Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Queen's Meme 3 ~ The Cooking Meme (What Is The Meaning of Thyme and Other Deep Questions)

To avoid getting thrown into a dungeon, here's my answers to this week's Queen's Meme

1. If you could put thyme in a bottle, what is the first thing that you'd like to do?

I realise that this question is an hilarious pun on a Jim Croce song (my favourite version of the song being by The Muppets incidentally) but it sort of falls down in the respect that as far as I can ascertain it's totally possible to put thyme in a bottle. Anyway, the first thing I'd like to do is come up with a witty answer to this question, but that's clearly nowhere near as possible.

2. Do eggs really crack or do they merely have a nervous breakdown?

I don't think eggs have yet developed such mental capabilities to able to nervously break down - that's way down the road at the chicken stage, though clearly you can philosophically argue about which comes first.

3. Why are you whipping the butter? What did it ever do to you?

I've never whipped butter. What kind of weird sick thing is that to do? I'd never do anything to butter that would lend itself to smutty innuendo, I just spread it then eat it.

4. Do your spoons spoon in the drawer? Have you ever noticed? And more importantly, if wooden spoons spoon do they get splinters?

Sure they spoon, but that's way more romantic than what the forks are getting up to. Sadly I only possess one wooden spoon, all on its lonesome, so I cannot answer your second question.

5. You hear: "Dumpling, my Dumpling, come hither." The candles are lit, the fondue is dipping, the Godiva is pouring, the scallions are steaming and the music is playing.....but wait, the windows are open.
Why did you close them?

So that the candles wouldn't blow out, plus I wouldn't want the fondue to go cold. More importantly, why did you open them?

6. Do you need a recipe to cook or are you a bohemian chef? Show us your reckless and wild side in the kitchen. Don't have one? Here's a recipe I made just for you: You will need a spatula, a whisk, a gallon of Chardonnay, a banana and a rump roast. What is the name of your dish?

I need a recipe to cook, ideally an incredibly simple one consisting of one or fewer ingredients. Clearly your recipe is far too complex for me, so I'll just drink the Chardonnay, and then cook a banana (I'd cook the rump roast as afters, but it'll take some time, and then the Chardonnay will have taken effect, so I'll be woken up by the pinging of the oven's clock in many hours time and the rump will have been roasted to a cinder; trust me, I've had something similar happen to me in the past with a Balti).

7. After dinner, the dishes are so dirty that the dishwasher refuses to wash them.
What did they say to get in hot water?

Well, at home, I am the dishwasher, so they probably didn't say anything; I'm just being lazy.

8. Is your pot black?

Yes. If it wasn't then it would just heckle the kettle even more.

9. What is the sexiest spice or condiment in your cabinet? What makes it so?

Not that I have any spices or condiments (I fear you're mistaking me for a cook) but that'd be Rosemary, since love grows where my Rosemary grows (hope that people get the song reference, otherwise I'll just look like I'm spouting rubbish here).

10. How much crock is really in your crock pot?

I don't know what a crock pot is, to be honest, or crock (the only two things I know of that come in crocks are poles apart). I'm guessing there's at most a pot's worth, otherwise it would overflow.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Sunday Stealing: The "Leave It to Meme" Meme

You can play here.

1. Who was your FIRST date?

That would be a girl called Catherine who I met on a school ski trip. She broke up with me not long before the end of it. I thought I'd finally gotten over it too, but this meme has to rake up all the memories again.

2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?


3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

That would be a half pint of lager when I was seventeen.

4. What was your FIRST job?

That would be my current job, a computer programmer.

5. What was your FIRST car?

Well the first car I learned to drive in was a white Austin Metro.

6. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?

That was to France on a school ski trip that I'd been trying to forget.

7. Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?

That'd probably be a kid called Graham and I've not talked to him for thirty years or so, mainly because we've not seen each other since then.

8. Whose wedding did you attend the FIRST time?

That would be my uncle's wedding where we all went on a boat ride afterwards for the reception. Overall it was a fun day, although one of my other uncles drank too much beforehand and never even made it to the church.

9. Tell us about your FIRST roommate.

Not sure I've ever had a roommate as such. I guess the nearest would be my first hall of residence at University where I shared a flat with six other guys (Ian, a very funny guy who looked like Jesus, Hywel, who was a big fan of the actual Jesus, Andrew, who played Chess with me, another Andrew, who had a birthday just before mine and I think that was the most interesting thing about him, Saeed, who was a muslim medic with two simultaneous girlfriends, Bob, who seemed a nice guy and I really should have something interesting to say about him, and a cool guy called Simon who had a lovely girlfriend Jo who once made me a birthday cake). I remember in our first week the flat of girls above us complained because we were hoovering the lawn at three in the morning; I think we sort of went downhill after that.

10. If you had one wish, what would it be (other than more wishes)?

That I was in Delaware with A Blog In The Rough.

11. What is something you would learn if you had the chance?

If I knew what I wanted to learn, then I would have probably learned it by now.

12. Did you marry the FIRST person you were in love with?


13. What were the first lessons you ever took and why?

Swimming lessons when I was seven or so, because my friend Graham was going to them too.

14. What is the first thing you do when you get home?

Lock the door, otherwise I'd probably forget.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Saturday 9: Fast Car

Here's my answers to this week's questions from the Saturday 9 Meme:

1. What’s the furthest trip you’ve taken by automobile?

It was probably a trip to Scotland for work. Totally unmemorable with fairly heavy rain.

2. What’s the worst pick up line you ever received?

I've never been much of a pick up line magnet, and the only one I can actually recall (and I was so naive that I only realised it was a pick up line in retrospect) was back in the eighties when some girl at a nightclub asked me if I was off The Young Doctors (an Australian soap opera of the time).

3. What’s the best pick up line you’ve gotten?

Well since it's the only one I can recall, I guess it's the Young Doctors one again, even though it's fairly dismal.

4. What was the last gift that you received?

That would be from A Blog In The Rough. A cool pen with a maze in it containing a couple of ballbearings.

5. What was the last gift that you gave someone?

The last one I gave was probably a box of chocolates for my mother last weekend. The next will be a Jonas Brothers keycard that I forgot to give my niece last weekend.

6. Tell us about the last time you cried.

I occasionally get a bit teary chatting online, but the last time I cried would have been last Saturday in Philadelphia airport when I had to leave the love of my life behind and return to England.

7. Tell us about the last time you laughed uncontrollably.

It wasn't for long at all, but it was definitely uncontrollable, and that was when Lynette (aka A Blog In The Rough) tickled me just over a week ago.

8. Do you suffer road rage? What are your thoughts on it?

No, I don't, but that could be just because I don't drive. I think it's an unproductive bad thing, and sufferers should get counselling.

9. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?

"I love the rain - it washes memories off the sidewalk of life" from Play It Again, Sam. It comes in handy on long rainy automobile trips to Scotland.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Queen's Meme No. 2 ~ Mission Impossible

To avoid getting thrown into a dungeon, here's my answers to this week's Queen's Meme

1. You are a guest on the space shuttle. You just arrived on the moon and realize you forgot something back home that you can't live without. What is it and how do you convince them to go back and fetch it?

I guess it's gonna have to be Lynette since she chose me on her blog (and also because there could be no better choice) - I'd tell them we needed her since she's always right about everything, which could be pretty useful, plus she'd probably take us on all sorts of cool excursions to other planets.

2. Pretend you are a teacher in a rough public school for one day. You have been assigned to teach Manners 101. You have the "challenging bad butt kids" class (remember this is a pretend school and anyway I can't say ass on my blog 'cause it's so unQueenly and I might get fined or something).
They are jumping up and down, cursing, and throwing things at you.
What is the first thing you would write on the board?

I wouldn't have time to write on it, I'd be too busy using it as a shield. Should I find the time, maybe my last will and testament.

3. Someone in your family or a friend has started a blog. They think it is anonymous but you have figured it out. They are saying derogatory things about you. Do you tell them or do you read it for awhile?
How would you handle it?

I'd read it but not mention it, since they obviously value their anonymity. I guess I'd be okay with them saying derogatory things about me (indeed with some family members, I'm quite used to that sort of thing in real life); it's if they picked on other members of my family that I'd start to get peeved.

4. If you had one dollar left in your pocket, what would you spend it on?

Nothing. It's not legal tender in the UK. If it was, then maybe a can of Vimto.

5. President Obama and the First Lady are coming over for dinner. What do you serve?

I'd ask them what kind of food they'd like and then order from one of the local takeaways (it might not be perfect, but it sure beats what I could make).

6. You walk in on your lover. They are trying on your clothes. What do you do?

After my initial shock at their stunning lack of fashion sense, I'd be fine with it and watch them trying them on.

7. Every astronaut must have shots! Choose your vaccination: You only get one and you can't enjoy any of the attributes of the other choices. You choose either: (1) The fountain of eternal youth and sexual vigor but only for 10 years (2) perfect health for a lifetime (3) eternal mind-numbing nirvana and peace of mind (4) unlimited hedonism for one year with no negative consequences.

I'd choose the perfect health for a lifetime since a lifetime could be really really long if you were always in perfect health. Having said that, I'd probably be sneaky and try and give it away to someone more in need (how come only astronauts get this miracle drug anyway?).

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Sunday Stealing: The Heretic Meme

You can play here.

1. Who was the last person of the opposite sex you lay in a bed with?

That would be A Blog In The Rough.

2. Where was the last place you went out to eat?

A pizza place in Delaware.

3. What was the last alcoholic beverage you consumed?

A bottle of Corona.

4. Which do you prefer - eyes or lips?

Eyes, though lips are pretty cool too.

5. Medicine, fine arts, or law?


6. Best kind of pizza?


7. What is in store for your future?

My brain tells me that this stuff is beyond prediction, whereas my heart wants lots more meetings with A Blog In The Rough.

8. Who was the last band you saw live?


9. Do you take care of your friends while they are sick?

I'd hope I would, though I've never had occasion to.

10. How many songs are on your iPod?

I'm too lazy to check; it's in the thousands.

11. Where is the last place you drove to?

That would be the local driving test centre.

12. Where did your last kiss take place?

Yesterday, at an airport.

13. What were you doing at 11:59 PM on Monday night?

I'd have been in a hotel room at Dewey Beach, talking to my favourite person on earth.

14. Are you a quitter?

Nah, I'll make it to the end of this meme, so I will, even though there appear to be two question fifteens.

15. Who was the last person you had in your house?

That would be a man from British Telecom installing a phone line.

15. What do you think about people who party a lot?

I've not given them a lot of thought to be honest. If they're having fun then I'm glad for them.

16. Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?


17. What was the last CD you purchased?

That would be my standard answer of the Coraline soundtrack (I really need to buy some new CDs sometime).

18. What are two bands or singers that you will always love?

ELO, They Might Be Giants

19. Which of the seven deadly sins are you guilty of?

Most of them to some extent, but mostly Sloth.

20. How is your last ex doing?

I've no idea.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Queen's Meme ~ Do Handcuffs Hurt?

I was invited to play The Queen's Meme over at Mimi Writes...

1. You are in court. You are in deep doo-doo. What did you do?

They found out I'd been stealing blogs on Sunday.

2. Your blog just became a best-selling book. What is the title of the book?

An Eerie Tapestry, of course.

3. It is midnight. The phone rings. It is Michael Jackson calling from the Great Beyond. What would you like to ask him?

Can you put my grandma on the line?

4. You are having your future told. The fortune teller looks in the crystal ball, screams and leaves the room in fright.
What did she see?

That she was merely a character in a meme I'd later be answering.

5. You're blogging along minding your own blusiness (that's blog + oh...you know) when Google unexpectedly puts a Objectionable Content Warning on your blog. Your own mother is afraid to enter! What, pray tell, did you do to warrant it? How did this happen?Just how objectionable can you be? Do tell.

I must have posted a link to Bud's blog.

6. You suddenly become God Of The Universe. What would your first Commandment be?

Thou shalt not run with scissors.

7. And finally, what secret would you like to tell the Queen?

I'm actually a siamese twin who just so happens to be joined everywhere.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009


Some of you may have noticed a countdown on the left of my blog page so, before it reaches zero and does whatever it does when it reaches zero (not sure what, so you're advised to stand well back), I thought I better provide an explanation on the off-chance that any of you were curious.

The countdown is counting down to 1:45pm on Saturday when I'll be arriving in America to visit my writing buddy A Blog In The Rough who's kindly invited me over (check out her blog for a far better post about this and a far better countdown).

Anyway, if you've already read her post, you'll have already heard the story of how we met online when we participated in National Novel Writing Month last year, and got on like a house on fire (more recently, having discovered we're mutually attracted to each other, like a very mushy house on fire). While it's the antithesis of the glib superficiality that I aim for with this blog, I'll just put my heart on my sleeve and say that over the last seven months as I've come to know her, I've come to like her more and more and more and more (and more besides) until finally all that like bubbled over and she's now the first person I think about when I get up in the morning and also when I go to bed at night (not to mention all those hours in between). I think the world of her and I'd cross the world for her.

Of course I've yet to meet her, and things may change, but for now I'm sat here looking at my countdown, watching the days, the hours, the minutes, and the seconds go down. I don't know what will happen when it reaches zero, and we finally meet, but I can't wait to find out.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Sunday Stealing: The "I've Come To Realize" Meme

You can play here.

1. I’ve come to realize that my chest-size. . . isn't of much interest to my readers.

2. I’ve come to realize that my job. . . gets a bit boring after two decades.

3. I’ve come to realize that when I’m driving. . . the rest of the world is in danger.

4. I’ve come to realize that I need. . . more than I've got.

5. I’ve come that realize that I have lost. . . the will to complete this meme.

6. I’ve come to realize that I hate it when. . . I regain the will to complete a meme.

7. I’ve come to realize that if I’m drunk. . . then I should probably stop drinking.

8. I’ve come to realize that money... can be useful.

9. I’ve come to realize that certain people. . . never change.

10. I’ve come to realize that I’ll always. . . procrastinate.

11. I’ve come to realize that my sibling(s). . . is my best friend.

12. I’ve come to realize that my mom… is most probably the nicest person I'll ever meet.

13. I’ve come to realize that my cell phone. . . would be better if it didn't ring when I was on-call.

14. I’ve come to realize that when I woke up this morning. . . that I owed somebody an email.

15. I’ve come to realize that last night before I went to sleep. . . I was about to write an email.

16. I’ve come to realize that right now I am thinking. . . about the person I'm always thinking about lately.

17. I’ve come to realize that my dad. . . is one of the few of my relatives I wouldn't actually recognise on the street.

18. I’ve come to realize that when I get on Facebook. . . there's lots of things of disinterest to read.

19. I’ve come to realize that today. . . was the day I kept mis-spelling realise.

20. I’ve come to realize that tonight. . . will be later today.

21. I’ve come to realize that tomorrow. . . will involve me having to go to work.

22. I’ve come to realize that I really want to. . . make the most of my future.

23. I’ve come to realize that the person mostly likely to repost this is. . . someone who's read it.

24. I’ve come to realize that life. . . is good.

25. I’ve come to realize that this weekend. . . will be far inferior to next weekend.

26. I’ve realized the best music to listen to when I am upset. . . is Country, because misery loves company.

27. I’ve come to realize that my friends. . . have been my friends for quite a while now.

28. I’ve come to realize that this year. . . might be my favourite one so far.

29. I’ve come to realize that me exes. . . have become whys.

30. I’ve come to realize that maybe I should. . . point out that the last answer was just a joke.

31. I’ve come to realize that I love. . . being in love.

32. I’ve come to realize that I don’t understand. . . Lebesgue Measure.

33. I’ve come to realize my past. . . is in the past.

34. I’ve come to realize that parties. . . aren't always worth going to.

35. I’ve come to realize that I’m totally terrified. . . of totally terrifying stuff.

36. I’ve come to realize that my life. . . is getting better.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Saturday 9: Yankee Doodle Dandy

Here's my answers to this week's questions from the Saturday 9 Meme:

1. What is your favorite 4th of July memory? (If you aren't in the U.S., then use your own national holiday.)

I don't think the UK has a national holiday as such. I guess the nearest equivalent to the 4th of July is Bonfire Night and my favourite memories are probably from when I was young when fireworks seemed far more exciting than they do now.

2. Do you consider yourself patriotic?

No, not in the least.

3. Do you like fireworks?

Yes, providing they're let off on the right day.

4. What are your plans for this weekend?

The same as for most of my other weekends.

5. Are you optimistic about the future?


6. Do you think everyone should serve in the military?

No, I don't think anyone should be forced to do something if they don't want to do it.

7. Would you support a constitutional ban on flag burning?


8. What end of the political spectrum are you?

I tend to avoid the political spectrum. If pressed, I'd be on the left.

9. Where do you get your news?

TV, internet, papers. Having said that, I tend not to seek out the news. I figure if it's important enough it'll find me.