Heh, it happens - and I wouldn't be surprised if Grace now thinks we're crazy since Danielle told her that I could eat a lot of SIU LONG BAO. I don't even want to THINK about it right now - maybe next month or so! I saw Joe Yu there, woohoo! After service ended, Daniel announced that we were 15 minutes late for breakfast, so we all went over there as quickly as possible! (he had an original reservation for 20 people, then changed it to 30... then 40 people showed up for Sunrise!) But poor Darren C. couldn't make it because he had to play stuff for the morning service at 8: he COULD have said no to Auntie Rebecca when she asked... but all the same, it's annoying to not have breakfast when you get up that early! We couldn't sit together at one long table since 40 people went to Sunrise: yay for one-third of the ESC!

I sat with Andrea, Daniel, and Nathan: we discussed understanding technology and teaching, iPods and such as appendages, being really academic, flipping over creamers, keeping in touch with our (non-Christian) friends, the food, Vanessa's roundabout, Nathan's Homestar Runner hat, Michelle and Daniel's degrees / income / smarts, Daniel leaving at 9 to pick Michelle up since she was awake when he called, and Nathan's sleep deprivation... good thing he got SOME sleep, but he's still on Hong Kong time or something! Seven minutes of sleep in 33 hours will certainly do a number on you even a few days later! He blasted hard rock music and the air-con, opened the car windows, and slapped himself to keep awake while driving - all this for the sake of research on a project he HAD to finish! At breakfast, he couldn't follow the discussion / asked us to wake him up when the food came / played with his sugar on a saucer before putting it in his tea / seemed subdued. I had toast from Nathan via Daniel, half a pancake from Andrea, and a traditional Eggs Benedict with hash browns for breakfast. Had issues with forking the toast properly, putting the proper amount of syrup on my pancake (almost all of the little thing?!), and cutting the Eggs Benedict too! Talked to Emily C. and Mike T. for a while, who were at the next table... we mainly discussed their convocation next year instead of this fall since their school doesn't offer it then. After paying, some people went outside to do the ABC Country Restaurant roundabout: Nathan captured one-third of it on his cell phone camera, heh. Emily L., Isabel, and her brother Darren L. wanted to know if our car could take them to church: not unless they wanted us to drive illegally! ("Isabel, leaving your brother at the restaurant is a BAD idea!")

At church, I heard that Sam didn't really want to go to Sunrise... however, his brother really wanted to be there - that's good for Jeremy who's in Grade 7! Sam had stayed overnight at church on Friday / Saturday (got 2 hours' sleep), worked 8 hours yesterday, and then had to get up early for Sunrise today. Oh well, not much he could have done! Eric told me to move closer to white Jeremy so he could sit down too: no problem, especially since we didn't have colds today! Jon and Jeremy did a lot of pew-drumming during service, which led Christon to think that they'd had too much coffee. I asked Jeremy about this afterwards, and he said that he'd had something else - eh, the caffeine from the tea COULD do it since the coffee was like the weakened coffee his grandpa used to make when he couldn't have it anymore!

Karen Lew asked me what time we had to be at the airport when embarking on our cruise - she wasn't impressed when I told her "6:35 AM," but I'm not exactly thrilled about it either! Eric took a few opportunities to look through my bag: you can't have the Mexican bubble gum lollipop OR the chocolate eggs that I plan to "spoil" the kids with, and you KNOW that! Then I borrowed Steph's Sharpie to add stuff to the note for Amos and Jason: Eric commented on what I wrote about the cookies, of course. ("20/30 packs" makes sense, but maybe it floated by him because of tiredness) Some of us had (rather obvious?) sleep deprivation issues: Jon was going to pass the offering bag to Jeremy, who just stood there without passing it on to me - no, I don't think he was praying! So I gently elbowed him: good call, heh. I know I couldn't really concentrate on stuff this morning, but that's par for the course! Having to ask Eric TWICE about what he said when the kids weren't dismissed for Children's Church is NOT normal for me! Maybe the "holy chest slaps" that Eric, Jon, and Jeremy were giving each other (across ME!) temporarily woke them up at the start of service, but didn't do any good during the sermon! I heard later that Sam fell asleep at least twice during service, too.

Later, I gave Helen C. and her son Nathaniel their birthday cards - Joe T. thanked me on his son's behalf, although he DID say "thank you" as well in Mandarin. Went downstairs after service to hopefully catch the Wong brothers: I did, and Amos thanked me for the cookies... NO PROBLEM, and I'll have to ask them how they liked the cookies on Saturday if I remember or they bring it up! Jonathan Chan asked me what was in the bag, so I told him that they'd never had Dad's cookies of any sort before! I forgot to take out Lily's and her daughter Hannah's birthday cards, which was bad since I saw them outside a little later on: next week it is! Talked to Chung for a bit about his and Karen's Hong Kong trip, discussed Daniel camp with various people, said hi to Chris / Sophia and her baby Olivia, and talked to Margaret about her experience playing for Sunrise. It seemed we had been outside for a long time when people checked their watches to see if it was time to leave for Sunday School: Jeremy mentioned that he hasn't worn a watch since he got a cellphone, and that makes sense. When I checked my watch, I showed my sister and others that it was only 11:10! Man, that's EARLY when we expected it to be maybe 10 or 15 minutes later!

I went to the toddler Sunday School when the others left for next door: Rachel and Wilson were all right today ("Teacher, I'm a spaceship!"), but little Sean loved running around! (he leaned on me for some reason, which Auntie Tracy thought was cute) They loved the chocolate eggs that I had, but I only gave them three each: that went for big brother Ian, as well. I waved to baby Amos when he looked inside the room: his mom Jennifer tells me that he gets lonely since he's the only baby in the nursery these days, but it'll be a couple more months before he turns two and can then join us! After Sunday School and talking to Julie S. about waking up really late at 6:40, I gave varying numbers of eggs to people who wanted them: David (1), Quan (1), Ryan (2), Ethan (2), Lawrence (4 or 5), twin Andrew [NOT Lawrence's brother!] (4 or 5), Julie C. (3), Hannah W. (3 - she and Julie took my joking around about a 50¢ fee seriously!), and Alina (1). Isabel, Darren, their dad, Vivian, and a few others didn't want any - I still have some left over after having one for myself, yay!

I went outside and met up with people, then found myself almost prepared to drag Eric away from his conversation with some other white dude by the arm-in-arm trick. Hey, man... it's Louis Garden and you haven't been there in years! Let's go! (haha) Of course he couldn't leave in the middle of the other person's sentence, but certain relatives of mine tend to get very impatient if they don't have their food within a certain time period after church! Jon stayed behind to watch AMAZING GRACE (William Wilberforce) with the high school Sunday School class, and I hear that the Daniel program on Friday will be some other movie about a football team that converted to Christianity. Sounds like what I'd want to watch, and reminds me of those revival videos we watched in church prayer meeting during 2001 or 2002.

Went to lunch at Mui's (another name for Louis Garden), commented on the toilet paper store (Kleenex is also "on sale" there) / the Laughing Bean coffeehouse, and talked about morbid Bible passages / more buildings / Skytrain in Richmond / Steph setting the alarm at 1 after Daylight Savings Time / teen pranks possibility / cannibalism / Sunrise / memorable recent sermons and jokes / hockey (the Islanders are in the playoffs instead of the Leafs - yay for goals scored with less than a second left in regulation time!) / Fellowship. Eric (who tried paying $5) and I were NOT isolated from everyone else because we were flanked by one empty chair on each side, thanks! He helped me with a bunch of stuff, which I definitely appreciated. When Grandma refused to link arms with me for better balance outside the restaurant, I told Eric to be an extra set of eyes and make sure she didn't fall or anything! After finding out that Linen & Things didn't have Dryel, we went home.

Soon after I got in, Eric wanted to tell me something on MSN. Unfortunately, I lacked the necessary brainpower to have anything resembling a coherent conversation especially about more involved subjects. ("me sleep now... bye!" "oh sure... no answer [because I was trying to see if I could concentrate on ghostly reading - no go there!] and then sleep!") I did tell him that we'd left our stuff in my dad's car since we didn't realize he was going back to church for the Chinese / Mandarin baptism service till halfway through lunch or later. We don't NEED the things right away, so we can pick the knapsacks up tomorrow! A nap did me some good, though I suspect I'll be sleeping at a weird time tonight - ah well.

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Mrs. Fields Peanut Butter Cream-Filled Cookies

Mrs. Fields Peanut Butter Cream-Filled Cookies

Categories: Cookies, Snacks, Peanut Butter
Yield: 36 servings

Cookies
1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Ground cinnamon
1 cup Quick oats (not instant)
1 cup Light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup Salted butter, softened
1 large Egg
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract

Filling
3/4 cup Smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup Salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons Half-and-half
1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Confectioners sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In medium bowl... combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and oats. Mix well with a wire whisk. Set aside. Cream sugar and butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer set at medium speed. Add the flour-oat mixture, and blend at low speed until just combined. Do not overmix. Separate dough into two balls, flatten them into disks, and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Chill 1 hour. On floured board using a floured rolling pin, roll out one disk to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut cookies with a 2-inch round fluted cookie cutter dipped in flour.

Repeat procedure with the second disk, reworking scraps until all the dough is used. Bake cookies on ungreased baking sheets 1/2 inch apart for 13-15 minutes or until bottoms turn light brown. Transfer immediately to a cool, flat surface with a spatula. When cookies are cool, spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter filling on the bottom side of a cookie. Top with another cookie-bottom side toward the filling to make a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cookies and filling. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

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