Naga Jolokia : A Most Brutal Attempt at Food Blogging

Naga JolokiaThis pepper has no sense of humour. It cannot be charmed, pleaded or negotiated with. If you were to meet it in a dark alleyway it would not be satisfied with the contents of your wallet, your watch, your wedding ring, your electronic gadgets, because it wants to Fuck You Up.

The “Ghost Pepper” as it is also known, was born in violence, and violence is all that it understands. It cannot be happy unless you are not. It will burn off your lips, your tongue, your throat, reduce you to a sputtering remnant of the man you once were.

This little wrinkly red motherfucker is the vegetal embodiment of detached sadism. If Naga Jolokia were a man, it would be an eight foot tall Nazi. If it were an animal it would be a shark on amphetamines.  If it were a car, it would be a tank. If it had been a fruit, it would be an apple driving a bulldozer through your face just because you were in the way and then backing up to mash up the rubble that was your skull for shits and giggles.

I decided to make chili powder out it, toasting this dried, seeded, and stemmed menace on low heat with a pinch of whole cumin seed, and inadvertently transformed my apartment into a failed weaponized gas laboratory. The air was filled with burns. I couldn’t tell if I had been tear gassed at a protest and hallucinated this dangerous brush with domesticity, or if a malign ghost had taken up residence in my apartment, its suitcases packed with nothing but hatred for the living and evil intents.

-Written in my washroom where I cower in between the ventilator and an open window, trying to breathe but not quite succeeding.

Top 10 Halloween Costume Ideas for the Ladies

1 : Sexy Hobo

2 : Sexy Wall Insulation

3 : Sexy Autographed First Edition Copy of The Rats of Nimh with three or four pages Missing from Chapter 8.

4 : Sexy not-really-in-a-costume-just-getting-a-drink-with-friends-onHalloween-in-my-sweatpants-stop-asking-me-“who-I’m-supposed-to-be”

5 : Sexy Nurse Just Off the Late Shift Covered in a Drug Addict’s Mucus

6 : Sexy Eleanor Roosevelt

7 : Sexy Combination Pirate/Angel/Cheerleader/Devil/I only have one day in the year when I can get away with wearing this skirt, but I’m going to make sure it’s done in a Po-Mo context/Mind your own business

8 : Sexy Gender-Bending Andy Dufresne from The Shawshank Redemption after he has crawled through a mile of raw sewage to his freedom because he was innocent all along (SPOILER ALERT)

9 : Sexy Spoiler Alert.

10 : Sexy Top Ten List.

An open letter to the girl who stuck her bare ass out of a stretch SUV limo on King Street last night

Thank you for showing me your ass. It was a pretty bum and exactly the type of thing I’d like to see while mired in the doldrums of serving 16 variations on a prix fixe menu. It also slowed down work a little as the entire patio rose to figure out for what purpose a crowd of men had spontaneously formed on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, the illumination of dozens of smartphones held up high like lightbulbs above each of their heads. Which is an appropriate simile, because they were all getting ideas.

I thought it a little bit rapey when a man came up to slap and grab your butt cheeks while posing for photos in which his friends would later tag him, in a Facebook album entitled ‘TIFF 2013’ or ‘Bros’n’Hoes’, and I found it a little unfortunate for your future sober self that so many were recording your antics, but when you turned around to face your audience, your smiling face offered the consent your rump never could.

Briefly, I considered that there may have been some greater point to make of all this about gender politics, consent, or the proliferation of citizen-surveillance technology documenting and exploiting our drunkest moments, but it escaped me as I watched you make out with the man your fanny caught like a venus fly trap, his feet trying to negotiate the procedure as your limo slowly crawled through the TIFF-induced gridlock of Saturday night.

All I know is that I would never stick my dick out of a moving motor vehicle, with or without the intention of luring a woman towards it, but I’d like you to picture that for a moment, because that’s essentially what you did. Of course, when you did it, it was a lot a cuter.

As I watched your limo make it’s way down Restaurant Row, sitting on the window with your arms on the roof, your dress still hiked up and your head turned coquettishly over your shoulder like a model in a shampoo ad, I couldn’t help but notice you looked, almost, imperious. You seemed to take a certain pride in how one little arse could so disrupt an entire block’s worth of pedestrians and diners.

But I could barely see you at that point, the flow of traffic had swept you away from my sight, leaving me with nothing but the fading memory of the butterfly tattoo which was so appropriately located on the small of your back.

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In Defence of Miley

I first met Miley Cyrus over a decade ago when I was slinging noodles for a local pastaria.   She was cute then, like most children are.  Her face was stuffed full of spaghetti. I remember Billy Ray’s credit card had his face for a background design.  Not a security photo, like you see sometimes, but as the design. Apparently you can get that now, too.  Back then only Billy Ray could, it seems.  Her father was filming something in Toronto at the time, yet whatever claim to fame he carved out that year, it would never compare to the use of his one-hit-wonderful single Achy Breaky Heart to flush out the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.

It is interesting that though his pop infection of a song failed to drive the cult members out of their complex, drive them sane, or make them dance, his moderate fame and comfortable wealth drove his daughter strange.  Blessed with opportunity, wealth, an auto-tunes compatible singing voice, and conventional good looks, she has blossomed into an uncomfortable, semi-naked performer on a stage.

Her performance at the VMA Awards last night has been unanimously declared terrible by the Internet.  Her aggressive attempts to rub her scent all over Robin Thicke’s Beetlejuice costume has sparked thousands of conversations on Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook.  It has been called embarrassing,  raunchy, and inappropriate.

The proper word for it is Baffling.  How a young woman with symmetrical features, lacking both clothing and body fat could fail so spectacularly at being sexy is astonishing.  There’s no shame in being a stripper, but being a stripper this uncomfortable in her own skin is a lot like being a lazy janitor or a surgeon with ablutophobia: It is dirty and wrong.

Not that I blame Miley. She’s a young adult with ambition, and she’s willing to make a fool of herself in front of millions of people  Her metaphorical balls are bigger than yours, bigger than mine, bigger than this guys .  She has grown up on a sitcom, with a semi-celebrity income, and lived out her adolesence as a pop star.  How many of the people she has been surrounded with,  her hairstylists, fashion consultants,  or fans do you think have told her No?

We are speaking of a young woman who has not lived through the appropriate stages of anonymous teenaged awkwardness, who has not experienced rejection like most people do, who has lived her life as the center of attention.  Her natural response to this derth of constructive criticism has been to act like a fool in her underwear, with her tongue wagging aimlessly, lost.  And what of it? That is what people do, when not restrained by shame or socio-economic limitations, apparently.

So, while Miley Cyrus disrobes, twerks, and uses foam fingers inappropriately, why don’t we ask ourselves these questions:

1) Why is the awkward hypersexuality of a marginally talented young woman being passed off, yet again, as entertainment?

2)Was everyone waiting for her to become of age like your older brother’s creepy friend, or is the entertainment industry driven by the boners of 13 year olds to more of an extent than we’re comfortable admitting?

3) Is construcive criticism  undervalued in this age?

4) If Miley decides one day to spend all of her money on legitimate charitable causes, would you regret your own critique of her dance numbers?  I probably would.

Reflections of a Streetcar Passenger

Ever sit in the aisle seat of a street car during rush hour, next to an empty seat with unidentified crud on it? You become the gatekeeper of the crud chair. Everyone wants to sit there, and you have to explain to each person why you will not let them squeeze passed you to take it. At first you will use words, later you will discover that simply pointing at the crud is explanation enough.

The crud is small and difficult to notice at first, and so it falls unto you to defend their pants, skirts, and long coats. You do so gladly, for you almost sat in the crud chair too, stopping yourself seconds before you slid over to the window seat after it was vacated. Nobody warned you, but it was close.

You wonder, sadly, about the girl who sat there earlier, and what people would think of her when they saw the crud marks on her bum that were not her doing. Were they? In all likelihood, the rest of her day was filled with the silent judgement of those who looked at her bum and saw the stain upon it. She might never even be aware of this, tossing her pants into the hamper in the dark, oblivious to her diminished esteem in the eyes of those she saw that day, or rather, of those who saw her.