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On fermentation

I bought a set of 2 one-liter fermentation jars last time I was at the mill shop.
They look more or less like Mason jars, slightly cheaper-looking, with 2 sets of lids – 1 normal, 1 with little rubber valves. I guess they are fermentation jars due to the valve lids and the glass weights you get to keep everything underwater.
Gamma likes the fermented Korean specialty known as 김치. Those partial to the Latin alphabet spell it kimchi, kimchee or gimchi, so to avoid confusion we will use the Korean spelling 김치.
I had been wanting to try fermentation and pickling (2 different processes, I gather) for a long time, since old-timey pre-lockdown times.
I did an Internet search, picked the easiest-looking recipe that still came from an Asian person and we went to work on our 김치.
Chopped up what is known here in Austria as Chinese cabbage, soaked it in a salt brine for a while, added chopped spring peppers and matchstick sized daikon only we didn’t have any daikon so we used Bierrettich which looks the same but is said to be spicier, but this wasn’t very spicy so we’re ok. Made a sauce out of Korean chili pepper flakes, soy sauce, ginger, miso paste, soy paste (I assume the same thing, just marketing? slightly different taste), I might be forgetting something, not sure. Garlic. Maybe something else. Didn’t use carrots due to some people in our target audience being allergic, mixed it all up (after draining the cabbage), put it in the (sterilized) jars, topped it off with brine, put the weights on top, and stashed it downstairs in the basement.
I am not a huge 김치 eater, and a novice fermenter, so it was not clear to me what my cellar would smell like when my project got going.
Nothing happened during the first two days, but when I went down there this morning the jars were standing in a puddle of brine that had leaked out the valves. And my basement smells like a 김치 factory.
Anyway, tonight I switch out the lids, to limit leakage, hopefully, and stick the jars into the downstairs utility fridge, which is used for beer, sourdough starter, photographic film, vegetable overflow, etc. And, now, 김치.

The Ratman Cometh

Yeah, so, ding-dong, someone was ringing the doorbell with some urgency. It was the Ratman. Guy in reflective outfit, says he is here on behalf of the municipality to check on the rat poison trap. Not wearing a mask, so I stay 2 meters away from him at all time and assume kind of a negative frame of mind towards him, vibe-wise, because it doesn’t occur to me later than I could just say, for example, put on a mask, you realize, don’t you, that you are killing rats in the year 2021 bc they spread a deadly disease in Europe in 1720.

Welcome to the 2021 International Metamorphosism Limerick Contest

Thank you for visiting the 2021 metamorphosism.com International St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest. Entries are now closed! I am leaving comments open for a while for congratulations and well-wishes to the contestants.

Not for the first time, the winner this year is dark-horse entrant Perry Iles. Congratulations, Perry!
It was a close decision, this year, between Perry Iles and runner-up KayO. I wanted to give it to KayO because she not only squeezed a sea shanty into limerick form, she also did it to Mary Oliver, which I had assumed to be impossible. HOWEVER, Perry’s entries are simply overwhelming once again this year, and the prize is sourdough starter, and Perry lives closer, so there’s a chance it might still be alive when he gets it. I did you a favor, KayO! (Perry, if you don’t want the prize let me know…)
Thanks to everyone who entered, and everyone who visited.
See you next year!

Welcome to the 2021 metamorphosism.com International St. Valentine’s Day Limerick Contest.
Remember when we used to look forward to 2021? And now it already feels strangely like 2016-2020 in a trenchcoat?
Anyway:
As every year, please leave your entries in the comments to this post.
Enter as often as you like.
You may notice that I have no image for the contest this time up there at the top. That is because I am in home office and unable to make one on my little laptop, also I am baking and knitting all the time. If anyone else wants to make one, hey knock yourself out.
This year’s themes:
(Also check further down the rules for newer and/or more specific prompts/themes)
Sex
Love
Stupid uprisings
Obscure ceremonies
Virology and epidemiology
Cute animals
,
plus bonus themes to be added as the contest progresses
All participants are required to consult the combined FAQ/rules below BECAUSE THEY CHANGE WHILE THE CONTEST IS GOING ON.
Like every year.

FAQ/Rules

  • Does it have to be a limerick? YES. This is strictly enforced, and non-limericks will not be accepted. Google correct limerick form if you are not sure.
  • How do I enter? POST YOUR ENTRY OR ENTRIES in the comments to this post. Click on comment, or whatever is down there, and add a new comment.
  • When is the deadline? THE DEADLINE is 14 February 2021
  • Do you mean 12 midnight on the night of the 13th or midnight on the night of the 14th? And which time zone shall have seisin of jurisdiction? We have had considerably confusion in the past! NINE AM (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME) 14 February 2021.
  • Is there a prize? Maybe. I don’t know yet.
  • Is there a limit to how often I can enter? NO. Enter as often as you like. The more often you enter, the better your chances.
  • HOWEVER ONLY ORIGINAL ENTRIES ARE ACCEPTED. PLAGIARISM RESULTS IN DISQUALIFICATION. No exceptions.
  • Can entries be bawdy? YES, absolutely. These are limericks, they can be bawdy, gross, you name it. It’s not required, but it is in the nature of the genre. ALSO: this is for St. Valentine’s Day so points awarded for love/romance/sex-related poetry. However, entries offensive to the contest operator will be deleted at his discretion, for offenses including but not limited to racism, and misogyny, and politics to which I object.
  • Complaints and other negative trolling will be deleted. There is no avenue of appeal. Decisions of the judges are final. Be nice, and have fun, and don’t take this too seriously.
  • Is there anything else I can do to be deleted? Yes. Besides complaints, anything else that is not a limerick will also be deleted, especially anything remotely similar to trolling, nastiness or disagreeing with me. That will get you deleted, and whatever else our technicians here can think up. This is meant to be a fun and light-hearted.

Let’s see, what else? Oh yes.

  • Bonus points are awarded for any of the following (No limit to how many themes you may include, the more the better):
  • Feel free to write me and suggest some!
    Limericks that are sea shanties (with or without the word “wellerman”).
    Conversion of Mary Oliver poems into limerick form.
    More will be added as the month progresses

    (More themes to come, watch this space.)

By entering you grant metamorphosism.com permission to publish your entry electronically on metamorphosism.com, in social media (including but not limited to twitter.com, facebook.com and anything else) as well as in book form, although the latter is REALLY unlikely, and has never happened yet, without compensation (this is a non-profit venture, and any possible, although unlikely, book would be, you know, for charity most likely). I have never published them anywhere but here, but who knows?
AS ALWAYS, RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CONSTANT CHANGE DURING THE CONTEST, SO CHECK BACK OFTEN.

It’s not an obsession, it’s a leitmotif

Dark bar
Man (walks in, squints, looks around, sits on a stool next to a shaggy dog, sighs): This free?
Dog (sets glass on bar, slowly looks over shoulder at man): You just sat on a stool.
Man (jumps to feet): Jesus! What?
Dog: Hurhurhur. (sips drink)
Man (sighs again, sits back down): Don’t, dude. It’s been a rough time, stool-wise.
Dog: Burst pipe?
Man (nods, signals to bartender “I’ll have what he’s having and bring another one for him, too”): That was just the start of the iceberg.
(Drinks arrive, dog nods, raises glass to man)
Man: I was sick all week. 38 degrees C, terrible stomach cramps. Felt like appendicitis, but right, if I know what appendicitis feels like, it can’t be appendicitis again, right. So, I’m not sure. Ate something bad, or a stomach bug, dunno. Maybe diverticulitis. Luckily I already have an initial appointment with my colonoscopy doctor, because my urologist recommended I see her after I told him the water in the toilet bowl was very often bright red, if you know what I mean.
Dog (shrugs): Huh.
Man: So, I asked my urologist, probably hemmorhoids right and he said, maybe, or it could be malignant too, maybe go have them take a look under the hood.
Man: So I called and made an appointment. Then, like, next day I notice the water in the toilet bowl is purple now.
Dog: Purple.
Man: Only then did I notice that my wife had hung a purple toilet bowl freshener thing from the rim.
Dog: Hur hur.
Man: So I asked her, honey, were you using a red one last time and she said yeah.
Dog (smirks, sips drink): Red toilet bowl fresheners are sponsored by the colonoscopy industry, I betcha.
Man: Never got around to canceling. But after my thing this week now I’m glad I didn’t.
Dog: Cheers.
Man: Cheers.

The Incredible Two-Headed Man

Exterior: Modest house. Camera zooms through wall into the
Interior: Combination living room/scientist’s lair. A two-headed man is seated on the sofa. Across the room, a door opens onto a kitchen, where something bubbles. Theremin music emits from an open laptop.

Right Head: I have an idea for a toilet story.
Left Head (glances up sharply from a psychology book): No.
Right Head: A funny toilet story.
Left Head: There are no funny toilet stories.
Right Head (chuckles): This one is.
Left Head: No.
Right Head: The punch line is…
Left Head: I don’t wanna hear it. Nobody does.
Right Head: Colonoscopy…
Left Head: I’m serious. How does your mind work?
Right Head: Colored toilet bowl freshener balls…
Left Head (Holding hands over ears) Lalalalala.
Right Head: What is your problem?
Left Head: You mean your problem. Toilet stories are never funny. They are cringy at best, and usually merely gross. No one is funny on the toilet. Not the Marx Brothers, not Mr. Bean, not Monty Python. And what do you think people visualize when you tell one? We are 61 years old. No one wants to imagine us on a toilet.
Right Head: Hm. Good point.
Left Head: And plus, your last blog post involved a burst sewer pipe.
Right Head: Hm.
(Silence. Left Head reopens book.)
Right Head: I’m still going in for the colonoscopy tho.
Left Head (Sighs. Recloses book, gazes up at ceiling)

Christmas, day 1 minus 2

So tomorrow being 24 December, which is when we open presents here (stockings on 25 12) we all went in to quarantine 10 days ago so the kids could safely come over for the holidays and I was the lucky one who got to drive to their place and pick them up and drill 2 holes into Gamma’s concrete wall so she could hang a thing on her wall and drive them out to our place, on the way back telling them about my speeding ticket, “right about here where the speed limit changes from 130 (kmh) to 100 and I am always a little late slowing down; there’s no radar box around here so I assume they were right up on the overpass there, where that police car is now with the radar gun sticking out the window…” (checks speedometer, which unsurprisingly reads 120 in the 100 zone) “oh, man…” and then more stories about all the other new radar box traps we have been blundering into lately to the point where we are going to apply for a subscription; meanwhile my wife Alpha has apparently drawn the short straw and has to stay home and deal with making corn bread stuffing for the turkey we postponed from our canceled Thanksgiving (alas, the farmer said, he gained no weight between Thanksgiving, when he got his reprieve, and now — would you, I thought, seeing your friends slaughtered and knowing it was only a matter of time?) and dealing with the water filter man who was coming to sterilize our water filter after all the you-know-what backed up into the room where it is, and maybe touched it, and maybe contaminated all our drinking water pipes or whatever, as well as the rotorooter men who were coming over to investigate what caused the backup. When I got home with the girls the water filter man was practically already gone (he was fully gone when we got back from getting our covid tests (negative) at the doctor), and the rotorooter men were far, far jollier than you would expect rotorooter men to be. Friendly, happy young men.
Apparently someone had been flushing damp wipe cloths? I am translating but that’s what they’re called here? Feuchttücher? Which we don’t flush and rarely use and when we do use them (usually to wipe up cat pee) we certainly don’t flush them, we put them in the garbage and if we did flush them we’d flush them singly, single solitary cloths one by one so they could travel through the pipes easily rather than clumping and stopping everything else to the point that you get the Christmas fireworks we did. Waterworks. Whatever.
Oh and another thing, said the happy rotorooter men, you have a burst pipe too.
The boss rotorooter man is going to come over and see if it needs to be fixed, or if it’s only a minor burst. Apparently there are burst sewer pipes that are a real big deal, and others you can live with.
Is it nice to have the kids over? Just as nice as we expected, and we had high expectations. Presents are wrapped, I’ll make some mashed potatoes for tomorrow later today, and mix up some baking powder biscuits (taking into account the fact that Austrian baking powder is weaker than American baking powder, so you need more if you’re using an American recipe, and I’m using a Betty Crocker recipe) to be baked tomorrow, and getting some sourdough and pre-dough started to sit overnight so I can… watch it rise too long and lose heart and start to sag while the turkey monopolizes the oven, then the biscuits… maybe I should think about this a little… maybe I’ll postpone the sourdough a day…
Happy holidays, anyway, to those who celebrate holidays.

A brief Christmas play

(Lights come up)

(Living room, a woman is decorating a Christmas tree, radio plays Christmas songs. Cat sleeps on sofa)

Man (seated at table, repairing ornament): Fuck, I glued the bird to my finger.

(Fade to black)

(The End)