Random List of Stuff I Love #2

It’s that time again, chicklets:  the next installment of Random Stuff I Love.  (If you missed the first installment, you can read it here.)  The first time I did a list, it was haphazard, and my only rule was that my list include things I love, not people, so no hurt feelings.  But, I’ve decided I need at least a little rhyme and reason to these posts.  So, henceforth, Random Stuff I Love will include:

  • A book
  • A movie or TV show
  • A game
  • A song
  • A recipe
  • A website
  • A restaurant
  • A quote
  • A blog
  • Something completely random and possibly repetitive of one the above, but this is my blog, and I make the rules.  Plus, I  couldn’t really come up with a tenth thing.  If you have a suggestion, leave it in the comments for me.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
The Book
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume.  
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume
I read this book so many times, the cover actually fell off.  I tried to put the book back together with a glue stick.  It didn’t work out very well, and I gave it a proper funeral when I buried in the garbage can.  
Basically, Sheila was me; I don’t remember otherwise relating so strongly to a character in a book – then or now – except maybe to Meg in a Wrinkle in Time.  Sheila seemed very confident on the outside, but she was terrified of a lot of stuff on the inside.  We were both afraid of the dark and of spiders and of ghosts.  Sheila was afraid of other stuff, too, including swimming.  There’s a wrenching scene in the book about “slam books.”  If you’re old enough to remember what those are, you can imagine how it went.  Thinking back now, this is actually a good book through which to teach kids about bullying.
The Movie or TV Show
Although the oath was cut from the film, this pretty much sums up the tone of the movie:
I will never betray my goon dock friends / We will stick together until the whole world ends / Through heaven and hell, and nuclear war / Good pals like us, will stick like tar / In the city, or the country, or the forest, or the boonies / I am proudly declared a fellow Goony.
This movie had everything.  Good dialogue.  A great story.  A bit scary, a lot funny, just the right amount of sweet, plausible fantasy.  It somehow captured everything that was being a kid – the fun, the disappointment, the isolation, the love.  I’m totally watching this tomorrow with Nate.  😉  If you loved this movie, visiting the IMDb page is absolutely worth a visit for the trivia and memorable quotes.  Somebody get me a Baby Ruth.
The Game
I love board and card games.  I think I have a gene for this that I inherited from both sides of my family, because I recall learning to play games like Othello, Monopoly, checkers, Uno, poker, Yahtzee and such at a pretty young age.  My sister and I definitely played a fair number of hours of War, Slap Jack, Old Maid and Go Fish.  When my husband and I started dating, we would meet in coffee shops and play Trivial Pursuit.  When I had one win to his 14, I wanted to simultaneously punch and marry him.
One game we discovered along the way is Acquire.  (Thanks to my surrogate dad for this one!)  The idea is very simple, but the strategy is wonderfully complex and varied.  You draw tiles to play on a grid.  When you can play two adjacent tiles, you form a corporation.  Once a corporation forms, you can purchase shares of its stock.  At any time, as many as seven corporations on the board, but you can purchase only three shares of stock on any turn.  You can also “merge” corporations (unless they get too big) – sometimes at a good profit.  The goal is to be the player with the most money at the end of the game.
One of the things I most love about this game is that we can play it with the kids.  Nate started playing it with us when he was about 9 or 10.  My niece was over a few weekends ago, and not only did she play with the Hubs and me, she beat us — by a freaking mile!  And it wasn’t because the Hubs and I weren’t trying — you will not meet two people more competitive in the game department.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the Hubs sulked for about 20 minutes after we played, because he came in last place.  My niece’s polite but uncontainable excitement at whooping his ass was delicious.  For me.
The Song
Everest, Let Go.
I discovered this show watching baseball.  It was played in – of all things – a beer commercial.  I’m so glad this band got some publicity, but dudes, you are better than beer commercials.
The Recipe
A couple of weeks ago, I was preparing Helene’s breakfast, which included pureed apricots.  I got some on my finger and licked it off.  The flavor startled me, because it was really good.  I had forgotten liking apricots quite that much.  I licked the entire inside of the container of pureed apricots, then I added them to my grocery shopping list.  Before I set out for the store, I decided that whatever we were having for dinner that night was going to have apricots in it.  Thus, I stumbled across the recipe link above.  I followed the recipe exactly except for the capers, which I don’t necessarily dislike, but I’ve never really understood either.  What, exactly, do they add to a dish.  Anyway, both the Hubs and I really enjoyed the results, and I thought it was a relatively quick, easy and neat (as in not too messy) meal.
The Website

This is a Tumblr by October Jones built around images of text messages between October and the bulldog “Batdog.”  If you are not already reading this, why?  WHY?  It does not matter how bad your day has been, you WILL laugh.  So much laughing.  Here’s my favorite:


The Restaurant

Cupkates Bakery

Fine.  It’s not really a restaurant.  When you read what it is, you will forgive me for this technical hiccup.

Cupkates is the brilliant idea I wish I had.  Kate bakes the best cupcakes you’ve ever had in your life, frosts them with frosting that is better than sex, then packs them into a food truck and peddles them in Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco.  I seriously follow her on Twitter (@CupkatesTruck) so I know where the truck will be and when.  Why?  Because if you don’t get in line before the Cupkates Truck gets there, you may not get to the window of the truck before the “SOLD OUT” sign goes up.

Who the hell waits in a 45-minute long line for a cupcake?  Me, that’s who.  Why?  Three words:  Red. Velvet. Cake.  Listen, I am a red velvet cake snob to the point where I’m pretty sure I was a Southern Belle in one of my previous incarnations.  If not made properly, red velvet cake can have a very greasy and almost gummy texture, which takes it from fucking amazing to fucking disgusting in no time.  You will NOT have this problem at Cupkates.  Ever.  She is a Zen master of the red velvet to say nothing of the edible-wonder that is her cream cheese frosting.  And I don’t even really like frosting.

Other honorable mentions:

  • S’mores cupcake:  graham-cracker-bottomed chocolate cupcake with burnt marshmallow frosting
  • Guinness cupcake:  chocolate + Guinness beer.  Need I say more?
  • Twinkie cupcake:  Oh, yes.  But she doesn’t bust this one out very often.
The Blog

I found Lizbeth’s blog the way I find all my good spectrum parenting blogs:  Jim (of Just a Lil Blog) or Jill (of Yeah. Good Times.)  Lizbeth (who I’m sure won’t mind me talking about her like we’re friends even though we’ve never met!) is mom to three kids and has a sense of humor that is not only admirable but will give you great abs in 6 – 8 weeks, whether you have kids on the spectrum or not.  My introduction to Four Sea Stars was via this post about Lizbeth’s kids going to sword camp.  Yes.  You read that right.  Now, go read her fabulous blog.
The Quote
“Never ruin an apology with an excuse.” — Benjamin Franklin
One combination of words that drives me particularly nutty is “I’m sorry, but …”  Whatever follows “but,” is a statement of qualification that completely obliterates any sincerity in the apology.  If you are truly remorseful about something, you say only, “I am sorry.”  If the silence that hangs in the air after you’ve finished speaking that sentence is uncomfortable, tough. Soak that in that for a few seconds, which is probably less unpleasant than whatever you apologized for and a small price to pay.  And for the love of all that is holy and chocolate cake, NEVER EVER EVER EVER utter the phrase, “I’m sorry, too” when receiving an apology unless you actually fucking mean to apologize for something and not just ladle on more guilt.  You don’t have to accept an apology if you’re not ready to do so, but you can at least be grateful you got one.  (I will explain this rant again some other day – this is supposed to be a post about stuff I love …)
The Random

Zen Pencils is the brainchild of Gavin Aung Than, a freelance illustrator from Melbourne, Australia.  He takes inspirational quotes from famous people and adapts them are into cartoons. His website launched in February, 2012, so it’s a new venture, and I hope it is wildly successful, because his work is fantastic.  What’s better, some of it is for sale!  Here’s my favorite:

Brief but Magnificent Opportunities

If you like Zen Pencils, check out its Facebook page.  You can submit quotes you’d like to see illustrated.  Finally, if you need more motivation, Gavin donates some of his profits to various charitable organizations associated with the person whose quote he illustrates.  The whole concept is just downright cool.


6 comments on “Random List of Stuff I Love #2

  1. Heather says:

    HAHAHA! Oh my goodness, I’m laughing so hard over Texts from Dog. Hahaha! “It’s raining batdog bitch!” HAHAHA!

    • ProfMomEsq says:

      I definitely ell oh ell at stuff, but that made me laugh for a good 20 minutes — the kind of laugh where you can’t get in any air, and it hurts, and tears start pouring out your eyes, then you get it under control only to start over with the laughing all over again. I tried a couple hours later to explain it to the Hubs, and I couldn’t even get it out without the hysterics. Then, I texted it to my sister, and she called me a minute later, and all I heard on her end of the phone was laughing.

      You should definitely go read the rest of them. But, I can’t tell you many times I’ve now used the phrase, “It’s raining Batdog, bitch!” when I’m winning a game. Bwahahahah!

  2. Erica says:

    Hi, here from Jillsmo’s site. Text From Dog has been entertaining me the last hour. Thanks! 😀

It's boring when I do all the talking around here. Speak now, while you can get a word in edgewise.

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