WEDNESDAY READER | MARCH 29
Presenting today’s Wednesday Reader (BTW – last Wednesday of March 2023).
Tongue-in-cheek Zen-Sations are straight up!
Leslie Elman’s Trivia – always gives us material to be the cleverest person in the room.
Carol’s recipe for Tofu Scramble with Cotija Cheese & Tortillas is outside-the-box delicious.
Stephanie Hayes’ column made me stop and think about dreams among other things… Great read.
Thanks for being here + commenting your thoughts + sharing with friends and family. Gratitude, Daymakers!
See ya Friday!
- WHICH NOTABLE FEATURE CAN BE FOUND ON THE BORDER BETWEEN TIBET AND NEPAL?
a) Ganges River
b) Great Wall of China
c) Mount Everest
d) Yangtze River
- WHO MADE HIS FEATURE FILM DEBUT IN 1988’s “MYSTIC PIZZA?”
a) George Clooney
b) Matt Damon
c) Ethan Hawke
d) Brad Pitt
- REMAINS OF THE HUMAN ANCESTOR HOMO HABILIS WERE UNEARTHED IN THE 1960s AT WHAT SITE?
a) Bauru Basin, Brazil
b) Candeleros Formation, Argentina
c) Eutaw Formation, United States
d) Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
- WHICH OF THESE WAS THE FIRST CHARACTER BALLOON IN THE MACY’S THANKSGIVING PARADE?
a) Bugs Bunny
b) Felix the Cat
~ COPYRIGHT LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM
WHAT IS THE WEIRDEST THING ABOUT YOU?
POP QUIZ ANSWERS
- Mount Everest spans the border between Tibet and Nepal
- Matt Damon made his feature film debut in 1988’s “Mystic Pizza.”
- A research team led by Louis and Mary Leakey discovered Homo habilis remains at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in the 1960s.
- In 1927, Felix the Cat became the first character balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
The following line-up of tongue-in-cheek truths was sent to me several years ago by long time friend, Alberta Roberts. Enjoy!
- The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.
- It’s always darkest before the dawn. So if you’re gonna steal your neighbor’s newspaper … this is the time.
- Don’t be irreplaceable. If you can’t be replaced, you won’t be promoted.
- Never test the depth of water with both feet.
- Always remember that you are unique. Just like every one else.
- If at first you don’t succeed — skydiving is not for you.
- If you always tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
- Some days you’re the bug. Some days you’re the windshield.
- Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
- Pass on good advice. That’s pretty much all it’s good for.
- There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
- Generally speaking, you aren’t learning too much when your lips are moving.
- Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
- When you’ve got nothing to lose, try anything.
I’M NOT SAYING WE SHOULD ALL MISBEHAVE, BUT WE OUGHT TO LOOK LIKE WE COULD
~ Orson Welles
(( Starve the Landfills. Recycle ))
RIDDLE ME THIS
WHAT’S EASY TO GET INTO BUT HARD TO GET OUT OF?
TOFU SCRAMBLE WITH COTIJA CHEESE AND TORTILLAS
This recipe is delicious and perfect for breakfast, luch or breakfast-for-dinner. As a salsa fan, salsa is “icing on the cake” thing for me. 4 fabulous servings!
GATHER 1st LINE-UP OF INGREDIENTS:
- 1 TBSB olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (whites and greens, separated)
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
- 14 ounces soft tofu, drained and crumbled into large pieces
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- Coarse salt, taste
HEAT OIL IN A MEDIUM SIZE SKILLET OVER MEDIUM HEAT. ADD GARLIC, SERRANO PEPPER, AND SCALLION WHITES – AND COOK UNTIL TENDER – ABOUT 2 MINUTES
ADD SPICES AND COOK UNTIL TOASTED – ABOUT 1 MINUTE
STIR IN TOFU AND BLACK BEANS AND COOK, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, UNTIL HEATED THROUGH – ABOUT 4 MINUTES.
SEASON WITH SALT AND SPRINKLE WITH SCALLION GREENS
NEXT LINE-UP OF INGREDIENTS:
- 8 Corn tortillas
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1/4 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
HEAT CORN TORTILLAS IN MICROWAVE TO SOFTEN
ARRANGE TORTILLAS ON PLATES. TOP WITH TOFU SCRAMBLE, AVOCADO SLICES AND COTIJA
~ recipe courtesy Carol Toberny
Ginger Bread Station Used Book Store
thank you, Carol!
BLAHS AND BAD DREAMS IN THE PANDEMIC’S FOURTH YEAR
For as long as my mushy cerebral cortex has had folds, I’ve been blessed (or cursed) with vivid dreams. In them, my subconscious tends to take on actions I avoid in real life. For instance, I am a pretty low-conflict person. I don’t enjoy fighting, and I can’t remember the last time I yelled at another human. I am more likely to bottle feelings, go to bed and chew through my mouthguard during somnolent screaming matches, Academy Award-winning, guttural performances. I wake up ready to be even-keeled and likable again.
I often remember these dreams. I’ve read about why this happens for some people and not others, and the reasons are vast and varied. Most researchers agree, though, that we remember dreams that are so intense they shoot us awake from the depths of REM slumber. We remember the ones that really rock us.
To wit, my dream last week:
I hosted a get-together to test out my fledgling manicure and pedicure skills on close friends, skills I do not have in real life. But in this dream, I wanted to learn something new and take a low-pressure step toward becoming a nail superstar. My brain had assembled an all-star cast from the spectrum of my life: friends from middle school, high school and beyond, plus a wildly strange collection of co-workers. My co-workers are reading this wondering if I did their pedicure in a dream, but I might take that information to my grave.
Quickly, the group ballooned to 20 angry, impatient people. I realized doing manicures and pedicures on everyone would be a 24-hour affair and I was just one person. Everyone wanted something specific, complaining about the temperature of the water, demanding nail art for which I was not qualified! After finishing nails on two so-called friends and accepting that it was impossible to please everyone, I woke up from the depths of REM with a dream I have chewed on ever since.
I’m extra reflective this time of year. Early March has been riddled with outsized anxiety since 2020. Each time a social media memory pops in from moments before the pandemic’s true scope emerged, it feels like a ghost of a past life floating over the bed. I recognize that person going to a party and running a 5K, but I can never fully be her again.
She isn’t traumatized in the classical sense, because others endured far more loss and pain, but she has hairline fractures. She doesn’t look the same, dress the same, feel the same zest about making plans. She is older and more tired, which was going to happen no matter what. But she wonders if another version of her would have popped out more spry, less tentative, with better-fitting pants.
Is this new person stuck, succumbed to the comfortable habits of home? Can she try anything new and stick with it? Can she locate her former trust in humanity, or did humanity eat it up? She wonders if the people gathered in her house for pedicures truly believe in her or if they are heavy with judgment, whispering about her inertia while staring ahead with their own dead eyes.
I can’t articulate the confusing Ides of March better than Jon Mooallem in the latest New York Times magazine. He attempts to make sense of the nuance of a cultural narrative still forming. Read the entire thing, even though he acknowledges you don’t want to. That is the point: “As we enter a fourth pandemic year, each of us is consciously or subconsciously working through potentially irreconcilable stories about what we lived through — or else, strenuously avoiding that dissonance, insisting there’s no work to be done.”
He asks, what is normal? Perhaps it’s an impenetrable concept worth abandoning altogether. “The weirdness we’ve felt since — what’s still making us wobbly now — may be the strain of trying, as hard as we can, to crank that busted machinery of normal back on,” he writes.
While this one, stupid dream means I am overdue for nail services, I guess it also means whatever I want it to mean. So I think it means this:
We can’t pretend we should be the same as the people in those pre-pandemic photos. We can’t pretend to have infinite energy to please everyone we have ever known, pretend we are not cynical, bruised, harder, older, sadder. We can’t pretend to be normal because normal is a construct, and constructs are handles we cling to in search of certainty.
The blah. The blah is the work. The blah is the good space, the space where we can reset, find a new goal, energy, faith, the next steps forward in this house of mirrors. Because by pushing every blah feeling down, we leave our subconscious to do the hard work in the middle of the night. It’s not fair to ask the brain’s default network to locate the exact right shade of blue sparkle polish for a friend who is out there walking through the same hazy, unbelievable dream.
Stephanie Hayes is a columnist at the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. Follow her a @stephhayes on Twitter or @ stephrhayes on Instagram. COPYRIGHT 2023 CREATORS.COM
column published on March4, 2023
- At an altitude of more than 12,000 feet, Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet is the highest ancient palace in the world. It was built in 1645 for the 5th Dalai Lama, and even though reaching it meant climbing hundreds of steps at high altitude, thousands of people lived and worked there. When the 14th Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet in 1959, Potala Palace was surrendered to China. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Plenty of college campuses have casual dining establishments, but only one has the original Pizza Hut. That’s Wichita State University, where Pizza Hut founders Dan and Frank Carney were students in the 1950s. Their original 500-square-foot brick building opened in 1958, about two miles from campus. The building’s sign could accommodate nine letters. Knowing that PIZZA would be five of them, the brothers decided on HUT for the rest — and a tradition was born. In 1986, the original Pizza Hut was moved to campus. It’s now a museum.
- The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia is the oldest natural history institution in the Western Hemisphere. Founded Mar. 21, 1812, for “the encouragement and cultivation of the sciences and the advancement of useful learning,” it began as a pure research institution, sponsoring expeditions to collect plant, animal and mineral samples from around the world. In 1828, it opened as a museum for the public.
- The only short film to win an Oscar for the best original screenplay was the 1956 French film “Le Ballon Rouge” (“The Red Balloon”), written and directed by Albert Lamorisse and starring his 6-year-old son, Pascal. What makes this most unusual is the fact that the 34-minute film contains almost no dialogue. Nevertheless, it’s one of the more charming and memorable films you’ll ever see.
- The first U.S. patent for a machine that produces spun sugar candy was awarded in 1897 to inventors John C. Wharton and William Morrison. Wharton was a candymaker by trade and Morrison was a dentist. The business partners displayed their invention at the World’s Fair in St. Louis in 1904, where they delighted the crowd with the sweet treat they called fairy floss. Today, we know it better as cotton candy. In other parts of the world it’s called candy floss or spun sugar, and in France it’s known as barbe a papa, or father’s beard.
~ Leslie Elman is the author of “Weird But True: 200 Astounding, Outrageous and Totally Of the Wall Facts.” Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
COPYRIGHT 2023 LESLIE ELMAN
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM