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Habit fawning

by Sven Triloqvist Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 12:23:30 PM EST

Living, as I do, in one of the few remaining places on Earth where the inhabitants perceive themselves to be free*, I'm surprised, in spite of my fundamentally optimistic scepticism, to experience a considerable number of examples of personal behaviour demonstrating, anecdotally, that I am not free*.

(* Definition required)


I can't live without Marmite. It's not really a choice. The simple explanation is that the brainwashing of a barely connected 60 billion neurons in the endorphin-rich environment of parents and child makes it a non-choice.

I can't live without British workman's tea. None of your Lapsang souchong nonsense. PG Tips - well brewed, milk in last and half a teaspoon of sugar can solve many problems  - mostly of the type "What to do next?" The rules for Marmite apply - with perhaps an element of misplaced socialist solidarity to them.

I can't live without red wine. An empty wine rack, to me, is a place of infinite sadness. I only buy one red wine, mostly, and that is Painter's Cove - an Australian Shiraz Cabernet that seems to go with almost everything that I cook.

I can also be shirty if Jallu one star or Gin + ingredients are not available. It's not that I am a lush - I just need to know they are around.

But why on Earth do I need that hymn to e-numbers, Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts?

I cannot find in my memory bank any reference to a related childhood habit. Nuttall's Mintoes and Fox's Glacier mints were my breath-enhancing sugar-bombs. Allsorts were an occasional pleasure thanks to aunts or uncles. Perhaps hypnosis might reveal the possible dysfunctional sexual experiences with relatives that still drive my passion.

I thought perhaps that the visual leitmotif of stripes - one of my other inexplicable passions - in Bassett's, might have an influence on my judgement. The fact that I obsess for the Finnish versions, which have the look, but not the taste, would seem to bear this out. There also seem to be more nude liquorice than I recall from England.

I've never been a sweet-eater - probably in itself a behaviour outcome of 1950s rationing - and I never ever buy sweets for myself. Not even a packet of Xylitol gum. But when there are guests, I feel it incumbent upon me to provide a bowl of the aforementioned confectionary.

Contrary to popular opinion, I live a modest, almost eremitic life on a small but adequate income. I have also adopted the Finnish cultural survival mechanism of inconspicuous consumption.

Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts WTF?

Naturally, you will reveal your own obsessions....

Display:
Nothing is more guaranteed to make me uncomfortable than being without a newspaper or book to read. Even if I'm required to be sociable (not a strong point) or to enjoy a performance, I need to know I can disappear into something if the need/opportunity arises.

If I am halfway through a book, I will probably have another one with me, just in case.

Beer, obviously. Although, as I only drink a couple of times a week, I can skip a few weeks if events conspire, but equally I can over-indulge when the opportunity arises (and I like to ensure that happens quite often).

Once I would have said music, but these days I rarely hear new stuff I genuinely like, and the stuff I do like I have overplayed such that I can play it back in my head. tho, if I need the words I have to look them up.

And ET, of course.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 01:08:38 PM EST
I'm the same with music. I'm always happy to listen to recommends, but I don't exactly seek out new music unless I have some sort of connection to it - like knowing or understanding the creators.

I guess fossilization is a function of age.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 01:23:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think it's a function of teenage. We remain enthralled by that which electrified us age 14 - 18.

And it goes beyond music, you see polticos and religionists the same, those who became believuhs in whichever god or system, when they're teenage and they remain wedded to the same beliefs for much of the rest of their lives

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 01:57:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
About music...It bothers me that I can't listen to music lately because everything touches me so much (sometimes to tears). I am connecting lyrics (and atmosphere of music) to some kind of reality (mostly sad) and that would make me sad. So I avoid it. Crap! I never was easy for tearing and used to love music...but I am getting old I suppose :(

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 07:22:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Go deeper... and wider... in your music tastes. The connection will get stronger, and you'll have joy as well as salty tears.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 05:23:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can go with the red wine analysis. I'll even let you "be shirty"? if you're missing Jallu one star, whatever that is. (You seem to imply a gin and tonic, which ignoring colonialism, can be accepted under the doctrine of live and let live.)

Nice of you to provide sweets for your guests, too. And respect for your eremitic lifestyle.

But how do you cook a marmite? it must be skinned first, no? If you're lucky enough to get a fresh one, you can braise it i suppose, though most of the road kill variety has to be boiled for a few weeks.

Oh, but you were writing about imprinting, brain circuits and neurological justifications. Sorry, i forgot.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 02:41:43 PM EST
Folk belief as useful fact-free education.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 03:22:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bassett's are the only good Liquorice Allsorts. But if you're tripping on the look rather than the taste... Well, they do look kind of endorphin-burst-provoking. There, I've said it. Provoking.

I never could really decide which ones I liked best. Probably the slick black liquorice sheath replete with smooth white filling. Or the generous pink round firmly stoppered with chewy black in the middle.

What, on the other hand, are you to get from the look of a Nuttall's Minto or a Fox's Glacier Mint? Even a Polo Mint, the mint with the...

No, never mind.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 03:12:18 PM EST
nibbling the coconut from the edge of the big round pink ones was always a childhood habbit. the  modern battenbergy ones  are fun to unpeel in sections with tongue and teeth.  the ones with the centre can be bought seperately (called Liquorice cream rock)

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 03:24:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pervert!

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 03:31:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
only when i have a bath full

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 03:36:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the furtherment of online ex-patriot brotherhood,I am prepared to reveal the source of inner joy: Fazer Thin Dark

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 03:30:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
finally a serious diary for a change!

as for licorice it's good medicine for tired adrenals, so tart it up with pretty shapes and fetching forms, add sugar to kill taste, and bingo, the answer to your knottily existential question.

marmite is a homepathic preparation to immunise against other similarly black and tarry substances whose ingestion causes much cellular mutation.

you know it's good for you, right? what's welsh rarebit without a streak or two of veggie asphalt to spice it up?

as for your other proclivities, as mark twain said: 'let a curtain of propriety fall upon the scene'.

such outlandish vices are just too private to blog about.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 05:19:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While I was on my long trip the only food I missed was San Francisco style burritos (unless cold water counts as a food).

Lattes, beer, and maybe miso soup. Coffee is definitely a chemical addiction in part, but in latte form there is a deeper satisfaction. I also have a weird affinity for red bull.

1950s rationing
Maybe this in part explains the love of cheap tea in the UK?

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 06:51:46 PM EST
Oh no, we loved cheap tea way before that

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Wed Oct 5th, 2011 at 08:16:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Running out of available books would be my worst fear, but in a crisis, I'm willing to re-read and also willing to download free classics online as a last resort. Now that I've found some English-language bookstores in Munich (only a few hours away) I have less anxiety.

When I need to play indoors, I must have my artsy-craftsy supplies at hand; if only pen and paper are available, I can still make myself quite happy.  Especially with a G&T nearby.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 01:48:49 AM EST
I need to be surrounded by pens of every type also. Everything from a 5 mm graphite stick to a 0.25 white Rapidograph. My favourite pencil used to have "Stolen from the Manor" gilded on one hexagonal face, and "5 billion flies can't be wrong" on the opposite - from my days working with Virgin. But now sharpened down to a stub.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 05:23:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You could try to start reading in German - then you wouldn't have to go so far....
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 05:29:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
but I don't seem to have any perceptible lifelong obsessions.

I was very passionate about cheese, for decades. Then I started eating meat again, and the passion diminished. In fact, the enjoyment diminished too. I fear it was in large part the animal protein. One is disappointed by such discoveries. I mean, cheese is still important to me, but I'd no longer die for it.

Sven, you must try my Cabardès. Shiraz-cabernet, by the people who invented it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 09:34:46 AM EST
As a Leicester lad, Simon de Montfort plays a part in my history, as well as your wine. I'm terribly torn. On balance, though - send me a doz for testing ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 12:40:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have an addiction that is easily enough satisfied as long as I stay up here: salty liqourice.

As a blog I stumbled across while googling for picture says:

. - saltlakrits

sök inte på saltlakrits på google om ni gillar lakrits, ni kommer fan dö :O
Man blir så himla suktad.....

Don't google for salty liqourice if you like it, the pictures alone is enough to set off the craving. So I am going to see if I do not have some at home.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 02:42:08 PM EST
My close pal was addicted to the stuff until a lowcarb diet forbade him. Cruel as I am (and curious student of behaviour), I placed a small bowl of the stuff on the edge of my kitchen counter, within arm's reach whenever he walked by. The contents of the bowl diminished imperceptibly over several weeks.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 05:59:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If I don't have a couple boxes of this in my pantry, then I get antsy.  Fortunately, himself hates mac and cheese, so it's safe until I need a fix!  

 

by ElaineinNM on Thu Oct 6th, 2011 at 04:17:45 PM EST
What is it with you people and cruelty to cheese? ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 06:01:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And you're claiming salmiakki isn't cruelty to liquorice?
by sgr2 on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 10:58:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't forget Marmite and cruelty to foodstuffs in general.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 01:57:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
At least with Marmite you don't have to apologize to the cows...

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 02:50:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There was a reason why NDNs always thanked their prey. And didn't have to apologize.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 05:24:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll talk to the yeast and see if they mind - though Eukarya is a tricky language. However I only have to get through to one of them, because that's the same as talking to all of them. <it says here>

But you have to be careful how you talk to them: there's a possibility of autolysis, akin to ethnic cleansing.

And now back to the careful sorting and filing of stacks of papers that have piled up over the last months: abandoned or completed scripts, instruction manuals, delivery notes,  random ideas, media flotsam and jetsam, and of course the unfilable.

I try to not to throw anything away, because in my experience, the moment you do, the alternative usefulness of any discarded item shortly becomes apparent, but too late.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 07:14:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I could be wrong, but I don't think it's actually cheese in that box.  
by ElaineinNM on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 01:55:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I were to be sent to a desert island with only once choice of entertainment, I think I would take a survey of 18th century literature. The Enlightenment, growth of cities, New World, revolutions here and there, and all that...
by asdf on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 01:04:02 PM EST
For quite some time I am addicted to one (stupid) computer game that my granddaughter introduced me too. It's unbelievable...I have to play every day. Never tired or bored.
No matter how many times I tried and managed to not smoke (last time for 3 years) I am still smoking. It bothers me because I should definitely stop (and I do every now and then. I do not enjoy it...its stress related...
I am craving (still, after 17 years of immigration) for Serbian food...yummy...In the absence I can manage on Italian or German tastes...Luckily now Serbs finally organized so we can buy at least some food from Serbia or made here but Serbian way. While we were in New Zealand it was real struggle. There was just one Austrian producer of small goods that could do the job at least in that field ;).


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Oct 7th, 2011 at 07:45:46 PM EST
what serbian specialities are you so partial to?

anything vegetarian?

always looking for new ways...

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 02:22:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes. I am not sure how you call that stuff in Europe but here they call it "Paprika relish" or something like that. We call it "Ajvar". It is paprika (red capsicum) grilled and than minced and then cooked on oil while water evaporated. Then we add a little vinegar and salt. Some people ad some egg plant done same way as paprika.
We used to make it at home for winter and we eat it as salad and also on bread. Great stuff. Luckily they managed to make it industrially and very good quality. Bulgarians, Macedonians, Croats they all make it industrially but it is nothing like real homemade stuff. There is a brand called "Bas ajvar" (meaning "real ajvar")  that they import here for us and it is great.
One thing that we can't find here and is hard to find anywhere but in Serbia is "kajmak" It's a dairy product (must be fresh) so it's hard to import. We used to buy it on "green market". If you eat/drink milk when you go to Serbia once, try it! It's great.
We prepare and process meat different way than people here. Especially "small goods" like sausages, pancetta, salami, prsuta etc. Italians and Germans are similar to us so we buy their small goods often all tho they have here small goods made Serbian/Croatian etc.way . Also mayonnaise here is different...too sweet. We make it differently. Tommy can do the job.
Also all around Serbia on every corner they sell all sorts of grilled meat (BBQ) and are very "imaginative". Nothing like that here. Not even proper hamburger. Just kebab.
I like Asian food but lately that's all I see around. And if we go to restaurant here the only meat you can find is steak. Boring. In Melbourne they have everything on Earth but not here. Here only sea food is good if you go to restaurant. I miss Belgrade's restaurants. It's a haven, ha-ha.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 03:36:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I discovered Ajvar on a holiday to Croatia over a decade ago. Or re-discovered: for some reason, I didn't remember it from my childhood (when I was there for two and a half years). But ever since the re-discovery I was hooked, and I get a bottle every time some relative went to ex-Yugoslav countries.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 03:38:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, and the memory of tastes (and food smells) is really strong.

  • While I forgot about Ajvar, there was some widely sold brand of crackers, the smell of which I remember strongly – I smelled it half a dozen times since, always brought craving.
  • A taste I caught on without being local food was peanut butter. The first time I ate it it was brought as a present from the Netherlands, for which reason I keep calling it pindakaas.
  • A bread-like dish that originated in Germanic areas and became the universal garnish called knedlík in Czech also got established all across Slovakia in Czechoslovakian times, where I got hooked.
  • When I was in West Germany, tastes I missed were ground red paprika (produced in Hungary's lowlands and put into a lot of prepared food), fresh yellow paprika (in Frankfurt most paprika sold was Californian paprika grown in greenhouses and with no taste) and so-called winter salami (made by the company Pick).
  • One thing I missed returning from West Germany was Milchschnitte (picture). Fortunately, it appeared in the shops here a decade later or so, and it's a regular choice of mine around tea-time or so.


<sub>*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
</sub>
by DoDo on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 04:06:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh I forgot, if you try to make Ajvar (read like Ayvar) at home you can bake (few kilos at least) red capsicum in your oven, take it out and put it in bag or covered dish and live until it's cold. Than pill the skin and then mince it. Then put the dish with oil and mince on the stove and mix every now and then until water evaporates a lot. Then add salt and vinegar and let it become cold (you eat it cold).I also like to put some minced garlic in it. Put it in a jar in a fridge and you can have it for weeks,

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 05:08:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks vbo, that sounds really good!

when you say capsicum, do you mean the big (red. green an/or yellow) peppers the americans call 'bell' peppers? the sweet ones, or the smaller superfiery types?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 11:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, please help us understand what peppers you think of as Red Capsicum. I'd really like to try to make some-- it sounds incredible.

My personal addictions revolve around intense flavors and intense literature. And flight.

I have a copy of John Crowley's magnum opus, "Little Big", that I bought for the girls, to replace my worn-out copy. They are yet too young, and the new copy is now worn out anyway. As a stylist, he is unequaled. Open it most anywhere, and read.

Crystal Hot Sauce is a rather ordinary tomato-based hot sauce, A La Louisianna Hot Sauce, but better flavor, and the pork rinds that carry it so well are indispensable to life- but probably fatal in the end.

There is a smoked pepper called a Chipotle. Its flavor has been hijacked by the commercial food companies, and reproduced in caricature form. Yuk.
In San Anhel, a neighborhood of Mexico City, there is a market where one of the stalls sells only peppers. By stall I mean a "shotgun store" about twenty feet wide, and 80 feet deep. Literally THOUSANDS of different peppers, in paste, powder, strings, preservers, pickled, dried -
Real Chipotles. Necessary for life.

I also build things that fly- full size things and little ones. Not as a last refuge in my drooling dotage, but because flight possesses a powerful aesthetic all it's own, and I am utterly addicted to it. It's one of humanity's greatest melding of technology and art, and it has been my good fortune to participate in a small way in both parts.

Music was my life for two decades. It is now the flavor of my day. But like VBO I find myself moved more to tears these days than to joy, and I find it hard to imagine that one could be deaf to the songs of the day- exultant, murderous anger, desperation approaching panic, hope rendered to cynicism, that are the dominant themes in my country these days.
Maybe OWS will help.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Wed Oct 12th, 2011 at 07:18:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I have to ask: what game?

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 05:09:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can while away half an hour with backgammon on my Xperia. The one hour bus trip to Helsinki is ideal.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 07:16:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zuma Revenge...:(
Really nothing much and I am like hypnotised playing it all over again...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 09:48:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tried it now. 30 minutes spent, reached level 12.

That was a better version of the idea then a game a friend of mine is addicted to. Have to show this to her.

The hand-eye-click-faster cathegory has a hypnotic quality. For me it occupies the active mind so much that it becomes relaxing.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Sat Oct 8th, 2011 at 03:26:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously after all this time playing (6-8 months) I "win" every time up to last level (level 20 because I only play free version on line). But for me it's about result (score). My best score is 376,930.I am trying to beat myself, ha-ha.
For some reason I feel relaxed when I am playing so it's now like a medicine and I have to have my daily dose, ha-ha. My aunty described someone who played the same game all the time as "idiot" ha-ha. Well now I am one of them :(


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Sun Oct 9th, 2011 at 07:03:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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