Category Archives: Welcome To My Mind

What a Summer

These past three months have been eye opening. I supposed I should be grateful for now knowing where I stand, but in many ways it would be like suddenly finding out you’re allergic to peanuts after you’ve had peanut butter on toast for the past six years without incident; not a pleasant surprise but still one you can manage to live through. And who says you have to eat peanut butter to have fun with it?

But even after a punch to the gut such as I received, it’s nice to know I always have people that I can count on. All I ever want in life is for people to be consistent, and these people always have been.

For many of you, faithful readers, this is the start of a new academic year and some of you are facing uncertainty. Don’t be overwhelmed by the things you can’t control, because what’s on the other side of the storm is worth the weathering. And the people who dismiss and disrespect you will not be there. And even if it seems like they’re higher up than you, or have more power or more influence, or just have all of the cool toys, they wouldn’t last long without any of that and you can take strength from knowing you will earn all of that and more.

This month I will be finishing, polishing and editing the short stories I have been pounding out like a demon. A mix of fantasy, mystery, non-fiction, and some selections from my two blogs will be included along with a few pieces of flash fiction I wrote as writing prompts.

I want to give a big shout out to David and Lauren, who contributed to my book cover fund. There’s still plenty of time to go on over to Gofundme and throw in a couple of dollars. If you don’t feel comfortable going through Gofundme, you can also send money straight to my Paypal account at ncrawford82@hotmail.com, which is even better because then I won’t have to pay a processing fee.

Every cent donated goes towards paying the artist for the best book cover I can afford, and I’ve been to Premade Covers 4U and I’ve seen some really nice ones for less than a hundred. A cover is crucial if I want Smashwords to distribute the e-book through online retailers. I’ve been sniffing at the possibility of working with Amazon, but there are too many uncertainties that I’ve also been hearing about and I can’t take the risk with my work.

See you at the other end of September. October is around the corner and we all know what that means in the City of Peace.

No Need to Sweat ATM

Xavier University just invented the Pizza ATM. The world’s first, according to many prominent online periodicals, implying that there was some Cold War-esque race with the nations of the world to produce this technological wonder.

In addition to the afterglow of discovering a new and exciting novelty, some people have voiced the concern that this might be a threat to pizza industry, or more specifically the pizzerias of the world.

Relax, World. Vending machines that churned out coffee didn’t kill coffee shops. And it’s true that services like Netflix and Redbox contributed to the downfall of the video store, but consider what you’re comparing.

Pizza is a much loved food item and the business surrounding it isn’t going anywhere. This vending machine seems cool, but so far all I’ve seen are food-tricked photos that go in restaurant menus and cookbooks. What I haven’t seen is what goes on inside of the machine.

First you have a computer screen that allows you to choose what kind of pizza you want. Okay, does it let you customize your order? Are the ingredients kept separate and the final product tailored to the customer’s exact requirements? If so, are the mechanics behind such a device routinely maintained and sanitized to prevent cross contamination? Or, and this is more likely, is the machine full of pre-made pizzas that are simply frozen and then heated up? In either case, there’s a concern surrounding a machine that keeps food at the necessary temperature to keep it from going to waste as well as cooking it to the appropriate food safety standards. Anytime you’re putting a computer or a machine in charge of such a thing, there is a chance of a major screw up that could lead to health problems.

Okay, the machine is at the university and all of my concerns are being addressed by the students. But is that guarantee in place when this machine goes commercial, and you can find it at bus stops, airport terminals, and other ambiguously clean environments?

Going to a pizza place may be expensive, but there’s a reason why people are still doing it. Going out to do something is still in and we are in a time when handmade artisan products are being celebrated. If you go to a pizza place every single day, that might ruin your bank account, but if you’re like my family, pizza is a great treat. If the Star Trek replicator were a reality, you still couldn’t reproduce the smell of the pizzeria, the arcade games that let you kill time waiting for your order, the long term relationships formed with the owner and the staff. Entire generations go to these places to talk and share good times and form memories.

No ATM in the world could give you that experience. The Pizza ATM is cute and fun, but it’s not going to threaten your bottom line if you’re a pizzeria owner. More likely, if such a thing really is a threat to your business, then you should probably take a closer look at your business because there’s something you’ve overlooked.

My Grandmother Loved She-ra

The last time I saw my grandmother before she passed away, we had taken her to see Beauty and the Beast. No other woman has shaped my views and my taste in television and movies more than she.

We watched a lot of TV at her house, but cartoons most of all.

Her favorite show was She-Ra; the twin sister of He-Man.

Ever since then, I have never been happy with a series that was essentially a “boys club”. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was my drug of choice in high school. Highlander:The Raven showed me a bad-ass sword fighter in leather. The Underworld movies introduced a female-lead who doesn’t need to be rescued by her man. I don’t think I could ever have appreciated these things without the influence of a grandmother who loved She-Ra.

And this was all well before I knew anything about the Bechdal test.

Was my grandmother a feminist? I don’t know. But I think she would be honored by my recognizing her in this way.

Is the Flag Half Mast?

There was a wedding in the Salem Common this morning. The flag in the Common is still half-mast, and it got me to thinking; would you want to get married when the flag is half-mast?

I could see it from two ways.

1: It would be a reminder that something terrible or sad happened, somewhere in the world, that directly affected our nation in a major way. The day you were married would forever be the anniversary of the thing that made us lower the flag in the first place.

2: As bad as things are, your wedding would be a reminder that good things can still happen.

What do you think, faithful reader? Would you have your wedding in a venue where a flag was at half mast? Tell me why, or why not in the commons.

So Long Without a Post

23 days is really unruly. Is it because I haven’t had anything to complain about? Well, no. But more to the point, I’ve been throwing myself into writing, which is the only thing that can really keep me from posting.

Awhile back, I wrote and posted this short story.

Recently, it got a bunch of hits from the greater Russia area. I don’t know if it was the story about the salt trick, which I learned from this video (and put into practice before writing the story) or if it was the tale of a man who is the victim of unfair distribution of hours in retail.

Either way, I decided to repost that story on my author blog, and it’s been getting more and more hits every day. I’m as happy as the day I found out that Kim was going to be on this season of Naked and Afraid XL.

Beavis and Butthead: The Juxtaposition

I consider myself a reasonably cerebral person. So it probably amazes some that when I realized there were recent episodes of Beavis and Butthead, my day couldn’t have gotten better.

It was on MTV2, which we apparently have, in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday. Here’s what’s interesting about this.

“Beavis and Butthead are not role models. They’re not even human, they’re cartoons. Some of the things they do can cause a person to get hurt, expelled, arrested… possibly deported. To put it on other words, don’t try this at home.”

If you grew up in the same decade as me, you heard the voice of the man who narrated that opening crawl before every episode of Beavis and Butthead, when it aired on MTV at night, usually at around 11 PM, depending on where you lived.

They don’t do that crawl now, in the morning on a weekend, when parents have even less control over what their kids are exposed to than the late 80’s/early 90’s.

I could go on about my theories for why this is, but you tuned me out the moment I told you I watch Beavis and Butthead.

Did The Rabbit Taste Like Chicken… or have Chickens tasted like Rabbit all Along?

So, the rabbit turned out to be pretty tasty. I broiled it on both sides for up to forty minutes (See the video) and I shared a couple of pieces with my dog. He enjoyed it too, but I guess it’s to be expected as dogs traditionally hunt rabbits, so the universe has balanced itself out.

I do have one question for the rabbit cooking community. What are these?

SAM_0829

 

I have my theories, but I’d like it if people could confirm it. They were inside the rabbit. I assume they’re… kidneys. But more to the point, I want to know if I can eat them. Fry them up for breakfast, maybe?  (They are Kidneys. Special thanks to Daryll for responding to my Facebook post)

See this is the kind of information I could have used when I asked people how to cook the rabbit. But people were too busy telling me how Gordon Ramsey would prepare it to point out these particular details.

Without further adieu, here’s the video I promised.

The Market Basket Bunny