Saturday, May 17, 2014

Sweetie invented the greatest breakfast food ever.

Mr Bunches likes "Cap'n Crunch Crunch Berries, (TM)" but he likes only the berries and will not eat the Cap'n Crunches themselves, and so when he eats Crunch Berries, he picks the berries out from the crunches.*

*You probably just said to yourself Hey get him that "All Berries" cereal and PROBLEM SOLVED, but before you suggest that, consider whether or not you believe I am an idiot and did not (a) know of the existence of that cereal and (b) try it and (c) see that it failed and (d) hence go back to just buying Crunch Berries and letting him pick them out and eat them the way he wants.  Mr Bunches does not want "All Berries". He wants Cap'n Crunch Crunch Berries from which he can pick out the berries and leave the crunches.  

Also consider whether having extra Cap'n Crunch is, in fact, a problem. (HINT IT IS NOT.)
This leaves, when he is done, a Tupperware (TM) container full of Cap'n Crunches with 99.9% of the berries picked out.

Pictured: NOT A PROBLEM.

 And I am reluctant to waste Cap'n Crunch for a variety of reasons.  (One reason: I love them. Two reason: I am cheap.)

So I have started saving the Cap'n Crunches Orphans (TM) in smaller Tupperware bowls for later use:

There are more chemicals in our snack cupboard
than in many military armories. I will either eventually
start glowing or live forever.

Last night, I mentioned to Sweetie that she could use those bowls of cereal when she packs my lunch for me (a service Sweetie provides willingly and lovingly provided that I never ever express a single opinion about lunch ever, because if I say something like "Oh, so you made me a peanut butter & jelly sandwich today" that is taken as a horrible rejection of her efforts rather than as a conversational starter used because we've run out of ways to feel terrible about how we raised Oldest Daughter, and she will then invite me to make my own lunch which, for a variety of reasons, I do not want to do.  (One reason: It's work. Two reasons: Whatever I'm in the mood for the night before** I am never in the mood for the next day.)

** usually pizza.

What I said was "These Cap'n Crunches (TM) could be the sandwich in lunch," because I know the three ingredients of lunch:

1. Sandwich course
2. Noodles course.
3. Dessert.

That, at least, was the lunch before

multiple bee stings/heart attack/possibly another heart attack or maybe asthma/more asthma/something weird/"It could be just blood clots, sometimes people get those"/"We noticed something on your brain CT scan"/Sinus surgery/possibly more asthma,

which is VERBATIM how my medical records read.

(NOT coincidentally that is VERBATIM how my denials for new life insurance policies read.)

So the real lunch now is:

1. Sandwich course.
2. Kind of healthy snack mix course.
3. Fruit. *sigh*.*

*Sometimes 'fruit' means "yogurt," which is okay, I guess.  Sometimes "fruit" means "pudding," at which point I have to wonder how Sweetie, who is remarkably healthy, stays healthy, since she apparently believes "pudding" is a fruit.
So what I was suggesting was that from time to time (everyday) Sweetie could give me a bowl of Cap'n Crunch Orphans (TM) instead of a sandwich.

Just a simple toaster. Nothing to see here
before the patent gets granted.

To which Sweetie said:

"You want me to make you a Cap'n Crunch Sandwich?" (TM!)

Do you see why I am constantly glad I married her? Seriously, I should be lighting candles in church 24 hours a day for having found this woman. I should devote my life to doing good works. I should probably put on pants. Do SOMETHING. You get the point.

I, not wanting to let Sweetie know just how deranged I am (I think she gets it) at first tried to explain that the Cap'n Crunch Orphans (TM) could simply serve in place of the sandwich, but even as I said it I was already working through the possibilities of what she had just said, and as I finished I said:

"But now I would like a Cap'n Crunch sandwich," which just to be clear I was NOT going to make right then because it was like 9 p.m. at night and I try not to eat after 8 o'clock but just to be JUST as clear, my brain was not going to stop thinking about until I actually had one, so I knew I was in for a long night.

By now you know where this is going.
I'm going to be a jillionaire!
"It would have to be on toast," I told Sweetie.  Here is the SCIENCE behind that innovation:

1. Toast is breakfast-y.
2. Eating cereal on raw bread? Disgusting.

Take THAT, Isaac Newton!

Sweetie, who by that point was backing slowly away because she wanted no part of this really***

***Other than credit because when she saw I was going to put this on my blog she said to make sure everyone knew it was her idea.
agreed, and then I said (and this is the real genius part)

"It would have to have peanut butter."

Obviously, this is also (TM)

There really is nothing in modern society that is not made better by the addition or inclusion of peanut butter, except perhaps pizza, but can you IMAGINE? Pizza is the peanut butter event horizon.  If they (I) find a way to combine those two we will have achieved Heaven on Earth.

Not that Sweetie's Breakfast Toast Crunch Sandwich (TM) isn't close to that paradise.

Because from those simple ingredients was born that phenomenon, and when I got up this morning the first thing I did was think very strongly about going and making that sandwich, but unfortunately I got up at about 4:45 a.m. because Mr F didn't want to sleep any longer (in his bedroom) and so I had to go downstairs with him and let him snooze on the couch for a while, even though it was Sweetie's night to supervise Mr F's weird sleep rituals, but I had to go because when Mr F knocked on his door at 4:45 a.m. I bolted upright and ran to his room and let him out and went downstairs with him all in a fog of early morning confusion until Sweetie came downstairs and reminded me it was her day, but by then I was awake and so I nobly volunteered to take the rest of the morning, and settled Mr F in to watch "Winnie The Pooh" while I read lists of funny quotes on Buzzfeed and waited until a culturally appropriate time to begin making the Breakfast Of The Gods (Copyright 2014).

Which I then started around 6:15 a.m., announcing to Sweetie that I was going to do so ("Make sure you give me credit!"-- Sweetie), and now I will share with you how to make

Sweetie's Breakfast Toast Crunch Sandwich (Patent Pending)


Toaster (1)
Bread (2)
Peanut Butter (14 grams)*
Cap'n Crunch Orphans (lots)
Knife for spreading peanut butter (if the sandwich is for yourself and nobody is looking a finger will do).
*I have no idea if that is accurate.
Step one:

Get out the toaster.  Announce what you are doing. Briefly think about hiring a lawyer to sue Sweetie into giving up her royalties. Remember you are a lawyer.  Wonder whether you can recall the entire lyrics to the song Istanbul (Not Constantinople) by They Might Be Giants.

Step Two:
Toast the bread.  I would recommend a setting but I have no idea how our settings on our toasters work.  I never have any idea how they work, anymore. The knobs never seem to have any relationship to the numbers, there's no clear arrow telling whether you are toasting it on 1 or 7, and I don't know if the scale is logarithmic or what, but any adjustments to the settings result in either the bread coming out burnt to charcoal or, bafflingly, somehow less solid than it was. I believe that our toaster has a setting that would reverse entropy and cause the bread to untoast so completely it would pop up a wheat stalk.

Also, get out the other stuff while the bread toasts. If you already got it out, put it back and get it out again.  This will teach you to use your time wisely in the future, because if you got all the stuff out first, now you are just sitting around watching a toaster work, which is wasteful and unproductive.  This is America; we save our wasteful and unproductive time for when we are at the office.

Step Three:

Get the toast out. Do I really have to tell you that? Spread peanut butter on the toast.  This is necessary because (a) delicious and (b) it "glues" the Cap'n Crunches to the bread so it doesn't slop all over.  Do you want people thinking you're some kind of savage? You do not. Probably. What do I know about your life?

This is what that should look like:

In case you are unfamiliar with toast.
Ordinarily I use a LOT more peanut butter.  My ordinary dosage of peanut butter is measured in glops.  Each bite of a PB&J sandwich should have enough peanut butter to clog several arteries; the risk of this is offset by putting enough jelly onto the sandwich to subsequently unclog the arteries, making the entire process both safe and sane, or kind of sane judging by the look on doctors' faces when I explain to them how that all works.  But as with any beginning endeavor, you want to proceed cautiously, and I wasn't sure what kind of chain reaction might be set off by using a lot of peanut butter with Cap'n Crunch.  I didn't, for example, want a repeat of the time I made Rice Krispie Treats but substituted Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch for the cereal, and the result was delicious but so sweet that it spontaneously stopped time.

Well, that is, I think time stopped.  It's sort of hard to tell the difference between "time stopping" and "a massive stroke."

So be careful, is my point.

Step Four:

Sprinkle your Cap'n Crunchs on it.  

Look at how they glow in the sunlight.
Like little delicious angels sent to Earth
by a benevolent God. Or have I had
too much sugar today?

Any that fall off the bread should be immediately eaten and those do not count towards the calorie count of this sandwich, as they were not formally a part of the meal. 

You purists (me) will now want to "smush" (technical term) the sandwich down so that the Crunchs become embedded in the toast.  But even if you don't want to take that final step (snob), it's ready to go:

Make it now. Your taste buds
will thank me later,
and your cardiologist will
thank me moments after that.


INDIE WRITERS MONTHLY is looking for your time-travel stories for our first ever anthology.  There are prizes, but there is also a deadline. Click here for details

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The picture is not the greatest thing but it is pretty great in and of itself. (The Greatest Thing In The World, EVER!)

I was watching Fargo the other night. I have started watching the TV series, and I don't even really know why I started watching it. Because Billy Bob Thornton was in it? Because I said it was Billy Bob Thornton and Sweetie said it wasn't and I was right? It could be anything, really, the point being, I've started watching it, and the episode I kind of watched the other night when I couldn't get to sleep was Episode 2.

The episode began with this really cool sort of drum solo, a low driving beat kind of thing while these two hit men (I think they were hit men, I haven't finished the episode yet, but they're definitely bad guys of some kind) drove along.

Today, I tried to find out what the song was, and couldn't. I finally got to a Reddit thread (going on Reddit always makes me feel sort of skeevy, like I'm trying to hang out with 14-year-olds or about to falsely accuse someone of being the Boston Bomber), where they linked to a story about the guy who wrote the drum solo; that story said that drum solo was part of the score and not released yet, but in the comments

...look, eventually I will get to the point, okay?...

in the comments someone asked if the composer had been inspired by two songs, one of which was Let There Be Drums, so I went and Youtubed it*

*everything is a verb if you want it to be. That's your life lesson for today. And for last Thursday.

and found the song:

And I listened to it about 14 times yesterday and put it on the list of songs I might buy using the gift card Sweetie got me as part of my anniversary present; the gift card is to iTunes and I have been charged with making a road trip playlist because we are going on a road trip to Milwaukee which is the other part of my anniversary present.

(Did I mention yesterday was my anniversary? It is. That's also a Greatest Thing In The World, EVER!)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Things Mr Bunches Is Excited About, 1

Mr Bunches has the best attitude. In the world.  Seriously.  I bet in the 7 1/2 years he's been alive, he's been sad for a total of, say, 13 minutes.  Cumulative.

He finds a way to be excited about everything, from the really exciting (like when he got to go on a plane ride for his 7th birthday) to the ... not so exciting. Like almost everything else, at least to us.

Sweetie and I have gotten so used to (and charmed by) his attitude that it's winning us over, and that's why from here on out, I will share the things Mr Bunches gets excited about.  THEY ARE NOT ALWAYS THINGS WE THINK ARE EXCITING.

So today, he got to take a field trip to the Overture Center to see the Madison Symphony Orchestra play. This is a big deal, because Mr Bunches loves orchestras.  (Mr Bunches loves everything, and orchestras are part of everything).  So that was good enough, but when he got off the bus and saw a construction site nearby, he excitedly pointed out to his teacher and Sweetie, saying:


That was not the end of the excitement for the day.  When I got home, Mr Bunches was on the couch with Sweetie, who had a Q-tip and was cleaning his ears.  As I walked into the room, he said:


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Call For Story Submissions!

Announcing the first ever

COMING ON THE FOURTH OF JULY, it's the first-ever anthology of stories by indie writers to bear the INDIE WRITERS MONTHLY stamp of approval*, and we want YOU to be a part of it.

The anthology is going to be a collection of stories about Time Travel, and here is HOW YOU CAN GET IN ON THIS:

A. Have a story about time travel, or write one.
2.  Submit that story to us, by June 15, 2014.  (send submissions to litaplaceforstories[at]** and label them "IWM TIME TRAVEL ANNUAL" or something like that.)
THIS IS IMPORTANT: paste the story directly into the of the email.  

III. Make sure you have the rights to the stories and it'd be nice if it hadn't been published somewhere else.  

Word limits? Who do you think you're talking to, here? Because there'll only be a few weeks to read them, shoot for somewhere between 1 and 1,000 words, but if you go longer, by all means, go longer.

Still reading?  Good.  Here is WHY you want to get in on this!

8(a)2.: The stories we like the best will get put into the anthology and you'll be a published writer! 

C: There are prizes! Specifically, the story picked as best by the IWM gang will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card and the Runner Up will get a $10 Amazon Gift Card.

So there you have it!  I look forward to getting those stories.
PSST? Want to read some of my own time-travel stories? Check out 

HEADLINE: “Time Travel Is Only Possible In One Direction, Scientists Say.” Subhead: “Balderdash,” Tim says.

And here's a link to five 250-word time travel stories (and an essay on another one) 


*no actual stamp will be created.  It is a metaphor.

**while this is an IWM and not a lit venture I need to keep my regular gmail unclogged up and I assume there will be 100,000s of stories coming in.  

Sexy Alien Ryan Gosling (Me, Annotated)

A little under a year ago -- last July -- Daniella Robin did a post about...

well, about something but I can't remember what it was about, as this link no longer leads to that post, so if you were thinking somehow things on the Internet were forever, well, they're not, except for that one photo of you at the afterparty.  That will NEVER go away.

Anyway, I have gathered that the post maybe had something to do with her writing a story, maybe, as judging from the comment I left there, which was this:

I heard this podcast thing where a scientist misunderstood the nature of infinity and said that in an infinite universe it becomes finitely likely that every single combination of atoms that CAN occur, HAS occurred, which means that in our own universe -- not even an alternate reality! -- there is (supposedly) a version of you that has already written that story, and in fact there is a version of you that wrote that story, got it published, had it optioned by George Clooney's production company, got it made into a movie, it won an Oscar, redefining along the way the very act of writing/moviemaking/Oscar winning, then STARTED A CIVIL WAR AMONG PEOPLE WHO LIKED/DIDN'T LIKE THE MOVIE, with that civil war being fought by four-armed men wielding lasers while riding dragons, and all the four-armed men looked like Ryan Gosling while all the women were bustier versions of Xena, and ultimately the civil war was won by the people who liked your story, resulting in you winning the First Inaugural Decimation Of Civilization Award For Writers, which is quite an honor.

In short: take the day off.

Also: I think that aptly demonstrates how "random" doesn't equal "probable" or even "possible." But scientists are prone to being dumb, because science is HARD.

The real point of that comment was that obviously, at the time, I was (and still am now, re-reading it) that a scientist confused possible with probable or likely or actually, and the absurdity of that scientist's position (infinite possibilities means infinite things-that-have-already-happened) is demonstrated by the example given.

If there's one thing that ticks me off, it's people misunderstanding stuff like that.  And people making a left turn in front of me.  But mostly misunderstanding (and then misstating for the general public) things like the way infinite possibility actually plays out in a universe with, you know, laws of physics and stuff like that.