Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Dreamsnake written in 1978, in which our hero, named Snake (confusingly) who is a traveling healer that heals with snakes she keeps in one of those giant purses. You know, the kind Kim Kardashian carries around. That would make Kim much more interesting if her Hermes bag was full of snakes. (I'll bet its not full of snakes....Boo!)

I don't know if Vonda McIntyre was on the cutting edge or just got lucky about the use of snake venom in making modern medicine. Now the fact that Ms. Snake acquired immunity by getting lot of bites is nothing new. Apparently the practice is called Mithridatism. That is an awesome name for a really weird hobby. Ms. Snake does not carry a black mamba but I once saw this documentary about a black mamba getting scared of a moving Jeep that went right past her so she tried to bite it. A moving Jeep going about 30 mph.  It was adorable. It was the only way she could cope with stress. Strike and Chomp. Oh..that's a good name for a bowling alley that sells food.

This is a pretty weird book but overall it's interesting. Apparently birth control in the future is done by Bio-control.  It seems that young men and women are taught techniques and the guys have to learn how to get their scrotum really hot? Too hot to produce sperm? At least that was my take-away. How this is accomplished is beyond me.  Yogic practices? Futuristic Tighty Whities? Hot Wings? That was left for the reader to figure out. Dreamsnake really raises more questions than it answers.

Need to milk some snakes this holiday? Who doesn't.  Why not read this with a nice Milk Punch which is really an alcoholic milk shake....not that I'm complaining!: 1/2 cup half and half, 1/4 cup whole or 2% milk, 1/4 cup bourbon, 1-2 tsp (or more) of sugar, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract.  Blend into a frothy goodness. Stir a couple of ice cubes and strain.  Pour into cups or mugs and top with freshly grated nutmeg. Serves two.    

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Among Others

 Among Others is about a girl who loves sci-fi and fantasy.  Nerd Alert! More books get referenced than a dissertation.

This has the "I've been sent to a British boarding school and it sucks" thing, the "coming of age as a massive geek thing," and the "my mother is a psychopath that is mentally-ill" and/or a "my mother is a psychopath that has magical powers" thing. Granted, that last one is a little strange but it reminds me of Grimm's fairy tales. Mmmmmm, house made out of candy...now that I think about it, why did the witch want to eat the children when her whole house is made out of gingerbread and candy?  Then I figured it out: Paleo Diet.

This whole story is told from our narrator's diary. The fact that she can talk to fairies and do magic is very matter of fact but I suppose a cavalier attitude is a 15 year old's forte. This book is really a love letter to SF geeks, librarians and disaffected youths.  Didn't The Smiths do a song "Stop me if you've think that you've read this Le Guin before."  This book is geek level 11 so that joke was necessary.

Comic Book guy would love this: "Um, excuse me, but um, you could read this but you cannot enjoy it on as many levels as I do...(*sigh*)"  I didn't get half the references myself. I guess on the geek continuum I'm just not there.  We all know those people that are uber-geeks, such that they become "difficult" sometimes and not in a funny way, but in a pedantic and creepy way. If you are an uber-geek, keep it light even if Han shot first. It's cool, Jeez.  Anyway, this is a fantasy coming of age story (which I like) with, frankly, a few too many Sci-Fi book references, but overall, enjoyable.

Our narrator hates all drinks but water....really? Ok, fair enough, why not something light and low-alcohol so you don't make a fool of yourself with your boss at the office Christmas party...White Noise Spritz: 1&1/2 ounces Cocchi Americano Bianco (I think Lillet would work too), 1 ounce St-Germain, 2 ounces club soda. Fill a tom collins glass with ice and add the Cocchi and St. Germain. Top with the club soda and serve with a grapefruit twist.