Archive | March, 2011

Chickens feel empathy

11 Mar

chick empathyYou know, before I started this blog I didn’t think about chickens very often. Sure, I knew they were delicious – and obviously very cute – but I wasn’t drawn to them in any particular way. But now that I’ve named one of my personalities after them, I feel I should learn more about these creatures.

And now that I’ve read this, I’ll know never to blow a puff of air at a chick ever again.

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Chicken farm

9 Mar

There was a man who came from the city, wanting to start a chicken farm of his own. He went to a local hatchery to buy some chickens, and bought 500 fine White Rock chicks.

The next week he came back to the hatchery and bought 500 top quality Rhode Island Red chicks.

The following week it was 500 Cornish chicks.

This went on for weeks, until finally the hatchery man could stand it no longer.

“Wow, you must be starting a huge poultry farm with all of these chickens!” he said to the city slicker.

“Not so big really,” the man sighed. “I’m just having a little trouble with this first crop – I can’t tell if I’m planting them too deep or too close together.”

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Okay, that was terrible, I admit it. Those wacky city slickers!

But here is something that’s EVEN WORSE than that joke: dailychickenjoke.com. Yes, someone once dreamt of a site that would post a new poultry-related joke EVERY SINGLE DAY. It started on 16 October 2008 and lasted 200 jokes, until 3 May 2009. Is that a joke a day for that time? I don’t know, I’m crap at maths.

There are many, many crap jokes on dailychickenjoke.com. But there are actually a few okay ones, too, as shown by these:

Chicken Joke #194
Q: Why was the chicken look up “painters” in the phone book?
A: He wanted to find someone to paint him naked.

Chicken Joke #195
Q: Why did the chicken even have a phone book?
A: It was 1995.

Phone book jokes = always hilarious. See also: pager jokes.

Big Girl

6 Mar

Big Girl by Danielle Steel, 2010

Big Girl

Remember when you were young and Danielle Steel books were considered somewhat risqué? I mean, she was no Virginia Andrews – and definitely no Jackie Collins – but her novels were always filled with forbidden passion, wealthy characters, and melodrama galore. How grown-up!

But any youngsters who happen across Steel’s Big Girl will be sadly disappointed… unless, of course, they find much excitement in  ridiculously repetitive books that feature a girl who has troubles with her weight. Yep, that’s the story: the main character, Victoria, has always been chubby, and now that she’s in her late 20s she can’t go ONE GODDAMN PAGE WITHOUT BITCHING ABOUT IT. Sure, there are some other bits thrown in: an impossibly gorgeous sister called Gracie who’s Getting Married To The Wrong Man, a love interest, and a job as a teacher. But these are just devices that allow Victoria to moan about her battle with her weight, because who needs to actually have some kind of plot when you can just detail a binging/dieting cycle, ammiright?! 

Gracie had basked in their parents’ praise all her life, because she was an accessory that enhanced them. And because Victoria was different, she had been emotionally starved by them. (I see what you did there, Danielle – way to work in the food thing! Smooth.)

I know I shouldn’t have expected much – after all, Big Girl comes from an author who publishes, on average, a book every four months. She doesn’t have time to delve into issues, dammit! This girl is big because she was born big, and her parents don’t love her as much as they adore her wonderful sister, which makes her eat herself happy, so she sees a therapist about it, and that’s all you need to know. Oh, and she has great legs. That’s mentioned about every 10 pages or so. And she has amazing friends, a fab apartment, holidays all over the place, guys who want to date her… but her weight! Remember how she ate that whole pizza for dinner? She’s just too big!

“What are your goals?”
“Get skinny and have a life. Meet a man who loves me, and whom I love too.” She had gained weight on the trip, and wanted to lose it over the rest of the summer.

When Danielle Steel wrote about this book on her blog she said that it was about inner beauty, and that “we’re all beautiful in some way”. And yes, I get what she was trying to do with it, I get that this was supposed to be about finding peace with your body no matter what, blah blah blah. I just didn’t want to be force-fed the message over and over and over again. Excuse me while I purge this from my memory.

And Victoria was so upset, she ate a full plate of pesto pasta, and the entire basket of bread.

Read it if you want to despair in the crap that gets published by popular authors, or to feel better about the fact that you only think about your weight 70% of the time.

Tactiturn

2 Mar

Everyone in Jacobsville, Texas, steered clear of taciturn Cy Parks. Except spirited Lisa Monroe. To shield the lovely Lisa from a revenge-seeking desperado, the winter soldier claimed her as his bride…

So says the blurb for The Winter Soldier, a romance novel by Diana Palmer. It begs many questions: what is a ‘Cy Parks’? What has the unnamed weirdo done to sassy Lisa? What the hell is a winter soldier? Is Cy Parks even the winter soldier they’re referring to?

Well, I have never read this book, and nor do I plan to, so I guess we’ll never know the answers to these queries. Unless, of course, one my handful of readers has a secret closet of Palmer’s books and can enlighten us?

What I can tell you, however, is the meaning of taciturn, a definition asked of me by my sister. We learnt that it means:

reserved or uncommunicative in speech; saying little.

So perhaps at some stage the sassy Lisa Monroe says, “That Cy Parks… he is so uncommunicative in speech! So reserved! Hmph… and he has the nerve to call himself a winter soldier, or at least be identified as one!”