Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Return of the Friday List of Random Things - On a Thursday


1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda (I don't know why I've never had this)
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi (I'm highly intrigued)
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float (for the win!!)
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (what degenerate college student hasn't?)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects (crickets - salty and crunchy like weird popcorn)
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut (it's all I ate when I worked at Starbucks back in the day when they still served Krispy Kreme...yes, I know I'm dating myself)
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (so wrong, yet so delicious)
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips (the only "candy" my mom would let me eat as a child)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis (probably wouldn't try it - unless Heston Blumenthal made it for me)
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill (I probably wouldn't eat this, but I'm not crossing it out...yet)
76. Baijiu (I had to look it up too)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum (yes please)
82. Eggs Benedict (Hells yeah!)
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (my dream)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate (so, so badly)
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa (I want to now...sounds delicious)
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox (I take it back, this one's for the win!! With some nice sliced raw onion....droooooollllll)
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

I'm not so much surprised by all the items I have eaten, but with all the things I actually WILL eat. Who's up for a tasting tour of Asia? I'm up for like a two-month trip..Thailand, China, Japan, Viet Nam, anyone?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Toronto In Pictures (part 2): Derek Jeter is Jacked Up: And So Can You!

Actually, there is NO way you could be as jacked up as Derek Jeter. Seriously, I'm sorry. I feel like you kind of lose track of just how big those guys really are when you watch baseball on TV. I mean, all of them are huge (except maybe for the David Ecksteins and Edwar Ramierez-es), I know this, but when you see them all on the field together, you just kind of assume they're all normal-sized. It's like the opposite of the optical trick (illusion, Michael...illusion) in which your eyes think the line with arrows pointing out is shorter than the line with the arrows pointing out...or is it the other way around? Regardless, those drunk/angry people who run out onto the playing field clearly have no idea what's in store for them until the players take them out. If they did, there's NO way they'd head out there. Seriously, no matter how drunk you were, there's no way you could possibly think you could take down Prince Fielder. I can't even imagine how badly it would hurt to smash into a Jason Giambi or a C.C. Sabathia at full speed. It'd probably be like running into that elephant at the zoo, ramming his head into the cement post. But, all this talk of Jeter being giant...I'm getting ahead of myself...

When we last left off, we had left the Yankees hotel and headed back to ours. Tuesday we woke up and decided to hit up the culturally and intellectually stimulating landmarks within the Downtown Toronto area. First up, Casa Loma, the home of Sir Henry Pellatt, a very rich guy.

First we had to climb an ass-load of stairs to get there:

Here's the entrance and some random people who rudely walked in front of my camera:

Here's the main hall area, with organ pipes:

And, here's the aforementioned organ:

The grounds of the estate were very lovely and it was a beautiful day, too, so I got some nice pictures outside:

Then it was off to eat lunch at Wish, on Yonge, near Bloor Street. Clearly, we had to fortify ourselves with alcohol, in addition to food, so I had a mojito and BMG had the girly-est drink ever - a pomegrante martini.*

Next, it was off to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). Here it is:
Fancy, right? I know.

Here's some stuff inside the ROM:

After the ROM, we were quite exhausted from all the culture, so we headed back to our hotel to get ready for the first of the three Yankees games and an evening of more stalking afterward.

The game was a good one, even though the Yankees lost (entirely due to Johnny Damon being unable to catch a fly ball...twice) - Rasner pitched well and our seats were pretty good, except for the man next to me reading The Wall Street Journal and randomly circling words and titles of articles. Here's the stadium:
and a few pictures of the game - sorry, my zoom isn't so great on my point and shoot camera, although it's good for the (low) quality of pictures I take - stay tuned for part 3 of Toronto in camera plays an integral role.

A meeting on the mound when they took Rasner out:

A-Rod staring dumbly into the stands:

Derek Jeter batting:

Once the game was over, we headed back to the hotel so I could ho myself out for the Yankee stalking. First we went to Sassafraz, to grab a quick bite (some delicious Canadian cheeses and wine) and to see if any of them were there drinking. They weren't. So, we headed back over to their hotel. There were a bunch of fans standing outside waiting for autographs, so we figured we wouldn't see anyone inside, but we went in anyway and headed up to the bar, again taking advantage of our fancy clothes.

As soon as we got off the elevator outside the bar, we saw hotel security rounding up a family and kicking them out of the bar. "Success!" I thought to myself. Security was clearly kicking them out for harassing SOMEONE fancy in the bar-area, right? Although, to be fair, I guess they could have been kicking them out because, you know, they brought an eight year-old into a bar. Anyway, as soon as we walked in, we saw Johnny Damon and (everyone's favorite) Sidney Ponson, having a drink with some friends in the corner! "ZOMG!!!!" I squeed to myself (about Damon, not Ponson), but, remembering the security rent-a-cops just behind me, I quietly took a seat at the bar with BMG.

The next thing we knew, we heard rumblings from the masses: Derek Jeter and A-Rod were outside on the balcony drinking! ZOMG!!! We then clearly tried to go out onto the patio, but were told by rent-a-cop #6 that it was full, so we headed back to our seats at the bar to drink and leer shadily at Damon and Ponson. At one point, Damon walked past me on the way to the restroom and I wished him "good luck" for tomorrow, to which he sheepishly smiled and said thank you. However, my elation at actually having Johnny Damon acknowledge my existence was short-lived, as, before we knew it, the man himself, Derek Jeter, was making his way into the bar from the elevator! And, let me tell you, that bitch is BIG. Like, I wanted to yell, "Blazin' Copper" across the room at him, but I think one of his legs is as big as all of me. Instead, I kept my mouth shut and turned my leery gaze from Damon to Jeter. We couldn't figure out who he was sitting with, but we didn't have long to wonder as, wouldn't you F-ing know it, A-Rod randomly came inside from the balcony, looking at his phone (probably a message from the girls at The Brass Rail to come over - I would link to The Brass Rail, but it's probably NSFW and really NSF anyone) and wandered over to Jeter's table. Um, yeah, you know how I said Jeter was big...A-Rod, well, he's super giant. And both him and Jeter are pretty funny looking without their hats. Just saying. My love for Bernie Williams has been well-documented, so I'll spare you from my inane ramblings about how Bernie's the cutest and how A-Rod and Jeter will never compare (but it's true).

A-Rod and Jeter talked for a bit, then A-Rod left (again, probably to hit up The Brass Rail - strippers need loving too). We were planning on leaving at midnight, which is the alleged curfew of the Yankees, but they were still there at midnight, drinking away, Ponson ordering another we stayed for a bit longer. Unfortunately, security stayed too, so, eventually, we cut our losses since we weren't going to get any pictures or autographs (and Gardner wasn't there). Honestly, I would have felt badly harassing them, they just wanted to all have some drinks and probably not talk about baseball at all, being that they're kind of sucking and probably won't make it to the playoffs at all. On our way out, I said good luck (again) to Damon and Ponson, who were nice about it and said thanks. As I walked past Jeter, I wished him good luck, too, to which he responded with a short, but pleasant thanks. Apparently he wasn't so nice about BMG's ramblings ("Derek I love you...can I have your babies? KTHNXBYE!!! SQUEEEE!!!" Actually, he just said good luck, too) and sneered and rolled his eyes at him. The benefit to being a girl, I guess, although I would have preferred to see Gardner over Jeter, let's be fair.

So, we cabbed it back to our hotel and hit up the bar there for a night cap. It was there that we met the best person ever, in all of Canada, Yul, from now on Greatest Bartender Ever (GBE). When Yul found out we were in town to see the Yankees play, he regaled us with stories from the 80s and 90s when all the baseball and hockey teams stayed at his hotel and drank in his bar. He knew EVERYONE. Like EVERYONE. He told us fantastic stories about the players and managers and told us he even gets free tickets all the time from the teams that stay there now! And, his favorite player is Dave Winfield, to boot, so you know BMG found a friend for life. Yul is the greatest. Seriously, if you have time, just Google "Hilton Toronto" and "Yul" - other people feel the same way. Sufficed to say, we spent a lot of time in the hotel bar in the subsequent days.

Thus concludes Part 2. Stay tuned for Part 3, sadly no more Yankee stalking (though not for lack of trying), the Beer Bistro, Reds Wine Bar, shopping, and one of the most horrible Yankee losses in recent memory...thanks Ponson.

*The waiter did a complete double take when he ordered it. I imagine he had initially prejudged us as a couple out having a nice lunch, then amended his judgment - such that I was a hot, single lady, taking her gay friend out for lunch.

ZOMG! Greatest Picture Ever!

Anderson Cooper AND Aasif Mandvi in a wife beater...I literally CANNOT wait for this segment to air on "The Daily Show!" Oh, I so hope it's tonight!!

Sidebar: How awesome is Larry Wilmore (aka Mr. Brown) with his ghetto bandana?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ed Helms Post of the Day

Ed Helms wrote a brief article about the Democratic and Republican Conventions for You can also read it here.
Ed Helms Offers Some Conventional Wisdom

By Ed Helms

Back in 2004 I attended both the Republican and Democratic political conventions as an award-overlooked reporter for The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. I learned a lot about survival in the political trenches, and now, with both conventions looming, it is my privilege to share this knowledge with you. The first and most important tip: Bring along a cyanide capsule with which to take your own life. It will come in handy as you invariably spiral into a vortex of anger and disillusionment with the American political process brought on by the dawning realization that nobody at either convention has anything of any value to say about anything.

However, given the soaring price of cyanide capsules, here are a few more practical tips for the average conventioneer:

First let’s look at the Republican convention. One thousand dollars for a new Brooks Brothers suit and $19,000 for handmade cowboy boots from Amarillo, Texas should help you fit right in. One mistake I made in ’04 was showing up dressed exactly like the little guy from Monopoly with a bushy white mustache, a tuxedo, and a top hat. Whereas this is obviously how all Republicans dress in private, it is conventionalWisdom_article02.jpgconsidered immodest when trying to woo the commoner vote on TV. To learn the finer points for Republican messaging, I suggest a six-month internship at Fox News Channel, drawing chocolate baths for Bill O’Reilly. Once on the convention floor, you will find most folks are friendly as long as you inject nuggets of Republican ideology, for example: "I just spoke to the Wisconsin delegates, and they were so delightful, unlike abortions." Remember, if someone asks you a question and you don’t know the answer, it’s probably either "more prisons" or "privatize" or "privatize more prisons."

Democrats are a very different breed, and you will need to make adjustments accordingly. For starters, try to arrive in a solar-powered car or a recumbent bicycle made of bamboo. Wear a hemp suit with tie-dyed boxers, a Jerry Garcia tie, and Birkenstocks. Also make sure you bring some lube so you’re prepared for the giant opening-night love-in on the convention floor. In ’04 I brought a custom dildo featuring the head of Karl Marx, and it was quite a hit. Democrats are a delightfully passive bunch, so don’t worry about taking any strong positions. Just nod and say, "That’s a great point, but we should probably hold back and look into it further." This will make you enormously popular. In a pinch, declare that you are gay and begin quoting NPR. Also—and I learned this the hard way—do not solicit Democrats to invest in your beluga whale jerky company, no matter how passionate you are about beluga whale jerky. Apparently the whales are endangered, and Democrats "care" about that sort of thing. But I still say beluga jerky is the best jerky out there.

Say what you will, but I really liked Michelle Obama's speech yesterday. I'm equally interested to see what homegirl Hillary has to say...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Toronto In Pictures (part 1): We Saw False Damaso Marte - And So Can You!

This started as one big-ass entry, but I think I better split it up. Here's part 1:

We left on Sunday to drive up to Toronto; the drive was long, and we didn't get in until about 9:30 pm. On the way, we saw the CN Tower from afar:

Once we arrived, we checked into the hotel and immediately left to find food and hit up Smoky Joe's for some delicious beers. At the restaurant was what I believe to be (unfortunately or fortunately, depending on your views) the T.G.I. Friday's of Canada, but the burger was OK. Here are the weird Canadian condiments they brought us:
They also had a drink known as the "Jackarita" which we found quite amusing as that's the EXACT same name as the drink drunk!BMG makes unsuspecting bartenders make (yes, it's Jack Daniels and margarita mix, and, yes, it's disgusting as you think). However, the restaurant had a name which included "Jack" so that was clearly just the name of their regular margarita. So sad.

Next, it was off to Smoky Joe's to watch the Olympics and drink some beers - lots of beers to choose from:
Luckily, they had a large selection of ciders and girly beers for me to drink. I had some delicious Strongbow Cider, some girly, pink, fruity beer. Literally, look at the company's marketing strategy:
Seriously, look at that bottle. That's also the beer on the even looks pink and girly. Whatever, though, it was delicious, although the bartender probably snickered at me while he was in the back, retrieving my lame beer from the massive walk-in cooler. Then, to make matters worse for myself, I ordered this cherry beer:
which, I guess, in retrospect, was slightly less lame than the beer with a picture of a girl on the front. I don't it better than ordering wine in a beer bar?

The next day, we headed out to the Toronto Zoo to see the lovely animals. Unfortunately, it was also the hottest and most humid day we had while visiting, so the day involved a lot of sweating, cursing, and drinking water. Here are some of the lovely animals we saw:
A llama:
(Yes, I know it's an one saw "Dude, Where's My Car?")


Angry CAT!!


This gorilla was especially funny, as, although you can't tell from the picture, he or she was sitting with his or her back directly to all the people standing outside the cage. Just sitting there, eating some celery, as if to say, "F all you people, I don't care if you spent $20 on a ticket to get in here, I'm not giving you the money shot." Kind of like a pissy celebrity not showing off her baby bump.



This was actually really cool, you could just walk into a fenced-in area and hang out with the kangaroos. They all kind of bounced around and leered at us as we wandered through their habitat. Good times.

After the zoo, we headed back to the hotel to get ready for our fancy dinner out at Sassafraz. Now, we had been to Sassafraz last time we were in Toronto, and had a delicious dinner and seen the Yankees there drinking, to boot.* Thus, our plan was to eat dinner, then sit at the bar and have a few more drinks while we waited for some baseball players to arrive for drinks (the Yankees were playing in Toronto Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights). Dinner was tasty, involving scallops, salad, duck, steak, wine, and creme brulee (I have no pictures of any of the food we ate on the trip, I just wanted to enjoy our lovely dinners). Once we were finished, we headed out to the bar area and sat down to watch more Olympics and stalk the Yankees.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for MD who would have had to bail me out of jail if I had seen Gardner, no one came in. We thought we saw Damaso Marte at the bar, having a vodka tonic and checking his phone for texts from "X to the N," Xavier Nady, but I don't think it was him. Sure, I'll pretend it was him if anyone should ask, just because it sounds cooler than us lamely staring at a guy who kind of looked like he could throw a baseball, but, it probably wasn't him.

Having struck out at the restaurant, we headed to the hotel in which the Yankees were staying to have a drink at the bar and perhaps leer at some players who weren't adventurous enough to leave the hotel in such a mysterious, foreign country. At first we couldn't figure out where the bar was, but we had the advantage of being dressed nicely, so the hotel staff was more than accommodating in letting us know it was on the top of the hotel, with a beautiful view of the city. As soon as we entered - success! Well, kind of. It was only Ivan Rodriguez, but still, very exciting. He looks even pissier in person, I think it's because of his Wii-style, angry, slanted eyebrows, and he isn't all that tall, however, bitch is jacked (and looks like he has some pent-up rage), so don't mess with him. Interesting anecdote, in Toronto (all of Canada?) bartenders cannot put more than one ounce of liquor into mixed beverages, which means they actually have to measure out exactly one shot of liquor into every glass before adding the mixer. Apparently, this didn't sit so well with Pudge, who, quite wisely if I may add, ordered some extra shots of vodka (gin?) on the side of his drink, to add in later. Classy.**

Just before midnight, Pudge (and friend - male friend, don't get any ideas, unless he's gay, then get some ideas) left, probably due to a midnight, Joe Girardi-enforced curfew, and we did too, having had probably more alcohol than two people who weigh less than 300 pounds combined should.

Up next, part 2, the Tuesday and Wednesday Yankees games, more Yankee-stalking, the ROM, Casa Loma, and YUL!!!!!!

*That's a story for another time, it involves Bernie Williams running away from me on the street, and, proving once and for all that I'm not a normal girl, my complete indifference to Derek Jeter.

**To be fair, BMG saw him in the bathroom a bit later and said hello, to which Pudge kindly responded, so maybe he's not such an angry guy after all.

Friday, August 22, 2008



Also, I got to see Brett Gardner play!

It was awesome! Even though he only got to play as a result of a poor pitching performance by Sidney Ponson, et al. Perhaps you shouldn't have had that extra drink on Tuesday night, Sidney? Yeah, that's right...I was watching you at the hotel bar!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Toronto - we have arrived

I have arrived in Toronto.

There was lots of beer yesterday.

The Toronto Zoo and Sassafraz (stalking Gardner and allegedly Matsui, who's back, bitches!!) tonight!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Going to go stalk The Yankees...

AbS is going on vacation starting tomorrow. I'm headed to Toronto to see some Yankees games, follow them to Sassafraz and harass them until they take a picture with me. It will happen. If I'm in the same city as Brett Gardner, you better believe I'll be looking for him.

Other scheduled excursions include; the Toronto Zoo, Casa Loma, hopefully Jamie Kennedy Wine Bar, the CN tower, Wish, possibly Cowbell, and Beer Bistro. Also, Smokey Joe's so BMG can drink chocolate orange beer.

I will try to post quickly about our various escapades, especially any involving me shadily following and taking pictures of, assorted members of The Yankees. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this picture of Ed to get you through my absence. Have a good week!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Daily Show/Colbert Report Improv Jam (in pictures)

I wanted to post this earlier, but I got caught up in the delightful "Burn Notice" marathon on USA. That show is so F-ing fantastic. Jeffrey Donovan is made of hot. And Bruce Campbell is made of awse. Anyway, here's my recap of the improv show.

Ed sees me in the audience when he comes onto stage and smiles:

An audience member gives the suggestion, "broccoli," to the performers and Ed tells a story about someone getting the nickname "Broccoli Rabe*" during the first episode of season 5 of "The Office." Then, he goes on to say that people in high school thought he looked like the Chuckie Cheese mascot (rat-tail adorable is it that Ed had a rat tail?). The group then goes on to perform a skit in which the nickname "Magic Douche" is liberally thrown around.

A few rounds later, Ed shows off his guns while flying a hot air balloon.

Later, when Rob Riggle is telling a story about working in a bag factory with a bunch of degenerates who drink at lunch, Ed looks into the audience to find me again.

Then he leans back in a relaxed fashion,

perhaps to indicate that he's open to a relationship with me!

Look at this nice, open body language - arm draped across the back of an empty chair, legs crossed towards "me" as if to say, "Iko, please come sit next to won't be sorry."

Then, a bunch of other skits happened, I was too distracted by Ed leaning back in his chair to bother to pay attention enough to remember them for you guys. You can, however, see some videos of the show here.

Here, Wyatt and Ed held hands. And it was adorable.

Then, Rob Riggle played the "Garbage Czar" and Ed played his unacknowledged son, Garbage Czar Jr.

The show never did get back to broccoli. In fact, the only time it was mentioned was by Ed at the very beginning during his monologue. But, it was OK, the show was really funny, they all worked really well together. You can see why they all work(ed) for "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." They're so quick and funny.

After the show, we wanted to go to Perilla, that would be Harold from Season 1 of "Top Chef's" restaurant. We got down to Jones Street and in the door by 10:15, but no one was sitting in the restaurant eating. Before I could be like, WTF? I saw Harold (!!!) sitting at the bar, looking kind of angry. I wanted to say hi or take a picture or something, but first we asked the host if they were still serving food. Apparently there had been some kind of incident in the kitchen, which made it impossible to make food. No wonder Harold looked so angry. Sadly, this also meant no picture with him...I mean, I didn't want to bother him while his restaurant was malfunctioning. I did give him the thumbs up and a "good job!" as I left, but later realized he may have taken that as a sarcastic, "Good job on breaking your kitchen, jackass," which I clearly didn't mean. I love you, Harold - if you read this, I'm sorry if I accidentally insulted you. I can't wait to come eat at your restaurant!

Instead of Perilla, we hit up Down the Hatch for some beers and wings and Olympic-watching. Good times. After that, it was down to Dos Caminos for a mojito, although I couldn't imbibe too much, as I had to drive our asses home. Next time. All in all, a good night. It's too bad we didn't get to see Ed and Rob wandering around the street like last year.

*Broccoli rabe is one of my favorite vegetables, maybe even my favorite (someday I'll put up my recipe for broccoli rabe, caramelized onion, and Italian sausage rigatoni). Is it a sign that Ed and I are meant to be together? I'll let you decide.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ed Week: Ed Helms Post of the Day

OK, so I'm continuing Ed Week past the end of the Del Close Marathon. I can't help it...I just found these pictures of him (and John Krasinski, also adorable) from the premiere of "Tropic Thunder." I don't know how I feel about the movie, but I think I like that Ed was at the premiere! He must be so tired...the puppet show in L.A. on Friday, TDS/TCR Improv Jam on Saturday in NYC, and the premiere back in L.A. on Monday. Ed - get some sleep! Preferably back here on the East Coast with me! Although, he looks pretty good and happy considering...