Expect the Unexpected

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Archive for the month “May, 2013”

Poetry Friday: The small screen sings


There’s something both comforting and confounding about catchy TV theme songs. You want to get them out of your head, but sometimes you can’t. The Friends theme song, which I don’t like, is forever ingrained in my brain due to overexposure on the radio.

Not all TV theme songs are gems (the words to It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, while hilarious, are just silly). But there are some really good TV themes I believe qualify as poetry. 

For example, take the words to the theme for The Andy Griffith Show. Did you know that famous whistling tune had words? Surprise! The song is called The Fishin’ Hole and the lyrics are as quaint and poetic as the show itself. Andy Griffith initially recorded the song, but the producers decided to use the whistling theme instead, performed by the song’s composer Earle Hagen. The words are by Everett Sloane.

The Fishin’ Hole

Well, now, take down your fishin’ pole and meet me at The Fishin’ Hole,
We may not get a bite all day, but don’t you rush away.

What a great place to rest your bones and mighty fine for skippin’ stones,
You’ll feel fresh as a lemonade, a-settin’ in the shade.

Whether it’s hot, whether it’s cool, oh what a spot for whistlin’ like a fool.

What a fine day to take a stroll and wander by The Fishin’ Hole,
I can’t think of a better way to pass the time o’ day.

We’ll have no need to call the roll when we get to The Fishin’ Hole,
There’ll be you, me, and Old Dog Trey, to doodle time away.

If we don’t hook a perch or bass, we’ll cool our toes in dewy grass,
Or else pull up a weed to chaw, and maybe set and jaw.

Hangin’ around, takin’ our ease, watchin’ that hound a-scratchin’ at his fleas.

Come on, take down your fishin’ pole and meet me at The Fishin’ Hole,
I can’t think of a better way to pass the time o’ day.

Andy Griffith singing his famous TV show theme:

David Burstein: Keep an eye out for this guy


David Burstein

David Burstein

Watch out for David Burstein. Someday, he just may become President of the United States.

At 25, this young man has accomplished more things than most people will achieve in a lifetime.

In high school he started a film festival. In college he produced an influential documentary film. He’s written and published a book. And his face has appeared across the country on bags of nacho cheese Doritos. Read more…

The Cicadas are coming! The Cicadas are coming!


Oh joy and rapture, cicadas are coming.

Oh joy and rapture, Cicadas are coming. — Connecticut DEEP photo

They’re baaaaack! Wild and crazy Cicadas, known as Brood II, are on their way.

Brood II sounds like the name of a horror film. Fitting for insects with red eyes, orange wings and black bodies that live underground and only emerge above the surface every 17 years.

Cicadas are expected to show up in Connecticut anytime now through mid June, and the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) wants us to know we have nothing to fear. But do we? Read more…

Recipe Reveal: Kitty Litter Cake


Kitty Litter Cake is the purrrfect dessert for that "special" occasion.

Kitty Litter Cake

Sometimes a recipe is irresistibly good because it looks soooo irresistibly bad. That in a nutshell is Kitty Litter Cake. An absolutely delicious dessert that looks just like a dirty cat litter box. Gross! Yuck! Yep, all that and more.

I came across this recipe in the 1990s and have served it on many an occasion. It receives shrieks of laughter as well as sneers of derision.

The first time I made Kitty Litter Cake was for my daughter Katie’s birthday. She was sitting at the head of the dining room table surrounded by all her little friends, giddy with excitement waiting for me to bring in her birthday cake. I waltzed in and plunked a cat litter pan down in the middle of the table. “Here Katie, Happy Birthday!” I said. Read more…

Memorial Day: We are family


Celebrated Memorial Day weekend in Massachusetts. Visited my nephew and his family in their new home in West Bridgewater for a cookout, and stopped by Fall River to say hi to dad who due to poor health is now staying in a nursing home.

I enjoyed spending this time with relatives I rarely see. It’s because of the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom that I had fun knocking back a few brewskis with my brother Chip, gnoshing on delicious barbecue ribs made by Matt, and playing bocce with the whole gang. On this Memorial Day, our family got to be a family. Thank you.

Family playing bocce

Family playing bocce on Memorial Day weekend.

Read more…

Google yourself!


grilled_cheese_patty-300x253

One of the first images of me to turn up in a Google search.

Did you ever google yourself, your name and images, to see what’s out there on Internetland?

Oh c’mon admit it, you have.

I hadn’t done it in eons until someone looking for another Patricia Gay recently came across my name on the internet and contacted me on Twitter.

Curious, I decided to google myself to see what would turn up. As I plugged in my name I started to get queasy. Would there be anything embarrassing or stupid? Perhaps my journalism career would be spotlighted? Or my former life as a chief elected official? Or worse, would there be nothing at all, as if I didn’t exist. Read more…

Boy Scouts earn a merit badge


GENERIC-BOY-SCOUTSThe Boy Scouts of America have taken a major step forward. The group voted this week to end its policy banning gay kids and teens from joining the organization. More than 60% of the Scouting National Council voted in favor of lifting the ban, with 757 yes votes to 475 no votes. 168 delegates did not vote because they were not present at the meeting.

There was no vote taken on the ban on gay leaders, so that ban remains in place. For now. The Boy Scouts are moving forward in measured baby steps and that’s just fine. Read more…

Poetry Friday: Playful palindromes


Demetri Martin

Demetri Martin

“A Toyota’s a Toyota,” and “Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog,” are palindromes that make me smile.

There is something wildly comforting about palindromes — a word or phrase that reads the same forwards as it does backwards. Neat and efficient, palindromes come full circle — literally.

The word “palindrome” is derived from the Greek words  palin (“again”) and dromos (“way, direction”) and was coined by English writer Ben Jonson in the 17th century. The first English palindrome appeared in 1614, “Lewd did I live & evil I did dwel.”

Palindromes can be short. “A man, a plan, a canal —Panama!” created by Leigh Mercer in 1948 is a famous example. Or they can be incredibly long. Some writers have written novels with thousands of words in palindrome style. Read more…

Ephemeral Art: The Smoke Ring King


Harry Garrison - The Smoke Ring King

Harry Garrison – The Smoke Ring King

His day job was restoring antique pianos, but by night Harry Garrison blew smoke in people’s faces, and they loved it.

That’s because Harry Garrison is The Smoke Ring King. Read more…

Amy’s Baking Company parody, or is it?


If you’ve been following the Kitchen Nightmares – Amy’s Baking Company debacle, this video is for you. Kudos Ramsey Bergeron!

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