I’m Baaaaaaaack, Sort Of.

10 Aug

When I read Julia Child’s memoir “My Life in France,” one of the passages really struck a chord with me. Julia’s referring to cooking, but I think it’s more of general life lesson that might give Oprah an “aha moment.” Although, to be fair, it’s not too difficult to elicit an “aha moment” from Oprah. Probably a gerbil could do it. Or a hampster for sure. But not a Guinea pig. All they do is sit there and stare at you. In a creepy manner.

Anyhoo, here’s the passage wherein Julia discusses serving someone a terribly unappetizing meal:

“We ate the lunch with painful politeness and avoided discussing its taste. I made sure not to apologize for it. This was a rule of mine.

I don’t believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make. When one’s hostess starts in with self-deprecations such as, “Oh, I don’t know how to cook…” or “Poor little me…” or “This may taste awful…” it is so dreadful to have to reassure her that everything is delicious and fine, whether it is or not. Besides, such admissions only draw attentions to one’s shortcomings (or self-perceived shortcomings), and make the other person think, ‘Yes, you’re right, this really is an awful meal!”

Oh, no, Mabel, your sweet potatoes
look very...well done.

And that’s why I won’t be apologizing for my extended absence from the blogiverse. Also, I just hate it when you start reading a new blog and the writer keeps apologizes profusely for their absence(s). Like I care. I just met you. So what if you missed the last Weight Watchers meeting/church service/whatever? I wasn’t there either!!

So welcome, new subscribers! Please allow me to offer a very brief explanation to my long-time readers. Here goes: Pinched nerve root in neck. Pain radiating down right arm and hand. Typing = Torture. Hence, no entries. On the mend now, but paying work takes up nearly all my limited typing time. Therefore, here are a few funny and/or tasty and/or tasteless distractions for y’all till I’m back for reals.

The HI-larious and insightful scribes over at Real Southern Men are offering “Twanglish Lessons,” my favorite of which, thus far, is “Cussemisms.” That is also my new favorite word, although “twanglish” was definitely a contender.

I am all about the inadvertently amusing advertising one occasionally runs across (or frequently when one lives in the South), so I just lurved Todd Pack’s recent entry “‘Used cows’ and other signs of the times.” I’m still kicking myself that I never bothered to stop and take a picture of my favorite sign right outside Jackson, MS. It was a giant banner that read “Cemetery Now Open!” Yes, folks, an exclamation point! So hurry on in, y’all!!

Ok, I may be getting too far into my English major roots, by mocking the mistakes of most likely good-hearted people, but one of my favorite sites is CakeWrecks. And my favorite types of wrecks are the appallingly misspelled or, most especially, the ones whose instructions are horribly misconstrued. Check out the cake that inspired the blog, but be prepared to spend hours on the site.

Not that I am one or either...

I realize that a Shakespeare link might permanently label me as a nerd, but this is amusing whether or not you’re a fan of the bard. And besides, if I was truly a nerd, I wouldn’t get all the amazing impressions Jim Meskimen does–from Jimmy Stewart to Harvey Keitel, George Clooney to Droopy Dog. What’s most impressive to me is how his Jimpressions so accurately correspond to the words in Clarence’s speech from Richard III. My favorite is his line by Simon Cowell referring to “such howling in my ears.” But now that I’m on the subject of impressions, I must mention my favorite improv impressionist, Kevin Spacey, as seen on Inside the Actors Studio. Even better than his impressions was his answer to one of James Lipton’s recurring series of final questions: “What is your favorite curse word?” Spacey: “Rat bastard.” Let’s all try to incorporate it into our repertoire, shall we? Ok, Baptists, you are excluded. Feel free to use the above-mentioned “cussemisms.”

And to end on a sweet note, I must direct y’all towards my delightful bloggy pal Christina’s Southern Sweet Tea Granita recipe at Dessert for Two. What’s better than sweet tea on a hot summer day? Right, iced sweet tea. But what’s better than that? Sweet tea slushie! Hooray!

Hope these amuse y’all. Stay tuned for more frequent entries in the hopefully not-too-distant future. Next up: Cream-of-Something-Soup, since it was the first runner up on the SSPL Facebook page survey. Thanks for the vote “Kim’s Sister,” or Jenna, as I call her.

What are some of your favorite web finds? (And by all means, feel free to vote for yourself!)

P.S. I am partial to funny cat videos.

Photo Credits: “Hey Y’all” sign available from SlippinSouthern at etsy; Well Done Yams by Walker Cleavelands, Flickr Creative Commons; “Heavens to Betsy” t-shirt available from SweeTee; “Math & Stuff” shot by me (rather poorly with phone); Sweet Tea Granita by Christina at Dessert for Two.

16 Responses to “I’m Baaaaaaaack, Sort Of.”

  1. DessertForTwo August 10, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

    Aww thanks so much for linking to me!! 🙂

    So sorry to hear about your pains 😦 I agree-no apologies for absences on blogs (except to your ad agency). We have lives outside our blogs and if we take time off, our readers only benefit from the experiences we gain.

    I have a friend who apologizes for her cooking profusely when we eat at her house. It’s really hard to be around. Her food is perfectly delicious, albeit entirely made up of processed ingredients, but still, she made it and we’re happy to be there. This is the same friend that aplogizes for what she orders to eat a restaurant. As if I care that you’re ordering a burger and I’m getting a salad. You don’t know that I just sucked down a milkshake before I came!

    Ok, long-winded. Thanks again for linking to me 🙂

    • Kim Holloway August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

      I can’t wait to try some of your desserts once i’m back in baking form.

      Yep, I think apologies should be reserved for things you’ve actually done wrong. “Sorry I accidentally tossed your hampster down the laundry chute.” Yes. “Sorry my tablecloth isn’t ironed.” No.

      Don’t you just love how eating a healty salad cancels out all the calories of a pre-dinner milkshake? 🙂

  2. Tegan August 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm #

    I love that you shared that Julia Child quote– so perfect in so many situations. I’m trying to figure out who I’m going to call a rat bastard today, perhaps in jest, perhaps in anger. Thanks, Kim, and thanks, Kevin Spacey!
    Perhaps we should have a facebook poll for favorite cussword? Who likes “pissant?” Anyone? Anyone?

    • Kim Holloway August 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

      I haven’t heard pissant in a while. Let’s bring that one back. And the favorite cussword facebook poll? Brilliant!

  3. Tori Nelson August 11, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Woot! Welcome back. I’ve missed your posts! The Cussimisms? Funniest thing ever.

    • Kim Holloway August 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm #


      I’m thinking a post on cussimisms is in order, but I’ll check with those Real Southern Men to see if they’ve trademarked the name…

  4. victoriasfolly August 11, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Oddly enough I’m in the middle of listening to the audio book version of Julia Child’s “My Life in France” when your post popped into my email box. Bit TZ, isn’t it? That passage made quite an impression on me, too. Never apologize. Love it! And, so not Southern.

    Very sorry to hear about your nerve pain. Not to sound like my grannie and other older relatives who all sit around talking about this pain, or that operation, and which meds work better for this or that, but I had a similar problem a couple of years ago. Terrible pain… which progressively got worse. So I have only empathy for fellow sufferers. In my case, the solution resulted in surgery by replacing 2 discs with titatium. They cause all sorts of comic situations when going thru airport security, but worth all the aggravation because the new Bionic Vic is back to full functionality. Plus, the picture on the faces of security when you tell them you are made of titatium is priceless!

    • Kim Holloway August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

      No worries about sounding like granny. What folks are ailing from is one of my family’s favorite topics of conversation. Also popular: showing off one’s external injuries.

      So glad you got the problem fixed and are giving security checkers a great story to tell.

      You’re right, apologizing is SO Southern. Now I’ve got another post brewing…

  5. Andrea August 11, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Thanks for sharing so many great links and hooking me up with some great art for my new screened porch!

    • Kim Holloway August 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      You’re quite welcome!

      I love using pics from Etsy and am delighted to know that I’ve sent some business to a talented artisan. I’m a huge fan of DIY stuff, as long as I don’t have to DIM.

  6. ssanderson August 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

    glad to see you back! Great post….

    • Kim Holloway August 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

      Thanks! I hope to have another one up this week!

  7. lisa in alabama November 11, 2011 at 5:24 am #

    I just came across a phrase that made me think, I wonder if Kim has written about this? When I hear people discuss being “hot-natured” or “cold-natured”, I KNOW I didn’t hear that one growing up in the frozen north! Are you planning to launch into the second hundred posts? I miss you! Your blog helps me understand this strange land I find myself living in down here!

    • Kim Holloway March 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

      Hey Lisa, sorry to take such a long hiatus, but I’m back for real starting tomorrow. Hope I can continue to help you understand all the peculiar ways of Southern folks. I’ve not written about hot-natured or cold-natured people, but I believe most Southerners are one or the other. My sister is hot-natured, while I am cold-natured, so I have to bring sweaters if I’m visiting her, even in July.

  8. Hippie Cahier February 27, 2012 at 11:57 am #

    I have been thinking of you and had wondered if I’d unsubscribed (perhaps through attrition during my own extended absence), but I see that this was posted August 2011.

    I hope all is well.

    • Kim Holloway March 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

      Thanks Hippie, I’m finally done with a seemingly neverending project that took over my life. I’m happy to be back to blog writing (and reading) again!

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