Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Great Movie Popcorn Debate: To Butter Or Not!

Dear Tazi:

I have an issue that keeps cropping up, and I am not certain how to solve it. My girlfriend and I love going to the movies, and we generally get a large popcorn to eat during the show. The problem is, I like my popcorn drenched in butter and she likes it plain.

I know the obvious answer is for us to get separate bags of popcorn, but the stuff is ridiculously overpriced as it is; so I really hate the idea of buying two medium popcorns for almost double the price of one large. I have asked the concessions people if they can give me a large popcorn in two bags, and put butter on only one of the portions but they have said they cannot do that - something about bag inventory being used to track sales.

Do you have any suggestions on how to solve this issue, Tazi?

Butter Lover

Dear Butter Lover:

Bring a brown paper lunch bag with you from home, and pull it our when you reach the concessions area. After the concessionaire fills your popcorn bag, pour half of the still plain popcorn into the brown paper bag and leave it that way. Then, ask that s/he put butter on the remainder of the popcorn still in the original bag (because those bags are wax-lined to withstand a butter-drenching). Problem solved! You humans really do like to complicate the most simple of matters!


P.S. I hope you realize that of all the bad foods you humans love to eat, movie theater popcorn is one of the worst, even before drenching it in butter!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Bookworm Has Bored One Too Many Holes In Their Home

Dear Tazi:

I am what people would call a bookworm. I love books, and I love reading them. I love they way books look on my bookshelves and I love the way I can just pull out an old favorite and start to read anytime I want, without having to go to the library. I love books. My problem is that I long ago ran out of places to put new books, but have continued to grow my collection. I have stacks of books on the floor next to my bookshelves, on top of the entertainment center, and even boxes of books in my attic!

I realize that I should probably get rid of some of the books that I have not read in a long time or did not enjoy as much as others; but my books, when added together, represent a financial investment worth thousands of dollars. I realize their resale value is nowhere near what I paid for them, so I hold onto them because I cannot justify throwing away something for which I originally paid so much and is still in good condition. Do you have any ideas on how I should handle my book storage problem?


Dear Bookworm:

It is time to thin the herd and get rid of some of your books. This may sound like a painful process, but you mention that there are some books that you have not read in a long time or did not enjoy as much as others. You could start thinning your collection by going through these books and donating them to your local library, Salvation Army, or Goodwill Industries store. All three will give you a receipt for tax purposes, so you will not be "throwing away" something for which you paid good money and your donation will go to help others in need.

Once you have your book collection down to a reasonable size, you will have to work to make certain things do not get out of control again. There are a several options you could try:

1. For every new book you bring into the house, you must donate an old one.

2. You could start a book-share with your fellow bookworms, and lend or trade books you have read for books you have not read.

3. You could start to visit the local library, and instead of purchasing every book you want to read you could start borrowing from their collection. This option would even allow you to visit some of your old books.

4. You could buy an e-reader - they have come way down in price over the last few years, and the available options on them have greatly improved. The cost of e-books is anywhere from 50% - 75% off the cost of traditional books, with many ebooks available for free. If you are not certain that you would enjoy using an e-reader, that is another reason to visit your local library: many now offer e-readers and e-books on loan to patrons, so you could give one a trial run before investing.

5. You could try a combination of all of the above, which would mix the best of all worlds.

Happy reading, and thank you for including my column in your day!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Georgia Bulldog Follows A Tradition That Family Does Not Understand

Dear Tazi:

I am a huge sports fan. I love my teams - professional and college (Go Georgia Bulldogs!!!) - and attend several games a year; including the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry, for which I travel back to Georgia every year. The dates of my travel games are known well in advance, and I make my plans well in advance, too. I have been making the trip back to Georgia for the past fifteen years (since I graduated from the University of Georgia), so my habits are nothing new. My entire family knows how important these games are to me, and MOST have been understanding enough not to plan any major events that would conflict.

My problem is my sister. She got engaged this past Christmas, and decided to set her wedding date for the same day as the UGA-Auburn game (that's the game I am referring to when I mention "the Deep South's Oldest Rivalry"); the most important game of the year! People come "home" from all over the world to attend this game; buying tickets as soon as they go on sale - in fact, I had just bought my tickets when she announced her wedding date: 11-15-14. Her reason for picking this date? Because her Astrologer told her that this date would result in a "fruitful marriage. (My sister is 42 and is done having kids, so it is not like her biological clock is ticking. This will be her third marriage, too, so I think she is hoping that the word "fruitful" is not being used in the Biblical sense). I explained to her that I would not be able to attend her wedding that weekend and asked her to reschedule, but she just flew into a Bridezilla rage and called me every name in the book.

My family is from up North, so they don't understand the full meaning of the game tradition; which is why they feel I should be the one to cancel my plans in order to attend my sister's wedding. I offered to compromise if she would - I would fly home early and be there for the week of planned, pre-wedding celebrations; but she has her heart set on the date she chose and refused to budge, calling me a "bad brother". I am afraid I lost my temper and told her that she should get married on 12-13-14 if all she cared about was the superstitions of astrology and numerology, and now she is not speaking to me. My mother has suggested that I cancel my trip "in order to make peace", but as I see it that would just be letting my sister have her way.

Tazi, do you have any idea on how I can get myself out of this mess - without pulling a no-show to the greatest game of the season?

A Bulldog In The Doghouse

Dear Bulldog:

If there is only one thing I know about the South it is that tradition comes before everything. I have met women in their 40's who return "home" for their sorority installation ceremonies and men of the same age who will plan their family vacation around the type of football rivalry games you have described. Some may find this way of life disturbing; I find it refreshing that respect for tradition is not lost in the hustle and bustle of every day commitments.

Being a Northerner, the closest thing to a rivalry game I have ever attended is the University of RI - Providence College basketball game, which is something fewer and fewer people seem to care about every year and especially this one as neither team has done well in the past few years. What can I say? Many Northern teams have fair-weather fans, and this appears to be the point of view from which your family is viewing your situation. You need to educate them on the historical importance of this game - share with them the rich history of the game; how it goes back over a century; and why the rivalry still exists today. Tell them of the camaraderie that occurs between fans, turning strangers into friends and friends into extended family.

The fact that you have been making this trip for 15 years speaks to the importance of this event and while I realize that your sister's wedding is also important, her reasoning for choosing the date she chose; her Bridzilla meltdown; and her complete refusal to compromise shows a complete lack of maturity and sensitivity on her part. She is, however, a blood relation; and as the expression goes, blood is thicker than water - even if you do bleed black as well as red. The game time has yet to be announced, but these games generally take place in the afternoon or the evening. Would your sister be adverse to having a morning wedding; at a time that would allow you to at least attend the ceremony (although not the reception) before hopping a plane to attend your game? Since neither of you wishes to budge, this appears to be the only compromise possible.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.