Dateline: last Thursday, ~ 7:30pm, Trivia night at MacGregor’s Whiskey Bar, Manzanita. It is round two of three, and my neighbor/friend/trivia partner JK and I are in a fierce battle for first place.
The category is Greek mythology, and the question is, “Who was the wife of Hades, god of the Underworld?” When I call out, “Melania!” a competitor on another team suggests I should get at least two points “for style.” 
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Department of SEE – IT’S NOT JUST ME!
From the Chicago Tribune review of, Godzilla, King of the Monsters (my emphases):
“Key non-human players in “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” include Godzilla, whose head remains touchingly small for his body…“
The latest. Why is his head shrinking?
* * *
Department of Complisults
Last week I hear the word used on a podcast, and it sent me down Memory Lane, so to speak: Complisult.
You know what it is, even if your first thought was that it’s just my spellchecker on vacation. You’ve likely had a complisult flung your way a time or two, by a frenemy  or (more likely) a well-meaning, we-just-want-you-to-be-happy parent or other relative. They start out giving you a compliment, or at least saying something positive…which quickly morphs into critique, or even insult.
Both of my parents, despite their otherwise loving natures, were adept at giving me complisults.  Two examples immediately spring to mind, even though these happened decades ago. 
Example the First
Dateline: unsure (the following conversation happened twice, once in person during a visit with my folks at their home, and once during a phone call. Dialogue almost identical in both instances).
In answer to my parents’ How-is-it-going/anything new being published? query, I said I was happy to have a story of mine accepted for publication in a journal I’d long admired.
Complisulting parents: “That’s nice! Is it something we can actually find…how can we get a copy?”
Moiself (laughing): “You should appreciate this – unlike my last six or seven stories, this journal has a national distribution, so you can go to a local bookstore that carries literary journals and ask….”
Complisulting parents: “Hey, did you that Connie Washington had a story in the Reader’s Digest? It’s so great that she’s writing for Reader’s Digest!”
“Connie Washington,” is the daughter of my parents’ neighbors. I’ve known Connie since junior high school – she is also a writer, in a different field (journalism/nonfiction; mostly science reporting) from mine.
Like 99% of the pieces which appear in Reader’s Digest, Connie’s was an edited reprint, of an article she’d had previously published in a science journal. This is how RD has worked since its 1920s inception: its founder thought it would be a good idea to collect articles on different subjects from a variety of monthly journals, edit and/or condense them, and combine them into one magazine. The RD staff consists of editors; no writer technically “writes for” Reader’s Digest, as in, pens original material for them. No matter how many times I’d remind my parents of this fact, they never seemed to get it.
Moiself : “It’s great that her article is in there – I hear they pay well! But, you do know Connie’s not actually writing for Reader’s Digest. As I’ve mentioned before, she’s currently a staff writer for Science Weekly and…”
Complisulting parents: “Well, now people will actually read what she’s written. Have you ever thought of writing for Reader’s Digest?”
Moiself: “Okay; one more time: no one writes ‘for’ Reader’s Digest. Also, RD doesn’t accept original short fiction….”
Substitute Saturday Evening Post, or other old timey magazines – or even Time and Newsweek – for Reader’s Digest in Have you ever thought of writing for Reader’s Digest?”
With every publication of a story of mine, my parents would offer congratulations, then find ways to remind me that the venues publishing my works weren’t a part of their world (translation: not important).
Complisulting parents: “You really should consider sending stories to Reader’s Digest. And what’s that big magazine we saw at the market the other day – with the glossy cover pictures – Omni or something? That looked interesting.”
My parents were the last people from whom I’d even consider seeking where-I-should-be-sending-my-work advice: their knowledge of the publishing world was bupkis, and their familiarity with literary fiction even less. Naturally, therefore, they were generous (surprise!) with unsolicited ideas as to where I should send my work, suggesting venues which were always inappropriate (and sometimes, unintentionally, amusing non sequiturs)…forcing me to reply with a never-ending series of reality checks:
“Uh…that magazine went out of business five years ago.”
“That journal no longer publishes fiction.”
“That magazine publishes genre fiction; you know I don’t write ____ (sci-fi; Harlequin Romances; vampire murder mysteries….)
“That journal only publishes staff writers or agented writers – no unsolicited material.”
“Holy crap for not paying attention  – since when, as in, never, has US News and World Report ever published fiction?!”
Example The Second
I was a single adult for a long time (I was 31 when I married MH). Despite having a couple of mostly great beaus along the way  I thought being a singleton would be my permanent state, which was fine by moiself. When my parents observed that my goals in life seemingly did not include finding a partner in life, my father took every opportunity to mention to me that his marriage and children were his greatest joy and achievement.
Although they never directly criticized my remaining single, during our weekly phone calls it became evident that such a status – one I viewed as fitting and natural for moiself – was somehow seen by my parents as a loss (or even aberration).
Complisulting parents: “And what did you do this weekend?”
Moiself: “Saturday I went to the San Antonio Wilderness Preserve, and saw….”
Complisulting parents: “Another hike? That sounds fun. We saw Margaret Denton’s parents in church. Did you hear that Margaret and Tom Crocker are engaged?”
Moiself: “I didn’t; no surprise, though. Congratulations to them.”
Complisulting parents: “Have you thought of doing something different with your hair? There were so many boys who admired you in high school…. 
My parents (of course), saw themselves as nothing but loving and supportive, and well-meaning…and they mostly were – moiself was fortunate in that regard, I know. Still, the doubts/insecurities inherent in complisults managed to lodge in a corner of my brain, and came back to haunt me in later years.
Is it something in the parental DNA, a gene for undermining one’s offspring? I imagine Vincent van Gogh  showing his parents his Sunflowers paintings:
Oh, Vinnie, how nice – so colorful…have you ever thought of trying this and sending it in – you could get into professional art school!
* * *
Department Of Firsts
Dateline: Tuesday 6-14-19, 2:41 pm. I got my first Mandarin (or Cantonese?  ) voicemail on my cellphone.
Can you tell this has been an exciting week for me, or what?
* * *
Department of Epicurean Excursion 
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
Café Paradiso Seasons, By Denis Cotter
Recipe: Rigatoni with arugula, broad beans, cherry tomatoes, olives and fresh cheese
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
* * *
May strangers offer to give you style points (but leave no Mandarin messages on your phone);
May your head stay in proportion to your body, should you become a monster movie star;
May your complisults be few, but memorable;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 The correct answer was Persephone, which none of the teams got. JK and I took second place, losing by only one point….so those style points would have come in handy.
 “Frenemy” is a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy” – an oxymoron noun meaning a person with whom you remain somewhat friendly, despite said person acting competitively with you and/or cutting you down, betraying and/or insulting you at any opportunity.
 I can’t speak for my other siblings, but I’m sure they have received at least a few.
 Seeing as how both of my parents are deceased, there are no recent examples. But if either were still alive and somewhat cognizant….
 Okay, I left that comment out.
 And one neurotic headcase… I thought I had escaped that fate which seemed common to so many of my peers, but it seems that there’s always at least one toad you have to kiss….
 Those mystery admirers remained unnamed, but I’ve little doubt that, in my parents’ mind, they included the ones who would telephone me in the early evening and have hour long conversations about how they had a crush on one of my friends.
 One of the most influential artist the world has seen, who sold only one painting in his life – and since it was his brother who bought it (this was so that van Gogh could honestly say, as per the requirements an art show he was trying to get his works displayed in, that he was a “professional” artist) that doesn’t count.
 Where is my sister-in-law – a native Cantonese speaker – when I need her to translate?
 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) once recipe from one book.
* Two Thumbs up: Liked it
* Two Hamster Thumbs Up : Loved it
* Thumbs Down – Not even Kevin (a character in 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.