Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Rave: Cake vs. Pie (Everyone's a Winner)

Before I even get into the delicious center of this post, take a moment and check out the pants on the lead singer of Hot Chocolate. Holy infertility!

Recently, I have been spending even more of my time being distracted by Jezebel. The reason, readers: March Madness, of course. For those of you scratching your head and saying to yourselves, "Wait, I thought the only sport Ronnie liked was hunting the most elusive prey of all: Man. And maybe Curling", you are still correct.

Howevah, this is no lame basketball tournament. No! This is March Madness: Cake vs Pie.
This contentious confectionary war is one which has echoed through the ages. The Manimal is staunchly on Team Pie. Normally a man who has no discernible sweet tooth, preferring, instead, to feast on the blood of his vanquished enemies, the Manimal cannot walk past a pie. Any pie. It could be poo pie and he would still morph into this guy:

I, on the other hand, am less ardent. Maybe it is because Australia's pie culture is centered around the meat variety, or maybe because I would eat a guinea pig as long as it was candied. There are so many great cakes of the world, but then again what can beat the deliciousness of something encased in a pastry shell? On second thought, Marie Antoinette didn't say "Let them eat pie" now, did she?

This delicious rumble in the tummy has got me biting my nails to the quick and yelling in a most unsettling manner at my computer. As you can see there are many bones of contention from the get-go. In the cake conference, it appears the creators have lost their ever loving minds. "Birthday" and "Wedding" are not flavors, people! They are occasions. This gives the Cake Conference some serious advantage. Pie should get "Thanksgiving" and "Christmas" if this is the twisted field we are playing on.

Barring the obvious celebratory bias of Team Cake, I feel the creators have made some crazy, lunatic insane decisions. For example, Funfetti? That comes out of a box. That is unacceptable. I've heard commenters say that it's a "nostagia" vote. Were you raised in the woods? Where I'm from, a nostagia vote would be this:

Or maybe even this:
But certainly not this:


Also, there is only ONE chocolate entry for Team Cake and it's mother-frakking German Chocolate. What?! This is the nastiest chocolate cake known to man, and I like coconut. The frosting (which, lets face it, is the lynchpin for a cake's deliciousness) looks like it was regurgitated by a mama bird feeding her young. Observe:

They could have picked so many more delicious chocolate confections. Flourless chocolate, Hello? Some form of espresso chocolate ganache thing? Come on! I'd even eat a Costco chocolate sheet cake that someone had dropped in the parking lot before German Chocolate. If they wanted a coconut contender, they needed only to make a trip to the best Dominican restaurant of all time, El Gran Castillo de Jagua in the BK and see this guy (the man!):

for a piece of his coconut cake. He is pictured with the chocolate here, but the coconut is so good, you'll want to slap your mom for not being able to make it.

Team Pie is no cakewalk either (heh. sorry). THERE ARE NO TARTS! I'm actually frightened of Manimal reading this and finding out. He may pull one of these:

Tart is the best kind of pie. It's like the well-to-do cousin of pie. If pie is sporting a mullet and living in a van down by the river, tart is padding around her well appointed Paris apartment.

Whaa..where am I? Oh, I'm sorry, I must have passed out.

Some may say that Lemon Tart is akin to Lemon Meringue Pie and Tart Tatin is repped by Apple Pie. Some people also think Ke$ha is a good singer, it doesn't make it so.

Otherwise, the Pie Conference is looking pretty right. I'd holler at it if it were walking down the street. It's got the Grande Dame, Cheesecake, who can make you consume a weeks worth of dairy with a bat of her Graham-crusted lashes. Pecan Pie is up in there working it with the sweetness of a thousand tons of brown sugar (you can also add bourbon to Pecan Pie without it tasting like an old lady cake, which, to me, raises it to a whole other level of awesome). I'm down with all the vegetable pies; like teaching a little kid bad words or unironically enjoying Phil Collins they're so wrong, but so right.

Anyway, despite some major ideological differences between myself and the Jezebel editors, this conference has already had its share of exciting wins and devastating losses. At this moment, Red Velvet is making a bloody mess of Wedding (yeah! retribution, sucka!) while Key Lime and Blueberry are engaging in a tangy tete-a-tete.

While I'd like to see Pavlova, French Macarons and Brownies join forces and hijack the stadium, I'm calling a Red Velvet vs. Apple Pie grand final with all-American Apple Pie taking it home.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Travel Tips: Tas-Mania! (Part 2: Seahorse World)

As you know, readers, I have very specific tastes when it comes to other living things. In terms of the ocean, I pretty much hate everything in it. If Napalm worked underwater I would have destroyed every living thing there already.

Don't agree? Let me run through a few of my Neptunian nightmares.

How we have let these things live is beyond me. If I were in charge, we'd be eating shark fin soup for breakfast, lunch and dinner until these jerks were extinct. Prisons, schools and hospitals would be serving shark sloppy joes with a side of shark fries until they were gone.


The giant squid: a complete asshole. My hatred also extends to the colossal squid (who is, understandably, camera-shy). If you are not terrified of these creatures, there is something wrong with you. Maybe this information will help to change your mind:
"Unlike the giant squid, whose arms and tentacles only have suckers lined with small teeth, the Colossal Squid's limbs are also equipped with sharp hooks: some swiveling, others three-pointed".
What?!? Swiveling sharp hooks?

That's probably gonna leave a mark.


This little d-bag is responsible for many of my seaside anxiety attacks: the Blue Ringed Octopus. The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball but its poison is powerful enough to kill an adult human in minutes. There’s no known antidote. The only treatment is hours of heart massage and artificial respiration until the poison has worked its way out of your system. Ever since I heard about this guy in primary school, I have been petrified of standing on one at the beach.

This is one of the cruel ironies of living in Australia; it could be 40 C and you will be standing next to an ocean that looks like this:

knowing that the most deadly creatures known to man are lurking below its crystalline waters waiting to kill you.

Bet you didn't know there were crocodiles at the beach. Well in Australia there are!

Vewwy scewwy!

Readers, this is just a roundabout way for me to tell you that there is only one sea-dwelling creature that I like. One who won't kill you, or force EMTs to handle your poisoned heart with their bare hands. One who subscribes to my own peculiar world view. Ladies and gentleman: the seahorse.

Obviously, when I found out that the world's only seahorse-related museum was located in Beauty Point, Tasmania, I had to visit. Much to the chagrin of my traveling partners, I plotted a course from Devonport to Beauty Point with no stops and no delays. Consequently, we arrived at approximately 8.30am.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Travel Tips: Tas-Mania! (Part 1)

For this episode of Travel Tips I have the honor of introducing you, my beloved readers, to a very special corner of the world: Tas-mania! (Don't you think they should write it this way officially? It adds a little je ne sais quoi to proceedings).

The "Apple Isle" as they call it, is a small crop of land which is separated from the World's Most Livable City by a deadly strip of water known as the Bass Strait. This violent pelagic mass is so terrifying that even my daredevil step father balked at taking his fabled homemade sea kayak out into its waters. However, nature seems to have a reason for such precautions: if the mainland were to know about all of the amazing attractions Tasmania had to offer, Van Diemen's Land would be overrun by throngs of tourists.

Consequently, Tasmania is pretty much left to its own devices (according to my shower curtain which deems it a whole 'nother country):

*An aside: This is not the only choice made by the shower curtain design team that I take issue with. Not only is there no Melbourne(?!) there is no New York City or Amsterdam, and Scotland has seemingly ceased to exist. Thankfully, Sverdlovsk and Qaraghandy are lovingly rendered. Phew.

It was illegal to be gay in Tasmania until 1997 which I think provides a helpful guideline when one is attempting to figure out precisely how far behind the times a place really is (much like how I determine New Zealand's cultural backwardness by Invercargill's High Street fashions).

There are so many Travel Tip-worthy activities crammed into such a miniscule island that I will document them in three parts. First up: getting there and the North.

When faced with the choice of taking a short, painless flight or the 24 hour-long Spirit of Tasmania ferry ride, I think you know which option I will suggest.

A hulking behemoth of a ferry, the Spirit departs from an abandoned dock on the outskirts of Melbourne. While driving your car along the sagging pier,  try to avoid the portions which have been eaten away by the ferocious breakers of Port Phillip Bay. As the mist parts, a solitary man in a fluorescent vest will slowly put down the human skull he has been feasting on and commence pacing around your vehicle.

Don't be afraid, despite his menacing snuffles and the eerie sounds of his nails scraping at your paintjob, he is just trying to locate any items considered contraband in Tasmania, like front teeth, natural fibers and dignity.

Once the gatekeeper waves you through, proceed toward the belly of the maritime mothership. If you have succeeded in securing a private room, make your way there, lock the door and use all non-secured objects available to barricade yourself in until daybreak. If not, head to the entertainment deck.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Rave: Roller Coaster Shennanigans

Have you ever been back to Disneyland after having only experienced it as an awestruck child? It doesn't so much kill your previous dream-like memories as crap all over them and salt your mind so nothing can grow there again.

All the rides, being made for 6 year olds and pedophiles, are rendered lame. The lines are long and the sound of kids screeching with joy grates on your soul. So what is left to do? You can either get drunk off international beer at the Epcot Center, or amuse yourself by acting inappropriately!

I foolishly thought that me and my brother, Dr. Poobelle, were the only ones who had marred other people's holiday snaps with our immaturity when we pulled obscene gestures at Disney's wack Haunted House. No, other people have gone above and beyond my wildest dreams. Behold:

Starting off relatively mild:

Getting better...

Oh, I see what you did there

I'll just let the rest speak for themselves. Kudos to all.

For more click here

That last one is the stuff of legends.I don't know how to feel about that guy. On the one hand, he is the most amazing person I have ever seen in my life. On the other, I kind of pity him. I mean, he has to know that that moment was the pinnacle of his life. He can never top himself. Sad.

All of these roller coaster shennanigans are really just a clever ruse allowing me to post one of my favorite videos ever.

Janice is my hero.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wish List: Cake

Although I have meticulously laid out the plans for my funeral and afterlife, I recently came across the cake I want for my next birthday, and for evermore.

Rant: Sneaky Cats

Readers, have you ever had times in your life when serendipitous events collude to make you feel as though the world is trying to tell you something? Some people see Jesus in a Cheeto (Cheesus: the Savory Saviour):

I, however, have been seeing cats acting all shady-like. Cats acting like dogs. Cats acting like people. Cats acting like hats.

It' s beginning to freak me out. Am I like a modern day Joan d'Arc? Put here on Earth to lead a cat army to righteous victory? Or, am I a crazy kook living in her own personal Shutter Island?

I am inclined to think it may be the latter as the situation has been getting worse lately, and also because I don't think cats have the cojones to take on dogs just yet (no offense cats, it just seems like if push came to shove, you wouldn't work as a team. Every one of you I've ever met has been a selfish git, really).

It all started a few months ago, when I was in DC for Thanksgiving. One morning our gracious hosts suggested we take a stroll down to the local market to buy mini biodegradable artichokes or some such nonsense. The Manimal and I gladly followed along in the hopes of scoring some form of pastry.

I was looking at a broccoli that looked like a fractal which was awesome (in the literal definition of the word)

when the Manimal started gesturing animatedly towards something outside. Now, for those of you that don't know, the Manimal is notoriously hard to impress. He is blase about most things, but he does enjoy entertaining me. When he gets this excited about showing me something it's either going to be sickeningly cute:
Or terrifying:
I  braced myself, not knowing what I may be in store for. But, as I got closer, I saw that the Manimal was looking very obviously and intently at whatever it was, the way he does only at scary people on the subway and those with obvious deformities.

I looked down and saw a cat in a sweater walking by.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Rant: Vewwy Scewwy

Since beginning this blog, I have spent more time on the interwebs than I did before. People, there is some scary stuff out there. Now, I'm not talking about Coco's ass, or that Killer Whale that ate its trainer, I'm talking about the stuff you don't hear about on the news.

There are things out there, that exist for reals and no-one seems to think they are a big deal. Believe you me, if I were Rupert Murdoch, or any other media tycoon, the following things would be front page news.

1. Korean Baby Mice Wine.
Now I'm not one of those namby pambys who doesn't eat stuff that's "gross". No sir, I eat just about everything. I won't run through the list, but I have eaten a sparrow so I think that says everything you need to know.

The same goes for booze. I don't hate on many types of liquor. Beginning with my first experience drinking a vile mix of gin, whiskey and manischewitz at a friends house circa 1994, to imbibing my step-father's homemade Honey Mead, I don't discriminate.

However, everyone has their line in the sand, past which they will not go.  My line is Korean Baby Mice Wine.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Rant and Rave: Teens booty shaking in cemetery

Sometimes, something comes along which leaves me speechless. I don't know whether this is a rant or a rave. Alls I do know is that my life will never be the same.

How apropos that on the eve of the Academy Awards, a video would emerge which represents all of the ideals of modern cinematography. Yes sir, the director and cast of "Dead Wrong Teens Booty Shake On People's Graves All Up in the Cemetary" have really set the bar high.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Rant: Misadventures in shopping

This is the Lolcat version of me:
It's true. I am a stereotype: I love shoes. I fight it because it is so lame but I am like the primo member of DSW. I don't even have a swipey key-chain thing, I have a special weird card that they sent me which elicits a hush from the usually mouthy clerks. It's bad. On my birthday, they shut down a major urban location just for me. I may not have clothes or pants, but I always have shoes.

So, imagine my dismay when yesterday I bought a pair of awesome designer snakeskin (faux- I am a partial vegan, doncha know?) flats which were actually functional, and took them home to discover they were BOTH LEFT SHOES!! WTF?

Who do they have working there? Is this going to have to be a reprise of the time my Dad called ABC liquor in Florida after having a less than stellar experience. On account of my Dad's amazing customer loyalty (read: drinking a shit-ton of wine), the CEO of ABC liquors called him back personally and apologized.

Let's not make this our reality DSW. Just hire people that know the difference between right and left feet and we'll be good.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Rave: Vegan Till 6

Hi readers,

We all know about my feelings for winter. But, there were still things I didn't address in my scathing indictment of a season we endure for seemingly no good reason, like pastiness and weight gain.

Old Man Winter is a smart fellow.
[And, apparently, the stuff nightmares are made of!]

He uses his icy breath to force us indoors, and then his evil powers convince us that we want to stuff our faces with a bacon wrapped burrito log.


Hence, one wakes up in February thinking, "What on earth happened?" I look like this:

What to do readers? Oh, I suppose I could eat sensibly and exercise. But why do that when there's a new fad for me to try?

My wife alerted me to an article in the New York Times about Mark Bittman. Bittman claims to have lost weight and got rid of his blood sugar, cholesterol and sleep aepnea just by eating vegan before 6pm. At dinner he can eat whatever he likes. Wowser!
Well, I started my veganism this week. It is actually pretty good. I just eat copious amounts of fruit and soup until 6pm hits and I turn into Bargearse: "You don't need a pen and paper to take down my order: a shitload of dim sims and a bucket of soy sauce."

My only quandary is this readers: if I do not believe in the tenets of veganism, do I still get to indulge in the moral superiority that comes with not eating widdle aminals? Am I allowed to pretend that seitan is better than bacon now? Can I claim that I smell better than others (despite the fact that my bean intake has quintupled)? I hope so. At least before 6, anyway.

* An aside: What do Vegans feed their pets? Do vegans even have pets? No, really.

So, there you have it readers, my newest game plan. I'll let you know how it goes. Hopefully I will not end up breaking down and devouring a racehorse.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wish List

This item is so awesome that it has spawned a new category of posts. From now on, along with your standard Rants, raves and Travel Tips, I present to you: Wish List!

Exhibit A: The Chest Hair Shirt

I wonder whether those chains are part of the shirt? No matter, I can just raid the Manimal's vast collection.