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January 26, 2009

Survival of the Toothless

I got my teeth cleaned this afternoon at my new dentist office, where the Michele Bachmann-look-alike told me I must be more evolved than other humans because wisdom teeth have never taken root in my gob. That's where our race is headed, she claimed.

The following rap immediately ensued:

Yo, yo, yo yo, yo-yo yo
Listen up y'all
This be the tale of a case where being toothless ain't bad
In fact
It means you're all evolved
('n shit)


I got my mouth bones all ready and clean
'Fraid my dentist would get up in my face 'n be mean
See, I ain't had the very best toothal luck
My last dentite drilled me till I was screaming, "Oh (sh)uck!"

I was a little bit nervous and a lot bit scared
But my girl Michele told me no need to be afeared
My fangs were dense, tha roots nice 'n strong
When'd I get my wisdoms pulled? Had it been long?

I laughed best as I could wif her digits in my mouf
"Gurrl, I ain't never had them! Grumble mumble krawf."
She looked at me as if I was all human ills' solution
And called her assistants to gaze on a product of human evolution

Compared to me, she knew her own mouth had failed
Compared to me, she may as well have a prehensile tail
When it comes time for breedin', my kids might have gills
But one thing's for certain: they'll have killer grills


January 13, 2009

A hypothetical situation

So let's say you started dating a dude from the former Soviet Union a few years ago. You met this dude at a Jewish singles night embarrassingly called a "Schmoozle," which you went to mostly because it had a funny name and partly because you had recently decided to find a Jewish husband. This dude was one of the only ones there who wasn't tubby and balding and who didn't have stains of his mommy's matzah ball soup down his shirt. You decided to be uncharacteristically bold and give him your number. You then promptly forgot his name and began referring to him as "No Name Steak" in the following days. Steak finally called you a handful of days later and you had a series of uneventful dates for the next two months, at which point you realized you didn't even like him all that much. You definitely weren't going to fall in love with him and get married and have lots of Jewish babylehs. So you called him up and said, "Pants out, dude," and that was that.

Since then you haven't thought all that much about him. Then, totally out of the blue, you get a call on your cell phone from an unknown number. Let's say this was yesterday, while you were at work. You took the call because you're a curious little kitty.

"Um, hi, you don't know me," the female caller says. "This is kind of weird, and you don't have to talk to me if you don't want to. I just recently broke up with [The Soviet] and I want to talk to his other girlfriends about some issues I had with him so I can get some closure."

You're intrigued. Clearly, this girl is psycho. But the part of you that used to write a dating advice column wants to help her through her issues, to throw her any bone that might be of use. You tell her you dated him for a short period of time eons ago, so you didn't know how much you'd remember, but that you'd call her that night when you weren't at work. You ask her where she got your number and she tells you he had all his exes' numbers stored in the same place.

You get home that night and call her as promised. She proceeds to go through his dating history, describing everything she knows about each of his exes. You get a little skeeved, and ask her what, exactly, she knows about you. Little psycho details creep into the conversation, like, "I was going through his texts..." "I still check his voicemail," etc. Then let's say she decides to three-way call him. In your head you know this probably isn't such a good idea, that you really shouldn't be involved in their issues. Later you'll wonder why you didn't just hang up, and that curious little kitty will snarl at you.

The Soviet answers and the girlfriend starts ripping into him about issues too intense for this humble blog. The Soviet gets angry and says this girl has taken to his car with a bat, among other things, and that he's going to call the police for a restraining order. He hangs up. It's just you and the girlfriend on the line again.

"Uhhh.... wow," you stutter, feeling like a prize idiot for calling her back in the first place. You get the feeling you may have made the matter worse for the two of them, rather than helping. You vow never to schmoozle again and go to bed.

Note: This post might be about my friend Teenuh, or maybe my friend Zeenuh, but it's definitely not about me because I don't write about personal details on this blog.

January 11, 2009

If I was a rich girl...

  • I'd get my hairs cut. The last time they had some snip snips was in June, when I visited an onomatopoetic salon owned by a trio of ex-Soviets. It's been seven months. That's gross.
  • I'd pay off my student loans. True, $8K isn't all that much to be in debt after obtaining higher education, but it's demoralizing to think my net worth is less than zero.
  • I'd contribute obscene amounts to my 401(k) every month. I'd use my new time machine to retire at age 10.
  • I'd buy a house. It's the best time ever in the history of the world for a first-time buyer to put some roots down. At the very least, I'd move to a fancy pants apartment with its own washer and dryer and a couch longer than four feet.
  • I'd drink hot apple cider all day, every day. I'd get it imported from the southern hemisphere in the spring/summer. I'd build a greenhouse and fill it with apple trees that produce year-round, and then buy my very own apple press.
  • I'd buy that Ped Egg once and for all. While I was at it, I'd also get the blanket with sleeves, the sliders press and a Sham-Wow! for each room of my new house.
  • I'd get the coveted KitchenAid standing mixer with the ice cream attachment and make frozen treats so weird they'd put Iron Chef to shame. Meat ice cream, my friends: a traif dream.
  • I'd use the really spendy yarn to knit a coat of many colors. border=
(I googled "meat ice cream" and all I came up with was this lowsy tub of raw horse meat ice cream.)

January 6, 2009

Impoverished Portlander attempts thrift, is thwarted by technology

Chief among the obvious "don't"s for those of us whose pockets have been picked clean by these troubling economic times is dining out. For someone who enjoys global cuisine but can only make standard Midwestern fare in her kitchen, these times of woe are quite the blow. I thus jump at any frugal dining opportunity, as previously chronicled here. To aid these endeavors, I started following a blog devoted to cheapskatery in Portland. Today it informed me that the Old Spaghetti Factory was slashing its meal prices like whoa in celebration of their 40th anniversary. We're talking $3 meals. I was all hells to the yes and commanded the gent to ready our chariot.

One of Portland's many charms is its atrocious street signage. They are very rarely affixed to stoplights; instead they are strategically placed behind bushes and buildings and only printed on one side in barely reflective type. Google maps are no match for this skullduggery, especially on a murky, rainy night such as tonight. Needless to say, I told Boyf to turn prematurely and we ended up on this highway with no exits that we always seem to get stuck on.

We had no choice but to give ourselves over to the preternaturally cheerful woman who lives in his phone. GPS Lady got us safely across the river, but I accidentally led the boyf to believe we should "bear left" instead of right. That gave GPS Lady a bee in her bonnet and she started repeatedly demanding that we "make a legal U-turn where possible," with what I imagined was growing aggravation in her voice. "We can't turn left here! Give us something we can work with!" I pleaded with her. "Re-routing," she acquiesced.

More confusion followed as her pea brain could only tell us where we'd just been, not where we needed to go. "Re-routing," she promised us, over and over again.

Forty-five minutes later we arrived at our destination, only to find out everyone and their step-uncle's brother-in-law's grandma were there. The hour-and-a-half wait was too much for our growling tums and frazzled nerves. We turned around and instead headed to an Indian restaurant about a mile from our apartment and ordered a $25 meal.

You win, stupid troubled economy.

January 5, 2009

Flying, from the mouths of babes

On our way from Portland to Minneapolis on Christmas Day, we sat one row in front of an 8-year-old boy, his mom and another stray 8-year-old separated from his family. The flight foster child spent much of the air time describing all the electronics he received for Christmas, and then claiming he wasn't spoiled; his infant sister was. He explained to his new friend that Santa squeezes into chimneys using a patented mixture of elf magic, ghost magic and South Pole magic. Halfway through the flight the mom traded places with her husband, who I had overheard quizzing his children hours before on such facts as the square footage of the Portland terminal.

As we began our descent and were a few thousand feet off the ground, the stray proclaimed that we were exactly 200 above ground. He knew this for a fact after palming the window and doing a complex internal computation of the relation of its temperature to proximity to the earth. "I question the precision of your methodology," responded Killjoy Dad. Then one of the boys said he knew definitively that we were 100 feet from touchdown because two canoes could fit under the plane if stacked vertically. Canoes were more like 15 feet long, not 50, Killjoy Dad said. The boy vehemently insisted they were 50 feet long because he had just spent MONTHS studying Indians and they DEFINITELY made 50-foot canoes from all the nearby 50-foot trees.


We landed back in the Rose City at about 11:30 local time last night. At the baggage claim carousel a toddler vocalized my internal feelings in one of those fake-crying-whiny voices that kids do when they're just itching to be put up for adoption.

"Where's our suitcases? Daddy! Where's our suitcases?!?! Where are they?? Where's our SUITCASES???????? Daddy, I don't see them!!!! Where ARE they? Are they lost? WHEERRRRRRREEEEE'S OUUUUUUUUUUUUR SUITCASSSSSSSSSSSES?????"


Then we had to take a shuttle to the hotel where the boyf's car has been parked this past week-and-change. At this point it was midnight Portland time, 2 a.m. Minnesota time. Once again, an infant managed to vocalize my exact feelings.


This is unrelated.

I think I'm going insane. Here's my proof:

A pen exploded in my pocket last Thursday. Every time I put my hand in said pocket, it emerges stained blue as Babe. And every time, every stinking time, I'm surprised. Baffled might be a better word.

In sum, I am doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results. According to Ben Franklin/Albert Einstein/an old Chinese proverb, that makes me a prime candidate for the loony bin.

January 3, 2009

I've got a new way to snack

I've been back in the Great Frozen Tundra (Minnesota) for the past week, and a few days ago I made the hop, skip and jump from my extra-frigid hometown to the sort-of frigid metropolis. My former roommate, who is so great we call each other our star-crossed roommates, was kind enough to not only let me stay in her rich and famous uncle's sprawling mansion whilst she was house-sitting, but she threw me a party.

The setting was very F. Scott Fitzgerald-y, with nine known bathrooms and multiple chandeliers. We needed some snackie-poos that would hold their own against such gilded splendor. My go-to pear and goat cheese crostini appetizers were an obvious if somewhat boring choice (recipe below). I considered making a delish "parmesan cheese fan" recipe my ma unearthed from one of her falling-apart cookbooks or stuffed mushrooms, but ultimately gave both the no-go. Not quite schmancy enough.

We settled on an appetizer I had first sampled at a fellow Portlander's Christmas Eve party: turkey bacon-wrapped scallops (recipe below). They were, as one of our guests said, pure ambrosia. A little surf, a little turf. A little squishy, a little crunchy. Food of the gods.

Pear and Goat Cheese Crostini:
Preheat your oven to 350. Cut a baguette into 3/4 inch rounds and arrange on a baking sheet. Schmear with goat cheese, top with a thin slice of Bosc pear and another schmear. Pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheesee is melty and the bread is toasty.

Turkey Bacon-Wrapped Scallops:
Preheat your oven to 325. Cook the bacon in a skillet, but don't over-cook (it's going in the oven later and you don't want it super-crispy). Coat another skillet with some olive oil and turn the burner on medium-high. Add two cloves minced garlic and the juice of one lemon. Put the scallops in and cook until they're solidly white. Wrap the scallops in a bit of bacon and spear with a toothpick. Arrance on a baking sheet. Cook for about 15 minutes or until you can't stand not eating them anymore.