Archive for the ‘Language and food’ Category

Horns

September 19, 2016

As one of the rewards of making it through eight days of a super-lowfiber diet preparing for a colonoscopy last week, Kim Darnell brought me a box of Almond Horns, looking much like this:

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Massively fibrous, and delicious. Also unfamiliar to me. Though I instantly recognized the taste – like Mandelbrot, but in a different form. Kim added, in recognition of my sexual tastes, also distinctly phallic. Well, that’s not quite right: the almond horns, viewed not as crescents, but (turned the other way around) as horns (true to their name), are certainly masculinity symbols, representing stag horns. But then they are also (doubly-headedly) phallic.

Almond horns are very often presented with the horn tips dipped in chocolate, making the phallic imagery more intense, with the symbolic (engorged) cockheads standing out.

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Anniversaries

September 18, 2016

A recent plaint from Aric Olnes (who is now 51) on Facebook:

Ugh. That moment when a retailer automatically spits out post-transaction coupons for Centrum Silver and laxatives! WTH, fifty is fifty! Sigh. Damn you, Walgreens.

Fifty is a cut-off point (at least in the U.S.) for the seque from middle age (beginning at 40 or 45, depending on who you read) to senior status (entered at 60-65, depending on who you read). There are “50+” organizations of many types, and the AARP takes members beginning at 50 — so it’s clearly not literally an association for retired persons (instead, it provides a kind of anteroom to retirement and true senior status).

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The durian

September 12, 2016

Attacking a giant backlog of postings on food and plants (mostly due to prompts from Juan Gomez), I give you today the King of Delicious Stink, the durian.

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Regarded by many people in southeast Asia as the “king of fruits”, the durian is distinctive for its large size, strong odour, and formidable thorn-covered husk. (Wikipedia)

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A Minneapolis fling

September 5, 2016

Today’s Zippy takes us to Minneapolis MN, where people are flinging bowling balls, flinging them down Memory Lanes:

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Spot the error

September 2, 2016

From my sister-in-law Virginia Transue on Facebook, a comment on this Peter de Sève New Yorker cover of 7/28/08, “Summer Getaway”:

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Spot the error. Which Virginia’s grandson Owen (not yet 12) caught this summer, after the cover had been posted on the fridge for eight years (significant fact: the family has summered in Maine, way Down East, for many years).

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On foot patrol, part 2

September 1, 2016

Back to Tuesday morning, on patrol for my feet, with food diversions. Previous posting: shoes, Sushirrito, and Umami Burger. This one: pedicures and mangosteens.

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On foot patrol, part 1

August 31, 2016

(Foot patrol, also food patrol.)

Yesterday morning, two expeditions involving my feet: first getting a second pair of shoes (I was edgy having only one; a backup seemed like a good idea) and a replacement pair of slippers (the previous excellent UGGs having disintegrated), and then getting a pedicure (foot care being something I can’t manage on my own).

Part 1 took me to the Palo Alto Footwear etc. store, more or less across the street from two relatively recently opened places to eat, both with remarkable names: Sushirrito (at 448 University Ave.) and Umami Burger (at 452, next door)

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Meatballs!

August 19, 2016

My breakfast this morning — my breakfasts are often hearty — was Cajun meatballs with sauteed vegetables (prominently, okra) and rice. Quite pleasant, but I can’t help thinking that meatballs are intrinsically funny. Maybe it’s the balls thing, or maybe the assortment of deprecatory uses of meatball(s), or maybe just the appearance of four sizable stolid globes of ground meat on a plate. (I would blame the kid song “On Top of Spaghetti” — see here — if I could, but it wasn’t written until well after my childhood.)

An arrangement of (as it happens, Italian) meatballs on a platter, looking much like an array of cannonballs:

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Then I began wondering about the conventionalized phrase meatball surgery, which I remember from the American television show M*A*S*H and also from an overheard argument among my surgeons about how to handle the necrotizing fasciitis advancing on my right arm.

And now my meatball bulletin.

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Pink motels, Cadillacs, etc. etc.

August 19, 2016

Today’s Zippy takes us into the land of pink motels, pink fairies, and pink Cadillacs, which then takes us of course into the Forest of Pudendiana and sexual symbolism. There will be innocent drinks, plants, and animals, but mostly this is a world drenched in sex, gender, and sexuality.

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We are in scenic Cherokee NC, home of a Pink Motel, with a fairy as its mascot — blue-winged in the cartoon, but pink-winged in older versions of the actual neon sign.

Symbolism I. Both fairies and the color pink have come to be symbols of femininity, and by extension, faggotry. But also, both of them, are symbols of kitsch: fairies and pink stuff are “cute”. Presumably the Pink Motel in Cherokee was designed not to bring in women or gay men, but to project a strong general senses of cuteness, like Tinkerbell and Hello Kitty run amok.

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Gross and flying penguins, Barsotti and flying squirrels

August 15, 2016

Unearthed in today’s clearing out of material piled up in a cabinet, two New Yorker cartoons: a Sam Gross (published in the 9/4/95 issue) in which a penguin achieves flight, a Charles Barsotti (published in the 8/12/96 issue) in which squirrels question whether they are in fact flying squirrels (there are tree squirrels, ground squirrels, flying squirrels, and questioning squirrels — TGFQ):

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If you try harder, you might succeed; and if you give it a try, you might discover your identity.

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