Friday, January 18, 2019

Artsy-Fartsy Lazy Blogger

Happy Yum-Yum Friday, Goose Army.  Except it's not.  Look, Uncle Fatty™ has been busy this week and I haven't cooked a damn thing that wasn't absolutely necessary.  Because of that, I didn't make a Yum-Yum Friday post this week.  I know.  I should be shot in the face with rock salt.

Anyhoozles, since my travel pictures and other picture posts are always so popular, I thought I'd do another one today!  Yay! Cheer, damn you!

Did you know I used to be WAY into photography?  Well, I would say that I really enjoyed taking pictures, but I never learned enough to consider myself a pro or even more than an amateur.  But, it was a good time, getting out of the house, driving around, taking some hikes, and finding interesting stuff to capture on film. 

So, enjoy some of my pics from days past.  Hopefully, you'll like at least one of them.


Statue at a church in Boston, MA.

Sign at a cemetery in Dexter, TX.

A pic I snapped of a friend's kids on a hike one day. 

A tree I found on a hike.

Another tree on the same hike. 

The old abandoned saloon in Dexter, TX.

A sink I found in an old abandoned house.

House the sink was in.  Urban spelunking, bitches!

A church, which has since been restored, in Whitesboro, TX.

Honestly can't remember where this tree was, but it was in a cemetery.

That's what Roadrunners look like, Warner Brothers.

I was on Lake Texoma and these ducks just wandered up.

I'm thinking they thought my fatass had food.  They would NOT stop following me.

A picture taken on a road trip with Dalton.  I think this was North Dakota or eastern Montana.

A picture I took as we left the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO.



I gotta go.

Until next time...




Wednesday, January 16, 2019

I've Been Everywhere Man - But Not Really

Why don't we use Hump Day to show more pictures of gravy face, Goose Army?  Today, I'm going to share some of my favorite travel pics of places I've been around the U.S.  I'm making this up as I go, so maybe we'll go all over North America and I'll throw some Mexico and Canada pics in here, too.  Who knows??  Just buckle up and enjoy the ride!

Here we go:



Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, California.  This was my first trip in the summer of '94, so I was 14 or 15-years old at the time.


A church in Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. Around the same time.


Cemetery in New Orleans, Louisiana in 2001-ish.  I was 22-years old then.


Speaking of which, Bourbon Street in New Orleans - the morning after a little too much fun.


Picture of the cook from Margaritaville Cafe in New Orleans cooling off in the rain.  This is the guy who encouraged me to drink 6 Jet Ski Killers in order to get enough free collectible glasses to take home to friends.  He was not a good influence but he was fun.


Me and my sister in Idaho during our road trip to Washington state in July 2013.


At the Devil's Punchbowl on the Oregon Coast during that trip.  Did I wear this shirt all 13 days of the trip? Maybe...


Dalton and I on a road trip to North Dakota and back to Texas.  I think this was taken in Wyoming.


Dalton climbing on shit at the Garden of the Gods.  This was going to be used for the cover of a collection of poetry I was going to release, but that never happened.


We built a snowman on the car.  We named him Rufus.


The streets as seen from the Novotel on Rue de la Montagne - Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  This was right after I was told: "S'il vous plaît parler anglais, monsieur."  Which was great, because, when it comes to French, I can only tell you to "stop", call you a "whore", and tell you the "cat is on the chair", or "the monkey is in the tree".  I guess I can say "pen" and "pencil" and "table", too...


U.S. Customs on the Canadian side where we waited an hour to get back into the U.S. and then we confused the officers by presenting our passports instead of our driver's licenses.  *shrugs*


How I look the first day of any road trip.  T-shirt, glasses, jeans...



...house slippers.


And Dalton taking a piss behind signage at a Buffalo Preserve in South Dakota.


What a great way to end this picture series, right?

I gotta go.

Until next time...













x

Monday, January 14, 2019

Similes and Metaphors and Hyperbole, Oh My!

Good morning, Goose Army! A lot of you who follow me are not writers.  And I get that, I accept it, and I don't judge you.  *cough* you're weak *cough* you'll starve when winter comes *cough* Just kidding. Mostly.

A lot of people look at writers and authors (mostly traditionally published ones or those appearing in magazines like The New Yorker) as smart fancy-britches folks they're afraid to hold a conversation with because words are their thing.  Writers will probably be brilliant speakers and will be, like, a walking Thesaurus and I'll feel dumb.  

Newsflash:  writers can be dumb as shit and as clueless as the rest of you.  Not dumb as in "I think I'll swim in this raw sewage" dumb, but even we don't know everything about our craft.  We don't know all the words.  A lot of us write words because we aren't good with the speaking of the words.  We're not all going to be able to deliver an impassioned, brilliant speech.  In fact, the #writerscommunity on Twitter teaches me something new at least once a day.  Of course, I'm grateful for that--and also the feeling of community--but it can make me feel pretty damn dumb sometimes.



Not that anyone is trying to guard the universe's secrets, but sometimes, even in the writers' community, one can feel isolated due to terminology and be left with a feeling that there is a secret club to which they'll never gain membership.  

Ever hear a doctor use a term like hypokalemic or ischemic and mentally check out?

Just like any profession, writing has terminology that the layman may not be familiar with--hell, even some writers are like: "What? What's that word??" Never fear, writers and non-writers alike, Uncle Fatty™ is here to save the day.  Well, kind of.  I'll share what I know on this topic--which isn't much.  Let me help you understand some literary terms.

Next time someone mentions one of these, you won't feel so left in the dark on the sidelines.


Trope

This one is a popular term tossed about in the writing and reading worlds like its confetti at a Gay Pride parade.  Or sprinkled on everything like finishing salt on Top Chef.  A trope is a literary device, or a string of words that say one thing and mean another.  More accurately, it is a synonym for "literary device."  I'm going to go over types of tropes in a minute here, but first, I have to point out that "trope" in contemporary times has also become a synonym for "cliché."  A lot of writers will say "Which trope used in books is your favorite?" and will mean like "a group of rag-tag ne'er-do-wells saving the day" or "teenager finds out he/she is the chosen one."  So, it's important to know if people are referring to a cliché or the original meaning of "trope."  Hope that helps.


Similes & Metaphors

I don't know about the rest of you, but I know these well.  Probably because these two words were pushed into my brain from first grade through high school in English and Literature classes.  I think most of my teachers thought when the apocalypse came, if you didn't know these two tropes, you were going straight to Hell or something.  Regardless, a simile is when two things are compared using the words "like" or "as".  For example:

Snug as a bug in a rug.

This movie is so boring it's like watching bugs fuck.

You'll have to forgive me.  My language runs blue sometimes...but I use "like watching bugs fuck" about twice a day, so I'm true to brand here.  I get bored easily.  Regardless, if you are comparing things using "like" or "as", then you are using a simile.

A metaphor is comparing two things, which would not normally be paired together, to create a unique phrase that paints a descriptive visualization.  For example:

You ain't nothin' but a hound dog.

Love is a battlefield.

You dated a dog? You fought with swords in your marriage?  No, ya' idiot.  I'm using a trope.  It's called a metaphor--look it up.  How stupid you must feel.  *arrogant writer chortle*

Hyperbole

Depending upon your country of origin, this is pronounced either "hye-PER-buh-lee" or "hyper-bole".  Just a fun fact.  This trope is best used in fiction as opposed to nonfiction.  Why?  It's a use of words to make a gross exaggeration.  This is usually used to show the depth of emotion in a piece of writing.  For example:

If he doesn't kiss me, I'll just die.

When I heard about the Watergate scandal, my head exploded.

I wish it had because you're extra as hell, sir.

Zeugma

Ya' didn't see this one coming, did ya'?  Show of hands - who has heard of this trope?


One of you? Great.  Just kidding.  A lot of you probably know this one but might not have ever heard the proper term.  Or maybe you have.  I don't know your lives.  Regardless, a zeugma is a trope where one verb is applied to two nouns, usually to provide levity to a scene or speech.  We've all read, written, or spoken a zeugma before but may not think immediately of an example.  How about these:

I stole her heart and her wallet.

I'm out of my mind and patience.

Well, I mean, someone could have just written two sentences to explain everything but that takes extra time and wouldn't be as chuckle-worthy.  God love zeugmas.

Metonymy

This may be another trope you are unfamiliar with currently.  This is a trope that replaces a single, succinct word with a phrase that is of no relation.  For example:

He got sent up the river.

He sleeps with the fishes.

Sure, one could write/say "He got sent to jail" or "He was murdered"...but what fun is that?

Personification

I love this trope.  This is like anthropomorphizing an animal, but personification is for inanimate objects, like a food.  For example:

That ice cream is fighting back.

I like alcohol but alcohol doesn't like me.

I hear ya', girl.  That's how I ended up buying a Kindle Fire in the middle of the night even though I already owned one.  Didn't even remember until it arrived 3 days later.  This is a true story, by the way. Well, mostly.  I wasn't drunk, just sleep deprived after weeks of nonstop 16 hour days at work.

Synecdoche

This trope is a lot of fun, too.  It takes the parts of a whole and uses those parts to create a new name for the whole.  Confused?  No you're not.  Trust me.  For example:

Welcome to my stack of bricks.

How do you like my new wheels?

See?  Not as clueless as you thought.  On the other hand, we still need to worry about me.

Pun

I love puns.  They're so stupid and so fun.  We've all heard a million puns - they take two separate but related things and uses them together to create a new phrase or meaning.  For example:

When my wife married me, she got a new name and a dress (address).

His photographic memory never developed.

See?  These phrases are punny. 


Rhetorical Question

We're all pretty familiar with these.  It's a question that isn't seeking an answer.  For example:

How much longer can this blog post be?

Is this blog post for real right now?

To answer your questions, though they were rhetorical - not much longer and dead serious. You are also rude for thinking such things.

Irony

Ooooh, this one is tricky, isn't it?  Not really, actually.  Alanis Morissette just set us all up for failure in the mid-90s.  Irony is simply when the outcome of a situation is the exact opposite of what was expected.  Irony can be situational, dramatic, or verbal.  For example:

Situational - a snowman who loves vacationing in Hawaii.
Dramatic - the hero doesn't know the street urchin on the corner is actually the princess in disguise, even if the audience is aware.
Verbal - when "Boo" in Monsters, Inc. calls Sully "kitty!" every time she sees him.  

That last one is classic verbal irony.  I mean, he's obviously a monster, Boo!  Isn't it ironic? Don'tcha think?
This .gif isn't ironic because it's exactly what you'd expect.

Allegory

An allegory is a trope that doesn't just have to be written or spoken.  It can also be visual.  It is a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to find a hidden meaning, which is usually moral or political.  For example:

A girl goes necking out in the middle of nowhere with some boy and the hook-handed psychopath kills them.

Little Red-Riding-Hood doesn't do as she's told and almost gets eaten or does get eaten by the Big Bad Wolf.

Most old allegories were super fun ways of teaching women morals and that if they had sex with men who weren't their husbands or they disobeyed they would die painfully.  That bullshit is old and dusty as hell, so hopefully, people have cut this shit out.

Aposiopesis

An aposiopesis is a literary device (or "trope") that means trailing/breaking off in speech/dialogue leaving the listener/reader to fill in the blanks.  For example:

I hate you so much that if it were legal I would...well, I'm too polite to say!

If I grabbed your leg under this dinner table, would you...

Not me, personally, you guys.  I don't want to touch none of y'all.  I don't know when you showered last.  No offense.


Epanorthosis

An epanorthosis is a trope that signifies emphatic word placement.  This one can be a lot of fun.  Epanorthosis use can also stumble into hyperbole territory, too.  For example:

I'm so mad I could punch, no, shoot you in the face!

This long ass post will lose me dozens, no, millions of followers!

Obviously, I don't have a million or more followers.  But, I mean, everyone tell a friend and we'll see what happens, right?



Anyhoozles, I hope this long post helped someone out in some way.  Or, at the very least, clarified any questions you had about tropes--also known as...?

That was an aposiopesis.  The <blank> should be "literary devices".  You're welcome.  Anyway, you all have this mastered! Go forth and talk to other writers!  Create your masterpieces!  I have faith in you all! 

I gotta go.

Until next time...

Friday, January 11, 2019

Yum-Yum Friday: Vanilla Cheesecake



Happy Friday, Goose Army! Today is another edition of Yum-Yum Friday and today we're going to make a Vanilla Cheesecake.  The Loomers over at Dungeon of Loom voted and they chose the item for this Yum-Yum Friday...so I intend to deliver!  Let's get started!

Ingredients

Crust:

1.5 cups of Nilla Wafers, crushed.
2 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

Filling:

24 oz. cream cheese
1.5 cups sugar
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp vanilla
Juice of 1 Lemon
4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks

PREHEAT YOUR OVEN TO 325 F!!!

Okay, first things first.  Set your eggs, lemon, butter, and cream cheese out at least an hour before you start.  You want room temperature ingredients!


Just set everything on the counter and let it hang out.  It'll be fine.  By the way, Kroger had HUGE lemons.  So, this will be one tangy cheesecake!

Next, let's start on our crust.  You'll need a 9" springform pan, lined with parchment and the sides sprayed with nonstick spray.  Don't pull that bullshit of just using nonstick spray.  Cheesecake requires parchment.  Trust.

The hardest part is tracing and cutting out the parchment.

Next, get your 1/3 cup of butter melting over low heat in a saucepan while you grind Nilla Wafers up. I used the minis because they're cute and perfect for crushing for a crust.  Once they look like cornmeal, add your 2 tbsp of sugar, turn your processor back on, and drizzle in your melted butter until it looks like wet sand.  Then, using buttered fingers or a spatula, press that shit into the bottom of your pan.  I used a spatula but it still looked like I used my janky ass fingers.  No worries.  No one's going to see that part of the crust anyway.







Next, separate your eggs.  The yolks go into the mixer bowl and the whites get put into another bowl--because they'll be used at separate stages, obvs.


Next, add the sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice to the yolks and get them mixing.  Start out slow and then really get that shit whipping.  You want pale, fluffy egg/sugar mixture, people!

Let's talk about the lemon first, though, shall we?  Look, I squeezed this lemon and got way more than 1 tbsp out of it.  It was probably closer to 3 tbsp.  I'm totally fine with that.  But, if you're someone who might be averse to that much lemony goodness, squeeze your lemon into a bowl and then measure out the juice.  Or leave lemon juice out completely.  Dealer's choice.  Additionally, I'm the type of person who would zest the lemon and throw that into the mix as well.  I LOVE LEMON!  However, since this was going to be JoJo's first go at tasting a cheesecake, and I know she's not super fond of lemon, I didn't put the zest in.  Again, you do you, Boo.  Add juice, zest, leave one or the other out, totally up to you.  But it's just not a real cheesecake without the lemon juice if you ask me.




Next, add your tubs of cream cheese.  I like to use tubs instead of bricks simply because the tubs are easier to dump out into the mixing bowl using a spatula than the bricks are.  If you need a new set of rubber spatulas, look at the bottom of this post to purchase the ones I use.  I LOVE THEM! And they're cheap, so...then mix in your cream cheese, slowly at first, then really get that shit whipping.  Make it fluffy!




Don't you love the way in that first video the cream cheese glob is trying to go for a ride? LOL  Anyway, after this is all whipped up, scrape your mixer bowl out into a big mixing bowl, rinse your bowl and dry it good, then pour in the egg whites.  Get those bitches whipping to stiff peaks.



Scrape your whipped egg whites out onto the cream cheese mixture and start folding them into the cream cheese mixture.  This will take 5-10 minutes, so get that arm ready!  Once they're folded into the cream cheese mixture, pour it into your prepared pan with your Nilla Wafer crust.  Then tap that springform pan on the counter like a motherfucker to get out any trapped air and put it on a cookie sheet--just in case it does crazy shit in the oven.





This is where you wait.  Bake the cheesecake in your preheated 325F degree oven for 40-45 minutes.  Then turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an hour without opening the oven.  This is important!!!

Here it is the fresh out of the oven product:


Let's talk about what I done wrong, shall we?  See the cracks in the top?  I didn't fold enough and/or didn't tap enough air out of my pan before putting it in the oven.  Those cracks wouldn't be there if I had.  No worries.  It'll still taste great!  However, when you make YOUR cheesecake, make sure you fold your egg whites in thoroughly and tap the hell out of your pan (without making it pop open, obvs.  However, even if you have some cracks, it'll be okay!  It'll still be delicious!

Now, the whole pan goes into the fridge for AT LEAST SIX HOURS.  This is important, too!  It has to finish setting so that it isn't all running and gooey.  So, put it in the fridge and forget about it.  Trust.

When the six hours is up, run a butter knife around the edge of the cheesecake and then gently undo your springform pan.  Then you can cut yourself a slice and dig in!

Okay, so I was a little "creative" with my cutting.  Suck it.  It was still DELICIOUS!


YUM!

And in case you were wondering, JoJo's response to her first bite of cheesecake ever was: "You did a good job and I like it.  But it's not my favorite."  You can't win 'em all, folks!



I gotta go.

Until next time...






Artsy-Fartsy Lazy Blogger

Happy Yum-Yum Friday, Goose Army.  Except it's not.  Look, Uncle Fatty™ has been busy this week and I haven't cooked a damn thing th...