Posts Tagged ‘Uncle Lewis’

Public Service Announcement: Art of the Dutch Oven

Hello everyone. My name is Uncle Lewis and welcome to my first EVER blog post. As some of you know, I am a huge supporter of Aunt Bethany. I have known her for over 8 years and fall more and more in love with her with each day.

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In a point of my life that is at its darkest, Aunt Bethany’s blog has been a ray of sunshine and a source of inspiration. I look forward every day to breaking away from my life just to read her thoughts and admire a woman who can do it all. This blog is another way to glance into the wonderful mind that is Aunt Bethany. I have constantly been impressed with her style of writing and her sense of humor. Reading the comments from all of you, I know I am not the only one.

We have tossed around the idea of me doing a guest post for some time, but I am NOT a writer, nor do I pretend to be. So, at the risk of having this post being horrendous, I give you a P.S.A. on the art of the “Dutch Oven”, in hopes it will make you smile and stick around while AB takes a much needed break. Don’t go far, she will return very soon, totally recharged and ready to wow us all with her intelligence and wit. For my part, I promise not to make this a habit!


P.S.A. #2:  The Art of the Dutch Oven

Where did the term “Dutch Oven” come from?

clip_image002A Dutch oven is a cast iron cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. The heavy lid fits so well that steam cannot escape the pot while it is cooking. All the ingredients in the pot are cooked at the same time, trapping juices and aromas together while it bakes. According to Wikipedia, the Dutch were far more advanced than the English at cooking in this style. An Englishman named Abraham Darby went to the Netherlands and took this cooking style to America where it was patented.

Through the years, the term Dutch Oven has taken on a different meaning. The definition remains:  a chamber to seal in juices and aromas in an enclosed space…but the application has evolved.

The new wrinkle often appears when two people really love each other. There comes a point in a great relationship where the happy couple becomes very comfortable with each other. Walls are broken down, couples become more relaxed, and nothing can be hidden. So many wonderful things happen at this point in the relationship… and some NOT so wonderful things happen. There is one fact that seems to evade our thought process as a relationship evolves. Remember… everyone poops!clip_image004

More than that, everyone toots.

I care not who you are…at some point air must come out of your body, and there are only two exits. So, when two people get comfortable enough with one another, they share even the deepest, darkest things. They have such a desire to share everything…even their aromas. Thus, the art of the Dutch Oven was born.

Again, according to Wikipedia, a Dutch Oven (a.k.a. a “covered wagon”), is a toot chamber created by pulling a blanket over someone’s head and breaking wind, typically not to the delight to the partner.

Depending on what type of food is consumed, you can name your Dutch Oven accordingly…examples include:

  • White Castle Dutch Oven
  • McDonalds Dutch Oven
  • Bean Dip Dutch Oven
  • Beer Dutch Oven (especially bad the next morning)
  • Extra Hot Chicken Wings Dutch Oven

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Sometimes Dutch Ovens are done on accident…sometimes they are done on purpose. The act is not only limited to just the bedroom… and it is not always at the expense of others. It is totally possible to Dutch Oven yourself!

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Examples of places you can be sealed up in your own poison are:

  • Space suits
  • Deep sea diving suits
  • Your own car
  • In the doctor’s office while you wait for the doctor
  • A cube or office at work.

clip_image009I have heard rumors of shopping at “Bed Bath and Beyond” and being Dutched Oven by a loved one while walking down the aisles, but this is technically NOT a Dutch Oven because of the open air.

Both parties in a relationship are open game for such displays of love. In some cultures, once you Dutch Oven a loved one, you are technically considered married.

The most important thing to remember is that it is a display of love and devotion. It is a sign the relationship has taken a step in the right direction. It shows a level of comfort between two people, a level most couples strive to attain. It should be welcomed with open arms and intense cuddling afterward.

It should not be met with disdain or comments like:

“Uncle Lewis, that is just plain nasty, you should be ashamed of yourself.”

Or

“If you do that again, you are going to be sleeping on the couch.”

Or

“How can you tell me you love me then try to kill me?!?”

Remember, it’s the smell of love in the air….

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What the #FF?!?: A Site, A Clip, and A Burger

Breathe easy, my friends…it’s Friday!  Because you’ve bravely survived the workweek, fed the kids, paid the bills, shoveled the snow, and listened to Britney Spears’ latest contribution, I’ve got a great What the #FF?!? feature for you today.

A Site

Yesterday, I dove further down the writing rabbit hole and took part in my very first writers’ workshop.  Mama Kat, over at Mama Kat’s Losin’ It, hosts a weekly forum for writers, which offers 4-5 writing prompts for her participants.  Not only is Mama Kat’s workshop an unbelievable contribution to the Blog-O-Sphere, but she runs an awesome website as well.  She’s funny, irreverent, and poignant in her posts…as she is in her photography, cartoons, videos, and letters to Ellen DeGeneres.  Plus, I’m just enthralled with her website design!  It reminds me of a luscious red velvet cupcake, with extra frosting and sprinkles on top.  She’s a blogger I really admire, and I aspire to become just like her someday…if I ever grow up.  She’s got writing chops, hysterical cartoons, elegant poetry, and a welcoming spirit which inspires and provokes great writing.

For her writing challenge, I took the prompt of “10 reasons I could never be friends with______” and waxed about my distaste for my fair-weather acquaintances, snowmen.  You can read the post here!

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A Clip

Ever stumble upon something that simultaneously makes you go “What the?!” and “This is the funniest thing I’ve seen all month”? Jenny Slate, of SNL fame, created a short video clip with her director-boyfriend Dean Fleischer-Camp called “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” I really don’t need to say any more.  Just watch the clip, and get your Depends ready.

My favorite part is the lint.

I hang glide on a Dorito.  Go ahead.  You’re already picturing that little peanut sky surfing on a potato chip.  I can only hope and pray that they make more video clips of Marcel.  To learn more about his creation and his creators, click here.

A Burger

Have you ever been so moved by something that it makes you weep with tears of pure joy?  Have you ever known true bliss?  If you have, then I’m sure you’ve tasted a burger from Five Guys Burgers and Fries.

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On Wednesday, I was preparing for yet another rehearsal across town, having eaten no dinner and expecting no meal until at least 10 PM.  My stomach was angry with me, I was cranky, and combustion seemed imminent…until Uncle Lewis brought me an offering from Five Guys.

 

Uncle Lewis:  I brought you a burger and fries

Aunt Bethany:  Great, I’ll eat it after yoga…wh-why are you staring at me like that?

Uncle Lewis:  You’re going to want to eat it now…*drool drool drool*

Aunt Bethany:  Why?  It’s just a burger, right?

 

WRONG!  It is not just a burger, dear friends:  it’s heaven in a wrapper.  When I finally sunk my teeth into my bacon cheeseburger, my mouth exploded with applause, and my stomach bowed down to Uncle Lewis.  Not only that, but they give you massive amounts of french fries (a staple in my diet).  When you open your bag, fries are scattered all over the place, as they’ve placed an extra scoop on top of your entire order.

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CAUTION:  These meals are not for the faint of heart.  They feature a lot of grease, a lot of calories, and a lot of ecstasy.  You have been warned.  They also offer hot dogs and milkshakes.  Find your nearest Five Guys and run, I say, RUN to it.

So, go!  Eat!  Drink!  And be merry!  But whatever you do, have a great weekend!

Me with Burger and Fries

What’s My Line?

A good name can get you far in life.  Apple.  Elvis.  Madonna.  Nike.  But, a great tagline can get you remembered.  I am not a crook.  You like me, you really like me!  I’m lovin’ it.   Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

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In the Blog-O-Sphere, you need to have a great title to attract readers to your sight.  Even with posts, you must be creative, witty, and informative when labeling each and every article.  “A Post About Doctors” is not nearly as fun and enticing as “Turn Your Head and Cough.” A great title can help or hinder a sight from rising to great heights.

When thinking up a moniker for your site, however, there is a sub-title which can be applied, as well.  This is called the tagline, and it serves to offer another label to define your blog.  The taglines I’ve seen have typically been humorous, or even straight to the point.  A blog about travel.  A site for mothers.  Straight from the horse’s mouth.  Over the river and through the woods. A few more words to leave you with to give the blog more character.  Simple and effective.

For the past 2 months, Miracle on 32nd Street has exhibited a very festive holiday theme, which was retired for the season this past Monday.  I also updated my blog picture, opting to also store away the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree logo until next November.  I’m beginning to take down the rest of the holiday remnants, which will be completed by the end of the week, but there is one item that leaves me scratching my head:  the tagline.

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Tag(line)! You’re it! Keep on reading…

Extreme Home Makeover: Blog Edition

Uncle Lewis, I thought I asked you to take the Christmas tree down?!?

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Uncle Lewis: The needles fall off when I touch it.  Plus, I just sat down to watch my shows!

What shows?!?

Uncle Lewis?!?……

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Oh, never mind, you old poop…

As you can see, folks, we’re still “de-Christmas-ing” here at Miracle on 32nd Street.  We’ve sported a beautiful Vermillion Christmas theme here on Word Press for the past two months, and, with a week of 2011 under our belts, I think it’s high time to redecorate, don’t you?

After perusing the hundreds of themes Word Press proudly supports, I’ve managed to select three finalists as successors to my holiday theme.  The problem is, each theme offers something different, both visually and technically.

“HELP!  I NEED SOMEBODY!” Well, actually, I DO need your assistance!  I turn to you, my well-versed and logical readers.  Which theme do you think appeals to your senses the most (excluding the sense of smell…the scratch & sniff theme didn’t seem to work)?  Is it…

#1:  Misty Air

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#2:  Spring Loaded

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…or…

#3:  Ocean Mist

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I honestly was very taken with Spring Loaded, #2, but I’m not so sure if I’m wild about a patch of grass taking up part of my banner.  I love the originality in that theme, but am taken with the simplicity of #s 2 and 3.

I need some help with my decision!  I’m a swayer who needs to be swayed!  So, what do you YOU think?  Which theme peaks your interest as a blogger, reader, or web surfer? Send me off a quick comment, and let me know what you think!

Now, to rouse Uncle Lewis…where’s that air horn?…..

Crunching the Numbers

Another year down, and another year of possibility has just begun.  It’s weird to think that this blog began “way back” in 2010, and even weirder to receive an email from Word Press giving me the low down on my site stats “for 2010.”  My blog only saw two months of 2010.  Don’t they know it was only yesterday when I endured a difficult birthing process, full of ice chips, epidurals, and breathing exercises, to produce Miracle on 32nd Street?!?

Still, it is pretty neat to see some analyzed site statistics, even though my blog’s just over 2 months old.  And, as you, my readers, are the responsible ones for these stats, I thought it only proper to share them with you.  You are the people responsible for turning this little “project” into a fully blown blog, so I bow down to you, ever so humbly.

It’s interesting to note which posts were the top attention grabbers (maybe they had sequins or glitter or aluminum foil on them to snatch your focus…who knows?).  Perhaps you saw some of those posts yourself, and perhaps they passed you by.  At any rate, have a look at “what you did,” and know that I’m appreciative of each and every one of you.

In the meantime, while you’re feasting on this little appetizer of sorts, I will be readying my final post centered around RACs and my holiday challenge, which ended on New Year’s Day.  Fear not, though!  Miracle on 32nd Street will still remain open for business!  The RAC Challenge, however, will take a hiatus until next November, when it shall return for it’s second run.

Enjoy the analysis work done by the folks at Word Press, and I’ll get moving on my own analysis of the past two months and my RAC Challenge.  Thank you all for a wonderful (albeit brief) 2010!  I am all a-twitter with what’s to come in the New Year!

Just the Facts…

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

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A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 54 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 624 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 40mb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was December 14th with 190 views. The most popular post that day was The 12 Movies of Christmas.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were WordPress Dashboard, wordpress.com, My Comments, stumbleupon.com, and naziaiftikhar.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for miracle on 32nd street, miracleon32ndstreet.wordpress.com, uncle lewis christmas vacation, aunt bethany, and christmas vacation uncle lewis.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

The 12 Movies of Christmas December 2010
21 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,

2

Two Hours November 2010
28 comments and 6 Likes on WordPress.com

3

About this blog… November 2010
7 comments

4

Random Acts of Christmas November 2010
13 comments

5

And there’s that line… December 2010
24 comments and 5 Likes on WordPress.com

Coming ‘Round the Bend

Well, here we are…December 24th. My favorite day of the year, aside from the first day of autumn. A day where excitement is high and “Scrooges” are few.  A day where children reach their height of anxiety and where parents reach their height of insanity.  A day where we allow ourselves to feel a tingling of anticipation for what’s to come…Christmas Eve.

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Christmas Eve also ushers in another milestone for me this year as well.  Tomorrow, Miracle on 32nd Street will have been in operation for 1 month and 22 days…not a tremendous milestone in terms of length or significance…but an important reflecting point because of the original aim of this site.

Back on November 2nd, I laid out my goals and aspirations for this blog:  to perform one random act of kindness, every day, up until New Year’s Eve. These “random acts of kindness” quickly became labeled as RACs, or Random Acts of Christmas.  Through my purposeful actions, I wanted to inspire “Christmas spirit” within myself, and, most importantly, within those whom I interacted with.  I had spent far too many Christmas which fizzled out by the time the Big Day rolled by, and I wanted to find a way…any way…to revive that long lost Christmas cheer I had harnessed so long ago.

An experiment.  A challenge to fulfill.  A place of laughter.  A hobby.  An outlet for “do-gooding” and creative writing.  These are all labels which have fit my blog along its short journey thus far.  And, as New Year’s Day gets closer and closer, I wonder what other labels my blog will take on once the original project has crossed the finish line.

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Originally, I never intended this blog to document anything but my RACs. As I got lost in the world of Blogging, however, I became a member of a much larger, funnier, more poignant picture.  I began to frequent other blogs which made me laugh, cry, think, and re-think.  I developed a core of “friends” on Word Press who have stuck by me through good posts and bad.  I have learned some of the necessary tools to be a good blogging friend (i.e. re-blogging, re-Tweeting, commenting, trackbacks, etc), and have become entrenched in a reciprocal world of writers, photographers, humorists, and thousands of others who claim a small home in the Blog-O-Sphere.

In other words, I got hooked.  I no longer had a blog with a time-sensitive goal…I became a blogger, through and through.  I have subscriptions, and I subscribe to sites.  I have followers, and I follow others.  I “Like” great posts, and re-blog about the ones I admire.  I manage my site comments, while simultaneously tracking my own.  I check the Freshly Pressed every day to find new writers and offer my two cents on their offerings.  I tweet.  I Facebook.  I StumbleUpon.  I go through all of the motions a hard-core blogger partakes in…finally, I’m a real blogger!

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Keep on reading, y’all…

Top Ten Reasons You Should Take a Day Off From Blogging

Top Ten Reasons You Should Take a Day-Off From Blogging

10.) When friends ask you to hit the town, you tell them that you can’t, because the hours between 12:00 AM-2:00 AM are now dedicated to finishing up that pesky post in time for an 8:00 AM posting.

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Consequently, bags begin to form under your eyes, normal sleeping patterns are interrupted, hair becomes a tangled bird’s nest, and you enter into a zombie-like state once situated at your computer.  At this point, chocolate is the only life source.

9.) You personally know every “Freshly Pressed” blogger by name, age, height, Zodiac sign, and food allergy…AND you’re now following them all on Twitter.

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You know, there is a fine, fine line between admiration and a restraining order…

8.)  You’ve developed a callous on your index finger from pressing the “REFRESH” button on your keyboard so much.

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Dude, if there was 67 hits thirty seconds ago, chances are…there are STILL 67 hits.

Keep reading…you know you want to…