BB #14: Tasty Bubbles

I confess, I’m definitely a hedonist.

I deeply believe in the credo that life is short, eat dessert first. However, somewhat paradoxically, I’m also a delayer in that I eat the cake and then the icing. In a given moment, I’m very prone to saving the best for last.

But the main thing is that, when the arc of my life ends, I want as much as possible to be able to say I enjoyed it and had fun every possible minute. There is more in the world to enjoy than anyone can in a lifetime, so you have to apply yourself!

With life’s pleasures in mind, today’s edition of Brain Bubbles is about things that are pleasurable — tasty — to me.

[cake and frosting]

Yesterday I finally turned on the furnace.

As I mentioned a while ago, I’ve been resisting the urge to give up the last grasp of summer. Once the furnace is enabled, it’s definitely cold weather season.

Full disclosure: I have turned on the gas fireplace in my living room a few times in the last month or so.

Even after many years, the phrase, “turned on my fireplace” still tickles me. No crinkled newspapers, no tinder or kindling, just flip a switch. Not nearly as cool as a real fire with crackling wood and that special smell, but convenient.

Yet another trade-off of modern living.

And in all honesty, I would have turned on the furnace about a week ago, but I kept forgetting to pick up new furnace filters. (You’re supposed to change those every few years, right? 😀 )

For the last week or so I’ve been waking up to house temps in the low 60 degree range. I’m all manly and shit, so that’s no big deal, but now it’s cushy comfortable and I can go back to be barefooted.


Speaking of warming the cockles, I watched two feel good movies last night.

The first was Real Steel, starring Wolverine (Hugh Jackman).

I like Jackman. He’s one of those “women want him, men admire him” actors, kind of like Tom Selleck was in his Magnum, P.I. days (he’s still pretty appealing).

For a movie based on not just a toy, but a really old toy, it was a lot of fun.

(I’m kidding; it’s actually based on a 1956 science fiction short story, Steel, by Richard Matheson.)

Very family level, really. Even the scene where Jackman is beat up leaves him looking only slightly damaged.

(I have a rule: I don’t watch violent movies on Sundays; just a way of reserving one day a week for inner peace and soul. I took a chance that Real Steel wouldn’t violate that rule, and it didn’t.)

And I gotta tell ya, the love interest in this, Evangeline Lilly, wow!

Way in my zone. Pretty much a direct hit, really. One of the most beautiful real women I’ve seen in weeks.

(That in the film she’s a boxing and techno geek — we first meet her with soldering gun in hand — just makes the character all the more appealing to me.)

Lilly was also in The Hurt Locker (a must-see movie), and she’ll apparently be in all three of Peter Jackson‘s upcoming Hobbit films.

I expected nothing from this movie, and it took me on a most enjoyable ride.

The second one was Our Idiot Brother.

I don’t pay too much attention to previews and reviews — I like to see a movie cold — but I did know Paul Rudd was in it (I’ve liked him since Clueless).

I did not realize Rashida Jones (daughter of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lipton) had a role. I’ve liked her since The Office, and now she’s on Parks and Recreation, two shows I’ve followed since day one.

There’s a second connection in that Adam Scott, who plays Amy Poehler‘s boyfriend in Parks and Rec, also has a role.

This movie didn’t surprise me. It followed an expected arc: apparent “idiot” first wreaks havoc and then heals the lives of those around him.

The message is an old one about living life simply and honestly, with trust and openness.

But the message is one I believe in deeply, and the movie carried the story along nicely.

There were a few turns I didn’t see coming, and I especially enjoyed the ending (Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson; a setup that takes the entire movie to pay off).

[two thumbs up]

After being so disappointed in the first episode of NCIS this season, the second episode takes us back to its usual excellence. It was even very sweet and touching (hooray for Abby!).

I am wondering if we’re seeing a pending exit for Ducky.

I will say that having the villain be who the villain turned out to be was a little on the “too cute” side, but that’s just a quibble.  NCIS is still going strong!


Nouvelle cuisine always makes me smile a little, but not in that “oh, boy, sausage pizza” way.

More in that head-shaking, “this is kind of silly” way.

But as a life-long science fiction fan, I’m certainly in no position to mock the hobbies and interests of others.

And I have to admit, stylistic flourishes aside, I’ve enjoyed almost every bite.

Some of it has been out of this world amazing! You read the weird off-the-wall ingredients from the menu and think, “Okay, very strange,” but in some ways that just makes trying it more appealing.

Recently, after going to a Twins game with my ex-wife, I took us to Rosa Mexicano.

I’d been there once before and really liked it. I highly recommend it. Consider, for example, the Mini Hard Shell Hamachi Tacos: Diced yellowtail, bacon, serrano chile, arugula and truffle oil.

Also, they make the guacamole fresh, table-side, for you, if you like that sort of thing. (I’m a bad former Californian: I don’t like guacamole.)

[yum, yum]

Long ago a friend once asked me, “Do you go out of your way to be different?”

Of course, the answer is, “Well, duh!”

The Frost poem is a key part of my life compass. More on this in a future post, but for now I wanted to mention how my tastes always seem to go for Door #3.

Favorite seminal British rock band?

For most people, it’s Door #1: The Beatles. For a large second group, it’s Door #2: The Rolling Stones. For me, it’s Door #3: The Who.

Favorite Cookie? Judging by what you get on cookie platters, for most people Door #1 is Chocolate Chip.

Another favorite lurks behind Door #2: Oatmeal Raisin.

Me, once again, Door #3: Ginger/Molasses!


I leave you today with a question.

Have you ever read a book almost all the way to the end, but put it down and just never picked it up again?

Have you ever read a book that was (perhaps just barely) tasty enough to keep you reading, but just not quite tasty enough that, once you set it down, it needed picking up again?

For me, one such was Greg Bear‘s Anvil of Stars, his sequel to the very good The Forge of God.

The first book involves alien contact and the destruction of the Earth.

The second book involves the remains of humanity hunting for those responsible. Apparently it ends interestingly, but the entire book up to that point was just not engaging.

I liked it enough to keep reading, but once I set it down, I just couldn’t pick it up again.

I finally realized I just didn’t care to.

Pity, because I have liked most of Bear’s work, and Forge was very good (nominated for a Hugo, a Locus and a Nebula).


About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

4 responses to “BB #14: Tasty Bubbles

  • reocochran

    Okay maybe these are separate thoughts so I should number them!
    In no particular order, though, since I just read and regurgitate thoughts on blogs. I do go back to ones later to say better or more interesting comments.
    I think cookies should be #1 subject: I love sugar cookies with icing!
    Aren’t they on the top 3 yet? Oh, I agree molasses cookies are great, too.

    Second subject: NCIS is loving Ducky and bringing him back. I also love your positive comment about Abby. It was nice she found her brother!

    #3: I like Evangeline Lilly (in “Real Steel”) and also, the movie “My Idiot Brother” which were 2 different posts but seemed connected.

    #4: I set books down and usually don’t go back if I don’t like the direction the plot is going. For me, I want to keep my fantasy life by reading books that come out the way I like or want them to. Oh, and I don’t mind deaths and my crying in the end.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      When I talk about cookies with people, many do mention sugar cookies. I like oatmeal-raisin second best, so sugar is probably tied with choc-chip. Peanut-butter cookies also get mentioned, but while I like peanuts a lot, I don’t care for them in anything (especially chocolate).

      Saw the third episode of NCIS last night… it’s still great. Don’t know what happened in that first episode. Maybe it was just me.

      So far you’re the only one who’s answered the question about setting a book down. What kind of plot direction would cause you to stop reading?

      • reocochran

        Sometimes when I am reading a mystery, I guess the ending and don’t want to continue so I “cheat,” check the last few pages and set it down. I have also been upset when a character in a love story dies. It may be historical and I may continue on, but if I find myself wanting to finish it quickly, I will quit.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Well, from what I’ve heard, you’ll want to avoid George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones! Apparently he’s constantly killing off major characters. (I know I was pretty surprised in the HBO series based on the books when a major character got killed early in the series. He was one of the few I liked, so it kind of made it even harder to enjoy the series. If not for Peter Dinklage, I would have hung it up.)

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