going nuts

It’s fall now up here in the Northern Hemisphere, and the squirrels are busy squirreling away their nuts for the winter. Meanwhile, I’ve been eating a lot of nuts, and going a little nuts. And reading about nuts¹. It’s almost as if nuts have been falling out of the trees and bonking me on the head². So, grab your nutcracker³, because I’ve gathered up a few nuts to share with you for this week’s list o’ Things.

a selection of mixed nuts

  • nuts. (adj.) An expression meaning “crazy.” As in “you are totally nuts.” There are also other nut-themed variations, such as the additional adjectives nutty and nutso, and nouns like nutjob and nutcase.
  • Nuts (1987) A movie starring Richard Dreyfuss and Barbra Streisand.
  • Nuts (2007) A short movie directed by Irvine Welsh. (You can actually watch it on IMDB.)
  • nut: a piece of hardware: “a type of hardware fastener with a threaded hole.” Typically used with a bolt.
  • wingnut: a kind of nut (the hardware kind) with the appearance of wings
  • wingnut: someone with extremely right-wing political views. As in “please don’t let us have a wingnut for vice president!”
  • nuts: a slang term for testicles.
  • Mr. Peanut. The mascot for Planter’s nuts. An anthropomorphic peanut wearing a tophat.
  • in a nutshell: an expression meaning “in summary” or “in brief,” evoking the compact size of a nutshell, and what can be stuffed in it.
  • O’Reilly’s In a Nutshell series: technical reference books, such as Perl in a Nutshell and Java in a Nutshell
  • The Nutshell Library: A box set collection of miniature books by Maurice Sendak. Not about technical topics.
  • Death in a Nut“: A folktale (in various versions) about a boy who tries to save his mother from death by stuffing Death into a nut shell.
  • Thumbelina“: a fairytale about a tiny girl. She had a cradle made of a walnut shell.
  • Kate Crackernuts: an English fairytale about a girl who frees her stepsister from a curse that hides her beauty. The nuts are somewhat peripheral to the story. Kate collects them while going about her tasks and eats them for breakfast.
  • Nutcracker: a device used to access nuts that are encased in a hard shell. Decorative ones sometimes are made to look like people.
  • The Nutcracker: a ballet by Tchaikovsky, based on the story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann featuring a decorative nutcracker toy.
  • Harlan Pepper, played by Christopher Guest in Best in Show, likes to name nuts:

    I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, “Harlan Pepper, if you don’t stop naming nuts,” and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that’s what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she’d just start yelling. I’d say, “Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut.” That was the one that would send her into going crazy. She’d say, “Would you stop naming nuts!” And Hubert used to be able to make the sound, he couldn’t talk, but he’d go “rrrawr rrawr” and that sounded like Macadamia nut. Pine nut, which is a nut, but it’s also the name of a town. Pistachio nut. Red pistachio nut. Natural, all natural white pistachio nut.


¹ Two of my favorite bloggers coincidentally (or perhaps both sparked by the start of school) wrote about how they are dealing with nut restrictions in their schools. Emily wrote Nutty, and Denguy wrote Aw, Nuts, two thoughtful posts that raise awareness about nut allergies. (I’d like to add that neither of them has a child with a nut allergy, and in fact have kids who love peanut butter. But they are both concerned and considerate.)

² That happened to me once with a chestnut. It hurt.

³ …or your epipen…

Thumbelina image from Hans Christian Andersen, Fairy Tales (Chicago: W. B. Conkey Company, ND).


Friday, September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Last year, I celebrated the event by writing a series of pirate-themed posts, including a pirate’s resume (and subsequent job rejection letter) as well as a tutorial on how to talk like a pirate. Oh, and also by saying “arrr” a whole lot. Arrrr.

This year, I prepare for the occasion with a list. Barely making it under the wire for this Thursday (at least in my time zone) is this pirate-themed ThThTh list. (This list be just a smattering of things piratical o’ me own choosin’. If ye be craving more, ye scurvy dogs, ye may want to drink o’ the grog offered by the scalliwags o’er at the official Talk Like a Pirate Day website. )

Yo, ho, ho.

  1. Get yerself a pirate name with this quiz. (Oddly, me own name has changed since last year, when I were Black Anne Cash.)
    My pirate name is:
    Black Anne Bonney

    Like anyone confronted with the harshness of robbery on the high seas, you can be pessimistic at times. You can be a little bit unpredictable, but a pirate’s life is far from full of certainties, so that fits in pretty well. Arr!

    Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.
    part of the fidius.org network

  2. Treasure Island. Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel of pirates. Adapted into various movies. Including one with muppets.
  3. The Pirates of Penzance. A comic opera by Gilbert and Sullivan. A young man be apprenticed to pirates until his 21st birthday. (Which seeing as he was born on February 29th, won’t happen till he’s in his 80s.)
  4. “Pirate Jenny“. A song from the Threepenny Opera. I know the version by Nina Simone, which I didn’t find on YouTube. I did find (among others) a Dresden Dolls version of what may be the original German version of the song. (I can’t get the sound on YouTube right now, so I can’t tell…)
  5. Cutthroat Island (1995). Geena Davis plays a pirate. She kicks ass, in spite of the general suckiness of the movie.
  6. Pirates of the Caribbean. A Disneyland ride. Also some movies.
  7. The Dread Pirate Roberts. A character from The Princess Bride (book and movie). A pirate whose identity is used serially by various individuals.
  8. If ye want to get your swashes well buckled, loads more pirate movies can be found on a pretty comprehensive list by a pirate fan.
  9. MythBusters Episode 71: “Pirate Special”. Various pirate-related myths are tested, including the efficacy of rum as a laundry detergent and the use of an eye patch to preserve night vision. (Find the results here, if ye dare.)
  10. The Pirates! A series of short novels by Gideon Defoe. (The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Whaling/Ahab, The Pirates! in an Adventure with Communists, and The Pirates! in an Adventure with Napoleon.) They are supposed to be quite funny, but I haven’t had a chance to read them for meself.
  11. Pirate’s Booty. A tasty cheesy-puffy snack food by Robert’s Gourmet.
  12. For more cheesy piratical goodness, check out The Skwib’s tale of curdaneer’s and exploding cheese on the high seas.
  13. My favorite pirate joke. (Adapted from this version.)

    A sailor meets a pirate in a bar, and they take turns telling about their adventures on the seas. The sailor notes that the pirate has a peg-leg, a hook and an eye patch.

    The sailor asks “So, how did you end up with the peg-leg?”

    The pirate replies: “We were in a storm at sea, and I were swept overboard into a school of sharrks. Just as me men were pullin; me out, a shark bit me leg off.”

    “Wow!” said the sailor. “What about the hook?”

    “We were boarding an enemy ship and were battling the other sailors with swords. One of the enemy cut me hand off.”

    “Incredible!” said the sailor. “And how did you get the eye patch?”

    “Arr. That were from a seagull-dropping fell into my eye,” replied the pirate.

    “You lost your eye to a seagull-dropping?” the sailor asked incredulously.

    “Aye,” said the pirate,”it was me first day with the hook…”

head in the clouds

For no particular reason, this Themed Things Thursday list is about clouds.¹

A Cloud List

  1. Little Cloud. A picture book by Eric Carle about a cloud who likes to change shapes.
  2. Sector 7, by David Wiesner. A Caldecott Honor-winning picture book with no words about a boy’s remarkable encounter with some clouds.
  3. Winnie-the-Pooh. In the first chapter of A. A. Milne’s classic book, Winnie-the-Pooh attempts to pass himself off as a small dark cloud in order to sneak some honey away from a beehive in a tree. Eeyore, for that matter, is often depicted as having a cloud hanging over his head. (In this case, though, it is not Pooh.)
  4. head in the clouds. An expression meaning “having a poor grasp of reality” or “not paying attention.”
  5. on cloud nine: an expression meaning “extremely happy.” (So what if you are on cloud one? Are you only marginally happy?)
  6. every cloud has a silver lining: a saying suggesting that there is always something good to accompany the bad. (And an irritating thing to hear if you are a pessimist.)
  7. head under a cloud: means “in a bad mood,” typically either gloomy (eg. Eeyore, above) or cranky (eg. me, sleep deprived).
  8. (storm) clouds on the horizon: an expression meaning that trouble of some sort is foreseen.
  9. The Simpsons opening sequence: The parting cumulus clouds from the opening to this cartoon are quite memorable.
  10. “Little Fluffy Clouds,” a song by the Orb. (video on YouTube)
  11. “Cloudy,” a song by Simon & Garfunkel. (listen on YouTube )
  12. “Cloudbusting,” a song Kate Bush. The video is a short narrative film featuring a machine that manipulates clouds. (YouTube)
  13. Cloud Jumper: a free flash game you can play online that primarily involves jumping from cloud to cloud.
  14. Cloudscapes stamps: a 2004 series of stamps from the US postal service. You can learn more more about the cloud types depicted in the stamps from this National Weather Service page.

  15. If you find yourself hankering for more clouds and cloud trivia, you could consider joining the The Cloud Appreciation Society. Those people love their clouds.

¹Sometimes, I just need to write about a light and fluffy topic. What could be lighter and fluffier than clouds?²

² Actually, I’m really quite partial to clouds. I recently had a little conversation with YTSL on this topic when she posted about her own affinity for clouds, along with a cool photo of a dragon-shaped cloud. And I found myself thinking: “I should do a cloud list.” So I done went and did it.

a sopping Thursday

It’s raining here today. Lots of rain. It’s a good day to bring out some umbrellas, so I give you a ThThTh list of umbrella things.¹

a selection of umbrellas

  • The Sopping Thursday, by Edward Gorey. This is one of my all-time favorite Gorey books. John and I have been known to send each other messages that are quotations from the book:
  • I have lost my umbrella.
  • I do not find my umbrella
  • I have been poked in the eye with an umbrella
  • None of these umbrellas will do
  • And perhaps our favorite:

    The child has somehow got shut inside its umbrella

  • Mary Poppins: The famed fictional nanny of books, stage and screen uses her wind-propelled umbrella as a mode of transportation. (I think that’s how it works, at least. I confess that I haven’t read the books, and this horror trailer recut video is the most I’ve seen of the Disney movie.)
  • John Steed. A character from the 60s British spy show The Avengers. Carrying a finely crafted traditional British umbrella is one of his trademarks.
  • James Smith & Sons, Umbrellas Ltd.: An umbrella store in London, established in 1830. A place to go if you would like to buy a finely crafted traditional British umbrella .
  • The Correct Way to Kill: An episode of The Avengers. The plot involves a lot of umbrellas, as well as an umbrella store. Also spies with bad fake Russian accents. A favorite quote, which must be spoken with a bad Russian accent is:

    What would a chiropodist want with a case of umbrellas?

  • Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964). A musical starring Catherine Deneuve, featuring an umbrella shop.
  • Chatri Chor/The Blue Umbrella (2005) An Indian movie based on the children’s book by Ruskin Bond. About a poor girl who gets an umbrella, which is then stolen by a shopkeeper.
  • Singin’ in the Rain (1952): The famous scene where Gene Kelly dances around in the rain with an umbrella (though generally not held over his head) singing “Singin’ in the Rain.”
  • Umbrella, a song by Innocence Mission (also the album title):

    You dance around with my umbrella.
    You dance around the obvious weaknesses.
    Around the room with my umbrella.
    You dance around the room with me.

  • let your smile be your umbrella: an expression meaning something like “let a good attitude keep your day from being totally crappy.” It’s probably good that the meaning is metaphorical, because let’s face it. A smile is pretty ineffectual at keeping you dry in the rain.
  • “Under the Umbrella of the United States”. This was a song that I remember singing in my Junior High chorus class as part of a series of jingoistic patriotic songs about America.²
  • umbrella superstitions: It is considered bad luck to open an umbrella indoors. Or give an umbrella as a gift. There are a few others, too.³
  • a Haitian riddle:

    Q: Three very large men are standing under a single little umbrella. But, not one of them gets wet. Why?⁴

  • little paper umbrellas: What can I say about them? They are little umbrellas. Made from brightly colored paper. Often used in tropical-esque cocktails. I really liked them when I was little.⁵

  • ———————-
    ¹ I’ve had this list in mind for a while, but I was saving it for a rainy day…

    ² The song was pretty awful, and I can’t find a record of it. Anyone else ever heard of it? (I fear it may have been written by the chorus teacher himself. And someday he may find my scathing review.)

    ³ My own superstition, if you want to call it that, is that carrying an umbrella with you will prevent the rain. At least, it rarely rains when I bring an umbrella, and I rarely have an umbrella with me when it does rain.

    ⁴ A: It’s not raining.

    ⁵ The umbrellas, that is. I didn’t so much get to try the cocktails…

    a butterfly collection

    A while back, I gave you a list of moths for a Themed Things Thursday list, and I said I’d get around to the other major set of lepidoptera shortly. So here is a collection of butterfly things, which I have carefully skewered with pins and lined up for your enjoyment.

      A Butterfly Collection

    1. butterfly collecting: a hobby that involves collecting specimens of butterflies, and typically pinning them to a board and displaying them under glass in rows. It was a particularly popular hobby during Victorian and Edwardian times.
    2. The Collector (1965) A movie about a butterfly collector who kidnaps a woman to add to his collection of creatures.
    3. butterfly net: a type of handheld net used for catching butterflies (often for a collection). The image of using oversized butterfly nets to catch people is sometimes used in cartoons (or the imagery is evoked in humor writing). Particularly when depicting the “men in white coats” in pursuit of an escapee from a mental institution. (cf: this, this, or this cartoon.)
    4. “The Butterfly”, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson. A tale of a butterfly seeking a flower to be his bride. Unsuccessfully. In the end, he gets caught by people and pinned down, a state he likens to marriage.
    5. The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. A picture book about a caterpillar who is hungry and eats a lot before becoming “a beautiful butterfly.” (Sorry, did I give away the ending?)
    6. Heimlich : a caterpillar (who is generally very hungry) from Pixar’s animated feature, A Bug’s Life. At the end of the movie, he emerges from his cocoon as a butterfly with wings disproportionatley small for his body, saying: “Finally, I’m a beautiful butterfly”?) (You can watch the scene on YouTube.)
    7. butterfly kiss: a nickname for the act of brushing one’s eyelashes against another person’s skin as an act of affection.
    8. In the Time of the Butterflies. A novel by Julia Alvarez about 4 sisters who participated in a resistance against a brutal dictator in the Dominican Republic. Their codename was “las Mariposas,” or “the Butterflies.” Also a 2001 TV movie based on the novel.
    9. butterflies in the stomach: an expression referring to temporary minor gastrointestinal distress triggered by stress, such as that due to an anticipated meeting or public performance. (Doesn’t that sound poetic?)
    10. The Monarch. A bumbling arch-villain from “The Venture Bros.”, a cartoon shown on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Wears a butterfly costume, as do his henchman.
    11. Madame Butterfly: an opera written by Giacomo Puccini about a Geisha in Nagasaki called “Butterfly.”
    12. “Butterfly”, a song by Weezer about catching a butterfly in a mason jar. It also makes reference to the opera Madame Butterfly, and is on the album Pinkerton, which is the name of the male protagonist from the opera.
    13. the butterfly effect:
      An idea from Chaos theory whereby minor events can trigger a chain reaction of other events, which can sometimes lead to big events. Such as the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings leading to a tornado changing its path. (Also a 2004 movie.)
    14. butterfly ballot: a voting ballot notorious from the 2000 US presidential election, as its confusing layout may have led some would-be Gore voters in Florida to mistakenly vote for Pat Buchanan.
    15. The Sinister Butterfly: “Nefariously fluttering from leaf to leaf.” John’s blog. Which he doesn’t update very often these days. But he has posted some great photos there before, as well as some other stuff that’s worth reading.


    Butterfly collection image source: Worcester City Museums, UK. The Monarch image was found herehttp://cakerockstheparty.wordpress.com/2007/09/24/ncaa-heisman-trophy-avatars/.

    leaping lepidoptera!

    Here we are, moving from Spring towards Summer up here in the Northern Hemisphere. The days are getting longer, the trees are getting leafier, and the bugs are coming out in force. Excitingly for many small people, this includes large numbers of caterpillars. Around here, we get lots of Eastern tent caterpillars, fairly big brown hairy things with patterns of black stripes and blue dots. It is not uncommon to hear a gleeful cry of “I found a cater-pidder!” from Ms. Phoebe.

    This army of furry future moths¹ has inspired this week’s moth ThThTh list.²

    1. Arthur: The Tick‘s sidekick. Wears a white moth suit in the comics, cartoon and live action TV show.
    2. Gypsy Moth, a moth character from A Bug’s Life voiced by Madeline Kahn
    3. Luna Moth, a fictional comic book character from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, by Michael Chabon. That is to say, the fictional characters in the novel created a comic book character named Luna Moth, a mothy superhero. (I just saw that there is going to be a movie based on the book. It was a really good book by the way. You should read it.)
    4. The giant luna moth from Dr. Dolittle. Carries Dr. Dolittle back to England at the end of the movie. (I’m not sure if the moth is in any of the books.)
    5. Mothra/Mosura: a (fictional) giant moth monster. Fought with Godzilla in a few movies, like Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964) and Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
    6. Silence of the Lambs (1991). The serial killer in the movie raises imported Death’s-head hawk moths, which are noteworthy for the skull-like pattern that appears on their back. The moths shown in the movie were apparently actually another type of moth, in costume.
    7. silk A fabric. The fibers come from silk worms, which are actually caterpillars of a moth that is now completely domesticated. The cocoons are boiled to unravel the long, continuous strand of silk produced by the catepillar. The boiling must happen before the moth emerges, as the moth would otherwise make a hole, making the fibers too short.
    8. Boiled silkworms are eaten in some places in the world. In Korea, it’s called beondegi
    9. The Moth, an episode of Lost.⁴
    10. The Moth, by Aimee Mann. A song:
    11. Bedtime for Frances, by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Garth Williams. A picturebook about a little badger who has trouble going to sleep, and imagines all sorts of possible dangers and adventures. It ends with her deciding that a moth going “bump and thump” against her bedroom window is not a real threat, so she goes to sleep.

    ¹ Can I mention that I have a bit of a moth phobia? Maybe I’ll share it later.

    ² I was going to include butterflies, too, but the list was getting out of hand, and I do need to get some work done tonight. Also sleep. So perhaps butterflies will flutter back this way next week or so.

    ³ A friend of mine from college was somewhat scarred by having tried them as a child when visiting Korea. There was a certain kind of carob-flavored soymilk I got which she couldn’t stomach, as the flavor reminded her of beondegi.

    ⁴ I’ve never actually seen Lost…

    list gone wild

    What with all the travelling I’ve been doing, it’s been a while since I managed to put together a ThThTh list. But this week, inspired by our recent visit to the zoo, I’ve managed to round up some zoo-themed items. You are welcome to feed the list, but please keep your fingers outside the cages.

    A Zoo List

    1. the zoo in metaphors: The term zoo is used idiomatically to evoke chaos, wildness and other general craziness in places or situations. Cf: “This place looks like a zoo!” or “It was like feeding time at the zoo.” (Of course, I have to say that the zoos I’ve been to are not so much like the crazy situations that are likened to them: they tend to be well-organized and orderly. At least the animals. The people buying snacks and such can get out of hand.)
    2. animal crackers: Cookies shaped like animals. Though often packaged/marketed in ways evocative of circuses, the animals featured are much more zoo-like than circus-like overall. (See, for example, a picture of animal cookies from the Barnum’s Animal Crackers. Have you seen a giraffe or a rhinoceros at the circus? I rest my case.)
    3. zoo keeper: a computer/arcade game where you need to line up animals in rows. You can play a flash version online.
    4. A Zed & Two Noughts (1985) A movie directed by Peter Greenaway. I’m not quite sure what to say about it. A zoo (or the animals from the zoo)(or some rotting carcasses of animals from the zoo) is involved. And also referenced in the title.
    5. 12 Monkeys (1995) One of my favorite movies, directed by Terry Gilliam. Zoo animals appear at various times during the film, and a zoo is featured in a significant scene at the end.
    6. Madagascar (2005) A Dreamworks animated feature about animals escaping from a zoo.
    7. Creature Comforts (1989) Nick Park’s brilliant claymation short with interviews of zoo animals. The soundtrack was taken from interviews with real people, describing their own living situations, and attributed to animated zoo animals. (I also discovered that there was later a related TV series that was supposed to be pretty good.
    8. Zoos are a pretty popular setting for children’s stories, such as If I Ran the Zoo, Dr. Seuss, Good Night, Gorilla, by Peggy Rathman and Animal Strike at the Zoo. It’s True!, by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Margaret Spengler, and a gazillion others.
    9. “At the Zoo” poem by A. A. Milne. Here’s a bit:

      There are lions and roaring tigers,
      and enormous camels and things,
      There are biffalo-buffalo-bisons,
      and a great big bear with wings.
      There’s a sort of a tiny potamus,
      and a tiny nosserus too –
      But I gave buns to the elephant
      when I went down to the Zoo!

    10. “At the Zoo,” a song by Simon and Garfunkel

      Zebras are reactionaries,
      Antelopes are missionaries,
      Pigeons plot in secrecy,
      And hamsters turn on frequently.
      What a gas! you gotta come and see
      At the zoo.

    11. “Christmas at the Zoo,” by the Flaming Lips. A song about letting animals out at the zoo on Christmas Eve. The animals show no interest in escaping.¹

    12. ¹I was rather disturbingly reminded of this song this past Christmas when hearing the news of a tiger escaped from a San Francisco zoo on Christmas day, killing one zoo visitor and injuring 2 others.

      Images from wpclipart.

    flower power

    Today is the first day of May, or May Day. Since I haven’t found an opportunity to dance around a maypole, I’ll present this flower-themed ThThTh to you as a sort of virtual May basket.

    a bunch of flowers

  • “April showers bring May flowers.” An expression that makes reference to the frequency of rain in the month of April (in the Northern hemisphere, at least), and the Spring flowers that benefit from the watering. It has the meaning “Some unpleasant occurrences bring about better things.”
  • Flower children: a term for hippies, based on their tendencies to wear flowers as symbols of peace and love.
  • morning glory

  • Victorian Language of Flowers. A means of sending messages during the Victorian era. Specific flowers or colors of flowers had specific meanings attached for the recipient to decode. For example, a lobelia meant “malevolence” and a morning glory meant “love in vain.”
  • (s)he loves me, (s)he loves me not: a tradition of plucking the petals off a flower to determine whether one is loved. For each petal, the plucker alternates saying, eg. “he loves me” and “he loves me not.” The final petal, and which of the two phrases is slated to be spoken as it is plucked, establishes or refutes the love being questioned.
  • “Roses are Red.” A short poem (with many variants), sometimes used in Valentine’s Day cards. For example:

    Roses are red, violets are blue
    Honey is sweet, and so are you.

    I like this one better:

    Roses are red, violets are blue
    Some poems rhyme
    But this one doesn’t

  • American Beauty (1999) A movie with Kevin Spacey, which features rose gardening. It also has the famous dream scene with Mena Suvari in a pile of rose petals. (Why did I think it was Heather Graham? I guess it’s been a while.) American Beauty is also the name of a variety of roses¹
  • “Edelweiss” A song about the small white Alpine flower that is widely believed to be a traditional folksong, but was actually written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for the musical “The Sound of Music.”

    Edelweiss, Edelweiss
    Every morning you greet me
    Small and white, clean and bright
    You look happy to meet me

  • blue bonnet poppycarnationsunflower

  • El Seed from the animated Tick series. A megavillain who is an anthropomorphic sunflower. (The name is a play on El Cid.)
  • Certain poppies are used to produce opiates (opium and heroine). Poppies also have a drugging effect in the field of poppies from the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy and her companions (at least those that are mammals) are drugged to sleep when they enter a field of poppies. (Here’s the corresponding book chapter.)
  • The Orchid Thief: A non-fiction book by Susan Orlean about a man who illegally collects rare wild orchids. The movie Adaptation (2002) is in part about this story, and in part about the process of adapting a book into a screenplay.
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Gregory Maguire‘s second novel for adults². This reinterpretation of the Cinderella fairytale is set in 17th century Holland during the peak (and then crash) of the tulip craze.
  • Carnation: In the Avengers series, Steed would typically wear a carnation in his buttonhole. Characters in various fictional stories, especially spy stories, will wear a red carnation in order that they may be identified by someone who doesn’t otherwise know their appearance.
  • “Dennis Moore,” the Monty Python episode where a bumbling Robin Hood-type character steals lupins from the rich to give to the poor. “Your lupins or your life!”

  • ——
    ¹ There are so many rose-related things out there, including several fairy tale rose references, that I could easily do a list just of roses. I probably will at some point down the line. Consider this a token rose for now.)

    ² He had written several young adult/kids’ novels before writing Wicked.)

    flower images: source

    all my eggs in one basket

    whole_egg_simple.pngWith Easter around the corner, and with nesting on my brain, it seems like a good time to break out the eggs. While there are loads full of eggs out there, to help moderate our cholesterol intake, I’ll restrict this ThThTh list to a dozen egg things.

    A Dozen Eggs

    1. Easter eggs. Eggs that have been dyed and/or decorated as part of Easter traditions. Linked by some to the concept of rebirth. Linked by others to an anthropomorphic bunny.
    2. Easter egg: a hidden message or bonus in video game, DVD, or other (ususally digital) media. (Can you find my Easter egg?) They can also be found in print or other media, scuh as maps, as a means to protect from copyright infringement.
    3. Fabergé eggs. Elaborate jewelled eggs made by Russian jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé, many of which were commissioned by the Russian imperial family. They often had surprises hidden inside.
    4. Chocolate eggs. Not actually eggs flavored with chocolate, which probably comes as a relief to many, but egg-shaped chocolates. I’m partial to Kinder eggs. A type of chocolate egg containing a plastic yolk with a surprise inside. When I was little, the toys were much cooler than the prizes you could find in, for example, Cracker Jacks. Cadbury Creme Eggs are pretty tasty, too, but the yolk contained within is messier to play with.
    5. egg_blue2.jpgegg_yellow.jpgegg_purple.jpgegg_green.jpgegg_pink.jpgegg_orange.jpg

    6. “the egg scene” from Angel Heart (1987) (clip on YouTube) “You know, some religions think that the egg is the symbol of the soul,” says Robert Deniro during the scene where he malevolently peels and eats a hard-boiled egg.
    7. Humpty Dumpty. A nursery rhyme about an egg.

      Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
      Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
      All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
      Couldn’t put Humpty together again.

      It has quite a bit of lore associated with it. (Did you know it was a riddle in earlier forms, with the eggness of Humpty being the answer?)

    8. Palestinian egg story: A Palistinian folktale about an egg trying to discover its identity. I was exposed to it during a field methods class, where we worked with a speaker of Palestinian Arabic. I particularly remember the line [ʔɪnti mɪʃ Хudra], or “You are not a vegetable.”
    9. Eggbert, the Slightly Cracked Egg, a picturebook by Tom Ross, illustrated by Rex Barron. A story of an egg who is an individual. And a slightly cracked one.
    10. egg_pink.jpgegg_blue2.jpgegg_orange.jpgegg_purple.jpgegg_green.jpgegg_yellow.jpg

    11. Horton Hatches the Egg, by Dr. Seuss. A story of an elephant who is talked into sitting on a nest.
    12. Look – (Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One) But There Were These Two Fellers (1968). An Avengers episode with an archive of clown faces painted on eggshells. (This was actually a Tara King episode, but one of the better ones.)
    13. “She was a bad egg.” An expression meaning “she was a bad person,” and a quote from the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) by Gene Wilder when Veruca Salt was dumped down the chute after being identified as faulty by the egg-dicator.
    14. “Egg Baby” Parenting an exercise or assignment sometimes used to teach teenagers about parenting and responsibility. Kids are given an egg to “care for” for a set amount of time. Featured in “First the Egg” (1985), an After School Special starring Justine Bateman. Also in the Buffy episode “Bad Eggs.” Of course, in this case, the eggs turn out to be evil demon spawn.


    images (edited 2/7/2010, since people were wondering): The white egg is a public domain image from wpclipart.com, and the single colored egg images are ones that I made based using that image. The photo at bottom is mine.