The other day I was listening to Priscilla Ahn’s ‘Red Cape,’ and pondering about it. I normally don’t give much thought to lyrics, preferring to merely enjoy them at face value, but a friend had once pointed out how much she liked the meaning behind it. Her account of it being that the cape symbolized a ‘something’ one cannot let go of.

I find this interesting. We all have a ‘red cape,’ I think. Something we cling to, something we feel we could never live without. Whether it’s a person, achievement, dream, ambition, hobby, or vice, without it where would we be? It’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, capes make you fly, right? But sometimes, it’s ‘…caught in the engine of a plane, that’s flying way too low…’ 1

So what do we do about that? It’s not easy to let go of someone or something we’ve been with for many years. However, oftentimes I find that once I let go of something, I instantly feel lighter. Freer. If it’s dragging you down, isn’t that best?

Easier said than done.

Red cape

AME//

NB – I am working on a project, to be completed hopefully in the next two or three months. Once I release it, you will know why it took so long, but until then, await eagerly my public….

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Jones soda, that is. Unlike most of my generation, I had never had one of these fascinating beverages until a few days ago. It began when my coworker and I went out shopping.

We went to many delightful places and met many delightful people. I do love getting to know associates. You always get better service when people feel like they know you. Just a hint.

We went to Old Navy…

Which, for some reason beyond me, stocks Jones soda. My friend was ecstatic over the little things, so I casually mentioned, “Yeah, never had one of those.” Oh the horror-stricken visage I was met with. Not like it’s a real life necessity, thar.

Still, I suppose I am happy I’ve divulged in one. I do like their photographic aspect, and the fact that one may send in pictures to be put on the labels…hmm….

As the website states, it’s become rather a cult. Some of their marketing initiatives include snowboarder and surfer logo placement, or Jones RVs traveling the country handing out their products. They even have a Twitter feed on their website that displays all Tweets about the soda. Mine was even on there. I feel special.

Another interesting use for Jones Soda is the shot clinic. Eheh, not really. I just call it that. But, for those of you who have not participated in this little endeavor, let me enlighten you. Jones Soda is also famous for making the weirdest drinks imaginable. For instance, during Thanksgiving, you may purchase Turkey, Gravy, Dinner Roll, Pea, Antacid, and Sweet Potato. Nearly a complete meal. However, the drinks are a little questionable as far as palatability. As in very very very questionable.

I was so lucky as to attend a party where these little buggers were being used as dare recompense in a game. If you answered a question wrong, you had to take a shot of whichever one. One guy threw up. My boyfriend liked it. I didn’t have one. I escaped unscathed. Fortunately.

So if you are in need of a hilarious, embarrassing, horrifying and demeaning game, there you have it. Just pop out the old Dinner Roll in a bottle and watch the heads roll.

AME//

All information and pictures of Jones Soda taken from the Jones Soda website. http://www.jonessoda.com/

More commonly known as ‘spring fever,’ this common calamity often hits citizens unawares a month or so before spring, hence the name. Its symptoms include restless pacing, incessant garden magazine purchasing, damaged eyesight due to constant perusal of seed catalogues, chills from wandering outdoors, and itchy fingers. The only cure is to wait until warmer weather, when it is acceptable to plant without fear of frost, and plunge fingers into warm earth repeatedly until symptoms alleviate.

Alas, it has struck me this year, as it does every year, and I find myself yearning towards beautiful, bountiful bowers of blooms. I was silly enough to escalate the disease by borrowing a book on English roses from the library. It’s oversized high-gloss pages, awash with images of decadent frilly delight, intensify the symptoms til I nearly go starkers. Does anyone else reading suffer this horrid plight? I would love to know I’m not alone.

Part of the problem too is that my fever is never fully satiated. Here in the warm south, with summer temperatures rising well above 100 in the shade, it becomes a chore unbearable to work in the garden during the day. Even the early morning sees heat waves shimmering on the pavement, and it’s more than a soul can bear to brave the rays and step outside at all. So any garden languishes during the later summer months, and so nothing really gets done.

I know this full well, but it doesn’t stop the desire for green things growing around me.

So, this year, I decided to try something a bit new. For me, anyway. As I love herbs and tea, I will make myself a small indoor garden full of such delights as chamomile, lavender, lemongrass, peppermint, and anything else that catches my fancy. Not only will I keep a supply of tea fresh on hand, I will satisfy my gardening desires without ever having to set one tender foot upon the scorching concrete.

A remedy at last? We shall see. This little experiment of mine may prove faulty, in that I may find myself as lazy as ever and not tend to an indoor garden any more than an outdoor. Once it gets underway, I may chronicle its evolution, and perhaps the extra resolution of posting about it here will keep me motivated.

 

 

AME//

 

Yes, I like food. Food and I go way back. We have been in a very intimate relationship pretty much since I was born, well, not considering the brief period of time when I was fed nothing but mushed up…things. Things of that nature are not food. But I digress. Food is pretty wonderful; as I’m sure everyone on the planet will agree with. It comes in many marvelous shapes and colors, forms and textures, degrees of spiciness and sweetness, saltiness and bitterness. After all, if taste, a key element in enjoying food, can make it onto the top five senses list, it must be pretty important.

I won’t bore my readers with a list of all my favorite foods. Such a resplendent compendium would doubtless fill a small paperback. However, why is it that I enjoy ethnic food more than classic American? American is very limited, being generally epitomized by hamburgers and chicken fingers, and perhaps that is the only reason, but I think it also has to do with the fact that American food is too familiar, and its smells and sights and greasy parts have been a component of my genetic makeup for decades.

Of course, as any good foodie will tell you, we don’t have many authentic ethnic eateries in the States. Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Indian, and French food (among many others) have for the most part been adapted and adulterated by our culture. We do have pockets of genuine cooking, in such forms as Chinatown and Little Italy, but these haunts are few and far between and much too much of a travel for most of us.  Still, that doesn’t mean one shouldn’t enjoy the foods America does offer to the utmost. Just don’t expect to meet the same familiar faces when you traverse to their country of origin. Luckily for us, however, real ethnic cuisine tends to exceed in quality the foodstuffs we get here, so you won’t be disappointed.

(A small sidenote –as I type, I am devouring some pecan and chocolate chip cookies. Sustenance for a writer, right?)

The methods people employ when eating are as varied as people themselves. From those who eat daintily, with fork in one hand, knife in the other, delicately chewing each bite thoroughly before inserting the next bite, to those who shovel food in as fast as air will allow, never minding who around them gets hit with the shrapnel, I think it’s safe to say that no one method takes precedence anywhere. I think the majority of the population fluctuates around the middle area, depending on how hungry we are and who we are in front of. I know for myself, I tend to become a little more voracious when alone. So that must make me a member of the fast and the greedy, I suppose.

But what can I say?

I like food…

This is me eating a burrito from Chipotle, my new favorite restaurant. Yes, I enjoy any place that stuffs a pillow-case sized tortilla full of cholesterol-laced goodness. What you see above is my trying to keep said goodness contained within said pillow-case. It is a remarkable accomplishment for anyone who can do it, and I have not yet learned the trick. Guess I’ll just have to keep going back to practice. Oh darn… I also thoroughly enjoy reading the silly anecdotes they put on their cups. I swear, I get so engrossed in those things…

This is a picture of me out with my friends at our annual Girls Night Get-Together. Here we are at The Cheesecake Factory, another scrumptious eatery with portions fit for Goliath. Seriously, I split my meal and still had too much. Ah well. The vittles you see before me are half-masticated bits of Chicken Madeira, a delicious egg encrusted chicken meal with potatoes as good as heaven.

AME//

A BROBDINGNAGIAN Kind of Start…

 

One might as well begin a blog with something about words, eh? In this brief exhortation, I will assume everyone reading does NOT know what the above title really means. So let me explain.

 

Brobdingnagian: Relating to a giant person or thing. Created by

Jonathan Swift in ‘Gulliver’s Travels.’ ‘Brobdingnag’ was the name

given to the land of giants, and so anything from that land was

naturally ‘brobdingnagian.’

 

Of course, it’s not everyone who may create words at their pleasure. Aside from Jonathan Swift, Lewis Carroll, writer of ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ etc., created quite a few as well, including my own personal favorite, ‘chortle.’ But this right to generate vocabulary is generally withheld to the famous and literary population.

So don’t try it, in other words. It’s bound not to catch, and then people will just look at you strangely. However, people will be more apt to respond with awe if you choose to use such words as ‘xanthic,’ or ‘efficacious.’ Of course, the likelihood of people knowing what you’re talking about is slim at best, but hey, should that stand in the way of better conversation? I didn’t think so.

So here’s my advice. My tuppence. My grain of salt. Whatever. Expand your vocabulary. Please. Yes, by all means keep the ten-cent texting and chat words and phrases which constitute most of our society’s daily exchanges. But add some spice. Some flavor. Sprinkle in some big one-dollar words every now and then and amaze your friends, your family, and perhaps more importantly, your teachers or bosses. If they don’t know what you’re saying, it automatically elevates you to a position of some kind of superiority. Not really, but they might think so, and that’s all that matters.

If you do experience something along the lines of what I just mentioned, let me know, because it’s never happened to me. All I get usually is a few blank stares and a plea for clarity. As if. Brevity is the soul of writing perhaps, but who said anything about speech?

So, how to expand the vocabulary. Of course, one may take the long route and become intimate friends with a large dictionary or thesaurus, but that’s a tedious business and may damage eyesight and social status, so be careful with that one. Then there’s the internet. Yes, how surprising. Use online dictionaries with such handy features as ‘Word of the Day!’ And people don’t have to know you use that either.

Or, novelty of novel ideas, you could read. (Novel, get it?) That’s what I did, and it has seemed to work fairly decently. Not that I could cite on command which books have given me the most words, but I do know they have. Beyond a doubt, books will get you used to words and familiarize you with the proper contexts and nuances of each word.

Am I too didactic? Perhaps. But this society is truly worrying when people do not know the meaning of ‘elevate.’ What do elevators do, hm? (And therein lies the impetus behind my post.)

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: You may experience a slight stinging sensation on the tongue and uvula when attempting a new word for the first time. This sensation should desist after a few tries. If it does not, stop using the word immediately and seek linguistic help. You’re probably pronouncing it wrong.