Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bubble and Squeak

As much as it may sound like the name of a Saturday morning children's cartoon, the title is from an English style of cooking. It involves taking a bunch of leftovers - meat, potatoes, vegetables, and anything else that can't run away - and mushing them together into a thick patty for pan-frying. Think larger version of the futuristic meal-in-a-pill concept from science fiction and you'll have the idea. It seemed a good name for unrelated thoughts ground up in the processor of my mind and presented as some kind of loose-fitting, if unrecognizable, unit. Better than "Thought Hash" or, worse, "Thought Sausage."

Change We Can Believe In

I've been home on vacation this week, so today's rants may not seem so, well, ranty. One by one, the items on the to-do list have been falling, always a sign of a good vacation. The most significant of these - and, I confess, the one I honestly didn't expect to accomplish - was finishing the tiling of the kitchen floor. (Forget what they show in you the tv commercials; there's a lot more to this than peeling off the paper backing and sticking a shiny new tile onto the floor. Minor things like cutting plywood sub-flooring around door frames and other irregularly shaped obstacles, removing doors from their hinges and trimming the bottoms to accommodate the new flooring height, etc. But I digress.) I'd started it weeks - ok, months - ago and ran out of time, and since then the unfinished project was a constant reminder of everything I'd ever failed to accomplish now that I'm firmly entrenched in middle-age. I'm happy to report that with enough focus and a minimum of bloodshed (I've spilled more grating potatoes), it's now been finished, a reminder that of all the things I've failed to accomplish, there's now one less. Just don't tell my kids. I want them to be surprised.

You've Got to be In It to Win It

At the newsstand the other day there was a sign advertising a phone number for getting that day's winning lottery numbers before they appeared in the newspaper. Each call costs $0.49/minute. (That's about 1/3 pound for my friends across the big pond.) Below it, in much smaller print, was another phone number to call if you have a gambling problem. By gambling problem, I suppose they mean people who feel a need to spend $0.49/minute several times a week instead of just waiting a few hours to read the winning numbers in the newspaper.

Remember Where You Heard It

I saw Miley Cyrus on Dancing With The Stars last night. (Yes, I'm a fan of the show. There, I admitted it.) Some day somebody's going to get her to stop doing Britney's act (on AND off stage), strip away the overblown Superbowl Half-Time Show production, and we're going to see that she's really very good.

Just a Little Politics...

I have to confess it's with no small amusement I'm watching Joe Lieberman's "thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another" act these days, now that it turns out he joyfully yapped at the heels of the wrong candidate the past several months. One wonders if, in letting Lieberman keep his committee chairmanship, Obama and the other Democrats really are following the lead of Abraham Lincoln's politics of inclusion, or the advice of Michael Corleone: keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.

Good for the Environment

Do you know how people in office waiting rooms wastefully take a new cup every time they get a drink of water? Earlier this week I was in a doctor's office, and they had a great way of handling this. Next to the bathroom sink there were some plastic cups and a permanent marker, along with a small sign saying to put your initials on the cup. I thought this was a very clever way for the office to get people to hold onto their cups and reuse them if they were still thirsty.

Happy Thanksgiving, all...


oldhousegal said...

Ah Ben, you are apparently a renovation weenie -- there are unfinished construction projects in my house that have been going on for YEARS. I could agonize over the horrible personal failing they represent, but most days I just push the bag of grout out of the way and continue on. I once read (or was told?) that we will all die with things still on the "to-do" list. Probably not such a bad thing...

miss alaineus said...

happy turkey lurkey day!

ben, i hate to be the one who tells you this but i think the marker by the sink is for the people to label their urine specimens with. at least that's what it's all about at my dr.

i am off now until monday- sorta, two HUGE work projects to finish before i go back.


Lori said...

It's a great name for a mishmash of thoughts. Glad you got that tiling done. Want to come over and help Thomas put down wood flooring in our house? That's a project we want to do but keep putting off.

Monica said...

Do you know of anyone who has ever completed the 'to do' list? Mine is always growing before I can complete what I had on the original list.

Couldn't let today pass without saying Happy Thanksgiving!


Martha said...

I hope you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving! :-)

Amy said...

woohoo on you for finishing your project. I'm still waiting for a birdhouse my husband started in 1996. Puzzling, considering he is a really good Mr Fixit.

DB said...

Ben, Bubble and Squeak bears a resemblance to a dish of mine I call Regional Theatre Stew. With no time during rehearsals and too tired after performance, I would begin with a few ingredients and add one every night - boil the new, add it to the old, boil the old. Sometimes it was ambrosia, sometimes it was drek, but it did the job.

About accomplishing things, I think life is unfinished business, and that's that.

There was a place in NYC where you could buy different people's predictions on the lotteries, and also a sheet rating the success of the predictors.


Cathy said...

Fist congrats on finishing the tiling, but omg my image of you has shifted a bit - you watch "Dancing" and most likely other such guano? Not holding it agin ya Ben, just shocked lol. Live and learn! Still, your cup idea is worthwhile, think up some others!