Category Archives: Uncommon Comestibles

Texas Hold ‘Em Poker, Fancy Bourbon and Seven Kinds of Love

(#21 of 27, because bourbon is better than wine, and Valentine’s Day only captures a small part of what ‘love’ is)

Every so often, some guys and I hang out, play Texas Hold ‘Em poker and drink lots of bourbon. These are evenings of pure male camaraderie, featuring…

  • sophisticated mental calculations involving card hand probabilities and wager stakes,
  • epic bouts of bluffing and psychological sleight-of-hand,
  • munching of salty crunchy snacks, and
  • discussions on the finer points of high-end bourbon packaging.

Bourbon and Chips

Each time we get together we bond as friends and learn each other’s ideas, opinions, experiences, moods, temperaments, bluffing patterns and of course preferences in distilled grain-based beverages.

There’s a reason people recommend the “guy’s night out” or “girl’s night out” concept: because hanging out with friends is the least complicated type of love.

There are 7 kinds of love

According to Robert Sternberg, there are three main ingredients to love:

  1. Intimacy – attachment, closeness, connectedness and bondedness
  2. Passion – limerence and sexual attraction
  3. Commitment – decisions to remain with another and plan for the future

By combining these factors seven different ways, we get the following types of love:

Combinations of intimacy, passion, commitment
Intimacy Passion Commitment
Nonlove
Liking/friendship x
Infatuated love x
Empty love x
Romantic love x x
Companionate love x x
Fatuous love x x
Consummate love x x x

According to Sternberg’s theory, a loving relationship can grow, shift or shrink within the “space” depicted in the following diagram:

Triangular_Theory_of_Love.svg
It’s an elegant theory that aptly describes many different kinds of loving relationships, as well as the changes that can occur within those relationships over time. The stock love narrative begins with passionate attraction (bottom left corner of triangle), grows into full-fledged romance (left side of triangle) and then from there, a series of increasing commitments pulls the lovers into the center of the diagram. Looking for the idealized arranged marriage scenario? Begin on the lower right corner and work your way around counter-clockwise, hoping for the best. Falling out of love?  That usually means one or two corners got snipped off by the grind of reality and/or poor choices.  And so on and so forth.

But I don’t think that’s the whole picture.

“When men and women agree, it is only in their conclusions; their reasons are always different.”

– George Santayana

Assuming that the love is between two or more people (as opposed to it being between a person and an idea), then there is the possibility — nay, the probability — that the two or more parties are feeling different blends of Colonel Sternberg’s three special spices, at any given time.

So let’s see… there are at least 7 x 7… yep, that makes 49 kinds of love… and most of it is somewhat unrequited.

Unless it’s just good ‘ol poker night with the boys.

Because to paraphrase Santayana, when we agree, we agree for the same reasons.

Bourbon Bottles

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Quote du Jour Redux: Simplify

#7 of 27, as a corollary to the Hans Hoffman quotation:

When our minds are free and uncluttered, 

we can embrace a desire without attaching an expectation.

Chocolate Mousse Tulips FTW

St. Valentine and St. Trifon Zarezan: Love and Wine, the Perfect Combination

A very fine Bulgarian holiday mash-up / blend…

On the day of St. Trifon Zarezan, the guardian of vine-growers, we celebrate our love for wine! According to the old custom, this is the day when you prune the old twigs of the vine, so that it can sprout anew in the spring. This is an old ritual for vitality and fertility. Vine-growers, gardeners, winemakers, tavern-keepers, bartenders, and men called Trifon have a special day.  Together with them, we all feast and drink wine.

Zikata's Blog

You are either very happy or very miserable on Valentine’s Day; there seems to be no middle position.  For most people.

Bulgarians have found a simple solution to this problem of the extreme emotions. We celebrate two holidays on February 14th, St. Valentine’s and St. Trifon Zarezan!

On the day of St. Trifon Zarezan, the guardian of vine-growers, we celebrate our love for wine! According to the old custom, this is the day when you prune the old twigs of the vine, so that it can sprout anew in the spring. This is an old ritual for vitality and fertility. Vine-growers, gardeners, winemakers, tavern-keepers, bartenders, and men called Trifon have a special day.  Together with them, we all feast and drink wine.

So, if your loved one is with you, celebrate St. Valentine’s! If not, get on some good wine and forget about love!  Different saints for your different desires!

(The Catholic St. Valentine’s Day was not very…

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It’s Decorative Gourd Email Disclaimer Season

You know how some people have, as part of their email signature, a little green tree/river graphic with the words “Please consider the environment before printing this email?”

Well, we’re officially at peak Decorative Gourd Season, so I think I’m going to start inserting random decorative gourds at the bottom of my work emails.

Things like this…

Think that might start an email signature trend?

..or how about this one…

..or we go with the more artsy look…

..then there’s the Martha Stewart Real-Ladies-of-Connecticut-Use-Power-Tools-on-their-Gourds aesthetic…

Why those pumpkin votives are delightful, Ishara...

Of course, a more representative example of the American aesthetic this time of year would be this:

..and while we’re doing interpretative aesthetics and still life / floral arrangements, let’s round-off this little photo-essay with a little  kawaii  take on the whole autumnal-gourdy-display-thing…

So please, please, consider the work environment before modifying your email signature, adding trite clip art and rendering your name in a “script” font, followed by an overwrought quotation and a lengthy legal disclaimer.

Seasonally yours,

Dan

Cognitive Ability vs Energy Drink Consumption

Here’s my contribution to the wonderful world of GraphJam

CognitiveFunction_vs_EnergyDrinksConsumed

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