A bowling ball to the head, a fork in the eye, and some bored Amish kids.

Gordon Ramsay yells at me a lot.  Well, at least he does in my dreams.  Ironically, when I’m awake I find the several-Michelin-star chef quite appealing–even when he’s at his expletive-shouting worst.  My subconscious, however, appears to have an opinion of its own.  In past blogs, I have shared some of these F-bomb riddled dreams–including the one in which I am trapped at the top of a roller-coaster with the culinary genius when he is in one of his “moods.”  Rather than comfort the enraptured female beside him, he breaks into a fit of curses that would put Yosemite Sam to shame.

 Here’s Sam at his best.

 And here’s Gordon.

Last night, I found myself in a bowling camp under the expert tutelage (do the Brits have bowling alleys?  I’ve never heard one mentioned on Coronation Street. hm.) of–you guessed it–Chef Ramsay, himself.  It’s hard to take a dream seriously when the teams are picked by players descending a giant slide and being assigned to the team that they pop out in front of.  But once the swear-happy Ramsay starts telling you you’re an idiot–the word “bollocks” also rolls of his tongue frequently–you quickly realize that this is not going to be a fun dream.  No frolicking in the fields with Gordon and, certainly, no hanky panky.  (My subconscious seems to be holding out for Barry Weiss.) Needless to say, my bowling grew appallingly worse.  I think that I may have thrown a ball behind me.  I woke up stressed.

This lady tells crappy stories.

This lady tells crappy stories.

I soon found myself in another dream.  This time I had been asked to read a story to Amish children.  Sounds warm and fuzzy right?  Wrong.  The minute I looked at the book in my hand, I knew I had my work cut out for me.  It was a story about the RCA Victor dog and a history of TV.  Only I would choose to read a television book to the Amish.  And, let’s face it.  Even I would find that book boring and I HAVE A TV.  Needless to say, I woke up a little more stressed.

A chicken and the egg dilemma...which came first?  Brain damage or bowling balls to the head?

A chicken and the egg dilemma…which came first? Brain damage or bowling balls to the head?

1)  If you suck at bowling as much as I do, I may have found another way to show off your prowess with a bowling ball.  I must warn you–it does involve concrete blocks, heavy falling objects, and possible brain damage.  Oh yes, and someone with good aim who would gladly drop bowling balls on your head.

Meet American, John Ferraro, the Guinness World Record holder for the most concrete blocks broken on the head with a bowling ball.  Yes, you read this correctly.  He piles lumps of concrete on his head and, then, has someone smash them from above with bowling balls turned projectiles.

Now, this particular bowling ball weighed 7.3 kilograms (over 16 pounds) and, apparently, his record is having 45 concrete blocks smashed to smithereens on his skull.  Talk about a numb skull.  No, seriously.  That’s not a dig at Mr. Ferraro.  It would really make your skull numb.

I wonder if he has a neck.

The name sounds promising.

The name sounds promising.

2)  Whenever I watch Gordon Ramsay flip his lid during a dinner serving at Hell’s Kitchen, I wonder what is going through the minds of the customers.  If they’re anything like me, they would be laughing.  His ire humours me (as long as it isn’t directed my way and it doesn’t involve bowling balls).

I can imagine that some people, likely the ones that aren’t familiar with Mr. Ramsay’s Type A personality and were bullied into becoming guinea pigs for the bumbling wannabe chefs by a domineering boyfriends or peer pressure, find the spectacle off-putting.  And hardly conducive to eating.

All I can say is “suck it up, Honey.  It could be worse.  You could have been dragged to the Disaster Cafe.”  Personally, the name alone is enough to make me give this place a wide berth.  I don’t want to eat anywhere bearing the name “disaster.”  My mother didn’t raise no idiots.

Apparently, people pay good money to eat through a simulated 7.8 earthquake.  Seriously.  Every meal comes equipped with a side order of earth-shattering tremors.  And a double dose of spilled food and drink.

Located in Lloret de Mar, Spain, this underground cave-like dining room is manned by servers in hard hats and reflective vests.  Patrons are also instructed to wear machine-washable clothing that they don’t mind being marred by spillage.

Here is a typical meal serving at Disaster Cafe.  Sort of makes Hell’s Kitchen look civilized.  

I don't like food that watches me eat it.

I don’t like food that watches me eat it.

3) Gordon Ramsay throws up a lot on TV.  But who can blame him?  Imagine having to taste test a combination of caviar, capers, and white chocolate.  That would get most stomachs churning.  And “investigating” fridges filled with maggoty poultry and furry veggies is also hurl-worthy.

When I was about 16, I went to visit my aunt in Madrid.  We had three weeks, so we took a nice trip out to Benidorm and Alicante–coastal places filled with yummy seafood.  Only problem is that they liked to serve their food fresh–fresh as in the food looked at you.  I don’t want my food to watch me eat it.  I like to forget that I am, in fact, gnawing on a cow or a sheep or a fish.

Shrimp on the Mediterranean are HUGE.  And they still have heads.  And on those heads are beady little black eyes.  Ew.  And to make matters worse, one of my aunt’s friends liked to bite the heads off and eat them.  It seems funny now, but at the time I was disgusted.  I didn’t eat much on the coast.

I must admit that I have now found something worse than shrimp eyes.  It turns out that people actually eat tuna eyes.  Big, gelatinous, cloudy-looking tuna eyes.  ACK.  Apparently, they can be found in Japanese supermarkets and restaurants.  They are best sauteed or boiled.  I just puked in my mouth.

My eyes feel weird.

Photo Credits: Amish kids (art.icio.ru), bowling ball head (guinnessworldrecords.com), disaster cafe (huffingtonpost.com), eyeball food (www.oddee.com).

Sparky-my flat, green, fire-breathing child

I am going to take a “One-Time Only” break from my usual seemingly A.D.D.-inspired, often incoherent, journey into what this mind calls “entertaining” and “informational” and indulge in a wee bit of self-promotion.  Bear in mind this is not something that I am comfortable with–self-deprecation is much more up my alley.

Blogging has given me the privilege of meeting many incredibly funny and talented people–one of which is the hilarious and clever writer, Jodi Ambrose.  With two published books under her belt, Intimacy: How To Get More Of It and Sex: How To Get More Of It, (both of which are loaded with brilliant insights into navigating a successful relationship with the opposite sex, by the way), her third offering has now been released.  A wonderfully entertaining and helpful cookbook entitled Darn Good Eats: The Cookbook for Creative Chefs and Reluctant Cooks. 

As many of you know, I loathe cooking.  So cookbooks aren’t usually my thing–unless, of course, they are filled with pictures of the delectable Gordon Ramsay.  Mm.  Darn Good Eats, however, is a darn good read.  Jodi’s whacky sense of humour shines through on every page.  Her intro makes “reluctant” chefs like myself feel right at home.  Her thoughts on cooking are summed up with “Blech!”  Mine too.  She even grates her thumb during the creation of “Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce”–something I would do–and, yes, they ate the grated thumb Parmesan cheese.

For those of you who have mastered the art of cooking, Jodi’s handsome hubby, Grant, is on board with more intricate dishes for the “creative” chef.  The second half of the book, Jodi’s collection of recipes that enable one to cook without actually cooking, is perfect for us “reluctant” (sounds much better than “useless, could burn boiled water” ) cooks.  See.  Something for everyone.

You are probably wondering what any of this has to do with self-promotion.  Well, Darn Good Eats also sports a nifty “Dragon-Breath-O-Meter”–a device that informs would-be eaters as to the breath-killing capabilities of each dish.  One dragon, for instance, tells the reader to rinse with mouthwash, while four dragons comes with the recommendation that they get a new mouth.  Like I said, clever.

This is where me and my inner braggart come in.  I created the dragon.  Yes, my little baby dragon who I named “Sparky” now resides in the pages of Darn Good Eats and will forever live in pantries everywhere.  I’m so proud of my boy.

My bouncing baby boy

My bouncing baby boy.

I was thrilled to have this opportunity and am very grateful to Jodi for providing it to me!  If you’d like to learn more about Jodi and her books, you can find her at Jodi’s website and Jodi’s blog.

I must also give a shout out to another fellow blogger who provided a couple of recipes  for this collection,  Bernadette Martin.

If you’d like your VERY OWN copy of Darn Good Eats, and Sparky in all his glory, it can be purchased from Amazon right here:  Amazon.com.

I will be back to my strange, tangential self on Thursday.  I promise.

Embiggening AND inspiring! Who knew?

Yay!  I have just received two simultaneous nominations for this award and am VERY excited!  I must thank thejennymacbookblog.wordpress.com and mariwells.wordpress.com, two wonderful Queens of Blogging Awesomeness.  Seriously.  You must check them out.

Now, I get to pass on the good cheer.  But first, there are a few rules to adhere to:

 1. Display the award logo on your blog.

2. Link back to the person who nominated you.

3. State 7 things about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award and link to them.

5. Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements.

Okay, so the logo is firmly in place and quite pretty, I must add.  My lovely nominators have been thanked and linked to.  Now I must share 7 things about me.  I must warn you in advance that they will likely be very random.

1.  I currently have Hickory Sticks breath.  When I burp, it tastes really good.  I haven’t had them in years and had forgotten how damn salty they are.  My tongue feels like I’ve attacked it with an SOS pad.  But without the blue soapy stuff.  That would make me look like a rabid Smurf.  For some reason, I have just been reminded of an episode of Seinfeld.  “Damn, these pretzels are making me thirsty.”

2.  I love to collect Vintage pop culture and advertising icons.  As you know, I am a Canadian.  Up here, when we hear the name “Hostess” we think of a potato chip company with two lumpy mascots called “munchies.”  We rarely eat Twinkies.  We can get them here, but I think the only people that buy them are Americans seeking a slice of home.  Despite our lack of Hostess pastry-cravings, I did go out in search of pop culture memorabilia when I heard of the company’s demise.  What did I find?  A twinkie holder dressed like a cowboy.  Twinkie holders?  Seriously?  I can’t imagine eating so many twinkies that I need a special holder for them.  Oh well.

3.  I am, perhaps, the only person that really enjoyed the advertising campaign starring Arby’s Oven Mitt.  And the Leon’s ad about “rows and rows of sofa bushes.”  (I bet no one remembers that one).

4.  I LOVE cars and auto shows.  I long for a bright blue 67 Mustang fastback, so I could do the vintage auto circuit.  But I’d also like a Citroen DS–just because.  Or a Karmann Ghia.  Or an old Datsun 280.

But I don’t want to be parked near the El Caminos.  They scare me.

5.  My husband and I are barbecue opposites.  He hates barbecued food.  Seriously.  I, on the other hand, love food with lines on it (you know…from the grill).  Baked potatoes on the bbq are the best.  But our household remains barbecue-free.  And my food remains free of lines.

6.  I remember throwing up grape soda a lot when I was a kid.  I wonder why my parents kept giving it to me.  I was also convinced that tow trucks broke cars.  It made perfect sense.  Every time I saw a broken car, there was a tow truck involved.

7.   I love beet tops.  I hate beets though.  I just grow them for the tops.  But then the #%&* goldfinches come along and eat them.  Good thing their cute…the birds.  Not the beet tops.  Fiddleheads are delicious too.  And while I’m on the subject of vegetables, I must ask a question.  Why on earth would anyone buy a canned vegetable?  Short of stocking a nuclear fallout shelter, I can’t imagine ever opting for a canned pea.  A fresh or frozen pea, at least, still resembles and tastes like a pea.  A frozen one looks like a mushy booger and tastes like tin water.  The only veggie that seems to weather the canning process fairly well is the canned potato. Maybe I just like them because they are small and cute (like me…hehe).  And much less intimidating than their large Russet cousins.

And now, 15 other bloggers that are VERY inspiring!!  

1. mikesilvia.wordpress.com

2. jodiambroseblog.com

3. thegoodgreatsby.com

4. familyhaikus.wordpress.com

5. palomasharma.wordpress.com

6. clotildajamcracker.wordpress.com

7. ummmmheyyyy.wordpress.com

8. kitchenslattern.com

9. motherhoodisanart.com

10. wedelmom.wordpress.com

11. sarahmandl.wordpress.com

12. yogadogblog.wordpress.com

13. dottyheadbanger.wordpress.com

14. thisthatandtheotherthang.wordpress.com

15. onthehomefrontandbeyond.wordpress.com

I could probably nominate 15 more, but rules are rules.  I must now reward my hickory stick-damaged tongue with a glass of cold and, most importantly, WET water.

One whole wheat nostril with a side order of arm pit juice please. And, no, I will not pray to your penis.

I think I am getting old.  My dendrites appear to be shriveling up, no longer able to form a connection with my mind.  Or, worse, making connections with the wrong parts.  Here is a glimpse into a day in my life:

  • Back car out of garage.  So far so good.  Get out of car and close garage door.  Good.  Then proceed to sit in passenger seat.  And wonder why car is not moving.  Oops.  Check to see if anyone saw that.  Breath sigh of relief and back car out of driveway.
  • Make wrong turn on highway and have to double back.  Realize that my gas tank is dangerously close to empty and curse myself for having to waste “fumes” on backtracking.
  • Arrive at clothing store.  “Oh” and “Aw” over new items on clearance rack.  Leave the store, and fumble to put on black jacket before going outside.  Remember that I did not bring black jacket.  Forgot it at home on couch.  Crap.  Wonder what black article in left hand is. Realize I have just left the store with clearance black dress pants in hand slung over shoulder.  Oops.  Return to store and apologize profusely.

Honestly.  This sort of thing happens to me all the time.  Damn this aging grey matter and the embarrassing situations it gets me in to.  I’m only in my forties.  What the heck will I be like twenty years from now?  A drooling, babbling, lump of stupidity with a double chin and a milky coating over one eye?

Today I felt like doing something a little different.  Rather than present three pieces of extremely valuable information relating to my rant above, I have decided to offer you three tidbits that I’d rather forget.  And it sounds like I’ll have no problem doing so.  Now, where was I?  Oh ya…

1)  Is your penis worthy of wearing a spanky fuchsia ribbon and parading itself around a public park?  You must be so proud.  But I must warn you that making an exhibition of it in just any park may land you in the clinker.  And on some lists that may have neighbours showing up at your door with torches and giant clubs.  Best to “parade” your prized possession at a venue where it will truly be appreciated.  And I know of just the place.

It turns out that in some cultures, the penis is worship-worthy.  It is the master of fertility.  (Although, I’m not sure where it would be without the lowly female’s egg.  But enough of my offended female sensibilities).  Worship the penis and your barren uterus will pump out babies aplenty.  Especially if you honour said phallus with a shiny pink bow.  And one need not worry about unsightly foreskins–only circumcised members allowed.

This image may take me longer to forget than I had originally hoped.  If you’d like to make an offering to a holy dick, yourself, these are found in a secluded spot behind the Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel in Beijing.

2)  So, you have just earned your Masters Degree in Fine Arts.  What will you do next?  I know.  Open a bakery where you can sell body parts made of bread.  Yes.  These morose dismembered heads are, supposedly, as edible as your harmless-looking, squishy loaf of Wonder Bread.

Kittiwat Unarrom, the artist behind the heads and appendages at Bread Head Bakery in Ratchaburi, Thailand, makes a plethora of body parts out of dough that contains other treasures like raisins and cashews, and occasionally, chocolate.  (I like to think that the chocolate is an unwilling participant, however).  Need a hand?  You’ve got it.  He’ll even throw in a foot or two.

Maybe I’m weird, but I simply cannot imagine sitting in the staff room at lunch and gnawing on a whole-wheat nose.  Ack.  Damn.  I threw up in my mouth again.

If you’d like to see the Freddy Krueger of bakers in action, check out this video.  Warning:  View with extra large vomit bag close at hand.

3)  And, you knew I couldn’t get through this post without a tribute to our friends in Japan–who, apparently, like some pretty strange beverages.

One that tastes like the juice from an armpit.   Just what you want.  A bottle of “sweat.”

Another that contains pig placenta.  Where did I put that damn barf bag?

Yes.  They’ve mixed cola and a vegetable.  I must admit, I kind of want to try this.

And what the heck does “in love? be juicy? mean?”  And what on earth would it taste like.

Need new puke bag.  This one’s full.

And I don’t even know what to say about this.

Oops.  My husband just found my peanut butter in with the coffee mugs.  It’s going to be a long day.

Credits:  Cartoon (http://ershu.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/forgetfulness-at-its-peak/), penises wearing bows (silencedmajority.blogs.com), breadheads (www.geekologie.com), sweat (pocarisweat.com), placenta (www.ebaumsworld.com), cucumber (www.japanprobe.com), juicy (www.ebaumsworld.com), weird eye trick (www.funnyjunksite.com).

A Lopped Off Tail, A Broken Beak, and a Whole Lotta Curds

Many years ago, when my parents were still dating, my father wrote love letters to my mom.  I know.  Cute.  Even cuter, he would always signed them with a hand-drawn ookpik by his name.  Ookpik?

As a kid, I always loved the seal-fur ookpik in my mother’s curio.  I know.  What the heck’s an ookpik?

And when I was eight years old, my dad bought me a royal blue, felt covered, ookpik that I fell in love with immediately and named it “Ernie.”  He was best friends with a little bear, “Herbert.”  Yes, I did watch a lot of Sesame Street.  And yes, Bert and Ernie were my favourites.  The budding young writer that I was, I instinctively knew that blatantly hijacking these Muppet monikers was wrong.  Herbert and Ernie were close–but not the same.  Anyway, back to my ookpik.  I quickly learned that running down the community ski hill behind our house with a bear in one hand and an ookpik in another was a danger-fraught activity.  One false step and I found myself tumbling down what felt like an endless mini-mountain.  I broke my pinky finger.  And my ookpik bent his beak.  Permanently.  I know, I know–what the hell is an ookpik, once and for all?

My fellow Canadians know.  Especially those born prior to the 1980s.  Those from outside the Great White North, however, likely don’t have a clue.  Perhaps, you have become frustrated and googled the word “ookpik.”   If you are my friend at  http://motherhoodisanart.com/, you are already “in” on the secret.

Well, here it is.  “Ookpik” is an Inuit word for “owl.”  In the 1960s and early 70s, they became all the rage up here–sort of morphing into a breed of owl of its very own.  The ookpik is usually wingless–it’s only features being eyes, a beak, and toes.

Here are some examples:

Unfortunately, when I was in highschool, an errant mouse ate a hole through Ernie.  Such is the life of a felt ookpik.  And, yes, I still miss him.

Now, back to these two adorable Sesame Street roommates.  When I was in high school, I decided to conduct a survey relating to their names (I’m a survey junkie).  And now, I am going to conduct it again.

1)  Japan’s strange inventions have often been featured in my blog, so I thought it only fair that I poke fun at the oddball ideas that have come to fruition thanks to Canadian minds.

One of the strangest, and perhaps, most lethal from a cardiologist’s point-of-view is Poutine (pronounced poo-tinn).  This dish originated in nearby Quebec, but is now sold at mainstream fast-food restaurants like Wendy’s and A&W throughout Canada.  But anyone who really knows Canada, knows that we LOVE our chip trucks.  And no one does better poutine than one of those.

Poutine is simply a pile of french fries covered (or rather smothered) in dark gravy and cheese curds.  Mm.  Cheese curds.  It is sinfully delicious, but will probably clog an artery or two.

If you think that’s weird.  There was a chip truck in Eastern Ontario that sold fries smothered in butter.  Greasy french fries with butter?  Really?

We Canucks are a hearty lot.  Or so we like to tell ourselves.  Maybe we’re just all nuts.  Here’s a typical chip truck, Canuck-style: 

2)  This is my all-time favourite Canadian treat.  First of all, it originates in my hometown, Ottawa.  All good things come from Ottawa.  Except politicians.

And, most importantly, they are delicious.  BeaverTails–not politicians.  No, we do not hunt down buck-toothed rodents and lop off their tails.  We are, in fact, quite kind to our beavers.  We even put them on our nickels.

The “BeaverTail” is a flattened lump of whole wheat dough, deep-fried, and smothered in various mouth-watering toppings.  The traditional one is covered in cinnamon and sugar.  If you add a twist of lemon, you have the Killaloe Sunrise.  But, for the true sweet-tooth, you can smother yours in chocolate hazelnut, maple butter, apples with cinnamon, banana chocolate, chocolate & vanilla, chocolate & peanut butter & Reese’s Pieces, or cream cheese with Skor pieces and chocolate drizzle.  Damn, now I’m hungry.  I think I’ll head down to the park and get me one of these.  Blogging is not good for the waistline.

Oh, yeah.  Did I mention that BeaverTails, just like Poutine, are sold in small chip-truck-sized, cabin-like buildings.  Here is a typical BeaverTail vendor:

So far we have learned that Canadians like strange-looking, furry owls; have a penchant for heart-stopping, curd-covered, deep-fried potatoes; and regularly nibble on cinnamon-covered beaver appendages.  Quite simply put, we make the Japanese look normal.  But wait.  I still haven’t reached number 3.  There’s always a number three.

3)  Americans love to make fun of us.  According to them, we talk funny.  Yes, according to the nation that produced the southern twang and drawl, the Boston accent, and whatever those people in the movie Fargo were speaking, WE talk funny.  So, here’s a tip for those who really want to mimic us well–here are some uniquely Canadian words.  Ours are the ones in BOLD print.

Eh?  Replaces “Huh?” or “Do you agree?”

Serviette= Napkin

Washroom= Bathroom

Pop=Soda.  We do say Club Soda and Cream Soda though.  Everything else is Pop.

Chocolate bar=Candy bar

Chesterfield=sofa or couch

Double Double=two creams, two sugars in coffee.

Pencil Crayon=coloured pencil


Rad=radiator.  We don’t say “rad” for radical.

Hydro=electrical service.  Paying our hydro bill is the same as paying the Power Company in the US.

Bachelor=small type of apartment.  “Bachelor for rent” does not cause confusion up here.

Garburator=garbage disposal.

Two-four=case of twenty-four beer.

Brown Bread=Whole Wheat Bread.

Kraft Dinner=Kraft Macaroni & Cheese

Homo Milk=Homogenized Milk


Go missing=disappear


Lineup=a line or queue.

Postal code=Zip code


Transport truck=tractor trailer

So, now you can speak Canadian.  Woo. Woo.

Photo Credits:  ookpiks: 1 (static.artfire.com),  2 (www.mccord-museum.qc.ca), 3 (farm3.static.flickr.com), 4 (subrosa-rosamundi.blogspot.ca),  5 (www.nait.ca), 6 (farm3.staticflickr.com), Bert & Ernie (whatvinniethinks.com),  Poutine (trentonstories.blogspot.ca), Chip Truck ( busblog.tonypierce.com), Beavertail  (www.foodgypsy.ca) BeaverTail Truck ( foodworld-evablogspot.ca),   eh (www.talktocanada.com).  

I will eat my gold tomato, wipe my butt with a cactus, and talk to the hamster with the pretty white gloves

I recently decided I wanted to buy a hamster.  Yes, I realize this is an unusual pet choice for a grown-up.  In my defence, I have allergies, so my selection is limited.  And hamsters are low maintenance–perfect for a scatterbrained individual like myself.

So, I headed off to Walmart and picked out a cage that looks like something the Jetsons would live in, some light blue shavings (yup, they come in techno-colour now), and some food.  I turned around with my heavily-laden arms (I was too stupid to get a cart beforehand), only to have a little old lady exclaim, “Oh!  You must have children.  I remember those days.”  Part of me wanted to make her feel like an idiot by saying, “Nope.  This is for me.”  But, then, I realized she may not feel like an idiot at all.  She might just think that I’m the idiot.  An adult with a hamster.  I simply smiled and said, “yes.”  Yes, I know.  I lied.  But it was a neat and tidy lie.  No flowers.  I didn’t feel compelled to give my fictitious children names (Molly and Clive would have come to mind.  I don’t know why) or ages (what age is “hamster appropriate?”).  I didn’t embellish and add a tragic tale of woe about a flattened beagle and the family car.  I managed to keep my deception to a single syllable.  This, in itself, is noteworthy.

My hamster is now home.  I have decided it is a “he.”  Apparently, “sexing” a hamster is tricky, so one really never knows.  I had originally named him “Clive” (there’s that name again) because he looks rather formal–for a relative of a rat.  He has white hands.  Like he’s wearing gloves.  But that name was not received with great applause.  He is now officially “Humphrey.”  I don’t know why.

Which, for some reason, brings me to something that I have been wondering about.  Did Noah have to wait for snails and slugs to make their way on to the ark?  Did he invite them first, so that he could get other things done while they were travelling?  Or did he wave his hands in frustration and pick them up?  Which makes me wonder how many “slower” animals didn’t make it on time.

And, how did Noah “sex” the hamsters to make sure he, indeed, had one of each gender?  And wouldn’t the ark have become overrun with the little buggers?  And rabbits.  And why on earth did he invite the mosquito?

1)  I admit that I do like escargot–at least I think I do.  Maybe it’s just the garlic butter that I enjoy.  Let’s face it–everything tastes good smothered in melted golden butter with garlic thrown in.  I have never actually had a snail without it.  Maybe they taste like dirt.  Or erasers.  Or worse, dirt-covered erasers.

Apparently, someone thinks they taste pretty good.  They have, in fact, become a key ingredient in one of the world’s most expensive dishes–a “curry” that goes for a whopping $3600 US.

London’s Bombay Brassiere has taken opulence (and quite possibly, indigestion) to a whole new level.  What their menu calls “The Samundari Khazana Curry” consists of Devon crab, white truffle, sea snails (told you–star of the show), Scottish lobster, and caviar.  But wait–I forgot the proverbial “icing on the cake”–this time in the form of gold.  Really.  The lobster has been iced with edible gold leaf.  Even a lowly cherry tomato has been coated with the stuff.  ACK.  Sure, gold is pretty.  As a ring.  A necklace.  Or in it’s natural shape–a long, rectangular bar.  But it doesn’t belong in my lower intestine.  That’s just wrong.  

I guess it’s like laying a golden egg.  Only messier.

2)  If you poop gold, ordinary toilet paper simply will not do.  It is likely that you prefer to use $100 bills.  But, if you find yourself short on cash (likely because you just indulged at the Bombay Brassiere), you may wish to opt for the faux c-note instead.  Justtoiletpaper.com (yes, there is a store for everything these days) will sell you a roll for $8.95.

I wonder how Benjamin Franklin feels about this.

If currency is not your style, there are many other fashionable rolls on which to wipe your tender toosh.  I thought it would be fun (not to mention unconventional) to hold a favourite toilet paper poll right here.

3)  So, maybe you don’t poop gold.  It doesn’t mean that your bowels are incapable of creating a masterpiece of their very own.  Just ask artist, Sam Mahon.  He has turned cow patties into a bust that sold for thousands.

The subject of his piece, New Zealand Environment Minister, Nick Smith likely wasn’t thrilled with his “sh*tty” likeness.  Mahon created the piece to protest against what he claimed was Smith’s failure to protect waterways from dairy farm pollution.  Apparently, the piece  doesn’t smell at all.

But kiddies, I wouldn’t recommend trying this at home.

Photo Credits:  gold lobster (http://goodnewsaday.wordpress.com/2011/10/08/the-most-expensive-food-in-the-world-2/), toilet paper money (comparestoreprices.co.uk), toilet paper for poll (www.justtoiletpaper.com),  poop bust (www.stuff.co.nz).

I’ll have a bug salad, a toe-nail in my sandwich, and one beak slurry please

I am constantly being ignored.  No, this is not merely an attention-craving rant by a narcissistic “what about me?” Generation X-er.  I am a member of Generation X.  And I do crave attention.  But neither one of these facts has anything to do with this.

I was always the kid in school who would put up her hand and never get called on.  Unless it was during math class.  I always got called on in math Class.  I think the teacher secretly enjoyed my blank, clueless expression and stammering.  But all my other teachers seemed oblivious to my very existence.

Even as a grown-up, my presence is often over-looked.  Particularly in line-ups.  The other day, I was next in line at the deli and the server asked the woman behind me what she wanted.  After years of this sort of thing happening, I have grown bolder and simply said to the woman behind me, “I guess I am invisible.”  Cheeky, eh?  The server looked astonished that I had called her out on her blatant disregard for my paltry synthetic smoked poultry needs.  “Oh, were you waiting to be served?” She asked.  Seriously, did she think that I was standing in line because I was short of better things to do?

This “ignore that red-head girl” attitude is not only foisted upon me by my fellow humans, but machines tend to ignore me too.  Especially automatic doors.  They refuse to open for me.  I could do Richard Simmons-styled arm flailing followed by a dash of Elaine Benes‘ awkward kick-dancing and still, the doors won’t budge.

That would look like this    with a touch of this added 

Not exactly something that is easy to ignore, is it?

At first, I attributed my failure to be noticed to my extreme lack of height.  It’s easy to overlook someone that is a foot shorter than you.  I ignore kids all the time.  Oops.  Did I say that?

But then, another thought occurred to me.  What if I’m not being ignored?  Maybe I’m invisible.  Or worse.  What if I am simply a figment of my own imagination and I do not exist at all?  Note to self:  Stop filing income tax.  I bet that will get me noticed.

1)  Sometimes being ignored at the deli counter is not a bad thing.  What the heck is mock chicken anyway?  Something else pretending to be a chicken?  And, I’m sorry, but baloney is just a flattened hot dog.  And we all know that hot dogs consist of a slurry of leftover animals parts.  And what’s with meat/macaroni loaf?  We know the meat isn’t meat, but is the noodle noodle?

I suppose it could be worse.  If I ever walked in to the Walmart canned meat section and found a can of water bugs–not just the ordinary ones either, but the GIANT ones–I would drop my groceries and flee the store emitting a scream so shrill that it would put Richard Simmons to shame.  I know.  Quit picking on the poor man.

Well, apparently our friends in Thailand do not possess this North American squeamishness.  Canned tuna is for wimps.  Cloverleaf salmon for the faint at heart.  If you want a hearty meal, whip up a water beetle salad sandwich.

Okay, that time I really did throw up in my mouth.

2)  There may be some things worse than a bug salad sandwich, albeit not many.  One would be a sandwich lovingly prepared by someone’s feet.

Yes, that’s exactly how comedian Rob Williams of Austin, TX likes his lunches.  Foot made.  Gross?  Very.  But his nimble toes have earned him the Guinness World Record for the fastest sandwich made with one’s feet.

He whipped up a culinary masterpiece stuffed with baloney (he had to remove the rind), cheese (his toes managed to rip off the plastic wrapper),  tomato, mustard, mayo, pickles and lettuce , complete with olives on sticks, in a mere 1 minute and 57 seconds.  This included slicing the sandwich in half with his toes.  That’s some fancy footwork.

Toe jam sandwich, anyone?

Homer Simpson only has four toes.  He could never make sandwiches with his feet.

3)  I’ve always maintained that TV can be highly educational.  Unfortunately, I gravitate to more low-brow fare; therefore, my nightly education is limited to…well…this–the stuff you see in my blog.

Last night’s episode of Shipping Wars proved very enlightening.  To me.  One of the shipments turned out to be a 400 pound replica of the Simpson’s clan sitting in their trademark pose on the family couch.  According to the seller, only 86 of these movie theatre props were released to the public.

As much as I love it, I seriously could never justify dedicating a prime sofa location to fibreglass people–no matter how cute they are.  Plus, they look like a bugger to dust.

Photo Credits:  canned bug (www.sodahead.com), foot sandwich (http://www.robsho.com/), simpson clan (www.trendhunter.com), Bart (www.photoshoppix.com).

Ink on my feet, Froot Loops in my eyes, and a Handful of Vomit

My husband has been looking for a pair of reasonably priced black sandals for much of the summer.  He’s a tad bit picky.  And he has big feet.  Like skin-coloured scuba flippers.  With hair.  Well, he finally found a pair of affordable and massive footwear and bought a pair of spongy, comfy, and (hopefully successful) odour-eating insoles.  The insoles, however, were an unsightly loud colour and stood out like a sore thumb (or should I say toe) against the black.

Now, my husband is a very resourceful type.  No conundrum is too great for his mental prowess.  Don’t like the colour of your insoles?  No problem.  That’s what black permanent markers are for.  Well, after covering the obnoxious orange with flat black he modelled his fancy feet for me.  I was impressed.  “Very nice,” I probably said.  Or something like that.

The next morning, I entered the shower and was dismayed by the charcoal briquette-coloured footprints on the usually shiny porcelain.  Was there a giant licorice baby on the prowl?  Mm.  Licorice.

No.  No mutant snack foods around here.  Apparently, permanent marker is no match for a pair of sweaty size 13s.

1)  Yesterday was National Mustard Day.  If any condiment deserved a day of its very own, I would say its mustard.  So I suppose you are wondering why the heck I have a picture of broccoli (yup, that’s broccoli) on a post dedicated to mustard.  Or maybe you’re not wondering at all, but let’s just pretend you are.

According to the British Journal of Nutrition, we should be dousing our cooked broccoli spears with the yellow condiment.  Cooking broccoli kills its myrosinase–an enzyme that enables us to absorb the cancer-fighting and anti-diabetic compound, sulforaphane.  Mustard is high in myrosinase, so problem solved.

Head hurts.  Too many big words.

But seriously, mustard on broccoli?  Gack.  Just threw up in my mouth a bit over that one.

2) Speaking of throwing up–meet the Guinness Book of World Records‘ oldest vomit.

I don’t know quite what to say about this other than, “Ick.  Who the hell would want to hold a chunk of puke?”  Which is immediately followed by, “And who the hell would want a picture of them holding a chunk of puke?”  I’m sure this guy is a hero among his archaeologist friends.  This could be why I don’t have any archaeologist friends.  Some things should remain buried in dirt.

Well, back to the vomit.  Found in Peterborough, UK, it is believed to be 160 million years old.  What has something got to eat to have its barf last millions of decades?  Definitely not the cereal I had this morning.  Even if it was Fibre 1.  But that’s a whole other story.

3)  When I was a kid, I was taught it was wrong to play with my food.  I wonder if my failure to succeed as a cereal artist can be traced back to this rule?  Yes, I said CEREAL artist.  If I had been allowed to play with my Froot Loops (mm.  Froot Loops), I could have been the one to create one of these masterpieces.

My apologies to all the archaeologists out there.  I am sure you are quite interesting people.  No, really.

Photo Credits:  broccoli head (www.watson.org), vomit (www.newscientist.com), Larry King (www.metro.co.uk), Obama (www.buzzfeed.com), Pamela Anderson (www.metro.co.uk), Jerry Seinfeld (www.fakedpotatoes.com), Rice Krispie goose (http://sweetandunsavoury.blogspot.ca/),

Kick My Car in the Nuts, Stick a Cork up my Butt, and Why does it Smell like Dog in Here?

Wet make-up brushes smell like dog.  Not quite sure why.  Aren’t they made of sable or horse hair or some other non-canine coat?  I just finished shampooing over 50 brushes.  Yes, shampoo.  Human shampoo.

Years ago, before I knew better, I used dish soap to wash everything–including my car.  It always looked clean, but I was never able to achieve that showroom shine.  My logic wasn’t completely flawed.  Dishes shine.  Glasses gleam.  So why did Sunlight or Ivory Liquid leave my car looking dull?

Dish soap is designed to fight grease.  My car is not greasy.  I do not park it next to a fat rendering plant.  Nor do I eat Kentucky Fried Chicken while sitting on the hood.  I have no need for grease-fighting action.

My husband cringes whenever I tell him about my Palmolive car-wash days.  His explanation has been very enlightening for me.  If something can remove grease, it can also remove wax.  My car is covered in wax.  At least it was.  So that explains why they make a product called car wash.  Who knew?

1)  I have always wanted a red nose for my car.  At Christmas, I see quite a few be-nosed automobiles–usually with a pair of antlers.  I want my car to resemble a human; therefore, I don’t want antlers.  Just a nose.

It turns out that if you want your car to look like a person, a nose isn’t the only way to go.  Apparently, you can hang a pair of testicles from your bumper.  These “Bumper Nuts” come in a variety of colours, including the best-selling flesh tone.

It must be a male thing.  I surely wouldn’t be caught dead driving around with an aluminium vagina hanging from my car.

Well, if you want a set of balls of your very own, you can get them here:  http://www.truck-nuts.com/

2)  Nowadays, it seems that you can’t have a conversation with anyone about cars without someone bringing up the cost of gas.  It’s up to $1.24 a litre here–almost worth its weight in gold.

We eat a lot of fibre in our house–fresh veggies, whole grains, and brown beans.  Needless to say, there will never be a gas shortage here.  Nor will there be an abundance of fresh air.

If only someone could find a way to convert farts into fuel.  We’d be “sitting” on a goldmine.  A noisy, raunchy, goldmine.

Sorry, my husband actually just farted beside me.  This brings me to a strange product that I just discovered–the Subtle Butt fart pad.  These adhesive panty-liner-like pads are designed to be affixed to the part of your underwear that lines up with your fart escape hatch.  Carbon is used to neutralize the noxious fumes, rendering flatulence odour-free.

No longer will innocent people gasp for uncontaminated oxygen in your presence.  Go ahead, eat that raw broccoli.  Subtle Butt’s got you covered.

Get yours here: http://www.shopinprivate.com/subtle-butt.html

3.  I decided that in order to bring this blog together, I should find a way to combine food and modes of transportation and I came across some interesting finds.  Here’s a few food/modes of transport combos that I can’t wait to try–even if I do hate hot dogs.

First, let me get the Photo Credits out of the way.Photo credits-farting sign (www.impactlab.net), hot dog plane (http://keriene.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/hot-dog-plane/#respond), hot dog canoe (littlenummies.net), rice crispy car (fanpop.com), squash bus (xaxor.com), veggie bike (forum.xcitefun.net), milky way cars (www.speckledfreckle.com.au).

Foods That Fly, Run Marathons, and Make My Pee Stink

Summer is the perfect time for trying to eat healthier.  Lots of weird fruits to try.  Walmart had a mound of Dragon Fruits the other day–can’t wait to try mine.  Hope they’re an actual fruit and  not something that has been food growing next to a Japanese Nuclear Power Plant.  The price of produce this time of year is a lot easier on the wallet too.  I no longer have to re-mortgage my house to buy a beefsteak tomato, a bundle of asparagus, and some blueberries.  (I live in Canada.  The only thing we can grow in the winter is snow).

But there is a downside to consuming large quantities of fruits and vegetables.  For one thing, broccoli and cabbage stink when they’re boiled.  Forget grenades and machine guns.  Just wave a pot of cabbage water at the enemy and they will flee in terror for sure.  My house perpetually smells like a fart.  (Admittedly, not all of that can be blamed on the cabbage water).  Cruciferous veggies produce noxious gases, it seems, that must escape the body.  Noisily.  And with lethal consequences.  (Note to self: Adopt elderly dog to serve as scapegoat.  Or maybe an actual goat?  To scape?)  (Another note to self: google how term “scapegoat” came about.  Did it involve a goat?)

And, to make matters worse, this “healthy eating” is affecting my pee.  Holy crap!  Asparagus urine reeks.  The only thing worse than peeing out a river of asparagus juice at home is having to do it in a public washroom.  I swear the lady beside me must think I have something seriously wrong with my plumbing.  It’s all I can do  not to scream out, “It’s the asparagus’s fault.”  But, knowing me, I couldn’t just stop there.  I’d wind up in a through-the-stall rant about what this healthy eating is doing to my home and my innards–not to mention my social life–and that my husband has recently developed a hankering for beets and that, next, I’ll have to deal with beet-coloured pee staining the toilet bowl.

Rather than risk this, I simply let them think that my urinary tract is rotting.

1)  TV shows and movies often portray displeased audiences as violent, produce-hurling delinquents who, for some reason, always have a  tomato or two on hand for tossing.  I would never throw a tomato at someone–even if they were assaulting my ears with jazz fusion.  (Apologies to jazz fusion fans.  It is just not my cup-of-tea.  Nor is Country.  Great, now I have to apologize to the Country fans.  Note to self: shut up before you alienate your entire blog audience.)

If you are going to hit someone with something from  the produce section, at least a tomato is soft.  It is one of the edible orbs that most closely mimics the Nerf ball.  An orange does not.  An orange would hurt.  A lot.

So, naturally, humans have created a Carnival that revolves around exactly that–pelting other humans with non-Nerf-like balls.  ORANGES.

In the Northern Italian city of Ivrea, citizens and tourists alike come out to mark this festival with a very strange origin.  Apparently in the 12th or 13th century (the story varies from one source to another), a tyrant from a powerful family attempted to rape a young commoner on her wedding night.  He was unsuccessful as she decapitated him.  Not with an orange, by the way.

If you wish to participate in this tradition, seek help.  Sorry.  Those things just keep popping out of my head and down to my fingers.  Seriously, if you wish to play, you must join a team.  Tourists are warned to wear a red hat, which apparently serves as a “leave me out of it” symbol.  Heaven help anyone who isn’t made aware of this fact.  I, personally, would opt for a red goalie mask–but I’m Canadian.  Rumour has it that we never leave home without one.

2)  I love berries, but I hate the fact that they often come with their own wardrobes–fur coats.  Well, I may have stumbled upon a cure.

Using 1 part vinegar (white or cider work best) and 10 parts water, submerge berries and give them a good wash.  Apparently, vinegar is an enemy to mould spores and inhibits their growth.

Your little berries will remain “coatless” for much longer, giving you more time to scarf’em down.  YAY!

3)  It’s not every day you see a man with pasty white legs and black sport socks–and, oh ya–dressed up as a banana.  It’s even rarer that you see one running a marathon.  That’s exactly what Patrick Wightman of the United Kingdom did in March of 2011.

He managed a Guinness World Record-setting time of 2 hr 58 min 20 seconds at the Barcelona Marathon–the fastest time ever recorded for someone dressed up as a fruit.  There were others?  Wightman chose the banana shape because it was more stream-lined.  So, it wasn’t merely because he looked fab in yellow.

The “fastest marathon dressed as a vegetable” is held by a carrot.  No, really.

In Wightman’s defence, he did this for charity.

The following are random strangely-shaped produce.  I’m afraid that I wouldn’t be able to eat any of these.  Firstly, they’re freaky weird mutations.  And, secondly, some of them are just way too cute.  I don’t want to eat anything that’s cute.  That’s why I have a lot of turkey and crustaceans.  They have faces only their mothers could love.

Photo credits:  Orange fight (themagazine.ca), Berries (http://ottawaraw.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/beauty-in-the-raw/) Banana man (thisiskent.co.uk), Duck cucumber (FotosUp.com), Weird hand (nocutnews.co.kr), Tomato duck (xcitefun.net), Potato bear (FotosUp.com), Weird goose & pepper snake (xcitefun.net).