Friday, July 27, 2007

What's Wang This Week

On the occasion of my 25th birthday I decided to have a picnic where the star attraction was a whole roast suckling pig. This was decided around two months ago while I was in Berkeley. A friend of mine Googled and found a review that indicated the place to get a suckling pig in Vancouver is a Filipino market called Fraser BBQ and Fresh Meat. I had debated whether or not I should have it pre-cut for me, as you don't often get a photo op with a whole suckling pig. Still, I decided for substance over style and had them cut it.

It's a damn good thing I did, because there's no way we could ever have chopped this thing ourselves. This thing was enormous. Every single person who saw it's first reaction was "Oh my God". At the end of the day we still had about 50% of the pig left, so I made tinfoil packets (piggy bags) for my friends to take home.

I'm home now and having a good time. My sister, brother-in-law, and nephew arrived yesterday from Paris and the whole house is stuffed to the gills. Thomas is almost one and a half now and runs around all the time; he's a lot of fun but I have no idea what to do with him. It was easier last year because he basically couldn't move and so I could control what he plays with pretty easily, but now I find myself constantly deciding whether or not he should be allowed to play with pencils and spoons, say. The latter has much to do with a conversation I had regarding the pig and whether or not its eyes would be removed using a melon baller.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

My legacy

I decided that jam and club soda is now my drink, since it doesn't seem that anyone else thought of it before I did -- or at least, I came up with the idea independently. I set about giving the drink -- my drink -- a name.

Initially I wanted to give it a name that included "Dickolas" so that it would forever be mine. I had been thinking of "Dickola" or "Dr. Dickolas", but the first one was a little bit awkward and the second one isn't evocative enough of Dr. Pepper to be a very good pop name. Théa implored me not to call it Dick Juice, which I hadn't thought of, but considered a wise suggestion nonetheless.

The only jam-related name I could think of was "Jam Session", which was a little corny and didn't include my name at all. However, the more I used it the more I felt that it was the right name. I thought of trying "Dickolas' Jam Session", but that's a little wordy, especially since I imagine one would already have to prefix the name with the flavour of the jam, so that you would drink a Strawberry Dickolas' Jam Session or a Blueberry Dickolas' Jam Session. As hesitant as I was to cede the glory of my rightful place in history as the inventor of the drink, it just felt like the drink itself wanted to be called the Jam Session, so I swallowed my pride and resigned myself to it.

This raises the question of what one would call a mixture of marmalade and club soda. According to my sister, marmalade differs fundamentally from jam: when making jam, you first mash fruit and then sweeten it, whereas with marmalade, you cook the fruit in sugar and then mash it. Rather than go with "[fruit] Marmalade Session", I'm going to go with "Orange Marmalade Jam Session". Controversial? Maybe. But hey, it's my drink, so deal with it.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Note to self

Yesterday was Ian's birthday.

Apologize to Ian.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Note to self

It's Vince's birthday.

Current Music: Crowded House - Mean To Me

Monday, July 09, 2007

Thought of the day

What's Bryan Adams up to these days?

I haven't heard anything about him in about six years.

What's he doing, do you think?

Saturday, July 07, 2007

"when you're low it's either wave that flag or stand there empty-handed" -- Molly Sanders

I'm skipping town next week to go home for a holiday until the end of August. So, if you want to hang out there, let me know.

When the time comes to move back home for a holiday, I get to looking around my apartment and realizing how much tidying up I have to do -- and how much food I have in my refrigerator. I tend to be a packrat, and unfortunately that extends to the fridge: I have all manner of half-full jars and bottles in there that get stuck behind other half-full jars and bottles, so I just lose track of the whole affair and wind up with too much food that I need to consume before my subletter moves in. Among other things, I have a few cans of club soda and half a jar of raspberry jam. I also had no juice left, and was thirsty.

It hit me: what if I put a spoonful of jam into a glass of club soda? That would be perfect! It would be fruity and sweet, but not too sweet like pop. I had never tried it, but it seemed like it couldn't fail. How could it fail? Those are two pretty well-understood ingredients right there. Then I got to wondering why more people don't do this, because it makes such perfect sense.

At the same time, though, I couldn't help but feel like this is a totally ghetto thing to be doing. Jam and club soda is a little too reminiscent of hobo sweet-and-sour soup (ketchup and mustard with hot water). It made me wonder if this is something that a truly poor student would do.

In my office there's a leftover bag of tortilla chips from the department picnic, two months ago. This bag was enormous and it's still half full. I say "still" because every so often Daniel and I will take a handful out and munch on them. Conventional wisdom suggests that these chips would be gross and stale by now, but they're still light and crunchy. These chips refuse to die. I take handfuls out thinking how fortunate we are to have this neverending bag of eternal chips, proud of myself for saving the $1.25 it would cost to get a baggie of corn chips.

But as I sat there munching away, I looked at my station in life. My peers are making loads of money and getting married; meanwhile I sit in my office eating two-month-old chips out of a paper bowl. I won't lie to you: I felt pathetic. "Maybe I'm low and don't have the manners to realize why we should just throw out those chips", I thought to myself.

But maybe I'm just practical. We're pretty lucky to have these chips, you know, and really, they still taste good. And it's fulfilling the triple purpose of feeding me, saving me money, and not wasting food. Why wouldn't I eat them?

It's the same with the jam and club soda. I just tried it, and sure enough, it tastes great. There are seeds at the bottom, sure, but I just ate those too with a spoon. Steve tells me this is a disgusting idea, and part of me agrees. But the rest of me just drank a refreshing raspberry soda, and can't help but wonder why everyone isn't doing this. Why aren't you doing this?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Théa's guest post: Vulgar conversations with Dick

Features Week continues with a guest post from Théa.

note: I was hesitant to post this, until I asked myself WWPP (What Would Peter Post)? He would probably kick it up a notch, and maybe include a photo. I'm not as bold as he is, and I don't own a camera, so I'm posting with a warning: This post is vulgar.

I'm lucky to have a friend like Dick (aka Richard). Not only is he a great-looking, intelligent guy, but who else would have provided me with a more concise way to describe my bowel movements? I'm talking about the bristol stool chart, which assigns a numerical value to different types of stool, and which Dick brought to my attention last month.

Dick also informed me that coffee is a laxative (despite having consumed massive amounts of coffee since I was 12, I never knew this, although I think when you drink a lot of coffee on a regular basis, your body gets used to it and the effects wear off).

So without a friend like Dick, I wouldn't be able to have conversations like this:

Thea says:
normally I would be wondering why I just had a 6, but thanks to you, I know it's because I went to Solly's and had 4 cups of coffee, after a week of no coffee.

D to the W says:
aren't you glad

D to the W says:
we learned something today

Thea says:
and my pants fit better

Sunday, July 01, 2007

C-C-C-Canada Day

Originally I had thought that I might make a video of myself playing O Canada on my mandolin for the occasion, but I don't have it yet. I thought about combining some of my other recent hobbies or interests into a Canada Day post, but I can't think of a way to incorporate Vector TD or my cast-iron skillet into a worthwhile post that wouldn't also be a waste of valuable tower defence resources or food, respectively.

So, to commemorate the statutory holiday that I don't get to enjoy because I'm out of the country, here are some references to Canada in Flight of the Conchords' excellent New Zealand-aired documentary about their trip to the SXSW festival in Texas:

  • "The gig is in the centre of downtown Austin in a not-very-soundproof tent. Unfortunately for us, the not-very-soundproof Canadian tent is right next door, and we've been scheduled to perform at exactly the same time as Canadian musicians The Swollen Members."

  • "Offensive Canadian electro-punk artist Peaches has agreed to do an interview -- on the condition that we massage her feet. We're concerned that the foot massage will detract from the serious nature of our documentary."

  • "And then, Canada's answer to Neil Finn, Neil Young, arrives on stage."

P.S.: Note the spelling of "defence".

Note to self

It's Grandma's birthday.