5 For Friday: Go Ask Daddy About House Heights, Mood Rings and the Art of Cooking


photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

I once worked with a bellman who was an incredible eater.

By incredible, I mean “someone get this with your phone, because it should go on YouTube.”

My boy – we’ll call him Nico – ate 10 Wendy’s burgers in a single sitting. With minimal bites. (I wonder what the new Wendy’s girl on the commercials would say.)

A guest bought a Papa John’s pizza for me, my supervisor and Nico, the good bellman. Jong, I’ll call the supervisor, ate a slice. I ate another. Nico ate the rest. In an estimated six bites.

If there was a (pizza) pie chart to represent which of my girls asks the most questions, Grace would claim a share equivalent to Nico’s. When you’re 8 and spend lots of time at daddy’s elbow, you ask many questions.

When you’re 28 and spend time eating daddy’s pizza, you get called out in his blog.

1. How many feet tall is our house?



I have no idea.

I think the people who built it packed up and left the community in the middle of the night, and they left no blueprints.

Let’s see … two stories, 10-foot ceilings, what, a foot of floor/ceiling between them, an attic I probably couldn’t stand up in … yeah, about 100 feet tall.

No, not that tall. I’d estimate it pokes a good 32 feet up in the air.

I wonder if I could bounce a super ball over it.

2. What is brunch?

It’s nothing more than a cruel hoax perpetuated by contrived, parent-honoring holidays and overpriced buffets.

Brunch, a meal that takes place between breakfast time and lunchtime, in place of those meals, is fine for those who sleep in and wake up hungry. But what about those of us who wake up early and hungry?

I’d rather watch The View without Elizabeth Hasselbeck than wait until 10:30 to eat.

I propose a better plan:

6 a.m.

Breakfast: Two eggs, over easy, two warm tortillas, tall glass of milk, short glass of OJ

9 a.m.

Brunch: All your carbs – waffles, waffle sticks, pancakes, French toast, crepes, omelets. Or, three strips of bacon and a poptart.


Lunch: A grilled cheese, potato salad, a couple of carrots, a bottomless Coke Zero.

Don’t be fooled by Mother’s Day and Father’s Day specials and Easter brunches made to feel like special occasions with $20 entry fees. It’s still a meal for those who sleep in.

It shouldn’t cost as much as a half tank of gas – that’s what I call being tricked by a business. It’s NOT hella tight, as the kids say.

3. How do mood rings work?


photo credit: rubygirl jewelry via photopin cc
photo credit: rubygirl jewelry via photopin cc

Every human should have mood-ring technology strapped across their forehead.

Imagine the utility. If your cashier’s in a romantic mood, proceed with caution. If the traffic cop is having a blue day, he won’t get mad if you lag behind a bit.

If your hairstylist shows yellow? Proceed with caution. She’s a bit tense and excitable, neither of which mixes well with scissors.

Here’s what about.com says the colors mean:

  • violet blue – happy, romantic
  • blue – calm, relaxed
  • green – average, not much going on with you
  • yellow/amber – tense, excited
  • brown/gray – nervous, anxious
  • black – cold temperature or broken ring

A mood ring is actually a hollow clear shell with thermotropic liquid crystals inside. These crystals twist in reaction to temperature changes on your skin.

The twist changes the molecular structure of the crystals, which changes the wavelengths, which changes the color the ring displays. It’s more tiny science experiment than soul-reading sorcery.

I lost a mood ring once, when I was a kid. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

4. Does Iona stand for something?


It stands for Independent Oaths of Narwhals of America. Or Immigrant Oatmeal Needs Association. Or perhaps Impact of Oedipus complex for Nootkas Abroad. (Well, those would make good band names, anyway.)

Iona doesn’t stand for anything. It’s a college in New Rochelle, N.Y., with a cool nickname (Gaels) and cool mascot (a burly, man-sized leprechaun-like figure in maroon, wielding a walking stick.)

The Christian Brothers who opened the school in 1940 named it after an island of the west coast of Scotland.

The mascot’s name is Killian. He smiles a lot, even though the Gaels blew the biggest halftime lead in NCAA men’s basketball tournament history this past season (25 points).

Also, there’s no word on his stance on oatmeal needs or the Oedipus complex. (He might think that’s where the volleyball team plays).

5. Do you have to put all the ingredients in order when you make a recipe?

photo credit: chotda via photopin cc
photo credit: chotda via photopin cc

I do, honey.

I’ll probably leave out something small yet significant, such as baking powder. Or baking soda. Or chicken.

I go in order because if I happen to be cooking vegetables or bread or listening to the radio, my man brain can’t handle the strain. You end up with flat pancakes, bitter-tasting tortillas, or accidental vegetarian quesadillas.

I wouldn’t even serve those for brunch.


  1. michellenahom says:

    I usually find I don’t have all the ingredients when I am half way through a recipe! But I can wing it with the best of them if we’re talking cooking….if we’re talking baking, forget it. You kind of need to be exact. Even when I’m exact, I usually burn it. Don’t ask me to bake, please. I can’t promise what it will taste like. I’ve forgotten eggs and sugar. More than once.

    1. I’ve done that before – and that’s the time for improvisation, or a quick run to Food Lion. You’re right, it’s easier to wing it (mm, wings) when you cook than when you bake.

      Elise accidentally used baking soda instead of baking powder in a cake, and I felt so awful. She was so mad. that was a mad-dash to the store to get the powder, because I didn’t want her to give up.

      I won’t ask you to bake. But, could you pick up some donuts on the way?

  2. Letizia says:

    I like your proposed meal schedule! Personally, I prefer to eat every two hours so that would work for me (although the quantities would be too much!).

    1. I’m going to send this meal schedule to Michelle Obama, the Pope, and the girl from the Wendy’s commercial. I’d rather stop at the top of every hour for a wee snack.

  3. I like brunch – I like brinner even more! I have disastrous cookie results regularly even though I’m following the recipe. And my mood ring is always black… 😦

    1. I know, I should have gone into the afternoon meal plan too, huh? It would lead right up to the midnight snack, the 3 a.m. feeding and the bright-and-early 6 a.m. breakfast.

      Maybe your mood ring is a reflection of your cookie-baking ability. There’s no shame in that. You have the sassy green boots – that counts for a lot.

      1. I’d have to skip the 3 a.m. and the 6 a.m. snacks…I only function at 7:42 a.m. because I have to get someone to school…But I’m game for elevensies and afternoon tea!

        I like your theory on the mood ring! 🙂

      2. I usually skip the 3 a.m. snack, because I sleep like a bear.

        Why 7:42? That 1 hour, 42 minutes late for the 6 a.m. breakfast. Elevensies sounds great, but that really tosses around my plan of eating every three hours.

        I think we’d probably discover new colors if we put mood indicators on foreheads – maybe even some that burn retinas.

      3. 7:42 is 4 snooze bars after the initial honking. I sleep with the alarm clock in the bed with me for easy access. Hubby sleeps in his own bed, in another room and has been known to comment that I’ll sleep with a clock and 5 pillows, but not him…Oh well! At least I’m sleeping… 🙂

      4. You’re supposed to put the alarm clock on the other side of the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. The same can be said for a husband, I suppose.

  4. Teri says:

    Great, now I’m even hungrier than I was after breakfast but before lunch.

    My oldest bought my youngest a mood ring on a recent shopping excursion (any excuse to spend more of my money) and now, everytime youngest puts it on, it’s blue. Blue, in this instance, means ‘passionate’. Riddle me this, Batman, and I quote: “Why is it that EVERY SINGLE TIME I put on my mood ring it says I’m passionate???”

    Um, you’re 13. You’re passionate about boy bands and food. Maybe that’s all you’re thinking about??

    1. I generally don’t start thinking about dinner until I’ve finished lunch. Generally.

      I wonder what color it turns when she sees Harry Styles. I do believe the boys stay on purple at that stage, too. Dang hormones.

      Maybe I’m half a teenage girl, because I think about food an awful lot, too.

  5. I’m a terrible baker, but a great cook. Baking is like science and I didn’t do well there. So I can make a great brunch, but we’ll have to get the pastries from the grocery store. Bring your mood ring. 😉

    1. I think all nations at war could probably patch matters up if they’d only commit to converge a baker from one side, a cook from the other, and just make some food.

      I’ll pick up the apple fritters, how about? Does a mood ring have a white-frosting stage?

  6. laurie27wsmith says:

    You can tell when your wife is suffering from PMS, her mood ring leaves a nice blue bruise on the centre of your forehead.

    1. This, my friend, needs to be stitched on a pillow somewhere. And sold in a what-not shop.

      1. laurie27wsmith says:

        Yeah, I thought it was pretty good. 🙂

      2. I would have thought you’d have learned the bob-and-weave in the service, Laurie.

  7. Rorybore says:

    But what about second breakfast? or elevensies? 🙂
    Brunch is the biggest scam – although since I am a big fan of the sleeping in part, I do appreciate it in theory. but on Mother’s Day it is the very last place I would want to be.
    video of bouncy ball test please. LOL

    1. Jenn mentioned Elevensies, which must be a Canadian thing. Which reminds me: When you order bacon up there, do you you get the round stuff, or the stuff we crave here? Now I’m thinking about bacon – and like the idea of Elevensies even better.

      I think I’ll move to Canada.

      Oh, I know, never ever take a mom out on Mother’s Day. That’s like, the worst. Don’t restaurants hike up the price, like they do during race weeks here?

      I have thought about video a lot in the past two days. If I ever give up my flip phone for a smartphone, you’re going to get tired of all the video ideas I have.

  8. rea says:

    i like the moodrings idea, it would be a better world i guess – knowing the moods of each individual then we can likely more or less know how to interact with others…:)

    still got some strawberries here coach-daddy, trade these with your calzone (i’ve not tried one)

    thanks for stopping by,

    1. I never thought of this though – just knowing someone’s in a foul mood won’t make you able to run faster from them. We’ll still have casualties.

      One calzone for a pint of ‘berries? It’s a deal.

      What’s it going to take to get a dozen eggs, too?

      Good to see you here too – I know it’s a hike for you.

  9. My 4yo had Iona going to the championship this year. He was not happy with their effort.

    Also I’ll have the 3 strips of bacon and pop tart.

    1. He did better than me – My Harvard-Temple final would have shocked the world. Next time, I’m consulting your boy, and we’ll do our brackets in crayons.

      Three strips of bacon around here are kind of like my three kids during chore time – GONE.

      I’ll open up another pack, though.

  10. Chris Carter says:

    I happen to love brunches… yes I sleep in, and I eat my money’s worth too. Bring IT. And mood rings? Thank you for explaining them to me!!! Always wondered… and now and your sweet 8-year old know. i think I would ask the same questions if I hung on your elbow all day too… 😉

  11. tricia says:

    I love that kids still have (or at least ask about) mood rings 🙂 awesome questions as always!

    1. Mood rings had better never go away, and I believe every 12-year-old boy should go through the emotional battering of choosing to give one to a 12-year-old girl.

      Thanks Tricia! I just got one yesterday regarding Eminem. This’ll be interesting.

  12. Love your thinking on the food front. I’m in! 🙂

    1. We could start a revolution, Nelson. Or just eat more individually. I’m ok with that, too.

  13. Just read this post (sorry, late to the party as usual). I love your funny answers to the questions! If you’re gonna get a zillion questions, you might as well laugh about it. And all your talk of brunch has me craving crispy tortilla eggs with avocado and lime. (Actually perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner too. Nom.)

    1. There’s no such thing as late to*this* party.

      I try for the answer sandwich – funny, with somewhat factual in the middle, topped with more funny. Or is it sarcastic? I forget.

      I read your line about crispy tortilla eggs with avocado and lime exactly 17 times, and envisioned it more delicious every time.

      Nom is right, sister. I’ve never seen or eaten this, but if it’s anywhere near my mind’s concoction, I might even skip breakfast and eat a true brunch to try it.

      1. I got it in a cookbook, but here’s a link to the same recipe for crispy tortilla eggs. You’ll dream about this, trust me. http://northernlightsfood.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/crispy-tortilla-eggs-with-avocado-lime/

      2. This looks a lot like a breakfast my dad made, called “migras.” I make it for Elise these days, with corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, and, now, cheese (she added that part.) That link is now officially in my “recipes to try” folder on my bookmarks bar!

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