Pig Eyes, a Unibrow, and a Dude With 23 Names

My head hurts.  I don’t know if anyone else gets this, but I have an eye that from time-to-time decides it no longer want to sit alongside my other eye.  It chooses, rather, to align itself with my left nostril.  Seriously.  The eyebrow always does what the eye tells it to, so it ventures downwards also.  Needless to say, I look like a freak.  On days like this, it is very difficult to apply eye make-up.  (I admit that I am a “girly” girl and venturing out amongst the humans with naked eyes is not something I do on a regular basis).  I have fare eyelashes.  Without my mascara, I have pig eyes.  Honestly.  Have you ever looked at a pig’s eyes?  I know that pigs are cute, but they’re cute despite their eyes.  And pig eyes really don’t work on a person.

So, now I look doubly freakish.  Not only do I have pig eyes, but they are asymmetrical too.  I look like a Picasso painting in the flesh.  Don’t even bring up the possibility of hiding behind my sunglasses.  For one thing, I misplaced those a couple of days ago, so I have been reduced to wearing a pair of old ones.  And they have green frames.  I think they’ve been kicking around since the early 90’s, but that’s no excuse.  Forest green frames.  What was I thinking?  Plus, due to the recent migration of my left eyebrow, I now only have one furry caterpillar sitting over my frames.  Sunglasses look weird when you can only see one eyebrow.  And drawing one over the left frame is not an option.  Imagine taking my sunglasses off and showing the world that I now have three eyebrows.  Okay, one is down around my nose.  More like a moustache to one side, but still.

Sorry for the whinefest, but I really needed to vent.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Seriously, my eye professionals are stumped.  I will now focus on the task at hand–my three facts of the day.

1)  Speaking of Picasso, I haven’t actually delved into the world of Art for any strange new facts yet.  So, here it goes.  The name “Pablo Picasso” is a good name.  Has a nice ring to it.  It flows.

Unfortunately, for Mr. Picasso–his real name is not quite so simple.  In fact, his full name has 23 words.  His complete moniker is:  Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso.

Apparently, he was named for several relations and some Saints.  And everyone his mother had ever met.

I bet he never signed a cheque.  Who could blame him?

Van Gogh lopped off an ear.  Picasso whacked off 21 names or so.

Which brings me to this freaky little car.  This is a re-designed Citroen dedicated to and inspired by Picasso.  A British mechanic spent six months creating this masterpiece he calls “Picasso’s Citroen.”

Ironically, Citroen does have a model called the “Picasso” (pictured here).

Not quite sure how it got this name–it is rather staid for something inspired by the legendary artist who created humans out of cubes.  There is a Grand Picasso as well and it is rather mini-van-ish.  Picasso was known as a great Playboy–hardly the mini-van type.  I rather imagine him driving a giant phallic symbol like a 1970s Stingray or a modern-day Dodge Challenger.

Maybe it’s just  me.

2)  Like I said, pigs have small blank eyes.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  This little pooch pictured here, however, does not have that problem.  He has the antithesis to pig eyes.  The Marty Feldman of the dog world, one could say.

This dog’s penetrating stare has earned him the Guinness World Record for the dog with the largest eyes.  Not bad for a little lad that was once a pound puppy.  Bruschi the Boston Terrier‘s owner, Victoria Reed, says she didn’t notice her dogs large eyes until her friends commented on them.  Really?  Is she blind?  Is this her first time seeing a dog?

It was these comments that led her to contact the Guinness World Records people and the rest is history.

Not only are his eyes big, but they seem to point in different directions.  She didn’t notice?  Really?  I think she deserves some sort of award.

3)  When I think of a unibrow, Sesame’s Street’s Bert comes to mind.  Let’s face it.  Bert pulls off the unibrow look with style and finesse.  Maybe it’s the lemon yellow skin.  Or his tuft of black hair.  Whatever it is, it works.  On him.

Outside the Muppet world, sporting one large, unending eyebrow is not exactly going to win you dates.  Unless you are in Tajikistan.  According to Wikipedia, the women there are wild about the unibrow.  Apparently, it is a sign of virility.  Personally, I think it is a sign of not owning tweezers.

It turns out that George W. Bush also has a proclivity for synophrys (the official medical term for this condition.  Yes, it is a condition).  During his tenure as President of the U.S.A., George Double-Ya’s unibrow was divided in to two.  But in his early shots, like this one here on vacation with his wife, he clearly sports a Bert brow.

According to a Victorian criminologist by the name of “Cesare Lombroso“, people who are genetically inclined to having one giant eyebrow are also more likely to engage in criminal activity.  Hm.  Not only does George W. prove this theory, but many of TV’s not-so-nice characters possess unibrows (Bert, of course, is the exception.  If I were a Muppet, I’d marry Bert).  But here are just a few of TV’s un-friendly unibrows:

The Simpsons , Maggie, may be young, but not too young to have an arch nemesis.  This is him.  Notice that this evil baby sports a unibrow.

Lemony Snickett’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ Count Olaf dons a handlebar-style unibrow.

 And, of course,  The Men Show’s Mr. Stubborn and Mr. Grumpy (the ones with the negative traits) also have eyebrows that meet in the middle.

If I had a unibrow, would it stay in place or would I have one giant lopsided eyebrow?  Thanks to my Tweezerman pointed tweezers, I’ll never have to find out.

Photo Credits:  Picasso’s Citroen (neatorama.com),  Citroen Picasso, (carautoportal.com), Big-eyed dog (Guinness World Records.com),  George W. Bush (unibrowclub.com), Simpsons baby (tvtropes.org).  Count Olaf (fanpop.com),

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).

Garlic Breath, Mutant Dogs, and Mints that go “Oink”

I have had killer bad breath since last Thursday.  Don’t get me wrong–I brush my teeth.  And my tongue.  I even gargle.  No tongue fur or plaque stucco here.  I blame it completely on garlic.

I recently learned that a spinach crepe is not nearly as innocuous as it sounds.  Apparently the flavour of spinach is greatly enhanced by garlic–lots of garlic.  It’s not that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy my crepe.  I did.  Even my subsequent burps were scrumptious.

The Caesar Salad that I had later on in the day was totally my fault.  Even the crispy blocks of heaven–otherwise known as croutons–were doused in the naughty spice.

By that evening, dogs were crossing the street to avoid me.  Birds fell from the sky.  I couldn’t even coax a mosquito to bite me.  (Note to self:  look into viability of garlic-based bug repellent).  And my poor husband avoided me like the Bubonic Plague.

On the up-side, I did gain control of the TV remote.  And I got the bed to myself.  Really, my breath was THAT bad.

Well, it is now Monday and my halitosis has finally departed.  For now.  Four Weddings Canada is on later in the week and I really want the remote.  Garlic & Parmesan Twistos, anyone?

1)  Dogs notoriously have bad breath–and it’s not from garlic.  It would stand to reason that the bigger the dog, the bigger the mouth, and, therefore, the bigger the breath problem.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure there is a Chihuahua out there with breath that could kill a skunk–all those spicy Mexican food scraps.

This…um…dog is the Guinness World Record’s tallest dog in the world.  Look at him.  He’s practically a mutant.  “Giant George” the Great Dane of Tucson, Arizona stands 43 inches tall.  He consumes 110 pounds of food each month and has his very own queen-sized bed.  He has appeared on Oprah and now has his own book out.  This dog really is worth his weight in gold.

If you’d like to buy George’s book, you can purchase it here (although I am not clear as to how a dog actually writes a book.  He doesn’t even have hands):  http://www.amazon.com/Giant-George-Life-Worlds-Biggest/dp/1455511455#_

2)  My garlic breath was tough.  No amount of Listerine, Sensodyne, or Cool Mint gum could kill it.  Apparently, I should have tried a slab of bacon.  Huh.

Meet Uncle Oinker’s Savory Bacon Mints.  I never thought I’d use the words “bacon” and “mint” in the same sentence.  Just one question–if bacon has the power of a mint, how come the bacon bits in my Caesar Salad didn’t freshen up my mouth?  Maybe it’s only the bacon/mint combination that works.

Please note that unlike the chocolate/tomato bar, the square watermelon, and the girlfriend pillow, this invention cannot be blamed on the Japanese.  If you’d like to buy a pack or two of these rare delicacies (I’m sure they are a delicacy to someone somewhere), you can get them here:  http://www.mcphee.com/shop/products/Bacon-Mints.html

1440 Facebook users “like” this product.  Honest.

3)   Onions are a major perpetrator of breath infractions.  Not that it’s onion’s fault.  I’m sure it would rather live than be sliced or diced and made in to food.

In honour of the sacrifice that onions have made in the name of flavour, here are a few onion facts:

  • -Libyans eat more onions per capita than any other country.  Apparently, their consumption works out to 66.8 pounds of onions per person each year.  I hope they also consume a lot of mints.  Note to self: purchase portable iron lung machine prior to vacationing in Libya.  In comparison, the average American will eat 20 pounds of onions in a year.
  • -It has been said (mainly by an old English Rhyme) that the onion has the ability to predict the weather.  Let’s face it, any vegetable could do a better job than the average weather man.  Rumour has it that a thin skin predicts a nice winter, but a thick skin means a harsh one.
  • -Apparently, onions and potatoes do not play well together.  According to the Centre for Disease Control, “do not place onions near potatoes because potatoes give off moisture and produce a gas that causes onions to spoil more quickly.”  What happens if you eat raw potato with onion?  Will you explode?  Hmm.
And here is a Burger King advertisement that disrespects the onion, yet elevates the pickle.  
“If you hear an onion ring, answer it.” -Anonymous

Photo Credits:  Giant George (bedlingtondogs.blogspot.ca), Uncle Oinkers( blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad), Onion Boy (myfunnyeye.blogspot.ca), Airport check (slog.thestranger.com).

Big Feet, Creepy Fruit, and Ugly Things for your Lawn

“Isn’t it a bit unnerving that doctors call what they do “practice””?  George Carlin.  

I woke up feeling “annoyed” today.  Not sure why.  I got a good night’s sleep–the neighbour’s dog didn’t keep me up howling this time.  You’d think I’d be pleased.  I even got any extra 30 minutes of shut-eye.  But no, I woke up bitchy.  I’m trying my best to conceal this fact.  Especially because I am usually a nauseatingly cheery sort.

Which brings me to another bone of contention.  If someone is a grumpy-gut all the time, we simply shrug it off and say, “Oh, that George.  He’s such a grouch.”  We realize that this is who “George” is and we love him anyway.  (Disclaimer: I don’t actually know any Grumpy “Georges.”)  But, when a usually pleasant person is having an off day and exhibits even the slightest sliver of bad humour, everyone goes on the attack, questioning said person as to why they are in a bad mood.  Isn’t a ray of sunshine allowed a little gloom now and then?  (Not that I am calling myself a “ray of sunshine”…other people call me that.  And modest too).

1)  Let’s face it.  People put really ugly things in their front lawns.  Things that they would never allow in their living rooms.  Hideous little gnomes.  Brightly coloured ceramic toadstools (and you already know how I feel about fungi).  Crystal balls with their paint peeling off perched on plastic pedestals.  It would appear that when it comes to lawn ornaments, tacky is better.

This is actually cheering me up.

Well, now let me introduce you to the ugliest yard “decoration” ever…the BigFoot Garden Yeti.  While there are smaller versions available, it is the life-size model that caught my eye.  Although, how you can make a “life-size” version of something that doesn’t exist is quite puzzling.

This 71 1/2 inch tall, 147 lb. monstrosity will cost you a mere $1495.00 US.  If your garden gnomes have been getting a little too cocky, put them in their place with one of these babies.  Load up your behemoth-sized shopping cart here:

http://www.skymall.com/shopping/detail.htm?c=10519&v=&tab=pd&vendorDirect=false&pid=204248855

I dare you.  Give your gnome a complex.

2)  Which brings me to my next topic.  Why do we call Big Foot “Big Foot?”  (Okay, that was a weird sentence to put into writing).  His feet are big, but are they really THAT Big?

Consider the Guinness World Record holder for the Biggest Feet–Morocco‘s Brahim Takioullah.  He wears a European Size 58, which apparently cannot be found stocked anywhere.  A European size 48.5 is the equivalent of a Canadian/US size 14, so one can only imagine what size this dude takes.

I once knew a guy who was 6’7″ and he always claimed that his “manliness” was in proportion to his height.  Well, if Brahim’s foot size is an indicator of his “manliness,” he will have no shortage of dates.  I mean look at those things!  They’re huge!

3)  Speaking of body parts, welcome to the strangest fruit that I have ever encountered–the Buddha’s Hand (a clever segue, even if I do say so myself).  This citrus fruit is kind of creepy looking–like the hands of a Simpsons  character that has hung out at Mr. Burns Nuclear Power plant a little too long.  Or headless octopuses.  (I always thought it was octopi, but this spell-check program claims otherwise).

Unlike oranges or grapefruits, this puppy does not require any peeling.  You eat the whole thing.  One finger at a time.

Ick.

If you have tried one of these, I’d love to hear about your experience.  And while you’re at it–octopi or octopuses?