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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« song for jim | Main | junkyard wars »

fortune cookies

Had dinner with Karen Linsley, Allison and Jodi last night. We went to China House, a restaurant near Karen's place that had been briefly closed by the Toronto Health Board for not meeting cleanliness standards but was now open again. The news of the closing was obviously bad for business; we were pretty much the only customers they had that evening. I felt sorry for the staff. (But I still cast around surreptitious glances for any suspicious moving things. Didn't see any.)

It was very good to see Karen again. We're going to try to learn "Stardust" in time for Consonance; Karen gave us the lyrics and a tape of the piece. She said that Lloyd would have been very happy to know that we were going to cover the song.

At the end, of course, we all opened our fortune cookies. I would love to know what goes through the heads of those who create those brief messages. Take a gander at the fortune I got above, for example. This could be extremely good news or extremely bad, depending on how one's luck has already been going. Plus it's written in past tense, which theoretically means that the person who opened up the fortune already knows about the change in luck. Unless the act of opening up the fortune is what changes the luck, especially if you're the superstitious type. I used to keep a fortune cookie message collection (of unusual fortunes) but have lost it; I think I probably purged it in one of my fits of home office claustrophobia.

Anyway, if you've always wanted to write fortune cookie messages, try The Fortune Cookie Machine, which randomly displays "fortunes" contributed by users, and gives you the chance to contribute your own fortune suggestion. Some of the fortunes I generated by clicking the "Enlighten Me!" button:

    "Life is just a blur of Republicans and meat."

    "Look for spiders on your towels before you dry yourself!!"

    "Sideshow Bob is out of jail, so be careful if your name is Bart."

    "Never eat more than you can lift. Thank you."

Today's Blatherpic (top of page):
While we were waiting at the airport for our flights after OVFF, Bob Kanefsky told me that his airline, Southwest Airlines, often including "turkey sticks" in their meal packages. I had never heard of turkey sticks, so he mailed me one. I confess I haven't had the nerve to eat it yet. :-)

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