Friday, October 21, 2011

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 4)



1.Congrats on surviving the end of the world!

Remember Harold Camping who predicted the end of the world in 1994 and again this May? Well, along with his May 2011 judgment day prediction, he predicted that the world would come to an end by October 21, 2011. So far as I can tell, it hasn’t happened. And with it almost October 22 in New Zealand, I think we’re safe.

2. On Tuesday, it was 83 degrees; on Wednesday, it was in the 40s with snow flurries on the mountains. Oh, Tennessee weather. I wish it would just get cold and stay cold. It’s unorganized to have flip-flops and winter coats out at the same time. And I’m definitely ready for winter coat weather.

3. I miss carving pumpkins with the Presbyterian Student Association and dressing up for costume parties in college. I do not miss seeing an abundance of girls using Halloween as a night to dress as slutty as possible. As explained in the oh-so-quotable Mean Girls: "In Girl World, Halloween is the one night a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything about it." The only Halloween tradition I’m observing this year is watching Hocus Pocus. And maybe Mean Girls.

4. I had heard that the phrase Hocus Pocus came from a Latin church phrase, and that conversation came up again this week. The version I heard was that in the big medieval churches, lay people who didn’t know Latin and couldn’t see the altar from way in the back, would wait until they heard, “Hoc est corpus meum” (“This is my body”) as the signal to go up to receive the Eucharist. From the back of the church, the phrase sounded like “Hocus Pocus” and the phrase got associated with the consecration of the Eucharist and then later, secular supernatural works. There’s no knowing how much of this version is true, but I’ll give it points for believability. The phrase is also thought to be rooted in a Norse language or Welsh. But it seems reasonable that people who didn’t speak Latin yet heard it in church every week would 1. corrupt a phrase since they didn’t know the correct one to begin with and 2. believe the Latin language contained “magic words.”

5. More baking this weekend! Moist Swiss chocolate birthday cupcakes and White Russian cupcakes with KahlĂșa icing.

6. Random fact: if a White Russian is made using skim milk instead of cream, it’s called an Anna Kournikova. If it’s made with goat milk, it’s called a White Canadian.

7. My almost-91-year-old granddad has decided to sell his house and move into an apartment. He has lived in that house since the mid-1950’s, so it’s pretty hard on him to leave. I’m glad he’s making the choice to do it now, instead of waiting until he can’t take care of himself and is forced to move, but I’m still sad that this is going to be a big transition for him. Lots of trips up there to help clean out the house are in my immediate future.

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