Author Archives: Eric Finch

Proverb – American

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”

Erin says she learned this from he father, Barry, when she was twenty years old.  Her father told it to her when she was confused about what she should make her focus of study at the University of Michigan.  She was a sophomore at the time and did not know exactly what she should do with her life.  When she asked her father for advice, all he said was, “choose a field you love, then you will never end up working a day in your life.”  She truly took it to heart when she studied communications and is now working as a producer for a leading advertising agency.

This proverb is very important to her.  She says it is her favorite proverb as it helped lead her to the life that she is living today.  She wrote it on a sheet of paper that she carries around with her in her purse daily.

She said the context in which this proverb is typically used is when someone is at a crossroads in their life.  Most of the time, it is directed toward college students who do not know what career to pursue.  Some sort of an advisor, often a parent or mentor, will tell them this proverb.  She says it is very important to choose a job that you love or else you will be miserable every day during work and will be “counting the hours to the weekend.”

I believe this proverb presents a very important idea.  It is critical for everyone to enter a field in which they love what they are doing or will end up being unhappy with the state of your life.  The only problem is that the world puts too much emphasis on income, which ends up causing many individuals to choose a job based on a high salary instead of worrying whether or not they love what they will be doing in that job.

I found this proverb at:

Proverb – American

“Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”

Sherri recalls learning this as a teenager approximately sixteen years old from her mother.  Sherri was trying to be a rebellious teenager and was in a feud with her mother about extending her curfew.  She said a few rude comments to her mother who did not take them well.  Her mother told her she was grounded and said “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”  This essentially means, Sherri explained, that you should not upset someone who is above you in the hierarchy of life.  In other words, you should not get in a fight with someone who you depend on to provide you with something that helps your life run more smoothly.  For example, do not upset your boss or someone higher ranked than you in the business place or else you could find yourself without a job.  Or, in this setting, do not upset your parents if you are still a minor as you could find yourself without a roof over your head.

Sherri says this proverb is very important to her.  She has since passed it on to all of her four children as a forewarning that you should not make enemies with people who provide you with the products you need to live a happy life.

I believe the meaning of this proverb Sherri provided is correct: you should not make those mad who are of higher standing than you.  The ideas presented by this idea are very important for everyone to know.  While you should try not to get in fights with anyone, it is important that you do not get in fights with those that help provide for you, as it can end up having catastrophic consequences.


On Christmas Eve, Erin and her family and friends gather at her parent’s house for a feast.  The have served Mexican food from a local restaurant for approximately the past ten years.

Erin explained to me that this is a very peculiar new tradition her family is starting up.  The interesting facet about it is that no one in her extended family is of Mexican decent.  She explains that is all started when her mother accidentally overcooked the turkey she was to serve to twenty guests.  Her mother, who Erin said was always ready to adapt to setbacks, sent her and her brother out to get some food to serve.  After looking all over town, the only restaurant they found open that could serve such a large amount of people was a Mexican restaurant.  They served their guests tamales, taquitos, and enchiladas.  It was such a hit with their guests that they decided to make it a tradition.  Now their family and friends look forward to their annual Christmas Eve “Fiesta” (party in Spanish.)

Erin says this has become a very significant part of their holiday festivities.  Erin and her siblings look forward to that meal year round as it turns into quite a feast.  Erin says her mother has since adapted the occasion a little by contributing a large pot of tortilla soup to the already abundant Mexican feast.

I find this a very peculiar yet interesting tradition.  It all began simply because of a cooking malfunction and some guests’ love for Mexican food.  I would hope that they continue this tradition and Erin and her siblings pass it on to their children.

Joke – University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California

Two fraternity brothers decide to go sailing one afternoon and become lost. After twenty hours with nothing to eat or drink, one of them spots a lamp floating by. He picks it up and a genie pops out. The genie notices the poor condition of the brothers and grants them one wish between the two of them.
After a lot of arguing over who gets the wish, one of them blurts out, “I wish the ocean was made of beer.”
Magically, the ocean turns to beer.
Infuriated, the other guy yells, “You idiot! Now we have to piss in the boat!”

Barry said he learned this joke when he was in a fraternity at the University of Southern California.  He was a member of Kappa Alpha Order.  He told me that one of his fellow fraternity brothers taught him this joke circa age twenty one.  Barry explained that the background for the joke is that fraternity members are notorious for drinking large amounts of alcohol, specifically beer, at a time.  The joke pokes fun at the fraternity life, suggesting that all fraternity members hold their alcohol (beer in this case) in higher regard than hygiene and sanitation.  The fraternity brothers would rather urinate in their boat where they have to live for days on end than in the beer they are floating in.

I believe the meaning of this Barry gave to me is completely correct.  Fraternities are known for binge drinking and this joke capitalizes on that idea.  Also, some might argue that the mild profanity used in this joke (“piss”) could be used to show fraternity members’ tendencies to use profanity at will.


1 cup sugar

1 cube butter @ room temp

1-1/2 cup flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 eggs (separated)

½ cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Cinnamon/sugar mixture (1/4 cup sugar – 1/2 tsp cinnamon)

Separate egg yolks from egg whites – Beat egg whites until stiff and set aside.  Beat together sugar and butter.  Add egg yolks one at a time to butter/sugar mixture beating well after each addition.  Mix together vanilla and milk in a measuring cup and set aside. .  Sift together flour, salt and baking soda.  .  Alternate adding dry ingredients with vanilla/milk to creamed butter/sugar/egg yolk mixture.  Fold in egg whites last.

Put in flat 9” x 9” pan (spray pan with Pam first) – press nuts on top.  Cover with cinnamon/sugar mixture.  Bake in moderate over 325 – 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes.

Sherri explained to me that her mother taught her this recipe when she was a teenager circa age seventeen.  Her mother made it every Christmas morning and served it with sparkling cider or champagne, sausage, and eggs.  Since the cake is sweet, Sherri informed me that “it represents the sweet gift God gave us by sending his son to die for our sins.”  It is very important to her as her mother made it for her family every Christmas morning and Sherri and her sisters continue the tradition.  She does not make it any other day of the year.

Sherri has since passed on the recipe to her daughters and son so that they too will eventually be able to make it for their families.  Sherri informed me that her mother taught her nearly every recipe she knows today.  It is very important to Sherri that she continue that tradition by passing on her mother’s recipes as well as her own down to her children.

I think it is very important for families to create their own identity through recipes and traditions such as preparing coffee cake every Christmas morning.