1.30.2006

speaking of babies

so the placenta recipe (again: EW EW GROSS) got me thinking, and I've decided to start compiling the various ew ew gross recipes I come across (because honey, there are a lot) in one place. So I am proud to present the creatively titled Museum of Awful Food, happily parked at EwEwGross.blogspot.com.

Tell your friends. And if you happen to come across a particularly repulsive recipe, drop me a line.

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out with the bathwater

The devastatingly attractive and oddly placenta-obsessed (more on that in a moment) WK suggests that the best way to increase my site traffic is to post more about sex, but it's totally weird to me that the vast majority of random google searches directing people here to RSGo are not related to my previous postings about, say, double dongs or fetuses, but rather are in some way related to the phrase "crispy chicken nuggets." i had no idea there was such a demand for this sort of chickeny information. i had no idea i was so high up the food chain in terms of supplying it. Perhaps i will switch over to an all-nugget, all the time format rather than the occasional overanalyzed observation on the quirky nuances of life or whatever.

Now let's turn to another icky food practice: some people eat their own placentas. For some reason Kat is enamored of this idea. To wit, the following IM conversation:

WK: hey when i'm preg i'm going to cook my placenta, do you want to come over for dinner that night?
WK: i'm going to bake it into ziti or something
Helen: i would rather stab myself in the eye, but thank you for the offer
GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS GROSS. don't even try defending this practice. High in protein and B-vitamins my ass. Eat a steak and take a multivitamin. DO NOT EAT THINGS THAT COME OUT OF YOUR BODY. If you would like to read a recipe for Roast Placenta, i am no longer your friend.

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updatery

the intrepid among you will have noticed that my posts (or at least, the most recent 10 or so) have been organized by category. this delicious blogger workaround has happened courtesy of the aptly named del.icio.us and i have to admit that i find such lines as "posted in: otters" utterly hilarious. i do so hope you agree.

and yes, i realize that Leila and i are in this weird closed loop of blog updates. it's the circle of life, or whatever.

ps. anyone want a job in publishing? drop me an email - we're hiring.

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1.26.2006

i never could get the hang of thursdays

I stopped at a coffee vendor on Broadway this morning between the subway and work to get some sort of perk-me-up thing before heading in to the office. A cup of coffee from this cart, run by an affable eastern european guy in his mid-sixties and someone who might be his son or nephew but who definitely is extremely unattractive, smells bad, and speaks no english. The following ensued:

me: (shouting over the wind) One black coffee please!
coffee guy: What?!
me: Black coffee!
coffee guy: Fifty cents!

I fumble in my bag for my wallet, fumble in my wallet for a dollar bill. I hand him the one. The coffee guy's unattractive, smelly coworker pours me a cup of coffee and hands it to me. They turn to the next customer.

me: (still shouting over the wind) My change! (I'm poor, I can't let fifty cents slip away)

The coffee guy turns to the unattractive smelly guy. They converse in a non-english language. The unattractive smelly guy turns to me and offers something in his hand. I put up my hand to take it. It is

me: An egg?!
coffee guy: We have no change! Egg is same price as change!

So, thanks to the magic of the barter system, I had an egg for breakfast. Seriously this isn't something I feel like spending too much time analyzing. It was like all of a sudden I was in pre-WWII agrarian Europe. Which is a lot to handle on a Thursday morning.


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1.25.2006

why i otter...

I'm getting tired of reading about Gaelic Mushrooms and subsequently never wanting to eat again, so in order to move things along here at RSGo I am happy to present to you a picture of a baby otter who apparently has no ears:



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1.22.2006

the grossest recipe of all time

In direct contrast to the greatest recipe of all time, I'm slightly nauseated to present this gem, courtesy of the Recipes page on the fansite for Donnie Munro.

This sentence is where I would normally provide a brief and sarcastic explanation of who this guy is, but even after having read his bio page I have absolutely no clue what the hell he does or why people care enough about him to have a fansite that involves totally unrelated recipes. As if his fans can say "I am so in love with Donnie Munro that having made this dinner of Aberdeen Butteries (major ingredients: lard and yeast) as suggested by another major Donnie Munro fan (munrosketeer?) is a tangible expression of my appreciation for him!" Anyway, this recipe is repulsive. It is repeated here precisely as it appears on the recipe page, which I found thanks to random googling:

Gaelic Mushrooms
Stuff mushrooms with haggis. Roll in flour, beaten egg and then oatmeal (in that order). Deep fry and serve with a dollop of drambuie mayonnaise (or liqueur of your choice) - to make mayonnaise mix a teaspoonful of liqueur with approx. 3 tablespoons of mayo. - From Ceit
Just in case you don't happen to have haggis on hand, here's a recipe for that too:
1 sheep's stomach
1 sheep heart
1 sheep liver
1/2 lb suet, fresh (kidney leaf fat is preferred)
3/4 c oatmeal
1 ts salt
1/2 ts pepper
1/4 ts cayenne
1/2 ts nutmeg
3/4 c stock
Wash stomach well, rub with salt and rinse. Remove membranes and excess fat. Soak in cold salted water for several hours. Turn stomach inside out for stuffing.Cover heart and liver with cold water, Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Chop heart and coarsely grate liver. Toast oatmeal in a skillet on top of the stove, stirring frequently, until golden. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Loosely pack mixture into stomach, about two-thirds full. Remember, oatmeal expands in cooking. Press any air out of stomach and truss securely. Put into boiling water to cover. Simmer for 3 hours, uncovered, adding more water as needed to maintain water level. Prick stomach several times with a sharp needle when it begins to swell; this keeps the bag from bursting. Place on a hot platter, removing trussing strings. Serve with a spoon.
God help us all. God help Donnie Munro.

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1.19.2006

everyone else is Beating The System, why aren't you?

some blog which is higher-traffic than mine (and whose proprietress is wearing some serious blue eyeshadow) has decided to get in on the joys of legal-yet-questionable scamming, and has posted a really lovely dissection of some buy-and-return projects.

These are obviously quite a bit higher on the scale than, say, rewording your sandwich order so that you pay only half the list price, but don't worry - I'm not jealous of her superior BTS skills. In fact, I accidentally discovered a superfabuloso way to get totally free money, turned out to be kind of amazing in its simplicity but will probably get you arrested.

The story is, I was visiting Boston a while ago and stopped in at a J. Crew, where I bought a cashmere sweater that honestly I couldn't afford but it was so soft and so cuddly and such a really pretty shade of blue that I gave in to whatever weakness of will and credit card debt be damned I paid for the thing. But upon my return to New York my head had cleared, and I realized this was an utterly frivolous purchase and that not only did I not need a $200 cashmere sweater but I wouldn't ever wear it anyway, since only rarely do I venture outside of my safe colors of black, navy blue, and very dark grey (cf. the ease with which I could become goth).

So I brought the sweater to a J. Crew down the street from my office, and after waiting in line and drooling over whatever skirts and dresses were on display, the sales assistant and I discovered that somewhere in space between Massachusetts and New York, and somewhere in time between three weeks earlier and right then, I had lost my receipt. "No problem!" chirped the affable saleslady. "I can issue you store credit instead!" And proceeded to give me a J. Crew gift card good for $216 and change.

Here is the thing: Massachusetts does not have sales tax. New York does. I paid $200, and I got $216 back. And it's money that I probably would have spent anyway, over, say, the course of a year, since I like J. Crew and they have kickass sales (in fact over the 10 or so months since this whole thing occurred that $216 has turned into several pairs of quite attractive shoes and a whole bunch of t-shirts and underwear). And that tax refund was just free money out of thin air. Or out of J. Crew's coffers. Whatever.

Anyway, as I said it's probably totally illegal. And since you're Transporting Goods Across State Lines With Intent To Return Them For Store Credit, likely a federal crime at that. But ooooh that feeling of victory is juicy.

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1.17.2006

Chicken McLoveYou

Okay fine, I'll admit it, I am totally obsessed with chicken nuggets. Or maybe it's just that they, as a concept, are stalking me. Because there is this commercial for Wendy's 99-cent super value menu that hangs its hat on the idea of everyday folks referring to everyday dollar amounts in terms of items available on the SVM. So you get a guy getting a parking ticket who says to the officer "Awww, seventy-five junior bacon cheeseburgers?!" The wit, naturally, is staggering.

But along with ticket boy (and I would humbly suggest that if you are so obsessed with this fast food menu as to mentally calculate the amount of your speeding ticket in terms of items listed thereupon, maybe getting behind the wheel isn't such a hot idea), there is also a lovely domestic scene of a woman putting on jewelry and her husband coming up behind her and saying "Honey, you look like a million crispy chicken nuggets."

I have some problems with this. First, some cursory research teaches us that the crispy chicken nuggets this dude is referring to come five to a pack, so while it might sound like he's riffing on the common "honey, you look like a million bucks" compliment, he's in reality telling his wife she looks like 200,000 orders of crispy chicken nuggets. So here we're already working with a slightly lesser valuation of his wife's attractiveness - definitely not enough to warrant the loving look she gives him. "Hey baby, you look like a fifth of a mil" just doesn't quite have that ring to it.

BUT THEN, watchful watchers of the Wendy's SVM will note that the SVM in question is actually a $0.99 menu. So she doesn't even look like 200k, she looks like $198,000. Can't even shell out for the extra two grand, jerkface? Some caring husband you are.

On the upside, with tax she looks like $214,000. Aww. He must really love her.

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1.16.2006

Beating The System is a way of life

I don't even like chicken mcnuggets, but I do very much enjoy the value inherent in the price discrepancy between the 4 piece and 6 piece mcnuggets. So I'm watching the Golden Globes (let's discuss how awful Gwyneth Paltrow looks, shall we? And how marvelous Hugh Laurie is, and that Catherine Deneuve is re-freaking-diculous) and in between sneezing viciously and wanting to die beacause of my horrible cold, there was a commercial.

"It's coming," said the commercial. "It's almost here."

Friends, it looks as if McDonald's - like the New York times - reads yours truly. Because the 6-piece chicken nugget box is now ALSO $1. Which makes one wonder under what circumstances anyone would ever order a 4-piece. And now the per-nugget value is even greater between the 6- and the 9-piece than it ever was between the 4 and 6. So there we go.

And a quick note of thanks to those who emailed me about the slate article about how you can get a "short" sized cappuccino at Starbuck's. I actually stopped by my friendly neighborhood Starbucks (one of the five within 2 blocks of my office) and asked if they'd seen an upswing in orders of short-sized drinks since the article ran. Not only did the barista (baristo? it was a dude) not have any clue what I was talking about, but he informed me that you can get a short-size of ANY drink. My Starbucks inside man (inside woman!), Mia, tells me that when she worked at the 'bucks people ordered shorts all the time, and that especially with drinks like the cappuccino it's a waaay better value because you get the same amount of coffee and just less milk. So damn the man, drink the ... short.

Adam J. also provided an interesting beat-the-system observation when it comes to ordering the pasta at Mario Batali's new uber-restaurant, Del Posto. He noted that you can get "tris," a tasting of your choice of three of the pastas, for $27 per person. But only two of the twelve or so pastas on the menu are $27 or more, and our waiter told us that the "tris" involves just short of a third of a portion. So if you're in the market for highly upscale dining but you still want to beat the system, just for the hell of it, 'cause god knows if you're eating at Del Posto the three bucks you save isn't going to make much of a difference when it comes time to run the books, well - don't order the "tris," boys and girls.

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1.13.2006

how about a Kobe beef hamburger?

Hilarious typo of the day, from the Freakonomics blog:

What will the sumo wrestlers teach Shaq? According to this story on ESPN.com, Pat Riley is thinking about brining in some sumo wrestlers to help improve his game.
Brining, of course, is the cooking technique of pre-soaking meat in a salty solution prior to cooking in order to ensure juiciness. Not that I'm doubting that sumo wrestlers are salty, or that with some ingenuity one could liquefy them. I'm more curious how many sumo wrestlers one needs until one has enough for Pat Riley to brine himself in. Or how Pat Riley brining himself helps Shaq's game. And then of course, the next sentence,
Riley’s hope is that the battering they give him will better prepare Shaq for game conditions.
raises all kinds of questions re: battering. Beer-based? Cake batter? Butter batter?

The moral of the story: foodies shouldn't read about sports, 'cause we ask stupid questions.

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1.12.2006

a million little pieces of AWESOME

Today's New York Times kicks ass. I mean yay, you have the hard-hitting series on how diabetes is going to kill all of us silent killer blah blah blah, and apparently there is some sort of war somewhere, but holy crap is it ever bringing its A Game when it comes to funny articles. Clearly the New York Times reads tuesday glossaries, and is a quick learner.

For starters we have the obligatory parody of the whole glut (can two count as a glut? I decree it can, on grounds of: 'glut' is a fantastic word that should be used more often) of authorial hoaxes going on right now, but it is a particularly scathing and funny parody, containing gems such as

I am not, in fact, black.

Nor am I, to the best of my knowledge, a woman. Anything in my book that suggests otherwise is the result of a typographical error. That this error was compounded by my decision to pose for my author photo and bookstore appearances in drag and blackface is, I will acknowledge, unfortunate.
Hee, jokes about race and gender are universally acknowledged to be hilarious at all times. Speaking of hilarious, my absolute least-favorite aspect of the Times - the "fitness" subsection of Thursday Styles, which is usually about thin and in-shape people perfecting their pilates form - today contains an article which is definitely in my top five NYTimes articles of all time , which is, astonishingly, about Bowflex. Except in a really great way, which is funny and self-deprecating in a way that makes me partially want to be the author and partially want to date the author. For example:
"What are you up to tonight?" Jack asks one afternoon at the diner, where we are mulling over Villanova's prospects in the forthcoming college basketball season, the heavy toll globalization exacts on the poor and who is a better dancer, Christina Aguilera or Shakira.

"Not much," I say. "I'm just going to grab a salad, maybe watch a little TV, then do some bowflexin." I drop the g because I think it makes me sound more muscular.
And as if that weren't enough, today's crossword* puzzle (which I would like to note for the sake of shameless bragging I do in pen) contains my absolute favorite crossword puzzle gimmick ever, which I will not reveal so as not to spoil the surprise for the undoubted legions of you who also do the puzzle every day.

In summary,
Today's New York Times: totally worth a dollar.

*In fact I think I will take my cue from Steve Friedman, author of the Article of Bowflex Awesomeness, and start spelling it "XWord" in order to appear more badass.

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1.10.2006

Tuesday Glossaries, froggy style

Today's glossary covers a word that is a) existent; b) an actual word, as opposed to a phrase; and c) not invented by me or the internet. So in that respect it marks a new chapter in the irregular but storied history of Tuesday Glossaries, and I believe we should thusly accord it a great deal of respect. Today's word is:

amplexus (am-plex-iss), n. The definition gets pretty gnarly when you're using the internet as a source, with entries ranging from the obtuse:

Sexual embrace of anurans; the grasping of the female's body by the male's forelimbs from a dorsal position just above the hind legs. The grip is usually quite strong, and is not released until oviposition is completed. (source)
to the awesome:
The mating position of frogs and toads. The male "hugs" the female and waits for her to lay eggs so that he can fertilize them. Amplexus can last for hours, or sometimes even days. While the frogs are in amplexus, the female swims or hops away from danger, and the male gets a piggy-back ride. (source)
But shortly defined, amplexus is: frogs doin' it. Or, more generally, anyone doin' it. Which gives us opportunity for fun on a "your epidermis is showing" scale, such as saying to your friend "hey, you're looking amplexic today." To which she will respond "really? Ugh, I should eat more protein." And you can twitter with the knowledge that what you were really saying was: you look slutty. And froglike.

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1.09.2006

the deception of the yogurt

as part of my near year's resolution plan to lose a million pounds and become gorgeous, i am having yogurt for lunch today. yum yum yum. it is dannon, and raspberry-flavored, and it has Fruit On The Bottom, which sounds like something yelled out by the last guy onto the hate-crime gang rape pile.

Opening the yogurt, i sort of vaguely noticed that its tranquil white surface was a bit lower from the top of the cup than i was really expecting. And in bringing the Fruit On The Bottom up to the top, and then sort of mushing it around so that it was now Fruit Everywhere With Particular Areas Of Concentration In Those Edges Of The Bottom Which My Spoon Did Not Reach, i very non-vaguely thought to myself how useful that extra space was in terms of stirring without generating spillage.

Now it's important to note at this juncture that i am very much of the school of Read Absolutely Everything, which means for example that I can recite both the french and english versions of the ingredients in my shampoo and am also aware of the advertising rates for Vogue and the method for ordering from Design Within Reach via postal mail and the usage instructions for my moisturizer ("apply to face"). So in keeping with this, i was reading the yogurt cup and I noticed that, in fact, they had noticed the extra space as well, and were calling attention to it with a note just above the nutrition information:

Room in every cup for your favorite mix-ins... Create your own yogurt experience.
I was all set to write a fuming post about this - how these devilish folks at Dannon are making us humble consumers feel grateful to the company for their deceptive packaging - see how big the cup is! that must be a lot of yogurt! - but then i realized that, like a tesselation generator or my relationship history, a pattern was forming.

Besides the recasting of the oversized packaging as thoughtfully provided space for "your favorite mix-ins" (aside: wtf? are there people out there who actually do this who are not, in their spare time, my grandparents? and does mix-in space actually factor in to their yogurt-purchasing experiences?), the tinfoil lid self-congratulatorily notes Dannon's decision to stop producing their see-through "overcaps," thus saving an arbitrarily determined 3.9 million pounds of plastic (and in the process pissing off those of us who like to spread our yogurt-eating out over more than one sitting or perhaps protect it from errantly-flicked paperclips). I'm willing to bet, say, your life that Dannon execs were not sitting around in a boardroom in their French corporate headquarters (fun fact: in french, Dannon is spelled Danon. Why? Who cares.) and were like "you know what is a huge problem? Landfill spread. What can we, a lowly yogurt conglomerate, do to help offset this?" No. They were like "I want a raise. Stop producing some facet of our yogurt product so we can reroute the money to my Swiss account. Baby needs a new pair of outriggers." So goodbye plastic overcaps, hello feel-good environmental message on the foil caps.

And then there is the greatest scam of all! The Fruit On The Bottom! This is an institution, ladies and gentlemen. It is a freaking copyrighted phrase. It is the NAME of the goddamn PRODUCT. It is not actually "Dannon Yogurt." It is "Dannon Fruit On The Bottom." And they have convinced us over the decades that this is a GOOD THING! That we LIKE our fruit on the bottom. That the top is a stupid place to put the fruit! Only nazis and racists put their fruit on the top, what are you, some kind of nazi or racist? That the act of mixing the fruit up into the yogurt is FUN and INTERACTIVE and makes the act of yogurt-eating somehow more exciting or delicious than it would be if the fruit were anywhere but on the bottom!

This is painfully obvious when you (over)think about it. The fruit on the bottom is nothing more than a time-saving measure. They squirt the fruit into the plastic cup. They squirt the yogurt on top of the fruit. They seal it (mindfully not putting on the plastic overcap). This way they don't have to do any costly mixing, they don't have to worry about portioning out the yogurt to the fruit in terms of demand, and they have CONVINCED US THAT IT IS WHAT WE WANT.

Oh my god I am moving to the mountains and becoming an anarchist. I will wear a tinfoil hat. Not even the yogurt is safe to eat.

update
having eaten the yogurt, i now feel nauseous (nauseated?). the yogurt is out to get me. if i die, know that i love you.

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1.03.2006

it's like finding the ship full of gold in The Goonies

Mia and Leila and I were sort of halfheartedly going through the crap up in our storage loft and I was like "hey, what's in your blue rubbermaid container?" and Mia was like "dude, I don't have a blue rubbermaid container" and Leila was like "dude, I don't even live here." So we opened it. And it was full of porn (and some other stuff, but the porn was obviously the most interesting).

So anyway our exploits are documented here and here.

update
PS. as creepily intriguing as a totally mysterious box o' porn might be, in response to numerous inquiries: sorry, its owner is pretty determinable. jury's out on whether that makes it more or less gross.

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the triumphant return of Tuesday Glossaries

Larry David is, by most people's accounts, a pretty funny guy. I can go with that. I don't really see the genius that people seem to find in Curb Your Enthusiasm, and I'm one of the few Jews living in New York who thinks Seinfeld is eh, okay. But the man has made a bazillion dollars off of putatively being funny, and I make minimum wage correcting people's grammar, so I'm really not coming at this from a position of authority.

So he has this article in the NYTimes right now which is, apparently, supposed to be funny. Except it's totally not. Besides the fact that Brokeback Mountain is so 2005, the article just falls flat on its ass. It's clear that the poor kid is trying to be funny - there are all the standard humor indicators: self-reference, self-doubt, the sort of neurotic constant justification of flaws that underscores the humor that typifies Seinfeld and CYE - but it just fails.

So today's Tuesday Glossary is an unconventional one: I've got a definition, but I don't have a word. Help, please? This is why God invented the comments section.

[insert word here], adj: Trying really hard to be funny, but failing miserably in an intangible way. Most homegrown parodies of The Onion tend to fall into this category, and, increasingly, The Onion itself. Also, as above, the Larry David op-ed in the Times.

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