Food, Etymology, and Shakespeare

I just picked up Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook and I couldn’t be happier. Not only does this provide recipes, which are based off of original instructions from the time period, there’s a touch of history included with each and every section, dish prepared, and anecdote.

My only critical comment is that I wanted to see more pictures of the finished recipes, but other than that I’m very pleased with this cookbook. It makes me giddy that I can read stories about life in the past while making traditional dishes prepared at a time when there were no ovens, refrigerators, or fancy tools. Imagine the luxurious art in this era! Royal banquets included the fabrication of fantastical “meat” beasts, edible portraits, and a whole lot more.

This, coupled with my love of etymology AND Shakespeare… Well, I’d rather like collecting historic cookbooks. I have a Roman-era and WWII cookbook already…

    Mood: Hungry!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Riddle me this…
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: The Gym.
    In My Ears: Something industrial and head-banging.
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Awakenings
    Movie Last Viewed: Despicable Me
    Latest Artistic Project: In progress!
    Latest Release: “The Dig” The Lovecraft eZine Issue No. 19

Gushing Over Muse

I’m listening to Muse’s new album The 2nd Law, and I am thoroughly satisfied. This is a collection of songs where I hear the influence of bands/artists like Queen, Noisia, and Michael Jackson — and each tune is different in its own right.

I’m wildly appreciative of any artist who takes risks, which is part of the reason why I really dig Muse and would kill sacrifice my left arm give up caffeine love to see them live. (Incidentally, here’s a Muse 2013 tour schedule.)

Linked below is the music video for a song titled The 2nd Law: Unsustainable. Honestly, though, there is a wide array of music styles in this collection that go beyond the boundaries of rock opera, so if you’re mildly curious I’d check out each song as its own single.

My introduction to Muse was by way of the song Sing for Absolution. This is a very important song in my fiction for reasons which may (or may not) be disclosed at some point. :-p


    Mood: Hazy with a chance of sunbeam positivity.
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: *tap, tap* Is this thing on?
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Not enough.
    In My Ears: Panic Station by Muse
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Origins
    Movie Last Viewed: Spiderman the new one.
    Latest Artistic Project: In progress!
    Latest Release: “The Dig” The Lovecraft eZine Issue No. 19

Gotta Love The Ancient Greeks

Galactic Starry Space

A few years ago, the Antikythera mechanism was discovered. Billed as an “ancient computer,” they’ve now learned that it was able to track the phases of the moon and the planetary cycles over two thousand years ago — and it did that with gears. (Hat tip to Mike Stackpole for the link on Twitter.) You can also visit The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project online, too.

Mind not blown yet? Consider that the ancient Greeks were more advanced than those who lived in Europe at the same time. This invention occurred centuries before clocks would be perfected on the European continent. (What’s more, the Greeks also employed mechanical engineering to the worship of their gods. They understood the magnetic properties of stone, how steam could move objects, etc. to bring Aphrodite and Ares together in their temple, for one example.)

Pretty stunning all around.

    Mood: Is it time to wake up yet?
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: There isn’t enough caffeine in the world.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Yoga. Ow.
    In My Ears: Tap, tappity, tap.
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Origins
    Movie Last Viewed: Spiderman the new one.
    Latest Artistic Project: In progress!
    Latest Release: “The Dig” The Lovecraft eZine Issue No. 19

Oh, Glorious Pumpkins

I carve pumpkins, sure, but certainly not as well as Villafane Studios. This is one of my favorites, because it uses other fall-riffic elements in interesting ways to add texture and color. If you’re feeling so inspired, they sell video tutorials so you can create your own and master pumpkin carving kits, too.

Best Pumpkin Ever

There’s a huge gallery over that way, so drop by and check out the studio!

    Mood: Yesssssssssssss????
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: BCL: 4.57 That’s blood caffeine level for those of you paying attention.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Not enough. Feeling the need to jiggle and jive.
    In My Ears: Siren’s Call by Nox Arcana from Phantom of the High Seas
    Game Last Played: Dragon Age: Origins
    Movie Last Viewed: The Raven
    Latest Artistic Project: In progress!
    Latest Release: “Fangs and Formaldehyde” from the New Hero anthology through Stone Skin Press

The Story Of The Titanic, A Corn Maze

Jack The Pumpkin King Avatar

On Sunday, I got lost in a corn maze at the Creek Bed Country Farmacy. The miles of plowed rows were shaped into the form of the RMS Titanic. I was floored by the ingenuity of some people. Rather than tell you about this, I’d rather show you some pictures. If you want to see a larger image, you can click on it, and it’ll take to you a ginormous photo.

That giant square pumpkin is a character named Spookley The Square Pumpkin. The owners had an outside theatre set up where you could watch videos. Yeah, I popped in for a bit. How could I not? Outdoor theatre? Turns out it’s okay to be square. Yay!

In front of the maze, were two large haystacks and a life preserver.

This is the entrance and exit to the maze. You can see that there’s a starboard and a port path. To get a sense of how huge this maze is, here’s a link to the map.

Once inside, you could play a trivia game to get all ten stations punched.

The right answer will lead you on the correct path. The wrong one will send you into a dead end.

One of the things that I really enjoyed about the maze, was that there were a ton of really cool signs and set-ups like this one. So, it wasn’t just that you were meandering about sections of the ship. There were these teeny, tiny stories almost everywhere you looked.

Afterward, we went on a hayride. You can see the stretch of corn maze from my viewpoint.

And we saw BABY PUMPKINS! Sure, I mean I knew that baby pumpkins grew in a patch. . . But I’d never seen one of these before.

When we sat down to have a snack, I encountered rows and rows of teeth. Pumpkin teeth. That glow-in-the-dark and can suck your blooooood. Then, I saw these oddly-shaped squash that reminded me of gnarled dragon talons.

Of course, no corn maze would be complete without pets of varying size. A miniature donkey appropriately named “Eeyore.”

And a giant Flemish rabbit named “Daisy” that, upon close inspection, could probably take on my black cat Rimmon — and win.

Well, that was the end of my corny day at a farm. For ten bucks, I thought this was a lot of fun, and apparently it’s even spookier the closer you get to sunset. Imagine rushing through a corn maze with just a flashlight. . . In the dead of night. . . Many of the stalks were several feet higher than me. There’s a lot of ways to get lost and circle around in there. Good thing they had an emergency back up — a rescue if need be.

Thankfully, I made it out all right and didn’t need a rescue. I suppose the promise of caramel apples DID help. 😀

    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: Enough that I’m hovering off my chair.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: I bent and twisted.
    In My Ears: Take A Bow by Muse
    Game Last Played: Tetris
    Movie Last Viewed: Harry Potter collection
    Latest Artistic Project: Miniatures
    Latest Release: “Fangs and Formaldehyde” from the New Hero anthology through Stone Skin Press
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