Posts Tagged ‘R2’

European Aminals are just as cute

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Because dealing with the 1000+ photos from my Spain trip is overwhelming me, and because I just had to kill the hugest spider in my shower (I WAS NAKED! IT COULD HAVE CRAWLED INTO MY VAGINAAA!) with my bare hands (IT HURTED MY PALM! DID IT BITE ME AS IT DIED OR WERE ITS LEGS JUST SHARP? EITHER WAY, AAAAAUGH!), I am unable to properly blog any real part of my LA-London-Madrid-Toledo-Barcelona-Mallorca-London-LA trip. So I am going to kick off my series of Europe posts with the various animals I encountered. The series started because The Kraken (my new camera) has a pet setting, where one is to choose whether it’s a dog or a cat, and whether it’s a light-, medium-, or dark-furred thing.  Love it!

First up – the cats that look like cows!  Cowts!  They were at R2’s friend Rog’s house in a freaking charming cottage outside of London. One was named Percy and one was named something else.  They were both aggressively friendly.  To the point where when I was lying down reading – BONK!  Desperately needing a head rub, Percy bashed his head against mine purring like a dragon with laryngitis.  Ow.  They also loooved rolling around (like dogs that roll around all over the grass to scratch their backs) on my pillow, greatly exacerbating my allergies.  Fucking rascals.

At this residence was another cute creature.

THAT’S NOT AN AMINALLL!  Get out of this post, rapscallion!

Next, we arrived at our destination of Espana – lovely, lovely Espana. We didn’t encounter any animals in Madrid, our first stop.

But in Toledo, shoot.

On the windy (windy as in winding as in curving, not windy as in blustery – yeah that confused me too in the guidebook) and impossibly narrow streets of Toledo, we encountered this sad/bored pupersons.  Sad/bored also means sitting still, which was good for the photo.

We found this tiny Basement Cat in a gift shop just off the Plaza de Zocodover. When you got near him with an outstretched hand, he would immediately flip onto his back for a belly rub.  See how his tail is also wagging, doglike.  Squee.  The shopkeeper was so enamored of and distracted by his own pet that he utterly failed to talk me into purchasing Toledo purse hooks as gifts for my girlfriends.

Contrary to what was written in our guidebook, Toledo was a fucking ghost town after 9 pm.  To the point where it was kind of eerie.  And then – perfect!  A ghost dog!  I couldn’t even get a good picture of his face – that’s how ghostly he was.  I named him Casper-Marshmallow.

It was an animal field day in Barcelona, our next stop.  On the famous Ramblas, there were several pet stalls, hocking conventional wares like hamsters and boids (causing R2, a cockatiel owner, to continually emit small, delighted gasps followed by cries of  “ohhhhhh!”), although some of the bird selections got super weird, like pigeons that sadly sat in their too-small cages while wild pigeons strutted about inches away, free.


Basement Bun!  So fluffy I couldn’t stand it.  It brought back memories of Will the Wabbit, my pet in college, who loved my roommate more than he loved me and so I returned him.  (Actually, I returned him because of my heretofore undiagnosed extreme rabbit allergy.)

Also, look at this adorable Alien we found!

Mom, can we keep him?  MOoooOOOOM!  PLEEEEASE?

In the courtyard of the La Seu cathedral, we found a buncha geese. Apparently geese are too far from cockatiels to be interesting to R2 so he didn’t care, but I liked them.  They have been there for five centuries and are used as an ultra low-budg warning system against intruders.

Near  La Sagrada Familia were two awesome catches.  The first I named Big Cashew and we found him sitting near where we had a cafe solo and cafe con leche, respectively.  He was exceedingly mellow, good for photography.

Tinx likes it when dogs go gray/white in their fur from old age, so I am guessing she would have loved this puppers.

The next dog we saw from across the street.  The light had turned green so I had to get my shot in quick.  The dog was not old or mellow and was trotting hyperly towards me so this is all I got:

This one I named Cashew.  This is R2’s favorite photo.  I like it too, because it looks like I resized the photo but got the aspect ratio wrong so it’s squished, when that’s just what he looked like.  (All dogs are boys and all brown ones are named Cashew in my book.)

Gaudi, master architect genius/crazyperson, was also apparently a dog lover.  I know this because on the one facade (Nativity facade) that Gaudi worked on, I spied this:

You don’t see it?  Look closer.

Bam.  I named him Rocky-Cashew.  Oh, man, Rocky-Cashew – you got bird shit all over your face!

Up on Montjuic, we found two wild specimens.

I named them Sushi and Mochi, from left to right.  As I frantically stalked them with my camera, snapping a rapid succession of pictures, the people nearby got super interested in what I was photographing.  When they realized it was just cats, they were  a little bit angry with me for wasting their time.

Finally, in Mallorca, R2’s bird-spidey-sense tingled and he made us lunch al fresco at a restaurant that had this:

He was big!  I named him Big Bird.  When excited, he would release a eardrum-shattering SQUAWK and shift his weight from one foot to the other.  He would also show off by retrieving fallen seeds from the bottom of his cage through the grate.  R2’s boid Bootie has gout in one foot (she IS 23 years old, after all) and it’s frozen solid so she can’t pull tricks and shit like that.  So every time Big Bird did his trick we would shout “SHOW OFF!” in his direction.

In sum, I has confirmed that animals also exist on that side of the ocean, and I love them just as much.

Before I sign off, a great many thanks to Tinx and DJ Deer for their fantabulous guest posts, and Daniel for conceiving two posts without the proper gestation period.

Guest Post #1: Sauce & the SF Ballet

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

So I think Janet and R2 are in Toledo, Spain right now (I deduced this from R2’s facebook status: “Holy Toledo”).  While she has been nomming away on delicious ham and canned seafood, I have been enjoying my summer vacation since I finished my first year of law school two weeks ago!  Last time I had a vacation was spring break in March, during which I went up to SF to visit Janet for a few days.  Best spring break evar!!  R2 kept taking us out to dinner and drinks and awesome times and we got a tour of Lucasfilm and we went to the Exploratorium and what can beat all that?!?!1!  Maybe I should have been studying.  Oh well.

Anyway… during that trip we went to Sauce(!) before seeing The Little Mermaid at the SF Ballet.  I was hyped up for this meal since Janet kept talking it up and I looked it up on my handy Yelp! iPhone app and it got good reviews (currently 3.5 stars).  And let me tell you, it did not disappoint!  I guess the food genre is re-imagined American classics–oh so clever–but it really was quite delicious.  When we sat down, R2 promptly said “I like girly drinks, any suggestions?” to the waiter, who half-giggled and suggested the pink lemonade: muddled lemon, cranberry, and Ketel citroen. I had the Elderflower Kiss: St. Germain, Belvedere, and Prosecco! Yum!!  We promptly got drunk from these delightful libations, which might explain how much we ate.

We started off with a few of their “social plates:”  scallops wrapped in bacon on a bed of Brussels sprouts with balsamic bacon tomato sauce (pictured top); portobello mushroom fries with fat boy ranch dipping sauce; and the daily slider, which that day was a ham and cheese slider.

I swear I’m not a pile of turds!

Oh.Em.Gee.  The portobello fries.  Holy craptastic happiness in my mouth.  If you look at the picture, they don’t look like anything special–in fact, they kind of look like someone who ate corn just took a dump.  But they were so much more than a good poo.  They had this crispy, herbacious breading that somehow managed to be airy and substantial at the same time.  Portobellos are meaty by nature, but these were juicy and toothsome and the perfect contrast to the crispy coating.  However, the scene-stealer was the RANCH!  I know, right??  I am a believer in Hidden Valley Ranch.  Only two house-made ranches have ever beaten its flavor for me: Hole in the Wall in Santa Monica because they put dill in their ranch and I adore dill; and THIS ONE!!  Oh man.  It was so good that when they took the empty plate after we devoured the fries I think I squeaked out “Wait!!” and grabbed the ranch to put it on the sliders.  And everything else.

Tiny breadnom, huge tub o’ butter.

Oh yeah, sliders and scallops.  Forgot about those.  The scallops were awesome, duh.  They had bacon around them.  And the sliders were also good, with thick-sliced ham, melty cheddar, and mustard on the rolls they gave us at the beginning.  Oh wait!  I forgot to mention the breadnom too!  Cute little round-topped rolls that were so promising, but sadly were cold and thus no fun on their own.  Good as a slider though.

Perfectly burninated.

On to the entrees!  Janet had the baked mac & cheese: David’s old world ham and ham hock, Tillamook cheddar and four cheese cream sauce, served with green beans and bacon. Bacon seems to have been a theme to this dinner.  No wonder everything was so tasty.  I only had a few bites as I tend to have adverse reactions to creamy mac n’ cheese (sad times for me, since cheese is like my favorite food ever) and I didn’t want to be in the bathroom during the ballet.  But the bites I did have were quite delightful, though nothing super memorable.

I only had one bite of R2’s meal: cornmeal crusted Hawaiian butterfish with cauliflower and whipped potato puree, brussels sprouts leaves, and caramelized red onion salad. My bite was of the cauliflower puree, and it was gooood.  I love anything mixed with potatoes.  I didn’t try the butterfish, both because Janet ate most of it and I play favorites– Roy’s misoyaki butterfish will always have a special place in my heart.

My entree was the braised boneless beef short rib “pot roast” with roasted rainbow carrots, yukon gold potatoes, shallot & garlic, finished with fresh herbs, peeled baby roma tomatoes, and pan demi gloss gravy. Pretty fancy description for what was basically a large hunk of short rib on a pile of veggies.  Nonetheless, it was pretty awesome, though I prefer my short ribs melty and not quite as stringy.


Besides the mushroom fries, though, the highlight of the meal was dessert.  I am a dessert fiend, so of course I went ahead and ordered the Sauce sampler: PB&J cake, cinnamon sugar donuts, strawberries, and cream, and ice cream smash. I never realized how delicious PB&J can be when it’s sandwiched between vanilla pound cake and ice cream.  Also, the donuts!  Light, airy, melt-in-your-mouth, with the most amazing vanilla bourbon dipping sauce. Even after 3 appetizers, 3 entrees, and Janet’s aversion to dessert, we still decimated the plate.  High fives all around.  Good job, Sauce, you were awesome.

So then we walked 4 blocks (I think) in the bitter-freezing-icy-cold wind to the Opera House, just in time for the Little Mermaid: CREEPIEST BALLET EVER.   It was originally commissioned by the Royal Danish Ballet to be performed for the Queen in celebration of Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday.  If I were the queen, I would be like “What the fuck Hans Christian Andersen?  Why did you write such fucked-up stories?”  In the real fairy tale, the Little Mermaid doesn’t get the guy–instead, he marries someone else, and at the end she turns into “airy mist” and will eventually get to heaven.  So, she learns that unrequited love sucks, and she’s basically stuck in purgatory watching her prince be happy with someone else.  Awesome story, dude.

I’m sure you can imagine how horribly tragic that would be if performed in pretty tutus like a classic ballet, but then throw in a modern composer and choreographer and you get this:

I’m pasty white because I live in the ocean.

Scary Asian ballerina who does freaky arm movements and flaps around in her large pillowcases/pants/”fins.”  The music was also creeptastic–very eerie and clashy, with only a few major chords to ease the tension.  I mean, yeah, I enjoyed the dancing because it was artistic and cool, but this probably wasn’t the best ballet to pop my profesh ballet cherry.  There were only a few moments of pretty pointe shoes, and the rest was angry jumping and spasming.  Sighs.  Next time, we’re seeing something classic like Swan Lake.

131 Gough St.
San Francisco, CA 94102




SF Ballet
Tickets available at





McDonald’s Mac Wrap

Monday, April 19th, 2010

As long as we’re on the subject of disgusting fast food, here’s a snack-sized post for the new McDonald’s Mac Wrap.  I’ve long been a fan of their chicken snack wrap.  Don’t get me wrong – the reason I like the chicken snack wraps is not because they are [relatively] healthy; I get them as a backup second “entree” when I worry that my two cheeseburger value meal  isn’t enough food but McNubs sound too effortful (with the sauce and dipping and whatnot).

In this instance, I got a Filet-o-Fish (because it was Friday!  Alliteration!) and fries (more!) and sat down excitedly with Daniel, who was visiting.  I looked down, however, and saw this:

Why was it wrapped in a sausage McGriddle wrapper?  No matter.  I tore it open and was psyched when I got a gander at the shredded iceberg; common denominators to both the beloved Big Mac and Snack Wrap.

But.  Wait.  The Mac Wrap in my head was supposed to be a beef version of a snack wrap.  It is not a beef version of a snack wrap.  It’s like a shitty version of a Big Mac stuck in a tortilla.  I mean, the thing could NOT have been more phoned in.  Literally it’s just a hamburger patty cut in half, which made me sad.  I wanted a mini-fied and oblong (and to mix metaphors) hash-brown-shaped patty peeking out at me (in my fantasies, with edible googly eyes – hey that’s a good idea make it and market it!) like a swaddled infant so I could say “Imma eatchoo bebeh” and nom it like a monster.

I nommed it like a monster anyway.  And…I must admit it was great.  A tiny Big Mac punch!  When prompted to offer his thoughts, Daniel said “Ummm just that it is perfect for when you want the Big Mac taste without feeling like you should kill yourself after?”  Well said, my friend.

And well-played, my McDonald’s.  In the end, I must admit that the Mac Wrap is exactly what McDonald’s wanted it to be.

My favorite hatchday meal

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

So.  I did it.  I turned the big THREE OH NO!  My celebration / lamentation, all told, was quite an extravaganza, taking place in three different cities, with food running the gamut from Costco Take-n-Bake ‘zas to nomalicious tacos to Michelin star dining that could only be described as “transcendent.”

My favorite meal of all, however, was the concoction above, cooked for me bashfully by R2.  There was actually like a two-week lead-up of “please don’t judge my cooking it’s awful” which intensified in the days and then hours before the actual meal.

I think this is what R2 cooks for himself when it’s just him.  We all have those kinds of meals.  For example, right now I roasted some cabbage with butter, and am only eating the burninated parts.  That’s it.  That’s my dinner.  Totally weird but totally delish.

Much like the concoction.  I think it’s different every time he makes it, but this time it was spinach, beef franks, yellow onion, green onion, red onion (stoplight!), several different kinds of hot sauces, topped with a sunny-side-up egg (and gigantor “30” candles) laid over toast, finished with a side of bacon.

Gosh it was good, and I’m not saying that because I know he will read this post (hi).  It’s just totally indulgent.  The yolk runs everywhere once you poke it with your fork, making it this glisteny, creamy, salty mess that then you must follow up with the crunch crunch of bacon.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Thank you to R2 and everyone else who made my hatchday special.  I <3 you guys.

Equilibrium: Five Senses

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

You know it’s been a while since you’ve posted when your spam comments get into the triple digits.  I am liking this new brand of spam comment where they leave a joke, though.  For example, “Nice joke! What is the biggest ant? An elephant.”  That was from a site selling Viagra.

Annnnyway, making new friends is easy.  It’s that post-“OK I met you and we’ve exchanged last names so that the other is findable on FB” actual leap to really hanging out again that’s the difficult part.  You may remember I met two randoms at the icanhascheezburger book launch and we immediately friended each other on the ol’ bookface.  I assumed I would never see them again but the one of them that lived in SF, Choco, promptly invited me to twenty thousand things he was doing.  The first of which was Equilibrium – some sort of hipster/nerdy nighttime event; this one themed “Five Senses.”

The thing that piqued my interest in the description (besides the “take it all in!” tagline) was the miracle fruit tasting station.  Miracle fruit is some sort of miracle fruit that you eat and makes everything sour thereafter taste sweet.  Limes, particularly, are supposed to taste extraordinarily yummy, and I’ve heard of people getting intense indigestion from all the acid that they ingest after doing miracle fruit.  The Equilibrium description was chock-full of hyperbolic statements such as “Oranges (already quite sweet) taste like they were imported from an Alien world or plucked straight from the Garden of Eden.”

Other things included talks on chocolate and technology from the TCHO guys, a talk on synesthesia, a talk on the neuroscience of vision, and music.  And drinks.

I arrived to the space (Langton Labs) with R2 and U2 in tow, paid the $10 suggested donation, and found Choco easily even though the place was entirely too squished.  How many nerds could there be in this city?  Jesus.  Hipster-nerds tend to be very thin and pointy too – not cozy at all in a packed-crowd situation. The lecture going on was about vision and I felt very hip with my legit Vision Sciences Society Conference bag that I inherited from James.  I nonchalantly yet conspicuously held it out in front of me but no one noticed.  I then downed a drink and piled five-deep onto a chair meant for one and participated in a demo on seeing smells.  I think this was meant to accompany the lecture on synesthesia, which is a very cool concept (upon which I shall expand below, so no need to click on the link).  It was basically a rotating cone of light (think what it looks like when you hit light speed in Star Wars) with tendrils of incense smoke curling through.  You could follow the path of the smoke with your eyes and your nose, much like a moth perceives the world.  Groooovy.

Then, upstairs to the miracle fruit station, which was completely picked over (see top).  Cry.  I actually have my own miracle fruit packets at home – a surprise gift courtesy of a colleague in New York – so I wasn’t crushed, but I did think, “Damnitall, now I have to turn the boring, sciencey, non-food-related parts of this night into a MTFB post somehow.”

Also upstairs was a bathroom with waaaay too many toothbrushes in it.  What the hell?

We took seats in a nice, cushioney lofted area (see middle pic) and settled in to hear the synesthesia lecture.  Synesthesia is fascinating; defined as – whoops, I’m sorry.  I have to interrupt my explanation to have an epileptic seizure, because that’s what happened to this poor girl in the middle of the talk.  We were upstairs and could only hear it happening, but the part that shattered my heart was hearing her try to say “I’m sorry” as she convulsed.  It scared a lot of people, but not Choco, who was blasted and was off to the side saying things to himself like “the ground is like the most unusual kind of boat!”

An ambulance was called and the woman was safely taken to the hospital.  The lecture resumed.  Synesthesia means a fusing of the senses.  People who have synesthesia can taste words, see sounds as colors, and other trippy things all day that us mortals have to use drugs to experience. Sometimes numbers and letters have personalities, and in one particularly awesome example, some synesthetes can taste celebrities.   Christopher Walken?  Ham with chocolate.  Kevin Bacon?  Ironically, not bacon!  Instead, tomato sauce!  Bizarre, but supercool.

Not all of us thought so.  Some were itching to leave, so we did.  On the way out, U2 ungraciously but quite hilariously yelled “THAT WAS THE MOST BORING THING I’VE EVER DONE AT NIGHT!”