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Showing posts from June, 2006

my name is confusion

did some playing around on microsoft's new demographical predictor that lets you plug in either a query or url and it tells you your gender and age bracket. i figured i'd try a few searches that i'd done recently, or that i figured were fairly indicative of my interests, to get a good sampling. here's what i picked:

queries:

tracy emmins (british artist, the subject of whitehouse's "why you never became a dancer")
ghanaian cuisine
survival research laboratories
novy svet

web sites:

www.moma.org
www.tesco.org
www.fark.com

and the verdict is... as an marketing aggregate, i am a male, most likely between 18 and 24. only two searches out of seven were able to peg me as female (and only one, moma.org, with a substantial degree of certainty) and only two out of seven got my age bracket (25-34) correct. only one search (fark.com) managed to nail both gender and age.

yours in gender and generational confusion...

eat the cup, part 9

feijoada. it's a wonderful sounding word, really. and, as long as you don't mind doing three years' damage to your arteries in one sitting, it's a wonderful meal. made with black beans, 800 pounds of meat and very little else, it's apparently considered the national dish of brazil. every cook has his or her own recipe.

obviously, team brazil won again today, advancing on their seemingly inexorable run towards the cup final. unfortunately, events for brazilians in germany may be considerably happier than those for brazilians at home.

given the well-documented problems the nation faces, it's amazing that they manage to keep their sense of humour.

(ok, this is totally cheating. it's a repeat cuisine again and this time i didn't have to, because there was a winner today who i've not featured. however, if you know anything about my life, you will appreciate that i will not be cooking any french food, drinking any french wine, or even saying the word …

eat the cup, part 8

well, i don't really have an option but to pull a repeat today. i've already cooked food from both italy and the ukraine and, as things progress, i'm going to run into this problem more and more.

at first, i was going to go ukrainian, because i felt like i owed them one. while i was in kensington on the weekend, one of the guys there was quizzing me on my predictions for the upcoming games and i had picked switzerland of the ukraine. my logic was that switzerland hadn't allowed a goal yet and no one could beat them if they couldn't score. in point of fact, this is wrong, because goals scored in a shoot out do not count, so you can lose a game without allowing the opposing team a goal. so, sorry about that, ukraine.

on the other hand, i couldn't face the idea of a really heavy meal today, so i went with the easier choice and made a meal of sumer vegetables with balsmic and basil. (this was my attempt at approximating the mind-blowing grilled vegetables at sev…

eat the cup, part 7

germans tend to get a nasty rep. they aren’t exactly known for being friendly, happy-go-lucky people and here they are with the entire world running wild through their national living room, like a batch of preschoolers with over-indulgent parents. granted, germany has done a couple of things that might have justiified their reputation. one could be even be forgiven for if the first thing that came to mind when looking at the picture above was not “soccer match”. but have a little sympathy for these guys. it sucks being the one hosting the big bash.

the worst part about having everyone party at your place is that you generally get stuck being the responsible one. no matter what other people say or do, you’re expected to behave, especially if you have a bit of a bad rep, because somehow, it’s going to reflect worse on you than it does on anybody else.

when it comes to world cup, there are some difficulties in being a gracious host. for starters, you can’t always depend on everyone to

gimme no lovin'

ugh. the last thing i need is after a long week is some sort of amateur night rock concert going on in my proverbial back yard. if i knew exactly where this racket were coming from, i might rethink my position on gun control.

so far, they have stumbled through bad-enough-for-karaoke-night versions of "all my love", "gimme some lovin'", several beatles covers and, most disturbingly, "walking on sunshine" (the deluxe, ten and a half minute version) where the lead singer literally sounds like he's in pain during the chorus. i'm almost tempted to go find out where this is happening so that i can watch the reaction if i go and request that they play swans' "raping a slave".

all i want is to have a relaxed evening. i don't want to cause trouble. i'd like to catch up on some of the colbert report segments that i missed. i'd like to think about my menu options for the next few days.

i might even get my lazy brain around do…

eat the cup, part 6

sometimes, i guess it is all in a name.

the country name "ghana" is a reference to the african empire of the same name (ironically, not located in present-day ghana). the people of that country were known as the wagadu, and their term "ghana" means "warrior king". a nice description for their football team today, as it turns out.

i probably know less about ghana than about any other nation currently playing at the world cup. as i like to consider myself a reasonably well informed individual, this bothers me to no end. for instance, i did not know that ghana was the first african colony to gain independence. nor did i realise that their food was so comforting and yummy. tonight, i am enjoying a wonderful, hearty, peanut stew (i actually ended up find a few recipes and mixing elements from all of them. what's the fun in experimenting with food if you can't, well, experiment?)

and although i was able to surmise that soccer was a big deal in the ho…

for all occasions

check out the warning sign generator and find yours.

eat the cup, part 5

in an era of spoiled, overpaid athletic stars, one can lose sight of the toughness that is required to play a sport. don’t believe me? the temperatures in central canada this week are similar to those in germany. go out and try to run the area of a soccer field for ninety minutes and see how you feel. (assuming you don’t die in the effort, in which case you will feel nothing.)

to that end, it’s hardly surprising that the ukraine claimed a major victory today. because ukrainians are tough, tough people.

their team started off the tournament with what was the single most lopsided score (until argentina eclipsed it) to date, getting crushed by the spanish armada. that’s a harsh way to start things.

then again, one could say that protesting for two and a half weeks in the freezing cold under constant threat from the police is a pretty harsh way to start a government, but the ukrainian people seemed up to the task.

so in honour of their victory over saudi arabia (which erased the subs…

eat the cup, part 4

this is just silly.

i mean, i went out to dinner last night and went to caju specifically for the purpose of enjoying a mocqueca. tonight, i am staying at home to prepare the evening’s dinner (and the morrow’s lunch) and i am preparing... mocqueca.

this has to be a sign of something wrong. isn’t it weird to keep craving this? what is it about this particular fish stew that makes me happy to eat it for days on end?

simply put, mocqueca’s flavour, much like the brazilian soccer team, may be impossible to beat. the lush mixture of seafood (most commonly shrimp), tomatoes, coconut milk and spices combines the heartiness of the old world with the exotic flavour of the new. it could only come from brazil.

after all, brazil almost defines multiculturalism and diversity. before being conquered by the portuguese, brazil’s indian populations, unlike the incans or mayans, were disparate, diverse, ununified. today, the population continues to be one of the most heterogenous in the world, wit…

eat the cup, part 3

sometimes, winning is not just about, well, winning.

today's world cup results saw holland defeat the ivory coast and argentina defeat serbia and montenegro by a margin that looks more like an american football result. both of those teams, however, were favoured to win their matches and move on. angola, on the other hand, was not. by all accounts, their mexican opponents were expected to roll past them and right on to the next round.

by those standards, angola's holding mexico to a scoreless tie may be a bigger win than any. chief among the words being tossed around to describe this achievement are "brave" and "shocking". i was certainly shocked. i was getting set to pick up ingredients for enchiladas without even checking the score, so certain i was that i knew the outcome.

but having been presented with two relatively easy options thus far, i was up for a bit of a challenge. so tonight, i have cobbled together some very hasty research and prepared a d…

sing while you may

legendary pink dots w/ pony da look at lee's palace

i will always have a deep fondness for the legendary pink dots. it's not just the fact that they are one of the only bands that can push the envelope of emotion while (almost) never falling into the smarmy abyss that makes them so adorable. i love them for that, but i also love them because they were the first band i ever made a concerted effort to see. i made the trek with several friends all the way from halifax to see them in montreal years ago. as such, they are also implicated in my decision to move to montreal, since once i was up there, i found the city difficult to let go. so what's not to love?

i was starting to have my doubts about them for a while in the late nineties, when the rough edge that had generally prevented them from becoming too precious seemed to get blunted. all the same, they've always been reliably enjoyable in a live context.

i showed up last night in the midst of opening act pony da look.…

eat the cup, part 2

what's so cool about spain? if you didn't actually go up and ask them, you might never find out. known in the soccer world as the perennial under-achievers of europe, spaniards seem to lack the marketing flair of their more dramatic cousins, france and italy. occasionally, though, you get to see glimpses of the sleeping iberian giant.

fact is, there are a lot of cool things about spain. how can you not love the country that brings us the food uber-trend of the moment, tapas. bar snacks for people who don't want chicken fingers, these ingenious little plates have us all wondering why no one ever told us about them before. spain produces more olive oil than italy and more wine than either italy or france, but you'd never know it, because they seem very happy to keep these things for themselves. (i guess they're worried about running out of wine to go with the tapas...)

and then there's paella, which is tonight's meal. granted, paella is becoming better …

step by painful step

although i haven't necessarily been following the campaign in detail, i couldn't resist the urge to check in on the nova scotia election results this evening, in the hopes that the ndp was going to find a way to come out on top.

they didn't, although they won more seats than ever. i'm tremendously proud that the seats that were so naturally new democratic, but that the party never seemed to be able to win, are now coming to them with remarkable majorities. i'm going to assume that the fact that this opening of the electoral floodgates coincides almost to the minute with my departure from nova scotia (in my time there, we were ecstatic when we won our third seat... a triumph!) is just a nasty little coincidence. (if they win the next provincial election in quebec, however, i'll be forced to reconsider that opinion.)

not surprisingly, halifax, a natural new democratic city (loaded disproportionately with universities, government and artists), seems to have form…

eat the cup, part 1

ok, so you've read my mumblings on the world cup and its attendant fever below. (if you haven't, go ahead, it's a little further down, i'll wait. done? yet? ok, let's resume.) in order to make this quadrennial event a little more interesting for me, i need to link it to something that excites me. i've chosen food.

i'm someone who loves to cook, but lately i've been lacking inspiration. so for the next several weeks, i'm going to base the meals that i cook for myself on that day's world cup results. now, i'm only one person, so i really only have to cook something up for myself every couple of days, but on those days, it's going to be world cup winner related.

to start off, i have let myself do something completely, pathetically easy. cacciatore (italy 2, ghana 0). i'm really cheating on this one, because, not only is italian cuisine the easiest of today's winning cuisine (my other choices would have been czech and australian),…

tell me something i don't know...

You scored as agnosticism. You are an agnostic. Though it is generally taken that agnostics neither believe nor disbelieve in God, it is possible to be a theist or atheist in addition to an agnostic. Agnostics don't believe it is possible to prove the existence of God (nor lack thereof).

Agnosticism is a philosophy that God's existence cannot be proven. Some say it is possible to be agnostic and follow a religion; however, one cannot be a devout believer if he or she does not truly believe.

agnosticism
79%Satanism
63%Buddhism
58%Islam
58%Judaism
50%Hinduism
46%Paganism
46%atheism
42%Christianity
25%
Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

here they come...

being from north america, the world of “football” (soccer to me) was always sort of closed. i knew that it was a big deal just about everywhere else, but i was never exposed to it. my first exposure wasn’t especially pleasant, either. i was in england in the summer of 1990 and got to see some charming liverpudlian gentlemen in a pub enjoying the game under the influence of about 750 pints. so to me, soccer was a sort of frightening thing that morphed men into monsters a la ionesco’s rhinoceros.

my next meeting with “the beautiful game” came in 1998, during world cup. at this point, i was living in montreal at that point and, as it turns out, living in a cosmopolitan city changes your perspective on these things a little. instead of being invisible, soccer was everywhere, parading loudly with honking car horns past the window of my plateau-area apartment without regard to my desire for quiet.

during that world cup. i got interested. primarily, i was just irritated, because i wanted a…

anger management

my first experience with ministry came (i hate admitting this) about twenty years ago when i first saw the video for "over the shoulder" on much music (back when they didn't have that many videos available, so they played whatever they could get their hands on). it was a sort of captivating, defining moment, the tacit creepiness in it giving me a little thrill and forever changing my impression of grocery stores.

since then, while they've never been among my favourite bands in the world, i've always been aware of ministry's presence, particularly during that part of the early nineties when al jourgensen seemed to be the defining influence on everyone. i haven't made a habit of following them, but they're always around and, despite the fact that i haven't loved most of what they've done in recent years, i've always had a quiet desire to see what they were like live. (really, i've always had a desire to see what they were like live in t…