“For Heaven’s sake, get Spock out of your nose and why is your butt all crusty?”

Spending a day with my relatives is sort of like hanging out at the insane asylum for unemployed comedians.  And I am writing this with a perfectly straight face.  Line mouth and all.

Here are a few snippets from the conversations I recently had to endure.

“If they don’t want Oscar Pistorius to flee the country, why don’t they just take his legs.”  “Ya, all he could do is bum around all day. ” Followed by “he could always bum a ride” and “that would be a bummer.”

“You tickle too hard.  Are you trying to puncture my pancreas?”

“There really is a restaurant called One Hung Lung.”

"A grey hare can be cute."

“Grey hares are cute, but it doesn’t mean they belong on my head.”

We stopped conversing briefly to pose for a family photo.  My uncle (who was giving me rabbit ears), discovered that I now have a few thousand  grey hairs poking through my titian (sounds better than ginger) locks and proceeded to pass my head around for everyone to check it out–with my body still attached, of course.  Did I mention that a day with my family can be really hard on a girl’s self-esteem?

The highlight, however was discovering that my grandfather, who has been dead since ’95, received a letter from the government asking him to pay non-resident tax .  Yup, I guess he really is no longer a resident.

Yes, my gene pool may have been put through the blender, but it is the only gene pool I know–and I am particularly fond of it.  Even if my aunt eats fire in my backyard and my uncle goes grocery shopping covered in freshly slaughtered chicken blood and my other uncle keeps driving in to things.  We’re an entertaining lot.  And proud of it.

1.  One of my strange traits that I blame on my blood relations is my need to put eyes on everything.  I know.  I’ve discussed this before.  I currently have temporary eyes and a nose on my Ikea Poang chair, a hat on my water cooler, and googly eyes on a lampshade.  And I love to draw faces on fingers.  It turns out that this gene is not limited to my family  tree.  In fact, one individual dedicates hours to his finger faces, putting my simple “two dots + one line=face” creations to shame.

Dito Von Tease began creating finger people when he/she? tried to create a Facebook avatar.  Dito obviously showed a talent for detailed digits.  Here are a few examples that will make you ooooh and ahhhh.

finger spockditto ronalddito JesusDito kissditoMOZARTdito shrekditoSteveJobsDitoMarioBros

2)  I also inherited the need to play with my food.  No, I don’t build forts out of my mashed potatoes, but I have a definite OCD method of consuming each meal.  Pizza–I hate tomato sauce, so I only like “light on the sauce” pizza.  Plus, it’s much less messy to dissect.  I save the bloated crust end until second last because it’s yummy.  And I always save a sauce-free piece of the melted cheese (usually where a pepperoni slice has been) for the very last.  Yum.

Any peanut butter-filled chocolate bar like Wunderbar or Oh Henry Peanut Butter requires me to eat the outside chocolate first–round and round like a beaver removing bark.  The heavenly peanut butter middle is exposed and saved for last.

A cheeseburger.  Save a big clump of cheese til the end.  Salad.  Eat the croutons last.  Spaghetti.  Hardly any tomato sauce.  Ick.  Eat all the veggies out first.  Then eat the noodles.  Try to save some big meat lumps  for last.  Sandwiches.  Never cut them in half.  Eat the whole outer edge and save the filling-stuffed, squishy-breaded middle for last.  I wasn’t joking when I said OCD.  I never joke about OCD.

baguette tables

Again, it turns out that “playing with one’s food” is not always a by-product of a family tree with no branches.  Hehe.  It can be a sign of true genius (although I still haven’t found anything to prove this theory).  It can also result from buying too much bread–not a sign of genius.

Studio Rygalik, a Polish design team, created these Baguette Tables as a statement on mass consumption–I don’t get it at all by the way.  But, then again, I’m not too bright.  How does wasting perfectly good French loaves teach us not to waste perfectly good French loaves?  “Ugh,” she moans as she grabs her head and says, “I just gave myself a circular conversation OCD headache.”

I think their sense of style is a little stale.  The whole look is crummy.  And it probably costs a whole lot of dough.

I’ve been getting pun lessons from Barry Weiss.

3)  One good thing about my genetic material is that it makes for good eyesight.  There is a distinct absence of eyeglasses in our family photos.  There may be an over-abundance of short people, receding hairlines, and large snouts–but we can spot dimes from a mile away.  Which led me to wonder which one of my eyes is dominant.  Yes, we each have a dominant eye.

"This isn't my dominant eye?"

“This isn’t my dominant eye?”

I used to work in a shoe store–many moons ago.  And I learned a very interesting fact that sounds like an old wives’ tale, but actually proved to be true.  The foot opposite to your writing hand is always the big foot.  Yup, righties have big left feet.  And south paws have massive right feet.  Anywho, back to eyeballs.

Here is Wikipedia’s advice for finding out which eye is your dominant one:

  1. The Miles test. The observer extends both arms, brings both hands together to create a small opening, then with both eyes open views a distant object through the opening. The observer then alternates closing the eyes or slowly draws opening back to the head to determine which eye is viewing the object (i.e. the dominant eye).
  2. The Porta test. The observer extends one arm, then with both eyes open aligns the thumb or index finger with a distant object. The observer then alternates closing the eyes or slowly draws the thumb/finger back to the head to determine which eye is viewing the object (i.e. the dominant eye) .

My right eye is the winner.  But I like having my left eye around too.  I’m not picking any favourites.

Which eye is the boss of your face?

Photo Credits:  Bunny http://pinterest.com/pin/392657661231355560/, All finger faces by Dito Von Tease at http://ditology.blogspot.ca/, bread tables http://www.archieli.com/design/play-with-your-food-baguette-tables-by-studio-rygalik/, http://monster.wikia.com/wiki/Mike_Wazowski?file=Mike-Wazowski2.jpg.

“One Lovely Blog Award” for me? YAY!

I  am so excited.  I have just received the “One Lovely Blogger Award” from the awesomely witty http://allthingsboys.wordpress.com/.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.   Now, please visualize a short round person–let’s say a female Danny DeVito–doing cartwheels and backflips.  That’s me.  Watch me go.  I think I just pulled something.

Don’t worry.  My hands are fine.  Still able to type.

Apparently, I must now come up with another round of 7 Random Things About Me.  I have recently discovered that I am a very “random” person–I’m not sure if it was a compliment or a dig–but today, this skill (or flaw) will come in handy.

1.  I eat my food funny.  Let me qualify this statement.  I still use my mouth and chew and swallow like normal people.  It is my method of “organizing” my food that is strange.  Apparently.  I always save the best until last.  A Wunderbar involves eating the chocolate and caramel skin first.  The PB centre is my reward.  A piece of pizza must be eaten crust first, then toppings that are not cheese, then soggy pizza bottom.  Last and definitely not least, I eat the cheese.  Which could explain my problematic constipation.  It has occurred to me that I would eat less if I saved the worst for last.  But then I’d never eat my veggies.

2.  I love yard sales.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are aspects of rooting through other people’s junk that are rather…um…off-putting.  But every now and then, you find a gem.  Like my lamp with feet.  Or my rocking horse elephant.  A rocking elephant, I guess.  Or my tea pot with feet.  Hm.  Do I suffer from a strange form of foot fetish?

3.  I recently bought a big round brown pillow made of fun fur, put giant eyes on it, and named it “Skippy.”  He does not have feet.

4.  I lisp when I talk too fast.  Which is most of the time.  I am a fast-talker.  My husband thinks it’s cute when I lisp, so it’s okay.

5.  We hate a strange menagerie of wildlife that we feed.  A chipmunk named Snoopy (he has an unusually long nose–almost as if his father was a shrew) that comes when he’s called and sits on my lap to eat peanuts.  A red squirrel named Patches (he’s been in a lot of fights judging from his bald spots) that also lets us hand feed him.  Several blue jays that stand on the deck railings and stare until they are fed.  Crows that come for food when I call out “Big Bird.”  Yes, the neighbours think I am insane.  And they find pieces of food in really strange places.  In fact, if I looked at my neighbour’s roof right now, I’d probably see a slab of peanut-butter smeared bread stuck to his shingles or spread across his hedge.  And there are a lot of sunflower plants of “mysterious origins” sprouting all around us.  Hehe.

6.  I hate TV medical dramas.  I am far too neurotic and OCD to expose myself to hours of maimed and ailing people.  There simply aren’t enough airbags or anti-bacterial soap to conquer the fears that ER or Grey’s Anatomy would spawn in this manic brain.

7.  I snort when I laugh.  My husband does not think this is cute at all.

Now I have the honour of passing this award on to 15 Lovely Bloggers.  Again, I am sorry that I can’t pass it on to all of the blogs I follow, but rules are rules.

1.  http://jodiambroseblog.com/  She is hilarious and no topic is off-limits!!  She always makes me laugh out loud!

2.  http://lesleycarter.wordpress.com/  I live vicariously through this blog.

3.  http://annaweezy.wordpress.com/  I just discovered this blog and she is hilarious.  Check it out!

4.  http://losjuevos.wordpress.com/  This is the quirkiest blog I’ve seen in a long time.  It makes me smile.

5. http://thisthatandtheotherthang.wordpress.com/  This is one of my favourites.  I like the way her mind works.

6.  http://palomasharma.wordpress.com/  This is one of my other favourites.  This girl can write!  And make you laugh.

7.  http://pickyniki.wordpress.com/  I just discovered this blog and LOVE it.  Imagine torturing yourself every day by having to eat something new and weird.

8. http://dearflash.wordpress.com/  Who wouldn’t love seeing life through the eyes of an endearing, short-legged canine?  No one, that’s who.

9.   http://killsharpcheddar.com/  A cool and eclectic blend of photos, cartoons, and thoughts.

10.  http://jefferly.com/  This blog is funny and intelligent.

11.  http://agingappropriately.wordpress.com/  Just discovered this blog and LOVED it.  Funny.

12.http://doninmass.com/  Quirky and witty.

13.   http://kitchenslattern.com/  My day would not be complete without the kitchen slattern.  Absolutely hilarious.

14.   http://motherhoodisanart.com/about/  Funny and clever take on real life with kids.

15. http://wedelmom.wordpress.com/   This is awesomely funny!!

I am about to tag all 15 of you.  You’ve been warned!

The Daisy Award Nomination!! Woo-Hoo!

Wow, I have never been nominated for anything before in my entire life.  Seriously.  For years I’ve been watching TV award show nominees (and I do mean TONS of them.  I am a wee bit of an award show addict–except for the Country Music Awards.  Like I’ve said before, Country Music gives me a rash and an overwhelming desire to slit my wrists, swallow a jar of the nearest pills, and jump off a tall bridge) say that it’s just an honour to be nominated, and I never believed a word they said.  But, now I do.  It IS an honour.

I must thank http://palomasharma.wordpress.com/ for this nomination and I encourage you to check out her insightful, witty, and well-written blog “Going Bananas.”  It rocks!

Now is the tricky part–following the rules.  Not because I am a rebel, but rather because I have problems with deciphering directions.  Seriously, IKEA furniture makes my brain hurt.  But, I will do my valiant best and soldier on.

The rules are:

* Thank the person who nominated you.

* Tell your readers 7 unusual things about yourself.

* Nominate some worthy bloggers.

The first rule was easy.  Again, thank you to http://palomasharma.wordpress.com/!!  Check it out, people.

Now I must reveal 7 unusual things about myself.  I should restate that–reveal 7 unusual things about myself that I haven’t already revealed in my blog.  And I have revealed a lot of unusual things.  Hm.  What to do, what to do.  Okay, here goes nothing:

1)  Apparently, I pronounce things funny.  No, really.  My dentist says I have a small, shallow mouth.  My husband doesn’t believe him.  It would seem that a small, shallow mouth can still produce a lot of noise.  It also seems to impede my ability to say “L” and “TH” sounds properly.  Don’t get me wrong.  These sounds sound (that looks weird in print) right, they just look funny while I’m making them.  My tongue leaps out of my mouth really far.  Like “lick the nose of the person I’m talking to” far.  Probably because my mouth is so shallow.  I went decades without knowing I possessed this flaw, but, thankfully, my husband (the most observant man ever), has made me very aware of this oddity.

2) I am addicted to Seinfeld.  Hence, my blogger name “facelikeafryingpan.”  Remember George trying to describe Elaine to the movie theatre attendant–“face like a frying pan, big wall of hair.”  I even had George’s answering machine message (a spoof of the Greatest American Hero theme song) on my own phone for a while.  Yup, I’m fanatical.

3) I give inanimate objects voices.  No, I’m not insane.  Honest.  I blame my father for this.  When I was a kid, my father used to draw faces on melons, oranges, bananas–basically anything that had an inedible rind.  Now,  imagine a cantaloupe that looks at you with a big smile on its face–as if to say, “hey.  You’re home.  I’m glad to see you.”  Would you be able to hack into it’s skin with a sharp object?  Not likely.  Neither could I.  Melons usually died of old age in our house.

So, now, when I accidentally bang the side of my mug against the coffee table, I apologize.  My car berates me when I hit a pothole too hard.  My Keurig gives me a blow-by-blow description of its progress.  And my computer nags me to clean its screen.  It’s noisy in my head, but I have a lot of fun.  And a lot of friends.  And a patient husband.

4)  I love Daddy-Long-Legs, the misunderstood insect that everyone treats with the same disdain as a run-of-the-mill spider.  I don’t understand it.  They are cute.  Tiny little round bodies with skinny legs that always seem to have minds of their own.  I wish I had long legs and a small body.  Instead I have a body like a snowman and stub legs.

5)  I am addicted to peanut butter.  Especially when it comes with chocolate.  I am a connoisseur of this combination.  Does anyone remember the really old Peanut Butter Cup commercials that said, “You got chocolate in my peanut butter…You got peanut butter in my chocolate.”  Well, I do.  And I have actually dipped Jersey Milk bars in Crunchy Kraft peanut butter and it is awesome.  But, the best peanut butter treat in the world is The Peanut Butter Company’s White Chocolate Wonderful.  On toasted dark rye.  Mm.  I can’t wait for breakfast time tomorrow.

6)  I love Ugly Dolls.  Duh?  I guess this is just a bit obvious if you’ve looked at my blog.  Wage Ugly Doll is the best of all.  Seriously, who couldn’t love someone who comes with his own construction apron.  I keep giving him jobs and he can’t seem to get them done though.  He’s cute, but he’s not too bright.

7)  I am addicted to New York City.  Ever since I studied make-up artistry there, I have been unable to get enough of this city.  This raises another concern.  After perusing my list, I have realized that I have a lot of addictions.  Note to self: address this issue with general practitioner.  Perhaps, referral to mental health professional is required.

Okay, step number 2 is now complete.  I have bared my strange soul to a world of virtual strangers.  In doing so, I now run the risk of another group of strangers arriving at my door with a straight-jacket designed just for me–a short round one with stubbier-than-usual sleeves.  I wonder if rubber rooms are as fun as they look?

Now, I will makes some nominations.

http://wedelmom.wordpress.com/  This blogger cracks me up completely.  She is particularly gifted at poking fun at the strange things that we have come to accept as part of everyday life.  Very clever.  And funny!

http://justoutsidetheboxcartoon.com/  OMG!  If you need a quick laugh, you can always count on the cartoons by justoutsidethebox.  Really witty and twisted.  Love them.

http://sarahmandl.wordpress.com/  This blog always puts a huge smile on my face.  I am addicted to her Random Thoughts Fridays.  I definitely recommend adding this to your “Blogs I Follow.”

http://texanaskitchen.com/  If you are able to cook and laugh simultaneously, this is the blog for you.  Not only do her recipes cause me to drool all over my keyboard, but her stories are gut-bustingly funny.

http://theoctoberseer.wordpress.com/ This is hilarious!  It’s like reading someone’s random (and hysterical) thoughts in a diary format.  You’ve got to check this out.

I wish I could nominate every blog that I follow, but that would take forever.  Turns out, I’m addicted to all of your blogs too!!  (As I am typing, I am keeping one eye on the driveway.  No big vans carrying men in white coats yet.  Phew. )

I wish my nominator http://palomasharma.wordpress.com/ and all of my nominees the best of luck being the official Daisy Award winner.

Big bugs, Chocolate-covered Tomatoes, and a Game of Wife-slinging

“Go to bed in your fireplace, you’ll sleep like a log.”  Ellen DeGeneres.  

Is it me or are bugs getting bigger and stranger?  Seriously.  I went cycling the other day and something was flying along beside me that looked like an insect (scaly and ugly), but was bird-sized.  I don’t know what the hell this thing eats and, now that I come to think of it, I’m probably better off not knowing.   Disturbing encounters like these always make me imagine the following scenario:

All of the beetles, slugs, grubs, moths, ants, spiders, worms, fleas, flies, and every other bug-related life form in my half acre of property are rounded up and poured into one giant room with white walls and floors.  How big would the pile be?  What “never-seen-before” creatures would I be subjected to?  Would I ever want to step in my lawn again?  Probably not.

Which brings me to the first new fact that I learned today:

1)  I know it can’t help how it looks, but this thing is hideous.  It also looks like something that has walked the earth for millions of years.  In fact, this would be the perfect foe for a resurrected Mothra flick.

I used to think these were June bugs.  Someone in my childhood wrongly taught me this–a cautionary tale for any adult who likes to ply their child with bull@$%&.  June bugs and their cousins the May bug (honest, they exist) are much smaller and benign-looking.

This monster is, in fact, a “Giant Water Bug,” also known as the Lethocerus.  He is basically harmless, unless you are a smaller bug, a frog, a fish, or a salamander.  But, man, he is ugly.  And when he accidentally flies into your garage door, he makes quite the thud.  I guess I should just be thankful it wasn’t my forehead.

2)  I love Japanese inventions.  Remember the square watermelon and the girlfriend’s lap pillow?  Well, here’s a real dandy.

Let’s face it–chocolate is one of the world’s most beloved foods.  And some things make the perfect chocolate companion.  Peanut Butter is my favourite co-flavour.  Some people like chocolate-covered cherries or chocolate with mint.  And right now, Aero has re-introduced their yummy orange-middled chocolate bar.  mmmm.

But, it would seem that the Japanese crave something completely different–chocolate and tomato.  My tender North American senses can’t even imagine what this combo would taste like.  A baby’s diaper springs to mind.

I think this video says it all.  Nothing like sugary tomato soup to brighten your day.

3)  Okay, now let’s leave Asia and head to Scandinavia–Finland, to be exact.  It would appear that for centuries, the Finnish have partaken in a strange, yet jovial ritual–competitive wife-carrying.

Yes, strong male Finns fling their damsels over their shoulders and lug them through an obstacle course that includes water, what appears to be short horse-jumping fences, mounds of sand, and bales of hay.  The winner is the one who completes the course in the fastest time.

Unlike American Reality TV contests like Amazing Race and Fear Factorthis contest does not land the victors a hefty cash payout.  Instead, the prize is beer.  And the amount of beer depends on how much the wife weighs–which in itself causes quite a conundrum.  It’s easier to win with a feather-light wife, but the payout is bigger if she’s failed at Jenny Craig.