Friday, March 20, 2015

Cajun Style Cheerios

Since we were but wee lads, my brother and myself have often witnessed my mother in the act of burning garlic bread. The scenario is generally the same: she spreads garlic butter on the bread, places it under a broiler, and proceeds to forget about it, getting caught up in some other aspect of preparing the evening meal. In our earlier days the smell of charred sourdough combined with the sight of smoke filled air (even more than usual for Los Angeles) informed us that, yes, once again, mom had burnt the bread. "Mom burnt the bread!" we would gleefully chant. Latter years have added an auditory facet to the experience, as we would hear the dulcet tones of a smoke detector splitting the silence and letting us know that burnt bread was again on the menu. Once I learned about Cajun food and the methods of cooking it, I began referring to the dish as "Cajun Style Garlic Bread--Blackened."

So in an attempt to explore new vistas in the area of overcooked foodstuffs, my mom discovered a way to burn Cheerios. How does one manage to scorch something  normally associated with breakfast and being covered with milk? A sordid tale it is. This being such an exciting, fresh concept, it took two days to accomplish. 

Day one: as my mother is want to do about once a week, she traveled to the store to purchase various items for the next week's meals. Included was a large box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Upon arriving home, she proceeded to bring the groceries into the house and place them in appropriate spots in the various cabinets in the kitchen. As there is limited counter space in the kitchen, once an item is removed from a grocery bag, it is set somewhere out of the way until its turn to be carefully shelved. Spaces utilized for this maneuver might include the kitchen table, the sink, the stove top, any convenient flat expanse of sufficient surface area. On this particular day of infamy, my mother absentmindedly placed the aforementioned large box of Honey Nut Cheerios in the oven, right beneath the broiler. In the hubbub of placing all the other items in the correct spot, somehow the oven door was closed and the large box of Honey Nut Cheerios was forgotten. 

Day two. One of the items purchased the previous day was a box of frozen lasagna. Now one would think at this point: "Ah-ha! I see where this is going!", but I'm afraid one would be mistaken. The lasagna was placed in the upper oven to cook, leaving our friend the large box of Honey Nut Cheerios to wait out its final minutes of existence in the lower oven, where the broiler resides. Lasagna, being a dish of Italian extraction, calls for the addition of garlic bread. My mom began to assemble the ingredients for the bread and, trying to be efficient, turned on the broiler to let it warm up as she prepared the dish. An acrid smell and the sight of smoke pouring from the lower oven suggested that, just maybe, something might be amiss. My mother opened the oven door to discover the flaming remains of the large Honey Nut Cheerios box. A towel quickly thrown over the box ended the conflagration. Surprisingly, while the outer box and inner lining were for the most part "toast" as one might humorously suggest, the Honey Nut Cheerios themselves seemed to be for the most part intact. After the removal of the few that did not survive the ordeal, the remaining Honey Nut Cheerios were transferred to a plastic container. 

My mother hoped that, after airing out for a bit, the Cheerios might still be edible. I myself tried a few. In actuality, they didn't taste too bad. They had kind of a smokey flavor, as one would expect given their ordeal. But since the inner bag of the box was made of some sort of man made synthetic material, the Cheerios were probably contaminated with several dozen carcinogenic compounds. Added to this, the longer the Cheerios "aired out", the worst the smell seemed to get. Opening the cabinet door behind which the Honey Nut Cheerios now resided brought back fresh memories of the previous day's adventure as the smell of burnt box-liner-Cheerios was overpowering. Maybe some of the remaining Cheerios had not yet been extinguished, like some of the peat fires in Scotland or the below ground coal fires in Virginia that burn for years and years. In the end it was decided that the days of the Honey Nut Cheerios sharing house space with my mother were at an end. They were spread across the back porch for the various woodland creatures in the area to consume. I jokingly informed my mother that something odd was happening outside as I had observed several deer out there, and they all seemed to be coughing. We are as yet hopeful that the consumption of the myriad toxic substances along with the Honey Nut Cheerios will not lead to the development of mutant hell-beasts in our immediate neighborhood. 

As a postscript, I emailed my brother and told him to ask mom about her Cajun Style Cheerios without giving him any other information.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Theme from Gigantor

 Played by yours truly on baritone and sopranino saxophones.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Man Ponders the Great Questions of the Universe

How do you get rid of an old boomerang?

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Dating World

I've been looking at an online dating site recently. They ask a lot of multiple choice questions along with a text box to explain yourself more fully if you care to do so. Below are some of my favorite answers to the questions:

Do you like to listen to audiobooks? Why is there no candy named "Banana Screamers"? Is it because bananas don't scream?
Do you maintain a current profile on a social networking site such as MySpace or Facebook? Do "wanted" posters in the Post Office count?
Before people find out your real age, what do they usually assume? That the dead have arisen from their graves.
Can you tell the difference between very good wine and pretty good wine, just from the taste? I just check for "Thunderbird" on the label.
When you were a child, did you have an "imaginary friend"? They used to make fun of "Mr. Happychuncks", but one day, he showed them all!
Have you ever created a piece of art for a friend, just because you were thinking of them? Well, I thought was art. They said it was just glitter glued to a pine cone.
Do you read in the bathroom? And then I _____________ in the library (fill in the blank).
Do you enjoy creating mathematical problems to solve by yourself? Well, there was one, but turns out that smarty pants Fermat beat me to it......
Would speaking in front of a large group make you nervous? Large group of humans, no. Large group of flesh eating zombies, yes.
Are we ever going to have those flying cars they've been promising us? Who is "they"? And we do have them: we call them "airplanes".
Do you, or have you ever, read a text book or technical manual for fun/pleasure? Yeah, boy, nothing gets my heart pumping like POLYMER MATRIX MATERIALS: ADVANCED COMPOSITES.
Have you ever donated blood? Voluntarily?
You wake up 20 minutes before your alarm is scheduled to go off. What do you do? Curse myself for setting the alarm 20 minutes late.
Do you see a pattern in the type of people you usually end up in relationships with? Hominids, female, hair covered bodies, warm blooded, give birth to live young; yeah, I think I see a pattern here...
What is your favorite transportation medium? This one was a real challenge to answer, having to decide between dirigibles and unicycles.
Do you have a survival kit prepared just in case a disaster occurs and normal services are disrupted for an extended period of time? I guess you mean beyond running around in circles and yelling: "We're all doomed! We're all doomed!"
Have you ever written short fiction, other than for school assignments? You mean like: "I Like American Idol"? Is that short enough?
If while visiting a friend's house, you notice a painting hanging slightly off kilter. Do you adjust it? My friends tend to be off kilter as well.
Do you think most people your age would guess what kinds of music you listen to or don't listen to just by looking at you? Since I'm a musician and perform IN FRONT OF PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.......
Do you store any of your physical possessions alphabetically? I store my number collection alphabetically.
Do you enjoy taking pictures of yourself? If a vampire tried to take a selfie, would you just see a camera suspended in midair?
Have you ever recited a poem that you did not write to someone as a means of expressing your mood or feelings? Like dirty limericks?
Do you feel that you're usually at least one step ahead of most people you talk to? Because I like to walk backwards when I'm talking to them.
Do you like to interpret your own dreams? Sometimes a cigar is just a squid.
Do you ever feel it is important to answer questions like these in certain denominations or multiples? (e.g., You can't stop until you've answerd a multiple of 5 questions or the total number of questions you've answered ends in 2.) I'd answer this, but I have to wait until a Tuesday.
Have you ever purposely pretended to be ignorant about something you have knowledge of because you wanted to hear someone else explain it? It's called "being a teacher".
Do you more often get angry with yourself or with other people? I get angry with myself for not getting angry with other people.
Do you think most people are lonely? You mean, there's other people......?
Do you like holding hands? Unless you mean with a gorilla. I don't think I'd like that. You should be more specific.
Does violence ever solve anything? Works in boxing matches.
Do you ever rehearse or plan conversations before actually having them? Rarely. Try to limit it to when I talk to my imaginary friends.
A photographer approaches you on the street and asks to take your picture. What do you do? Depends on the situation. For Girls Gone Wild, definitely not.
Are you comfortable with who you are? It's the other people that I'm not comfortable with who they are.
Does the idea of time travel appeal to you? I'll let you know yesterday.
When you see something on sale that's buy one, get one free, does it make you want to buy it even if you don't need it? (no) Unless what they are selling are dollars.
Have you ever dyed your hair a real crazy, unnatural color? You mean like plaid?
Have you made plans to survive a natural or man-made disaster where you live? I live in Texas. How much more of a disaster do you want?
Have you ever taken free furniture somebody else left at the side of the road for use in your home? What about all those free cars that are left at the side of the road?
Have you ever driven a motor vehicle over 100mph (161kph)? Is this to determine if I like fast women?
Have you ever had a 'full body' orgasm? Took a whole week to clean up the mess.
Do your parents have strong opinions about what kind of person you should marry? They have to be living.
Would you swim in a natural body of water without being able to see or touch the bottom? Exactly who's bottom are we talking about?
Do you hit the snooze button more than once on a typical morning? Since I rarely use the alarm, hitting the snooze button wouldn't really accomplish much.
Other than for costumes, do you purchase and wear second hand/vintage clothes? I wear them until they become vintage.
Would you date someone with braces? Carbon 14 dating is more accurate, though.
Would a partner with big hands and feet (bigger than average) turn you off? (no) Now if someone were four feet tall and could palm a beach ball, that might be different.
Does the idea of living underwater fascinate you? Until I have to take a breath.
Have you ever formed an opinion about a stranger in a grocery store, based primarily on the items he or she is buying? I think it was the one guy buying nothing but ammunition and a ski mask.....
Do you like to play contact sports? I wear glasses instead of contacts.
Have you ever been to a strip club? Not even as a participant.
Is it easy for you to throw away things that you don't really use anymore? You mean like old friends?
Imagine you are put on hold while making a telephone call. A song you like comes on while you wait. Would you sing along? What if the song is from "Wozzeck"?
Do people tend to take you seriously, or usually think you're being sarcastic? Gee, that was such an intelligent question.
Do you write creatively (novels, plays, poetry, and so forth)? I tend to limit my creative writing to smart ass answers to dumb ass questions.
Do most politicians really want to make the world a better place? Well, for themselves, yes.
Do you like reading tabloids? (no) Don't like seeing my name in print.
Do you like going to the movies alone? Nothing like having an empty auditorium except for me.
How do you generally do on standardized tests? And how do you feel about them? Generally, standardized tests test knowledge and thinking skills about as well as Microsoft Flight Simulator tests how good a pilot you are.
When you're alone, do you talk to yourself out loud? I can't hear myself when I whisper.
If there were a political candidate who you really liked, how would you offer support in terms of time or money? First part of the question might have well as said: "If Santa Claus was for real...."
Excluding childhood fights, have you ever punched someone in the face? (no) I find a baseball bat to the solar plexus much more effective.
If you could read minds, would you tell anyone? I knew you were going to ask that.
If a close friend doesn't call you for a week, do you start worrying that he hates you? I start worrying that Communists stole his phone.
 Have you kept any old love letters from ex-lovers? X lovers, Y lovers, Z lovers, hell, the whole damn alphabet.
Do you have a problem with people who wear leather clothing? I believe they are called "the police". Or cowboys.
Do you tend to blow off your responsibilities? I play wind instruments. Of course I blow off my responsibilities.
How often do you hang out at coffee shops / cafes? I do try to check my zipper.....
Have you made fun of anyone recently, knowing that it probably upset them? "I'm sorry, Bobby, but when you decided to become a clown, you just had to accept that people were going to laugh at you."
It's important that I smell good. So I keep a nasal decongestant handy.
Do you go to LAN parties? I find no appeal in lamely attired nincompoops.
Are you quietly angry a lot of the time? Did Bruce Banner come up with this question?
Do people that you've dated/tried to date ever tell you that you're just too "nice"? I always beat the crap out of people that tell me that.
Are you an insomniac? I'm certainly not losing any sleep over it.
Would you prefer it if fashion models were the same size and bodytype as the average citizen? I always like for humans to have that actual third dimension.
Do you enjoy being naked? (yes) The rest of the people in church don't seem to be too crazy about it, though.
Do you read erotic fiction? (no) It just isn't the same since Dr. Seuss died.
Do you find that extremely intelligent people are intimidating? I personally eschew the companionship of those individuals whom I would envisage to be on a superior intellectual plane than this obsequious hominid. Or: If I ever meet any, I'll let you know.
Do you have the kind of body that's so hot it turns heads? You mean like Regan in "The Exorcist"?
Do you think someone's faults/imperfections generally make them more attractive? If it made them more attractive, then they wouldn't be imperfections, would they?
Would you ever seriously date someone twice your age? Not that many people make it to 110.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013