Saturday, October 29, 2011

If you have fun this Halloween, you're doing it wrong.

Per WBAL, here's some costume and candy tips for keeping safe this Halloween:

  • To further limit fire danger from candles and jack-o'-lanterns, avoid costumes made with flimsy materials and outfits with big, baggy sleeves or billowing skirts.
  • When trick-or-treaters are going out at night, the worst thing is a mask that restricts their vision, the CPSC says. Parents should consider widening the eye holes on masks or use face paint instead.
  • Lastly, when it comes to swords, knives and similar costume accessories chose ones that are flexible and made of a soft material, not rigid or sharp.
  • Tell children to watch the candy being dropped in their bag and to try to remember who gave them what. Or children can take the candy themselves, helping them to better remember who gave them a certain treat.
  • One Michigan woman is putting address labels on candy so that parents know which neighbor the candy came from.
  • Watch for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages.

Also consider:
  • To completely avoid any loose costume material catching fire or snagging on fences, dip your child in a tub of latex paint and let them go as a naked hotdog
  • Before letting your infant crawl to the neighbor's house across the street, purchase and apply tiny kneepads 
  • Have children ask to see adults take a bite of the candy they're handing out to be sure it is not poisoned
  • To prevent falls on your property, load candy into shotgun and shoot it at children as they walk by on the public sidewalk
  • While driving on Halloween night, be mindful of excited trick-or-treaters darting out into the road.  Keep your headlights turned off so as not to distract children while crossing the street.  If possible, drive extremely fast to your destination to decrease your time on the road and your chance of hitting someone
  • Discard of homemade trick-or-treat goodies immediately.  Also do not accept candy from white men in vans, people in sweatpants, old men named Herbert, gingers, African Americans, Hispanics, Chuck Testa, or anyone with a carved pumpkin on their front porch.
  • Do not trust your child to stay in well-lit areas, or to be capable of holding on to a flashlight.  Have your child swallow radioactive material so they will glow wherever they go.
  • The easiest way to stay safe on Halloween is to take all Halloween activities out of the equation.  Lock yourself in your house with a bowl of applesauce and watch re-runs of Storage Wars.

Almost naked hot dogs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Ways to Die at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Walk across this moving bridge when it moves a little too much.

Explore the dark bat cave on a cold rainy day when there's no one at the zoo to hear you screaming if an ax murderer is hiding behind a corner.

Suffocation by giant nutsack bird's nest.

Fatal case of goat herpes, or bleed out by bitten off tongue


Thursday, October 13, 2011

FoodTruck The Gathering

Joe and I have a semi-secret dream to someday run a food truck.  We'll sell portable pizza and pies and call it the Pie-By (let the timestamp show I posted this 10/13/11 so that I can sue some assbag if he tries to steal it) and it will be awesome.  Everyone'll want a pizza the action (see what I did there?)!  Until we hit the lottery though, or some rich family member we've never met dies and leaves us a fortune, we'll be frequenting others' food trucks and taking critical notes as food truck hopefuls. 

We went to The Gathering, Baltimore's monthly food truck rally, last week for the second time.  My main motivation in going was to try some chocolate covered bacon (aka Heaven?) from The Gypsy Queen Cafe.  While I was standing in line I was imagining the raving review I was going to write about my slice of Heaven and the Crab Cone that I had previously been skeptical of.  I was going to have Joe take suggestive photos of me sucking the tip of the cone dry and everything because it was going to be that good.  I rehearsed my order in my head God knows how many times because I didn't want a stutter or a slur or a volume issue to delay my face stuffing by even one second. 

When I finally reached the line and ordered and got my total, I died a little inside.  Something like $28 to feed just Joe and I, not including drinks.  But they had the goods and I needed a fix so I didn't hesitate to hand over my debit card.  Then Baldy McGypsyDude tells me in his best asshole voice "Uh. We're cash only tonight".  What the fuck?  Who uses cash anymore??  Ok, I realize that like 1% of the population does visit the bank still, so I had confirmed with the merchandise tent lady BEFORE getting in line to make sure they were taking cards, on the off chance that the Holders of the Bacon were catering to the 1%.  Who knew Frizzy McGypsyBitch would lie to a customer, or that Team McGypsyDicks would not communicate this fact amongst each other and/or then put up a goddam sign on their truck to spare folks like me from standing in a long line just for the biggest let down of their Friday?

I ended up not getting anything because of their colossal douchiness.  I'm disappointed though.  And I'll probably give them another shot at some point, because aside from this Cash Only crap, they're doing a lot of things right.  So with their inspiration, here's how I plan to run a successful food truck.

1.  Have an awesome name.  When Joe and I went to our first Gathering a few months ago we got these bombin Turkish tacos from... some truck.  I don't know if the name wasn't memorable or if the truck wasn't labeled correctly, but they could take a lesson from the clever-named, more identifiable trucks, like Gypsy Queen, Iced Gems, and Souper Freak.

Something falafel, something gyro-ish, and something chicken from the something truck

2.  Be recognizable.  A quick google search led me to the name of the taco truck - Cazbar!  Not a bad name, not sure why I didn't remember it.  But I did remember its big bright redness and knew it immediately when I saw it on the search.  Good save, Cazbar!  Also at the top of this list, along with the Gypsy Queen, is Flippin' Pizza.

3.  Provide variety.  If you wanna roll with the big trucks, you can't just have chocolate and vanilla soft serve, or cheese and pepperoni pizza (sorry whatever ice cream truck was there and Flippin Pizza).  Gypsy Queen wins hands down on this one with their menu of tacos, burgers, seafood things and desserts.  Or if you're going to focus on one type of food (such as cupcakes or soup or grilled cheese), then figure out a way to make it different than the boring shit I'm going to make in my own kitchen.  Perfect example: GrrChe offers a grilled cheese sandwich with mac&cheese and pulled pork.  Yeah.  (However, GrrChe clearly skipped rule #1).

Burger cupcake from Iced Gems!

4.  Provide quality.  I hate to dish on Flippin Pizza again, but we got Violet a slice of their pizza and it tasted like soggy day old Dominos at best.  I know I'm eating food from a truck, but I don't want it to taste like that, you know?  I want to feel like I'm eating food with Tom Colicchio, not Andrew Zimmern.  And let's face it, I could easily be fooled into thinking your food is top quality if you just throw some frou-frou ingredients on it, like lobster and truffle oil and watercress.  Mmm, that sounds like rich person food, I'll have some!

I'm high on cupcake!

5.  Make food that people want.  The food truck version of Put A Bird On It is Put Some Bacon In It.  The most successful trucks I saw had bacon on their menu, because people can't get enough of its greasy salty disgusting deliciousness for some reason.  So give the people what they want!  Consider a truck called BACON, painted like a slice of bacon, serving different variations of bacon-wrapped bacon.  Also, this is Baltimore, so incorporate crabcakes and Berger cookies and you've got yourself a food truck.  Honorable mention to Creperie Breizh with the Nutella.

6.  Make your menu visible.  If you are a food truck on the side of the road and your name or decor haven't made it clear what you are trying to put in me, and if your menu was printed on a 8.5"x11" paper from a bubblejet, I will not patronize you.  So fix that.  Big ups to Iced Gems on this one for their dry erase magnetic strips stuck on the side of their van!

7.  Take advantage of social networking.  Seriously.  Except don't expect me to "Like" you because I've already had to hide all the other trucks I like to avoid going broke or (re-)getting fat when they pop up in my newsfeed and tempt me to meet them at their current location in Baltimore City.

I told him "Look hungry" and this is what he gives me?

8.  Don't be a dick.  Ok, obviously I'm just a little sour still about not getting my crab cone.  Gypsy Queen is lucky they're doing so many other things right so at some point I'll get over myself and hand over my $12.  Had a less successful truck left me hanging, they'd be done to me.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Future scared white woman

Whenever I turn the vacuum on, Leela starts yelling and screaming because she's scared of the loud sound.  But then she crawls toward it as fast as she can to see what the sound is. 

It reminds me of the opening scene of every thriller/horror movie where the young, vulnerable, pretty white lady is home alone at night and she hears a noise in the next room of her giant house, and rather than calling the cops or getting the hell out of there, she walks toward the sound with her wooden spatula as a weapon, and everyone in the audience is screaming NO YOU DUMB WOMAN, TURN AROUND!

I hope Leela gets some sense to her before she can run.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's another man in my life

His name is John John. 

He's Violet's imaginary friend.

And he fucking creeps me out.

Our first introduction to "him" was in July, right after Joe and I had watched a scary movie in the past week, and Violet's all pointing to the doorway in our bedroom and talking to it like they used to be best friends but haven't seen each other in a while.  WTF.  Anyway, so then a few weeks later, he's in our living room by a doorway again.  She's telling me where he is and then walking over to him and handing him stuff.  They even played flashcards!  Which is cool with me if this weirdo ghost guy wants to keep Violet up on her letter sounds (though he seemed to kinda suck, because she kept saying "What's dis?.... noooooooo!"  It's obviously a Q idiot.  Anyway.)  For a while she was seeing him everywhere, and even though he's not real I felt violated.  Why is this imaginary MAN in my house alone with me and my two daughters, playing with one of them?  And not helping clean some dishes or something at least?

She forgot about him for a while, or maybe he was out of town, I dunno.  But then he came back, and now his name is John John!  (Oh, maybe he was an illegal immigrant and he was away trying to get his papers in order?)  The weird thing is, Violet has NEVER named anything.  Any time I ask her "What's its name?" she repeats back to me "What's its name?!" with her little over-inflected voice.  The closest she's come is when I was "helping" her name her My Little Ponies the other day, and I named one Purple Nurple and she changed it to Purple Durple (one of them is also named Dave - for some reason that makes me laugh).  So on one hand, that's kinda cool that she maybe has hit some Gives Play Objects Names milestone by giving this "him" a real human name.  But on the other hand, what if he gave himself that name?  And just now told her because he was tired of hearing me ask what his name is all the time?  All the what-ifs that come with this John John fella are just too much for me (What if he's sitting on my lap and laughing while I poop?!  Because that's what I'd do if I was a ghost.)

So, I dunno.  This guy needs to get out or start contributing to the bills.  I don't think he eats anything, except maybe souls, but he's probably walking around turning lights on and off all the time when we're sleeping, so ghost better gimme my money!
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