THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #63

LOVE:

Solving The Père Lachaise Mystery Tomb Mystery:

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A few years ago, Jessica and I spent the day exploring nearly every road and alley of Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris. It’s easily the most beautiful graveyards in the world and I have every intention of being buried there when my time comes. (Please refer to this post about my death.) When we were there, I was fascinated by a crumbling tomb with an ancient Egyptian motif and a terribly weathered bust of the occupant. The nose was nearly gone completely and the carved name was indecipherable. This image has stayed in my mind for years and years and I often think about it, since it plays a vital role in a future novel I’ve been unsuccessfully plotting for some time! I was going through my pictures yesterday, looking for some new material to post on Tumblr and came across the picture above. When it was nothing more than a thumbnail, I could make out that the first name was Joseph, so I began to furiously Google with delight. I found it! It’s Joseph Fourier. That meant nothing to me, so I began to Google with even more frenzied delight and was absolutely thrilled with what I  found. Fourier was a renowned scientist and mathematician, still respected today. What I found the most intriguing about him, though, had little to do with his discoveries. He had been a part of the Napoleonic expedition in Egypt and had one of the first copies of the newly discovered Rosetta Stone. Back in France, he showed this copy to an enchanted Jean-François Champollion, who was only eleven at the time. Champollion was fascinated with the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics and worked hard to decipher them. Years later, he had made the first correct transliteration of the carved text. In doing so, the ancient mysteries of the Egyptians, unreadable for over a thousand years, were finally able to be understood. And so, unknowingly Joseph Fourier made possible the ability out  read and write the ancient language of the Pharaohs and filled the world with more knowledge than he may have ever expected. Hooray for him and hooray for fun cemeteries.

Ful Medames:

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If you have read this blog for any length of time, or even this post from the beginning, you are surely well aware of my obsession with Egypt. This is a passion that has consumed me from the time of my birth and its origins are completely inexplicable to me. There is no reason for me to care so deeply for crumbling rocks and dried up bodies and crumbling scrolls of nearly prehistoric religious matters, but I do. I think that perhaps I had several past lives in Egypt. That would give a logical reason for my deep interest and easily attained knowledge of the subject. (I’m a big believers in past lives, by the way, I think they make worlds of sense.) Though it is not confirmed by any means, I have every intent to try my damnedest and make it to my beloved country this summer. It is obviously far from the opportune time to visit with their political unrest — this intrigues me, though, so all the more reason to visit. Also, it’ll be summer…in a desert. I NEVER SAID I WAS THE BRIGHTEST. I like it hot, though. I’m way off topic now. Weeks ago, I bought a travel guide at the Half-Price Bookstore about Egypt and I was very much taken with the section on food. I LOVE TO EAT. I read about ful medames there for the first time, and while I wasn’t really all that intrigued by the idea of mashed beans and bread, I realized that as a vegetarian, I will be eating a lot of it in Egypt. Fast forward to this past weekend and I found a can of fava beans in my cupboard — Beysus only knows how they got there, and I knew that I had to make some ful! I researched about a dozen recipes and compiled the information that I had garnered, the way I like to do when I’m doing a new recipe. I stewed the beans with onion, tomato, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Very basic ingredients, but I was alarmed by how delicious they were when melded together. Orgasmic. One half of this, I had spread over rice, which was excellent. The next night I took the leftovers and spread over a piece of flatbread. SWEET ALLAH! It was one of the finest things I’ve ever eaten. I can’t wait to make it again, I hope it’s equally delicious. I can’t wait to go to Egypt.

“Born Naked” by RuPaul: 

There is nothing better than a RuPaul album, this is a fact that we all know and understand. Mama Ru is queen of the catchy music. Her latest album is another triumph that makes you want to twerk your ass of around the house. I certainly tried. I don’t throw the word triumph around lightly, either. In this album there are a number of duets that are excellent. When Michelle Visage comes on, I weep. When Ru sings, “Can I get an amen?” I throw my hands up to heaven and say, “AMEN.” Tumblr went a bit crazy the other day when the album supposedly leaked. People were downloading it only to find that Ru chatted through each track. This is genius. I need to find the leaked version to listen to for my comedic pleasures. Go get the album off iTunes or Amazon, reader. I’ve inserted the Spotify version, but we need to help Mama Ru get some coins. Even I bought it! I haven’t bought a real album in ages. It’s that good. My only complaint is that I wish it could be longer…so much longer!

MY HATERS:

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It seems that all the young people are constantly being pestered by their “haters.” My celebrity friends are also plagued by these demons. I’ve never been a hater and don’t understand the thought process behind being violently angry toward another person or group or idea or thing. I’ve seen the most ridiculous denunciations of iPhones and boy bands. Excitingly enough, I have a hater now! I only have the one, but they’re real and I’m absolutely reveling in it. That’s their message up above! For a few months now, I’ve been posting pictures on my Tumblr of all the trips I’ve taken. I think it’s a very well curated blog. Others seem to agree. My followers are growing steadily, if slowly. I love my followers. THEY GIVE ME STRENGTH. The other day, I posted a picture of Olivia de Havilland’s townhouse in Paris that I visited in order to be near to an icon, two Academy Awards, and to see what kind of exciting life she might have these days. I didn’t see her, of course, but it was nice to know that a Hollywood legend was still alive and well in my favorite city. I posted a picture of the place — well edited with good color and lighting — and the people went mad over it. They loved it! They were jealous of me! We were having such a good time until another Tumblr user created an entire post about me being an invasive stalker! I was in heaven, reader. It read just like a ridiculous tabloid article. They insinuated that I needed a restraining order, that I could expect to be thrown into prison the next time I stepped foot into France, that I was unhealthy, all sorts of nonsense! It was great. Mind you, I can well understand why the person thought these things, but I found it extraordinary that they would take so much time out of their day to write so negatively about a beautiful picture! Remember, this picture is nothing you couldn’t find on Google Maps, which, incidentally is where I found Olivia’s address. It’s not as if this is a great secret. And I do doubt that this icon is inundated with fans pounding at her door. Anyway, I LOVE MY HATERS. THEY GIVE ME STRENGTH. I FEED ON THEIR POWER. Or, something, that’s what all the kids say on the Twitter and Instagram.

Tomato Soup:

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There is nothing better in all the world than soup. I love soup. I could eat soup for every single meal and be a happy man. I love potato soup and onion soup and vegetable soup and lentil soup, but more than all, I love tomato soup! Tomato soup is divine. I never thought I would love it so much, but it’s absolutely flawless. The place where I first discovered my adoration was in Paris. My sister and I had rented an apartment and there was a cardboard box of readymade soup in the cupboard. It was late and I was hungry, so I decided to eat it. LORD BEYSUS IT WAS #AMAZE. I couldn’t get over it. Packaged food in France is ridiculously good. It blows me away each time. I guzzled the soup. I slurped it up. I was in ecstasy. Even Jessica was passionately in love with the soup. We ended up eating our weight in Monoprix tomato soup the month we were there. That’s probably why I was so wonderfully thin. I can’t wait to get my soup diet on again this summer! Back in America, it is hard to find a good soup. Finally, I discovered one at Django, and it is probably the best tomato soup in the entire world. There’s no way I could recreate it myself, I can’t get over it. I make a great tomato soup, though, so it’s fine. My favorite to make is yellow tomato soup with fresh tomatoes from my garden. That’s absolutely incredible. I made some soup with canned tomatoes the other night out of desperation. It wasn’t bad, but not as good as fresh tomato soup. I LOVE SOUP. SOUP!

HATE:

Trying to Understand College:

Untitled[This speaks deeply to me.]

For some time now, I’ve had a gnawing concern that I should go back to school and accomplish something a bit more highbrow with my life. When I was out of high school, I had no honest idea what I wanted to make of my years on earth, and I’m glad I didn’t spend ridiculous sums of money doing something I may have loathed. Over the ensuing years, it has become more clear what my talents are and what I have the most interest in. I strangely enjoy working with teenagers, so I wouldn’t mind being a teacher. My longest and dearest passion is for ancient Egypt, so I’d also like to pursue that. It has only recently come to my attention that one of the finest schools for Egyptology in the world is six hours away. Why wasn’t I informed earlier? Isn’t it funny how these things are discovered? Life is kind of a black comedy. Last night I started looking into the program and I just wanted to curl up in a ball and weep the night away. How does anybody afford an education. Getting a degree will cost such ridiculous sums of money. I don’t come from a poor family, but it’s still unreasonable. Then I looked at the accommodations and wondered how any student could be happy or productive in a room that looks like a prison cell. Obviously, this is something I’m going to have to research and study more, and I do want to do it, I just really do not want to be poor all my life.

Brylcreem:

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Deep in the recesses of my hair product cupboard, I have a tube of Brylcreem. I don’t recall buying it. That’s not unusual, though. I probably picked it up on a whim or ordered it on Amazon so that I could get free shipping. That used to happen regularly before I subscribed to Amazon Prime. It’s an old fashioned styling product that makes your hair a bit shiny and slick and easily sculpted so that you look like Cary Grant or Desi Arnaz. It turns out that this look only appears good in black and white. When I applied it to my head before heading out the door to work, I looked more like a dirty person who’s never been in a shower before. It was awful. In the dim light of morning, all I could see was a sleek hairstyle, something new and revolutionary, something I had never done before! I was rather ecstatic. Sadly, when I arrived to work and spent eight hours under the harsh fluorescent lights, I realized my tragic mistake. My hair definitely looked new, but it looked awful! I couldn’t get over how greasy it appeared and I was so happy when I got home to wash it out. Now, it wasn’t a complete catastrophe; I did receive a number of compliments from the children on my new and exciting look. They are always very straight forward with me regarding my hair, bless them. So, while they might have liked it, I CERTAINLY DID NOT, and will not be repeating that mistake. Who am I kidding, though? I’ll surely do it again. I do have an entire tube of it after all.

GODDAMN BUFFERING:

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I love my computer dearly, but last night I about threw it at a wall. This would have been a foolish thing to do since it was not the fault of my beautiful MacBook Pro. It was the fault of LOGOTV.COM! Why do they have such an awful video player? It’s madness! It is the single worst video player in all the Internet. I tried watching on Safari and Chrome and Firefox, but none of them would work. I’d get two seconds into the second episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race and then there would be buffering and buffering and buffering and then a load more buffering. It was literally driving me insane. To pile misery on top of that, the commercials that come on every five minutes (or less) played just fine! I was not having it — I’d had it! OFFICIALLY! (Holla at the Detox reference!) I couldn’t bear another moment of this monstrous buffering, so I found a different illicit site to watch it on. That one worked just fine. I will probably never ever ever use the official website to watch my favorite reality show again. It was just pathetic. They need to get that shit fixed.

Unnecessary Napping:

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It has recently come to my attention that I have something of an addictive personality. My current obsession is nothing new, but I thought that I had beat it last year — it’s naps. NAPS! I take them all the time. I’m asleep more than I’m awake and I really don’t know why. I get home, I take a quick nap…or a long nap, I get up, do some work, take a nap, get up, eat something, then go to bed. I’m sleeping all the time. I’m crazy refreshed and I’m almost never tired, but still I nap. When I get home, I’m going to try and not take a nap. PRAYERS FOR ME, please. Instead, I think I might actually accomplish something. I’m full of dreams and goals here at work, but when I get home, the struggle begins. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. I need to finish painting my “gym” and do some heavy reading, but I never get around to it. Yesterday I actually managed to make delicious tomato soup. That was pretty remarkable, reader. For the past few days, I haven’t been able to muster the energy to do anything but pour myself a bowl of Cheerios. I felt like a damn gastronomic wizard. It was some good soup.

No Time to Read:

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I love reading. I love writing and reading and all sorts of things that deal with literature. Every day I read, so the title of this post is a bit misleading. In my email, I receive a segment of War & Peace and The Arabian Nights. (I do not recommend War & Peace, but I absolutely do recommend The Arabian Nights.) Then, I read a chapter of A Thousand Miles Up the Nile every day. So, I am reading, but I don’t ever sit down to read a book anymore. I have piles and piles of books that I’ve been accumulating since my youth. They aren’t children’s books, mind you, I was always a little adult. I have a massive collection of books on Egyptology and English classics that I haven’t even cracked open, yet. On top of that, I have a large pile of books from the library. With my rigorous schedule of having a job and loving naps and a tidy home, I don’t get time to read all these. I’ve books all over my house that I’ve started and never got around to finishing. I look forward to having a day where I’m home ill or something and can just sit in bed with a big pot of tea and a book and read it cover to cover. I probably shouldn’t fantasize about sick days. Perhaps I will carve out some time in my schedule for more reading? I doubt I will get to it, though. Not with my editing and cleaning and vacation research and baking and imminent yard work. Le sigh…I need staff.

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