A Series of Riddles.

While shopping at the mall Joey poses this question: “Dad, I am going to tell you a series of riddles, you tell me your answer. Ready?”

“Sure.”

First question: “There’s a plane carrying 500 bricks. A man on the plane tosses one brick out the window. How many bricks are left on the plane?” Since I’m not a math guy and thinking it’s a trick question, I tentatively respond with “499”. Joey says correct. Score one for me.

Next question: “If you only have 3 steps to put an elephant in a refrigerator what would those steps be?” “Well basic physics aside, I would think it’s 1. Open the door, 2. Place the elephant inside, and 3. Close the door.” Joey says correct. Score two for me.

Next question: “Now explain in four steps how you’d place a deer in the same refrigerator the elephant is in?” Now on to the absurdity of the questions I respond with “1. Open the door, 2. Ask the elephant to slide over (remember physics don’t apply here in the riddle world), 3. Place the deer inside 4. Close the door.” Joey says “Incorrect, you need to ask the elephant to leave the fridge first” (I did not realize there wasn’t room for both of them inside the magical fridge of holding.) Score Dad 2, Joey 1.

Next question: “The lion is having a party with all the animals except for one, which one is missing and why?” Thinking this is a gimmie a respond, “The deer. He’s on the menu since he’s inside the fridge.” “Yes, the deer, but no he’s not to be eaten, he’s stuck inside the fridge.” I’ll take that as half credit. Dad 2.5, Joey 1.5.

Next question: “A woman needs to cross a river that’s home to a killer crocodile. How does she get across without getting eaten?” Thinking it’s a trick question I respond with. “She uses the bridge.” “Incorrect. The crocodile’s at the party with the lion.” Dammit. should have seen that coming. Dad 2.5, Joey 2.5.

Final question: “The woman still dies while trying to cross the river. How does she die?”

“She drown’s?”

“Nope”, he says… “She gets hit by the brick.”

Dammit, I knew this as a trick question. Final score: Dad 2.5, Joey 3.5.

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Tuesday’s Ghost Story

MitchAlbomI did something today I have never done before.

I read a book cover to cover
in one night.

Um…what?

The magnitude of this event was smacked clear when Aaron, my youngest looked at me and with blatant honesty and said, “Dad, you’re actually reading a book? Really?” Normally I’d chalk his response up to his highly developed sense of sarcasm, but he was totally serious. He’s right, I don’t read. At least not recreational reading. Most of my in-progress book are marketing, creative, or advertising focused. I sneak a few pages here or there mostly on my ipad Kindle app. I have 3 or 4 books that I could say I am “in the middle of reading”, but have not finished any of them. I’m not opposed to reading. In fact, I quite like it. I just don’t have the time. So finish a book in one day? Um, no.

(To steal a line from @gerlock: I swear I don’t even know who I am anymore.)

The book I read tonight was Mitch Album’s For One More Day. It’s one part ghost story, one part baseball, and lot of parts reconciliation that details the life of Chick Benetto. On the day of his failed attempted suicide he spends one day with his mother that had been dead for almost a decade. It’s a fast read, gets you thinking about mortality and the choices one makes during a lifetime. The book had me in tears during some sections more often than I care to admit. Sure I would love one more day with my Father, or Grandma Mayernik. I am not sure what I’d say, or what they’d think about the choices I’ve made during my life, but would love one final day. My friend Courtney gave me the book just this afternoon. She knows that I’m a Detroit guy and that Mitch Albom is a Detroit Columnist, she knew I’d like the book and she was right. Courtney had no idea that I was just thinking about this book a few days earlier. Let’s just say the book was already top of mind.

…and for once I could not put a book down. Yep I read a book cover to cover.

(I don’t even know who I am anymore, and maybe that’s the point)

Happy 12.12.12.

I Get It, I’m Tall

Farm boy, fetch me that pitcher?

Tall people are good for something right? Just ask Princess Buttercup.

I get it. I’m tall. I sometimes block people’s view. I get in the way. I’m not good at basketball. My reward for my height is hitting my head on basement i-beams and fetching the occasional pitcher. (And by pitcher I mean spider that hides in the upper corner of the room.)

Today Joey had a band concert and I specifically did not sit in the aisle (which I love) because there was an older man seated right behind. I did not want to block his view. I am very cognizant of my view blocking potential and I try to be courteous when I can. So I sat in the cramped second seat. Little did I know the older guy was saving seats and then when asked to slide down chimed in with a crotchety, “No I’m not sitting behind that guy! He’s too tall. Gonna have to sit in the next seat over so I can see.”

Nice buddy. I get it, I’m tall.

The Nut Roll

NutRollI am not much of a baker. Cookies are about it. Give me Oatmeal all day long. I am on record by saying that Oatmeal Raisin is the “Best Cookie On the Planet” (#TBCOTP) In fact, here are my top 5 cookies.

1. Oatmeal Raisin (No Nuts)
2. Snikerdoodle (a very close second)
3. Molasses
4. Thin Mint
5. Pizzelle

Notice chocolate chip is not in the top 5? No peanut butter either, and nothing with nuts period. Which is why this post is so confusing. Because growing up my mom made the perfect holiday treat: The Nut Roll. It’s not a cookie, and filled with nuts, and to make things worse… walnuts.
So, why to I like this treat if I don’t like nuts in my desserts? I have no idea.

But here is the recipe. Try it. It’s the only way I could get you to understand.

The Nut Roll

The Roll
2/3 cup warm water
2 pkgs yeast (dry)
1 small can of evap. Milk – 5 1/3 oz
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup of sugar
4 eggs separated
5 cups flour divided
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Heat milk up and then let set to like warm. Cream the butter and sugar and add the yolks one at a time. Stir in yeast/water/milk and 2 cups of flour and salt. Change to dough hook and add the remaining flour until the dough is n a ball. Kneed for 10 minutes then let rise until the dough is doubled in size.

The filling:
four egg whites
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 cups of nuts (a mix of walnuts almonds and pecans)
6 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of honey
Cinnamon to taste.

Split the filling into 4 parts. Roll dough flat and spread one section of filling onto the surface. Roll the dough to make a long cylinder. Egg wash the top. Repeat 3 times. Bake at 375 degrees until the tops are golden brown. You should have 4 delicious nuts rolls to enjoy.

Happy holidays.