Department Of What Almost Makes Having Seasonal Allergies Worthwhile
That would be having an excuse not to tackle the enormous dandelions (with the size and temperament  of a rabid Rottweiler) infesting our yard.
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Department Of Don’t Believe Everything You Think
Dateline: Monday; morning walk; circa 7:05 am; listening to the latest This American Life podcast. The episode begins with the host listing of the variety of ways “The Ten Commandments” label has been used to brand lists of qualities, suggestions, actions or requirements considered essential to certain professions and/or activities:
* The Ten Commandments for Gold Miners
* The Ten Commandments of Umpiring
* Ten Commandments of Tractor Safety
* The Ten Commandments of Cell Phone Etiquette
* The Ten Commandments of…Bilingual Blogs; Working in a Hostile Environment; Communication with People with Disabilities; Being a Math Teacher….
As with all TAL episodes, this intro segues to stories which will be related to the episode’s theme/title. This particular episode’s stories illustrate, as the host says, situations “…where people are grappling with these old, primal rules for life. With that in mind, we’re devoting today’s program to the Ten Commandments, the real ones.”
As soon as I heard the phrase, the real ones, I realized moiself was in for a hair-pulling moment. Is it too much, I wondered, for me to expect the show to at least mention if not genuinely address the fact that there are no “real ones” when it comes to (what people think are) the so-called Ten Commandments?
“Now different denominations attach different numbering schemes to the commandments, to which commandment goes with which number, though the commandments are always the same….”
(Ira Glass, narrating This American Life podcast The Ten Commandments)
Now then. Ahem. I realize this particular show’s premise is not The TC per se; rather, the TC is meant to be a unifying theme to the wacky stories presented within.  Still….
Ira, dude – your show has a staff of writers and investigators. You can do better than this. You could have at least given a nod to accuracy and reality, and said something like…
“There are in fact three different versions of The Ten Commandments found in the scriptures used by both the Jewish and Christian religions – and here they are ( either citing the biblical books and verses or reading them aloud)– but for the sake of familiarity, we are going to use this particular set of ten.
…and continued on with your stories.
There are three versions of the TC in the Jewish scriptures (referred to by Christians as The Old Testament) which are used by both Jews and Christians (all references here use the KJV translation).
It takes time to plow through this, but plowing through this is the point: the point being that almost no one actually plows through this, including religious believers – for how else to account for their ignorance what the TC actually say, or that there are different versions?
Version 1 is found in Deuteronomy 5:6-21
I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Thou shalt have none other gods before me.
Thou shalt not make thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath….
Etcetera, etcetera. This version is likely somewhat familiar even to those who are neither Jewish nor Christian.
Version 2 is found in Exodus 20:1-17
This differs slightly from the Deut. version, in phraseology and “explanatory text” (most evident in commandments #5 and #6). This difference, however, is ( or should be) highly problematic for those fundamentalists who believe and preach in their scriptures being the literal word of their god, for if that were true, there should be no textual difference at all.
Then we have the gift to Skeptics, Freethinkers, and Atheists everywhere: Version 3.
Version 3, from Exodus 34, begins with the Hebrew god’s instruction to Moses:
Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
Okay; a claim of straight dictation from the Almighty…except that these commandments are vastly – and in some cases, weirdly – different than the first two versions. Although, like the first two versions, the writing claims it is “the LORD” speaking. Christ almighty, guess “the LORD” forgot what he’d said the other times?
It’s interesting – imperative, even – to note that this version of the TC is never cited when what I think of as the Unholy Trinity of Ps (priests, pastors, politicians) cite The Ten Commandments.  And yet this version is the only one referred to in scripture as the “ten commandments.” (my emphases, from the last verse. Have fun with the rest).
For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.
Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.
All that openeth the matrix is mine; and every firstling among thy cattle, whether ox or sheep, that is male.
But the firstling of an ass thou shalt redeem with a lamb: and if thou redeem him not, then shalt thou break his neck. All the firstborn of thy sons thou shalt redeem. And none shall appear before me empty.
Six days thou shalt work, but on the seventh day thou shalt rest: in shearing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.
And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the first fruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end.
Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the LORD God, the God of Israel.
For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the LORD thy God thrice in the year.
Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall the sacrifice of the feast of the passover be left unto the morning.
The first of the first fruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the LORD thy God. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother’s milk.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Write thou these words: for after the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel.
And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
* * *
Department Of Things I’m Supposed To Like But Don’t
Take, for example, the Hulu series, Shrill.
Here is the show’s website intro:
From Executive Producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks comes Shrill, a comedy series starring Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss.
It sounded promising to me: three names I associate with quality comedy, and the teasers I saw and read hinted about an amazing premise (for a TV show): a fat heroine who refuses to be fat-shamed…
Except that she doesn’t.
Half way through the first season (episode 3 of 6) I realized I’d been expecting/hoping for just a wee a bit more…empowerment? gumption?…from the protagonist. And I was surprised by how…sad…it made me feel. How long do I want to watch her flounder in an emotionally abusive relationship? Oh, yeah, that would be, NOT ONE MORE SECOND.
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Department of Epicurean Excursion 
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters
Recipe: Spicy Cauliflower Soup
Recipe Rating Refresher 
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
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Department Of Great Moments In Publishing
Dateline: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…  I am having lunch with a writer friend who is dissing the Twilight book series, at least one of which she actually has read all the way through. She asks if I am aware of the series; I confess that although moiself is aware of their existence I’ve no idea who the author is nor what the books are about, other than…maybe…teen vampires in the Northwest?
Writer Friend giggles as she begins describing the books’ unbelievable sucky-ness. She particularly loathes the author’s liberal use of adverbs (” ‘he chuckled darkly ‘ ?!?!?! “). Our ensuing conversation goes something like this:
Moiself: “Okay, so they’re poorly written. But, what are they about? In a nutshell (which is where they probably belong), what’s the story?”
Writer Friend: “Teenage girl falls in love with a hundred-plus year old vampire; lots of steamy scenes of longing but no sex before marriage as per the vampire’s wishes, so she marries him when she’s 18, gets pregnant, and gestating the half vampire fetus almost kills her but she refuses to have an abortion….”
Moiself (interrupting with derisive snort): “What is this – Mormon soft core porn?!”
Writer Friend (giving me an incredulous look): “Uh…the author is a Mormon.”
* * *
May you be aware of how many assumptions you make when you think you and another person are discussing the same thing; 
May you never pretend to like the things you think you are supposed to like
(but which you in fact do not like);
May you anthro- or vego-morphize to your heart’s content;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 Yes, dandelions can have a temperament. And if you take issue with this assertion you obviously haven’t spent enough time weeding.
 And the first one – about a Jewish boy attending Hebrew school who faces the dilemma of having one of the Jewish god’s alleged 72 names (the boy’s name is Shalom) and thus, according to his Jewish teachers, he cannot write his own name without “taking the Lord’s name in vain” – is quite entertaining.
 You think they wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to use the phrase, “go a whoring,” or talk about the religion and political ramifications of boiling a kid (baby goat) in its mother’s milk.
 A recurring feature of this blog, since week 2 of April 2019, wherein moiself decided that moiself would go through my cookbooks alphabetically and, one day a week, cook (at least) one recipe from one book.
 * Two Thumbs up: Liked it
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up : Loved it
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin (a character from The Office, who would eat anything) would like this.
* Twiddling Thumbs: I was, in due course, bored by this recipe.
* Thumbscrew: It was torture to make this recipe.
* All Thumbs: Good recipe, but I somehow mucked it up .
* Thumby McThumb Face: This recipe was fun to make.
* Thumbing my nose: Yeah, I made this recipe, but I did not respect it.
 Actually, circa 2008.
 See part about the ten commandments.