January 01, 2014

Aphpy Wen Eary!

I have been given a 671-page tome as an afterthought Christmas gift (The 4-Hour CHEF:  The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life by Tim Ferriss):

I know better than to judge a book by its cover and so I decided to delve into the table of contents to see what was up.  I was captivated by the chapter names:  Sexy-Time Steak, The Turbacon:  Sin Against Nature or Meat-Glue Masterpiece? and How to Gut and Cook Tree Rat.  I have just realized that I make the book sound like a primer on carne, which it is absolutely not.  In fact, what I like most about this book is its scope:
  • How to memorize a deck of cards (I know that this will come in handy during games of Crazy 8's and Go Fish)
  • How to chop wine:  hyper decanting in 20 seconds (because I always decant my wine)
  • How to make olive oil gummy bears (have I written a blog entry about my hatred of all things gummy?  I might try to make these for G though, because she's a GB enthusiast)
  • How to make the perfect MLBJ (meatloaf blow job) "I know how to keep my man happy, and keep him, period: meatloaf and blow jobs. That's it." Ayako N.)
  • How to read 300% faster in twenty minutes (useful for readers of this blog).  
While traveling to Welland recently to visit extended family, I had a chance to claw my way through the Lobstercide chapter.  I love lobster but I have issues (click here if you're curious).  There are two approved methods of lobster slaughter:  boil it alive or stab it in the head.  I might leave the lobster murder to others.
The subsequent chapter illustrates the Mexican Towel Snap method of killing chickens:  pick up the chicken by the head and swing it by your side violently for 10-20 seconds "as if winding up a towel to snap someone in the ass".  I can't see myself doing this.  For some reason, the MTS makes me think of cat videos that I've seen on YouTube:  a feline's claws cling to the blades of an oscillating ceiling fan (set on high) and the poor creature spins around and around wildly until it flies off like a missile, hitting a wall.  I shouldn't laugh, but I am.  And No!, I do not look these things up.  I have a ten-year old, remember?

In this same chapter, I read that Mark Zuckerberg (founder of FB for those of you living under a rock) sets yearly personal goals (e.g. learning Chinese, wearing a tie every day of the year).  In 2011, he wrote, "I think that many people forget that a living being has to die for you to eat meat, so my goal revolves around not letting myself forget that... the only meat I'm eating is from animals I've killed myself."
Mr. Zuckerberg began with lobster and worked his way up the food chain, all the way to (shooting) bison.  I think what he did was admirable, but I am not about to start killing my dinner, once again proving that I am a hypocrite. What I can do for myself, à la Mr. Zuckerberg, is to come up with two of my own personal challenges for 2014:

1)  Boring but Necessary Challenge
Write for a minimum of 90 minutes for 5 out of 7 days of the week.  No more excuses; I need to shift my priorities:  housework, kiddie extra-curriculars, social life, medical appointments, and dinner be damned!
Blogging counts, but I am going to limit myself to one or two entries a month.  I hope that writing will become habit rather than hobby.  When I told my husband about my goal, he told me that it wasn't really a goal, that my goal should be to produce something.  I am pretty sure that if I write for a minimum of one hour per day, I will produce something.  It might not be any good, but it will be something.  Like Woody Allen says, "eighty percent of success is showing up".

2)  Fun and Exciting Challenge - Cruciverbalism
Craft a crossword puzzle and get it published in the New York Times. Word.
I have always been a puzzler:  I have made word puzzles (Jumbles when I was a kid) for loved ones and when I discovered Games Magazine and Will Shortz at my orthodontist's office (brace-face!), I never looked back.  I became a crossword junky.

Here's a Jumble that I made for my Grandma 32-33 years ago:

Thank you, Grandma for keeping my Scrapbook; I love that I have a puzzle that I made when I was a kid.

Today, Will Shortz is the crossword puzzle editor of the New York times - what an awesome job he has.  All NYT crossword submissions go directly to Mr. Shortz for a decision and so when I create my crossword (without using crossword software- yikes), he will be the one to solve it!  Geeking out here.  
Also on the subject of Will Shortz, there is an amazing documentary called Wordplay (2006), which is available at the London Public Library.  From the IMDB (not the best write-up; where is the passion?):

A documentary that focuses on the world of crossword puzzles: those that construct them, those that love to solve them, those that compete in the annual Crossword competition in Stamford and also on Will Shortz, the editor of the New York Times crossword since the early 1990s.

In shortz, it is fascinating viewing.  :-)  Get thee to the library. Or find it online.

And so at the end of this rather lengthy and tiresome blog entry, I am so ready for 2014!  Thaw si oruy lagenlech?  Thaw liwl keam ouy cikt ni 2014?

Musical pairing: The Puzzle Song by Shirley Ellis.