August 31, 2008

Only Pretty Things

Last week when Meathenge was on vacation, I wandered over to I'm Mad And I Eat.
There Cookiecrumb posted her answer to the Omnivore's 100, developed by Andrew of Very Good Taste. I wanted to know how my score would stack up against that of a foodie, so I answered it myself. Not bad. My score is 73. What's yours?

[Note: since the original post I have eaten durian and abalone. I'm now up to 75]

[Note: as of 9/2016 I've also eaten fugu]

According to the originator of the list, here's how the Omnivore's 100 works:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten. (below I've colored the things I *haven't* eaten)
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (I have no underline, so I annotated)
4) Optional: Post a comment at Very Good Taste
, linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea

3. Huevos rancheros

4. Steak tartare

5. Crocodile

6. Black pudding

7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp (
I really like carp too much to eat them) 

9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush

11. Calamari

12. Pho

13. PB&J sandwich

14. Aloo gobi

15. Hot dog from a street cart

16. Epoisses

17. Black truffle

18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns

20. Pistachio ice cream

21. Heirloom tomatoes

22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras

24. Rice and beans (sold RBR daily at a NO-style restaurant)

25. Brawn or head cheese ("it's got eyes and lips and ears and nose and everything I like except the tongue" -- Psychotic Pineapple)

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (NEVER. NOT INTERESTED)

27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters (again, worked at an oyster bar)

29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda

31. Wasabi peas

32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (go Giants!)

33. Salted lassi

34. Sauerkraut (ask me about Meeter’s kraut juice)

35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar (yawn)

37. Clotted Cream Tea

38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O

39. Gumbo (Worked at a N.O.-style restaurant)

40. Oxtail (I’m sure that Knorr’s oxtail soup doesn’t count)
41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects (breakfast buffet in Tokyo)
43. Phaal

44. Goat's milk (When I was a kid. I’d like it better now)

45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu (9/2016)

47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi

53. Abalone (ate it for the first time on All Nippon Air)

54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (maybe 30 years ago?)

56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini (I'm a gibson girl, if anything)

58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine (can’t wait!)

60. Carob chips

61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin (hasn’t everybody?)

64. Currywurst
65. Durian (I had a durian pearl tea drink recently)

66. Frogs’ legs

67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis

69. Fried plantain

70. Chitterlings or andouillette (five-spice intestines eaten with caramel corn in 2010)

71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe

74. Gjetost or brunost

75. Roadkill

76. Baijiu (Yum. Tastes like if you made alcohol out of beef jerky)

77. Hostess Fruit Pie

78. Snail

79. Lapsang Souchong

80. Bellini

81. Tom Yum

82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky

84. 3 Michelin Star Tasting Menu

85. Kobe beef

86. Hare (does rabbit count? I think it does)

87. Goulash (one bite last Friday. Timely!)

88. Flowers

89. Horse (I think I ate horse salami in Mantova in 2013)
90. Criollo chocolate

91. Spam

92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa

94. Catfish

95. Mole poblano (probably have, but I’m not sure)

96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor

98. Polenta

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

August 30, 2008

Election Bunker 2008

'Tis the season. It's the happiest time in a boy's life: Election Bunker 2008.

During the season mrguy settles into a steady diet of debates, monologging, anticipation and then (at least for the last long 8 years) disbelief. Me too, although I don't get quite as into it as mrguy.

I am hoping that this season doesn't bring us the same cycle of disappointment.

I was looking forward to a fair-ish fight and good debates by strong thinkers. Now I'm thrown for a loop with McCain's selection of Sarah Palin as vp running mate. She's a better fit to be his *constituent*, than to be his running mate.

With the wealth of talented Republican women in the US, I'm shocked by the choice.


[redacted version]

August 24, 2008


Tis the weekend to:

Figure out the vocal arrangement for "Freedom"

And then

Make that necklace for a wee one
And finish two necklaces for the precious ones


Watching the cool documentary that a friend lent us so long ago

And starting those two books that have been lent to us

And remembering that turkey carcass for a friend

Much better!

Balderdashia, Glorious Final Russodad 2008 edition

Three years ago at Russodad I realized after playing Balderdash that it seemed like the most creative thing I'd done in a long time. That was a bit of an awakening. I'm happy to say that this is no longer the case. Soon after that year's vacation I joined the uke band, and then mrguy encouraged me to do mrsguy.

I still pine for Balderdash when my People are far from me :)

Answers from our previous game:

Crawthumpers [Definition]:
3) Religious fanatics

Rattled [Movie]:
1) Hundreds of rattlesnakes crawl down from the hills after their home is disturbed by a construction crew

Whickflaw [Definition]:
3) The skin located under the fingernails

And gleanings from our final night's play:

Keep Off My Grass [Movie]:
1) Is the first of the Dennis the Menace films, in which an exasperated Mr. Wilson attempts to keep young Denni and his sheepdog puppy off his new lawn.
2) The drummer from the popular 60's band "The Monkees" stars as a Casanova-type guy.
3) This sports-themed documentary follows the trials and tribulations of the head grounds keeper at Pebble Beach, as he attemts to re-sod six fairways, between tournaments.
4) A musical comedy romp involving two neighbors who band together to combat stray dogs.
5) The grounds keeper of a golf course fights mysterious creatures who burn hieroglyphics on the putting greens.
6) In this coming-of-age drama, a suburban divorcee discovers that the neighborhood boy who mows her lawn has become romantically obsessed with her.

Sortita [Definition]:
1) The act of pretending not to hear someone's faux-pas.
2) A small sack for carrying salt in Guatemala.
3) The first part of an opera, sung by one of the principle singers.
4) In Spain, an affectionate tern used for "house maid".
5) A South American flowering shrub whose bright yellow pollen is used for ceremonial body-coloring.
6) A Venezuelan children's game in which players attempt to strike each other in the head with cobs of corn.

In New York It Is Illegal To [Laws]:
1) eat menudo on a city sidewalk.
2) eat animals bought at a pet store.
3) eat garlic bread on the street, north of Canal Street.
4) mollusks in months whose names end in the letter "R"
5) wheat products imported from New Jersey.
6) soup with a fork.

Russodad Roundup

As we came off the bridge and headed toward town on our way to Russodad, we passed the mini golf course. The conversation went something like this:

"The cannibals still there?"
"Yeah, but I think they're wearing pants."
"THAT'S not right."

We look forward to mini golf but rarely drive into town to do it. This year, Grandmamoo guy began agitating for it the day before we left, so a small group of us sallied forth to the golferie.

Our local establishment has two 18-hole courses, populated by funny creatures and obstacles made out of chicken wire, cement and Bondo. A small dark pinball room is the only other amenity. They have speakers that broadcast a single song every twenty minutes. The kids who work there are sweet. The sounds are mainly those from traffic and the day care center. I wish I owned this place. It's so much fun. I did not win. I did not lose.

I would not have repainted the cannibals.

They used to wear loincloths.

August 18, 2008

Who Moved My Cheese?

I am over Cheez-its.

This is a shocking statement, as Cheez-its have long been a prime component of my food pyramid. However Sunshine has changed the formula and I no longer have the craving.

The entire guy family feels the same way. Multiple discussions have been had while we're together on vacation, and we all kinda agree. Cheez-its don't taste any better than Cheese Nips or Twigs.

I had been hoping that this was just a single bad batch, but months have passed with no improvement in flavor.

I think I'm gonna have to pass.

August 16, 2008

Balderdashia, Game 2

The results from Game 1

Bob Leach [Peculiar Person]:
2) Went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, but later slipped on an orange peel and died

Fangs [Movie Title]:
6) An old guy who raises snakes gets revenge when the townspeople turn on him.

Henri Charpentier [Peculiar Person]:
6) A chef who accidentally invented Crepes Suzette when his dessert caught on fire in front of a girl named Sue.

And last night's offerings:

Crawthumpers [Definition]:
1) Colloquial term for raccoons in the southeastern United States
2) Colloquial term for those who fish for crawdads
3) Religious fanatics
4) Slang term for larger pea gravel
5) Champion clog dancing group from Idaho

Rattled [Movie]:
1) Hundreds of rattlesnakes crawl down from the hills after their home is disturbed by a construction crew
2) A newborn baby's rattle is the lightning rod for supernatural forces in this horrifying thriller
3) A dark comedy about a midwestern dairy farmer who is bitten by a rattlesnake and develops a deep fear that he will have to turn to running a whale dairy to make ends meet
4) A National Geographic special film on the life cycle of the diamond back rattlesnake
5) An accident at a biochemical facility releases rattlesnake pheromone on an unsuspecting community. Rattlesnakes terrorize the townspeople in this suspense thriller

Whickflaw [Definition]:
1) An indentation left by a rocking chair in the boards of a front porch
2) A flail made of hemp rope and magnolia seeds, used primarily in the American South
3) The skin located under the fingernails
4) A three-tined pitchfork used exclusively for bailing green hay
5) A plant indigenous to Madagascar. The whickflaw blooms once every seven years

August 15, 2008

Balderdashia, Game 1

The Balderdash gauntlet has been thrown. Answers in this space later:

Bob Leach [Peculiar Person]:
1) hopped on one foot from Philadelphia to Boston in 1974
2) went over Niagara Falls in a barrel, but later slipped on an orange peel and died
3) made more than three hundred thousand dollars selling fool's gold to unwitting prospectors during the California gold rush
4) Chicago tailor who invented the zoot suit
5) found an alternate use for his failed fruit leather recipe by inventing edible underwear
6) former mayor of Lawrence, Kansas who left office to raise chinchillas

Fangs [Movie Title]:
1) This film, based ona true story, chronicles a fundamentalist church in Arkansas whose healing services incorporate the use of poisonous snakes.
2) A family of vampires that owns a car wash in small-town Georgia struggles to live a quiet life. When a beautiful stranger enters their lives, trouble ensues.
3) This documentary captures the three year rise and fall of a Chinese restaurant in a small North Dakota town.
4) A CHIPS-style drama about the Federal Air National Guard Service and their fight against crime in the skies.
5) Cheap thriller set in a small town where a misfit bank teller breeds rattlesnakes in the bank's vault and turns them loose.
6) An old guy who raises snakes gets revenge when the townspeople turn on him.

Henri Charpentier [Peculiar People]:
1) was an apprentice to Rodin but was never credited for any of the work he produced, most importantly, "The Kiss".
2) apprentice and long-time compannion of Louis Pasteur who helped invent the process of pasteurization
3) chef who accidentally invented Crepes Suzette when his dessert caught on fire in front of a girl named Sue
4) after a string of failed business ventures, Charpentier opened France's first zoo to great acclain in 1820
5) the man who tight-walked between the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
6) an explorer whose fake narrative of discover of the sources of the Mississippi prompted the Lewis & Clarke expedition

Russodad, Day 2

We hightailed it out to shop fairly early yesterday. Visited the used book store, where our purchases covered the map: silent film and Surrealism for MrMiddleGuySis, jazz improvisation and Gerhard Richter for mrguy, and Thor Heyerdahl for me.

The off to the antikyoo malls, where I bought a beeyootiful pink bark cloth aloha shirt and a postcard to send to a friend. The books at the mall were great. This one seemed an unintended swipe at buglers:

There was also a great book on Bigfoot that logged all known Bigfoot sightings up to that time (roughly 1979). I didn't buy it because I couldn't think of who needed it.

As serendipity would have it, I returned home to an email about the Bigfoot news conference
being held today. Our grandniece is mortally afraid of Bigfoot, so we're referring to it as the John Wayne conference.

More good sleuthing was achieved for the ladies yesterday.

Is it noon yet?

August 14, 2008

Russodad, Day 1

Ahhh :)

The Guy Family has convened, the champagne is open and it is officially vacation season. Dinner began with disclaimers about safety and plumbing, and then thanks. And when the dishes cleared, Cuz came to tell me the research questions the family had gathered for me. 

Here are some of the answers:

Cities named Santa Claus [Big Sis is writing about one]
House of Worth [Cuz has a Worth gown]

Still trying to find an article confirming that Cousin Paul saved someone's life on the Golden Gate Bridge in the 1950's.

No idea how to find out what park MiddleGuySis flew over on Tuesday, but we'll work on it.

In safety news, at random points in the day and night, a stream of scalding water shoots out of an open pipe sticking out near the roof of the house. It sounds like a horse relieving itself off a cliff. I'm just juvenile enough to laugh every time this happens. 

The plumber is on his way. 

August 12, 2008


It's Olympics time again. I usually manage zero hours of Olympics viewing but mrguy and I watched the opening ceremonies last week. They were nothing short of stupendous.

The first summer games I can recall were in 1972. Olga Korbut made every little girl want to be a gymnast. Mark Spitz made every boy want a mustache.

As the games approached this year, I wondered what became of Mark Spitz. Then news of him suddenly appeared at the intersection of celebrity, soap and the law. Yup, he is suing Dr. Bronner for calling him a prophet and referring to him on their wackadoodle labels. Hate it when that happens.

For more on Dr. Bronner, there's a documentary.

Can't wait to see it.

August 5, 2008


Oh Ivar.

It was a classic Pop automotive mantra that used rental cars were a great bargain. They were relatively new and had impeccable service records. So when he decided I needed a safe ride to go to grad school, he bought me a Hertz and fulfilled one of his life's goals.

However I would like to put the brakes on this automotive reverie to tell you a true story about what some people really do in rental cars...

Let's just say we knew someone who rented a sheep for a day and transported it in a rental car. The sheep didn't like the trip and the car was trashed.

Back to Ivar...

After driving my beloved no-seat, loud, paint-lacking Antwan, Ivar was beyond deluxe. I had never had power windows or even a trunk that popped open when you were inside the car. Everything worked. I can't do justice to my sense of pleasure and guilt in owning this car. The novelty did wear off, but we had eleven solid years together.

Ivar was a sheep-free zone.

August 3, 2008

Aloha Festival 2008

I told the newer members of the band that they'd either broil or freeze their okole today. Here's how that story evolved:

The Tahitian guys who went on before us were literally jumping up and down to keep warm backstage. And I've rarely been colder at a gig, but it was sweet and fun and a great time. Auntie Spunky's sister was heckling us from the front row. From the stage there were people as far as the eye could see.

In other news, the beer hat was working its magic. A guy stopped dead in his tracks, pointed at me and said "They selling those here?" Six month countdown to everybody everywhere wanting and wearing them.

Mrguy had one malasada left from his breakfast and kept it in his pocket as his "lucky malasada". This is what it looked like after the gig but I bet it was still tasty.

I cannot show you a picture of the turron.

They are in my tummy.

The Weekend

You need to savor weekends like these. Friday we went to a party at work. And the opening of a friend's installation, then a little Hawaiian nosh with Shee Jimmy at our home-away-from-home.

Saturday I tried desperately to find a supplemental outfit for an anniversary party that was themed. Didn't find that. DID find a shirt with a sumo print (kimarite).

On the way to the party we saw a demolition derby car that was sponsored by a porta-potty company:

The party was in celebration of a couple who, at 40 years of marriage, are showing us how it's done. It was incredibly lovely. There were people we knew and people we didn't. Alternative lifestylers and retired bankers. All duded up in their western gear eating organic food and taking in acoustic music. With a view of the rolling golden hills and a ranch across the street.

We left early for a little rehearsing (sigh)...and today is the Aloha Festival.

It's showtime!

August 2, 2008


Pop answered the phone: "What can I do for ya?"

"Give me the Toyota!"

"Done. Anything else?"

So I gave him Stinky, and took Antwan, a 1983 Toyota Tercel. By 1990, when this transaction was happening, all of his original paint had flaked off, and he wore a coat of silver spray paint.

I can't tell you how grateful I was. It was the perfect arrangement. Pop loved to sell cars. Mom wanted him to drive a car that wasn't so shameful looking. I had decided that it was far cooler to *get* to your destination than to be seen swanning up to it in a vintage ride. My bass amp fit on the back seat. That's all I cared about.

I recall our time together as being fairly unremarkable except for my being absolutely thrilled every single day not to think about car troubles. Now *that's* something to write home about. By not spending two hundred dollars a month on my car, I was able to save up for a ticket to go to China. By the time I had the cash the relationship was kaput, but I had a savings account and a focus I hadn't had before.

I drove Antwan until his seats had given away, not all of the windows rolled up, two different accidents had occurred to him when he was parked and he was 183,000 miles young. He began attracting attention of the local constabulary, like Officer No-Tooth. Eventually Pop worried that the two hour drive to grad school was going to be dangerous for me in Antwan. He was right. He sold the car and four months later I got a notice that Antwan had been abandoned after breaking down on the highway.

So ends the story of a faithful car, Antwan.

Stinky Part 2

Oh Stinky.

The wrap-around rear window was beautiful. He had abundant capacity for the equipment for our two-piece girl band. Just the right car at the right time.

He was missing some chrome parts from the interior, so I spent an hour or so at Bobo's Parts (real name) and removed parts under the watchful gaze of nice old men sitting in the sun on nearly three-legged cafeteria chairs.

Things were cool with Stinky except every couple of days I had to reach under the hood and tighten this nut that had *something* to do with the clutch.

But whatever. I moved to New Hampshire for a few months and left all cars to Pop. He sold the unloved Volvo, tweaked Stinky in unappreciated ways and when I returned to the state I was back in business, automotively speaking.

Then the unholy possession began. Occasionally I'd hear the sound of a relay tripping when I was driving, and then the wipers would go for one full cycle. And the headlights would blink. Eventually it would make the car undriveable. My motordudes could only fix it by disconnecting my backup lights. Mmmm.

Then the clutch went. In the middle of the street in the big city, the Friday of Labor Day weekend. We drove around the city in the tow truck for two hours before finding a shop that was still open that would take us. It was in a creepy neighborhood. I was grazed by a motorcyclist while in the crosswalk four doors away from the shop, as I and my pocket full of cash tried to retrieve the car.

I owned Stinky just long enough to attract the almost boyfriend who had previously owned a Barracuda. The smile on his face while he drove the thing made the chaos worth it. But while we were together the clutch died again. The electrical demons came back one night. I asked the motordudes to just patch it well enough to sell.

The almost boyfriend had moved to Beijing. I needed money to travel.

[Note: updated with more descriptive and less easily misunderstood blog name]
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