Date Archives October 2009

Pumpkin Stabbing Five Times Fabulous

Sunday was the fifth annual pumpkin stabbing at Casa de Dildarian; Saturday was lost entirely to prep work. If you would have told me beforehand that I’d be up until 3am scraping jalepenos and handpainting details on gelatinous eyeballs with food coloring and a tiny brush while watching 21 Jump Street, I’d have called you a stinking liar. The next day, I would have been far too tired to apologize.

You see, I believe in feeding people when they come over for an event. Not feeding them WELL, necessarily, and by well, I mean healthily, but feeding them theme food. It is important that I stuff as much theme as possible into my guests. I couldn’t say exactly WHY it is important to me. It just is. And it is not nearly as important to other people to provide concrete RSVPs, so I had to prepare theme food to feed between nine and twenty-one people. NINE AND TWENTY-ONE. That’s sort of a gap. Sort of a significant gap. So I spent all day Saturday prepping a LOT of food:

-Caramel apples (I know now why they cost so much in stores; they must have a ‘danger’ surcharge tacked onto each one because hot caramel hurts a lot when it splatters on your skin. A LOT.) (PS I have a ton of vanilla beans left over from a different food project and so I scraped some vanilla caviar into the caramel sauce and it made it about twelve different kinds of amazing.) -Fresh grated pumpkin cupcakes -Witch finger shortbread cookies -Decayed corpse chips & Sweet and Hot Pepper Salsa (This stuff is like salsa crack. Last year, people practically licked out the bowl.) -Freshly flayed flesh jalepeno poppers -Mummy dearest dogs (also known as cuter pigs in blankets) -Beastly brie en croute with a puff pastry spider on top -Roasted squash & garlic dip -Gelatinous eyeballs -Blood & Guts sammiches (turkey & cranberry on croissants) -Butterbeer -Hot cider You can tell I ran out of steam right about the time I said ‘fuck it’ and used teacups to make two giant eyeballs instead of carefully refilling the truffle trays with a turkey baster, waiting a few hours, and painting more irises.

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Anne and Jim ended up begging out of the pumpkin patch portion of the day, owing to the Steeler’s game, and Aisling needed to work up the energy to get out of bed as she was getting over feeling sick. So I met up with Tristan, Eric, and Jessica at the patch to go corn-mazing and pick pumpkins. The two mazes this year were shaped like a werewolf and a tombstone, respectively–on the werewolf maze, we decided that we would test the method of taking all lefts to see if that worked to get through the maze. We missed all but one of the punch stations, but sure enough, left-ed our way out of there. On the tombstone maze, we decided to utilize the map to reach all of the punchstations; after we reached the last station, Tristan decided we ought to put our maps away and try to find our way out without them, which resulted in us ending up walking past two punchstations we’d done already and eventually having to pull out the maps in shame. It really wouldn’t be a party without shame involved in some fashion.

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Afterward, we picked out our pumpkins and drove back to my place so I could begin the process of stuffing everyone full of fun to the gills. If they did not have gills already, it was extra handy to have all of the carving tools nearby.

4051658443_1f75c44d97 Aisling made what Jim dubbed a ‘Jap-o-Lantern’. Yes. We ARE going to hell. If you laughed, you’re coming with us.

4051658409_b1f76febfe I dressed Napoleon up in his jack-o-lantern doggy t-shirt, which is irresistably cute. Anne attempted to call him over to her, but he refused to walk on the plastic dropcloth, so all we ended up with was photographic evidence of a little more shame.

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This year, I ended up using a pattern because my creative juices were on empty. I also fail at taking photographs of the day, and I blame exhaustion because I myself remain blameless.

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Napodog was zonked out, too; he’d had a big day of sniffing and licking and freaking out near the front door and shameless begging and stealing Aisling’s turkey sandwich and gobbling the whole thing in one bite.

I was a teenage brain surgeon

On Sunday the 18th, I took a trip to Maris Farms with Amber and Mana to visit their Haunted Woods attraction. I’d wanted to get there early enough to take a monster truck ride and see the pumpkin trebuchet and all sorts of other things, but I became engrossed in something and didn’t end up getting there until 5:30, at which point, I got to wander around for half an hour until they closed, pet some teeny-tiny goats, squee over the teeny-tiny racing pigs, and then leave because my Haunted Woods ticket was good for 8pm and they don’t want people there more than fifteen minutes early.

So, I left to go buy dinner somewhere nearby to pass time, and ended up at a place called ‘Burgers International & Pizzeria’ which I FULLY intended to mock. Fully. Because what meal could possibly be less international than burgers?

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Friends, I had to make room for my snotty words in addition to my meal when I saw the menu. It was organized by country/continent in terms of where the meat originated. Yakburgers from Nepal. Ostrich from Africa. Kangaroo from Australia. Llamas from…somewhere. Also, specialty ‘burgers from the sea’. Exotic meats AND mocking Jessica Simpson: This place has EVERYTHING.

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But that wasn’t all. International burgers is owned by Austrian Baron Manfred and Baroness Ingeborg von Vierthaler. They handcraft their own schnitzel. And I am certain that if Baron Manfred had been around for me to pledge allegiance to him, he would surely sport a bitching mustache, an eyepatch, a dashing grin, and he’d tell me that he slays all of the animals his patrons gorge on with his bare hands.

Guess what I got, guys? Guess!

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A BLACK BEAR BURGER. The waitress tried to talk me into something more similar to beef for reasons unbeknownst to me–perhaps Baron Manfred was tired and didn’t feel like wrestling yet another bear. Or perhaps she’s sick and tired of people complaining when the taste of the exotic meats isn’t exactly what they thought it would be. Either way, I would not be deterred. I ate half of Winnie The Pooh (who was delicious), and I saved the other half for Napoleon so he can brag to the other dogs when he goes to Dog Hell that not only has he eaten a bear, he got someone else to do all of the hard work of killing, cleaning, and cooking for him. Truly, he will be every dog’s hero.

I imagine I’ll find myself there more than is entirely healthy, considering they gave me a punch card–buy 12 burgers and the 13th is free–and they serve an awful lot of animals that I’ve never had the opportunity to consume before.

I met up with Amber and Mana back at the farm near 8, and ended up having a really good time despite the group in front of us that walked so slowly that we kept catching up to them and having scares ruined by the girl in that group that yipped like a chihuahua at every opportunity and then started messing with exhibits to, I don’t know, prove she wasn’t scared AND that she was a total fucking asshat. She became known to our group as Dog Girl and it was a total shame that we didn’t get it share that with her.

This time, Amber and Mana pushed me to the front of the group, and I must admit that they even got a few womanish screams out of me, and a vibrating plate in the ground nearly caused me to jump straight out of my stompy boots. The only gripe I’ve got about the haunted woods themselves is that one of the indoor portions was pitch black, which would be fine except I ended up feeling up some poor employee while fumbling about blindly in the wrong direction–if you’re going to send a group through somewhere COMPLETELY blind, there probably ought to be only one direction to travel in. Though that could have been the point–for a while, it seemed like there were two people attempting to separate the group and lead us in different directions. However, being total girls, we clung to one another and eventually blundered our way out after someone stuck a feather in my mouth (perhaps revenge for my totally unintentional knocker-grabbing).

All in all, it was a totally worthwhile trip, and next year, I will definitely be going back for monster truck rides in addition to the haunted woods.

Pun-ishing everyone

Do you ever have those moments where you’re struck by inspiration? Where you have to commit whatever spark your brain just fired off to paper immediately or you risk losing it forever? When Archimedes was struck by his moment of brilliance, he ran buck naked down the street screaming “Eureka!” Newton was struck on the head with an apple and thus developed the Universal Law of Gravitation.

…I draw pictures of squid playing quidditch. Which shall forevermore be dubbed ‘Squidditch’.

Screaming & Dining

Last night, I met up with Amber & Mana and a few other people and we went to the Kube 93 Haunted House, located at what used to be the Georgetown Morgue. The scares started early, as I dug through my cabinets to find canned food to donate to save money off of the ticket price and I found that the majority of everything in my cabinets was expired, some of it as far back as 2006. That’s right. I moved expired food. Twice. My attention to detail is nothing but astouding, and I’m sure you’re all duly impressed by my housekeeping abilities.

Now, shadowstitch has indicated that if Fallout has taught him anything, it’s that canned food can be good well past the expiration dates, minus a bit of radiation poisoning, HOWEVER, I feel that it’s not really in the spirit of donation to give people botulism.

I arrived early AGAIN (this is the third event in a week that I’ve showed up not just on time, but early. What’s the matter with me? Am I ill?) and hung around waiting for everyone; in the air hung the pungent odor of the loathesome HoneyBuckets, and the night was pierced by shrieks and running chainsaws. The majority of the group finally showed, and we waited together for the few remaining stragglers and watched as a clown repeatedly chased people out of the attraction with chainsaw and laughed because WE knew what was coming at the end now.

They split our group of ten up into two groups of five; I got partnered with 4 girls I’d never met before, and ended up bringing up the rear. For a while, I definitely felt like the man of the group–the other four would shriek and cover their heads and wail and moan and lil ole me bringing up the rear didn’t react at all, mainly because the pop-out scares were always directed at the front of the group. However, later in the house, people made me jump a few times by following me for a while through the pitch black areas and blowing into my hair. Toward the end, the girl in front of me was so freaked out, she grabbed for my hand and put it in a deathgrip, and this is when the clown came out of a side alley, fired up his chainsaw and started chasing us.

…I’m not going to lie, we scattered like sheep.

Running for twenty steps or so works up a hearty appetite, so afterward we all went to Beth’s Cafe, featured on Man vs Food & known for its twelve-egg omelette, which none of us were ballsy enough to order. Whilst we waited for our food, we drew pictures with crayons and admired the plethora of wax-based artwork already on the walls:

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I got the bacon waffle which turned out to be even MORE delicious than it sounds. Frankly, I didn’t know it was possible to stuff so much pig product into a waffle iron and still have room for waffle batter, but I’m glad to live in a world where I know now that valiant men and women make the attempt.

All of this screaming and dining has barely sated our lust for screaming and dining, and this is why we are planning an outing to Maris Farms this Sunday, the 18th. They’ve got a Haunted Forest that is supposed to be the very best and scariest in the state (it’s a 35 minute hike!) and you’re not even supposed to show up more than 15 minutes earlier than your scheduled ticket time because the scares start from the moment you get out of your car. However, given that it’s all the way up in freaking Buckley and it’s exceedingly difficult to coordinate disparate groups of people to arrive within fifteen minutes of a specific time when we all live so far away, AND there’s stuff I (and ANY non-terrorist) would want to do there during the day ANYWAY (like MONSTER TRUCK RIDES and the triple crown of pig racing and a DESTRUCTION ZONE where they LAUNCH PUMPKINS WITH A TREBUCHET TOWARD A TRAMPOLINE (this can only end in awesome, I swear) and and and and) so I’m thinking we go for the afternoon on Sunday, leave & grab some dinner somewhere in the area, and then we’ll all be together to arrive for the Haunted Forest. Anyone interested? CAN YOU SAY NO TO THIS?

If you want to come, I would suggest buying your ticket(s) now as supposedly this attraction tends to sell out. We’re doing the 8pm time slot for the Haunted Woods, we can figure out when we’re heading up to the farm for all the other stuff closer to the 18th.

Flowers for Mellzahnon

My dog is a scientist.

You may not believe me when I say this, but I swear to you that it is true. Though he lacks a tiny lab coat and goggles (not for lack of desire on my part to outfit him with them, I assure you), he conducts experiments on me, mainly on my days off from work. These experiments are to measure the power of annoyance.

After a hard week at work, there is nothing I like more than rising late on a Friday morning, perhaps wandering around pantsless while eating an english muffin, drinking coffee, and reading a book. Some people might rise with the sun and go to a farmer’s market or take a jog or go out to breakfast or go shopping–I like to drink hot beverages pantsless. Don’t judge me.

The dog’s goal is to remind me that the universe does not cease to revolve around him on my days off. After being fed, it is of immediate importance that He Goes Out Right Now. This need is equally urgent whether I get up at 5am or 8am or 11am, and it is at odds with my desire to remain pantsless. It is at that precise moment that the tiny scientist emerges.

Napoleon’s Theory of Annoyance: Subject is annoyed by a certain number of Whines Per Minute or WpM, and that as WpM increases, annoyance will also increase until subject gives in to demands.

He will first announce the beginning of the experiment by flopping down in my vicinity with a loud sigh. Then he will initiate a low cycle of WpM, where WpM < 2. Approximately every fifteen minutes, WpM will double, and will continue at this rate until WpM>60 or ∞, depending on your perspective.

In MY persepective, WpM at this point=∞, because when I am trying to read or relax or enjoy coffee without spilling it onto my nethers, a constant stream of whisper-whines with nary a pause to take in another breath, to the point where I cannot concentrate or hear ANYTHING but “whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine” FEELS like infinity, and I am powerless to consider anything but two options: dog murder (also known as ‘Rexicide’) or give him whatever he wants RIGHT NOW which invariably leads to putting on pants and taking him outside, whereupon he extrudes a carefully measured picoliter of urine.

I am considering renting him out to prospective parents; if they can put up with his demands for a week or longer without wanting to pick him up and furiously shake him like a maraca, they are qualified to have a baby.

Olé!

Twatter

Real quote from the internet: “If you follow me on twitter, I tweet about what I’m eating/drinking almost daily.”

Protip: NO ONE CARES.

I know everyone and their sister have embraced Twitter, but I hate it. HATE IT. I gave it a try for a few months, and all I saw was that it reduced all of the intelligent people I know to the most mundane details they could eke out in 140 characters or less. And generally, after someone has taken up Twitter, they stop writing blog posts, they just feed Twitter, like a bunch of blurbs about their sandwich and their coffee and how their bus is late are supposed to replace the thought-provoking things they used to write about, the interesting details, the moments of their lives that it takes more than 140 characters to express.

If all we have to talk about are the things we eat and drink, is it really WORTH talking about?

Royale With Cheese

Ugh, this makes me just as sick as the Wal-Mart next to the Pyramids of the Sun & The Moon, and the Sphinx staring at a goddamn pizza hut:

McDonalds is opening a ‘cafe’ at the Louvre.

The Louvre has the right to protest against boutiques it considers fail to meet such criteria. However, the museum told the Daily Telegraph it had agreed to a “quality” McCafé and a McDonald’s in place by the end of the year, which it said was “is in line with the museum’s image”.

“The Louvre welcomes the fact that the entirety of visitors and customers, French or foreign, can enjoy such a rich and varied restaurant offer, whether in the museum area or gallery,” the museum said in a statement.

STOP IT. STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT. Our greatest accomplishments, our most beautiful works of art, the pinnacles of our culture, are NOT another opportunity to sell anti-culture homogenized bullshit.