Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sunday in the park with tornwordo

I just had to go for a walk to check out the trees. Autumn sure announced itself with pomp, and announced it very early this year. We almost had a frost a couple weeks ago, so that must have pushed the ignition button.

It has been so cloudy lately but I think that makes the colors pop more. Unfortunately, the camera produced a lot of drab pictures. I played around with settings and found (once I got home) that the "brighten subject" function worked better than the "outdoor cloudy" setting. Some trees just scream yellow.

The white squirrels in Parc Lafontaine. I just love this tree too - it's right out of Harry Potter don't you think?

I picked up a bag of peanuts too and in honor of Elizabeth, who reminds us that people matter, I took a video of myself trying to emulate her "Squirrel Whisperer" ways. Seriously, she's like snow white in the park and all the squirrels climb into her lap! I didn't really want them on my lap, but this is the first time I've been brave enough to let them take food from my fingers. (Or maybe it's the first time they've been brave enough)

Here's another shot where that "equalize relative brightness" function worked out nicely. This is on St. Denis street just below Sherbrooke St.

I couldn't really capture how much this little treelet shouted yellow. I always forget what that building is there. It's at the corner of Cherrier.

I liked the view up Mount Royal and the splashes of orange in the forest. Soon the whole top will be auburn.

Much like the color of these trees lining what I think is Roy street. These are actually more yellow looking in real life. As I said, I was playing around with settings.

This tall skinny tree with the fancy makeup was all hidden in a back alley. He's all sticking his head up and crying, "Check me out!"

Monday, September 29, 2008

Weekend update

You know what's really sad? There's people out there who are really offended by my very existence. They don't even know me, but they feel bold enough to brand me a "sick fuck" and tell me so. Not to my face of course, but in commentary on youtube videos I've posted. (And this is reminding me of something I just read. That we tend to lie more in emails than in other kinds of written communication. Strange but true.) Every week or so, someone will stumble upon my videos which are mostly just slices of my and spouse's life together and be totally horrified at our existence. Cue giant eye-rolling sigh. What is it? What is it that propels people to find us an abomination. US! We are the most white-bread, boring couple on earth. And we both happen to have a penis. So the fuck what! It's just depressing because one of the underlying reasons for blogging is just to show how utterly normal a couple like ours is. Boringly ordinary. Excruciatingly average. But no, weekly brandings of "sick fuck". Makes me want to disappear. But I won't because then they've won. I should feel lucky I suppose, others are being physically assaulted for their existence. /Rant off.

I made chili this weekend! The exclamation point is because it's the first time ever that I've made chili. It came out great. And here all this time I thought a primary ingredient in chili was tomatoes when in fact there are zero tomato products in it. Who knew? Anyway, spouse loathes chili (the spices) and refused to even taste it. I put it in little containers to freeze for my lunches.

Do you know that smell on your hands after you've been handling raw onions? I love that smell. Adore it. I will go to great lengths to avoid washing my hands after cutting up onions because that smell on my hands is so intoxicating. Spouse kept telling me to stop sniffing my hands while we watched tv in the evening.

Oh one more thing. Here's my weekend wound plus blood blister. You'll never guess how I did this. On my way from the bathroom to bed, I tripped on the bathroom scale (the lights were out), tried to grab the doorway, missed and fell splat down on the hardwood floor. ( And I think I finally "got" the whole idea of hardwood) I think this is a crush wound as the pinkie was in just the wrong spot under my falling body. Other injured areas include the elbow and the forehead. I'll be fine. I'm blaming the bathroom scale, I mean I only had two martinis and a little wine.....The next morning, sara had fished out the bloodied kleenexes from the wastebasket and eaten all the bloody parts. Why are dogs so disgusting?

There's more, but I'm bordering on long winded. Tomorrow, you get autumnal pics.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sunday musings with video!

There are so many things wrong with this advertising. First the location. I find it hard to believe they are going to get lots of customers here at the stock exchange building where they have put the posters. Secondly, although I get the "magnet" and "death" reference in the picture, at first glance, it looks like a giant pussy. Or butthole. Or something obscene. Thirdly, the concert was three weeks ago. And fourthly, hasn't Metallica retired yet? They must look awful haggard by now. (Which would explain their absence from the poster.)

At sometime in the past, I ridiculed Serge for thinking the butter could go bad. I had never seen it go bad, so I figured it was virtually unspoilable. As you can see from the video, I was dead wrong.

I've been circulating an article this week in my classes. It talks about how erections beget erections. That how often and how long you have erections makes a positive contribution to penis health. The adage "use it or lose it" definitely applies. They also say that in general masturbation doesn't count because it's over too quickly. And they somehow mention this girl Jenna Jameson (link NSFW) when mentioning that. Here's what's funny - I have no idea who this girl Jenna is, but EVERY SINGLE MALE I teach is familiar with her.

And just because, here's a quick clip of Sara attacking the vacuum. I really wanted to show you the strange howl she makes, but she didn't do it. And she's such a bitch too, watch what happens as soon as she sees me with the camera.

Have a great rest of the weekend y'all.

Friday, September 26, 2008


* I started a new class yesterday, check out the view from the room I was assigned. It's in the very tony CDP building where all the big wall street type guys work. They're a bit nervous around there.

* I saw that PETA is campaigning to eliminate cow's milk in Ben and Jerry's ice cream and replace it with human breast milk, like that Swiss restaurant. (It didn't seem to hurt the cow at all when I milked one.) I imagine human milk would be vastly more expensive. I can see the spam now, "Make Thousands per Month, Right from Your Own Home!"

* A very big head gets shrunken a lot.

* I hurt my neck nodding yesterday. Sheesh, what's next - hurting myself blinking?

* I learned something this week that has occasionally bothered me all my life. Not knowing the damn lyrics to that song, Blinded by the Light. The true lyrics are "revved up like a deuce another runner in the night."

* Today is day 87 (correction 88 - I'm already losing count) of smobriety. Now entering the dangerous period where I feel I've licked it. Must remember that I am one puff away from being newly enslaved.

* Alrighty, I'm out of time and snippets. Here's wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Quick admission

I really have no time this morning. I can't whine though because I'm starving for money, as it's taken longer than expected to get going this session. It looks like I'll be teaching very early tues through fri mornings now, and getting home late in the evening. That's fine, I'll just write smaller posts like I do come every October.

Here's what I'd like to know today. Am I a bad person that every time I see Obama on television, I'm reminded of Tuvok on Start Trek Voyager (Tim Russ)? I know that they probably don't really look too much alike, but there's something similar that I can't put my finger on. Delivery? Facial structure? Anyway, I keep imagining him with Vulcan ears and then it's hard to pay attention to what he's saying.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Memory box #2

I mentioned this a couple of years ago, but now I have the photographic proof. Actually I always had the proof, though I wasn't aware of it. Here we are in our favorite halloween costume. We used to love strolling Santa Monica Blvd on Halloween when everyone and their sister is out showing off their costume or gawking at the costumed ones. Every time we'd run into other "nerds", we would totally geek out on each other. We wore these costumes to work one year, replete with toilet paper sticking out the back of our pants. It was cool too because the beanies' propellers spun every time we walked somewhere, which, working in a restaurant, was pretty constant. There is no outdoor gathering in costume tradition in this city and we haven't been to any costume parties since we moved here. Next time we are though, we'll be down at the thriftstore getting too-short plaid green pants et al.

This makes me wonder if etc and et al mean the same thing. Maybe I'm using it wrong. Feel free to lambaste and mock, it is campaign season after all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

This and that

I went through the whole day yesterday wearing a fabric softener sheet. I was thinking Serge had changed the detergent to a smellier brand, but saw when disrobing for the evening that the fabric sheet was stuck to my tummy. I'm only bringing this up because Monday wasn't all that scintillating. I suppose that could be said of much of our daily lives. The scintillating parts happen in little bursts and pops that draw our attention away from the mundane, the monotonous. Monday just amplifies it. Amplified monotony.

You remember the KD Lang song "Constant Craving"? Well it came up on the playlist on itunes on the weekend and Serge was singing along, "Con - Sti - Pay - Ted". That's really what he thought it was too, constipated. I'll never listen to that song in the same way again. Neither will you, I'd wager.

Watched an interesting film over the weekend. "Maxed Out" was rather prophetic considering recent financial collapses. It's so sad that the US has had to socialize mortgages. Oh wait, socialize bad mortgages. That's much better than socializing medicine. (this is reminding me of when serge called me sarcastic bastard the other night, tee hee) What's perplexing me is why the Americans have not gone into the streets protesting the new $2000 per citizen debt. Everybody just toes the line. I suppose we all believe that there really was no alternative and that we are all better off by taking on that debt. The powers that be have done just what they want, made the populace scared enough that they can do whatever they like. It reminds me of that movie Zeitgeist (zeitgeistmovie.com) in the third part where they quote some reserve bank guy who says something like, "He who controls the money supply has all the power. Heads of state are helpless before his power."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday pics

When we walked past this sign, I asked spouse if he knew what it meant. He suggested it meant, "Don't use tools to take apart the fence." I had to laugh. It's not readily apparent except if you consider it is at the perimeter of a shopping center parking lot, near the Canadian Tire. Do you know what the sign is prohibiting?

We wound up there after I forced spouse to get out of the house at least for lunch. Here is the face he makes when I tell him to stop and stay still while I take a picture, God bless him. Oh and lots of the trees are looking like this around here.

I figure I'd take pictures of the poutine I eat. That way I can look back over the blog and make sure I'm not indulging too terribly often. The last time was at Costco a month ago. This one is really even better than Costco and it's a short walk from chez nous. The fries stay crunchy even under the burden of sauce. There's something especially yum in the sauce too, I think it's nutmeg. Reminds me of eggnog, isn't that what spice is in eggnog?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bad segues

It's the last day of summer. Actually, it doesn't even feel like summer here anymore. The nights have gone chilly, and the shadows are substantial, even at noon. I noticed several trees have gone red the last few days, and this strikes me as a bit early, perhaps a week ahead of last year.

This was interesting. Our house that we sold in California in 2001 for 215k and was then sold two years later for 335k and then 3 years later for 635k was foreclosed on. The bank was seeking over 650k but it just recently went for 354k. Almost half off its peak. The second to last owner made the most. And everyone made more than we did yet we owned the property for 6 years. Has bottom been hit? Only time will tell.

Here's what I want to know. Who in their right mind would vote republican for the presidency this time around? As much as the media and the pundits would like to spin it otherwise, there really is very little difference between the two parties. They sit very close to either side of center. (Really, it's true! Which makes all the mudslinging so childish.) In fact, I'm totally on board with the more conservative philosophy of lower taxes and less government interference. (I do understand that people can't be trusted though, and therefore some government oversight is necessary in order to avoid negative consequences for the public. We're seeing the downside of deregulation at the moment. ) I would have to disagree with some elements of their social platform, such as the denying of rights to certain segments of the population (homosexuals, pregnant women). But the bottom line is this. After eight years of the Republican party holding the White House, we are worse off as a nation, as a people. Our global reputation is shot, we are WAY more indebted, mired in global conflicts which we started, and now saddled with the burden of "saving" the nation's financial system. If we vote Republican, we are voting against our own best interest. No amount of spin should convince you otherwise.

Friday, September 19, 2008


* Like Rox, I'm a toe-looker. And judger. If they're going to be on display, I expect them to be clean and ungnarled. Still it's best if you cover them, thanks. The season is definitely over in Canada. No, I said definitely.

* The only thing both republicans and democrats seem to be good at these days is disparaging one another.

* Maybe you've noticed that the blog looks a little different. The site was hanging up a lot and not loading properly, so I went ahead and "upgraded" to the moderner blogger and of course that wipes out all the stuff you previously added. One of the things that changed is the blog roll. I availed myself of a new blogger widget that captured my googlereader list from last year. So if you are not on the roll and want to be, it's only because last year you weren't, so just let me know. I haven't had the time to go through and make sure it's updated properly.

* Serge was discussing a website for a client. The site discussed would have a religious bent. When inquiring about the look they were after, he asked if they wanted it "goddy" looking. This caused confusion on the client's part, who heard, of course, gaudy.

* When a "central bank" pours money "into the market", where does that money go? They never say "lend money to the market", but that must be what they're doing right? Can someone point to a layman's explanation on the matter?

* I jinxed myself talking about the elevated mood yesterday. A bout of insomnia ensued last night.

* For a party that attracts those who say "No Government Hand-Outs," there are certainly a lot of hand-outs going down on their watch.

* Every week, we learn new things. The thing that stuck with me this week is that they have discovered that we learn to speak not only by hearing and mimicking, but also by the way the words "feel" in the mouth. This opens up a new avenue for speech therapy for the hearing impaired. Interesting stuff. It makes sense though, an S and a Z have the mouth in the same position. The Z needs your voice though and this causes your tongue to feel differently than making the simpler S.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Navel gazing

I've been unusually happy lately. Not lottery winner happy, more like receiving a postcard in the mail happy. Just a general sunny disposition for several consecutive days. This is pretty rare for me in my adult life, though those who know me might disagree. I probably come off as sunshiney most of the time. It's a ruse though, I'm often faking it, which sometimes actually PUTS me in a good mood. Not enough sleep though? No way I can be in a good mood then. Anyway, in order to deal with my "smoking cessation depression", I started taking St John's Wort even though I'm unable to reliably take the recommended dosage. (And don't generally believe in medication, herbal or otherwise.) I have managed to take one pill with my vitamin each morning and after six weeks, it seems to be helping in generally elevating my mood. Since it's unusual for me to have a string of good mood days, I'm starting to think that that stuff is helping. That or the impending autumn, and it's promise of technicolor trees. Whatever it is, I'm enjoying the ride.

I believe I've finally plateaued with the weight gain. It hasn't fluctuated at all in the last couple weeks. I suppose my body has found its metabolic equilibrium again. I changed nothing about my eating habits. I still eat my three meals and have a little dessert after dinner. It's normal to gain weight once one quits smoking and I took on the average 10 lbs. Although I have no more hint of a six-pack, I am kind of enjoying this little pillow I've developed. It's weird, this little pillow, how it seems to magnify orgasms. Like the extra flesh adds extra area of pleasure. Anyway, I've actually grown to quite like my (admittedly minor) paunch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Annoying song obsession

Have you seen that the new itunes software update has a genius function?! OMG, the playlists it generates (from your own library based on a song you select) are awesome (well they inspire awe in me anyway). It also recommends songs you don't have that would fit in nicely with your newly made playlist. I have a feeling "genius" is going to cost me a lot of money.

In somewhat related news, there's this one song that I'm really into right now. It hasn't happened bad like this in a long time. Not since "Was That All It Was" by Kym Mazelle and we lived in Long Beach and I would close all the windows and then rattle them with indecent volume. Dancing. Over and over and over again. So this new song is a much different variety but during this certain part, this improvisational moment in the music jacks the strings inside me and becomes me, and I am in total compliance with it. Hard to explain. I do know this, it's impossible to remain still when it is playing. In fact, I drew stares on the bus yesterday. Now it's starting to annoy me, I mean I wake up with the song in my head and then I want to listen to it, yet I don't want to, because oh I don't know - enough already! But then I run and listen to it 2 or 3 or 10 times. I'm glad this doesn't happen all the time, obsessiveness is rather tiring.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vibrator news

Okay I read about this toy

It's a double vibrator for "couples" - hence it's name, We-Vibe. But I was confused, was this a product for lesbians? As it turns out, no, it's supposed to fit in the vajayjay with a live penis and spread stuff (various folding flapping items) so that the clitoris (do I HAVE to say that word?) and g-spot are splayed and available. Women seem to swear by it from the looks of the testimonials.

I was all perplexed when I read the article about the "vibrator for two". It seemed to be a straight couple thing the way they were marketing it, but I couldn't imagine a straight guy wanted a vibrator up his butt that was connected to the vibrator up his girl's cooch. I kept imagining different scenarios, all of them ending with "that doesn't make sense".

The guy is going to get rich off of it though, he's up to 10,000 a month in production now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Rainy monday morning

The remnants of Ike are passing overhead this morning. We got Gustaf this way too. All muggy and rainy and hot. I insisted on the AC last night, though it took some superinsisting. The winds are really howling too, the sunflower is bent over so that the flower is scraping the ground. They do seem to have one big flaw - being top-heavy.

What do you suppose our big flaw is? I've heard desire, I've heard ego, I've heard consciousness. Sometimes when I get up in the morning, I think it must be our spine.

Already I've seen two people have their umbrellas flip inside out on them. It really is folly to try to use an umbrella since the rain is falling sideways with the wind. Once I bought an "unbreakable" umbrella, I can't remember what it was called, something like the "wind avenger". It broke, naturally.

There's a weird mystery going on here. We didn't leave the house yesterday and spent most of it in the computer room where we can both be Gladys Kravitz and monitor the comings and goings in the building. Well the guy downstairs who hasn't quite finished paying this month's rent and who has had several bizarre stories as to why not (in hospital, don't know why as he was found asleep in his car in front of the video store, had his identity stolen and they drained five grand from his bank account, needs to go to Toronto to get the money - he was supposed to go Tues, then Thurs, then Saturday but he hasn't gone yet) and this morning his car is parked out front with one of the windows down. Yesterday he made several trips out to his car with his tv and boxes of things. Hmmm. His car is empty now though. Serge thinks he went to the pawn shop. I think he's planning to flee. Frankly, I'm hoping for the latter.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This sunflower came up on the edge of our yard. No one planted it, so it is a mystery as to how it came to be there. Since the neighbors dug up their yard in Spring, it just looked like one of many weeds growing until it bloomed this week. I thought it was pretty neat-o so I took a picture of it. The tenants surely think I'm a weirdo.

Boy does a sunflower stand out though. They should call it the "Look at me!" plant. I usually try not to stand out. I figure I already stand out enough due to my height and gayness (and in my more narcissistic moments, cuteness) so I usually try to lie low. The blog notwithstanding of course.

I went and saw that new Coen brothers flick, Burn After Reading. What fun to see such seasoned actors explore these roles. Intelligence is indeed relative as they say in the tag line for the film. It's pretty light on gore for these guys. Merely two murders. Still, they're shocking ones. I hate to say it, but I really liked Brad Pitt's performance.

How come the price of living for you and I is wrinkles and ugliness, but this doesn't hold true for George Clooney and Brad Pitt? Both of these guys are older than me. Brad played a guy in his twenties and he's 45 for chrissake. I don't know if this comes from bitterness but have you noticed that Brad's head is too big for his body? Yeah, check that out next time.

I thought I had some kind of point this morning, but obviously not. We're hunkered down for a rainy day today. I sense puttering and perhaps a trip to Home Depot in our future. Have a lovely Sunday.

Friday, September 12, 2008


* Did you know there's a wedding registry kiosk at Walmart? Wouldn't that add a touch of class to any wedding invitation?

* And just so you know, the only reason I could be found inside of the Walmart is because there was a McDonald's with their 2 dollar iced coffee.

* Which reminds me about something I'm unable to understand. Iced coffee always costs more than hot coffee. Sometimes double the price. I can't imagine ice is all that expensive. So why?

* Here's my three fave Bizarro comics from the summer. Click to see larger version. And if I'm breaking any laws, I apologize and will remove the picture. These three are hanging on my bulletin board.

*More trouble in landlord land. One guy bounced his check for the second month in a row. We still have three tenants who haven't fully paid for September yet, sigh.

* Concerning that election down south, I'm fairly convinced that "not enough experience" is a euphemism for "too black".

* In French, vaginas are masculine and beards are feminine. I really hate assigning gender to every noun, especially in cases like these where they make no sense.

* I got the new cd from these guys. (And I adore that song.) I've been listening to it incessantly. It's not most people's cup of tea, but we listened to them almost every night on the cruise back in June.

* Yesterday, I read that the more shrimp a flamingo eats, the pinker the flamingo becomes. This was in the grammar book as we worked on double comparatives. I thought it was BS, I mean shrimp aren't even pink until you cook them right? Well that shows you how smart I am, Wikipedia says the grammar book is correct.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pissy amusement

That irritating thing happened to me again at the library. I arrived when they opened and returned the cds I had via the conveyor belt set up for this purpose. Then I went and found three more cds. This took 20 minutes. Then I went to the self service kiosk to check out but the computer said I was over my limit of cds. Three is the limit. Then I waited a minute for a clerk and explained that I had returned my things when they opened. The clerk informed me that it takes 15 minutes to get the returns into the system. Plus they just opened so it could take longer. I said it had already been 23 minutes, how long am I expected to wait for someone to scan it back into the system? "There's nothing I can do sir." I told him that was a lie and that I couldn't wait, so forget it. His reaction seemed one of loathing, not so much at me, but at the fact that the policies of the library force him to be the object of many people's hatred. Just after me a lady came up and very sternly and angrily insisted on seeing the manager of circulation. Poor guy, they weren't even open a half an hour yet.

Still, I was pissy and irritated. I really could have waited too, but that testosterone flash of anger made me act childishly and stomp out. I went down to where my next lesson was and sat outside near the fountains in Square Victoria. A little sudoku should calm me down, honestly I don't know why things get me so angry sometimes. So then this mom and her kid come and sit on the next bench over and the little kid, maybe 3 or 4 years old is rapt at the fountains. Every once an, I don't know, thirty seconds, the fountains would turn off and on in a four move sequence. Each time the sequence started, the little boy shrieked. Do you know that shriek that is the most piercing sound and you can't believe that it could be produced by a human, let alone a tiny one? Really. Freaking. Irritating. The first time he did it I jerked with the coffee in my hand and it splattered out onto my sleeve. (That sentence would certainly look odd all by itself.) I was already mad and this wasn't helping. But then I watched the kid and saw the electricity as it coursed through his body each thirty seconds as the round of dancing fountains began again. Shriek! Shriek! Shriek! Shriek! His mom just looked on with a helpless grin, much like the one I had developed. You just could not be unamused. Plus seeing the startled jolts of hapless passers-by who happened to pass by at just the right (or wrong) moment,well that was just priceless. And it was weird, how the anger dissolved into laughter, like they were sandwiches made from the same loaf of bread.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This n that

I now have two passports from two different countries. I'm not sure if either issuing country would be thrilled with the news, but as far as I know there are no laws being contravened. Now if I go to Cuba, that will be another ball of wax. (Suddenly curious about that expression, anyone know the origin?)

Summer seems quite over today. Yesterday was chilly and rainy all day, it reminded me very much of January in Southern California. I'm going to need an actual coat this morning, but this is bad because it stinks. (I have been meaning to take my coat to the cleaners because the wool lining is impregnated with smoking stench.)

I can't believe our old thousand dollar tv (new 6 years ago) does not even generate one phone call at $200. It's 36" too! We put it back in the bedroom for now, but it's so big and blocky that it kind of cramps the space. And really? Picture tube televisions are worthless now? I had hoped to at least pay the first payment on the new tv with the proceeds from selling the old one. We did notice that there was only one store that we visited that still carried (one) the old style tv. It was a 27" for $329. When we saw that, we thought, "Who would buy one of those these days?" I guess I see now why our old one might need simply to be given away.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Can someone explain this?

I know there's really only one election in the world this year that anyone cares about, but we are going to have one here in October, too. I'm not a huge fan of the man at the top (though I can't say I hate the reduction in the goods and services tax) so I'm not going to call him by name.

The prime minister decided to call an election because, as he says, the minority government he leads is unable to move forward.

Last year or the year before, the prime minister passed legislation (though non-binding so what the frick is the point) dictating when elections would be held (you know, like in the states where everyone knows when the next election is) so that it wouldn't just be at the whim of a whiny prime minister or an especially sore opposition.

He admits that the most likely outcome is an election that will result in the same kind of minority government.

So why is he doing it? Sounds like a huge waste of money to me.

Monday, September 08, 2008


Okay it's really interesting reading about people's experiences in that food meme that's going around. I read Will's and cracked up when he mentioned eating a bug once that was in some Japanese candy. Oh those wacky Japanese. I no longer have a cadre of Japanese students because the last of them went back last year. But for several years before that I met with several families for English lessons. Often times, there would be food and we would go out to restaurants when one of the families returned to Japan. That was how I tried natto, which if you can picture this, is like edamame (soy beans) out of the pod in a bowl. There is a substance very much like clear snot all over the beans and a VERY SHARP odor is emanating from the bowl. The odor is rot. We eat lots of rotted things, cheese, sour cream, fermented fruits etc, and so this didn't really turn me off. I'm not sure if I would seek it out again though. It was during these restaurant outings I fell in love with tako yaki and I would definitely seek that octopus dish out again in the future.

Anyway, back to quirky Japanese foods. Once, I was introduced to karinto, which I posted about here. It was one of the non-fish infused sweets, though it looks just like freshly laid (not lain, but then you knew that) turds. Usually, when I met my students for lessons, they would prepare tea and have some kind of snack food on the table. You had to be really really careful with the snack food. It might look just like a chocolate truffle, but upon biting into it, chocolate fish oil might gush out of the center. You had to be prepared to fully eat whatever morsel you brought to your lips - to be polite of course. There might be a bowl of chips on the table, but instead of salt you discover coating the chips, you have some kind of fish powder. I'm not anti fish, but I think the Japanese have numbed their palate to the taste of it because it just seemed to be in absolutely everything. Pretzels wrapped in seaweed, cornchips dyed salmon pink. From the chips to the jellied candies, there was always at least a "hint from the sea". Hey, I love seafood, it just takes getting used to it being in everything. Though I'll never get used to those fish hotdogs they had. Gross just got grosser.

Okay, so what's the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten, intentionally or not? So far for me, it must be natto.

The most disgusting thing I've seen eaten? I remember being at a restaurant with my mom when she dug out the green matter in a lobster and sucked and slurped it down with enthusiasm. I almost barfed right there on the table.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

A shopping we went

Serge announced rather early that it was the day for buying a flat-screen. I had to chuckle when he put it this way: Enough wanting, it's time for having. It's true he's been yearning for this ever since the first tiny ten-grand models came out in the 90's. So he's referring to at least ten years of wanting. And here's the great part, the twelve monthly interest free payments are approximately the amount I used to spend on cigarettes. It's practically free, I reasoned with myself. I didn't want to haggle. I found the advertised model I wanted. 46" full HD for under $1500. The salesman didn't want to sell it for that price so it was lucky I had brought the ad in from that very day's newspaper. He explained that their paper got blown away in the morning wind so they didn't know. Pul-ease. It's just a given that you are a liar if you are trying to sell me a television, car, or any other big ticket item. Slime, all of them. I also had to prove that the paper offered 12 interest free payments. He only wanted to give me three.

We brought it home and made love to the box before we opened it.

Oh I didn't mention it but we had to buy a new cable box for the HD signal and channels. They have two models, the basic and the TIVO kind where you can pause and record, skip commercials and the like. Something else we've wanted for five years. We sprang for it so now I am ready for winter baby, ready for winter. Then you have to buy a wire to go from your cable box to your new HD TV. We saw a show about this, how it's a total rip off and how the 10 dollar cord worked exactly as well as the $100 cord. We even specifically told the salesman we didn't want to buy a hundred dollar cord. Here, look what happened.

I still can't believe we said yes. But no matter, we now have this!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

In broad daylight, too

It was a cushy day yesterday. I didn't have any classes, oddly, and finished my chores by ten. I decided to do a big walk before it got too hot. I headed straight for the library to look for a couple cds. You'll laugh. I got Hair, the original broadway cast recording, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Liza Minelli at Carnegie Hall. (Hi, homo much?) I was listening to JC Superstar on the ipod as I left the library. I headed toward the village through the slightly skanky bus depot area. As I was walking down the street, it seemed that out of nowhere a man appeared. This all happened very quickly, but it seemed as though he was careening toward me, Then there was a kind of monster that woke up inside of me. Danger signals popped and adrenaline squirted into my veins. I rammed him with a force at least equal to his, which was considerable. (This morning, my whole left shoulder is sore and tender.) At the same time as the collision, I shouted in a low gravely growl, "HEY!" The guy hurried away and shouted, "Sorry, sorry."

I was pretty shaken up.

What did the guy want? My backpack? My wallet? Shit my wallet. I felt around and was relieved to find it still in my back pocket. Good thing too, since I had $600 of rent money I was on my way to deposit. It would have been easy to pickpocket me when the incident occurred. I headed to a cafe to settle down. That adrenaline is a powerful drug, my heart was pounding and my limbs quivering. And who was that monster that woke up inside me? I was awful glad it did, but it wouldn't have happened if something inside me hadn't sensed danger. If the guy had come at me from behind, I would have gone down for sure.

I learned a couple things. One, don't go down that sketchy stretch of de Maisonneuve behind Place Dupuis. Two, I can truly say, "Don't fuck with me," cause I've got an aggressive monster that lives inside me that I'm not in control of. I suppose the monster is part of that flight or fight instinct, it's just so unusual for us humans to experience it in modern times. Or unusual for me anyway.

I think I'll hang out around the house today.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Memory box #1

Before I took zillions of pictures with my digital camera, I used to take pictures the old way and get them developed. I'm so glad too, I think I need these photos to remind me of my own memories. For example, I look at many of the old pictures and can't recall ever owning this or that piece of clothing. This is in contrast to Laverne who can tell me what she was wearing when we went to some movie twenty five years ago. (Who is the sick one?)

So this is circa '94 atop Mount Royal during my first visit to Montreal. It was somewhere in February. It was at the end of this visit that Serge was blocked from entering the US and I had to go home cryin on the plane. You can read that whole "road to" story on the sidebar. I think we were trying to pose artistically or something. It strikes me as very Sears now. Our friend Dan took the shot.

Oh and I figured when I'm out of things to say, (a temporary state I'm certain) I'd just reach into the old photo box and post some memory. So this is the first installment of that.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

This that and the other

I'm very close to complaining about the heat. I would, probably, except that spouse has been letting me keep the AC on until late at night. Every time he goes out to have a cigarette (at least every hour, poor sap) he announces how "delightful and perfect" the temperature is outside. I just shout "NO!" every time he announces it. Then last night he tried a new tack, "It's cold in here. I'm freezing." I told him what he always tells me when I complain about being cold, "Put on a sweater." My rules are pretty clear, if it's still 80 outside when I go to bed, the AC stays on. Usually, Serge will turn it off before morning. It's just been really hot and still the last few days and increasingly humid. Sweaty bed weather.

Speaking of sweat, I can smell the downstairs tenant from my bathroom. I think it's the combination of him having very sporadic hygienic practices and the terrible heat we've been having. Certainly, the bad insulation between his apartment and ours plays a role. Or maybe it's because I can actually smell all the things now, both good and bad. Anyway, he poisons the corridor every time he comes in and out with his stinky BO, so much so that we installed one of those automatic mister fragrance devices in there. (Wouldn't it be awful if he read this? This is what just occurred to me.) Well he does smell, but that's an easy fix. Bathe more often plus deodorant, and he'll be clean as a whistle. There's a more salacious story about him, but now I feel self conscious about it, so I'm not telling. When he moves out, how about that. I will say this, it involves whores and drugs.

I wonder if parents realize how their musical choices during their offspring's childhood influence them (the children) later on. I have been re-addicted to JC Superstar for the last month and it takes me back to a time that was safe and "everything's alright yes everything's alright yes". Mom tells a story of when we went to see JC Superstar as a family. It was at an outdoor amphitheater. I remember it in that clip-from-a-movie-way. I must have been 5 or 6 years old. Apparently when Jesus is killed or getting ready to be killed and there's smoke and dark music permeating the scene, I turned to my mother and said, "That's just terrible." Mom, the pride growing inside her for how mature her son is for grasping the play, smiled at me. And then I said, "All that pollution." I think I sent that story in to Reader's Digest but never got a reply. They always have corny stories like that in there.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Food Meme

I got this from Lyvvie

1) Bold all the items you have eaten.
2) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

You'll notice that nothing is crossed out. That's because never say never is a big truth, at least in my life. The best thing about doing this meme was discovering a bunch of things I didn't know about. Thank god for wikipedia.

1. Venison - Certainly
2. Nettle tea - No clue what it is, I'll go look. No, but if I get arthritis, I'll check it out. It's really made out of that terrible terrible plant, nettles.
3. Huevos rancheros - One of the most sorely missed things from California, sigh.
4. Steak tartare - Every chance I get. I've never made it myself though.
5. Crocodile - No, and it doesn't sound appealing. I'm sure I'd eat anything if it were a matter of life and death.
6. Black pudding - gross gross gross
7. Cheese fondue - Yes. But it always clogs up the pipes. Never ever eat this two nights in a row.
8. Carp -I don't think so, unless there's some kind of sushi carp.
9. Borscht - Maybe. Can't really recall. I hate those beets that they sometimes put on salads though.
10. Baba ghanoush - I'm pretty sure I did over at Madame Mila's. (My Armenian/Russian French teacher.)
11. Calamari - Yes, and my favorite is the giant calamari at that dim sum place in Chinatown. I always want to say it's called Kim Phat, but it's not that.
12. Pho - Yes, and here it is called Soupe Tonkinoise. I highly recommend it.
13. PB&J sandwich - Still one of my favorites for lunch.
14. Aloo gobi - Had to look this up. Looks like potatoes, cauliflower, turmeric and sundry spices, garlic, ginger whathaveyou. I would try it.
15. Hot dog from a street cart - Oh yes, I have a hard time ever passing that up.
16. Epoisses -I don't think so.
17. Black truffle - Yes. It tastes like dirt. I really don't grasp the hubbub over it.
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes - Apple and plum at least.
19. Steamed pork buns - I think I had those in Hong Kong.
20. Pistachio ice cream - One of my favorites.
21. Heirloom tomatoes - Yes, bee eff dee
22. Fresh wild berries - Yes, and I get all squeally and girly when I discover them.
23. Foie gras - Yes. We just discovered that they sell some at the market in little small packets. It's like 5 dollars a bite, but oh so worth it.
24. Rice and beans - Of course. A perfect protein.
25. Brawn, or head cheese - No, one of my earliest posts was about that.
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper - I think I have. I wasn't as manly as I had imagined myself to be.
27. Dulce de leche - All you do is put a can of eagle brand in a bain marie for three hours. Voila. We like to spread it onto Social Tea cookies.
28. Oysters - Yes, but I'll probably stick to cooked and smoked.
29. Baklava - Yes, meh. I may have it once or twice again in my life. Or not.
30. Bagna cauda - God, no. There's a cup and a half of butter, 3/4 cup of olive oil and a bunch of anchovies in that.
31. Wasabi peas - Yummy.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - Yes, in San Fran and Newport, Oregon.
33. Salted lassi - No
34. Sauerkraut - Yes, it's yummy on hotdogs.
35. Root beer float - Of course. And just reading it made me whimper.
36. Cognac with a fat cigar - YES, but the cigar made me vomit.
37. Clotted cream tea - I don't think so.
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O - How embarrassing to have to say yes.
39. Gumbo - Yes, the spicier the better.
40. Oxtail - I'm not sure. If I have, it didn't make a big impression.
41. Curried goat - Curried other animals, but I don't think goat.
42. Whole insects - Not intentionally.
43. Phaal - I don't think so.
44. Goat’s milk - No, but I did milk a goat once at the zoo.
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more - Yes, I think I tried everything in the house when I was in the restaurant biz.
46. Fugu - No but would try once.
47. Chicken tikka masala - No, and it amazes me that it's Britain's true national dish.
48. Eel - yes. Sushi.
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut - Yes, but it made me feel gluttonous and dirty.
50. Sea urchin - Again, sushi.
51. Prickly pear - Yes, the cactus.
52. Umeboshi - No, but I have tried natto.
53. Abalone - Yes, my parents used to scuba dive and get them and mom would pound them up and cook them. Yum.
54. Paneer - This is Indian Cheese. So no, but maybe if I visit India.
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal - Sadly, yes.
56. Spaetzle - Yes, big deal.
57. Dirty gin martini - Can't say no to that.
58. Beer above 8% ABV - Yes, gross.
59. Poutine - Here I am in Quebec. It's practically a staple here.
60. Carob chips - Yes.
61. S’mores - Yes. But not for a long time now.
62. Sweetbreads - Yes, but it was by accident. I thought it was chicken.
63. Kaolin - Hmm, my rock and dirt eating days are over.
64. Currywurst - I don't think so, but sounds like a winner.
65. Durian - No, but I would love to smell it. I'm going to look in chinatown.
66. Frogs’ legs - Just like chicken, it's true.
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake - I'm always up for a little fried dough.
68. Haggis - No, and of all the things on this list, this is the one I'd most likely cross out. Yuck!
69. Fried plantain - Yes, oddly, at a vietnamese restaurant.
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette - Do fried pork rinds count? No? I'm sure it's pretty much the same thing. Fried flesh.
71. Gazpacho - Yum. What a delight in the summer.
72. Caviar and blini - Yes, and it's gross. No, I'm serious, plain gross.
73. Louche absinthe - No but would love to.
74. Gjetost, or brunost - No, and now I must try it. I'll eat any cheese. (Except dick and toe, ahem.)
75. Roadkill - Is that some kind of joke? No. But I suppose if I hit a deer or something, I might try to salvage some meat.
76. Baijiu - It's 20 - 40 percent alcohol. Bring it on!
77. Hostess Fruit Pie - I tried one last year and it was the grossest thing ever. I can't believe I ever liked them as a kid.
78. Snail - Oh sure. At least monthly if not weekly.
79. Lapsang souchong - Yes. Big deal.
80. Bellini - Yummy!
81. Tom yum - That looks delish. I'm going to have to try it.
82. Eggs Benedict - Yes, and my new favorite is carmelized onions and goat cheese in place of the canadian bacon.
83. Pocky - Yes!
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant - A must do before I die.
85. Kobe beef - No, but one day I will.
86. Hare - if this is the same thing as rabbit, then yes.
87. Goulash - yes.
88. Flowers - The ones they put on salads sometimes, yes.
89. Horse - Yes, but not until I moved to Quebec. It's like beef, but more "beefy" tasting.
90. Criollo chocolate - I don't know.
91. Spam - Sure.
92. Soft shell crab - I've had it as tempura.
93. Rose harissa - Probably in some fancy dish sometime, somewhere.
94. Catfish - Ooh, I love catfish. It's been a while though.
95. Mole poblano - Oh yes. I can't believe it isn't more popular up here than it is.
96. Bagel and lox - Yes, but I prefer avocado to lox.
97. Lobster Thermidor - Yes, but I prefer it cold with mayo.
98. Polenta - I could never see the hubbub over this. It's like bad cornbread.
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee - No, what makes it special?
100. Snake - I don't think so. I guess I've never eaten a reptile. I better get on that.

If you'd like to do this meme, go for it. But please note that you will not save time or energy by doing a meme. This one takes forever!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Sara cookie corn hole

Look at how pretty sara is. Over at MIL's house yesterday, she got tuckered out running around the yard and fell down the stairs trying to go up the deck, twice. Once, she made it up the 5 deck stairs by herself, but the other times made us all feel bad feelings. I don't know what those bad feelings are. Pity? Guilt? Wanting to euthanize? Whatever they are, they're bad. But gosh darn she's a pretty doggie.

Okay let me ask you something. If you were to see this box of individually wrapped cookie-slash-cakes in the market, what would you imagine to be the very first ingredient? You'll probably guess something like sugar, flour or chocolate. You would be totally wrong though, because the very first one is coconut. I really don't like coconut, so when I tasted it in the cookie, I looked at the box and decided that I was imagining the coconut taste, the coconut texture. It was only after turning the box to view the ingredients that I saw that it was basically a coconut ring with caramel and dipped in chocolate. I guess if they say "german chocolate" on the box, they mean coconut.

Speaking of corn, we are all spoiled now by David's recipe, because how can you eat corn any other way once you've had it slathered with mayonnaise and freshly grated parmesan? Delicious is not a powerful enough word.

Spouse's corny hole.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Ho hum

I have no clue what this flower is. It's just dumb luck that it came out so clear. I was messing around with the super macro function yesterday at the botanical gardens, and one of the dozens of pictures I took was a winner. This one. Serge thinks it's good enough to be sold on istockphoto, but I think you truly need a professional camera for that. I'd love it if someone knew what kind it is, because otherwise I'm going to have to go back to the gardens and find out in order to mollify spouse. The flowers are very small and appear in clumps all over the plant. Each flower is about the size of a thumbnail.

Saturday's paper came on Sunday, but I probably should have saved it for today, since there is none. All the news is about Gustav anyway, and me being me, I'm devouring it constantly through the internet. He should be ashore in a couple of hours, though it seems like he's jogging a teeny bit west this morning. I don't think New Orleans will flood like last time. Still, it's good that every smart person got out. I'm not sure if the dumb who dawdle deserve to die, but it'd be tough to be sympathetic this time around. (The alliteration was accidental.)

Wow this post is boring even me. And that's saying something since both knitting and the weather channel can hold my interest for hours. It's labor day, and I won't be doing any. Just blobbing around before going to mother in law's for dinner. Have a lovely day.