WEDNESDAY READER | JANUARY 25
Greetings – Hope your week is swell. January’s moving so fast, and the temperatures have been crazy warm, I feel like I’m getting a little Spring fever.
Gotta keep reminding myself that February is traditionally one of the coldest month’s here in my neck of the world.
Spring will come quick enough. In the mean time, I can look through catalogs for seeds and magazines for cool ideas and make garden plans (large + small + containers) with pen and paper. That’s my plan. How about you?
Thanks for being here!
- WHICH OF THESE BUILDINGS RESEMBLES AN EGYPTIAN OBELISK?
a) Lincoln Memorial
b) National Museum of African American History and Culture
c) U.S. Capitol
d) Washington Monument
- BY METRIC TONS, WHICH COUNTRY PRODUCES THE MOST ORANGES?
d) United States
- TATIANA MASLANY WON AN EMMY IN 2016 FOR HER STARRING ROLE IN WHICH DRAMATIC SERIES?
a) “The Americans”
b) “How to Get Away With Murder”
c) “Orphan Black”
- WHICH DINOSAUR GETS ITS NAME FROM THE UNUSUAL PROTUBERANCES ON ITS FACE?
- THE PEABODY AWARDS, PRESENTED ANNUALLY BY THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA SINCE 1940, HONOR EXCELLENCE IN WHAT FIELD?
a) Agricultural research
b) Broadcast media
c) Children’s literature
d) Civil engineering
- IN THE NATIONAL STATUARY HALL AT THE U.S. CAPITOL, CALIFORNIA IS REPRESENTED BY STATUES OF FATHER JUNIPERO SERRA AND WHOM?
a) Cesar Chavez
b) Walt Disney
c) John Muir
d) Ronald Reagan
WHAT PET PEEVES DO YOU HAVE?
POP QUIZ ANSWERS
- The Washington Monument resembles an Egyptian obelisk.
- Brazil leads the world in orange production.
- Tatiana Maslany won a 2016 Emmy for her multiple roles in “Orphan Black.”
- Triceratops comes from the Greek for “three-horned” face.
- The Peabody Awards honor excellence in broadcast media.
- A statue of Ronald Reagan was donated to the National Statuary Hall by the state of California in 2009.
~ Leslie Elman,
COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
NOTE TO SELF …
- A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never quite sure.
- Don’t look where you fell, but where you slipped.
- Look at life through the windshield, not the rear view mirror.
- People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.
- Be nice to people on your way up, because you may need them on your way down.
- Never explain. Your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe it.
- While seeking revenge, dig two graves — one for you.
- Time you enjoyed wasting, was not wasted.
- Courage is not a lack of fear, but the ability to act while facing fear.
- If you’re heading in the wrong direction, you’re allowed to do a U-Turn.
- You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your father was.
- Pain is temporary. Quitting is forever.
- The best way to predict the future is to create it.
“I AM TOTALLY REAL, AS A WRITER, AS A PROFESSIONAL, AS A HUMAN BEING. A RHINESTONE SHINES JUST AS GOOD AS A DIAMOND.”
~ Dolly Parton
(( Starve the Landfills. Recycle. ))
RIDDLE ME THIS
WHAT GOES UP BUT NEVER COMES DOWN?
CHICKEN IN LEMON BUTTER SAUCE SERVED OVER ANGEL HAIR PASTA
This is an exceptional dish that’s easy to prepare but looks elegant and complex. My sister, Jennie, passed this recipe along to me. Serve with fresh sourdough bread slices and a simple butter lettuce salad and a nice glass of wine of choice. serves 4
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 stick of butter
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 TBSP garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- lemon pepper seasoning
In a large oven-proof skillet (with a tight fitting lid), saute chicken breasts in butter, wine, lemon juice, garlic and seasoning. Cook until until breasts are browned. Remove breasts and set aside.
Add to the butter/wine/lemon juice in the skillet:
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup
- 2 cans cream of broccoli soup
- 1 cup half & half
- 1/4 cup (additional) white wine
- 2 TBSP (additional) fresh lemon juice
- a few more shakes of lemon pepper seasoning
Preheat oven to 350*
Whisk ingredients until it’s a gravy consistency and simmer over medium heat for a about 5 minutes.
THEN ADD to “gravy”
- browned chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup capers (optional)
- 1/2 pound fresh, sliced mushrooms
Simmer another 5 minutes
- Squeeze or sprinkle (additional) fresh lemon juice over each breast
- Place a slice of Swiss cheese on each breast
Cap skillet with lid (or cover tightly with aluminum foil) and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove cover, bake an additional 15 minutes is golden in color.
Serve over a circle of Angel Hair pasta (that has been prepared to package instructions) on individual serving plates. Divide and spoon “gravy”/ mushrooms / capers over each serving. Voila!
~ Hippie Cowboy recipe box
NO DIETS, NO DRY JANUARY, NO STRESS: GENTLE JANUARY IS HERE
Welcome, fellow Type Bs, to the dark side.
We find ourselves smack in the middle of hyperactivity heaven. January is the Olympics for Type As, prime time for people who use color-coded day planners, who slot time for “relaxation” on vacation spreadsheets, who eat the same macronutrients all week, packed each Sunday in depressing Tupperware.
These people have a concerning eye glint, as if they have foraged suspect mushrooms from a marshy part of the yard. They were raring to go Jan. 2, when holiday decorations promptly went back into labeled tubs. They hung inspirational notes on office walls, as if “DISRUPTION” written on printer paper will help staff reach Q1 goals. Many of these people can be found in the halls of Congress, cackling over an evil stick of celery.
The rest of us have gazed upon rolls of jolly Santa wrapping paper teetering against a Bissell PowerSteamer for weeks whilst sliding off our couches in the manner of slime. We are dirt people, OK? Sure, we might aspire to be a spreadsheet person, but we have not so much as glanced at a clothes hanger. We have consumed nothing but chicken wings and red blends for a fortnight, and frankly, we were not ready to stop.
Time was extra dissociative this year because our school system started winter vacation really late. Holiday joy and wonder wore off eons ago, with parents and kids left staring at each other, wondering how everyone got here. The Type B children were content to chill with Cheez-Its and iPads forever. The Type A children spent the last days getting a jump on studying Mesopotamia.
Me, I’m back from two weeks off with the family. If you are ever able to indulge in a break with no plans, I recommend it. For the first week, I battled one of 54 airborne illnesses going around and consumed too much Prince Harry media between naps. The second week, I kept napping. Why stop napping? I wandered around listening to metal music from 1999 and pondered what it might be like to never turn over a new leaf, ever again.
You see, the Hyperactivity Industrial Complex tells us we must put an end to fun. The new year brings the bill we promised to pay in December when we agreed via soulless email to “circle back” and “follow up” and “tackle this in January !!”
We must now improve. We must now rekindle bonds. We must start Whole 30 keto and intermittent fasting. We must buy elite featherweight running shoes. We must shore up savings for the upcoming financial apocalypse. We must do Dry January like monks, but not the kind of monks who make beer.
I’ll pause to remind you that none of this is real. The time between the holidays and New Year’s is a construct, an abstraction, a system of values. It’s like money. Money only has worth because we all agree it does. Currency is a terrific scam! The January ritual is also a scam, this practice of writing a list of flaws and self-flagellating to rebalance pleasure simply because an arbitrary date has come and gone.
There’s a long, similarly arbitrary year ahead, and I propose gentleness. Gentle January. Shh, not so loud. We’re not demanding goals. We’re letting each other ease back in. Maybe we’re trying something new in February or march. Maybe not! We’re not canceling naps. Maybe we’re adding naps. We’re not taking away spinach artichoke dip. Please, unhand the pita.
We’re not taking away the legit satisfaction Type As get from order, either. That’s not really the point. Gentle January is about celebrating differences and staying out of everyone’s business. If you are hyper, so be it. Just remember that many of us aren’t hyper. If you find fulfillment from waking up at 5 a.m. to clean baseboards, proceed. Then come to my house and do it. I need to lie down.
~ Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. Follow her at @stephhayes on Twitter or @stephrhayes on Instagram. COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM
- Classic Hollywood films such as “Born Yesterday” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” were shot on location at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., with characters touring the rotunda and other public areas. The legislative chambers were off-limits, however. So, Mr. Smith’s famous filibuster scene was filmed on a meticulously recreated soundstage set.
- When you’re posing for a photo, you say, “Cheese!” Unless you happen to be in Denmark or Norway, where people say, “Appelsin!” which means orange. In Korean, it’s “Kimchi!” the spicy, fermented vegetable dish that’s a staple of Korean cuisine. In Chinese, it’s often “Qui zi!” which means eggplant. The important thing is the “ee” sound at the end of the word because it makes you grin. That explains why, in French, people say “Ouistiti!” which means marmoset.
- In the Eastern Orthodox church, Jan. 25 is Saint Tatiana’s Day, in honor of the ancient Christian martyr. Jan. 25, 1755, also happens to be the date that Russia’s Moscow State University was founded. That led to Saint Tatiana being named the patron saint of students. Now Saint Tatiana’s Day is known as Students’ Day in Russia. Since the date is traditionally the last day of the university academic semester, there’s plenty of reason for celebration.
- The trademarked bucking horse and rider image on the
Wyoming license plate is probably based on a rodeo horse called Steamboat from back in the early 1900s. (The rider’s identity is undetermined.) The first bucking horse and rider license plates were issued in 1936, but the insignia is older than that. Wyoming National Guard troops in World War I wore it on their uniforms, as did Wyoming units in Korea and Vietnam, and it’s been a symbol of University of Wyoming athletic teams since 1921.
- The first sate supported public university in the United States was the University of Georgia, chartered on Jan. 27, 1785. However, it took another 16 years for the school to establish facilities and open to students. In the interim, another state beat Georgia to the opening punch: The University of North Carolina was chartered in 1789 and opened in 1795, making it the oldest continuously operating state-supported university in the United States.
- The idea of putting an inanimate object on trial for murder might seem absurd, but apparently, that’s not what the people of Hawarden Wales, believed in the 10th century. During a severe drought, a noblewoman called Lady Trawst went to church to pray for relief. Above her head was a statue of the Virgin Mary, which somehow fell on the lady at prayer, killing her. The locals put the statue on trial for murder, found it guilty, “drowned” it in a river and then buried it.
~ Leslie Elman
COPYRIGH 2023 LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM