Saturday, January 24, 2015

Funny Business, Part I - A Young Fagin and an Old Bear

  So a couple of weeks ago a friend... Jeff... (center stage as a young, blonde Fagin in high school) from way, waaaaay back popped in to say a quick hello in Facebook, and for whatever reason we started talking funny business. It may have something to do with the fact that he's a professional comedian... In any case, he shared an opinion that he'd heard about comedians, namely, that they are narcissists. Well, you all know me by now, I'm not about to keep my mouth closed (or fingers still) if any other option offers itself... and I told him I didn't think that was true at all. I believe, in fact, that someone with the intelligence and empathy to be a good comic .... and Mr. Davis is that!.... would need a good deal of confidence in their abilities, but probably wouldn't be a true narcissist. Then again, I could be wrong. (You know I don't really believe I am.) This conversation started me thinking about humour, comedy, and those who make us laugh...

   Btw, Jeff often performs in the Louisville, KY area, and is also an excellent musician: he's been playing sax longer than some small Eastern European countries have existed! He also gets to meet some pretty cool people, like Teller of Penn and Teller:

And this guy on the right, some of you might know his name...

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ, wrong! He's actually a friend of Jeff's named Jay, but he sure does look like the Captain, doesn't he! (Thanks for letting me poach pictures Jeff.)

   So, a bit more about Jeff: One of the things I remember from school days, besides the fact that he was funny even then, was that he never seemed to need to put someone else down in order to be funny... a rare talent at any stage of life, but especially so in adolescence.

   And how does an old bear fit in here? More about that on Monday, but here's a hint: It involves a story about a bear which I shared Here. (Thanks for your patience with my meandering way of articulating my thoughts on humour and comedy btw!)

For the great sax intro:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

What's Cookin'

   It's been a cookery kinda week, see:

   With peanut butter and chocolate chip 'cake' (basically the peanut butter bread recipe, doubled, with chocolate chips). Find original recipe Here. Use three large eggs, add 2/3 c. brown sugar, etc... this makes a great 'snack' type cake that isn't too sweet.

   Also played around with a new recipe I'm inventering, for this soup...

   Green shrimp soup. Full of tomatillos, poblano pepper, green onions, garlic, cilantro, and avocado, etc... it's creamy, but without dairy, (it's the avocado, and an immersion blender that does the trick) and chock-full of healthy fats, fibre, and flavour. I'm going to have to play with it a bit before I give out the recipe, since it was a bit heavy on the tomatillos this time. Tangy is good, tasting like sauerkraut tangy is a bit much, lol. Ah well, that's what happens sometimes when trying new things, you have to have a disaster or two on the way to perfection. Right? Right? 

   By the way, have I mentioned how much I love avocados? 

   I do, I really really do!

Next post will be a little something about humour... stay tuned! (A song my Dad used to sing frequently.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's A Smell World After All!

   And here's a tip o' the hat to those who can smell it!

   So this is about Parkinson's again, and one of the odder symptoms/effects of PD... and that's what it does to the sense of smell. Researchers have discovered that one of the things first affected by PD, often long before any other symptoms are noted, is smell (which inevitably affects the sense of taste). For more information, go Here.

   I've often wondered if this is a factor in Parkinson's dementia, considering how closely related memory and the sense of smell actually are. (To learn more about how scent and memory are tied together, go here.) As the old saying goes: "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance..." 

                                    image source

...and studies show that rosemary actually does help with memory!

   My sense of smell has definitely been affected, although I haven't lost it completely, and it's been affected in some very odd ways. Even when I refused to drink it, I still loved the smell of brewing coffee... and thought it smelled far better than it tasted, except in ice cream form... but now, at least for the first few seconds, brewing coffee smells like fish. Old fish. Bleagh!

   I can no longer smell bananas, gasoline, or body odour (which may be something of a blessing, lol) Garlic is muted, which is a shame because I looove garlic. Celery comes and goes, but things like cucumber and peaches are strong and glorious! The scent of apples and honey can mesmerise me...

   The world of scent has gained a greater importance to me the last few years; realising you are losing a sense seems to have that affect, and I often indulge myself with the things I can still smell, like these amazing candles which smell just like what I imagine Mycroft Holmes' (Sherlock Holmes older brother) gentlemen's club smelled like: 

                                      image source

   To binge on the smell of baking bread, or roses... honeysuckle, orange blossoms, or the scent of your beloved's neck doesn't seem quite so ridiculous when you consider what it would be like to never smell them again.

   On the other hand, phantosmia often steps in to fill the gaps left by losing one's sense of smell when you have Parkinson's. Phantosmia is, basically, an olfactory hallucination... you can smell it but it ain't really there, which would be really cool if it was, say, baking banana bread you were hallucinating, but no such luck; at least not for me! Nope, I get to hallucinate things like dog poo, and the faint smell of burning. Now burning wouldn't be too bad, if it was something like a campfire, or leaves burning, but oh no, not me. Quite often the two hallucinations occur together, and I have to restrain myself from checking the front porch for flaming bags of dog poo! 

   The remedy for these olfactory hallucinations is pretty pleasant, however... immersing myself in strong scents I can still enjoy, like bacon. Or roses. Maybe bacon roses? Or maybe not. Oh I know, a rose garden! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Popping In

   To let you know I'm still around, just not terribly healthy as yet. As in, sleeping 16+ hours a day, losing weight, not eating much (or keeping it down) and having a voice that is either missing altogether or sounds like I've been chewing granite boulders, lol. 

   Here, enjoy some photos of my Christmas roses:

   You can be sure they made me smile! And something else which made me smile... a photo of the Great Scot and his brother when they were wee, shared by one of my sweetheart's uncles. (Now retired from the police force in Scotland.)


Tuesday, January 6, 2015


   The Great Scot's great shot of the moon. Yes, it was as cold as it looked.

   It's been an odd few weeks, and I think it may take a wee while to regain my equilibrium, but I'm going to try to blog at least a couple of times a week as well as get around to see everyone. 

   Hope your year thus far has been full of fun and joyful surprises!

The Great Scot, having been fedora-ised:

Let this young guy make you smile!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Walking Dead? (And For Keith and Beate...)

(And for Keith and Beate, who will be wed today in Germany... congratulations, blessings, and may your love continue to be as wondrous as this rose.)

   Anyone who has had a nasty bout with a flu bug knows exactly where the idea for zombies came from. Although I've no fancy for munching human flesh, I may or may not have considered biting the head off anyone unfortunate enough to wake me.

   There, the last whine of 2014. You may now continue on with your lives without, one hopes, the dreadful misery of influenza creeping in uninvited.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Season of Joy

   For many religions, around the world, that is what this time is supposed to be... a season of joy, of light, of joy-filled giving and humble receiving. 

                                  image source

   The Soldier and Sailor's Monument, in the Indianapolis city circle, circa late 1940's/early 1950's.

I wish us peace this holiday season... and joy, laughter, and grace. Enough, and more, to carry us through the coming year; no matter the challenges which come our way. Please also keep all those who were affected by the bin lorry (trash truck) crash in Glasgow (George Square, the place my SIL El photographed for us earlier in the month) in your thoughts and heart. Six people, including three from one family, lost their lives. To learn more, go Here.

Remember, also, (and I know all my readers do) that in order to point a finger one must first form a fist... 

Now, I'm off to enjoy time with family, and savour the scents of holiday cooking in the air. The Great Scot will be home for the holidays, so see everyone later. Stay safe, warm, and merry! (And for a little goofiness to make you smile:)

I have my Grandma D's hands, wow!