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Dog Days of August

Today’s episode “Dog Days of August” is on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Hai thar! Remember us? We sure hope so. After some health issues and a death in the family hit all at once, we decided it would be a great idea to step back from the podcast to catch our breath, and ended up taking most of June and all of July off to recharge. We’re back now with our latest episode number 99 (soooooo close to 100!) and lots of ideas for upcoming episodes which will include Shark Week, a Disneyland birthday discussion, and a life hack/recipes episode with our good friend Kim from Tennessee.

In today’s episode, we step into the world of unusual and fun days to celebrate in August. For the record, we’re pretty sure it’s fairly simple to start a “national day” since the lists we found for August (here and here) have some highly questionable topics. Want to celebrate your end-of-July hangover? You’ll have to catch that special day on August 1, 2021. Don’t know what to do with all those zucchinis from your garden? Why don’t you Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch on August 8th? August is also the month to Admit You’re Happy, celebrate clowns (but why though), and be extra glad or extra sad with the mid-year Romance Awareness celebration just in case Valentine’s Day just wasn’t adorable enough.

Kym researched and discussed two particular days she found interesting: National Mahjong Day and National Mustard Day (both on August 1).

Piles and Piles of Lovely Tiles! Ah, elegant, graceful MAHJONG. We had no idea one of our favorite phone game apps was an illegal gambling game in China! Well, it was illegal from the 1940’s through to 1985. Amy Tan wrote about it in her book which was also made into a movie (The Joy Luck Club). And apparently collecting Mahjong tiles is quite the thing to do, which is unsurprising since they are often so exquisitely crafted. According to this website, the most expensive Mahjong set, made of silver, may set you back up to 35,000 Euros/$50,000 USD. You know, just in case you aren’t sure what to do with all that money currently laying about, being used as coasters, and bookmarks and hand-fans, and…uh…other banal stuff we can’t think of words for right now.

Pass That Humble Mustard. If you want to know about all the different kinds of mustards that are in the world, you can research it to your tummy’s delight with this article, A Guide To All the Different Kinds of Mustard. As for the religious significance of the mustard seed pendant such as the one Kris’s grandmother gave her and Kym’s mom used to have, the tiny mustard seed symbolizes faith, God’s Kingdom, humble beginnings, or change for Christians. This lovely blog post by Oh For the Love of Vintage! not only mentions the religious significance, but also has great photos of the different types of jewelry that has been made with a mustard seed encased in that little clear sphere we remember so fondly.

Pomp and Condiments. For an idea of what William Randolph Hearst’s dining room looks like with its dichotomy of ostentatious decor and humble ketchup and mustard bottles, check out kcet.org’s 2012 article by Ken Alpine called, Ketchup, Mustard, and All Things Egalitarian. Alpine deftly describes just how surreal it is to experience the Hearst Castle dining room in person. Pomp, grandeur, French’s mustard, Heinz ketchup…all together like bestest pals forever – D’AW!!! The dining room can be seen on the Grand Rooms Tour – and just to save you the headache of searching…the dining room is called “the Refectory”. Visit https://hearstcastle.org for allllll the details. It’s an 11 out of 10 on the Kym and Kris recommendation scale. Of course, the castle tours are temporarily suspended at the time of this writing, but we’re hoping that it, like the rest of the world, will open up safely once this Covid crap is finally BEATEN!

As for Kris’ topics, she chose to talk about the Perseids Meteor Shower, Vesuvius Day, and Frankenstein Day.

Pre-Dawn Delights. The Perseids Meteor Shower will be most visible in the post-midnight/pre-moonrise hours of August 11, 12, and 13. This article talks specifically about the meteors in 2020 and has some really good detailed information and tips for best viewing.

Silver Lining. Vesuvius Day is 24 August, the anniversary of the deadly eruption that destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae in 79 AD. While talking about Italy and the site of Pompeii, Kris also mentioned Sicily, Mt. Etna, and “Argento” with all the Parthenon-like structure thingies. Oy. To use a much-hated term, let’s unpack this cringey verbal poo and make some necessary clarifications. Argento is rooted in the latin word “argentum” which means silver. Argento is also an Italian surname. Agrigento, on the other hand, is the to-die-for must-see UNESCO World Heritage site near the coast of southern Sicily, where you can visit the Valley of the Temples (you know, with all that Parthenon-y stuff). These things…Kris knows them, but the words. There are so many, and talking is so stumbly sometimes. Anyhoo, Agrigento AND Pompeii should be on any architecture/archeology/history nut’s bucket list.

NERDNOTE: In the movie Gladiator with Russell Crowe (rowr), his character Maximus explains to a curious boy the names of the horses on his breastplate: Argento and Scatto, which translate to silver and trigger. Which are the names of the horses ridden by fictitious American western folk hero The Lone Ranger (you know, “Hi-HOOOO SILVER AWAY!!! ) and real-life cowboy/actor Roy Rogers (Trigger’s hooman). Fascinate your friends at your next Zoom party with THAT dose of smarts (did we use that joke in a previous blog post? We think we did. Pretty sure quarantine is melting our brains).

Yep, Ok, Back to Mt. Vesuvius. So when that stratovolcano blows again, there is a 72-hour evacuation plan in place. 72 hours. Almost 2 million people to move many, many….we’re talking vurrrrrrry much of the miles away from the blast. Whew. HOW? How will that work? We hope we do not see that in our lifetime.

RANTNOTE: Dear 2020, HANDS OFF VESUVIUS! You’ve had your mitts all over the globe: burning down Australia, plague, murder hornets, mysterious Chinese seeds, gassing protesters, dead whales in the middle of the Amazon rain forest, The Great Mask Debate (wear your effing’ masks please for the love of God and country!), playing golf and shopping at Walmart is ok but kids attending school isn’t, a mysterious mass discovered at the center of the earth, a Saharan dust cloud crossing continents and oceans to reach America, Bernie dropped out of the race again, and we lost John Lewis, the last good man in Washington. YOU HAVE HAD YOUR TIME you big jerky 2020 jerk jerk, LEAVE VESUVIUS ALONE.

But Wait There’s More. By the way, America’s very own Yellowstone Caldera is classified as a supervolcano, which doesn’t sound as horrible as a stratovolcano, but will actually destroy much of our country, for sure way more effectively than the torturous disaster we’ve endured at the hands of those dipshits politicians in Washington, DC.

Hey, 2020. Add Yellowstone to your NOOOOOOPE list. Though we’ll not say no over a little shenaniganery in the capitol. That’s not treasonous. NOT (clap emoji) TREASONOUS (clap emoji).

Moving on to Frankenstein Day. Frankenstein Day is 30 August, which is creator Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s birthday (we’re not sure what the other Frankenstein Day is on the last Friday of October…but you won’t hear us argue about celebrating both days). Let’s take a look at some answers to the questions brought up while discussing the August 2018 mentalfloss.com article by Joy Lanzendorfer called, 10 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein:

  • The dreary but obviously inspirational summer vacation the Shelley’s took with Lord Byron in Switzerland was during what is known as “The Year Without Summer” and, interestingly enough – Kris had no idea there was such a connection in her stories – that drab weather was due to an explosion of Mt. Tambora in Indonesia. Yes. Again, a volcano eruption is the cause of much monstrous history. First Pompeii, then Frankenstein. Ahem.
  • Mary Shelley’s husband, famed poet Percy Bysshe Shelley died by drowning on 8 July 1822, just shy of his 30th birthday, in a boating accident.
  • And yes, the heart-on-her-desk story was actually true, as detailed in this other mentalfloss.com article. Who knew. It also goes into why experts believe Percy’s heart may have calcified prior to his death.
  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s other works, including The Last Man (NOT Last Man Standing as stated in the episode), Mathilda, Valperga and others are available for sale at booksellers such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon for various prices. Kris was able to buy a digital version of The Collected Works of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley for less than $5.00 USD on iBooks (surely Kindle also has a version) which includes Frankenstein, The Last Man, Mathilda, and Mary Shelley’s notes on the complete poetical works of husband Percy Shelley. These stories are also available on Audible. You can download a pdf of Lodore for free here (donations accepted on the website).
  • Here’s some more information on Mary Shelley’s mother (also named Mary). She sounds like she was a kickass woman in her day.

And finally, yes Virginia, Kym and Kris). There is a National Pizza Day. Merry Christmas in February.

Have you ever been to Hearst Castle? Want to go? Do you love or hate mustard? What’s your favorite game? Have you ever seen the Perseids Meteor Shower, visited Pompeii, Yellowstone, or read anything by Mary Shelley? Is there a day in August you’re looking forward to celebrating/observing? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you!

Check out The Mugly Truth Podcast’s episode “Dog Days of August” on Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher, iHeartRadio, or (almost) anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast and bring you richer content.

Don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Please also follow Kym on Tiktok at kymtok.

© The Mugly Truth 2020 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2020. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox”  by Espresso, Inc. through premiumbeats.com.

Featured photo Universe by Raman deep on Pexels.com

Episodes

Toe News Is Good News

Today’s episode “Toe News is Good News” is on  iTunes/Apple PodcastsSpotifyOvercastLibsynPocket CastStitcher or anywhere you listen to podcasts.
Kris survived. 17 more pods to go.

Today we are calm, all is quiet, Kris tries Death Wish coffee and survives. All seems back to normal. We even bring back some spider stories. It’s a literal #TBT (Throwback, uh, Tuesday) episode as we share interesting stories we found from the internet. We have a few good ones, but in a flourish of dramatic mic-dropping, Kym lays a doozy of a story on Kris, like she does so often. We warn you, there’s a number of screams (because spiders, and…you know, Kym’s story) and maybe you shouldn’t eat before listening. We throw in some heart-warming tales to keep the episode afloat, but don’t forget…you’ve been given a head’s up. Or maybe we should say, toe’s up? Go listen now and while you’re doing that, check out the links and photos below for a truly well-rounded experience.

Zombie Snakes

Caution, if you have Ophidiophobia (fear of snakes), you’ve probably already thrown your computer out the window because of the photo below. But if you’re still peeking (perhaps a bit shaky if you’re anything like us?), rest assured that the purty little fellow is (fairly) harmless, but quite tricksy. Kris talks about the Eastern Hognose snakes who are making news lately for their defensive trick of playing dead when threatened, and then striking if something (or someone) gets too close. May we introduce to you the dramatic Eastern Hognose, otherwise knowns as ZOMBIE SNAKE (insert dramatic scary music):

This beauty right here is the North Carolina version of the Zombie Snake, or Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) in its dark phase. Photograph taken by Patrick Coin, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en

For more information on these naughty slitherers, check out this CNN report.

Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Beyond this lighthouse is the Islands of Adventure amusement theme park at Universal Orlando in Orlando, Florida, where the new and vurrrrry popular Harry Potter roller coaster just opened up. Photo by NBCUniversal. Permission (Reusing this file) Released under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike License.

Be still Kris’ heart. The latest, and VERY expensive ($300 million to be exact) rollercoaster addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida (boohoo) is open and it seems everyone in the world of muggles and wizards is running, flying, apparating, or port-keying to be there. The lines are…wait for it…TEN HOURS long. Kris is a fan, but even if she lived in Orlando she’d be steering clear of THAT crowd (she’s 10 minutes from Disneyland and steering clear of The Galaxy’s Edge til the crowds simmer down). For a fun video about the ride, watch this NBC news report and for more details check this out. Ah, someday, Kris’ll be flying through the humid, thick Orlando air on a magical motorbike. Someday.

Good Humans

Man giving his sandals to a young girl in need.

This is the viral image Kris spoke of in relation to the Good News Network story about Officer Brian Zagorski of Niles Police Department in Illinois. For more information about Officer Zagorski, please go here. He deserves a lot of recognition for taking time out to get to know a homeless man he saw having some trouble, and then literally giving him the shoes off his feet. As for the photo above, we don’t know the full story, or who took the photo. If you know the details and more importantly the photographer, please let us know as we would like to give proper credit.

But Wait, There’s More

  • The NASA “get paid to lie in bed” story can be found here and here. We talked about the $18,500 offer, so thought we’d post both stories to let you decided if it’s still enough to make you go to Germany and literally lie in a bed for 2 solid months.
  • For the Chobani donation to school lunch programs, go here. And then go buy some Chobani to celebrate (they just came out with a “less sugar” version of their flips yogurts!)
  • Ella Casano is the extraordinary 12 year old girl who came up with the idea of cover IV bags for pediatric patients can be found here. Ella has to have regular transfusions so she decided to make the experience better for her and countless other kids who suffer the pain of the procedure.
  • Speaking of extraordinary kids, here’s the story of lovely 6 year old Eva Chapman who collected over 1,000 jars of peanut butter and jelly to help feed her classmates she knew might go hungry over the summer without the school meal program to feed them. We love Eva. We’re not crying though. NO WE ARE NOT. NOT NOT NOT. *sniff

And Now: THE STORY OF THE SOURTOE COCKTAIL (((ackkk)))

Erp. This is where things get gross. Kym saved the weirdest story for the end. Have you heard of the Sourtoe Cocktail Club based out of the Sourdough Saloon nestled in Dawson City’s Downtown Hotel in the Yukon region? It’s a club both Kris and Kym are sure they’ll never join, even though over 100,000 people HAVE joined it and still others are dying to donate to the cause. There is adventure and thievery involved, and even the United States Postal Service plays a role in this story. Mostly it’s just gross because Kris and Kym are absolutely positive the garnish of the ritual drink will never touch THEIR lips. It’s a story that’s sure to make your toes curl and your innards roil. Unless you think it’s cool, if so we’d like to say you’re kinda weird, and good luck on your trip to the Great White North. For more information on the latest update to this story, check this link. And even though Kris swore we wouldn’t sully this blog with photos of the initiation ingredients, well, see below. To our faint-of-heart, we’ll post a cute picture of a scaredy cat that you can look at if you decide you can’t view the, ah, “garnish.” All we can say is you don’t ever expect this crap with coffee. (Unless you like THIS coffee, which is literally from crap.)

Sourtoe Cocktail Preparation – Downtown Hotel, Dawson City. Photo courtesy Downtown Hotel, Dawson City, Yukon Territory by TravelingOtter
This is how we feel about the next photo. Hurry up, scroll down to get to the rest of the blog. SCROLL LIKE THE WIND! Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com
Sourtoe Cocktail Ingredients, and yes, that’s a mummified big toe. Photo courtesy Downtown Hotel, Dawson City, Yukon Territory by TravelingOtter

Check out our “Toe News is Good News” episode on  iTunes/Apple Podcasts, SpotifyOvercast, Libsyn, Pocket CastStitcher or anywhere you listen to podcasts. Then all you need to do is 1) subscribe 2) download and 3) listen! AND!!! 4) If you enjoy what you hear, please leave a rating and a review (pretty please?). The more subscribers and reviews we get, the more opportunities we get to grow this podcast and bring you richer content.

And don’t forget to follow us here at themuglytruth.com (click that blue WordPress Follow button on the right side of your screen) so you get notifications every time we post an episode blog! You can also follow The Mugly Truth on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

© The Mugly Truth 2019 and © The Mugly Truth Podcast 2019. All rights reserved.
Intro and outro music, “Clever as a Fox”  by Espresso Music through premiumbeats.com.
Featured photo courtesy of Kimberly Sickel, @riverdeer on 500px