Monday, June 06, 2005

Seldom Asked Questions

Q: Wherefore "anapestic"?
A: Because I said so.

Q: Is there a longer explanation?
A: Yes.

Q: What is it?
A: A number of years ago, I was chatting with some people on a site whose name and nature you really don't want to know, and I told them that Dr. Seuss was clearly a better poet than Shakespeare because Shakespeare only wrote effectively in one meter. Dr. Seuss, by contrast, wrote equally well in two meters. If one considers the two seminal Seuss works, one finds that Green Eggs and Ham is composed in iambic tetrameter:
I do not like green eggs and ham!
I will not eat them, Sam I am!

But The Cat in the Hat is composed in anapestic tetrameter:
But our fish said, "No no! Make that cat go away.
Tell that cat in the hat you do NOT wish to play!"

Some time not too much later, when I needed a user name for a site (probably MetaFilter, but possibly something earlier), I chose anapestic. I have used it on other sites since, and it seemed a good choice for the name for my blog.

Q: And no one else was using it?
A: I am, apparently, the only one who really cares about the anapests.

Q: Do you really think that Dr. Seuss is better than Shakespeare?
A: No, but at the time, I was reading a lot of Dr. Seuss to my daughters, and they certainly thought so. They probably still do.

Q: You have daughters?
A: Indeed. Two of them. They are currently 16 and 9.

Q: But aren't you gay?
A: Oh, brave new world, that has such people in it.

Q: Is that from Dr. Seuss?
A: No, but I reckon he'd agree with the sentiment.

Q: Have you ever eaten a madeleine and been transported back in time?
A: No. But I make a mean madeleine. It's not overly complicated. Basically, you make a genoise and cook the batter in the little madeleine molds. They are crisp and tasty, as well as courtes et dodues.

Q: How did you learn so much about food?
A: In college, I frequently skipped class to stay home and watch The French Chef. Also, I eat a lot, I cook a lot, and I like to read cookbooks.

Q: If you were a tree, what sort of tree would you be?
A: Meyer lemon. Duh.

Q: Wouldn't that make you a cannibal?
A: Nobody's perfect.

Q: Have you ever cooked professionally?
A: Sort of. I catered a couple of parties and my sister's second wedding.

Q: How did that turn out?
A: She's still married to him. I'm pretty sure that's because of my rouladen.

Q: Would you do more?
A: No. The life of a professional chef is exhausting and not especially rewarding. Or at least it wouldn't be for me. I reckon that I get more pleasure out of having the occasional dinner party than out of serving a couple of hundred people six nights a week. And when one is an avocational cook, it is really no big deal when one's experiments fail miserably.

Q: Have any of yours failed miserably?
A: Of course not. I was talking about other people's experiments. Mine are always brilliant successes. If they weren't, I'd have to lock myself in my room and mope for weeks on end.

Q: I think you're exaggerating.
A: One should never allow something as mundane as the facts to get in the way of a good story.

Q: Is that an aphorism?
A: Perhaps.

Q: Do you have any others?
A: All men are attractive, until you get to know them.

Q: Was that comma really appropriate?
A: I put it in for rhetorical effect.

Q: Quien es mas macho: Rocky o Bullwinkle?
A: Rocky

Q: What would you have for you last meal?
A: Pho ga.

Q: Do you eat it often?
A: Not nearly often enough.

Q: Why not?
A: I'm afraid it'll be my last meal.


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