It's Bullet Sunday and I'm so happy I could crap my pants!
• That Dog Won't Hunt! So Jon Huntsman, the only Republican candidate that I might have voted for, is dropping out of the race. And since the remaining candidates will be hard pressed to sway independent voters to their respective agendas, I guess that we're in for four more years of President Obama. Unless he punches Betty White in the face while wiping his ass with the American flag during a televised White House press conference or something.
Now, if you will excuse me, I shall now go and mourn the loss of what could have been our three First Daughters...
Sadly, Mitt Romney has no hot daughters (that he knows of, I'm sure). Though I'm starting to wonder if he'll even be a factor now that Stephen Colbert has entered the race in South Carolina and these wicked attack ads are airing...
Genius. And it's funny because it's true!
• It's a Fucking Frog! Just when I think that it's impossible for nature to shock me more than it already has... along comes The World's Tiniest Frog...
Photograph by Christopher Austin, Louisiana State University
How in the hell is this even possible? That's a DIME! And that's an actual frog sitting on top... not even half the size of the coin. How does its lungs function when they must barely be the size of the air molecules they breathe in? Unbelievable. And cute. Lookat da iddybitty froggy!
• ZOMFG it's Music! After one of my favorite bands, The Shins, kind of imploded... I worried that we'd never hear from them again. Shins mastermind James Mercer appeared to move on to a new collaboration called Broken Bells with DJ Danger Mouse, so I figured that was the end of it. But lo and behold this last week I got an iTunes pre-sale notice for a new band line-up and a new album called Port of Morrow...
My expectations are high. Fortunately, the preview track Simple Song didn't disappoint. Can't wait until I get to hear the rest of the album in March. You can pre-order your own copy at the iTunes Music Store here.
• Eggxactly Right! Because groceries are so stupid-expensive, I find myself buying foodstuffs not because I necessarily want them, but because they're on sale for cheap. Most of the time, this comes back to bite me in the ass, but every once in a while I stumble across something so delicious that I wonder how I ever survived without it. Such was the case with Crystal Farms' "Three Cheese Chef's Omlet" from the freezer case...
Holy cow. It's the perfect omelet. Light, fluffy, and loaded with quality, flavorful cheese... from a frickin' microwave! When served on buttered toast with a little ground pepper... it's a quick and easy breakfast that's so good. Which means that it's probably being discontinued and the reason it was on sale was because they were clearing out their inventory. Crap.
• Well I'll Be! And so Washington State is dangerously close to passing Marriage Equality legislation. Color me pleasantly surprised. Despite the fact that "The Coast" is decidedly liberal... the view from Redneckistan here on the other side of the mountains is often cloudy when it comes to gay marriage. Oh I'm sure there are many people here who have no problem with everybody getting their fair shot at happiness (as promised when our country was founded). And there's undoubtedly a growing number of people here who are tired of their gay friends and family being relegated to second class citizens. And it's certain that more and more heterosexual couples are realizing that same-sex marriage has
It just comes down to whether enough politicians will do the right thing and move forward in a way that an increasing majority of Americans want to have happen. Here's hoping.
And now I have to get back to work. And Dune, which is playing as background noise here in my living room. THE SPICE MUST FLOW!
There's new products.
And then there's dangerously new products.
After I got home from work, I saw a commercial for "Krave," which kind of blew my mind...
Because, seriously... IT'S CEREAL FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE CANDY! Isn't it glorious?
Pour a shot of Jägermeister on top, and you've got a party.
My work Mac has been dying for a while now. It's been in near constant use for six years, so this isn't surprising. I'm just happy that it has worked so well for so long... and especially pleased that Apple supported it all this time. So far as I know, you can still run all the latest software on the latest version of MacOS X, which is pretty remarkable. Sure it runs slow, but not prohibitively so. If the video and hard drive controllers weren't flaking out, I probable could have gotten another year or two out of it. But, alas, the video gets jittery even when I replace the video card, and I keep losing files and having crashes, soooooo... I guess it's time.
At first I was looking into getting another Mac Pro. But then I noticed that Apple seems to be distancing themselves from their desktop computer line. It's rarely updated and no real innovations have been happening there for a while. Where the action is at is in the iMac line...
The top-of-the-line iMac is over twice as fast as my current computer. That's not as nice as a new mid-level Mac Pro, which would be four times faster, but an iMac is half the price, so there you have it. It's also pretty. So I ordered a tricked out a 27-inch iMac and we'll see how it goes.
Nothing quite like adding even more profit to Apple's bottom line to make you feel alive.
Yesterday on the way home from The Coast, I stopped at the grocery store because my cupboards were bare. On the way in, I noticed a table stacked with Girl Scout cookies being attended by sweet, smiling Girl Scouts. "Hello!" they said cheerfully as I walked by. After shopping, I went to pay for my groceries and realized I forgot my wallet in the car. "Hello!" said the Girl Scouts once again as I rushed out to my car. I grabbed my wallet and dashed back into the store. "Hello!" said the Girl Scouts as I ran past.
After finally paying for my groceries, I was pushing my cart out to the parking lot when the smiling Girl Scouts once again gave me a cheery "Hello!" as I rolled past. "OKAY! I'LL BUY A BOX OF COOKIES!" I bellowed.
It was then that I noticed the Girl Scouts were wearing jeans and T-shirts. "Hey! Where are your Girl Scout uniforms?" I asked. I was then shown that the girls were wearing an official "Girl Scouts Pin" and told that uniforms are now optional. "Optional?!? Then how can I tell you're real Girl Scouts? Maybe you mugged some Girl Scouts and stole those cookies! This got me some nervous laughter, but apparently they didn't care about my being a smart-ass so long as I was buying their cookies. That's just good business sense, I suppose...
It's probably only a matter of time before other uniforms go the way of the dodo bird. But so long as that police officer is wearing his official "Police Force Pin," he still has a license to shoot people and drive really fast with his lights flashing... even if they're wearing a pair of Hawaiian board shorts and a lime green tank top.
Oh well. I guess we'll still get to see uniforms on Halloween...
30 DAYS DRAWING CHALLENGE: Draw Something You Don't Like...
And I'm liking Rick "Piece of Shit" Santorum less and less every day. That being said, he would be hysterical opponent for President Obama in a debate. The entertainment value would be so amazing that I'm almost tempted to donate to his campaign.
Today I got in a conversation with somebody where I mentioned that Canada is killing off their penny. They bristled at the idea. I said that not only do I wish we'd kill off our penny... I wish that we'd do away with cash altogether. In addition to saving us bajillions in production costs, we'd also do away with counterfeiters, hamper drug dealers, and reduce who-knows what other problems plaguing society. Money truly is the root of all evil, ya know. The person I was talking to admitted that they had never thought of it that way, and could see my point.
That's when I had to drop the bombshell that it's never going to happen in the US in our lifetimes because the Christians would revolt.
"Huh? Wha-? I'm a Christian, why would we revolt?!?"
"Well, a lot of you guys believe that the advent of a cashless society is a sign of the impending Apocalypse and the End of Days."
"Wha-? No we don't!"
"Some of you do. Among the freaky imagery in Revelation 13 is the idea that the Anti-Christ will do away with cash and you'll need the Mark of the Beast to buy stuff."
"Mark? Like a tattoo? That's in the Book of Revelations? "
"Err... Book of RevelaTION, yeah. I guess it could be a tattoo... like a barcode. Or maybe a brand. Or a computer chip or something... sure. Could even be a credit card... The Bible isn't always literal about things."
"Weird. Guess I don't remember Revelations much."
"Perhaps if you started by remembering the title correctly the rest would come easier..."
And then I had to wonder for the millionth time how it is that I, a non-Christian, have put in more time studying The Bible than most Christians I meet. And then I had to wonder for the billionth time how it is that somebody can choose to live their life and base their faith on a book (The Book) that they don't know much about and don't really understand. Maybe going to church and listening to somebody else tell them what they should think about their most sacred texts is enough. It wouldn't be for me. But to each their own I guess.
It snowed last night and was cold and rainy all day, so I was looking for something warm to eat for dinner. But after having worked all day, I didn't want to cook. So I decided to make a salad and see how that goes...
My dinner salad recipe for tonight (all measures approximate)
It was delicious. Though I do wish tomatoes were in season. With an additional vegetable (or a fruit masquerading as a vegetable), it might actually be considered a "salad" instead of an excuse to eat loads of dressing and cheese. I suppose I could have tossed some frozen peas in there or something.
But then I had Eggo waffles for dessert, so I guess it doesn't really matter how many vegetables I dump on my bowl of dressing and cheese.
Now I wish I had some ice cream.
Oh man... how awesome would ice cream be on Eggo waffles?
Time to grab your bullet-proof vest, because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Fool. I am not a fan of "April Fools' Day." Most of the pranks are pretty lame, stupid, and usually too obvious to "fool" anybody... especially the ones you find online. But Google has once again hit it out of the park with not one, but two amazingly well thought out and executed joke videos. Sure it's unlikely that anybody is going to be fooled, but they're still genius if you haven't seen them already...
• Leyner. I am not a fan of audio books. If I'm going to invest time in a book, I want to read it myself instead of having somebody read it to me. But I had a friend who was addicted to them, so every time we'd take a road-trip, he'd bring a bunch of them. I was never impressed enough to pay much attention. Except once. That would be the time that he popped in Et Tu, Babe by Mark Leyner into the cassette player and blew my mind. It was the single most awesome and bizarre thing I had ever heard...
After that, I was a diehard Mark Leyner fan, and kept up with all his genius that I could get my hands on... Tooth Imprints On a Corn Dog; I Smell Esther Williams; The Tetherballs of Bougainville; My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist; and now his latest... The Sugar Frosted Nutsack...
It's pretty insane... even for Leyner... but I still liked it. There's just nobody out there doing what he does the way he does it. But here's the thing... YOU HAVE TO GET THE AUDIO BOOK! Leyner reads all his books himself, and half of what makes his stuff so damn funny is his performance of the material. The shame is that Et Tu, Babe, which remains my favorite, is not available anymore. I keep hoping that Audible will add it since I only own it on cassette, but it's never shown up. Leyner is absolutely not for everyone... the guy is crazy-ass bizarre... but if you're looking for something different... really different... then the audio book might be worth a listen at your local library.
• Amazement. The season two debut was everything I was hoping for and more...
And if you're a fan of Tyrion Lannister on the show, you need to read an interview with the actor who portrays him, the amazing Peter Dinklage, in the New York Times.
• Eggo2. For the person who said Eggo Waffles were "gross" after I mentioned them yesterday, I would have to agree. Usually. Except... the NEW "Thick & Fluffy" Eggos that just came out are an entirely different animal. The honest truth? I prefer them to a lot of waffles I've had in restaurants...
So delicious. So not kidding. If you like waffles, give 'em a try.
Annnnnd... SCENE. No more bullets for you!
Today The DutchBitch says "It is a beautiful day to visit Zaanse Schans!" And, like the fool I am, I believed her. Though I suppose if you ignore the freezing winds and overcast skies, it was a beautiful day to go exploring.
Zaanse Schans is a tourist attraction north of Amsterdam with various shops and interesting things to see. But it's best known for its collection of preserved and functional windmills...
Among the attractions is a "Klompenmakerij" or "Wooden Clog Workshop" where you get to watch them make shoes...
They also have a "Kaasmakerij" or "Cheesemaker Shop" which has all kinds of delicious hand-made cheeses...
It's a nice shop... but you can't bring your chicken in with you...
And there's a gift shop with... Miffy!...
Eventually the sun started to come out a bit, so we walked down the row of windmills...
Once we were tired of goofing off in Zaanse Schans, it was time for PATATJES MET and OUDE KAAS!!
Never mind that I have eaten fried potatoes with mayo and an aged cheese sandwich every day since I've been here... you just can't get enough of a good thing.
And, just like that, my adventure in DutchyLand has come to an end. I'm off to the airport in an hour.
I'm droppin' bullets like Benjamins, yo, because Bullet Sunday starts... now.
• Bitchsterdam. An overdue thank you to The DutchBitch for an awesome Bitchsterdam 3 blogger event. I've been to the Netherlands many times, but she managed to find some fantastic touristy stuff that I've never seen before... including a visit to the amazing Keukenhof gardens. Easily worth a ten-hour flight. Here's hoping she can be convinced to have Bitchsterdam 4! If, for no other reason, than I can attempt to use words like "geesteswetenschappen" in a sentence again...
It apparently means "humanities"... OR DOES IT?!? You just don't know!
• Superiority. And speaking of DutchyLand... I fully accept that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world and all those other freedom-hating backwater countries don't matter and have nothing to contribute. I mean... I kind of have to don't I? The minute an American even implies that other countries are relevant to world affairs and have wonderful cultural contributions to be made, FOX "News" will brand them an American-hating traitor. And heaven forbid that you happen to be the president and have an appreciation for other countries' contribution to the planet. That's enough for FOX "News" to demand your impeachment!
Call me a traitor if you must, but creamy and delicious Dutch mayonnaise is so fucking superior to the gelatinous glop we call "mayonnaise" here in the U.S. that it's not even funny. This trip I checked a suitcase, which meant I was able to bring home a bunch of the stuff. So now I can fry up some fries for PATATJES MET at home...
PATATJES MET!!! Amazing. Whoever decides to market a superior Dutch mayo here is going to make millions. Millions!!
• WHAT?!? And speaking of fries... have you heard that browning potatoes creates a cancer-causing chemical called "acrylamide" that makes them deadly to eat? Can you believe this shit? Why is it that everything that tastes good ends up killing you? This is so not fair. PATATJES MET OR DEATH?!? I can't answer that.
• Earth! Ooh! It's Earth Day! That one day out of the year where people pretend to give a shit about our planet! Including me. Despite it being 82° out today, I rolled down my window instead of turning on the air conditioner in my car. That totally counts, right?
• Television. Kind of gutted that two of my favorite new shows, Awake and The Finder are not getting the ratings they need for renewal. Instead they'll be cancelled and replaced by a reality show or some other stupid-ass crap that doesn't require thought from the American viewing public. And who knows what's going to happen to Fringe, which had a game-changing episode on Friday. It's almost to the point where I'm afraid to get invested in good television anymore...
And, on that sad note, I've gotta go tempt death by having another plate of PATATJES MET!
We were hit by a deluge this afternoon, with the rain falling so hard that leaves were being ripped from the trees. This made it really difficult to drive on the highway because the water was piling up faster than it could run off the road. Some cars started hydroplaning and losing control, so everybody slowed down to a more appropriate speed and everything was fine.
Until some dumbass came ripping down the highway at top speed, skidding through the water while weaving in and out of traffic. As he attempted to pass me, he slid so close to my car that I thought I would lose my side-mirror, but I managed to turn and brake quickly enough that I didn't get hit. That I nearly ended up in the ditch didn't mean anything to the asshole, and he sped off to even more dangerous encounters as horns were blaring around him.
The hospital was in the opposite direction, so I have no idea why he was in such a hurry, but I wouldn't be surprised if he eventually ended up killing somebody.
Oh, excuse me, murdering somebody.
Because driving like a psychopath in such bad weather conditions is an intentional bid to kill someone... there would be no "accident" here. And yet, even such a reckless regard for safety (including his own) didn't seem to register as he was skidding all over the road.
Which makes me think about the old "If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you do it?" question. No, this asshole driver probably isn't going to end up responsible for killing millions of people... but do the numbers really matter when murdering even one person is a tragedy? Everybody is important to somebody.
And so there I am behind the wheel watching in horror as some dumbass is skidding all over the place while other drivers try their best to avoid him. And it occurs to me that I don't have to go back in time to kill this asshole and save lives... I could follow him home and kill him right now!
Not that I would actually do it, of course. But what about the person that would? Like me, they come to the whole "kill Hitler" quandary and then, unlike me, decide to do society a favor and eliminate the bastard driver. What about them?
So drive safe everybody. It's not just an accident that can kill you.
And speaking of something that can kill you...
Pizza Hut in the Middle East has introduced "Crown Crust Carnival Pizza" where cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets are baked into the crust!
GENIUS! It almost makes me wish I wasn't a vegetarian. And I lived in Kuwait. And I had a deathwish.
It's only a matter of time before they start putting chocolate cake in the crust so you can have pizza and dessert at the same time. I can't tell you how happy I am to be alive during an era of such magical culinary innovation. But it's pretty happy.
This blog entry is brought to you by... DIBS!
What makes ice cream taste better than ever before?
What makes ice cream unhealthier than ever before?
What is so addictive that crack addicts use it to wean themselves off the pipe?
What consumes your life so completely that it's known as "Satan's Candy?"
What snack is so overwhelming that even Charlie Sheen won't touch it?
What did I have with every meal today?
Yes, that's right... it's DIBS! Delicious bites of ice cream that's been covered in chocolate and rice crispies, then frozen in tubs for your eating pleasure!And now... I'm sure I had something I wanted to write about today, but who can blog at a time like this when I've got DIBS left in the freezer!
So... I worked straight through all day and have been completely out of touch with the world. Anything happen while I was gone?
Well, other than Olive Garden's 2 for $25 Italian Dinner Special... WITH UNLIMITED SALAD AND BREADSTICKS!
I just wish they didn't mandate that you have to pay for the dinner in order to get the unlimited salad and breadsticks. Why should I be forced to pay for something I don't want just to be able to get unlimited free access to something I do? I mean, it's nice they made it cheaper and easier to get, but who knows when I'm going to eat that breadstick... I may end up never eating it! And that means I was forced to pay for dinner for nothing!
Sure, I still get all the benefits of dinner that will get me all the salad and breadsticks I need if I ever end up needing some... and, yeah, it wouldn't be fair to just wander into Olive Garden and demand unlimited salad and breadsticks when I didn't pay for any dinner... and, certainly, it's the money that's coming in from the dinners that allows Olive Garden to provide the unlimited salad and breadsticks in the first place... but forcing people to buy something is totally un-American! It's like a socialist plot invented by... oh, dunno... the Italians or something!
I should be able to refuse to buy dinner and instead fucking starve to death because I can't afford to pay the $200,000 for a salad and breadstick emergency... which is how much something like that costs when you didn't purchase the dinner plan. I mean, it's my right as an American to gamble my life away! That's why we're the best country on earth and leaders of the free world!
And it's also my right to decide I don't want to die... and to change my mind at the last minute if an unexpected salad and breadsticks emergency happens... and to then shame this country for killing its citizens just because they made the mistake of not getting dinner when they had the chance. Would Jesus allow a man to die just because he had no dinner and couldn't afford emergency salad and breadsticks? I think not!
I dunno. I just don't get it. What's next... is Olive Garden going to force me to buy Justin Bieber albums? Or force me to do some other random thing that sounds crazy but has absolutely no bearing what-so-ever on Americans' access to unlimited salad and breadsticks?
Bad enough that I am forced to buy dinner... but the fact that some of my dinner money is going to provide salad and breadsticks for the poor is what really pisses me off. Because they're poor. They should just be allowed to starve to death because feeding the poor is socialist. I'm pretty sure that's in The Bible.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go eat AT TACO BELL. Where real Americans eat American food like American Nacho Burrito Supremes... just like our American Founding Fathers did.
U.S.A! U.S.A! U.S.A!
This morning I had grandiose plans to wake up early, unpack my suitcase (from four days ago), and do some chores that have been piling up over the last several weeks. Instead I read a really cool book about the Batman movies and ended up being 20 minutes late to work.
Sometimes things just don't go as planned.
Which is okay... except I'm going to be working all weekend, so my luggage and list of chores is going to be put off until next week. Heaven forbid I should get up early on a weekend to take care of stuff before a Toxic Biological Event starts growing in my suitcase...
And speaking of Toxic Biological Events...
What in the hell is happening over at Taco Bell? These new Cantina Bell items look fantastic and they have vegetarian options...
I haven't been this excited for shitty Mexican fast-food since Cheesy Fiesta Potatoes debuted!
I finally made it to Taco Bell to try their new "Cantina Bell" menu... which is supposed to be a "gourmet" selection of Mexican dishes.
My expectations were understandably low. This is, after all, Taco Bell.
I ordered the Veggie Cantina Salad with a side of guacamole and chips. The salad consisted of a bed of warm cilantro rice topped with black beans, lettuce, guacamole, roasted corn & pepper salsa, pico de gallo, and a cilantro dressing.
All I can say is bravo, Taco Bell... bravo...
The salad was excellent. All the ingredients were tasty, fresh, and of good quality. The guacamole was creamy and had good flavor. I loved the roasted corn & pepper salsa. The beans and cilantro rice were cooked to perfection. The dressing had a nice "tang" to it and tied everything together nicely. I would have liked to have had a little cheese sprinkled on top, but it wasn't a deal-breaker.
I can't wait to try the Cantina Veggie Burrito, which takes all the salad ingredients and wraps them in a flour tortilla that looks to be toasted. I'm betting it's even better than the salad...
This photo (taken from Cantina Bell) shows dead chicken in the burrito, which I'd skip.
Any one of the three sides (guac, salsa, pico de gallo) with chips and a Pepsi can be added for just $2!
The recipes for all this great stuff are courtesy of Lorena Garcia. Not only is she a famous chef who comes up with good recipes... she's totally hot and is a contestant on the current season of Top Chef Masters as well...
I can honestly say that my Cantina Bell meal at Taco Bell... YES, TACO BELL!... was as good as I've had at some finer Mexican restaurants, even though you're eating it with a plastic spork from a crappy plastic bowl. I will absolutely be eating at "Cantina Bell" again, and hope that the menu sticks around for a while.
If you need a quick meal and feel like some pretty good Mexican fare, give it a shot!
Several years ago a chef at an upscale restaurant asked me what kind of cheese I wanted on my fancy sandwich. I said "Oh, I dunno... American is fine."
I got yelled at. "AMERICAN IS NOT A REAL CHEESE! IT CAN BARELY EVEN BE CONSIDERED A FOOD!"
Which was confusing, because the American cheese I always buy says "cheese food" right on the label.
But even so, I was embarrassed for having been so classless and ignorant as to have asked for "American cheese" on a sandwich, so I stopped eating the stuff. Instead I started buying cheddar cheese at home and always asked for cheddar, swiss, or whatever "real" cheese was available when eating out.
Because I'm classy and smart like that.
But then the recession happened and I started buying groceries not based on what I wanted, but what was on sale. If it isn't on sale (or I don't have a coupon), I don't buy it unless I absolutely have to.
And last week it was Kraft brand American cheese food that was on sale...
I had forgotten how much I absolutely love the stuff. I don't care if it's chunks of cheese that's been blended with fat, milk, and artificial chemicals and crap... it's creamy, delicious, and melts over a veggie burger like a dream. So now I'm undergoing a kind of "American Cheese Renaissance." I'm eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And snacks. I can't help myself.
And now I'm keeping an eye out for a sale on White American...
I'm not trying to sound racist here, but I'm thinking that White American is probably better to eat than "regular" American because it won't have any stuff in it to make my insides turn orange. Unless... you don't think that they add bleach to American to make it turn into White American? That wouldn't be a good thing at all.
And now a piece of sad news concerning a black American... Michael Clarke Duncan, a wonderful actor I came to love in his role as Leo Knox in The Finder, passed away this morning at the age of 54...
Such a horrible loss. Michael Clarke Duncan was a truly amazing talent who could steal any scene with one flash of his million-dollar smile... or one word from his wonderful voice... which means that he stole every scene he was ever in. And I can't overstate my love of his character on The Finder. Leo Knox was achingly real while still being endlessly entertaining. I always hoped that the cliffhangers left when The Finder was cancelled would be wrapped up in an episode of Bones, where the show originated. But that will probably never happen now. How could they possibly wrap up anything without Leo? I'm just crushed. Rest in peace, Mr. Duncan, your work made me very happy at times I needed a little happiness, and I will miss you.
The story burning up the internets today is about a letter written by Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe in support of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (who is vocal advocate of marriage equality).
Making a long story short, Maryland Democratic politician Emmett C. Burns asked the Baltimore Ravens football organization to make Ayanbadejo shut up about marriage. Kluwe (also a supporter of marriage equality) thought this was bullshit, and decided to write an open letter to Burns to tell him how he felt.
The letter is sheer genius. Go read it immediately.
I'm guessing this image of Kluwe is a team photo, courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings?
As you might have noticed, the letter is filled with colorful language which has raised some criticism of Kluwe's choice of words.
This really hit home with me, because I struggle with whether or not I should use swear words most every time I write in this blog. When I first started blogging I swore constantly and didn't think anything about dropping
It was a practice that was destined to be short-lived. I use swear-words in real life when I'm fired up. So it's unavoidable that I'm going to use swear-words on my blog when I'm fired up. For a while I tried to disguise it... typing out things like "F#@%!" and "B#LL$H!T!," but comedian Suzy Soro commented that this is kind of stupid. Since absolutely everybody knows what you're trying to say anyway... why not just come out and say it?
She was absolutely right, and I've been cursing in my blog ever since.
Though I admit that most times I do regret it.
Somebody once told me that swearing is a sign that the writer is unintelligent. They don't know how to express themselves properly, so they foolishly have to resort to curse words to make their point. In some respects, I agree with this assessment.
In other respects, I'd argue that there's no word that can adequately take the place of "fuck."
And so I use it. Probably more often than I should... but definitely not as often as I want to. "Fuck" (and dozens of words like it) are forms of expression that I find helpful in communicating exactly what I'm feeling in a way that "shucky darn" doesn't quite reach.
Today I managed to get in my essential visit to America's Dog so I could get my Veggie Chicago Dog...
It was, as always, delicious.
Oh... and speaking of delicious food... I never check a bag when flying into O'Hare so I can grab a veggie burger at Johnny Rocket's before I exit through security. But yesterday as I approached the restaurant, I was horrified to see that IT WASN'T THERE!
WHAT THE FUCK?! Shucky darn!
I hate it when that happens.
Be sure all loose items are securely stored under your seat and remember there's no flash photography, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Halloween! 'Tis the season for "Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party" once again. Taking place after the normal park hours, the party has a special parade "Boo to You!" and a really nice fireworks show in addition to trick-or-treating throughout the Magic Kingdom park...
It seemed a lot more crowded than the last time I did Mickey's Halloween, with the trick-or-treat lines being absurdly long. So totally not worth waiting 15-20 minutes for a handful of the cheap candy they're handing out.
• Star Tours! The last time I was in Orlando I didn't have time to do the whole Disney thang, so I missed seeing the "new and improved" Star Tours ride. Much to my surprise, it actually is "new and improved!"...
You get a completely randomized experience every time you ride. Two different openings (Darth Vader and Millennium Falcon), three different adventures (Kashyyyk, Hoth, and Tatooine), and three different endings (Coruscant, Naboo, and Death Star 2)... which makes 54 different possible combinations. I kept riding until I saw all the pieces I wanted to see. The only two I didn't experience were the pod race on Tatooine and the Trade Federation battle on Naboo (since I don't give a flying fuck about the shitty Star Wars prequels. Overall, very well done and a lot of fun!
• Safari! Even though I went on the much more extensive and interesting "Wild Africa Trek" through the Animal Kingdom savanna, I still managed to get in a ride on the canned "Kilimanjaro Safari" they offer. Much to my surprise, the "ride" has changed. No longer is there a story element about chasing poachers and rescuing a baby elephant... that's all gone! Instead, it's "just a safari" where you may (or may not) see many interesting animals. The poaching story was kind of lame, so this is probably a smart move... but it was still kind of shocking that the ride wasn't the way I remembered it.
• Beignets! No trip to Walt Disney World would be complete without a trip to Disney's Port Orleans' Resort for breakfast beignets!
• Dining! This trip I was sure to eat at two of my favorite Disney restaurants... both located in their Hollywood Studios park, both of which I highly recommend (assuming you can get reservations or manage to get in without them... they're really popular). First up is the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater restaurant, which simulates an old-time drive-in theater playing crappy old sci-fi movies and tables shaped like cars...
Next up is the 50's Prime Time Cafe, which is set up to look like a house from the 1950's, complete with sassy waitresses bringing out "mom's food" and reminding you to "KEEP YOUR ELBOWS OFF THE TABLE!"
A new restaurant to me this time was "Via Napoli" with authentic Naples pizza. Their White Pizza was amazing, and I will definitely be back...
And, of course, there's always Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney, which makes the best sandwich you will ever eat...
It's surprising that I don't gain 50 pounds every time I come here. I spend most of my time eating.
• Hunter. One of the best shows nobody ever saw was called Oh Grow Up! which was a short-lived comedy by Alan Ball (of American Beauty, True Blood, and Six Feet Under fame). I was a huge, huge fan, which is why I was very sad to just now learn that Oh Grow Up! lead actor Stephen Dunham died back on September 18th. His character of Hunter Franklin was not an easy role to pull off... but Dunham managed it flawlessly...
Oh how I wish they would honor Dunham by releasing Oh Grow Up! on DVD or even iTunes download!
Annnnd... I could probably shoot off another dozen bullets here, but I've got to be able to get caught up on sleep sometime!
Find your happy place, because Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Debate? I thought I was missing something by being in an airplane during the first presidential debate. Now that I've seen it, I realize I didn't miss much at all. President Obama was uninspiring, passive, and boring. Mitt Romney was artificial, creepy, and a dick. Neither was looking very presidential tonight... though at least Romney seemed to have some passion to him. That being said, I don't think either of them changed any minds. The biggest loser of the night had to be moderator Jim Lehrer, who couldn't moderate wiping his own ass. Pathetic. The next person who puts him in charge of moderating a debate should be shot. Then fired. I guess downsizing Lehrer is one thing that Mitt Romney and I can agree on? I just don't think that Big Bird should go with him...
Given the dearth of stupid shit on television for kids, I'd say that supporting entertaining educational programs like Sesame Street is essential for the survival of future generations. Especially when you consider that Big Bird gets 1/100th of 1 percent of the congressional budget (PBS as a whole gets less than 1%). So, yeah, that'll make a fucking dent.
• Maries! If crack cocaine and mayonnaise had a baby, it would be Marie's All-Natural Salad Dressings. For the longest time I ignored them on the shelf because they were too expensive compared to the other salad dressings available. But last month I was bored and decided to try one. It was so frickin' amazing that I've been slowly working my way through every flavor available. Now that I've tried them all, I have narrowed my favorites down to Chunky Feta Cheese and Asiago Peppercorn...
Anything that can make lettuce taste this good is worth every penny. And so now I'm going to be poor because I spend all my money on salad dressing. If you're looking for a pricey but delicious way to liven up your salad, I highly recommend giving Marie's a try.
• Television! Ooh! New TV shows! As a total television whore, this is a happy time for me. At least it was until I realized that there have only been four new shows worth watching out of all the stuff that looked intereting to me so far this season...
It will be interesting to see how Arrow, Nashville, and Chicago Fire fare, as I think they're the only new shows left that I want to see which I haven't seen.
Annnd... apparently I can't post this because my internet just went down. Guess I'll be late. Again.
Time to deal with that hangover... because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Flip! While I was trying to come up with things to do to kill time before the Matt & Kim concert last Friday, I found out that The Muskrat was flying into ATL that same day, so we decided to meet up for lunch. He took me to "Flip" which is an upscale burger "boutique" restaurant created by Top Chef: All-Stars winner Richard Blais. Their vegetarian choice was a "Fauxlafel Burger"... which is a kind of falafel patty topped with marinated vegetables. I fucking hate burgers with non-burger crap on them, so I asked to have a "Classic Burger" but substitute the "Fauxlafel" patty. They were happy to accommodate me, and the resulting burger was fantastic! Wished the bun was a little bigger... but other than that it was really flavorful and delicious. Flip's claim to fame is their "Krispy Kreme Shake" which has a doughnut blended into it...
Absolutely amazing. It really did taste like a Krispy Kreme, and I was definitely left wanting more. Overall, a great experience at Flip, and I would absolutely go back.
• Pre✓ And so there's a new program from the TSA which gives frequent fliers the ability to receive "Trusted Traveler" status. I had never heard of it before today, but am happy that it exists. I'm even more happy that Delta Airlines opted me into the program...
Going through the Pre✓ line meant that I didn't have to take off my shoes. I didn't have to take off my light jacket. I didn't have to take off my belt. I didn't have to remove my baggie of liquids & gels from my bag. I didn't even have to remove my computer from my backpack!
Well... if I didn't have a big block of cheese given to me by The DutchBitch, I wouldn't have had to remove my computer. Turns out that cheese looks like organic explosives or something, so they actually did have to remove my laptop for a second scan.
In any event, this is an awesome perk for people who have to fly a lot. It's a much better program than the stupid "Regular/Family/Experienced" lanes that they had tried earlier... those programs were doomed to fail because everybody piled in whatever lane was shortest. Many, many times I got behind somebody in the "Experienced" lane who didn't know what the hell they were doing. With Pre✓, it's invitation only to "experienced" travelers, so newbies can't get in to fuck everything up.
In all honesty, I don't know how effective all the crazy security stuff is that the TSA has in effect. What I do know is that Pre✓ goes a long way towards making me not mind it so much.
• Holy Crap! I've been skydiving. And, even though I have a fear of heights, I didn't have any problems because there's a point where the scale of the height is so big that you don't really recognize it as something to fear. But then there's this...
Photo by Felix Baumgartner himself
I'm pretty sure that I would lose my frickin' mind if ever I faced a jump of 28,000 feet. That's 24 frickin' miles! And yet... Felix Baumgartner took it on like a boss. Kind of makes skydiving look like a walk in the park. Next up? Lunar jumps!
• Frothy! It would appear that everybody's favorite gay-sex obsessed piece of shit, Rick Santorum, is still in Washington State drumming up hate against equality...
It used to be the only reason I wanted marriage equality for my home state was so that my friends here who want to be married but are unable to will finally be able to fulfill their dreams. But more and more I want it to pass so that ridiculous, bigoted, homophobic idiots like Rick Santorum will fail utterly... thus sending a message to other ridiculous, bigoted, homophobic idiots that their time has passed. And good riddance.
• Lawdy! And, speaking of ridiculous, bigoted, homophobic idiots... I think this one is my favorite one of all...
Oh horrors! The law will apply to everyone... not just the well-adjusted, well-educated, sophisticated, wholesome, gays... it'll also apply to the gays with drug problems and who are mentally unstable! Well, shit! We simply cannot have that! Can you imagine if there were straight couples with drug and mental problems having families? What would we do then? Clearly, this is the strongest argument against marriage equality ever.
• Nemo! Please tell me you saw the wonderful Google Doodle celebrating the 107th anniversary of Winsor McCay's Little Nemo in Slumberland...
Absolutely brilliant... just like Little Nemo, which remains one of the most imaginative things to come out of human history.
And... I suppose now that it's 2:00am I should see if I can get some sleep. It's been a long day.
Before you start celebrating that I finally made it home, you might want to chill for a minute... because Bullet Sunday starts now...
• Hostess. I haven't eaten anything from Hostess in decades. They use disgusting LARD in their products, so once I became a vegetarian they were scratched off my shopping list. But, as a kid, I loved Hostess products. Lemon Pies. Ding Dongs. Cupcakes. Twinkies. And Ho-Hos... oh how I loved Ho-Hos. Everything they made was magic...
So you can imagine how the news of their impending doom is a conflict for me. On one hand... who gives a rat's ass that people won't be able to buy their unhealthy crap any more? But, on the other hand... Hostess's unhealthy crap is an American childhood right of passage! Not that I have any doubt somebody isn't going to buy out the production rights for all those classic Hostess products... it's only a matter of time before people can buy Twinkies again. But something will be lost in the process. It always is.
If I'm lucky, it will be the lard that's lost.
Because, seriously, who the fuck eats LARD these days?
• Elementary. As I've said before, I did not have high hopes for yet another reimagined Sherlock Holmes. Especially when they moved it to New York and cast Lucy Liu as a female Dr. Watson. But, much to my surprise, I liked the show. And yet... the bigger surprise was yet to come. The show keeps getting better with each new episode. The mysteries have rapidly evolved into some of the best-written, most clever, least gimmicky, stories I've seen on the small screen. And, of course, Johnny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu are fantastic...
If you're not watching... I urge you to reconsider. This is some seriously great television.
• Five-0. Speaking of amazing television... I watched the Hawaii Five-0 reboot off and on when it first started, but the show didn't hook me enough to become a regular thing. Sure it had pretty scenery and the stories were okay, but it just seemed so "by-the-numbers"... like the cast weren't interested enough to make it feel "real" or whatever.
But something happened in the middle of the second season. The characters started clicking. The writers seemed to finally figure out what made everything feel "real." And now? Hawaii Five-0 is can't miss television for me. I love this show. And the biggest part of it is the chemistry between Alex O'Laughlin and Scott Caan. The smartass banter between them ranges from amusing to hilarious, but there's a warmth there that feels absolutely genuine...
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
And now we're in the show's third season where every episode has been gold. Seriously some of the best-scripted action on television, and well-worth your time to tune in.*
*Assuming that completely obvious non-stop Microsoft product placement doesn't drive you insane. Seriously, Microsoft must be providing free blowjobs and millions of dollars to all the producers and writers of this show.
• Maps. When Apple released their replacement for Google Maps, I hopped on the bandwagon to declare them a bad move. But most of my criticism came from the botched 3-D renderings and missing places I ran across (or didn't run across, as it were). Things just seemed so half-assed and "un-Apple-like."
But then I started using their turn-by-turn navigation just to see how goofy it was... and was floored to discover that Apple Maps provides better directions than Google Maps. My favorite thing about Apple's directions? They consider what side of the street your destination is on. Google regularly leads you to places while not giving a shit what side of the street it's on. This means you sometimes have to cross over traffic on busy streets... if you can cross at all. Apple? They provide a route that puts your destination on the right so there's no fighting to turn across the street...
So, yes. Apple Maps have some problems. And their navigation isn't perfect (I hate it when Siri says "KEEP LEFT" only to send you into a left-turn-only lane or something), but the more I use the app, the more I love it. And don't get me started on the beautiful vector maps. They load very quickly and are cached MUCH better than Google. Losing your internet connection in rural Georgia isn't nearly the tragedy with Apple, because your maps still work... they just cache so much of the area because the vector art is so small and efficient. Google turns the screen grey if you venture into a new location without internet. Not the best solution. So if you've been avoiding Apple Maps because of the negative hype... you might want to give them a second look. You might just be pleasantly surprised like me!
And... I'm going to have to cut bullets short, because I'm falling asleep as I write them. It's been a lonnnnng week.
You know when you buy a frozen dinner and it comes covered in plastic that you have to stab before putting it in the oven? HOW DOES THAT SHIT NOT MELT?!? And if it's made of some kind of transparent flame-retardant chemical... is that something you want sitting on your food? Baking on your food?
Anyway, Safeway had some deli side-dishes on sale the other day, so I picked up a seasoned potatoes...
Looks pretty good, huh?
What I did not see was that "purple potatoes" were part of the deal. They're kind of hidden in the photo.
I didn't even know that purple potatoes existed until I opened up the package and thought that my potatoes had gone bad. But after reading the box more carefully, I found out that they do exist and they really are purple...
Photo from Svetlana Catering
They look like a human organ gone bad that was then cut out of somebody and served on a plate. With olive oil, garlic, sea salt, and spices.
I ate one, and it wasn't horrible. But it was purple.
So I picked them all out and ate the yummy-looking non-mutant potatoes.
I take no chances when it comes to eating something you dig out of the dirt.