Monthly Archives: August 2012

Trifextra 31 – Sum of 3

Robert Frost one said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” We want you to do the same. Sum up anything you want, but do it in three words. Your response should mirror Frost’s quote by beginning, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about–.” And the last four words are yours to choose.

With this weekend’s challenge, we have now done 3, 33, 333, and 3,333 words. So either there will be a 33,333 challenge (rivalling NaNoWriMo) or a contest where we remove 3 words from a sentence. I don’t know which frightens me more.

Until there, here’s what I know about that.


“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about food.”

Follow the recipe.


Filed under Creative Writing, Life, Trifextra, Trifextra Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges

Banana Muffins

Summertime equals fresh fruit. It also means, with heat and humidity, quick-ripening fruit. Some are versatile, and have a good shelf life, like apples and pears. Others, like bananas, can turn one shade to another within a day or two. Depending on your personal preference, it may be the difference between eating them, and deciding that they are too brown and soft to eat. Seems like a waste, and in my house, many times it was.

However, one person’s “ewww gross!” fully ripened banana, is another’s “perfect!” If you are adding them to your Cheerios, it’s probably the former. If you have a banana bread/muffin recipe, you are the latter.

In fact, since you started reading this, it is already too late…you have descended into the realm of the latter. Good for you!

Here is the recipe that I have faithfully used for over 10 years. As you can see, I make it often – it’s incredibly easy, and there’s a steady supply of ‘nanas around here. You can also see that I typed it on NotePad (yes I used word wrap). Typing out the directions here would be redundant, so just follow along with the directions and photos!

Some extra notes…
–I’m making muffins, which only changes the cooking time, about 35 minutes a batch. Also, you can use those paper cups or butter the pan, it’s your choice.
–Walnuts are suggested, but you can leave them out, or sub for choco chips (which I am doing here) or use both. Keep in mind it will yield more than listed if you add more ingredients
–When mashing the bananas, no need to make them into paste. Some small banana chunks in there will keep it moist and even more flavorful.

The Directions

Everything you need. Note the bananas, which look like chocolate at this point. Perfect.

Blend the sugar and butter. Resist the temptation to taste a smidge of it. Oh what the hell, go ahead. Yes it’s so wrong.

After adding the eggs, you will get this smooth mixture. If you didn’t sneak a taste before, it’s too late now!

After adding bananas, it will look less enticing to take a spoonful for yourself! All ‘wet’ ingredients are now mixed. On to the dry.

In a smaller bowl mix all dry ingredients together (of course you can’t tell here!). Stir it together with a fork to ensure everything mixes nicely. You will pour this into the larger bowl of wet ingredients, keeping in mind to fold it gently, not like a cake batter.

Choco chips (or whatever you are adding) are also gently stirred in, and you are ready to start filling the cups/tray.

Done! Be sure to hide some away from the greedy, unappreciative masses, but reward the faithful believers that will follow you to the ends of the Earth with a couple of these.
If you store them in the fridge or not is up to you. Reheating in a microwave takes about 15-20 seconds.



Filed under Baking, Cooking, Recipes

What We Have Re-Sorted To Doing

Ok, the drawings have been done under the supervision of an independent auditor (actually just my 2 assistants who were probably wondering what I was doing snipping pieces of paper and tossing them into a Yankees hat, but who didn’t ask, because sometimes the answer makes less sense than wondering), and here are the results!

TGIM Sue/WubWoo, your Monday just got even awesomer!

A copy of The Stand
Forest, year 2345
Characters (2 additional of your own choice) cuffed together, no phones (cuffs and communication units can be upgraded to your imagined future standards)
Chick Lit
638 words

***I am going to let you adjust yours a bit – if you wish, you can write this under this week’s Trifecta standards, since the word is DINOSAUR. Use the word according to their definition, and word count can be under theirs as well ;). Two birds one stone!

Umm, YOU, that is me, Mr. Tomahawk, your/my challenge is

Tuesday morning in burbs (garbage pickup)
Drabbit tries to assimilate with other, established mythical population
Unauthorized bio
698 words

Ms. MelMag, these items request the pleasure of your writing:

Female High School Basketball Coach
Medieval Times
A piece of junk is actually a forgotten part of history that could change everything
Comedic Thriller
661 Words

Lance, take a swing at this:

Male Exotic Dancer
Atlanta Hotel @ Sunrise
Humanity is wiped out, dinos (you can sub unicorns or fantasy creatures – hell use smart apes if you want!) are the prevailing population. 

555 words.

Deadlines are whenever you get it done. Let’s push for September 4th, since no one ever has anything planned for Labor Day, the last unofficial weekend of summer. Believe me, your brains will churn overtime on these! Just link back to this entry for reference.

Thanks for joining! To all non-participants, a warm round of applause and a link up to each of these brave folks who are doing this for YOU!


Filed under Choose Your Adventure, Creative Writing, Horror, Humor, Writing, Writing Challenges

Choose Another Adventure!

Now is as good a time as any to start another installment of The Challenge. Yes it needs a new name.

If you didn’t feel like clicking the link, well here’s the gist of it; leave a comment along with some information (will list it below). I will collate all of the responses by category, and using extremely high-tech methods, form your custom random writing assignment. It may sound tough, but if you block out the part of your brain that forms logic, and concentrate on the adoration we will all bestow on your work, it will come easily.

The first challenge gave us some utterly awesome entries.

Wub Boo Mommy‘s entry, a breakneck paced countdown where the very essence of space and time hung in the actions of one nimble being. Whoa, it was heavy.
ODNT‘s tale of desperation and love in a collapsing society; something between Lucretia My Reflection and Ben.
Oh yeah I did one too. Love will conquer all.

So, if you’re up to the challenge, just leave a comment below with the following:

1. A character, object or other noun
2. Another character, object or noun
3. A location (time or place or both)
4. Brief conflict/plot line
5. Genre (horror, comedy, mockumentary)
6. Word limit (100-700 words – up to about 1 typed page)

Volunteer up until Sunday, August 26th about 8pm EST. I’ll do the drawing and post assignments in a post on Monday – due dates are flexible, you will not be graded. Unless you’re hankering for a gold sticker, or something to hang on the fridge.


Filed under Choose Your Adventure, Writing, Writing Challenges

Signs Of The Times

Since signs are put up to inform us, sometimes we need to give a reply, or challenge their one-sided orders. Other times, we are speechless. Here are a few that I have come upon in my travels around the city.

A more accurate bus schedule. The sloppiness of the writing really captures the rage.

Apparently Richie is more hazardous than asbestos, quick-dry cement and/or falling steel beams. If you absolutely have to be near Richie, always wear your goggles.

A sign on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Mmm Tacowiches! Doesn’t matter though; when you are in CI, why get anything other than a Nathan’s hot dog?

Another sign directed towards the MTA. The anger is supplemented by emoti-glyphics. No love for the Q train huh? The Q and N run along the same line anyway through Manhattan; this person obviously needs the N to Astoria, Queens. Or it’s just a general bitterness, which is completely understandable.

A glove that someone lost, which was carefully placed in that position to be (hopefully) found if its owner retraced his steps. Then again, he might come upon it, and seeing that his glove is giving him the finger for losing him, might get in a huff and say “Well, if that’s the way you feel, I don’t need you or your partner!”, and then throw the other glove at it, which would work out for someone who needed gloves badly enough to overlook the anger/abandonment issues that these gloves have. (I just said gloves 6 times, including right now.)

As with each day, not EVERYTHING I see is negative. For instance, one of the various notes scrawled on the Brooklyn Bridge scaffolding.

Its a hot and sunny Friday, so why not. I indulged the sign. Hopefully, you did as well!


Filed under Complaints, Day In the Life, Humor, Life, Photography

WayBack Wednesday – Richer for Knowing

This installation of Wayback Wednesday (yes it’s back!) is another look back at times/places/people from my past.

You may remember the band Sixpence None the Richer. “There She Goes”, “Kiss Me”, the cover of “Don’t Dream it’s Over.” Ah yes I think that’s the light bulb flickering in your mind.

Well, I am a fan, which surprises many people, since SNTR have no direct ties to Star Wars, or zombies. I think one of them likes bunnies (but not zombunnies).

As  you know, liking one band, then seeing them tour with someone else, or when members work with other projects, you follow them, which leads you to more exposure (their plan works perfectly). So in one form or another, I have seen them whenever they come to NYC, going back at least 12 years.

About a month ago I found out, after looking around for bands that I used to follow, but have fallen out of touch with (pretty much every single one of them – Fear Factory, Aphex Twin, Joe Satriani, Nine Inch Nails, Pearl Jam) and noticed that they pretty much all have new CD’s, tours and news which I missed out on. All except SNTR, who were coming to the Mercury Lounge two weeks from that very moment, the same day their new CD came out. Talk about perfect timing! So I snagged a ticket, barely wincing at the 25% in surcharges from fucking TicketBastard (Yes I paid $20.50 for a $15.00 ticket), and last Tuesday, headed to the show.

Mercury Lounge is a small, cozy space, one block from Katz’ Deli, and some other LES venues that I catch shows at from time to time; especially and including some friends and locals. The show was lively and people were really into it. It wasn’t a show you stumbled upon; everyone there was a fan.

Another great part about non-arena bands is that the chances to meet the musicians afterwards is pretty good. The singer for SNTR, Leigh Nash, is particularly accessible. I’ve actually met her several times after shows. So after this show, I did the same as usual, waiting a few moments and finding out she was signing CD’s and taking photos by the front area. So after a bit more waiting, I met Leigh once again.

Hurray! She recognized me immediately! I mentioned some early shows they have played, congratulated them on the new CD and thanked them for coming back to NYC for a show. I got my fan experience and all was well with the evening.

So I started thinking, where are the other pics I have with her. There was one signing where I met all the members but no pics of that one.

Well I found them and decided to post!

Leigh and I, February 2003. There’s my chubby mid 20’s clean shaven face (back then I would have never considered beard-dom). I am wearing my winter coat and have a couple extra lbs on me. It was a snowy winter (the show was a day after a big snowstorm, so maybe I was getting my hibernation gut together).

October 2008. BB Kings. She was singing with Delerium and Conjure One on this tour. Sixpence had broken up and she was doing side/solo work, so the chance at meeting again was there.

And finally Leigh and me 2012. She signed the CD for me, also a picture that I had taken of her during the ’08 show, and was genuinely grateful for my continued fandom.

All in all, a good night of music, that took me back to how I enjoyed music, and the reminder that great experiences don’t have to just be memories.


Filed under Concerts, Life, Music, Reviews, Wayback wednesday

Trifecta 38 – Zero Hour 9am

The Word of the Week is: HOME:
3. a : a familiar or usual setting : congenial environment; also :the focus of one’s domestic attention
b : habitat

A couple of things beforehand – first, I appreciate every one of your congrats/comments on my ‘bronze medal’ for the Trifextra. Thank YOU! I wrote it during a relaxing weekend, the sober part at that!

Secondly, this entry was partially written for another prompt which I missed, which you can tell by the ‘flight’ idea. However, there was an aside mention of HOME, which inspired me to complete it. Trifecta, is there anything you CAN’T do?!


“Attention passengers; Virgin Galactic flight 1 is now ready to board.” As the passengers gathered their things, a steward waited stoically at the gates with a clipboard; considering the amount of political, social and cultural figures that were taking the voyage, and their mission, he should have been starstruck. In fact, when Alec Baldwin cut the line, he didn’t call security; it was critical that he make this flight.

Snooki found her seat, climbed up the stepladder, and fastened herself in the carseat. Behind her, Linsday Lohan and Nadya Suleman argued over the window, as Levi Johnston peeked between the seats. Fred Phelps had requested the furthest seat on the right, and was directly across from Kathy Griffin.

All luggage space was reserved for every copy of 50 Shades of Gray every printed. Nevertheless, Ted Nugent repeatedly tried to wedge his hunting bow into the overhead compartment, until it finally snapped. Glenn Beck ignored the ‘no smoking’ sign.

Twenty minutes after launch, the small televisions on each seat blinked on. The intercom, which Honey Boo Boo had been trying to sing into, cut off. The steward appeared on the screen.

“Thank you all for being a part of this voyage, which was generously funded by a benefactor. Their goal; to benefit all of humanity, by looking to the stars for that future. Pun intended,” he added. “Your individual talents made you all obvious choices for the creation of a utopia humanity can finally call ‘home’.”

“How long will this take?” Baldwin interrupted.

“It has already begun.” The screen faded to live images of a planet. Blue skies were everywhere. Each scene showed smiling, healthy people conversing and assisting one another in farming food, building homes, taking care of children.

“But how did this happen before we got there?” Beck asked.

“This,” the steward voice stated, “is what happened to Earth, the minute you took off. Your new home is coming up.” Those with window seats suddenly noticed the barren asteroid looming closer.


In case you were wondering who the benefactor is, I would tie it in with this post.


Filed under Celebrities, Creative Writing, Humor, Trifecta Writing Challenge, Writing, Writing Challenges

Monday Listicles – Reservations for 10

The Monday Listicle for this week (yes I am just getting it juuust in on time) – Here are 10 people I would have over for dinner, in no order or seating arrangement. I will not automatically add that mandatory 18% tip for this party.

No pictures, as finding, crediting, resizing is a chore. Plus explanations are more entertaining.

1. Desiderius Erasmus. I am listing him first because whenever I am asked this question at job interviews and I am allowed only one guest, I always say him. Look up his story for the full reason, but my main reason would be he stood unwavering by his personal ideals at a polarizing movement in the church and society. That sort of character is very inspiring to me in these times, and always in my personal ethics.

2. Ernest Hemingway. He would have some good stories for general conversation, or I might ask him to hunt/fish for our dinner.

3. Rick Bayless. A professional chef in Chicago who specializes in Mexican cuisine. He knows how to throw a good party and could help me cook up whatever Ernie brings back. Plus he knows his tequila, which though I hate it, can liven the place up.

4. Lloyd Kaufman. Troma films (Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ’em High) has a cult following of movies that are typically low-budget, bawdy comedy/horrors with endless slapstick jokes, gratuitous nudity and bad special effects that make the graphic violence even more over the top. So yes we would have to discuss the details of Zombie Bunnies: The Movie.

5. Philip K. Dick. I greatly admire his writing; his sci-fi and philosophies are not too complicated but are deeply personal. His stories/characters go along the lines of societal and culture in his day, and now, painting a vision of the future that is entirely plausible.

6. Princess Leia. Yes the character. No, the slave girl costume from Return of the Jedi is not mandatory. But I wouldn’t protest if she did. She’s not just a pretty face; the first thing we see her do in the movies is zap a stormtrooper, then stand firm against Vader without flinching (and then later mouth off to a Grand Moff). Hemingway would respect that.

7. Misty May-Treanor / Kerry Walsh Jennings. They are a team and so count as one. As the Olympic rules go (and as with Leia), the bikini is not mandatory. Wearing their 2012 gold medals IS mandatory. Again, yeah they are sexy, but their ethos of trust and teamwork, and the willingness to work as hard at keeping that as strong as their sporting achievements is admirable.

8. Abe Lincoln. I think he and Teddy Roosevelt get invites on many of these lists- I would have to give him plenty of notice. He and Erasmus could discuss that whole ‘diligence in the face of polarized politics’ idea I spoke about. Also I could get his side of the story about the vampire hunting.*

9. George Lucas. This is who everyone would guess I would invite, if I had one guest. Well ok, fine. He gets in on the original trilogy, and for Zak McKraken (an 80’s video game), and THX 1138. However, all he gets are Wookie Cookies and Blue Milk. If Ernie somehow snags a Gungan, George gets the head portion

10. Animal from the Muppets. If all else fails and dinner is a bore/bust, he can just start a food fight. I’ll try and keep him clear of the tequila.

*there is also a low budget movie about his zombie hunting past on Netflix Instant. Review of that coming soon.


Filed under Lists, Monday Listicles, Writing, Writing Challenges

Trifextra 28- Fork Full

With this weekend’s Trifextra challenge, we were asked to find, in 33 words, 3 uses for one object.

A fork- as part of my devil costume, it didnt scare anyone; it flayed, rather than scratched my back; and lying on the road, challenged people… until one man simply picked it up.


Filed under Creative Writing, Trifextra, Writing, Writing Challenges

100 Word Song – Swing Life Away

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

Let’s head to Lance’s blog for the current challenge. 100 words on the video he features; “Swing Life Away”.


“We shouldn’t have to leave,” she protested half- heartedly.

That wasn’t true. Every other apartment on their block had been bought out (yeah how’d that happen to renters?, common logisticians asked). Every store was replaced- the ones they worked at, stole from- the new spots wouldn’t give them the chance for either.

Their small rooms testified bests and worsts echoing off the walls of peeling posters stuck with brittle yellowed tape, foggy Polaroids, coupons on the fridge long expired. Still, the summer sun burned the same through the window.

He filled another discarded supermarket box -“Ouranos Yogurt”- with dirty laundry.


The fact that the video shows NYC, and my own years walking around here, (Plus a little ‘Helene Troy’, Lance) inspiration and a little SoC* were in full control. Like all things- from predator/prey numbers in the wild, fashion, even the success and failure of sports teams- the ‘pendulum’ swings through affluence and decadence in many neighborhoods and cities. The ‘identity’ of many areas of NYC are different from what they used to be; on one hand, they are ‘safer’ and more accessible, but does their character match the influence of the previous reputation? Will they be the birthplaces of new ideas and expression to influence the world around them as well?

*Stream of Consciousness


Filed under 100 Word Song, Creative Writing, Writing, Writing Challenges