Sunday, October 30, 2005

4 Humors of Political Horror

A friend of Andrew's turned 40 this week and was holding a party tonight for the auspicious event. Within her list of rules, we were not to bring gifts. However, if we wanted to bring something ghoulish to eat or perhaps, dress up for the occassion, we were welcomed. I was too tired to dress, even after Andrew and I decided we needed to bring something wicked for her.

It was 3:30 in the afternoon when he realized we needed to bring a dish to pass. Yeah, right, like that's going to happen now. He then brought up the option of a bottle of wine -well, at least we'd enjoy it. Additionally, it was Halloween and it was a milestone birthday for her, so why not make it a bit frightening -afterall, we do have fodder.

After 15 minutes of doing a little brainstorming in our alchemical lab and charging our talisman, we derived this gift of a bottle of wine with a label that reads:

4 Humors of Horror

Whole Label (click to enlarge):

click to enlarge

Well, originally, we know that the theory of the 4 humors were the origin of medical science, and later, they were linked to personality temperaments, becoming the basis of psychology. For centuries, the life's juices were:

  • Red blood that flushed a person rosy, feverish, & sweaty
  • Yellow bile that jaundiced flesh a carrot orange
  • White mucus that originated in the nose and lungs
  • Black formed deep within the body and indicated rotting organs
What are the 4 Humors of Polical Horror?
  • Red Represents the Red States
  • Yellow Represents Republican Cowards
  • White Repesents the Official Color
  • Black Represents the color of Republican Souls
Oral Traditions written by Andrew:
The Four Humors of Political Horror haunt the land every few millennia, stealing elections and bringing forced war and fiscal ruin wherever they rule. When attacked they respond by freezing while reading "My Pet Goat" and define an axis of evil to be their enemies (including those who "tried to kill their daddy"). In response they send inadequate forces of unprotected peasants to an insignificant land. Once in power they handsomely reward their friends with huge tax breaks and medals of freedom, defend their actions through lies and deceit and pay for it all by flaying the souls of the less fortunate (taking away their food stamps and healthcare, leaving children behind and making it almost impossible to recover from personal financial disaster).

Libby, Delay, Abramoff and Safavian - Indictments be damned for martyrdom is the price they must pay for blindingly supporting the Four Humors of Political Horror. - Hey guys, you're on your own!

Our friend Diana (& friends) was impressed and I was delighted as to how well it turned out. Then again, I am a sucker for aged parchment paper.

Would you buy this wine for yourself? How about for your friends?

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Weird & Wacky Londoners: British Invention Show

The Invention show sounds like great fun, but not at my expense. A few of the items revealed this weekend in London were:

  • The Egg (offers a full body massage + aroma therapy, music)
  • A coolbag that behaves like a fridge
  • A rubber hat that keeps cut cucumbers fresh
  • A new take on umbrellas.
  • The wackiest: A SidewaysBike
However, one invention that exuded much discussion was 'The Patch.' Excreeting dopamines to recharge a woman's libido is at a cost: it blocks cravings for chocolate.

I can tell you right now that this chick will not allow anyone to reduce sex and chocolate to a mere coke vs pepsi debate.

Obviously a man invented this little device; he's still pissed that Adam took the penis while Eve took the multi-o's from the grab bag.

An icy-cold beer chaser to the shot of whiskey

Okay, so I drink neither. However, I do drink in The Daily Show and now the new spinoff, The Colbert Report. I'm floored at how much material these guys can spin in 20 minutes, but then again, real newscasts and political speeches will keep them forever foddered.

Perhaps that's not a real word, but I'm guessing it's French, bitch.

Read the NYT article:

Sunday, October 23, 2005

NYC: Quiet Observations

As we rested on a bench drinking Porto Rico coffee, we spied these gents hanging infront of ironic signage.

NYC: Eats

Our favorite pasttime in NYC is the food. Man, do we love to eat so we'd like to share some of our favorite haunts with you.

Penang, SOHO - Malaysian Cuisine
Beverage: Beer
Appetiser: Roti (curry potato & chicken)
My main: Buah Mango (Shrimp or Chicken)
Andrew's main: Rice dish with Scallops, Shrimp, & Squid
Dessert: Malaysian Coffee (the secret is condensed milk on the bottom, then coffee)

Oh yum!!


Warm, creamy, succulent.


Savory, sweet and tart, with a pepper after-taste.

Butterfly Grill, Greenwich Village - Vietnamese Cuisine
Appetiser: Shrimp Summer Roll
My main: Grilled Chicken (stir fried w/lemon grass & chilly)
Andrew's main: Tamarind Shrimp (jumbo cooked in wok w/tamarind sauce)
Beverage: Organic Tea

Very savory.

Focacceria, Greenwich Village - Italian Cuisine
When you're in the mood for excellent red sauce, this place has it. Stay for the dessert -you won't be disappointed.
Appetiser: Mozzarella in Carrozza (we splurged)
My main: Chicken Ravioli (divine)
Andrew's main: Homemade Lasagna
Beverage: Merlot
Dessert: Warm Chocolate cake w/homemade ice cream (a different time)

Get there between the rush and you get great service. The food just melts in your mouth.

Unparenting: The sign of the times

Andrew & I found one hiliarious book this week in NYC: Baby Not On Board A Celebration of Life without Kids.

I knew when I was younger, about the age of a zygote, I definitely did not want children. I tried to fit in with the other girls at school who had already plans for the number of children they wanted as well as names -all without the help of their yet-to-be-snagged husband. All of this pre-planning just gave me the heebie jeebies.

My mantra has always been, "If I want to hear the patter of little feet, I'll put shoes on my cats." Actually, I have put clothes on them, just check out 3WiseCats.

Fortunately, most of my friends believe my steadfast stance but are visibly disappointed. "Oh, you must have at least one!" I've been sent guilt trips via overnight mail and announcements have been made on the 6 o'clock news about how selfish I am or how completely unreasonable I'm being. Some have tried to trick this ol girl by stating, "It seems that those who are completely well-adjusted don't want kids and those that aren't, do!"

Sorry! 'Won't be fooled again!

As a stepparent (~3 years) I didn't find the role all that rewarding or tantalizing. Moreover, we're confident that we won't be saddled with the 24/7 fear as parents.

Meanwhile, my latest concern is how to throw an unbaby shower. If you're wondering what color balloons to attach to the mailbox, it's not the color of the balloons that matter, but that they should be deflated to symbolize an empty womb.

Recently, my MIL has worn this shirt w/pride, "Let me get this straight, my grandchild is a cat." We topped that by getting a collage frame from Target that had lasered text reading, "Grandchildren make us proud."

Oh, and you know we filled it with our pussycats.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Creative Strategy: Mindmapping

Teaching old dogs new tricks is actually easier done than said -spoonerism not intended.

Using mind mapping techniques are used to effectively organize large amounts of information, combining spatial organization & dynamic hierarchical structuring. This technique allows a person to retain information and ideas than by using traditional 'linear' note taking methods. If you have several projects that you'd like to accomplish, mindmapping can be a source of creative freeflow thought that will enable you to generate ideas in a flash. Thus, one doesn't risk being stymied by the notebook ruled paper. Ack!

Some literature makes claims that it allows greater motivation to complete a task, allows one to tap the deeper levels of consciousness by using mind map techniques and these may include developing intuitive powers, combat bullying, create global harmony to working out a business plan. Mindmaps can be drawn by hand, either as 'rough notes', for example, during a lecture or meeting, or can be more sophisticated in quality.

For example, locate a large piece of paper or your wall, draw a circle in the center with the name of your theme in the center of that circle -we'll call this a lake. Begin to build on that theme with bubbles (ponds) with thoughts, ideas, and sketches that flow like tributaries to puddles.

Basic Simple Structure

Adopted Structure

I learned of this technique several years ago via Michel Gelb's Mind Mapping: How to Liberate Your Creative Genius.

Additional tools to aid your mindmapping quest:
  • FreeMind Cool Productivity Tool
  • Post-It Notes: They allow you to reposition in accordance to importance
The trick is to keep the mind fresh, free from restrictive measures. Waffling your time with fancy tools only hinders and creates a crutch out of them whilst a pocket full of index cards will do.

Creative Authenticity

Hugh MacLeod's work was one of my first posts initiating my new position within new-laden land of the blog-o-sphere.

Well, I've recently discovered his manifesto on How To Be Creative. The value of authenticity and hard work are often shoved in the closet for a shortcut and it's heartbreaking to see this happen to fellow human beings. This manifesto is a definite read for those who:

  • Find themselves bitching around the watercooler (stop hanging w/crowds)
  • Have relinquished their creative sovereignty (be true to yourself)
  • Believe they will suddenly be discovered (your plan is already doomed)
  • Don't understand the balance of the 'sex & cash' theory (don't quit your day job)
  • Refuse to acknowledge the existence of their private Mt Everest (everyone has one)
  • Use fancy props as a crutch (needing state-of-the-art _(fill in blank)_ to accomplish x)
  • Adopted another's business plan as their own (our paths are not the same)
  • Compare themselves to others (practice = authenticity)
  • Insist drugs & booze make better artists (never a happy ending)
  • Underestimate competition & overestimate personal chances (hardwork = reward)
  • Are married to the medium for the wrong reasons (payments to Satan aren't cheap)
  • Seek inspiration in a vacuum (the creative block needs fuel)
and need help in understanding the challenges and rewards of being creative.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Of Course, Global Warming is a Myth!

For this Halloween, Horseback Salad has created a flash video based on the perennial Halloween hit favorite "Monster Mash" called "The Climate Mash."