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Friday: August 31, 2007

Summer Recipe

Filed under: — site admin @ 7:53 PM GMT-0500

This is an old favorite, and I may even have invented it, though I don’t recall very clearly. It’s been 30 or 40 years since the first time I made one, and 10 or 15 since the last time:

Dr. Weevil’s Elixir (or ‘Cranberry Float’)

In a tall and not-too-narrow glass place roughly equal quantities of

  • vanilla ice cream
  • club soda
  • cranberry juice (not sweetened ‘cranberry cocktail’)

Stir with a long spoon and enjoy. It has a pleasant pink color and is just the right balance of sweet and sour. No doubt because of the juice, it is even more thirst-quenching than a root beer float, and just as cooling. I tried making it with some black currant juice I happened to have around. The result was worth drinking but not worth repeating, disappointing in taste and color (too prunish).

I wish I’d thought of making these three weeks ago — the daily highs here have been anywhere from 95o to 102o just about every day for the last three weeks, and limeade hasn’t really helped. Now I need to go out and buy some long spoons.

Saturday: August 11, 2007

What I’ve Been Watching (V)

Filed under: — site admin @ 10:33 AM GMT-0500

I haven’t read the novel in over 30 years, but bits of the German television miniseriesDoktor Faustus (1982) were familiar. Here’s one I’d forgotten (assuming it is in the book) — Satan in the guise of a theology professor (the unusually goatish goatee should have been a tipoff):

Verdict: not bad for a made-for-TV version of a novel. Of course, period detail goes a long way in making up for the omission of many of the characters and almost all of the words. Not that the period detail is flawless: some of the books in the cabinet behind Prof. Dr. Satan seem to have clear plastic dust jackets, which I’m pretty sure were not available a century ago. (The scene is set somewhere between 1905 and 1909.)

The credits include an interesting line: “Musik: Benjamin Britten, Rolf Wilhelm”. I wonder which one wrote the works of the fictional composer Adrian Leverkühn. If it was Britten, he did not do so knowingly, since he died in 1976. In any case, I hadn’t thought he wrote any twelve-tone works, so perhaps he provided some of the mood music, while Wilhelm impersonated Leverkühn for the concert scenes.

Sunday: August 5, 2007

Overheard while Waiting to Take the PRAXIS Test

Filed under: — site admin @ 11:00 PM GMT-0500

Dramatic dialogue recounted by a man who teaches in a small town in the country (T = teacher, S = student):

T. What’s 60 divided by 15?
S. Four.
T. What’s 15 divided by 60?
S. We can’t do that, moron!
T. You’re twenty years old, still in high school, taking a course designed for 13-year-olds, and failing it, and I’m the moron?

I assume the last line is what he would have liked to say in retrospect, or what he did say under his breath, rather than something he actually said out loud to the student’s face.