Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vintage is In

Hungry? Craving a snack? How about a nice meat sandwich made with 27-year old vintage meat? Yes, I said years, not days or weeks or even months. The Swedish government has sold 27-year old meat to the rest of the world, mostly to Poland. I’m not quite sure if this is their attempt at trying to give the rest of the world food poisoning so they can take over the world, or if it’s just the Swedish way of saying “Hey, you seem nice, have some rotten meat!”

Luckily, the Swedish government was only allowed to sell the meat as people food outside of the European Union. Because clearly it’s okay for people outside of the EU to eat three decades old meat. Inside the EU it was supposed to be used as animal food. Probably the Swedish government also thinks road kill bolognese is a real meal somewhere.

The Poles sent this meat to be used in schools, bars and catering companies. Until someone took a look at it and realized that it actually looked a little like someone had already eaten it once and it had taken a not so nice ride through someone’s digestive system.

Apparently the meat was found in various stages of decomposition. No shit? 27-year old meat is decomposing? I can’t even make meat last a week in my fridge. I wouldn’t want to know how many preservatives have been pumped into this meat to make it reach the tender age of dinosaur without growing legs and walking away.

I don’t know what the policy regarding rotten meat is in your country, but where I live we usually just throw it out. My best guess is that in Sweden rotten meat is a delicacy of epic proportions. They probably age the meat to perfection, leaving the meat in cans for decades to let it achieve the perfect level of decomposition before they consume it. I’ve taken the liberty to make a little reference list so you can rot your meat the same way the Swedes do:

1-2 years past expiry date: This meat is still edible according to most people’s standards. Swedes won’t enjoy this at all. Leave to rot.

2-5 years past expiry date: This is better. When tasting, look for nuances of spoiled fat and stale preservatives. Swedes love this.

5-10 years past expiry date: This is when the decay really sets in. At this point Swedes look for a funny color to the meat and a smell resembling a mix of dirty socks and blue cheese. Connoisseurs will be satisfied with meat of this vintage, but if older meat is available, they will inevitably go for that.

10-15 years past expiry date: At this point Swedes will sigh in satisfaction as they take in the smell of prime decomposition. Most of the day-to-day meats will reach their prime during the 12th year of rot and should be eaten at this stage.

15-20 years past expiry date: If you can find a can of this vintage, you are in luck! As finer meats near the 20-year mark, they will achieve an entirely new level of decay. The color will resemble the rainbow, heavy on the green. The smell has lessened, and you won’t in fact smell anything at all until you add a drop of water and stir with a special device used solely for this purpose. It’s called a “sked”. Google it. This is a real treat to Swedes and if you serve a Swede meat of this age, you will have made a friend for a long time to come.

20-25 years past expiry date: A delicacy only available to the greatest and most determined connoisseurs. Leaving meat to decompose for this long requires hard work and excellent restraint as the meat releases irresistible fumes during the entire process.

25-30 years past expiry date: The meat the Swedish government sold to Poland was 27 years old and a true rarity. It had most likely reached a state of putrefaction seldom seen outside of certain meat fetish circles. It’s not known why the Swedish government willingly is selling this meat, but we can only assume the country has suffered a constitutional crisis and will be reborn as a dictatorship any day now.

30 years and more past expiry date: Meat this old cannot be eaten anymore. It is believed that a delicacy of these proportions would leave the digester in a permanent state of bliss due to the severe case of profound happiness they would achieve. I don’t recommend you try this since you will never be satisfied with normal, non-rotten meat after you try it.

I hope this reference list serves you well and that you succeed with the decaying. I know you’ll get many interesting and wonderful culinary experiences while on this decomposition voyage, but I also know you won’t be sorry. An entire country full of Swedes can’t be wrong… Can they? *

Saturday, September 19, 2009

How About a Nice Punch in the Face?

My boyfriend is an idiot. Today he willingly ran a half marathon. That's not a real marathon, but pretty freaking close. Well technically it's half the distance of a real marathon, but since a real marathon is, oh about a million miles long, I think a half marathon qualifies to make him an idiot. There was no gun pointed at his head, no money being offered, no cute African children to save. Nothing. He ran "just because it's fun." I tried telling him that going to the movies is fun, petting a puppy is fun, reading a good book is fun. Hell, even punching yourself in the face is fun compared to running a half marathon. In fact, the next time he's thinking about running for the sake of running, I'm going to suggest he punch himself in the face a couple times to see if that would satisfy his need to torture himself.

The weirdest thing is that he came home and was all happy. "Hey honey, I'm home! I just ran until I couldn't breathe and my legs fell off, but oh I feel sooo good now! Lemme just crawl over to you and I'll give you a nice sweaty kiss." Also, he wasn't the only one doing it. There were a ton of people there, all just as eager to cripple themselves as effectively as possible and compete about who vomits first. The guy with the bald spot won.

This is his own fascinating narrative of the run: "First there was the starting shot, then I ran, and then I ran some more and there were cows and then I ran and then I finished." That's awesome, Forrest. Personally I think he left out the part where he couldn't feel his feet anymore and he went into cardiac arrest, but I guess those are minor details.

And you know what? He's done it before! Twice! And he still did it again. You'd think after doing it once you'd be satisfied in knowing that you can do it. You'd know that you're the man and if for some reason all cars stopped working, all public transport ceased to exist and there were no more camels to ride on, you'd still be able to get to work on time. But to then go and do it again? Yeah.

M, I love you, but you're an idiot. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Will Wait

Did you know the latest spam craze is colon cleansing? I didn’t either until I ventured into my spam folder today. See, I’ve noticed lately that the jerks sending out spam are becoming increasingly creative. It used to be you’d know instantly when something was spam and you didn’t even feel slightly tempted to open up it up. Subject lines like “Enlarge your penis!” come to mind. Firstly, I don’t have a penis, so with a subject line like this, you’re immediately alienating 50% of readers. I’m sad to say that the other 50% are actually very likely to open up emails like this. I wish those people would realize that by sucking/pumping more volume into their manly parts, they have to take that volume from somewhere and that somewhere will always and forever be their brains.

Another one is the ever faithful “Medication you need” subject line. This is particularly disturbing because it implies that 99% of people need medication of some sort. Mostly they offer little pills to make you look skinny and feel good about yourself. I’m not sure if you’re supposed to actually take the pills or just throw them at really skinny people. That would certainly make me feel better about myself.

And here’s a favourite of mine: “Fuck her like a stud.” Nothing good could ever come out of that one. Ever. I’m just saying.

Most of these spam emails are sent from an account owned by a person with a Spanish name. Mostly when I see that Pablo or Manuel has sent me an email, I just delete it right away. Now, this is easy cause I live in a place where people named Manuel would stand out. But tell me it wouldn’t suck to live in Spain or Mexico? You’d never know if all those enlarge-your-penis emails were spam or if your friends were trying to tell you something.

But this was good old spam, with good old subject lines. They were straight to the point and targeted a specific audience, mostly impotent men and gullible women. I like to think I’m neither of those, so I was safe. Until now. I’ve been receiving a new form of spam and I hate to admit this, but they’re good…

I got a spam the other day with the subject line “I will wait.” And I have to say, this made me curious. You will wait for what? The apocalypse? A little blue pill to help you with that erectile dysfunction? The bus? The possibilities were endless.

The email was sent by Ron Acevedo, and frankly, I was just dying to know what Ron would wait for. I went against every unwritten rule there is and opened the email. Turns out Ron was lying and he was in fact a she. A she named Anna. Anna was from Russia and clearly in love with me. She was searching for the love of her life and realized that I might be a little surprised to hear from her like this (which I totally was since I hadn’t planned on indulging in a Russian mail order bride until after I had finished university), but she was looking for “a dating in Internet”. Personally I can’t find the “dating” in “Internet”, but I can find “Inter” and “net”, so I’m assuming the “dating” is hiding somewhere between them.

Anna clearly felt we shared a connection and gave me her personal email address so I could contact her if I felt like it. This made me feel incredibly honoured, it’s not easy to trust over the Internet, with or without dating, and here she was, giving me her personal email address. She had also attached a picture of herself, but at that point I had fallen in love with Anna and couldn’t bear to destroy that connection by looking at my bride before the wedding, so I didn’t open the picture.

Sadly, while answering Anna on her personal email, tragedy struck. I accidentally deleted her email address, I also deleted the email she sent me via Ron, and even managed to empty the trash folder permanently before realizing what I had done. Needless to say, I was devastated.

Anna, if you’re out there, please contact me again. I will wait. *

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Important Stuff Coming Right Up!

This week I’ve been really good with my exercise. On Monday I went spinning, on Tuesday I went to the gym for a light workout and yesterday I went to the gym again with my sister for a slightly less light workout. I did the thigh thing and the butt thing and the abs thing and lots of other things. It didn’t really feel that bad, but then this morning I woke up and did the screaming in agony thing. My muscles are killing me. I think they’re trying to escape my body, but someone put evil skin all around them and now they can’t get out.

I spent the entire day at work trying to ignore my screaming muscles. Oh, and working, of course. Not like I would ever spend the entire day just surfing the internet. Nope, not me.

After work I mooched dinner at my parent’s place and then set about ignoring my homework. First I volunteered to do Muschu’s homework. When she said she didn’t need any help, I tried to get her to come to the gym with me again – I thought maybe more exercise would get my muscles to shut up so it seemed like a good idea at the time. When she didn’t want to do that either, I tried to get Zelma to come out for a walk with me, but she was busy doing important stuff. This made me feel a little depressed cause I didn’t have any important stuff that needed doing. (Except my horribly slightly overdue Bachelor’s thesis, but I usually file that under torture, not important stuff.)

Anyway, since M was doing the karate thing tonight I finally just gave up and did laundry instead. It was a thrilling night. I’m off to bed now. You know why? Because tomorrow I have some real honest-to-god important stuff to do. Yay! *

Monday, September 7, 2009

China in My Heart

Frankly, I’m a little disappointed. I thought I’d be independently wealthy by now, but I guess my brain didn’t quite do it. Next time I'm selling my kidney.

M and I went on a road trip this weekend. We got up on Sunday and spun one of those old globe thingies to choose our destination for the day. It said China. Thinking China was a little bit of a stretch for a one-day road trip, we went to Google Maps instead and did a very boring time/distance estimation. We decided on a tiny coastal town some 90 miles to the east. Not exactly China, but close enough.

The trip there was uneventful; we stopped by another town, checked out the place where M did his military service and such. Then we got to our destination and found a harbor. Sadly, what we wanted to find was a beach. After some driving around, we found this:

And on the other side of the beach, a hugely ugly factory. These pictures are taken with my phone, so you can’t really see how beautiful the beach is and how ugly that factory is, but use your imagination.

At this point of the trip we were starving and needed to find food ASAP or we might wither away and die. We drove past small streets that looked abandoned by all of mankind and at last found a big residential area. We drove around in big circles, but soon realized that either the people in this town never ate, or we were just too stupid to find the main street. Eventually we did find the main street. It looked like this:

Did you notice the complete lack of people? Yeah, so did we. How about the fact that it looks more like a dirty alley than a main street with restaurants and whatnot? Yeah, we noticed that too. How about the fact that the photographer is apparently useless and you can see more of her shadow than you can of the street? Yeah, my bad, sorry about that.

We also saw the Loch Ness monster. To tell you the truth, I expected it to be scarier.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s the front end of a plane nailed to a huge pole in the middle of the woods. And a lot more scary than the Loch Ness monster.

On the way back, M let me drive his car. My own car is called Steve. It’s big and blue and not entirely unlike a tank. It runs more like a ship than a car and weighs roughly as much as Mount Everest. It takes one minute to reach 60mph and when you’re turning the wheel you actually have to grab it properly and use every bit of strength you have. Once I was rear-ended at a red light and the car that hit me was leaking fluids and was crumpled and losing bits of plastic left and right. Steve didn’t have a scratch.

M has a cute little silver car that has a lot more horsepower than Steve. It hardly weighs more than I do and you can turn the wheel using the tip of your finger. I’m sure M thought that putting me behind the wheel of that and letting me take it out on the highway was a good idea, but I’m also pretty sure he regretted that later. I’m not sure if it was the 20mph over the speed limit, the zigzagging between slower cars or the general disregard of all traffic rules that did him in, but he was gripping the seat pretty damn hard the entire ride home. But I had a blast.

Happy Monday! *

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Brain for Sale

My brain has a mind of its own. I know this sounds a bit strange, seeing as how my brain, in fact, houses my own mind, but that's beside the point. My brain has a mind of its own. And apparently that mind is horribly afraid of oversleeping and being late. So afraid, in fact, that whenever I have to get up earlier than 7am, it wakes me up in the middle of the night and makes sure I can't go back to sleep. Apparently this mind completely missed the memo about those little things called alarm clocks. It keeps me wide awake until I decide to get up and start getting ready. And it keeps me wide awake the entire time I'm getting ready for work and only when I get in the car and start driving is it properly reassured that I won't go back to bed and be late.

At this point that mind stops keeping me awake by force, and just settles back for a smooth ride. When this happens, my own mind takes over. Now, keep in mind that my own mind hasn't had more than 3 hours of sleep and is still in a mild coma. What invariably happens next is I turn the radio on as loud as I can stand, hoping that this ancient method of torture will help me survive the 30-minute drive without falling asleep.

That's roughly what happened again this morning. Then I spent the entire day at work marvelling over the fact that it apparently isn't enough that time can stand still, it can also run backwards. I noticed this when I kept looking at my clock and every time I checked it was getting earlier and earlier. I would love to talk to whoever said it was okay for time to do that.

But, I digress. For reasons explained above, I am selling my brain to the highest bidder. Any takers? *

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Death Machine

Ever since I was old enough to blow dry my hair I’ve heard horror stories of blow dryers turning into flamethrowers, making bad hair days seem like nothing but a mild annoyance in comparison. I have a slight aversion to fire in my hair, so I tend to listen to my blow dryer and whenever it sounds like it might become engulfed in flames, I turn it off. So far this hasn’t happened too often, but the other day when I was using my faithful blow dryer of 10 years, it finally exploded in a gigantic fireball. Or, as my loving boyfriend will be the first to point out, mostly just started sounding funny and turned itself off, no drama, no nothing. Frankly, I was a little disappointed, I had waited for the spectacular fireworks forever and this is what I got. But still, I was cautious enough to actually go out and get a new one instead of using the old one until it died of catastrophic failure as everything else I own. The old one I hid in the bathroom in case the new one meets a sudden and fiery death.

My new blow dryer is the size of a small pony. It’s pretty and silver and has purple buttons. Also, it has enough drying power to cure monsoon season and the power it uses could supply a small African country with power for a year. But it’s very pretty.

Excited about using it for the first time, I washed my hair and sat down to read the safety instructions. Did you know you’re not allowed to use it in the bathroom? This, of course, makes perfect sense cause I’d much rather dry my hair in the kitchen anyway. The instructions also stated that small children and people with a mental handicap aren’t allowed to use it; at least not without guidance by a responsible adult. I think my blow dryer will be safe as long as I don’t let my boyfriend my sister most of my friends small children use it. There were more instructions, but since they all seemed completely ridiculous I chose to ignore them and just get on with it. By now my hair was almost dry already, which is a good thing cause you weren’t actually allowed to use the blow dryer on wet hair. I would have loved to know what lawsuit prompted that warning.

With the safety instructions fresh in mind, I tempted fate and took the blow dryer into the bathroom and fired it up, no pun intended. At this, three things happened simultaneously: I instantly went deaf, the neighbors called the cops and my boyfriend thought the world as we know it had come to an end and ran for cover came running to my rescue. The thing sounded like a jet plane taking off in my bathroom. I now understand why it was the size of a small pony – jet engines don’t come any smaller. After I had explained to the neighbors that I wasn’t in fact torturing small kittens with a chainsaw and pulled out my boyfriend from underneath the bed reassured my boyfriend, I turned the death machine on low and tried again.

Not only did it sound like I had an F1 car in the bathroom, it also tried to burn my hand off. The pretty shiny plastic became so hot I was surprised it didn’t end up in a molten puddle on the bathroom floor. And this is what I was supposed to aim at my head. Even after I turned down the effect and only used it on low it felt like it would self-destruct at any second, probably while doing a pretty decent impression of an active volcano.

But on the plus side – it did dry my hair pretty damn fast, so I might just keep it anyway. If my apartment goes up in flames, you’ll know it wasn’t me – it was the death machine. *