How Silly is too Silly?

Let me show you two quick clips from Teen Wolf. One is Gerard (Aka Grandpa Werewolf Hunter) finding out he has been poisoned and flipping out.

The second one is Deucalion, an even more histrionic character,  pontificating about how wonderful and amazing he is. Destroyer of worlds! Demon wolf! Yadda yadda yadda.

I think the first clip is from season two and the second is from season three. They are so over the top and ridiculous,  especially the lightning strikes punctuating Deucalion's boasts. They are hilarious.  And I can go back to watching the show after the actors finish chewing up the scenery and enjoy myself.

But when I try to get through the intense silliness that is the first half of season two of Gotham, my enjoyment level drops to a two. This after really enjoying season one. The consensus in my house is that Teen Wolf gets away with extremes because it's campy, but Gotham takes itself too seriously.

Three Men in a Boat

Also in the silly camp, but with some surprisingly deep and pressing topics intermixed, is Jerome K. Jerome's classic novel Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog). Written just about a century ago, it's the story of three men, who call themselves lazy and hypochondriac, and a little Terrier taking a trip up the Thames. Interspersed with the travelogue are some anecdotes. Most of the book is very funny, as in one chapter about fishing where every person in a bar insists that they are the onesbwho caught a big fish on the wall. And then they accidentally knock it down and it cracks into a million pieces because it's made out of plaster of Paris.

But there are some much more somber notes in the middle of this light-hearted story. Such as when they find the body of a poverty-stricken woman who drowned herself. Unfortunately this was a real problem around that time with what were called surplus women. Women who weren't married, couldn't find a job, or had been "ruined", were often in deep trouble and shunned by Polite Society. Amanda Quick writes  about this phenomenon alun one of her historical novels.

However the parts that are funny are very funny indeed. Not only is Mr. Jerome excellent at describing his trip and the foibles of his fellow humans, he also predicted the future. He talks about how collector's items are just old and wonders if his current day ordinary objects will become cherished hundreds of years in the future. But they already are. He specifically mentions blue and white plates, which are  definitely something that people collect, as well as other items that I frequently see at estate sales. He says, "The “sampler” that the eldest daughter did at school will be spoken of as “tapestry of the Victorian era,” and be almost priceless."  I wouldn't say priceless but older needlework tends to do well at auction and estate sales.

Even if you don't read the whole book you should definitely read the beginning where he describes he and his friends' hypochondria. It's quite good.

You can read the entire thing here: http://www.authorama.com/three-men-in-a-boat-1.html

(Purchasing anything via these links will net us a commission from Amazon, which helps keep the site up and running.)

Saveur 

Despite the fact the fact that there are more recipes available, that take less time to find, than at any time in the entire history of mankind, I still can never figure out my menu for the week. It's almost like there are too many choices so I can't even begin to narrow them down. And somehow we end up eating the same meals over and over again.

In an effort to make the menu planning process easier, I recently got a trial run of three magazines. All of these happened to be on sale for $5 a year on Amazon, which made it fairly easy to justify the expense. One of them, Bon Appétit, I didn't care for it all. (I cancelled that one after flipping through one issue.) The second one, Eating Well, was good but kind of dull.

But the third one, called Saveur, was quite interesting, has some tasty-looking recipes, and the current is all about the origins of foods. (And some drinks,  including wine.)  They look at everything from eggs and chickens became so popular to how soy sauce was invented to how and why Sushi became more popular once it was put on conveyor belts. I did have a quibble; they said that Native Americans didn't eat eggs because there were no chickens butt people have been eating other types of eggs for a long time. Basically if we saw an animal eating it we gave it a try. And there are plenty of animals that lay eggs of all types.

The pictures are gorgeous and the recipes look interesting.  I'll definitely hang onto this subscription for awhile. You can check out their website here: http://www.saveur.com

(Purchasing anything via these links will net us a commission from Amazon, which helps keep the site up and running.)

Bonus Treat
This week's bonus treat is a video if a robot making peanut butter chocolate balls. (Spoiler alert - it's not really a robot.)