Confusion Say... 
Here are some things I find confusing.

Mimosa, Samosa, Samoa

Spicy filled pastry, champagne cocktail, or country/Girl Scout Cookie? I always have to think carefully to make sure I get these sorted out. :) You would think it's a good thing that these words don't regularly come up in conversation, but I think that's the source of the problem.

"Could/Should/Would of/have"

I'm aware that "Could of/have" is a common grammatical mistake and will generally recognize it when I'm writing. Yet somehow I can never be 100% certain which is correct. So I hit up Google every single time. :-P I shouldn't even bother given all the grammatical mistakes I don't catch.


I at least can remember which is correct. That doesn't mean I won't say the wrong one before it's too late. (Hint: "Irrespective" is the source of the confusion.)

Words that I only read

More an embarrassment than a confusion, there are certain words that only seem to show up in what I read but are never spoken or heard...until that fateful day when it fits perfectly into a conversation and I mangle the pronunciation. When I was younger I have been burned by "genre" (I pronounced it "Gen-Air" ), "superfluous" ("SUPER-flu-us!" ), "timbre" (is not what a lumberjack says), "Euler Angle" (it should be spelled "Oiler" ), and "Bezier Curve". The last, I have heard botched worse than I have managed myself (e.g. "brassiere" ).

Tornado Warning / Tornado Watch

Is it a WARNING that conditions are ripe for tornadoes and we're currently WATCHing a live tornado or is it a WARNING that a tornado has touched down and we're WATCHING out for the possibility of them forming? I can never keep it straight. So if you find me wrapped around a tree branch, you'll know what happened.

Now I could make up some clever mnemonic to avoid confusion, but even those can cause trouble. :)

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Runner's Shoe Tip 
After running, pull the tongue out of your running shoes, prop them up, and aim a small fan inside so they dry as quickly as possible. I've found the fabric lining inside lasts longer, not to mention they smell much better!

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Prank #5: Mutton but Trouble 
Iíve talked about a few different pranks before. Now hereís one where I was on the receiving end.

Once upon a time, I was an undergrad at Georgia Tech. For a few quarters (we didnít have semesters at the time) I lived in a house in Home Park just off campus with 4 other students: 2 girls, 2 guys. The guys, Jeff and Cory, were the ones that pranked me.

One day, I was working on a class project and needed some files that were located back on a computer lab at campus. I shut down my computer and left the house for a bit, then came back once I had the stuff I needed. I hit the power switch on my computer and waited for Windows95 to boot. After a few seconds, I realized something was going horribly, horribly wrong. A pastel pink color was loading as the background color of the desktop. Then a sheep in fishnet stockings appeared in the middle of the screen. Finally, I was greeted with a start-up sound of a sheep saying, "Ba-a-a-a-a! I love you, Jeffrey! Ba-a-a-a-a!" After Windows finished loading, all I could see were different shades of pink all over the place including the Start Menu, window frames, etc. To make matters worse, any time I moved the mouse cursor over anything I heard "Ba-a-a-a-a!!!"

Turns out, Cory and Jeff had discovered a website (that still exists to this day) called Mutton Bone that sells inflatable sheep. As poor college students, they couldnít afford to actually buy one for a prank (thank goodness) but they could swipe the website graphics and reuse them. Once they had come up with the idea for the prank they covertly prepared all the content and then spied on me to see when I left the house and finally infiltrate my room and desecrate my computer.

Jeff has the uncanny "stupid human trick" of being able to not just Ba-a-a-a, but actually talk like a sheep. So that skill worked great for making all the sound effects with a microphone. When they actually did the prank, Cory and Jeff modified all the system theme colors to appropriate shades of pink, added the sheep sounds for all the different GUI and system events, and replaced my background image with the "Love Ewe."

I quickly destroyed all digital evidence of the crime, but for your enjoyment I have recreated a visual of the prank as best I recall. If you want to hear the audio, be sure to ask Jeff to talk in his "sexy sheep voice" next time you see him. Oh, and I still owe those guys big time.

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As a kid I remember my friends and I occasionally pretending to talk other languages that we had heard but didn't actually understand. Basically, we would recreate similar phonetic sounds to the foreign language but not actual meaningful words. If a school teacher caught you doing this, you risked being scolded for being culturally insensitive. However, I wondered isn't it equally likely that other cultures do the exact same thing with English? If everyone does it then it's not so bad, right? (Famous last words.)

A few months ago, I happened across a Youtube video where a guy ponders what it might actually sound like to hear a non-English speaker talking in English gibberish. He challenges other Youtubers to provide a video example, and he also gives several examples of gibberish in different languages he has heard. Check it out here:

If you follow the 'related links' to the video, you can find some responses. There are a couple decent ones mixed in with some garbage. However, a friend of mine just recently sent me this next video that is from an Italian musician that made a gibberish English rock song. It's quite entertaining and the best example I think. ... -song.html

[edit update for broken link above]
Adriano Celentano & Raffaella Carrà - Prisencolinensinainciusol

You can hear a few actual words that the musician likely had overheard from English songs. Honestly, I think I can understand the gibberish song better than some recent songs released in the states. :)

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Cooking in the 80's 
These recipes are dedicated to my favorite childhood movie. :)


1/2 pound Fettuccine
1 stick butter
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and ground white pepper to taste

(Simultaneously cook fettuccine and prepare sauce.)

Boil fettuccine in large pot of water until done.

In large pan, melt butter. Slowly add cream and stir slowly until hot. Carefully add 1/2 cup of the cheese while continuing to stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When fettuccine is done, drain and add noodles to sauce and carefully mix. Serve and sprinkle with remaining cheese as desired.

Garnish with medallions of Mamma Frateliís Broiled Beef Tongue.

Serve with a glass of water.

Magnifico! <SMOOCH>

Mamma Fratelliís Broiled Beef Tongue

1 Tongue

1 Cup red wine vinegar
1/2 Cup olive oil
2 tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Ĺ tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. sugar
2 Tbs. brown sugar

Use a double-edged switch blade to remove the skin and gristle from the tongue (a paring knife will do in a bind).

Grab your favorite blender and hit puree. Drop the two tomatoes in one at a time. Mix in the remaining marinade ingredients.

Place the skinned tongue in a glass baking dish, pour marinade over, and let sit covered in refrigerator overnight.

Wrap piano wire tightly around a baking dish to create a small grille. Make sure that itís really tight so that when plucked you hear either an A Sharp (A#) or a B Flat (Bb).

Place the seasoned tongue on the piano wire. (Note that the piano wire may contain toxic heavy metals that could leech into the meat. Therefore, this recipe is best served as a last meal where long term health consequences are moot.)

Broil tongue in oven (on piano wire grille) at medium-hot setting for 20 minutes, or until fully cooked. Baste with remaining marinade at half-way point. Slice and serve.

Rocky Road! Pie

1.5 cups crushed Oreos
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 pints Swensenís Chocolate Ice Cream, softened
3 Baby Ruth Candy Bars
1 cup miniature marshmallows
Chocolate Syrup

Combine Oreos and butter in small mixing bowl. Press crust onto bottom of 9-inch pie plate. Freeze for 5 to 10 minutes.

Hold Baby Ruth (still in wrapper) chest high and drop onto hard floor. Do this several times. Remove battered and misshapen candy bars from wrapper and further crumble them up into small pieces.

Combine ice cream, masticated Baby Ruth, and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour into pie plate with crust. Freeze until firm. Drizzle with chocolate syrup before serving.

Thanks for checking out my Goonies inspired recipes!

Next week: Bullet Hole Matzo Balls and The Chocolate Truffle Shuffle Shake!

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