Saturday, May 31, 2008

Away Message

I probably won't be blogging for approximately two weeks. If you keep coming back here every day and getting disappointed and/or suicidal because there is nothing new to read, here is what you can do. Look at the white square below and imagine a really awesome, though-provoking post in it, or a picture of a hot chick/dude, or if you're really good at imagining, a hilarious Youtube video:



Imagine something different every day, and it's probably better than anything I could blog about. Maybe I shouldn't even come back.

Buh-bye.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Things That Have Been Weighing Heavily on My Mind

  • "Mother tongue" is a really gross-sounding way of identifying one's native language. It brings to mind images of either a very large tongue, or a sentient tongue that pops out little baby tongues.

  • There is a commercial on the radio for some kind of truck, advertising that you can "drive on roads that have never been driven before." What? Are there roads out there were created without vehicles, then left there, never to be driven on? No; the word "road" implies a stretch of land that has been specially prepared for vehicles and driven on at least once.

  • There is a television ad for spray-on salad dressings, demonstrating the different types of people who use them. One of them - I think the "superstitious spritzer" - pumps a few sprays over her shoulder before eating. I know this is a cliche, but there really are children starving in Africa. In addition to eating a large no-calorie salad covered in no-calorie salad spray, this person is going out of their way to waste the stuff by spraying it into the air. It's like the opposite of eating. Barfing without the mess.

  • I had something brilliant and awesome to write that was the whole point of starting this post, but it's left my brain.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Douche Love



You know Hot Chicks With Douchebags ? I've thought that maybe it'd be cool to recruit some girls to do a gender reversed version. Something like "Hot Guys with Stupid Bitches".

My fear, however, is that the exact same pictures could be featured on both sites.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Twitter


When I first heard of Twitter, I didn't see the point. It's been described as "micro blogging"; the idea is that any posts (or "tweets") that you create are limited to 140 characters. You're also supposed to limit the content to answering the question "what are you doing?" Any posts you make show up on the site (and optionally, instant messages and text messages) of anyone else you've befriended who uses Twitter.

So it's sort of a combination between Facebook status updates and blogging. I used to think that there was no point in using a 3rd site to serve functions redundant with 2 other sites. However, recently I've added local people like KevBo and Deys, and old blogfriend Sachz, to my friends list, and I'm beginning to see the point.

When following real people, Twitter is like a constant stream of information about what others are doing. It's part voyeurism, but can also serve useful purposes. I can imagine someone "tweeting" about something going down at Victoria Park, then getting the message on my cell phone, wherever I am, and going to check it out. Or if a bunch of friends used it, one could write about being bored, and others could start tweeting their own boredom until an event gets organized. Stuff like this seems popular in the super-geeky tech crowd (e.g., it played a big role in that Sarah Lacy scandal, as well as many impromptu parties, at SXSW), but it could also be useful for everyday people like you and me. Well, like you.

So you should all add me to Twitter: CLICK HERE TO ADD ME JUST FUCKING CLICK IT RIGHT NOW. If you don't have an account yet, consider making one. Especially if I know you in real life. Oh, and I added a little Twitter feed over there ---> on the sidebar, so you can totally stalk me throughout the day as I update you on my every move. Exciting!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Sketchy Things I Saw Today

  • A dude in a huge bulging leather jacket and baggy pants. It's almost 30 degrees out. I first see him as I'm waiting for a light to change. He goes out of his way to cross against the red light to continue along my side of the street. The next block down, he crosses to the other side of the street (where he could have crossed with a green light before). Ok, maybe he's just dumb. But then later, he crosses again, back to my side. I don't know what he was hiding under that jacket, but my guess is it was 100% pure grade-A sketchiness. Covered in sweat.
  • An old guy at the gym, explaining to another guy who is visibly uncomfortable, all about yeast and other aspects of brewing beer, while completely naked. Jesus, it takes two seconds to put pants or a towel on; there is no reason to be naked for more than a few seconds in the change room, let alone carry on a conversation like that. I'm not uncomfortable with nudity or anything, but when old wrinkly man-ass is completely not necessary, I prefer not seeing it to seeing it.
  • Über-celebrity David Patchell-Evans (who is so famous that we here at Phronk.com have mentioned him twice), walking through Galleria. I must have automatically smiled a bit at him as the recognition dawned on me, because he gave me this awkward half-wave thing.


Monday, May 26, 2008

Vodka Illusions

Bill Deys recently wrote about a Business Week article stating that, in a blind taste test, all vodkas taste pretty much the same.

It was an informal test with a writer and a few friends. Without statistical analysis, it's impossible to tell if the friends were guessing at an above-chance level or not (there was one correct guess about vodka brand during the trial, but who knows if it was based on taste or just a lucky guess). Still, the theory behind it makes sense; vodka is basically alcohol and water, without any oak barrels or extra ingredients being added, so differences would have to be subtle if they exist. And if people who claim to be able to distinguish one brand from another obviously can't do so at all even in an informal test, differences can't be as major as we've been lead to believe.

The implication here is that all vodkas are the same. Is that really true, though? I don't think so. I'd argue that the appeal of a drink is about more than just the electrical signals going from our tongues and noses to our brains. It's also about atmosphere, expectations about taste, preparation rituals, discussion of the drink with other people, etc. These factors are eliminated from a blind taste test, but present in real life. A blind test may reveal that vodkas are the same in the absence of knowledge about what brand is being drunk (drinken? drunken?), which is interesting information, but doesn't exactly map onto real-life drinking situations.

In real life, the subjective experience of a drink is different depending on the brand. For some people, buying a $100 bottle of vodka, putting it in the freezer, garnishing it and mixing it with just the right amount of ice (or not) is more enjoyable than doing the same with a $20 bottle. Furthermore, it probably actually tastes better to them. It may be an "illusion" in the sense that the difference in taste is not purely based on receptors in the tongue and nose; but does it really matter if good taste signals are originating in the tongue or in the drinker's own biased brain? No; a better taste is a better taste.


The problem, though, is if people knew that all vodkas were physically identical, they might have a harder time deceiving themselves into believing that "better" brands actually taste better. I guess that's the difference between actual physical differences in taste and illusory differences; illusions can disappear as soon as one becomes aware of them. It'd be hard to enjoy a $100 bottle of vodka knowing that the stuff inside is the same as the stuff in the $20 bottle.

Luckily I'm not so into vodka after several pukey experiences with it, and I doubt the same lack of brand differences applies to more complex drinks like rum, scotch, wine, and beer. "Still", a lot of the differences are probably all in our heads, and there is nothing wrong with that.


Here is a dog made of beer labels:



(from here.)

This is the 2nd post in an unintentional series of posts about the link between alcohol and psychology. See the 1st: Beer and Statistics.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Life After Death


I'm not high or anything, but think about this.

I'm not a religious person, but I have been known to use the word "soul." Sometimes it's in a sarcastic way, but other times it's a metaphor for identity; a quick way of summing up the core of what makes a person a person in one word.

In a non-religious sense, then, a soul is simply a pattern of matter. It's our bodies and physical appearance, combined with a brain that is wired to send signals that give rise to certain subjective experiences and cause certain behaviours that constitute "personality." It's all just stuff arranged in a certain way.

Is a person's identity - their soul - confined within the boundaries of their skin? I would argue no. And not just because clothing and hairstyle can convey identity (sometimes a little too much, if you ask me). I would argue that whenever somebody creates something - whether it's a painting, a scientific paper, a poem, a doodle, a piece of music, a delicious meal, a blog post, etc. - anything that causes matter to be rearranged - they have put a piece of their identity into that creation. Why not? Is there a fundamental difference between changing the layout of a few neurons, and changing the layout of a few blobs of paint? Both can be a direct result of, and become incorporated into, what we'd call a person's identity. The fact that one is written in neurons and one is written in paint is an arbitrary distinction.

Furthermore, affecting another person's thoughts is just rearranging their neuron patterns. Thus, making a big difference in another person's life means putting a big piece of one's soul into their physical brain. Something one has created can even affect other people. Which isn't surprising, given that creations are also a part of one's soul. It's all just soul affecting soul.

In sum, as we go through our lives creating things and affecting people, we put pieces of our souls in these things, and they are just as real as the pieces in our bodies and brains.

So when we die, and only the pieces in our brain cease to exist, with our bodies soon following, are we really dead? Well, if our soul - the thing that makes us us - is still existing in patterns of matter all over the place, including in other people, then no. We are less alive, sure, but we are not completely dead.

Even if all the religious folks are wrong - and no offense, but I think most of them are - there is still room for life after death in some sense. A very real sense.



*********


Weird coincidence: This morning I downloaded Islands' album Return to the Sea, not paying attention to the track list. I put it on just now. The first track is called "Swans (Life After Death)".

Screw everything I just wrote, IT'S A SIGN FROM GOD.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Once You Touch It, You Can't Keep Your Hands Off It

Just moments after I wrote yesterday's post, friends showed up with video games and a whole bunch of SNACKS. It was wonderful.

If you have a Wii, and I know many of you do, then you owe it to yourself to try this game called Boom Blox. It doesn't sound very awesome when you describe it; it's a physics-based puzzle game where you do various things to blocks, like shooting them or throwing shit at them or pulling them from piles all Jenga-styles, and strangely, Steven Spielberg was involved in its development. But it is awesome. Even with things like Rock Band, Mario Party 8, Grand Theft Auto IV, and fresh air as options, we spent way too much of the long weekend playing Boom Blox. It was good times.

Speaking of Jenga, here are some Jenga-related videos.



More support for my theory that the 90s sucked ass.

This one is just sorta heart-breaking:



The worst part is that, if you watch it again, Jenga dude clearly saw this coming as soon as the interview began.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Nom Nom Nom


Snack foods often come in pairs. Chips go with dip, nachos go with salsa, etc. I think these pairs are deliberately designed so that you can never buy them together in just the right amount. For example, you buy a bag of Tostitos and a jar of salsa, but by the time you're done the bag of nachos, there's a bit less than half a jar of salsa left. So you buy another bag of Tostitos, but FUCK!, you need another jar of salsa.

I bet food corporations do this on purpose. I would, if I were a food corporation.

I still love snacks though. Snacks really make the world go 'round. Meals get all the attention, but are very formal, requiring so much planning and commitment. Such a hassle. I think a lot more great relationships and alliances have been formed with the phrase "hey, wanna come up to my place? I've got snacks" than with "excuse me kind sir, would you mark your schedule for a dining appointment?"

In conclusion: SNACKS!!!!!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good People

Let me share a story that raised my spirits today.

The last two weeks or so, when I'm out for a walk with Willow, there's a certain bush she's obsessed with. When we're near it, she'll sniff at it like crazy and refuse to move on. She'll ask to go outside, then when we go out, immediately run to this bush instead of doing her business. I never saw anything special about it. But then, yesterday, as she did her usual sniffing at the bush, I saw a baby rabbit poke its head out from the other side. Willow loves baby things...she probably smelled it long before anyone saw it.

I also made a note to myself to make sure to walk on the side of the bush closest to the road from now on. Maybe I'm just paranoid, but if we scared a rabbit out onto the road and something happened, I don't think I could live with myself. Roads are no place for baby animals.

Today, we saw the baby rabbit again and said hi. Further down the road, on the way to the Thames river, we were off in some brush, and Willow stopped as someone walked by on the sidewalk. It was an old man. Willow started waving at him with her front paws, and he waved back. I brought her over to see him, and they were both delighted to have met each other. Something about this guy caught Willow's attention and she just had to see him.

I got to talking with him, and he told me that the reason he'd been down at the river was that he'd seen a mother duck and six baby ducks walking down his street. He knew they would have to cross several busy streets before reaching the river, so he followed them and stopped traffic on these streets, allowing them to cross safely, then walked them all the way to the water.

Isn't that the sweetest, most touching thing ever?

No matter how crappy the world may seem sometimes, at least there are people like that man out there. People that dogs just know are good people, and that we should all aspire to be like.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Art 2

As I said exactly one month ago (*), doodling makes me happy. It takes intense concentration, so I can't really think while doodling. That's often a good thing. A wonderful, joyous thing.



Other than the platypus, the camel is probably nature's saddest creature. They've got big stupid eyes, a tail that's constantly hanging between their legs like a depressed puppy, and worst of all, two giant fleshy lumps on their back that they can never get rid of.

If this camel could sing, this would be his song:

You don't know how much I need you.
While you're near me I don't feel blue.
And when we kiss I know that you need me too.
I cant believe I found a love thats so pure and true.

But it all was bullshit.
It was a god damn joke.
And when I think of you Linda,
I hope you fucking choke.

I hope you're glad with what you've done to me.
I lay in bed all day long feeling melancholy.
You left me here all alone, tears running constantly.

Oh somebody kill me please,
Somebody kill me plee-ase,
I'm on my knees,
Pretty pretty please kill me.

I want to die.
Put a bullet in my head.


Then he'd be like, "What? Where'd I learn to sing? And who's Linda?"


*******


(*) This observation makes me think that maybe any mood swings revealed in crappy drawings are just male PMS.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Meaning of Life, Explained Through Cliches and Blog Shout-Outs

Sometimes, I read blogs other than my own. And sometimes, other bloggers, by sharing their thoughts, make me think my own thoughts. This, I think, is part of the point and magic of blogging.

KevBo recently pondered (and followed up on) what it means to be successful. We agree - as I think most (but apparently not all) people would - that it ain't just about money. OK, in our world, a certain amount of money is required to have a roof over our heads and not starve to death. And when there's still some left over, sure, spend it on fun things. But money alone is not going to lead to what I'd call success.

We all want to be successful in some way, so asking about success is really asking about the meaning of life. And although it may seem like shallow hedonism, I can't see any way around the belief that the purpose of life is simply to be happy.

I can only tell you what makes me happy, but I don't think I'm all that different than most other people. Real, long-term happiness, it's all about other people. It's about having family that you stick with and who stick with you. It's about having friends that are as important as family. It's about finding people who you can connect with, who you can effortlessly engage with
in a flow of words and thoughts
and feelings, who you can be yourself around with none of the fakeness that can, unfortunately, permeate everyday social interaction. And if you're lucky, it's about finding one of those people, and making that connection even deeper.

Other things are important too. Music. Creating new things. Learning about and understanding the world. Sex. But I think these are all proxies for connections with other people. Here is where I summarize and come to the biggest cliche of all. It is all about love.

I don't care if that's been said a million times and doesn't mean anything any more. Make it mean something, because it's still true.

Which is why it pains me to see my dear friend/enemy Dani write, without a hint of sarcasm, that what the world needs is a little more hate. What she says may even seem plausible on the surface - maybe we should hate things like rape, child abuse, and evil in general. But I see at least three things wrong with that: 1) I think that, pound for pound, love for good is going to motivate action more than hate for evil; 2) Hate tends to rot the hater from the inside. It also tends to spill over onto targets that weren't originally hated. So does love, but there ain't nothing wrong with excess love.

Now I'll leave the safe path of cliches and go to a place where you may find disagreement. If you do disagree, cool, let me know. 3) I don't think hating people who do evil will do any good. Even the worst of them. Hate what they've done, sure, and keep them from doing it again at all costs - but to hate the people themselves will only amplify the world's supply of evil. I know that love and hate are two sides of the same coin - the more love for the victim, the more hate for the wrongdoer. But I really believe that if that coin stays hate-side down, the world would be better off for it. After all, how many organizations fueled by hate have done good things for humanity? How many wars based on hatred (either recent or stemming from ancient myth and tradition) have made the world a better place?

Most importantly: hate leaves less room for love. Love is success. Love is the meaning of life.

I've gotten wordy and tangenty, so I'll stop. But thanks, all you blogger people out there, for making me think a bit, even if only in cliches. I LOVE YOU GUYS.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm With the Band

On Saturday we went to The Wick to see AnathematizeD, a thrash/death metal band. While it was a bit weird seeing a death metal band in the middle of the afternoon, it was awesome, and made me want to immediately go learn to play guitar, drop out of school, and start a band.

Later that day, I updated my profile picture on Facebook:



I just took a quick one of myself to replace the stupid old pic that was there before. For some reason, though, people started to comment on it. They said I look scary, disgruntled, intimidating, and possibly attractive to hybristophiliacs. But most importantly, one person said I look the hard-ass frontman of a band. Was this some sort of sign?

Later that day, we went to Vietnam for dinner. Vietnam is a restaurant way east on the sketchy part of Dundas, with lots of delicious Vietnamese food, including pho (which is something I did not try, but need to someday, because all I hear people talk about lately is pho). The decor is also beautiful, with Pepto Bismol coloured walls and a disco light machine thing left over from a previous occupant of that building. Seriously though, the food was awesome. As we were leaving - and "we" is four dudes about my age - the owner of Vietnam excitedly asked if we were grabbing some dinner on the way to a show. He had just assumed that we were a rock band.

Another sign! It's decided, then. Screw all this school stuff; I'm picking up a non-plastic guitar and touring the world playing beautiful death metal for the rest of my life. Goodbye.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Other Questionable Stuff

One of my favourite procrastination activities lately is reading the web comic Questionable Content. I started from the very first one and have been going through all of them, and it's just as entertaining as any TV show.



And is it wrong to be sorta in love with Faye? And a bit with Dora too? Even though they are fictional comic book characters? Or is this a sign that maybe I should start thinking about "dating" real people again?

I put "dating" in quotes, because I don't even know what the hell dating is. Some people are like, "oh, I decided to start dating again", and then they go out on lots of dates. What? How? Where do they find these dates? Is going out with strangers and having an explicit intention to explore a romantic relationship really a good way to meet people?

SO MANY QUESTIONS.

Oh and I'm only on #396 in QC, so don't friggin give anything away. If I found that that Faye is actually a dude or something, I might not be able to take it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Questionable Videos

Remember Robyn? From like 10 years ago? That "Do You Know What it Takes" song? Well apparently she's back, and performing with bears. Bears kick ass. Watch this:



Then there is this, which Jard showed me the other night. NSFW. NSFanywhere, really.



It sorta reminds me of the following Dairy Queen commercial that's on all the time, because both of them involve gluttony and abuse of sexuality. Except the latter is infinitely more disturbing, because it's with 6 year olds. That evil kid is a hustler.



Wednesday, May 07, 2008

How To Judge a Person Who Judges People By Their Shoes

I recently got some new shoes. I think they are pretty nice. It got me thinking, though, about what shoes really mean, you know?

Apparently there is this belief out there that you can judge a man by his shoes. I came across this at Well-Read Hostess, who says "you can tell everything you need to know about a man by his shoes". She acknowledges that this is preposterous, but others take it seriously. HERE is a video on how to judge a man by his shoes, that I actually feel dumber for having watched. And HERE is an entire book about it.

Seriously people? Did the makers of this video and this book do a controlled study, where they randomly sampled men from the population, did detailed personality tests on them, then specified within which margin of error predictions can be made about personality based on shoes? I sorta doubt it. So what do these "experts" base their judgments on, then? I'll tell you: they made it up. It was completely pulled out of their ass. And if there are people who actually make important decisions about who to date based on information that someone pulled out of thin air in order to sell books, well...I won't judge those people without further data.

Here is an insider perspective from a real live man. Many men - I would even say most - don't put that much thought into their shoes. Maybe there are guys who spend hours agonizing over which pair of shoes will best express the nuances of their personality. But you can't tell if any given guy is one of them based only on his shoes.

Here is an example. Let's say you notice that a guy has really nice shoes. Here are just a few possibilities: A) He put a lot of thought into choosing his shoes. He cares a lot about his appearance; he is style conscious, thoughtful and organized. If you got to know him, you would probably like him. B) He is a shallow materialistic prick who chose the most expensive shoes with a brand name he recognized from a "how to judge a man by his shoes" video. If you got to know him, you probably wouldn't like him. C) He put no thought into buying his shoes, just chose the closest decent-looking pair in his price range, and that was that. His shoes are completely uncorrelated with his personality. If you got to know him, you may or may not like him.

A and B cancel each other out. C gives you no information. Overall, the shoes tell you nothing.

Oh, and hey, I have three pairs of shoes. Does my entire personality change every time I switch from my gym shoes to my sandals?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Submission Guidelines

I submitted one of my short stories for publication today. It's the first time I've done this. I tell myself that writing fiction is just a side project, that it's just for fun and I don't care if it leads anywhere. Still, I felt a jolt of nervousness as I hit "send."

I think writing can be a very personal thing. Writers can put a little piece of their soul down on that paper (or into those computer bits). And even if they don't, people can see it that way. Bearing one's soul is something usually reserved for people one is close to, but writers have to put it out there for all to see. For all to judge. That's why I can sorta understand that there are probably millions of stories out there, some of them very good, that sit in drawers and unused folders, never to be seen by anybody but their authors.

That's also sorta overly dramatic and retarded, though, so I'm gonna stop contributing to it.

My story is called Thinking About Polar Bears. It is not about polar bears.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Metal

Nine Inch Nails are is crazy. Reznor seems to be putting out albums every month now. Just today he released another - The Slip - which can be downloaded totally completely free right now.

I'm listening to it now. While I don't think he's innovated a whole lot musically (it's still great music though), the way of distributing it is novel. Literally, the day the music is finished being created, it can be released to the entire world. I won't say this will change how the whole music industry operates, but it is certainly diversifying the way music can get from the minds of artists to the ears of listeners.

This blog needs more pictures! Here is Iron Man fighting the Incredible Hulk:



Sunday, May 04, 2008

Things

Bleh. Yesterday, marking papers all day as usual, I sorta went insane. I started to be bugged by small things, haunted by past things, and overthinking every thing. Maybe my mind, being completely unoccupied with any interesting thoughts all day, started to invent drama.

One thing that gives me comfort, though, is that no matter how sad my temporarily insane brain thinks my life is, it's probably not sadder than the middle-aged guy at the bar, dancing desperately, unhappily and alone, to New Kids on the Block on retro night.

This is a shallow and judgmental comfort. I may be a bit of a horrible person for thinking it. Still, it's something.

*****

EXCITING UPDATE: As if to fuel my insanity, I came home from the gym today and my oven was on. I haven't used the oven in days. The oven light was the first thing I noticed when I walked in the door, and I would have noticed it earlier if it had been on when I left. I should probably add paranoia to my issues - delusions (or are they?) that someone is trying to kill me. But you know, as old Patchy would surely attest to, exercise tends to make things better, so I'm full of ENERGY, feeling spiffy, and oblivious to potential assassination attempts.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Ubiquitous Crazy People

You would sorta think that people in grad school are less crazy than the average person. They're all relatively intelligent (or at least "book smart"), and stable enough to complete the hard work required to get here. And in psychology, if these people are going to be studying the workings of other people's minds, their own minds must be in pretty good shape.

But no. It is not true at all. There is just as much crazy in psychology grad students, if not more, as there is everywhere else.

Here is an example. I've been marking papers, and complaining about marking papers, for the last few weeks. I was relieved to finally be done last week. But then, I get an email saying there's a paper-marking emergency. It seems that one of my fellow teaching assistants, instead of marking his lab section's papers, gave everyone marks of 90% or more, then disappeared and became unreachable.

Now, I don't claim to be all there. I've probably got a bit of crazy in me, especially lately with all the "life changes" I'm going through. But I think it's mostly a good and productive sort of insanity, jostling me up like a stone in a stream, from which I'll emerge all polished and shiny. This person, however, must be going the bad sort of crazy if they just completely abandoned a job they'd been working at all year like that. More like a Timbit in a stream, getting soggy and being nibbled at by ducks.

Now I'm stuck marking some of this person's students' papers. I'm not sure if it's the cause or the effect of his insanity, but it seems to be reflected in his students' work. Here is an excerpt from one of their essays:

"Body attitude is an important aspect when categorizing sexuality. The body is usually closer to others, revealed and certain expressions and gestures are made. The gestures and expressions are to do with the way the person in the image feels and smells when looked at by another."

How a person smells when looked at? What? I have no idea what they're even trying to say here.

...

I'm debating whether I should press "publish" now or not, because I probably shouldn't be posting this gossipy semi-private stuff on my blog, in case people from school read this. But screw it. This blog is mostly anonymous. If you're from school, forget you ever saw this.

Friday, May 02, 2008

How to Cook Good

This post is going to be very self-indulgent, but that's what a blog is for, right?

I am amazing at making casseroles. I told you about it last time I made one, but I have improved my recipe since then. Because I am also very kind, I will share the recipe with you (and my future self), and show you a picture:

Phronk's "This Tastes So Fucking Awesome" Stuffing-Topped Chicken Vegetable Rice Meal Replacement Casserole Bake



2 large boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 package stuffing mix
1 can Campbell's cream of mushroom with garlic soup
2 tablespoons sour cream
A few handfuls of vegetables (I used broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, red peppers, and lots of mushrooms), chopped into tiny bits
A handful of onions, chopped up
Some rice. I dunno how much. Why the hell are you asking me? Half a cup maybe?
Lots of cheese, grated.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the vegetables in a frying pan until they're slightly crunchier than the amount of crunchiness you desire from your vegetables. Put them in a shallow baking dish. For the onions, cook the shit out of those cocksuckers until they're brown and caramelized. This is key. It gives them a sweet smoky flavour that goes well with the stuffing. Trust me. Put them in the dish. Cook the chicken all the way through, or you will get food poisoning and die. Put it in the dish. Prepare the rice. Put it in the dish. Put half the cheese in the dish. Pour the condensed soup in there too, and fuck, you might as well put the sour cream in too. Mix it all around until everything is ...uh, mixed. If it looks a little dry, then fine, go ahead and add some water. Take a spatula and spank that casserole until it's nice and flat on top.

Your oven better be warm by now. Put the casserole in there for about 15-20 minutes. While that's happening, prepare the stuffing as directed on the box. Take the casserole out and spread the stuffing evenly on top. Put the rest of the cheese on top of that. Bake for another 20 minutes. If you like crunchiness on top - and Jesus, who doesn't? - put your oven on broil for a few minutes. But dammit, don't you walk away, you gotta watch it so it doesn't burn.

Take out of oven. Let stand for a minute. Put in bowl. Eat. Make moaning orgasm noises while you chew.

The best part is that it contains all four food groups, so if you have some dessert handy, all you need is a few scoops of this and you've got a complete meal. It looks very good, doesn't it? It does. I can tell you want some.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Patch

I got this in my email today:



David Patchell-Evans, or "Patch" as good friends like me like to call him, is the CEO of Goodlife Fitness, a big gym chain based here in London. There are several hilarious things about this ad for his upcoming book. First, there is a lot of creative use of italics, bold, and capitalization. ENERGY must be really important, because it gets all three. Or maybe it just gets preferential treatment because it didn't make it into the title of the book? Or, is "exuding energy" just a euphemism for "sexy", with the italics as a sort of *wink wink*, I don't really mean energy - I mean hot, dirty sex.

Or am I thinking too much about fonts?

The second hilarious thing about this book is the title and cover. THE REAL SEXY, SMART, AND STRONG, with a picture of Patch there, sorta implies that Patchy himself is the real deal, exuding sexiness, smartness, and strongness. I won't comment on Patch's sex appeal, but isn't that sorta arrogant? It'd be like Angelina Jolie putting a book out called I AM SO FUCKING HOT AND SUCH A GREAT ACTRESS: READ THIS BOOK AND MAYBE YOU CAN BE AN OK ACTRESS TOO. But Angelina Jolie is not hot! She looks like a squid creature.

I do think Patchy is a good guy, though, and not an arrogant bastard or fish-person. I haven't seen his ads on local TV in a while, and that makes me sad. And Jesus Christ people, what ever happened to Body Break??? I just haven't been able to get my PARTICIPACTION on since TV stations stopped showing them.





HOLY SHIT IT'S STILL ON!!!



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