Browsing Archives for February 2010

Sunday Morning at the Links

February 7th, 2010

A few folks have sent some really great links lately.
Thought I would share them…

From Mr. George – A pertinent parable as could only be told by Wile E. Coyote.  I so relate to this story right now.  Except for at the end which is sort of the opposite for me.

And from my friend Kelly – who is an Episcopalian priest.

Yes. That’s right.

A priest.

And I love her dearly and always will.

She sent me Pomplamoose and they totally rock.

I continue to get a few scattered emails regarding Cannibal Palsy.  I have heard a few horror stories about people who died from it and so I remain vigilant in doing my best to keep the readers of this blog free of this dread disease.  In particular, it is the brains of any beast, be it human or otherwise that one should avoid consuming. I am sorry if you were partial to brains, but I really must insist that you think hard before eating them again.  The problem with eating a bowl of bad brains is that you won’t die instantly.  Cannibal Palsy can take up to thirty years to kill you.  For some who are in their later years, it might seem that an occasional brain cassoulet might be worth the risk.  Just promise me you will refrain from shoving a spoonful in your grandchild’s mouth. 

As to Doc Hollywood contacting me.  Well – that might be a bit of a stretch – but it was someone closely associated with the real Doc Hollywood… through marriage… thrice removed… on her step-uncle’s side… via adoption… but association is undoubtable.    Did you know that there was a real Doc Hollywood?  Yes!  There was!  I know, I know… the evidence might seem circumstantial and all we have is the movie to go by and how accurate is that?  Was the movie properly translated from ther original Greek and Hebrew?  What about the parts of that film that seem to derive principal elements from other ancient legends?  Like the fireworks over the lake scene?  Or the log cabin dream under a homemade quilt scene?  Or the three old ladies caring for the young doctor scene?  Does that not seem to come straight out Shakespeare?  Clearly – many parts of this story are not original.  And what about the scene that seems like faulty science?  Does a child really turn blue after smoking his dad’s cigar?  Can this mean that the rest of the movie is also a mere fable?  Or can we pick and choose which parts to believe based on the feelings we have in our hearts?   

What was I talking about?

Oh yes… Doc Hollywood!

So there is a real Doc Hollywood and someone closely associated with this person contacted me with more information about how to remain Cannibal Palsy free.  In a nutshell – stop eating squirrels.  IMMEDIATELY!   Evidently squirrel brains are something of a ritualistic delicacy in certain southern states.  There are two favorite ways to prepare this traditional dish.  

1.  Kill and be-head your squirrel. 

2.  Discard squirrel body.

3.  Shave the hair off the top of the squirrel’s head.

4.  Deep fat fry squirrel head.

5.  Serve severed squirrel heads whole (parsley garnish optional)

6.  At the table, crack open the walnut sized skull

7.  Suck out the brains. (It is unclear how exactly the brains are sucked out, so I will leave this to your imagination)

8.  Delish!

9.  At least delicious until the holes start to form in your brain, you become demented, stagger around for a while, and then die.

The other popular method of preparing squirrel brains is to simply break open the skull, scoop out the brains, scramble them with eggs and serve with white gravy.

There is another school of squirrel cuisine that rejects the brains entirely.  These folks eat only the meat of the squirrel in a regional dish called burgoo.  Burgoo eaters don’t do brains and brain eaters don’t do burgoo.  At this point in history, the two squirrel eating factions are managing to peacefully co-exist.  Also – income is not a factor in the enjoyment of this dish.  All segments along the socio-economic spectrum of the Southern US enjoy themselves a little squirrel once in a while.  It’s simply a matter of good taste.    In this article, Kentuckians are warned in particular against consuming roadkill squirrels, as animals infected with ‘mad cow’ or.. er… uh… ‘mad squirrel’ are far more likely to take that fatal staggering step in front of an oncoming vehicle.  

So please, at the VERY LEAST avoid eating the brains of a squirrel you find dead in the middle of the road!

Bon Apetite!




I keep thinking about the scene in Doc Hollywood where Michael J. Fox is reading the letters to his illiterate patients.  He gets very involved in the unfolding story about Ellen and her Pakistani and can’t bear to not know how it all turns out.   Strangely, it makes me think about this blog.

On day three of teaching seven hours of aerobics at the local middle school my body started to fall apart about half way through the third hour.  I simply could not go on.  My back, my calves, my sides, my shoulders, my fingernails, my eyelashes, my spleen, my northern hemisphere, my southern hemisphere, my tonsils (which were removed when I was six), my appendix (which I still have) my chin hairs, my ear wax, my tongue, my eyebrows, my interior crustacean, my anterior crucifix, all of my crusty little niblets, my chilblains, my intercessory pustulitis, my gums, the gaps between my teeth, my Uranus minor, my Ursula major…  Everything was either frozen in agony or screaming in pain.  I had to figure out a way to teach four more hours of Zumba aerobics to large groups of very energetic middle school girls without actually moving any part of my body.  So even though I was so weak that I barely had enough oxygen left to make my blood red, I managed to squeeze a new lesson plan out of my brain.  

This is what I did…

1. I got the girls to show me dance routines that they already knew.  I allowed them to leisurely scroll through my ipod looking for songs that matched their dances in tempo and then I settled back and managed to stay conscious and watch them by holding my eyelids open with my fingers.  

2.  We made a large circle and passed around various eight count dance moves.  Each girl had to come up with a new move when it was her turn and we all tried to imitate it.  For my move, I laid down on the ground and took a nap.  

3.  I took lots of long slow drinks of water between each activity.  

4.  I wept inconsolably.  (For at least five minutes – I could have gone longer, but I was starting to get dehydrated and had to stop when the dry heaves kicked in…)

5.  I took extra time to explain a few Zumba steps by drawing them out in great detail on a chalkboard. 

6.  I quizzed each girl ruthlessly about what she had for lunch. 

7.  We sat on the gym floor, crisscross apple sauce, and talked about our dreams.

8.  I asked the girls to name a famous atheist.  They didn’t know any, so I listed a few off…

Katharine Hepburn

Benjamin Franklin

Thomas Paine

Robert Frost

Thomas Edison

Dave Matthews

Helen Mirren

Ken Follett

David Gray

Ani DiFranco

Kevin Bacon

…and Daniel Radcliffe (I think it is clear that Harry Potter is the reason for this one.)

9.  Not really on that name a famous atheist part…

10.  I let them play with my ipod and then they ‘freestyle danced’ to their favorite tunes.  Turns out that they know all the lyrics to all the songs.  They didn’t really dance as much as they sort of ‘acted out’ the songs.  It reminded me of the early days of MTV except without all the eyeshadow and hairspray.  

I’d like to think that they learned something about Zumba in those last four classes, but mostly I think they just learned the contents of my ipod.  We did have an incredibly good time though.  The girls were so much fun, extremely well behaved and they seemed to enjoy the class tremendously.  Almost as much as I enjoyed teaching them.  

Off to convalesce…