Tag Archive: chocolate


brett fish and tbV

one story tbV [the beautiful Val] enjoys telling is how after a month of us dating she had a bedside drawer full of chocolate…

why is this significant? well, i spent a lot of time giving tbV chocolate as a way of showing i loved her, but she is not a big fan of chocolate, preferring sour sweets instead and so basically i invested a month or so in making Val’s housemate very happy.

i am a big chocolate fan [no, Americaland, Hershey’s is NOT chocolate, altho peanut butter cups do qualify] and so what better way to show someone love than giving them something that makes me feel good when i receive it? the moment i realised that she preferred sour sweets and savoury as a general trend, i was able to much better show her my Love and have her receive it as well.

Gary Chapman wrote a really helpful book called ‘The Five Love Languages’ in which he explains that people give and receive Love predominantly in five different ways:

[1] Words of Affirmation – “You look hot!”

[2] Acts of Service – “I fixed your heater, so now your room will be more hot.”

[3] Receiving Gifts – “Here is a plate of chili nachos. It may be a little hot.”

[4] Quality Time – “It’s hot today. Let’s go hang out on the beach together.”

[5] Physical Touch – “Rrarr, let’s get you hot.”

…or something like that!

The key to the book is realising that your primary act of receiving Love might be different to that of your person and so you giving them Love in a way you like to receive it [giving gifts] might not be received with the same extent of excitement or appreciation if your person’s primary way of receiving Love is different [eg. quality time]

In fact, it could even almost produce the opposite effect. If your wife is wanting to spend time with you [as a way of receiving Love well] and you spend all your time working extra time at your job [because you are saving up money to buy her something expensive because you value gifts] then despite your act being one of focused Love-giving, your wife might end up feeling not loved at all, because her need is not being met.

It can be as easy as a conversation – sit with your person and the list above and try and identify your top two Love languages that you receive Love in, and then try and figure out the Love languages that you show Love with [they may be the same] and then help your person identify theirs.

Basically we are answering the question, “What is important to the person i Love?” and then choosing to live in such a way that when you are wanting to show them Love, you choose a way that really connects with them and demonstrates the feeling and the choice you have.

This is really just a helpful guide more than a scientific art – you will probably find that you give and receive Love in a variety of ways, but hopefully you will easily be able to identify the one or two that make you feel well and truly Loved. And armed with this information in terms of your spouse, can make showing them Love so much easier and more significant.

EXPLORING THE HATE LANGUAGES?

It goes deeper than that when you are married as well. There may be a household task [like washing the dishes] that has neutral feeling for you, but your wife HATES doing it. How easy for you to jump in every time and do that task and free her up from doing something she doesn’t enjoy. Chances are there is something [dusting] you’re not a big fan of and she will reciprocate, altho that should not be your intention for doing it. It is a great act of Love to remove something your person hates.

Similarly, you might have some bad habits [leaving the toilet seat up… i don’t!] that are not the biggest deal for you, but might be a huge deal for your person. Identify those [there is no harm in asking regularly – this could be a simple tweak in your life that could help convey a huge amount of Love] and change them.

This is worth taking some time on – trying to figure out some stuff for yourself and also inviting your spouse to share the ways they receive Love well and to perhaps point out some stuff around the house or it could be the fact that you are always late for things that drives her mad or that you arrive home from work and hang out with the tv before you hang out with her or a number of other things… figure them out and Love her better!

[to return to the start of this series, click here]

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yesterday tbV and now my friend as well, brian watson, dropped in for a visit… from South Africa, brian is in the middle of doing his PHD in Arizona in stuff you would have to hear to not really understand [altho solar power and keeping particles the right distance from each other and a billionth of a meter thin wire all enter into it] and it was great to get to see him.

he is actually spending most of the weekend with a friend of his in NYC so trained his way through to hang with us from yesterday afternoon and then left eeearly this morning…

what was really cool was that in the village house over a snack and then later on the train and then outside Mad Mex bar and then on the train and then during and after the potluck we had a number of significant conversations. at least a week’s worth altho probly closer to a month or a year for a lot of people i know.

real talk. about real things. life changing things. frustration with wanting church to get it a little bit closer to God’s way things. relationship things. community things.

[and actually we did touch on sport and movies and food in there but the point being that we spent so little time together – relatively – and yet the conversation was so rich]

i hesitate to finish with a challenge cos i suspect the kind of people who read this blog are the kind of people for whom rich conversations are the norm – not necessarily every one, but at least sometimes, and preferably often. and so maybe the challenge is more about challenging the people you know who can get through a year or a month or a week’s worth of conversations and only have dealt with the latest or rehashed information about food, sport and movies.

our time with brian left us feeling like we’d grown a bit and hopefully he did as well. we got stuff to think about and hopefully gave some. as a result of some of the talk that happened things will probably change, maybe in small ways, but maybe later in larger ones.

i still want to be able to quote Monty Python and get amped when we thrash the Aussies in the coming cricket test match and defend Michael Schumacher’s comeback [give him a car, Ross!] and do weird and silly voices with Monkman and get amped for coffee and chocolate and mashed potato… but at the same time i want to grapple with the problem of the drug dealers on our doorstep and try to figure out how to do community living better with the people we live with, and discover how Jesus and His teaching translates to the Puerto Rican people who live across the road from us and figure out how to improve the aft6er school homework program and formulate an opinion on Occupy Philly and and and…

let’s practice speaking more life, more meaningfully and more real. ly.

Back in the day there was a funny guy called Jack Handey who wrote deep thorts like:

‘One day one of my little nephews came up to me and asked me if the equator was a real line that went around the Earth, or just an imaginary one. I had to laugh. Laugh and laugh. Because I didn’t know, and I thought that maybe by laughing he would forget what he asked me.’ [Jack Handey]

and:

‘One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my
little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out
warehouse. “Oh, no,” I said, “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I
think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive
over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.’ [Jack Handey]

or occasionally slightly darker ones like:

‘I bet the main reason the police keep people away from a plane crash is they don’t want anybody walking in and lying down in the crash stuff, then when somebody comes up act like they just woke up and go, “What was THAT?!”‘

These made me smile. They made other people smile. Some people would laugh out loud. A lot. Occasionally someone would hurt themself. Which made me think, I want to hurt people too. But with laughter. And so I set out to try and come up with my own fish-flavoured deep thorts and they became known as Brett Andy’s because well, you know. They are still a work in progress but I have made ten lists of them know and I would love to know if any of the following cause any of the above reactions. If so please leave a comment and name the one or ones you liked:

“Cannibal Pete was struggling to get his car started so I offered him a hand, a decision I would quickly regret.” [Brett Andy]

“She barked twice, following it with a low two second gutteral growl. “Oh no,” I thought, “Timmy has fallen into the well!” [Brett Andy]

“I was disqualified from the hotdog eating competition for chewing on a lukewarm pekinese.” [Brett Andy]

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. But sell a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day plus you’ll have some extra money.” [Brett Andy]

“Those who live in glass houses, shouldn’t.” [Brett Andy]

“The thing I find fascinating about elephants is their ability to shoot out a powerful stream of water for hours at a time. Wait, not elephants… fire hydrants!” [Brett Andy]

“Scissors are crushed. Paper is cut to shreds. Rock is lying there going, “Oh no, there’s a piece of paper on top of me, what shall I do?” [Brett Andy]

‘“Reddit” said Frog again as the librarian’s patience was starting to wear thin.’ [Brett Andy]

“I tried to call my fiance’. But her phone was engaged. That’s a case of unplanned irony right there my friend.” [Brett Andy]

“If life is like a box of chocolates then I wish I was born in Switzerland.” [Brett Andy]

“I tossed a fortune cookie into a wishing well and instantly created a black hole.” [Brett Andy]

“An item of clothing was in a race with some sports gear the other day. It was a tie.” [Brett Andy]

“I went drag racing the other day, but the heels made pushing the pedals really tricky.” [Brett Andy]

“I wonder if Scottish men at nudist beaches walk around wearing underpants?” [Brett Andy]

so one of my favourite funny people in life is a guy called Jack Handey who used to write one liners that were used on SNL such as:

“Whenever you read a good book, it’s like the author is right there, in the room, talking to you, which is why I don’t like to read good books.” [Jack Handey]

and:

“Laurie got offended that I used the word “puke.” But to me, that’s what her dinner tasted like.”
[Jack Handey]

or even:

“It’s too bad that whole families have to be torn apart by something as simple as wild dogs.” [Jack Handey]

some random, some funny, some randomly funny, some just clever and i really dig most of them. So much so that i decided that it is time for me to reach deep within my misdirected randomised humour machine and see if there is anything lurking there that might make people smile or gently laugh and hopefully even one day create a legitimate laughing out loud experience [milk or coke out the nose and i’ll have arrived!]

so i’ve started writing some brett [my first name] andy’s [shortened form of my last name, to avoid being sued] and i’m keen to have some feedback… this is my second list of brett andy’s to assess and i would appreciate it if you could read through them and highlight which ones you think really work and which your funniest one or two are [one of them i think is really horrible but overall i think as a whole they’re better than my first list]

“I wonder if Bono would have mixed reactions today if he stumbled upon that misplaced item from the past because, yes, I finally have found it after all these years, but the song has gotten pretty big.” [brett andy]

“It really messes with my mind that I’ve got memories of the last time I had amnesia.” [brett andy]

“Slinkies, the series ‘Friends’, Facebook, Terry Pratchett, microwaved chocolate, Johnny Depp, tall wild mochas, Survivor, polaroid sunglasses and astro hockey have all come into existence since the initial dividing up of our bread into toastable pieces. All I’m saying is, it’s high time we update that saying.” [brett andy]

“I sometimes wonder if the very first accident actually involved an axe and the groove that was formed in some surface due to the mindlessly casual swinging thereof.” [brett andy]

“I don’t understand why I have so much bellybutton fluff. I guess I’ve just been incredibly lucky cos I only really started collecting seriously a couple of months ago.” [brett andy]

“I really hate how Coffee keeps me up every night. Why my neighbour had to call his german shepherd that, I don’t think I’ll ever understand.” [brett andy]

“I wonder who the first person was who said, “Hey, why don’t we push a stick through a marshmallow and hold it over the flames and then eat it once it’s melted in the middle,” because that didn’t turn out so badly, did it?” [brett andy]

“I did a search for Spiderman on the web the other day.” [brett andy]

“A mare is simply an adult female horse. I’m just not sure why seeing them after the sun has gone down is so scary.” [brett andy]

“Walking underneath a ladder, after breaking a mirror, is considered to bring you extreme bad luck, especially when there are vicious snarling black cats, that haven’t been fed for a week, standing on every single one of the steps of that ladder. Oh, and also you’re a mouse.” [brett andy]

and another guest Mjandey from MJ:

“The problem with having female tribal leaders is that everyone would always try and make a pun out of Ms. Chief.” [Mjandey]

[to go straight to next page of brett andy’s click here]

i read this t-shirt once that said “forget love, i want to fall in chocolate” – now while i disagree completely, because love is a pretty amazing thing, i do still like the idea of the possibility of one day falling into chocolate… mmmm cho-co-late [in best homer simpson impressioned voice]

but until that happens, i thort it was time to share my secrets with the world – i like chocolate on occasion… or occasions… and so thru my many years i have taken opportunities to experiment in the best mixes and manifestations of chocolate for the every man (and woman) [bear in mind that we are talking budget here so excluding lindt and other extreme chocolate expressions and just dealing with your average pick ‘n pay opportunities.

and this is what i have come up with – you are welcome to go out and buy said ingredients and try it and comment here or else let me know what your particular enlikenment is, but this works for me:

it used to be a slab of Top Deck and a packet of Smartie Eggs but now (or at least until i follow up the cadbury’s uses child labour rumours i heard last week and potentially have to give up that form of chocolate til they come right, which i intend to very shortly) that rich dark slab of bourneville mint has taken over as chief ingredient of choice [altho the brave would go for one part top deck to one part bourneville dark mint and enjoy the benefits of both]

break the slab into individual pieces – break each piece into another two pieces – stick in a microwaveable bowl for 30 seconds to a minute, opening and stirring regularly – then add the smartie eggs and back into the nucrowave for another 30 seconds to a minute – opening and stirring regularly – and continue the process until the chocolate has melted sufficiently [better to err on checking more often than not cos there is not much worse than burnt chocolate except possibly a scorpion stinging you in the bit between your toes]

then, armed with a friend [serves two] and a teaspoon each, retreat to Survivor or Amazing Race watching [well, that was the old days when i was in a house with a tv – these days it would be Friends, Scrubs, or possibly Chuck] and eat a teaspoonful and stop and make ‘MMMmmm…’ sounds and then another and so on

[what really makes it is that the chocolate in the Smartie Eggs melts and so you bite thru the crunchy shell and melted pleasure]

so it seems like people continue to have an interest in the john ellis… um i’m not sure it’s a saga, i think you need three movies for that, but new direction-taking-focus-ment?

anyways i said to john, “hey john, people have questions” and john said to me “ask me those questions” so i said “Okay, but i just don’t have them yet” and so this is where you come in…

if you have a question for john of ellis about life and God and tree63 and world domination and Americaland and Jesus and why he refuses to write a real song about No_bob the world’s most famous stuffed dolphin but keeps pretending he has but when i look there’s nothing there and it was probably just a ploy to get me to buy his new album which i haven’t yet but only because i haven’t seen it yet and keep forgetting to look when i’m out sorry John, and church and blackadder and how they get the chocolate inside the smarties, then post it here or email me at brettfish@hotmail.com and i will get it to john

i can’t promise he will answer all the questions – i personally doubt he knows the answer to that smartie one – and i can’t even promise he will answer any of them (he’s in a different province from me – my powers of physical persuasion don’t stretch that far) and he will more than likely dodge the No_bob one (and probly continue to refer to him as a fish, the punk) [john’s a punk not No_bob] but i can highly guarantee that he will look at them and consider answering them and if any of them are interesting enuff then who knows, he might give it a go

so if you could ask john ellis, formerly of the band tree63, any question in the world, what would it be?

Why do the caterpillar and the ant have to be enemies? One eats leaves, and the other eats caterpillars. Oh, I see now.

I hope they never find out that lightning has a lot of vitamins in it, because do you hide from it or not?

It’s easy to sit there and say you’d like to have more money. And I guess that’s what I like about it. It’s easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.

Whenever someone asks me to define love, I usually think for a minute, then I spin around and pin the guy’s arm behind his back. NOW who’s asking the questions?

Worship the potato? The idea seemed silly to me. But then I thought, what else is more deserving of worship? It’s simple, it comes from the earth, and it can kill you if you disobey it.

You know one thing that will really make a woman mad? Just run up and kick her in the butt. (P.S. This also works with men.)

I think a good gift for the president would be a chocolate revolver. And since he’s so busy, you’d probably have to run up to him and hand it to him.

If I had a mine shaft, I don’t think I would just abandon it. There’s got to be a better way.

[For one more last extra page of Deep Thoughts by the legendary Jack Handey, you just have to click]

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