My Christmas Request of You

Okay, I’ve decided what y’all can do for me for Christmas.  Which I will do for you as well.  See, it occurs to me that there are bunches of you who are into stuff I know nothing about, but would benefit from being exposed to (Shut your coat, Exador.  Not that kind of exposing.).

And I probably have hooked myself onto some stuff you’d find cool, if only you knew about it.

So, I’ll pick five and tell you.  You pick five and tell me.

1.  Most useful guide to magical botanicals–Yronwode’s Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic.

2.  Coolest piece of avant garde literature that will also make you glad to be alive–Calvino’s Invisible Cities.

3.  Song you should have in your iPod, but probably don’t–Little Milton’s Grits Ain’t Groceries.

4.  Best guilty-pleasure blog–Crazy Days and Nights.

5.  Best bit of inside information about Dairy Queen–They’ll put whatever you want on whatever you want.  I can’t eat strawberries anymore, but my favorite thing to get at DQ until this unfortunate allergy developed was an M&M Blizzard with strawberry instead of chocolate topping.

Okay, folks, what should I know about that I don’t?

11 thoughts on “My Christmas Request of You

  1. Thanks for reminding me of “Grits Ain’t Groceries.” I lost it when a former computer bit the dust. It’s about as fun as a song can be.

    Those who would like to hear it can request a copy of “The Mississippi, river of song” from our local library.

  2. cat yronwode doesn’t like her name to be capitalised. I’ve always thought it was kind of cool–and telling–that she adopted a Welshic styling for her new last name.

    I don’t know if my five things would be cool or not cool. I’ll have to think on it.

  3. Hmmmm, lets see:

    1. Best Pickup Drink: If you take vodka, melon liquor, southern comfort, and amaretto, mix them in a mixing tin, and strain into a shot glass, you have a Panty-Dropper. They. Work. Every. Time.

    2. Worst Rap Song Ever: Anything on B’s Ipod.

    3. Best Time Saver I Ever Learned: If you right click on a misspelled word, you get a drop down menu of choices, one of which MUST be right!

    4. Best Budget Stretcher: After consuming half of your meal, tell your waitress that you cannot finish the dish because it is just SO BAD. A manager will appear, and he will remove it from your bill. Do this right, you might actually be able to MAKE money. (Please only do this to chain restaurants)

    5. Best Secret Whore House in Nashville: Like I’m going to tell you guys. Psyche!

  4. I will have Grits Ain’t Groceries.

    1. Two words: vegan cheesecake.

    2. A great metabolism booster: as soon as you get up in the morning, have a small glass of juice or piece of fruit. Then go out (or stay in, if you have a treadmill and prefer tthat) and do about thirty minutes of whatever brisk exercise your body can handle (run, jog, walk, climb, whatever). You aren’t trying to break land speed records, just get your heart pumping for 25 to 30 minutes straight.

    3. If you drive a lot on interstates, get your hands on a copy of the latest Emergency Response Guidebook. If you are a passenger, you can have fun reading all the placards on the trucks and seeing all the diabolical shit that’s being transported across our nation’s highways.

    4. White Castle: a formidable checkpoint on my road to vegetarianism.

    5. The Jam: Sound Affects.

  5. Mountain Dew mixed with orange juice produces a yummy mixture with the addictivity of crack.

    Excellent oft-forgotten classic: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.

    Chocolate-covered anything: Put 1.5 cups chocolate chips (any sort you like) and 1 tablespoon shortening in a small bowl, and microwave for 60 seconds. Stir, and alternate stirring with microwaving for 30 seconds until mixture is all melted. Make sure anything you dunk in it is carefully patted dry first.

    Little-known environment saver: Avoid using appliances when possible during hot summer afternoons and evenings. New power plants are built according to the needs of peak demand, and peak demand occurs during hot summer afternoons and evenings. If you can do your laundry, run the blow dryer or dishwasher or any other electrical task you can postpone at other times, you reduce the likelihood of new power plants having to be built. Tell all your friends.

    Even less-known environment saver: Whatever you do, don’t throw aluminum in the trash. Aside from the value of recycling it, many areas are using garbage-burner electrical plants when possible, since the garbage-burner plants produce less greenhouse emissions than landfills (which pump out methane). But even small amounts of aluminum in the garbage clog up the workings of the plant, causing extra maintenance shutdown, meaning the plant can process less garbage which has to go to a landfill instead.

  6. 1.) Best accordian (concertina) playing ever: The Prodigals

    2.) Rubens might be most famous for painting Rubenesque women, but his animals are also fantastic. Check out the lions and horses in The Lion Hunt, or the camels in Adoration of the Magi.

    3.) In Firefox, you can create folders of bookmarks, and by middle-clicking once a folder, each bookmark gets opened in its own tab. This is great for your collection of daily must-reads (e.g. TinyCatPants)

    4.) TiVo (or any PVR/DVR) can not only help you skip commercials, but you might find yourself watching less TV, period. You will never stop the interesting, enriching thing that you’re doing to catch a program (and how many of us go back to the enriching thing when we find out that our show is a re-run?) You’ll watch TV only when that is what you *want* to be doing. Besides, when you sit down to watch TV, there *will* be something on the harddrive that you want to watch; no more surfing for the least objectionable thing on.

    5.) Environmental Tip: Drive an old car. The Prius-constuction-is-so-polluting-that-a-Hummer-is-greener schtick has been de-bunked, but if everyone got an extra few years out of old cars, the manufacturing reduction would be a huge environment-saver (even if the older cars get a somewhat lower gas milage).

  7. The Scottish The Prodigals or the ones from New York? And, if a girl were going to treat herself to an album as a Christmas present, which one would you recommend?

  8. The Prodigals ( from NY (never heard of the Scottish band, but this NY band is Ir-ish music). Dreaming in Hell’s Kitchen was good, but so were all of the albums. If their songs are available separately (iTunes?): Alchemy, Out of Mind, Leaving, Happy Man, New Gallipoli, Belturbet Churchyard, Black Eyed Gypsy, Spancil Hill (blended into Ghost Riders in the Sky), many more.

    It looks like you can listen to about a minute of each song (as an MP3) from most of the albums, on their website.

  9. — China Café, out in 100 Oaks Mall, has the best Chinese food in Nashville. Not as good as Shanghai Café used to be, but better than anything else.

    — one of the nicest Italian reds you can find for not too much money is Illuminati Riparosso Montepulciano Dabruzzo. Their 2005 vintage, if you can get it, is especially nice.

    — Zlatne Uste (Golden Lips) is a Balkan brass band composed of Americans. One of them I know from high school. They play a particularly obscure (in the U.S.) kind of music, gypsy tunes using only marching band instruments. In Balkan terms, this is irresistibly funky; to U.S. ears, they sound either wonderfully catchy or repulsive. To my surprise, I found out about a decade ago from a Yugoslav fan of American country music that Zlatne Uste are actually known and greatly admired in Serbia, where they have won a bunch of contests. Listen to them here.

    — The Libro de Buen Amor is one of the great classics of premodern Castilian literature. It’s sort of Rabelesian in its language and also in its topic (wandering among convents looking for the meaning of love), and pomo in its composition (the so-called author, Juan Ruiz, is called the Archpriest of Hita, but there is no evidence of any Archpriest of Hita by that name, or that any archpriest in the diocese of Toledo [where Hita is] ever wrote such a book). It would, in fact, be the archetypal work from Renaissance Castile, except that it dates from the 14th century. I can’t find a link to a good Castilian/English facing page version, but that’s what to look at.

    — I only know four cool things

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