Department Of This Explains Why Republican Congressmen Haven’t Congealed Into A Fetid Cesspool Of Their Own Despicable Gullibility
From my cryptogram-a-day book, the puzzle for November 26. Even two thousand years ago, it was an observable phenomenon:
The mind attracted by what is false has no relish for better things.
(Horace, Roman poet, circa 65 – 8 BCE)
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Department Of Is That Your Classic Sodapop Bottleneck,
Or Are You Just Happy To See Us?
Moiself saw a movie on Tuesday I wasn’t sure I was going to see, until a friend recommended it. From the many previews I’d seen, I figured Ford v. Ferrari was sure to be a testosterone fest and would likely fail The Bechdel Test as applied to movies.  Also, mere words cannot express my lack of interest in auto racing. Also also, although the leads in the movie, Matt Damon and Christian Bale, are IMHO two of the more consistently interesting actors in movies, their blatant product placement scene – a male bonding wrestling/fight, after which they toast each other with bottles of soda pop, the COCA COLA label of each bottle most carefully turned toward the camera – was an ignominious sellout moment.
Although it won’t go down on my list of faves for the year, thanks to the skills of the actors and the story line (clashing buddies join forces to navigate corporate shenanigans and international rivalries) F v. F was an enjoyable watch “for the most part”…savefor my desire to have edited “the most part” down to a respectable, non-butt-numbing 90 minutes. As it currently runs, F v. F is over 2 ½ hours…and, really, gents, do we need scene after scene, cut after cut, of VROOM VROOM VROOM and images of a clutch being depressed, followed by a foot pressing the accelerator, VROOM VROOM VROOM, repeat x 256 to the nth?
Yep, they race cars; they downshift and up-shift; they speed up and slow down – got it.
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Department Of Why I Love It When The Closed Captioning Option
Gets Stuck On The Hotel TV While I Am Channel Surfing
Through A Seemingly Endless Stream Of Action Movies
Because I get to read such wonderful captions as,
[ system powering up]
[ men grunting]
* * *
Department Of Best Wrong Text Message Ever
You know that moment: in the nano-nano of nano seconds when your finger is reaching to press the send arrow and the executive part of your brain says, Stop! No – this is not the person you mean to send this text to! …and it’s too late?
My best of “that moment” occurred last week, via a text I sent to a neighbor. I was under the mistaken impression that MH was the most recent person from whom I’d received a text (MH had asked me if there was anything he needed to do/get that afternoon at home before joining me at the coast). I’d forgotten that I had answered friend JK’s text about meeting up with him and his wife that night, which thus put friend JK in the default/first position when I opened my phone’s messaging app. 
Moiself (texting to JK, thinking it was to MH):
Hey, today when you go home, could you check the laundry that is in
and on top of the dryer? Also be on the lookout for a loose turd.
I found one and only one upstairs.
Moiself (half s second later, to JK):
Oh my god JK ignore that,
that was meant for MH…this is hilarious…Sorry.
The turd remark, as you may guess, had to do with a litter box accident
by one of the cats.
JK (to moiself):
I think I’ve seen that turd, but it was long ago….
Moiself and JK later decided my text-fail would have been even better if I’d sent it to someone I didn’t know well and who didn’t know that I have cats.
(“But you may find the turd you’re looking for by the cantina….”)
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Department Of Mortifying Memories
I recently bought an issue of Sunset Magazine, which sparked a long-buried memory of familial discomfiture (read: mine). In the late 1960s through the early 1980s my parents subscribed to Sunset. Back issues of “The Magazine of Western Living” were always stacked on the lamp table by our living room armchair; during my grade school years I thumbed through them on occasion, both bemused and perplexed by the pictures of tastefully manicured yards surrounding architecturally stunning, designer-furnished houses with their beautiful kitchens and elegant table settings. Those emblems of “gracious living” seemed quite foreign to me, living in my family’s modest home in our lower middle class neighborhood.
When I entered junior high I made friends from the Other (read: wealthier) Side Of Town ® and eventually was a regular visitor to their houses. In those homes I saw design and decor that had previously been only a fantasy, and realized that what might have been inspirational or aspirational to my parents was the reality for many of my new friends. The magazine that had been a curiosity turned into an embarrassment, and I began hiding our copies of Sunset when my friends came over to my house.  I was mortified to think that my friends might think…. I’m not sure what, exactly, I feared our copies of Sunset represented. Was it that my friends would secretly laugh at the idea that my folks thought that they, too, had a magazine-worthy home? Or worse, that my family aspired to a lifestyle which we obviously did not have and could not attain?
My parents were always generous toward and genuinely interested in my friends, whom they welcomed at all times and on all occasions into our home. When I observed how this was *not* the case at the homes of some of my more affluent friends, I became cognizant of and grateful for the kind of genuine gracious living my parents practiced, and I stopped hiding the magazines.
It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Still, moiself cringed to recall this memory. I’m a much better person now (we’re grading on the curve, right?).
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Department of Epicurean Excursion 
Featuring this week’s cookbook, author and recipe:
The New Basics Cookbook, by Julee Rosso & Sheila Lukins
Recipe: Cauliflower Arugula Puree
☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼ ☼
Recipe Rating Refresher 
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Department Of It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times…
No, Actually, It Wasn’t Anywhere Near The Worst Of Times,
But It Sucked, Anyway
Dateline: Tuesday, 12:45-ish p.m. at a New Seasons Market.  I am in the “quick” checkout line, and as the checker is ringing up my takeout sandwich, pinto of cherry tomatoes and a few other items she asks, “Do you want your discount today?”
I’m a longtime New Seasons customer, and know that on Tuesdays all NS stores offer a Veterans discount, wherein active and retired soldiers may receive 10% off their purchases (either by showing their id or being in uniform). Since nothing about me shrieks military, I reply, with confusion:
Moiself: “My…discount? What discount?”
Checker: “Well, normally we do it on Wednesday, but during Thanksgiving week we decided to extend it to Tuesday, also.”
Moiself is still looking at the checker with genuine incomprehension, and she points to the front of her cash register, where a sign notes that Wednesday is Senior Discount Day for those age 65 and over.
Moiself: “You mean, your Senior discount?”
Checker (nodding enthusiastically): Yes!
Moiself, smiling (read: baring my teeth): “I don’t qualify for it.”
I havejust come from receiving sad news from a friend who’d lost her cherished mother-figure/mentor; I probably have a less-than-perky, distressed look hiding behind my initial smile-at-the-checker visage. I’m not afraid of aging; I realize it is a privilege denied many, but, still…. I’m getting there fast enough on my own, thank you.
The checker begins to do that frantic, talking-to-fill-an-awkward-silence thing, babbling on about how she doesn’t take the discount either, although she thinks she might be even older than me and…and she takes way longer to bag my items than is necessary, fumbling and dropping several tomatoes out of their box. I continue to say nothing, simply favoring her with my numb, thank-you-so-much-for-assuming-I’m-older-than-I-am, half-smile.
I decide not to do the easy/expected thing – to assuage her and say, “Oh, don’t worry, it’s all right.” It wasn’t as egregious a slip up as pointing at a woman’s distended belly while asking, “What is your due date?” and then finding out she is not pregnant…and I *am* just a few years away from the store’s senior discount parameters. Still, I want the checker to momentarily flounder in her discomfort, in the hopes she might remember that when it comes to a discount based on age, you should wait until a person claims it, then check their crow’s feet or teeth or id or whatever if you need to do to confirm their discount-worthiness.
The checker finally corrals the last loose tomato, flicks a few buttons on her checkout screen, and says she’d decided to give me the discount anyways. A savings of $3.34; I guess that was – what, my insult dividend?
* * *
May you never assume someone qualifies for a senior discount unless
their false teeth have sprung out of their mouths and landed atop your sneakers;
May you never, ever, agree to be part of a product placement;
May you always find the escaped turd;
…and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
* * *
 The movie has to (1) have at least two [named] women in it; (2) Who talk to each other, (3) About something besides a man. As predicted, F v. F failed the test.
 And, of course, I didn’t check the recipient’s name but just dictated the message.
 I stuffed them under the chair, returning them to the table when my friends were gone. My parents never noticed.
 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 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.
 Not my usual New Seasons (where I know or at least recognize most of the checkers), but one in another town.