Archive for Holiday

Holiday Mausoleum

PseudoPod 790: The Humbug


The Humbug

By Orrin Grey


Joshua caught it in a glass jar with holes poked in the lid. He came running up to the cabin with it, shouting, “I found a bug! I found a bug!”

“There aren’t any bugs in winter,” Amanda said crossly, though no snow had fallen yet and the trees and ground outside were simply bare and gray. 

When Joshua placed the jar on the big, heavy dining table, however, there was no mistaking that a bug rested on the bottom, lying on its back with its unpleasantly segmented legs folded up toward its abdomen.

“Then it’s dead,” Amanda huffed. 

She was the middle child, and seemed to have reached a stage in her development where she felt the need to compensate for being neither youngest nor oldest by always knowing everything. 

“Or hibernating,” Alice quickly added, having only recently learned that some insects burrowed down into the ground and slept a deathlike sleep through the winter. “Cicadas do it for years and years!” she added cheerily.

But when Joshua tapped on the side of the jar, the bug inside sprang to life like a clockwork toy. Righting itself with a strangely mechanical hop, it scuttled to the edge farthest from where Joshua’s fingertip still rested against the glass.

(Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 737: Workday

Show Notes

Reviews by Alex Hofelich for Shadows and Tall Trees 8 from Undertow Publishing and A Carnival of Chimera by Stephen Woodworth from Hippocampus Press.


Workday

by Kurt Fawver


MEMO

CORIVDAN INCORPORATED

 

To: All Hourly Employees

From: Human Resources

Subject: Holiday Party Attendance

Date: Nov. 20, 2018

 

Please RSVP to the holiday party by Friday afternoon. The event will be held the evening of December 21. Our caterers need an exact count of the number of people attending so that we don’t run out of food and refreshments. We will have a buffet-style meal and an open bar throughout the night. Please remember also that attendance at the holiday party is mandatory for all employees.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you there.

(Continue Reading…)

PseudoPod 729: What We Talk About When We Talk About Cooking Country & The Halloween Parade

Show Notes

Please head over to the Escape Artists Patreon for information about the parade clues.

Audio notes:


What We Talk About When We Talk About Cooking Country

by Jamie Grimes, Kitty Sarkozy, and Jessica Ann York


Transcript of What’s on the Table, Episode 92:

What We Talk About When We Talk About Cooking Country


BERTRAND COBB, host:

This is What’s on the Table. I’m Bertrand Cobb. If you’re like me, the past few months have challenged your culinary capabilities. Anyone who’s listened to this show is aware that I’ve dabbled in the sweet science of baking. I have produced a number of edible breadbox basics. This includes current instagram favorites sourdough and banana bread. However, I’m no maître pâtissier. 

But our guest today, Pricilla van Pelt, is a master baker. She recently published her first book at the tender age of seventy-five, collecting recipes and personal stories from her award-winning blog. It’s called What I’m Talking About When I Talk About Cooking Country. Her book has generated a lot of buzz on pinterest and instagram, as well as the discussion boards of reddit since publication.

I’m still working from my home studio and connected with Ms. van Pelt via Zoom from her grandson’s home in Buford, Georgia.

Pricilla van Pelt, can you tell us What’s on the Table?

 

PRICILLA VAN PELT:

Well, Mister Cobb, there’s a pretty little centerpiece my great-grandbabies put together, wildflowers mostly, and this computer. We don’t need much more than that.

(Continue Reading…)

Home Harvest Cookies


It’s these cookies I’m always coming back to this time of year. The pumpkin, the spice, the little tea frosting. I started making them back in, oh it had to have been ’89. I was trying to figure out what to do now that the kids were finally all off on their own.

My quilting guild tried to put it in my head that I was good enough to start up a bakery on my own. I’d sometimes whip something up and take it down to Leonard’s showroom. His flooring customers and employees loved them, but who doesn’t enjoy free cookies? I didn’t think they’d be worth selling. Thought I’d be a fool to waste time on anything like that. But I did like baking and my friends loved eating. I started working on my recipes and testing them out on the ladies at our weekly meetings. Then I’d try them out at the counter of Leonard’s store. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 697: Five Fridays During Lent

Show Notes

Spoiler

“The Greek countryside crawls with legends of undead. They are a blend of what we today call vampires, ghouls and zombies, and they almost always meddle with the living. I have a book with such folktales by my desk for reference. So when during a writing challenge I was required to reach for the three nearest books to find inspiration for a story, my hand went for that particular book on its own. (The other two were a recipe book for traditional Greek dishes and a psychology manual on the five stages of grief. I guess they mixed well).”

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Five Fridays During Lent

by Christine Lucas


You beg your son to try just one spoonful. He doesn’t. He sits rigid, his palms on his thighs, his almost-glassy, bloodshot eyes fixed ahead. There’s nothing there, only the old armoire filled with mothball-smelling clothes from three generations back. You try passing the spoonful beneath his nose. He loved your magiritsa, your son.

Perhaps a story will do the trick, just like when he was a child? The war robbed you of husband, brothers, savings, dignity, even fairytales. So instead you tell him about your day: how the butcher gave you the stink-eye when you asked for lamb’s offal. Lent has just started, and you’re making Easter Sunday soup already? When you mention it’s for your son, the war hero, he nods and brings what you asked. His own son returned from the war damaged as well—more than yours, and this simple knowledge fills your heart with guilt and relief in equal parts.

Your boy didn’t return wearing his shroud. When he slurps a spoonful of barely-cooked lamb’s innards, you tell yourself that all will be fine. (Continue Reading…)

CatsCast 289: The Thing in the Basement


All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this…”

It is said that in Ulthar, which lies beyond the river Skai, no man may kill a cat; and this I can verily believe as I gaze upon him who sitteth purring before the fire. For the cat is cryptic, and close to strange things which men cannot see. He is the soul of antique Aegyptus, and bearer of tales from forgotten cities in Meroe and Ophir. He is the kin of the jungle’s lords, and heir to the secrets of hoary and sinister Africa. The Sphinx is his cousin, and he speaks her language; but he is more ancient than the Sphinx, and remembers that which she hath forgotten.

(Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 681: A Night of Many Months


A Night of Many Months

by C.L. Holland


He’d wondered, when he started the job, why he needed a belt with so many holes.  Now he knew–it fitted around him twice and felt like it needed tightening again.  It took months to visit every home in one night and he’d lived every minute, surviving on what was left for him.  In some houses it was mince pies and a glass of sherry.  In others milk and cookies, and a carrot for the reindeer.

In most, it was nothing at all. (Continue Reading…)

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PseudoPod 680: The Wild Wood

Show Notes

Do you find most perfumes reek of banality and bad French puns?  Do you want perfumes that resonate with your dark heart and blackened soul?  Do you want perfume that speaks to you, the discerning PseudoPod listener?

Allow me to introduce you to the fine perfumers of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab.  Black Phoenix’s fragrances take inspiration from grand myths and tall tales, the height of camp to the depths of decadence, the lightest of fantasy to the blackest of horror.  You can experience scents based0 n titans of literature like William Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and H. P. Lovecraft to modern storytellers like Clive Barker, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Neil Gaiman.

Their perfume oils are lovingly hand-blended using only the finest ingredients.   Based in the City of Angels, they will send their creations far and wide to satisfy your needs.  Peruse their vast catalog for enticing aromas or maybe some nail polish, atmosphere sprays, candles, and other sundries.  You can also travel to live events and sample their wares and meet the staff in the flesh.

All this and more can be found at blackphoenixalchemylab.com.  So go ahead, indulge yourself.


The Wild Wood

by Mildred Clingerman


It seemed to Margaret Abbott that her children, as they grew older, clung more and more jealously to the family Christmas traditions. Her casual suggestion that, just this once, they try something new in the way of a Christmas tree met with such teen-age scorn and genuine alarm that Margaret hastily abandoned the idea. She found it wryly amusing that the body of ritual she herself had built painstakingly through the years should now have achieved sacrosanctity. Once again, then, she would have to endure the secret malaise of shopping for the tree at Cravolini’s Christmas Tree Headquarters. She tried to comfort herself with the thought that one wretchedly disquieting hour every year was not too much to pay for her children’s happiness. After all, the episode always came far enough in advance of Christmas so that it never quite spoiled the great day for her. (Continue Reading…)