Giant Sweat Socks, Donuts With Feet, and A Puss Explosion

I confess that I never really grew up.  And I am not referring to my lack of stature.  I achieved exactly five feet in this department, much to my relief.  The thought of having to say that I am four foot anything would have been too much to bear.  (Sorry.  I momentarily had to consider the use of “bear” vs. “bare,” which is not good being that I am an English teacher.  Then I remembered that “Bare With Me” equates to an invitation to get naked.  Good thing I got that straight.  Stupid language.)  Now, where was I?  Oh, yeah.  My lack of height.

While, I never grew up in the physical sense, I failed to do so in the mental sense as well.  At the age of 45, I still love anything with eyes.  Well, not clowns.  Or dolls.  Or, Heaven forbid, clown dolls.  But most things with eyes amuse me immensely.

Poop.  Not cute.  Poop with eyes.  Adorable.

Poop. Not cute. Poop with eyes. Adorable.

I still love Bert and Ernie–although I am partial to Bert.  He’s the only man I know that can pull off lime green pants and a uni-brow.  I am a huge fan of Wage the Ugly Doll (um.  Hence my Gravatar and blog design).  And I collect vintage Pop Culture icons–you know, things like Grimace, Cornelius Rooster, old Snoopys, the Dough Boy.  But my real weakness is puppets.  I have a plethora of puppets.

My childhood (and current) dream was (and is) to be a puppeteer on any Jim Henson Production.  I’m not fussy.  Any one of his puppets will do.  Except maybe Miss Piggy.  She bugs me.  She looks like Nikki Newman on The Young and the Restless.  She bugs me too.

Nikki NewmanMiss Piggy (2)

Beeker would be good.  Or Grover.   And, of course, Bert or Ernie.  Not Elmo.  I’d like to step on his throat.

I finally got the damn thing to shut up.

I finally got the damn thing to shut up.

Makes me feel guilty stepping on my socks.

Makes me feel guilty stepping on my socks.

1)  Let’s face it.  Sock puppets are awesome.  As long as the sock is clean and doesn’t smell like foot.  Or Parmesan.  I can never tell the two scents apart.  Gack.

This sock puppet is pretty darn cute.  It’s the eyes.  It’s always the eyes.  I am suddenly very aware of the fact that I am stepping on a pair of potential sock puppets right this minute.  Instead of entertaining smiling children, my socks are stuck clinging to my foot callouses.  Note to self: moisturize crunchy feet.   Poor socks.  Almost makes me want to take them off and give them a break.  Almost.  The cold hardwood floor stops me from actually doing it.  After all, they ARE socks.  They were born to be stepped on.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to my first fact of the day.  When it comes to sock puppets, I think bigger is better.  Imagine one that is 32 feet tall.  Imagine the eyes!

It turns out that a group in Rhode IslandProject Undercover, holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Sock and–you guessed it–it looms a whopping 32 feet in height.  Holy crap.  And they patterned it with a standard sock monkey puppet in mind.  Here’s the finished product…monster sock

big zit

2) My mind is a mysterious thing.  Puppets have led to socks which, then, led to feet.  Feet make me think of bunions (which, by the way, is one of the cutest words ever.  Calling someone a bunion sounds like a term affection, when really you are calling them a hideous foot growth).  Bunions made me ponder boils and corns.  Which, unfortunately led to me finding this.

Ack.  I must try to type without letting my eyes wonder over to this picture.  It’s like a car accident.  You don’t want to look at it, but you simply have to.  All I can imagine is the poor bugger who was around when it popped.

I don’t really know much about this photo other than the fact that it is simply labelled “the world’s biggest zit.”  How the hell do you get a zit the size of a red squirrel?  Seriously.  Does the guy live off a steady diet of Poutine and Deep Fried Mars Bars?  Perhaps, it’s from an ingrown hair.  But what the hell kind of hair would lead to a giant pustule like that?  The hair of a Wookiee?

Rumour has it that the largest zit was 78mm–about the size of a hockey puck.  I’d rather get hit in the head with the puck though.  Less messy.

3)  I have to erase the image of this massive sebaceous thing, so I have decided to share a few cute Canadian things with eyes.  I remember asking an American blogger if she had ever seen the Excel gum commercial with the walking donut and coffee cup.  Apparently, this is a “Canadian” thing, so I thought I’d share this–and a few other cute commercial icons–with my non-Canuck friends.

Here are the mascots for Excel (by Wrigley’s) gum.  Since this original commercial, a bulb of garlic has joined the gang.

 I am, however, still puzzled about the whole “donut breath” thing.  Does a donut really cause “breath?”  And, if it did, wouldn’t it be a good thing?

And here are the “timbits” of Tim Hortons’–otherwise known as donut holes.

And Frank & Gordon, the Bell Canada Beavers.    They seem to have been fired from Bell–maybe due to failed contract negotiations or a better offer elsewhere.

One of my all-time favourite pictures.  Bert and his dad.

One of my all-time favourite pictures. Bert and his dad.

Photo credits:  Nikki Newman ( Miss Piggy (, poop with eyes (, sock with eyes (, monster zit (,

My blanket smells like belly button, my coffee reeks like skunk butt, and my pocket smells like 100-year-old phlegm.

It’s one of those days where I seriously contemplate gender reassignment.  Let’s face it–having a uterus and a pair of ovaries can be a pain in the ass.  Especially when they render you a hemorrhagic, cramped-over, anemic mess every 21 days.  Thankfully, I don’t get bitchy.  Whiny, yes.  Bitchy, no.

I fear a sex-change will leave me looking like this.

Knowing my luck, a sex-change would transform me into this.  No offense, Nathan Lane.

I, therefore, apologize in advance for what will likely be a less-coherent than usual (and that’s saying something) post that may or may not contain a number of period-induced expletives.  For any of my faithful male readers who have not yet ran away from the computer screaming, I say, “thank you.”  If women must endure bleeding profusely from the crotch in order to ensure that the human race continues to thrive, the least the men can do is listen to us vent about it.  I bet you’re glad you’re not my hubby right now.  Hehe.


A few things have struck me as particularly strange this week.  First of all, the English language is a very peculiar thing–particularly if you only hear it spoken.  For instance, a naval graveyard can sound like a place where dead bellybuttons go.  Knotty pine sounds like very ill-behaved trees.  “She’s got a big pair,” could make someone think she has an over-sized fruit.  And who hasn’t partaken in the occasional “it’s not/it’s snot” joke?  Seriously.  ESL must be a nightmare.

Ack.  A blanket that smells like a belly button.

Ack. A blanket that smells like a belly button.

Plus, what’s with the saying, “it sells like hotcakes?”  Do hotcakes really sell a lot?  In Canada, we call them pancakes, and they do not sell at all.  We don’t have IHOP, but we did have a few wannabes.  Golden Griddle?  Defunct.  Smitty’s Pancake House?  Gone with the wind.  Don’t get me wrong.  Canadians like pancakes.  We just don’t seem to like to pay for them.  I think we should coin our own phrase–“it sells like Tim Hortons‘ coffee.”  Even though I still say that Tim Hortons’ coffee smells like roadkill skunk.  But maybe I am just developing a giant nose tumour.

For the first time in my life, colour me speechless.

For the first time in my life, colour me speechless.

1)  I consider myself to be somewhat of a collector–PEZ, model cars, pop culture memorabilia–but some “collectors” really should keep their collections hidden away.  Australian librarian, Graham Barker, is one of those people.  For the past 26 years, he has mined his belly button for lint; eagerly retrieved his lode, and stored it in dated jars.

Why?  No seriously.  This is not a rhetorical question.

Admittedly, he has garnered himself a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, achieving a moment of fame.  But do you want to go down in history as the man that not only spent 26 years of his life navel-gazing, but digging around in there too?

Having amassed 22.1 grams of belly button fibre, I must wonder if there is anything left of his sweaters?  And I don’t even want to know what sort of putrid odour wafts from these jars when he unscrews the lids?  Ack.  Just puked in my mouth again.  After 7 months of blogging, you think I’d get used to this.

bellybutton lint

Now, just for shits and giggles, check out the adoring and gleeful manner in which his eyes behold his beloved collection.  This is a man who clearly loves his belly button and the gifts it sprouts.

Holy crap.  They smell the same to me.  Am I dying?

Holy crap. They smell the same to me. Am I dying?

2) It turns out I do not have an impaired olfactory lobe.  Nor do I have a nose tumour.  In fact, I may simply have a more finely tuned sniffer than the rest of you.

According to  David Rowe, smell-expert and author of Chemistry and Technology of Flavors and Fragrances, coffee and skunk juice do share an important aroma-causing compound.  Coffee contains furfuryl mercaptan, a chemical that is in the same family as butyl mercaptan–the chemical that gives a skunk squirt its musky (a.k.a. nauseating) smell.

This skunkiness is exacerbated during the creation of decaf.  Apparently the caffeine-removal process also removes much of this chemical, so companies must add it back in to make the product smell more enticing.  If they add too much, the result is a cup of java that reeks of skunk butt.

It’s not all in my head.  Or my nose.

If you knew what it was, you probably wouldn't hold it with your bare hands.

If you knew what it was, you probably wouldn’t hold it with your bare hands.

3)  So my quest to have Barry Weiss find my blog is still under way.  And I just happen to have a Barry-related tidbit that fits in with today’s rant.  Imagine that?

A while back, Storage Wars‘ (and all of television’s, for that matter), most lovable character came across an item that resembled a metal flask with a strange little door on the side.  He and his doting audience were enthralled.  Whatever could this strange device be?

Turns out it is a century-old, portable cuspidor–more commonly known as a spittoon.  Yes.  This is a vessel filled with the relics of old phlegm.  ACK!

While Barry initially appeared appalled by this revelation, he seemed to recover from this initial shock, pocketing the sputum-filled vessel and adding it to his personal collection.  I like to think he went home and boiled it first.

Ancient phlegm or not, he can still park his cuspidor under my Sealy Posturepedic any day of the week.

But he may want to wait for two to five days.

If you’d like to read more about Barry Weiss, his phlegm holder and more, check out my social media experiment at: Searching for Barry Weiss.

Photo Credits:  Nathan Lane  (,  menstruation (, belly button blanket (, belly button lint & man who loves it (, coffee-drinking skunk (, spittoon (

Teeny Tires, A New Ghost Town, and A Coveted Pez

“Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.”  Kurt Vonnegut.

I think I had too much caffeine yesterday.  As you know, I am usually hyper–a “can’t sit still,” twitching & yapping, multi-tasker–but, yesterday, I was all this times ten with a touch of nausea thrown in.  This is why I don’t drink coffee.  And from now on, I will give Tim Horton’s Iced Capps a wide berth too–no matter how yummy and Coffee Crisp-like they are.

Today, I am suffering from post-caffeine exhaustion.  Hopefully, my mind-numbing stupor will not show through in my writing.  If it does, I apologize and promise to limit my beverage consumption to water and herbal tea K-cups.  Do we have a deal?

1)  Here’s a question for all you car people…who is the world’s largest tire manufacturer?  I’ll just sit here for a minute, while you run out into the nearest parking lot and examine people’s tires.  (In an attempt to pass the time, I decided to create my own muzak…but now I am plagued by the crooning of Tom Jones echoing in my head).

Are you finished yet?  The answer is LEGO.  Yes, they produce more tires, albeit smaller ones, than any other tire manufacturer.  381 million in 2011 alone.  That’s a lot of teeny tiny tires.

2) What images spring to mind when you hear the words, “Ghost Town?” For some reason, I imagined a town populated by Casper and friends, but that’s probably just me.  Most of you probably thought of abandoned Old West-style buildings like the ones pictured here.

Turns out that the modern-day Ghost Town (isn’t that an oxymoron?) is nothing like any of us conjured up at all–at least not in New Mexico.

Plans for an ultra-modern community boasting homes, office buildings, warehouses, retail outlets, sewers, and pretty much everything else one would expect to find in a bustling city of 35,000 inhabitants have been unveiled.  The only thing that will be missing is the inhabitants.  CITE, otherwise known as Centre for Innovation, Testing, and Evaluation will be just east of Hobbs, New Mexico.  And why the heck are they doing this?  In the name of research.  The goal is that CITE will become the testing grounds for smart and green technologies from around the world.  Already, companies are eager to road-test unmanned vehicles and geothermal power sources here.

In an age of homelessness and unemployment, does it seem strange that we are building houses for no one to live in and industries that won’t employ a soul?

3)  I admit it.  I’m a giant PEZ head.  I can’t get enough of these brightly coloured dispensers with eyes.  Funny, I don’t like the candy.  Just the containers they come in.  I think my fascination started thanks to an episode of Seinfeld, which leads to another passion of mine–anything Seinfeld–but we’ll save that for another day.

So, today I decided to entertain myself (and hopefully some of you) with one of many fascinating PEZ facts.

I have always coveted the Mr. Bean Pez collection.  Who wouldn’t?  There’s a miniature yellow Leyland Mini and a plastic rendition of Teddy.  Too cute.  Well, turns out that I should have had my heart set on another, albeit ugly, PEZ–a 1982 World’s Fair Astronaut–the most expensive PEZ ever.

This antithesis of cute fetched a hefty $ 32,205.00 US on e-bay, without a doubt causing some eyebrows to raise.  Some people just have way too much money.

AND you may have noticed that I changed the name of my blog.  Or maybe you didn’t.  Don’t worry, I won’t hold it against you.  Apparently, “Abbraccio Conoscenza” aka “Embrace Knowledge” in Italian was too hard to remember.  I picked my brain for one of my favourite pop culture references and voila–Lisa Simpson’s “embiggens” popped into my mind.  So, here’s to embiggening your dendrites and increasing your hat size.