A Mashup Of (Mostly) Food

(Don’t worry, it’s safe to read this.  I promise it’s not about gross squished food.)

I’m a little scattered this week. Between my usual writing schedule, my cover updates (only one more to go, woohoo!), the production of the Never Say Spy audiobook (up to Chapter 39 and sounding great), and the busy round of Christmas cards and baking and extra social activities, my brain just doesn’t seem to want to disgorge any sort of organized blog post.

So what the hell, why fight it? Here’s a mashup up of some goodies that have caught my eye and tweaked my sense of humour lately:

You may recall that I mentioned OBSL in a post a few years ago. At the time, I created that acronym to describe my hypothetical Optimum Beer Saturation Level: That perfect point of intoxication at which I become a deadly 8-ball player. When I wrote that post I assumed that I was (as usual) full of shit.

Little did I know that greater minds than mine were busily proving me right. In fact, a recent study shows that there is an OBSL, and it occurs where your blood-alcohol level is 0.075. Unfortunately for my hypothesis, they weren’t testing for 8-ball skill; instead they were focusing on the OBSL as it relates to creativity.  And shortly after science delivered its verdict, some brilliant marketers capitalized on it. Voilà! The Problem Solver: A beer that comes with a creativity scale on the side. Dang, I could’ve used some of that stuff when I started writing this post…

And speaking of happy discoveries involving my favourite foods, science has come through yet again with a discovery that turns peanut butter into… wait for it… diamonds! Apparently it’s messy, but it works. (It was also just a publicity stunt.  It seems peanut butter isn’t an optimum diamond-producing substance.  Go figure.)

Unfortunately, though, the news from food scientists isn’t all good. The latest studies indicate that comfort foods can actually be depressing. Bummer.  Now I need to go and eat a bowl of ice cream.

Moving on from science to silliness (though still food-related), here are a few fortune cookie predictions I could have done without:

“You learn from your mistakes. You will learn a lot today.” – Great, just great.

“Your true love will show himself to you under the moonlight.” – Uh… okay, so my true love is a deranged flasher.  Will there be criminal charges or jail time associated with this?

“You have an unusual equipment for success; use it properly.” –  I guess if I was a guy, I’d know exactly what to do with my unusual equipment, but under the circumstances I’m just not sure how to interpret this.

“Wisdom is on her way to you.” – This one might be intended to encourage, but for me it bears an uncomfortable resemblance to the cartoon about the guy reading a fortune that says ‘Big things are coming your way’ just as a grand piano drops from the sky above him. Wisdom sounds like a good thing in theory, but it seems to me that the phrasing is a little ominous.

I’ll leave you with a cartoon that sums up my attitude when things get as hectic as they are now.  And hey, it’s food-related, too!

* * *

P.S. Here’s Book 8’s new cover, with many thanks to John R. for arranging my great truck-driving adventure and letting me photograph his truck:

63 thoughts on “A Mashup Of (Mostly) Food

  1. Do you suppose OBSL could also stand for bourbon? Because I don’t drink much beer, but bourbon-based Manhattans seem to work for creativity (but only to a certain level). Also, great cover! In fact, I’m loving all your new covers. Good decision to change them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Guess I should have had a beer. My mind has been blank and preoccupied at the same time. Will try again tonight to write something.
    I see Jono is inviting you to party, too. You could make a post about all the come-ons you get from old geezers like me (and young ones like Jono too). Nice cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just started blogging, so had not read your previous post on OBSL. But I’ve been to that place. Only thing is…it’s so easily surpassed, or fading. Loved the fortune cookies! But it’s a sad day when spinach becomes your comfort food, eh? Also, I’m pretty sure you actually can make diamonds out of peanut butter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. OBSL! At last it has a name. I’ve often wondered about that condition. Those times with both elbows on the bar when “the sweep” occurs and suddenly the affectations drop away and the imbiber becomes witty, smart and able to dance. Even though it’s referred to as a stimulant alcohol is actually a depressant (I know that must be true, I read it on an outhouse wall once) and at the point of OBSL depresses our inhibitions freeing up all of those killer 8-ball players we conceal inside.
    Good shootin’.

    Liked by 1 person

            • I’ve been there, but from fatigue, not alcohol. I’d gone four days with only a few naps of an hour or so. By the time you’ve been up for 80 hours, your entire body hurts. I lay down on the floor to stretch the kinks out, and when I looked up at the ceiling, it was (you guessed it) dancing. Its little spots were all moving around and the whole thing was rippling. Got myself up and back to work – nothin’ to see here, folks, just keep moving…

              Liked by 1 person

              • Been there both ways, unfortunately, and the alcohol one is ‘way easier to get over. Eighty-six hours is my record…and may it stay forever unbroken.

                In the Army a hunnerd or two years ago. Radar operator at a missile base on the west coast that was staffed at only 47% of what we should have had at the time. Big-deal war games against the Air Force. Hypothetically nuclear armed, they were, so we had to get them FAR out at near max range over the ocean or we lost.

                We won. Not once did they sneak anything in close enough to score, but it was a hollow victory. I was only one of many who slept for two days or more straight after we stood down. The big brass cut us a lot of slack for a couple of weeks. Getting over that was worse than jet lag, and that sucks.

                Learned my lesson, I did. I diligently avoid the opportunity to do either anymore.


  5. Mashups? We’re talking mashups over here? Got one, sorta. Maybe. Ish.

    Was e-mailing back and forth with a colleague earlier today, and the conversation went south. Well, not the conversation. That was fine, actually. It was the topic. At first, it was all business, of course. I mean, OF COURSE it was. Of course.

    The first stopover after it veered off was ugly Christmas sweaters. There’s a contest here at work. Fortunately, we have a funeral to go to and can’t make it. (Okay, maybe the conversation might have gone just a teensy little bit south after all, come to think of it.)

    Next layover on the journey was about a gravy boat that my wife got at the local Goodwill store. It matched a set of dishes she has. It’s been a while, and I have no clue what we were doing there in the first place, so don’t even ask, okay? Anyway, when we got home with it, I discovered that the gravy boat still had some gravy in it.

    Sez I, laughing uproariously: Cool! Now your set is REALLY complete!

    Quoth she, not even cracking a smile: You think it’s funny, YOU clean it out!

    Actually, it wasn’t so funny after all. Twenty minutes of soaking in hot, soapy water before I could scrub the, er, residue from the dish. Then it went through the dishwasher. Twice.

    I could go on, but that’s the general direction things were heading. Yep, mashup. If not a smashup. At least…

    Did I mention that the semester is over and done with and I have a lot of free time on my hands now? 🙂

    And that’s a GREAT cover you got going there, sista. Aydan’s seriously miffed, I can tell. Her finger is actually ON THE TRIGGER! I know how you rail against that, so this time it’s for all the marbles! And your anonymous redhead model is still just totally a babe. You did good, kiddo.

    And the 18-wheeler! What a marvelous thing it was that you got to drive it! Just thinking about you with the loud pedal on the floor and the window open and your hair flying everywhere with a thousand-watt grin on your face! Gad, that’s so swell!

    And your progreth ith sthtill progrething progrethively, I thee. That’s theriouthly, er, theriouth…I gueth. 🙂 Nithely done, thithta!


    • LOL! Thankth! And yes, there’s a finger on the trigger… but it ain’t mine. It’s Photoshopped on there. Gun-safety is so drilled into my head that I couldn’t pose that way even though I’d already checked and double-checked that the gun was safely unloaded. And even with my finger away from the trigger, when the photographer’s assistant walked in front of the muzzle I instinctively swung it away in a safe direction, completely mucking up the pose so we had to start again. 😉 But yeah; I decided this cover (and Book 3, too) warranted a finger on the trigger since they’re both ‘action’ poses.

      Your gravy boat? Eeeeeuwwww!!! Now my twisted brain is making up all kinds of reasons why somebody would deliver an ‘occupied’ gravy boat to a thrift store. But since all my scenarios involve murder and mayhem, I’ll keep them to myself. (Still, though, I like the idea of murder and mayhem better than the thought that somebody was just too lazy to wash it.)

      Congrats on making it through another semester!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Driving an 18 wheeler for the first time wouldn’t put any kind of smile on my face. That is, until it became routine. I’ve never driven one myself, but I drove a 72 passenger school bus for a number of years. During training and for a week or two thereafter I could hardly walk due to overtaxed Gluteus Maximus that were kept tightly clenched for the whole shift. This was also true when learning to drive several different types of transit vehicles, including a city bus. Each new vehicle caused a sore backside for a while. It was fun too, but sobering when you are driving an expensive piece of equipment that you don’t own. Now that I’m thinking about it, this was also true for the first months of learning to drive a car and learning to drive a manual transmission too. I really enjoy driving once I get past the butt-clench stage and have drive. Commercial vehicles for a large portion of my career to add some economic stability to the life of an artist.
      Congrats on another great cover. I can’t wait for the last two. I hope you won’t wear that police/security utility belt worn by the fake Aydan.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you drove a school bus, you are a FAR braver woman than I! I’d never have the courage to turn my back on 72 kids. And a transit bus? Wow! All I can say is, “Better you than me.”

        And the bad news is, I actually own and wear a police duty-belt whenever I’m in the woods (complete with a big ugly Ka-Bar knife strapped to the side), and that’s what I’ve got on in the photos. It doesn’t have any pouches on it, though, so it’s a little more streamlined look. I think those photos will need quite a bit of Photoshopping, though… or maybe a redo. 😉

        I’ve never been crazy about the model’s pose on that cover, but by sheer talent (have I mentioned I’m completely non-photogenic?) I managed to reproduce that ugly pose almost exactly. Not to mention in one shot my arm muscles are bulging like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime. I’ll start messing with the cover this week, so I’ll soon know whether there’s anything salvageable. (I’ll be glad when they’re all done!)


        • I guess superwoman has to have her utility belt. I remember an old post that had the photos of that belt. Now I’m eager to see the new version.
          As to the school bus work, of all the routes in the big bus, I never had bad issues except for one senior high school student. Once I took the time to find his name in the yearbook and report his behavior he learned that if he wanted the ride, he had to behave. I tended to take Special Ed. routes I could because they paid more. So I’d drive those dorky short buses with either wheelchair-using students who were some of the best behaved students, or I’d get the worst behaved students in the school district. If they were so bad that they were disruptive or dangerous with the mass population, or went to a special school, I got them. But instead of a huge bus load, I’d get 10 or fewer, and those students were usually faultlessly behaved. The exceptions were memorable, though. There was a little girl who rode alone with a bus monitor because she had a history of jumping out of moving vehicles onto freeways. She never pulled this stunt on me. The other trials were 8 preschool kids, one that hadn’t yet learned social skills, and 6 senior high school kids who were all fine, except for one who was past caring about his behavior. It only takes one, though.


          • Wow, I wonder what ever happened to that little girl? That’s a very odd behavior indeed. And I’m still totally impressed with you – I’d get a job pumping out septic tanks before I’d drive a school bus. *shudders*


      • Several years ago, we attended a church that had a worn-out van-chassis bus. They bought it used, and it became elderly fairly soon. I was on the committee that spec-ed out its replacement, and we got a honey! 35-passenger Glavel on a truck chassis with all the bells and whistles. And of course, no one wanted to drive something that big after the smaller one we had, so I had to take the test and get the license…and train the rest of the drivers. Piece o’ cake, that. I loved driving that thing. I took loads of college kids to conferences. Other folks to other events. My favorite trip was about 500 miles. I took 25 women to an event in another state. Gone 4 days…and my wife wasn’t among the passengers.

        Not a problem. When I wasn’t driving, I was in my hotel room slaving over a hot laptop, writing my master’s thesis.

        When I took the CDL test, I was careful not to let the examiner set me up for air brakes. If I had that endorsement, the school system I worked for at the time could have ORDERED me to drive a school bus. They always had a chronic shortage of bus drivers. Small wonder. Always talk amongst the staff and students about all the craziness. Wanted no part of that. My principal found out I had a bus license and almost chortled with glee that he had his own personal bus driver on staff. He was actually angry that I couldn’t drive a school bus since they have air brakes.

        Have I mentioned that I love teaching at college lately? I think teaching in a public school is where bad people go when they die. 🙂


        • Clever strategic decisions, both with the air brakes and the college-level teaching! And as far as I’m concerned, having to deal with large numbers of children for any length of time is a fate worse than death. I taught at a summer ‘mini-university’ one year, and I’ve never been so glad to see the end of summer!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the cover

    Sending you calm organised thoughts, I’m pretty much sorted for the fast approaching big day, everything bought wrapped and labeled, and new paper for next year. Only my brothers present to get but I can do that anytime as he wants a gift card so no pressure.

    Pretty glad really as I’m on a weeks holiday from work as we are having storm Desmond, not as bad as weather gets in the states but it sounds wild out there in pleased I’m in doors wrapped up warm

    Love and hugs to all
    Karen xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for the calm thoughts, and I’m glad you’re in where it’s warm!

      Our weather is doing its usual schizophrenic best to wipe as many people off the road as possible: The sun peeked out this morning, then the clouds rolled in and spat ice pellets for a little while. Those turned into giant tennis-ball-sized snowflakes pelting down in a whiteout, and now we’re getting freezing rain. (But they’re promising more snow later, after the temperature drops enough to turn the roads to skating rinks.)

      Like you, I’m glad I’m in for the day. If I have to go out again, I’ll walk – much safer than driving. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, I didn’t see any mistakes in this post (not that I ever do), so your fortune is at least off in that regard!

    Too funny about the beer thing. I’ll have to read that link in more detail. Of course, that would be the one I gravitate to.

    I’m scattered too. So much left to do for Christmas, and I haven’t even started my baking. Ugh. Now I’m stressed.

    Liked by 1 person

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