Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Internationally Nifty

I pretty much figured that the majority of my blog readers were in the United States (for the record, I'm fairly popular in California and New York... notsomuch in West Virginia and Wyoming) but I had no idea I had pretty regular followers in other countries.

Thank you to my international readers! Here are my thoughts to you, the United Colors of Benetton (okay, I just threw that in for flavor. "Flavour" if you're reading this in the United Kingdom) my readers after the United States at number one.

Germany- I like Kraftwerk. Ooh! I also watch The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, an outstanding German film, several times a year, not just at Halloween; though everyday is Halloween. Wait, that was Ministry, not Kraftwerk.

Canada- Thank you for giving us Ryan Reynolds, You Can't do that on Television and Glass Tiger. Tonight, however, I'm upset Toronto beat the Red Sox.

United Kingdom- You have flavour, as I mentioned above, and Monty Python. Ooh! And Eddie Izzard, even though he was born in Yemen.

India- I don't know if you're aware, but I'm obsessed with Bollywood films. In fact, I try to have Bollywood Sunday where I get noodles (because curry is texturally challenging for my palate) and watch something from the genre. If anybody in India can explain to me the "dancing in a towel" routine from Saawariya, I would really appreciate it.

Australia- Umm, kangaroos are neat! Oh, I also occasionally drink Fosters. Ooh! And I used to have a basketball crush on Luc Longley. And I will always love Strictly Ballroom. Boy, I know more about Australia than I thought.

Poland- Gosh, where to begin with Poland? There's just so much to talk about... I'm very glad the Black Death that affected much of Europe in the 1300s didn't really reach you guys. Also thanks to the Ottoman Empire for giving us furniture for the many places to rest our feet.

Brazil- Thank you for being located in South America fairly near Argentina where famed (and smoking hot) polo player Nacho Figueras was born. Some call him "stud on a steed" some call him the "David Beckham of Polo," I simply call him "yummy."

Netherlands- You guys are progressive, are down with women's rights and windmills are cool. I also like marzipan, though generally only at holiday time.

Finally, France- Nouvelle Vague cinema (not to be confused with a band by the same name) is a guilty pleasure. I also thank you for providing us with Chanel and Maurice Chevalier. I suffered through three years of your language in high school, and only retained enough to know that Maurice Chevalier's last name means "horse." Used in a sentence en Français: Je voudrais monter le Nacho Figueras comme si il étaient mon cheval.

Is something lost in translation?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To everything: churn, churn, churn

Exhibit A: Butter Cow 2009, by Holly

This might come as a surprise to many readers both inside and outside the Land of Zion, but I'm here to break the news that there is nowhere in the state where you can professionally churn butter. Or even amateurly churn butter. There will be no butter churning in Utah.

My Pioneer Spirit was a bit scarred to learn this news.

For the past couple of years I have attempted coercing my co-workers into joining me in churning butter because I have had a strange craving for freshly-churned cream. I'm not kidding. Maybe it was the fond fourth grade memory I had of the entire class, during a Utah Mountain Man Rendezvous learning unit, shaking up a butter jug and spreading the final result on a piece of homemade bread. This craving was further impacted by viewing the butter cow at the Utah State Fair last week.  (Incidentally, this year's butter cow featured not one, but three culturally-inclined bovine, one of which was wearing a tutu skirt. See Exhibit A above.) On a side note, I learned that the butter was re-used each year which grossed me out a little, but then a bit happy that the butter cow lives on each year in a sort of dairy resurrection.

After returning from the fair I leaned out of my cubicle to a co-worker and whispered with a very drug dealer-like tone, "Hey... wanna go churn butter today?" Thinking that there must certainly be somewhere nearby that could provide me with my fix. "What?" she said quizzically. "Butter churning, finally, today," I repeated, because what's sadder than a burning desire for churning butter? (I mean, besides falling asleep on somebody's porch in a pathetic attempt to get them to talk to you.) Churning butter alone. So I set out to make a few phone calls to find exactly where we could churn.

But churning wasn't meant to be. Much to my chagrin the usual Utah places one might think to churn butter didn't offer the activity. Not the FARM, not any historical PLACEs, not even anywhere around Temple Square. Along the Wasatch Front, there was nary a churn in sight. In fact, the only similar activity I could locate was a taffy pull at the Lion House, and even then I would have to register for a birthday party. Which would be creepy and sad, as there would be no wine at that birthday party.

It was interesting that each place offered a suggestion as to who might just churn, and were surprised to hear that I'd already called around and learned there would be no afternoon churning. I'd created a churndemic of udder disbelief (yep, I did just throw down a bad cow pun) throughout Salt Lake County.

But it's not Pioneer Spirit to give up that easily! I figured that certainly there must be some other way to churn butter! When I learned that it likely wouldn't work for me to shake up a Ziploc baggie of heavy cream, I had to take matters into my own hand(cart). I would churn! If the Donner Party could create food in this valley, I certainly could too! I went to the store and got a little half-pint of heavy cream and set out on a journey to my kitchen to fulfill my now-frenzied obsession.

Into the food processor with the heavy cream and a bit of salt, and after about 10 minutes and blowing out the motor on the circa 1980s Oskar inherited from my mom, I had brought my creation to life! It was a little runny, but I had done it! And after I strained the spooge through a coffee filter, I was finally ready to taste the fruits of my long-awaited labor! I lovingly swirled the tip of my finger around the rim of Oskar's bowl and readied myself to savor the creamy goodness. It tasted exactly like...

...butter. After throwing away the rest of the butter-filled coffee filter, I thought, "um, okay."

So that's that. I guess to redeem this whole experience, I did take some other photos at the State Fair. Here, enjoy something more satisfying than food processor butter:

Swish! by Holly

Gene Simmons, by Holly

Objects in mirror are smaller than they appear, by Holly

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get in my pants...

After realizing that I might never pay off my credit card, despite the fact the balance isn't really that high, I decided I would take the stack of designer jeans I no longer wear to various consignment stores. Maybe I watched Confessions of a Shopaholic one too many times but, yes, now you can get in my pants.

What did you think the title of this post meant? Dirty!

In case you decide to do this yourself, I would like to pass along a few helpful jeans reselling tips. First off, Plato's Closet is the last stop for the Miley Cyrus undead. The twelve-year-olds who act like "clothing buyers" wouldn't know a designer jean if it hit them in their little, flat asses. For an establishment that passes off a Shopko brand jacket as "designer" it was a slap in the face when they tried telling me that a pair of True Religion jeans wasn't "acceptable." They offered me $8 for a pair of Seven Jeans, and because I didn't want the trip to be a total waste, I actually took it. I figure the $8 pays for the gas wasted driving too far south in the valley.

Secondly, you have to sort of forgo any love and/or claim you might have toward your clothing. I took my jeans to a second consignment store where the girl DID blow a bit of sunshine up my ass by saying, "Wow, you lost weight! These jeans are way too big for you..." and I felt a twinge of sadness when she said she would accept them all and give me half of the selling price. I felt like I was giving her a little part of me, or maybe it was more like giving a pet to the pound, either way I momentarily wondered if I should just keep the jeans in the closet and hold onto the past.

Then I realized that part of the sadness was because I think my dad might've died on a pair of the jeans I was trying to sell. I didn't mention that for fear she might not agree to give me half. For the record, I know which U2 t-shirt I was wearing when that event occurred, but I can't remember which pair of jeans I had on.

Finally, know that you will never get back what you spend on clothing, or computers, or cars. You have to resign to the harsh reality that depreciation happens. If I had back all the dough I originally spent on the jeans I just gave up, I might just have a new computer, or car, or beachfront condo.

And if you really still want to get in my pants, you can pick up a pair at Fashion Addiction on 700 East. There are also some bags of mine there too. Sadly.