Monday, January 23, 2012


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Happy New Year! (Again.)

Today is the Chinese New Year. I have to admit, I was a little surprised when I looked at the calendar a couple of weeks ago, and saw that it was today. This may be the earliest I can remember the Chinese New Year occurring.

I'm writing this in Mall St. Matthews. About the time I walked into the mall, I began hearing this rumbling in my stomach, one that was saying quite plaintively, "FEED me, Seymour!" (Which is a little surprising, since my name isn't Seymour.) That was about the time I realized that I had not eaten very much today, and that getting something to eat might not be a bad idea. And the sooner, the better.

The mall's food court meant that I had a dozen or so different choices. And since today is the Chinese New Year, I quickly narrowed my choices to Chinese Gourmet Express.

From what I have seen, Chinese Gourmet Express is about the same as most mall food court Chinese restaurants. They have a dozen or so different selections, which are served with your choice of noodles or rice. This time, I chose the sesame chicken with noodles. (I almost always get noodles over rice.)

The food was nothing I haven't had before. It tasted great, and more importantly, it stopped that rumbling in my stomach. And of course, it also came with a fortune cookie. The fortune read as follows:

"You have a deep appreciation of the arts and music."

Okay, I suppose that does describe me somewhat.

Today is the beginning of The Year Of The Dragon. Unfortunately, this year, the closest thing I have to a dragon joke is an early Power Rangers reference in the title.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

A Fortune "Bookie"?

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The Chinese New Year comes early this year, and my local library branch is getting into the spirit of things. When I went by the Bon Air branch earlier today, there was a big bowl at the circulation desk, and a sign inviting patrons to take a fortune cookie.

I'm never one to pass up material for an entry, so I walked over to the bowl. The "fortune cookies" weren't edible. They were made from mini muffin cups that had been folded into the proper shape. And it looks as though the fortunes were printed by the library's staff. If the one I got is any indication, all of these fortunes have to do with books and reading:

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense."

Oh, yeah. I've definitely heard that one before, with a slight variation. And I find myself wondering what some of the other fortunes say.

Now that I think about it, wouldn't a better name for these be fortune book-ies?

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Friday, January 6, 2012

Whirl Away!

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Earlier this week, I was going by a church near my condo, and I saw the following message on their sign:

"Visualize world peace."

I have seen this sentiment expressed in a number of ways over the years. Besides that sign, I have seen it on buttons, T-shirts, and bumper stickers. I remember that at one place where I worked, a receptionist had the message on her desk. If I'm remembering correctly, it was on a paperweight. I do remember that it was readily seen by anyone walking by her desk.

But I suppose the thing that comes to mind most readily whenever I see that message is something similar that I saw on a button. It was one of dozens upon dozens of buttons that you can find for sale at any SF convention. Most of the messages will, of course, have something to do with the genre -- something like "Captain Archer, why did you just say, 'Oh, boy'?"

But in this case, the message was a somewhat snarky twist on the message above. I will admit, at first, I didn't get it, mainly because I don't think I had seen "Visualize world peace" previously. But the dealer explained it, and I quickly understood. And now, I cannot see that message without this version quickly coming to mind:

"Visualize whirled peas."

Oh, and that receptionist I mentioned? I wrote the alternate version on a sheet of paper, and when I went by her desk, I gestured to her paperweight, saying, "I've got another version of that." I showed her the paper, and she started laughing.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dr. Asimov

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Today is Isaac Asimov's birthday. Were he still with us, he would be 92 -- and I find it hard to believe that it has been almost 20 years since he died. I thought I would mark the occasion by listing a couple of favorite quotes of his:

"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent."

"Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers."

I just wish I could think through my fingers as quickly as he did.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Fortune-ate Beginning To The Year

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Happy New Year, everyone!

Early this morning, I decided to start 2012 by diving into the bag of fortune cookies for a little bit of inspiration. And what I got was my first duplicate of the year:

"You have a friendly heart and are well admired."

I took this as a sign that I should try again. The second time I pulled out a cookie, the fortune was something I had not yet encountered:

"A thrilling time is in your immediate future."

Hmmm . . . that sounds like an auspicious start for the year. Here's hoping that I'm right.

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