Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kitchenland Nightmares

I am, for the most part, completely useless in the kitchen.

Last week, I attempted a vegetarian stroganoff with tofu, and it was hideous. Disgusting, even. To be fair (to me) the recipes were ‘healthy’, which stroganoff isn’t, so much. So, what I created wasn’t really stroganoff, but it wasn’t really edible, either. Instead, it was a congealed mass of egg noodles, low fat yogurt and tofu with spices.

Again, to be fair (to me), it was the day of the flaming, intolerable tooth pain and, potentially, I suppose, could have coloured the dining experience. In any case, that recipe has been exiled to the never, ever again pile.

One area where I do tend to be proficient in the kitchen, however unlikely that might be, is baking things. I can usually turn out a decent cake or batch of cookies.

I typed a really self-righteous post glorifying my baking skills over the weekend, while I had a cake baking, and it turns out that it was slightly premature. The cake in question, a moist yellow cake, was fucking atrocious. Not due to the recipe, but the supposed baker.

Steps to baking fail:

1.Not having a mixer, stand or otherwise, of the electric variety, I had to use my body as such

2.Being lazy and not being bothered about actually spending 70 minutes creaming the butter and sugar

3.Not understanding the significance of having the rack in the right spot in the oven

4.Using the timer on the stove to time the baking properly.

The recipe called to cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then wrap it in cling film for the rest of the cooling time. Trying to wrap a still very warm and very crumbly cake is an impossible feat, as I found out. This is he area where I excelled: throwing mostly inedible cake all over the kitchen during cling film wrapping theatrics.

After giving a slice to my neighbor, the new official taster, we determined that the cake was really, really unusable and that I should, perhaps, destroy what was left of it. So I did, but with a tear in my eye, from the concrete-like shards that pierced my skin as it shattered in the bin.

This left the dilemma of needing to make another of the super moist (ha!) yellow cake for the birthday Hodge for tomorrow (now today - lazy posting).

I would like to state, for posterity, that creaming butter and sugar with a dinner fork is a wonderful way to ruin perfectly good shoulders. And fore arms. And wrists. But, it is done. I baked a perfectly edible cake that is very, very moist, though still quite crumbly - which seems unlikely, but is true none the less. And it is delicious, particularly when paired with the chocolate cake that turned out perfectly (the first time)!

However, because there certainly wasn’t enough cake failure in my recent past, I had to do a quick cover up when Hodge stopped by unexpectedly. The tea towel disguise bonded to the cake and they stuck together like glue. Only a minor disaster this time, and I’m still using the cake, cloth fibers be damned.

Beating well after each addition, AM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lofty Goals

I had a dream last night that I won an award (from the Ace of Cakes crew) for this blog.

The prize?

A book about Venezuela, signed by…me! (seriously! Also, what a random prize for my subconcious to award, well, anyone.)



Friday, January 22, 2010


She: I love, love, love the Earls in North Vancouver!

He: Yeah, that is a sexy one, isn’t it?

She: It really is, the epitome of what Earls should be.

He: All of their girls are hot.

She: They are, like, like, so hot. Much hotter than the girls downtown. OMG, check out this top!

They: looking at mesh top circa 1987, murmuring pleasure at its singular awesomeness.

She: Yup. Earls in North Van is the best.

He: It is.


He & She: bad ass septogenarians. Get on wit' your bad selves!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mouth Rape – warning…some graphic content involved:

To preface, I don’t mind going to the dentist, as such, but I loathe the lectures about proper dental hygiene from the 14 year old hygenists. They are the sole reason for my irregular visits to have my mouth checked and teeth cleaned, and by extension, my bad teeth. How’s that for the North American-style passing of the buck?

I had a dental appointment yesterday since I’d had a toothache (haha – liquid, dripping pain) the night before, brought on by a wonderful loaf of French bread and cheese. Which is pretty sad itself since I'll be associating intense pain with french bread and smoked cheese for a time, I'm sure. I told the dentist this (not about regretting that it was bread and cheese, just the facts) and he came up with:


- remove the tooth (the very last one)
- root canal with a crown and post


- remove the offending tooth

I have been a bit bewildered for the last 24 hours, solely due to the quick decision (approximately 18 seconds) I had to make regarding its status in my mouth. Upon reflection, I know that I would have removed it in any case, because it’s apparently a ‘useless’ tooth – with a cavity, and no lower tooth to keep it in place* - but I can’t help but feel a teensy bit bullied into having it out. I made the call, but trying to decide if you should keep your damaged tooth with an expectant dentist and his assistant waiting for your answer with their heads cocked and syringes of novocaine in hand is unnerving.

Is this weird? They asked if I wanted to see the x-ray. Of course, I'll finally get to see the result of wearing a lead apron. They asked if I wanted to see the tooth. I hesitated, but in the end, how could I not. Then they asked if I wanted to keep it. Uh, no, but...thanks?

Later that evening:

I was watching tv, eating room temperature tomato soup that was so not satisfying, when KB called, which began the flow of blood that would not stop. I looked like a cage fighter, bloodied mouth and all, which was pretty cool, but on the second hour of bleeding, I had some genuine concern that I would bleed to death, alone, in my apartment and no one would find me until the scent of decay alerted passerby that something was wrong…

I'm fairly alarmed about having teeth removed with no intention of having fakes put in. In my case, there would be no point, but how fucking hill-billy is that? I might have to start eating road kill and marry my brother if they find me out. Fingers crossed that those wisdom teeth will come in soon.

It’s fine now (but I managed to get mouth blood all over my cream sheets, so that’s annoying), I did come into the office today, but am planning on taking the afternoon off because all my good drugs are gone. And that is as good an excuse to watch a movie as anything, no?

* I had the lower one removed years ago from a tragic pillow fight incident.**

**haha, not really

Further cementing the notion that this just ain’t my week:

I find it impossible to peruse a grocery store in an orderly fashion. I will walk kilometres in grocery stores, even if I have a list, because that’s how I roll. Inevitably, I spend a lot more time shopping for groceries than I would like to, but, there you have it…I just can’t shop any other way.

During one of these trips earlier in the week, I managed to slip (it was more of a skid and slip) in the produce section. It was about as graceful and comedic as a slip can be, I have no broken bones and I didn’t even spill the milk or break the eggs. But, worse than that, I had a witness…gah…a witness that I see regularly. The shame, the shame!

It was so slippery, I thought I must have stepped into an oil slick or puddle of greasy water, and I was so very surprised to find that it was a spinach leaf that tripped me up. A fucking spinach leaf. I was completely undone by a speck of green on the lino.

The highlights of this unfortunate incident:

The very concerned, very masculine Olga that asked me in a deep, gravelly, breathless voice if I was ok. (I was)

The look of shock on Hodge’s face when he realised that I was not where he expected me to be, rather on the floor in a yoga-esque position, 3 paces behind him.

And the confused expression on both Hodge and Olga’s faces when they searched for the giant puddle of cooking oil that was my undoing. ‘Ummm…there’s a bit of green there…?’

Oh…remember the dream.

-remember to floss twice a day, A

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Thrill of the Zipper

The Mumbler has a business trip. He’s leaving shortly, or so he promises. I’ve heard all of his zippers being zipped, unzipped, re-zipped, ad infinitum. Every time I hear the zip on one of his many bags, I am buoyed, but am deflated again when I realise that he is still at his desk, on the phone or elsewhere inside the hallowed walls of this office. He’s only going to be gone for one day, but it will be the sweetest day in this new year of this new decade.

Tomorrow, I will be spared of his presence in the office, specifically my office (coffee mug in hand, signalling to me that he intends to be stay awhile, even as my heart sinks [and my fists ball up into impotent white stumps]).

I will be spared of his incomprehensible and utterly devoid of humour anecdotes, which only reinforce his standing as king of the asshats. He can grin until his face paralyzes and becomes gangrenous, every word-like utterance that passes his thin, lizard lips hardens my intense dislike of his mumbling ways.

I will be spared expending valuable emotional energy attempting to translate what has come out of his mouth into actual human words from the dialect of a yet-to-be discovered animal hidden deep in the wilds of Borneo.

I will also be spared his need of conversational reciprocation, which (this does not make me proud, but is an essential coping mechanism that I cling to) has descended from actual sentences to yes, no, a simple grunt or furious wag of the head.*

I will be spared the stupid questions/requests (which take approximately twenty three minutes to translate and understand what exactly it is he is after, leaving him thinking that it is, in fact, me that is the moron, when it so clearly is him and his inability to form words. With his mouth. Like normal people.) that he so generously heaps onto my desk without a second thought, because he is very busy and important being busy and important.

I will be spared of hearing his travel itinerary for the next 8 weeks in all of their ever changing glory, due to his being very busy and important. I honestly do not care wether he has a six or eight hour layover in small-town-wherever (for the squillionth itinerary change), except that it means that he will not be here, tormenting me with his incomprehensible gibberish.

I will be spared of my intentional bad behaviour. Talking with my back to someone, texting, taking personal phone calls and making white knuckled fists of rage are not things that I usually do while conversing**. However, his lack of ability to read body language is nearly as sharp as his speaking ability, forcing my hand and requiring me to be increasingly drastic in my non-verbal cues. Short of me telling him (in no uncertain terms) to Fuck Off, I don’t know what more I can do to demonstrate that I do not wish to speak to him.

I will be spared his speakerphone which he insists on using at full volume. I don’t wish to hear the following conversation tomorrow, or ever again, for that matter (despite the effort to create privacy [?] by closing his office door):

Mumbler: Klefg Mmnomi!
translation: Hi Sexy!

Wife of Mumbler: Hi Tiger, what’s going on?

M: Prrrulg mennil ckronck druulger?
translation: what are you wearing?

WoM: ::giggling:: Nothing at all. Just waiting for you to come home.

M: …***

Instead, I will depart from my home tomorrow morning, feeling refreshed and light as a feather with a skip in my step, basking in the knowledge that I will have a quiet, peaceful day. I would rather be alone, worrying about serial killers or random acts of violence than share this office with him while wondering, ‘who hired this guy?’ I will not have to keep my office door shut, pretend to be listing to my ipod or on the phone and making many, many trips out doors to get some relief. I will be able to work at my leisure without the crippling fear and loathing that he will invade my sacred space for a ‘chat’.

Yes, I will love and cherish tomorrow with all of my being. I will marry tomorrow and carry its children. Tomorrow and I will be very happy together.****

From the very depths of a hopeful hell,


*I will need to abandon the head wagging as this seems to encourage him into prolonged interaction. This flies in the face of an action which is actually very similar to a shaking of the head, as in ‘no’; as in, ‘no, don’t talk to me, king asshat’

**Erm, except as evidenced by this post.

***I confess that I don’t know how the end of these “conversations” go. I make myself pretty fucking scarce (usually wretching in the toilets) because I don’t wish to actually have to fill the prescription for anti psychotics.

**** Until Friday, when he will clumsily destroy my carefully constructed fantasy of an office space filled with clear, crisp annunciation, and non retarded type folk.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


As Rick can attest to, I heart quiz nights. They are cheese to my French bread, peanut butter to my jelly, lube to my…whatever. I only discovered them a few years ago in Australia, because we generally don’t have pub quiz nights in Canada. Canadians much prefer bingo, which I used to enjoy until a series terrifying experiences at a fundraiser put me off any bingo playing for the rest of my natural life (but what happens in the seventh circle of hell stays in the seventh circle of hell…mother fucking B13!!).

I went to a quiz night last Wednesday at, what appears to be, the only quiz night in Vancouver, British Columbia, and possibly even Canada. I’ve been attempting to get into this quiz night for a few weeks, but it’s impossible to get a table unless you:
a) put out,
b) know people that know people,
c) can give really, really good head,
d) show up approximately four hours before it starts because, natch, they don’t accept reservations.

Hodge, being a Grade A Champion, headed out verrrry early (almost boxing day shopping early…he camped out there the night before…true story) and sat by himself, quietly getting pissed in the corner and holding onto a table for our group with grit and determination usually only demonstrated by drag queens and their wigs.

Our group was small since we’d had so many false starts and hadn’t yet managed to, you know, be quizzed, so no one had the faith anymore and stayed in biting their nails, washing their hair and individually plucking out arm hairs because, obviously, that’s more fun than a night out with me. When I’m disappointed. Again.

But, our small group was solid. Me, who knows everything about anything, as long as it’s obscure and relates only to the reproductive habits of fruit flies. Hodge, who’s pretty damn clever for all his modesty, not to mention is musically sound for all those annoying music questions (as an aside, I have to say that hours of beer swilling did not improve his knowledge about, well, anything in general) and Bill Nye, the science geek, who holds no less than two masters degrees and one doctorate that are from actual and real universities, ::not:: from a college in the Caribbean.

I thought our group was pretty solid, knowledge wise. Bases covered…animal, mineral and vegetable, so to speak. Not to mention that I’d had a particularly trying day at the office and was just glad to be out, with people that I genuinely like*.

However, we very much came in last place. The first round was something to the tune of Us: 13, Everyone Else: 452. Yes, it was really that bad. And it didn’t get any better in the later rounds, in fact it got worse. The compere didn’t even read our final score because it was so unsettling to him. He didn’t think it was possible. We have undermined his faith in ::ahem:: intelligent people.

So, the only thing that we won that night was a two hundred dollar bill and a stab in the ol’ self esteem (located painfully below the right kidney).

That being said, I can't wait to get my ass handed back to me (again) this week. I've been studying up on random factoids, like, did you know that a piece of gum, when swallowed stays in your body for seven years?? Mmmhmm...And then I got distracted by this...which has been haunting me for the last two days. Why would you do that??

One of the (many) questions that unglued us:

What do kangaroos, anteaters and seahorses have in common? Answer me that smart people of the great unknown– and remember, there is no internet fact checking allowed, which leaves me a limp and quivering disaster. Apparently.

Good luck to ya,

-Anna Bananas for brains

*Right, have I got some tales for you. It has to do with a colleague of mine who I refer to as The Mumbler. He shall get his own post when I can stop rocking in the corner long enough to face the horror that is him.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Twenty Tenner...Over and Out.

Happy New Year, Internet! And happy new decade, as some jackass replied with earlier this week. Uh...right.

There’s been so much happening with me lately. The holidays were so nice…two weeks of sleeping late, drinking consistently more than my liver would like and catching up with family and friends, though maybe too much of the former and not nearly enough of the latter.

One of my distressing experiences: I broke up with KB. Because I am a bitch. And apparently, I think that Christmas is an excellent time to end a relationship, particularly when the other person is spending the holidays with your family.

I did talk with him about the break up before Christmas so that if he didn’t want to come he could make different arrangements. But come he did, and I confess that it was really nice to see him: in spite of the split, I do care very much for him and enjoy his company. We had made plans to go to San Franciso for new year, but I didn’t think that it was really appropriate for me to go, considering everything, so I flew back to Vancouver and he carried on to America.

Yeah, so that’s…fun…

Onto better things:

I went to Mt. Baker in Washington the weekend before going on holiday. It was mother fucking amazing…and that’s pretty amazing!! It’s inexpensive, it’s pretty quiet, it’s got a glacier to stare at while running small children over. What’s not to lurve??

Oh…right…this: Torrential rain on the second day. Sideways rain by the bucket. Ugh.

Injuries incurred since my (not so) triumphant return to VanCity:

Thlippery Thlope:

What: Tongue incident
When: Sunday last
Where: Mt. Seymour tubing hill, second bump from the bottom
Why: Because I was giggling (read: squealing) like a school child zipping down the hill with my mouth wide open and hit the bump, which caused me to hit my chin on the tube, which caused me to bite my tongue since it was caught in between top and bottom jaw. It’s still bloody swollen and I have been talking with a slight lisp since.

I might keep the lisp.

Mystery skin gouging:

The middle finger of my right hand, which I use all of the time to flip people off due to my bad assness, has a big divot taken out of it. I don’t know when or where it happened. All I know is the stinging, stinging sensation when I was applying moisturiser after a shower. It’s too deep to be a paper cut, but too shallow to be a knife wound. And I like to thing that I’m switched on enough to realise when I’ve been cut with a knife. Or perhaps not.

Moral: Take me out back and shoot me, I am done.

My new fucking haircut:

I’ve been watching MTV’s Jersey Shore…and I love, love, love it. Love it! This show is a total trainwreck, filled with incredibly vacuous, vacant, unfortunately hairstyled guidos spending their summer at the Jersey shore in a share house. The drama that these kids make up boggles my mind and I just can’t get enough.

That’s what’s been pulling me through the dreary days between Christmas and New Year. Hey, we all need a crutch from time to time and it was either this or illicit drug use. And, well, I can't afford illicit drugs.