Archive for the ‘Language and food’ Category

Attack of the custardy torus

January 15, 2018

… in Palo Alto, in yesterday’s Zippy:


Happy Donuts at 3916 El Camino Real, in the Barron Park neighborhood of Palo Alto, just south of the Stanford Industrial Park, itself just south of the College Terrace neighborhood (on the west) and the California Avenue shopping district (on the east), these being just south of the university (on the west) and downtown Palo Alto and the Professorville and Old Palo Alto neighborhoods (on the east). My neighborhoods.


The clowns of death and the frogs of Wellsboro

January 9, 2018

Two recent Zippy strips: the clowns of death on the 6th and the frogs of Wellsboro PA today:



Two strips on sad themes of abuse and loss: the clown as death’s head, the commercial folk-art figure as exploited, untended, and decaying. In both: humor as an ultimately failing warding-off of decline and death. But on the way we laugh.


Another visit to Felicia’s

January 8, 2018

Just over six years ago (on 12/10/11), I posted recollections of Felicia’s in Boston’s North End and one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, Chicken Verdicchio (named for the slightly greenish white wine that figures in the dish). Eventually, Ray Buccino, a retired pharmacist/biochemist in Houston, found this posting and sent me his own recollections of Felicia’s: he and his wife Gayla visited the place when they were at the University of Connecticut (just as Ann and I ate there when we were at MIT), they too got a copy of the recipe from Felicia, but they managed to save theirs (ours got lost in many moves), and now he and his daughter Linda Rucker (a grant writer for a local charity) are putting together a family recipe book, with this one it.

With their permission, their text on memories of the restaurant; and Felicia’s recipe, with their amendments.


This week’s terrible literary food pun

January 6, 2018

It starts with the piece by Calvin Baker on the life of poet Derek Walcott in the recent NYT Magazine “The Lives They Lived” issue (12/28 on-line, 12/31 in print), with this photo of the Nobel laureate:

(#1) Walcott in Hay-on-Wye, Wales, in 1993; photo credit: David Hurn/Magnum Photos

The village of Hay, on the river Wye, on the border between England and Wales, is famously picturesque, and I’ll get to that. But I was then struck by a recollection that there was in fact a village in England called Ham (also picturesque, and I’ll get to that too), which is not on the river Wye (though it’s close to the river Avon, as in Stratford-on-Avon, cue Shakespeare, so you could reasonably think of it as Ham-on-Avon) — but if it were, it would be (insert massive groan here) Ham-on-Wye. Well, it gets worse.


But that’s not I nor you

January 6, 2018

My most recent adventure in pronoun case — the posting “Usage note: NomPred”, about nominative predicative pronouns — ended with a screen capture with the bit of dialogue

No, that’s more you. That’s not me.

which I converted to a piss-elegant pronoun version with That’s not I.

I haven’t found recent examples of this pronoun usage, not That’s not I, That’s not she/he, That’s not they, or (worse) That’s not we — NomPred we is extraordinarily unnatural — but I did find an example from the late 19th century, in a bit of didactic verse for schoolchildren:

Some folks long to die
But that’s not I nor you.

(where it’s repeated as the fourth line of morally instructive quatrains; this is the end of the first verse) — here conveying ‘but that’s not the way you and I are, but you and I aren’t like that’, and so indirectly conveying both ‘but that’s not the way I am, but I’m not like that’ and also ‘nor should that be the way you are, nor should you be like that’.


A news bulletin for scrotums

January 4, 2018

Passed on by Mary Ballard on Facebook:

A somewhat uncomfortable combination of nut bag, suggesting nut sac ‘scrotum’, and (nut) milk ‘semen’, both involving nut ‘testicle’.

But plastic?

Two puns for Thursday

January 4, 2018

A caption in yesterday’s New York Times (front page); and a Bizarro + Wayno cartoon:


A mystery cookie Zwicky

January 3, 2018

Google Alerts brought me yesterday to someone going by the name Zwicky, who joined the Cookie Connection community on 1/1/18. Brief information on the Cookie Connection site:

birthday: 9/9; location: Anchorage AK; primary occupation: waiter; bio: I have been baking for over forty years and consider myself skilled. I am trying to branch out to decorating cookies for fun and entertainment, although I  am not very artistic. I also love to share my baked goods with all.

And that’s all I’ve been able to find out.


News for penguins, penises, and Totoro

December 31, 2017

… on New Year’s Penultimateve (term from Stephanie Shih), yesterday: 2 penguin bulletins, 3 penis items (including two seasonal gay porn ads viewable in full on AZBlogX), and Totoro Linzer cookies for the holidays.


Salisbury NC 60, 70 years ago

December 24, 2017

Today’s Zippy takes us to the middle South (the middle of North Carolina, in fact) and to the 1940s and 1950s:


Griffy and Zippy are focused on the building and on the Cheerwine advertised on one side of it (the other side advertises the ubiquitous Coca Cola). Shmoo toys and Rinso detergent come into it, evoking the late 1940s and the early 1950s. Along the way, notes on names: Cheerwine, Rinso, Solium. And then a final note on the location of Salisbury NC.