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The Terrifying Truths About Twistie

As some of our more intrepid readers may recall, last week I posted three truths about me and one bald-faced lie, and then asked you all to guess which was the nose-growing statement in the garden of my prose. What? I can mix metaphors that don’t even exist if I like. But remember, I’m a professional blogger. Do not try this at home.

Anyway.

Six of you waded in and gave it a go… and somebody did get it right.

To find out the sordid truth about the three truths and the yet more sordid truth behind the one lie, join me after the cut.

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Three Truths and a Lie About Twistie

Let’s play a little game, shall we?

I’m going to tell you all three true things about me and one lie. Then I want you all to try to guess which is the lie. Put your guesses in the comments and argue amongst yourselves all week long. Next saturday, I will reveal the truth about all three truths, and about which is the lie.

Got it? Good! Then let’s begin.

1: I once ate pate made by Raymond Burr.

2: I have appeared on television three times.

3: My parents saw Star Wars before I did.

4: My great-great grandfather joined the Union army shortly after the attack on Fort Sumpter, but spent most of the Civil War in the hospital.

Think you know which is the lie?

Let’s see how well you all know me.

Ah Yes, It Was a Very Good Year

The proto-Delorian pictured above is the 1962 Ford Seattle.

Why is it there?

It was the first picture to come up when I typed ‘1962’ into Google Images. Awesome, isn’t it?

And why did I type 1962 into Google Images in the first place?

Well, because earlier this week, I celebrated a grand half-century of existence.

And you know what? That got me thinking about the year I was born into. I thought about how much the world has changed in the years since. I was born into a world where a single computer took up an entire room, where telephones had rotary dials, television was black and white, and nobody had ever heard a single note of The White Album. Nobody had ever been terrified by a Dalek, nor had they said ‘beam me up, Scotty.’

But a quick Wikipedia search showed me a lot of interesting things did happen in the year of my birth. Politics, science, the arts, sports, religion… something cool or horrible or more vastly socially important than anyone could have known at the time happened in each category. People who matter in a global sense were born that year, and so, too, did some die.

It saddens me to realize that I missed sharing the earth with ee cummings by a matter of less than two weeks, and that Eleanor Roosevelt and Charles Laughton were both gone a couple months later. Other major losses that year include: William Faulkner, Stuart Sutcliffe, Marilyn Monroe, and Herman Hesse. I’m a lot less cut up about the death of Adolph Eichmann.

On the other hand, it delights me to know I share a birth year with such people as: Jon Stewart, Eddie Izzard, Lou Diamond Phillips, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Joan Cusack, Felicity Huffman, and Tom Colicchio. That’s not too shabby a list. Also? It’s painfully incomplete. 1962 was a good year to be born for greatness, it seems.

1962 saw the debut not only of moi, but of Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf on Broadway and Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen. Silent Spring debuted on bookshelves everywhere, as did Sex and the Single Girl. The Beatles released their first single and the Rolling  Stones played their first major gig. Johnny Carson became the host of the Tonight Show, a job he would do for the next thirty years. AT&T launched the first communications satellite. The Hulk and Spider Man arrived on the comic book scene. Alas, the curtain came down on two of the Flying Wallendas who were killed when their famous seven-person pyramid trick didn’t go as planned.

On the political end of the spectrum, there was the Cuban Missile Crisis, the arrest and imprisonment of Nelson Mandela,  the French Foreign Legion left Algeria, and Jamaica achieved independence. The US Supreme Court ruled that naked pictures of men were not pornography and that prayer in public schools could not be required. Fidel Castro was excommunicated by the Pope.

Oh, and there was that neato car.

So that’s a little bit about the year I was born.

What about the year you were born?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go to Wikipedia and do a search on the year you were born. Tell me three interesting people who were born that year, three who died, and at least two culturally or politically significant things that happened – for good, for ill, or just for grins.

And if you don’t feel like revealing your ages, feel free to make it the year you were married, the year your dog was born, or any other year of significance to you for whatever reason you please.

Give me your best lists!

I Have a New Definition of ‘Surreal’

Darlings, last night was a very, very late one filled with Russian pop music, Mexican food, and references to The Simpsons with people who Know Their Stuff. As a result, I am now a little bit dazed, confused, and possibly slightly dehydrated.

Still, as a result of talking with the Russian songstress, my eyes have been opened to a brand of surrealism Dali could never have envisioned, not even when designed fabric for Schiaparelli herself.

Imagine if you will being in a tiny, crowded pub somewhere in London listening to a British Elvis impersonator

… and the actual Vanilla Ice

… singing a duet of the only song both of them know well enough to sing together

… which just happened to be Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash.

Sometimes reality is pretty darn odd.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me intensely happy.

A Tale of Chocolate Cake

Once upon a time, a young lad worked all day long with his sister and his mother on making three huge, lasagnas from scratch for that evening’s pot luck dinner at the Lutheran church they attended. The three of them chopped and stirred and grated and layered and baked all day long, happy that they would produce a delicious meal to share with friends and neighbors.

At last the time arrived and they gathered up the lasagnas and got them to the church hall on time. But no sooner had they arrived than the pastor asked if they could help set up the tables and chairs. Of course they were willing. Of course they delivered the lasagnas and went straight to work setting up the room… all by themselves.

And while they were working so hard, the food line was opened and people began finding seats and eating. Many of them liked lasagna, as it turned out.

By the time the boy and his sister and his mother finished setting up the tables and chairs for the entire rest of the congregation, nearly everyone had been through the line at least once. Many had been through twice.

So the boy and his sister and his mother got in line for what was left. Let’s see… there were half a dozen pots of baked beans, most of them in hues that were somewhat unconventional for baked beans. There was ambrosia salad. Every potluck in history, someone brought that stuff and to this day I believe there are twelve people who have tried it – eleven of whom have regretted it immediately. There were some Jell-o salads with chunks of random stuff in them that did not appeal.

Lasagna? Long gone. The pans had been cleaned of even the tiniest iota of burnt cheese.

But there was one thing left on that buffet that the boy was willing to eat: a single slice of chocolate cake.

And there was a woman ahead of him in line (going through for the third time) who was reaching for it.

The boy thought fast. He had something of a gift for telling tales sincerely and he told one now:

“My mom made that cake.”

“That’s nice.”

“It’s a my favorite cake.”

“Uh huh.”

“My mom has trouble getting me and my sister to eat our vegetables, so she makes this great chocolate cake and puts cauliflower in it. That’s chocolate cauliflower cake.”

“What???”

“Yeah, she puts the cauliflower in and then I eat it right up. It’s delicious.”

At that point, the lady decided she didn’t need a slice of that cake. They boy and his sister shared the slice of cake, which was entirely sans cauliflower. They enjoyed it tremendously.

The boy grew up to be Mr. Twistie’s best friend, songwriting partner, and devil on his shoulder. Tweedledum to his Tweedledee, as it were. He’s a good friend of mine, too.

And today is his birthday, so I’m baking him a chocolate cake… and just for him, I’ll tell him it’s got cauliflower in it, even though it doesn’t.

Happy birthday, my friend, and many, many more!

Comedy Tonight

As autumn creeps in and the weather turns colder, there are few things I love as much as curling up with a good movie or two… or even three. And after a long day, I love having something to laugh at.

So here are some of my favorite comedies in no particular order, in case you’re looking for a source of a few good giggles anytime soon.

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Random Bits of This and That

Darlings, I have spent the last couple of weeks recovering from my painful and painfully embarrassing back injury (I’m feeling much better now, BTW, and thanks to everyone for the good wishes), and it’s resulted in an oddly random approach to things. I’ve spent a lot of time lying on the couch or in my bed listening to my own brain and it’s… scattered.

I’ve decided to go with it and provide you with some links and random thoughts about stuff and leave you to sort through it all as best you can.

First off, check out this brilliant and awesome Riot Nrrd comic. And always remember what they say about assumptions.

Big Fat Blog has some interesting thoughts on weight loss maintenance, including links to a blog that supports weight loss, but is completely honest about the toll it can take.

If you read Letters to a Young Fat Girl: Lesson the First, and are looking for more support, go check out this touching post at The Rotund. Remember: it does get better, and you are not alone. And if you catch someone bullying someone else, DO SOMETHING. That last bit is from me.

I’ve been thinking about Halloween. I love Halloween. I love costumes and I love candy and I love the campy end of spooky stuff, and I even love The Monster Mash. My Halloween will probably consist mostly of handing out candy while watching a Hitchcock film. What about all of you?

And speaking of holidays, my thoughts have also included Thanksgiving. In fact I spent some of my time laid up poring over my lightest (in terms of their physical weight, not in terms of diet foods) cookbooks and plotting my ultimate Thanksgiving meal. Lo and behold, as I was doing this, the phone rang and Mr. Twistie and I were invited to spend the holiday with some good friends and their rottweilers.

We’re going. We’re going to have a great time. But it does bring up something about me: until quite recently I was terribly phobic about dogs. Any dogs. From teacup poodles to great danes, they freaked the sewage straight out of me. Then one day about five years ago, I decided I was going to get over this crippling phobia. I had no money for therapy, so I girded up my loins and started doing my best to interact with dogs one on one on my own.

It’s taken a long time and a lot of effort, but now I can talk merrily about visiting with rotts. In fact, one of them loves to sit on my lap. My only problem with it at this point is the fact that when she climbs up there, it feels like she’s going to break my knees.

Next I shall attempt to overcome my terror of heights. Or possibly fire. Or… yeah, yeah, I know. I’m a ball of phobias. Still, dogs are no longer immediate cause for panic attacks, and I call that pretty awesome.

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