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Archive for the ‘evidently not that kind of girl’ Category

NTKOG #99: The kind of creatively turbocharged Rodin-in-training who effortlessly chisels a block of solid ice into a breathtaking masterpiece.

I am: impatient and tend to second-guess myself when it comes to working with any muscles other than my brain.

I am not: artistically inclined.

The Scene: BU Alumni Winterfest (last post from that epic day, I swear!); team ice-sculpting competition, along with Sister and Hot Hands and a few other cool dudes. The theme is the Winter Olympics, and we immediately come up with a theme that will endear us to our crowd of voters: a twin-sculpture scene of the BU Terrier mascot, Rhett, standing victorious on an Olympic pedestal next to a dejected and mangled BC Eagle. Cute and classy, right?

All through the planning stage, I imagine myself with mallet and icepick, fearlessly chipping away every fleck of ice that doesn’t look like a Terrier, to paraphrase the old joke. This chest-bumping hubris lasts up until, um, point three seconds after we lay eyes upon the actual slabs of ice. Good lord, dude — eight cubic feet of ice?! We have to make some sort of visual sense of it? I kept level-headed while the event’s official Chainsaw Dude powertooled around our outline.

I was on my best manners and did not actually ask him if I could use the chainsaw.

I love the flume of ice spitting out the back of the block. VROOOM! POWERTOOLS!

However, the moment we were alone with our soon-to-be creation, I completely lost my confidence. Everyone else in our ragtag team immediately picked up chisels and scrapydoos and the rest of the provided tools and dug in; I limply brandished a mid-size scraper, made a few limp stabs, then hung back and just watched.

The amorphous block of ice already looked like a dog to me, was the problem.

I mean, no, it looked like a dog in the vague way that a cloud or a raised constellation of drywall can look like a dog — it suggested a dog. But even though I could tell the icebeast wasn’t exactly going to start barking or humping anyone in the vicinity, I just couldn’t figure out why it didn’t look like a dog. Had no way of decoding the visual syntax, if that makes any sense.

At first, I asked Sister (who is an ice-sculpting veteran, having done this once before) to explain to me which parts to curve, which bits needed smoothing, where and exactly how to start working on the sculpture. But I was timid and afraid of messing up the sculpture in some way I didn’t understand. It was like a Magic Eye puzzle that everybody else in the group could see. I was bad at it. And after about an hour of getting underfoot and trying my hardest not to accidentally impale myself on the chisel, I gave up and did something I am good at. Got a slice of pizza across the street. (In fact, I stole away another of our team members to come with me, so I actively DETRACTED from our team’s utility. Yes I’m awesome!)

Apparently my absence was the key to our success, though, because when I came back, it was to behold:

Sadly, my pics of the other half of our team's maimed BC Eagle statue are a total suckfest, so just take my word for it that the sculpture was also adorable. Unless you're a BC fan, I guess.

It's hard to make out the translucent-on-translucent detailing, but passers-by were impressed by our sculpture's friggin' adorability.

Pretty damn good for a team of amateurs, eh? No thanks to me! I’ll admit, all afternoon, the only thing I contributed to the team was the title for our non-winning sculpture series. Words: apparently the only artsy thing I can do.

The Verdict: You guys! It turns out that doing things I’m bad at … is one of the things I’m bad at. I tend to pride myself on the try-anything-once attitude I’ve acquired over the course of this project, but apparently I have to modify that to try-anything-once-until-it-becomes-evident-you-suck-at-which-point-retreat-behind-your-shield-of-quippy-detachment. THAT SIMPLY WON’T DO! In no small part because there are too many hyphens!

In general, this is a pattern of behavior I recognize in myself: once I realize I’m not doing well at something, I’ll either withdraw entirely, or else do intentionally badly to turn the situation into a big joke and avoid having to confront failure. This is ridiculous. If you can’t fail with grace, then how can you steel yourself up to improve your weaknesses? It’s hard to be earnestly bad at something, I guess.

So, while I’m totally okay with being not the kind of girl who can get her visual fine arts on, I’m resolved to keep THROWING MYSELF AT FAILURE and liking it, goddamnit. Bring on your yoga classes and stand-up comedy open mics and DDR tournaments! If I do any one thing throughout the rest of this project, it’s going to be becoming the kind of girl who can fail with grace!

How about you guys? Spectacularly failed anything lately? Did you handle it with more tact and aplomb than I did? (Probably.)

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NTKOG #97: The kind of stridently intrepid sportnik who scrambles up the face of a wall with no harnesses or hesitations.

I am: terrified of heights.

I am not: embarrassed to admit that walking on the second floor of a shopping mall is enough to jack up my heart rate. Those glass barriers do me in, guys.

The Scene: The rock-climbing wall at the Orwellianly-named FitRec at BU, where I sneaked in under the auspices of a WinterFest alumni event. All afternoon, Sister, Hot Hands and I watched dismayingly adorable toddlers in their Dora the Explorer underoos scurrying up the wall like cockroaches, shrieking with sticky-faced glee. I turned to Sister: “Hey, if little kids can do this, I certainly can, right?”

“You?! Climbing a wall?!” she cackled, oozing schadenfruede from every pore. “Oh, I’ll pay for the shoe rental. I have the feeling I’ll get my money’s worth.”

Sister has a point. Things I am good at navigating: word processing software, tricky menus, tables of contents; things I am bad at navigating: MY PHYSICAL REALITY. I’m bad enough just operating on the X-axis, let alone throwing some Y action into the mix.

All of the action shots of me climbing are obscured by the ZOOM MARKS of friggin' five-year-olds scampering along the wall. Bastards.

The rock wall in question. We're -- we're not exactly talking Everest here, people. My head was, at the highest, about a foot below the black line.

First few attempts upward were total non-starters. Grabbed handholds, swung one leg up, then stopped to think too long. In the background, a Disney-villain chuckle ground steadily out of Sister’s throat. Finally steeled myself to scramble up a few footholds and — my god, I didn’t die! I spun my head to smile winningly at Sis and Hot Hands, then turned back to the wall.

Just then, one of my feet started to slip. As I frantically adlibbed a few feet to the left, it occurred to me: my sasquatch feet are eighteen times larger than a good three-quarters of the foot rests. My head is more than a story over the ground. Why are my hands so goddamn slippery?! No big deal, though — I came, I climbed, I will blog — no shame in heading down now. Except–

Except.

When I looked back at the wall, all the handholds seemed to scramble like a CGI rendering of dyslexia. I was a single trembling sun in a vast, empty galaxy. Not one potential handhold or footrest existed within my grasp. My heart ratcheted up to a techno beat; I hyper-hyperventilated. I knew it was really bad when Sister stopped laughing at me.

Fun fact: there have been three times in my life when I knew I was going to die. Once, lying in a hospital bed with a fully collapsed lung; another time, stunt-driving 80mph backwards through a closed train-crossing arm with the locomotive three car-lengths away; and now, six fucking feet off the ground with five-year-olds scampering up the walls on either side of me. Panic attack is, I think, the mot juste? “This will be my inauspicious end,” was certainly the mantra.

If I didn’t cry, it is only because every ounce of fluid in my body was gushing out of my palms. “I’m going to fall!” I cried. “Is that okay? Will I die if I fall?”

Hot Hands looked down at the tiny protective spring mat, then back up at me. “Just … just don’t fall.” Fuck. There went Plan A.

Plan B involved me clinging to the wall and cursing, loudly, as though my life depended on it, while Sister and Hot Hands called out a demented vertical game of Twister. “Put your left hand on the green one!” (the green one is in fucking Rhode Island) — “Get your right foot on the purple!” (it’s the size of my pinky toe!). I have literally no recollection of how I managed to clamber down, but it must have taken ten full minutes.

Once I was back on solid ground, Sister let loose the laugh that had been brewing the whole time. “You’re so red you’re blushing through your shirt!” she laughed. “I’ve never seen you like this!”

I tried to flick her off, but I was still shaking so hard it looked like I was waving hello.

The Verdict: Well, now you know where NEVER to throw me a surprise party. My chest literally broke out in hives again writing this post. As for rock-climbing walls, you can leave them for the six-year-olds, with their tiny feet and cheerful disregard for mortality.

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GUYS! Sarah Von from the UNIMPEACHABLY DELIGHTFUL yes and yes was kind enough to run a little interview with me today! Check it out if you’re interested in my inner workings, such as they are. And apologize for length of today’s post but I’m going to go ahead and file it under: worth it.

NTKOG #96: The kind of bold, forward-moving networker who meets you, takes your contact information and actually calls you to meet up afterwards.

I am: terrified of accidentally imposing my company on unwilling interlocutors.

I am not: crazy enough, therefore, to follow through with any of the disposable friends whose numbers and business cards I accumulate by the dozen on the T.

The Scene: Last month, I met a dude on the T and went absolutely nuts for him — fireworks, fantasy montages, the whole deal — and was heartbroken when he canceled our date. A few days ago, after a month of no contact from him, I forcibly ejected every fiber of “he’s just not that into you” from my mind and texted him, proposing drinks on Thursday. To my utter friggin’ elation, he actually agreed, and suggested 8pm at Harvard Square.

Dressed for the evening in a tizzy; finally settled on: pencil skirt, casual V-neck with push-up bra, granny panties (to protect against first-date sexin’), and condoms in my purse (I’m only human). Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Dude was, as I remembered, a dreamboat, after all.

As I approached him, he waved and I wondered, huh, were his eyes this beady when I first met him? And was his forehead always so protrudey? But my taste in men is quirky anyway. As we walked to the bar, I launched into a funny story about Kiss-Ducker and I getting drunk in a combination Mexican restaurant slash tranny bar in San Jose.

“When we get together, we’re totally crazy,” I smiled.

“Wanna know a fun fact about me?” he asked. I nodded. “I’m totally crazy too.”

Just then, his cell phone went off; he answered immediately. “Hi Mom. I’m okay, how are you? Yeah, I’m just out right now. With some girl.” I threw up my arms in mock-protest. “No, she’s a real girl, Mom. I swear she’s real.” Um, your red flags getting a workout yet?

After he said goodbye, I joked: “Hey, this is great. I thought I would make this date really awkward, but, dude, you took a call from your mom! Totally surged into the lead! Nothing can be awkward now!”

“Oh, the fun fact about me,” he continued. “I’m crazy. Literally. I was hospitalized for a psychiatric breakdown in late November. I got diagnosed with bipolar and I’m on tons of lithium, so I can’t read people’s minds anymore. Okay, the bar’s around the corner.”

…holy shit. Holy shit. We walked into the bar and were told it had a twenty-minute wait. Was that okay with me, he asked? Uh, no. I needed gin and I needed it about five minutes ago.

We headed down the block to a cute underground bar and I flagged the hostess down and begged for a gin and ginger ale, and keep ’em coming. And for the gentleman?

“I’ll have a pina colada.”

…she broke it to him that they don’t make pina coladas at Irish pubs, so he sighed and ordered a pint of beer. When she brought our drinks, she lay a straw next to my glass. Former Dreamboat unwrapped the straw and stuck it in his beer. HE DRANK BEER WITH A STRAW.

In order to fill the fog of awkward, I babbled through my ice-breakers (what’s the most embarrassing song on your iPod? Miley Cyrus. do you have a rich uncle or a creepy uncle? Uncle Moneybags) while generously lubricating my discomfort with the blessed gin. Former Dreamboat, though, was in no hurry. He sipped his beer drop by drop while staring deep in my eyes. And dudes, I am here to say that he had a case of the Crazy Eye so bad that his irises were practically plaid. If you don’t know what I mean by this, you have never been penetrated by the Crazy Eye.

Every time I dropped my hand to the table, he jerked his arm toward me to try to cover my hand with his own. After a few iterations of hand and mouse, I buried my fists deep in my armpits, shivering with feigned cold in the eighty-degree bar.

The conversation moved to meeting people in the T, and I admitted that though I am naturally shy, I meet tons of people during my commute. “It’s hard to meet people on the T, though,” he mused. “If you try to talk to people, they think you’re crazy. My best opener is when I see people playing with their cell phones, I ask if they get reception in the station. You can kind of trick people into talking to you that way.”

I mentioned that I like to flash people live eyes, which sometimes draws them into conversation. He answered: “Oh, I stare at people too. I stare at people in the T all the time. They always look away really fast, though. It’s probably because I’m a guy.” It could be that, dude. It could. Or it could be the fact that you actively try to trick people into talking to you.

For the rest of his slooooow beer (and my two subsequent gin and ginger ales), he discussed the side effects of his lithium, the pall that it casts over his world until it loosens its grip before bedtime. “Did you know that 60% of bipolar patients stop taking their medicine within a year?” he asked me, a glint of hope in his voice. “I miss being manic. I was really great back then. I was a good conversationalist. You would have liked me. I thought I could read minds too, and even though I guess I couldn’t, it was kind of nice, feeling normal like that.”

Finally I paid for our drinks and walked him back to the T station, before catching my bus. There was a moment before we parted ways — that normal awkward first date moment, but captured in a funhouse mirror. He leaned in to kiss me, but I ducked out of it and gave him a hug. We should do this again, he told me. Yeah, I said, maybe. As I walked away, I could hear him taking out his cell phone to call his mother back.

The Verdict: Shit, guys, I thought that was a funny story, but it’s actually kind of sad, isn’t it? I don’t know. Part of me is happy that he apparently had a good time; the other part of me is shrieking I wore a push-up bra for this?! One thing is for certain: I’m not picking up any more guys in public until I somehow install a better pre-screening process for social dysfunction. Also, if a dude ever comes up to me on the T and asks if I get cell reception, I will turn up my music, smile politely, and say nothing.

Now I’m kind of feeling like a jerkface that I didn’t like this guy, but the thing is, you can’t like people just because the world would be a sweeter place if you did. I think all you can do is be nice and try to be an okay person. He ordered a pina colada in an Irish pub. It wasn’t going to work out anyway. It just wasn’t. I don’t know. I’m doing my best.

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NTKOG #94: The kind of tragic/romantic hobo envier who throws caution to the wind — and saves a couple of bucks — by stowing away on the train.

I am: law-abiding; already in possession of a monthly T pass.

I am not: a modern-day hopalong. Or else I would be publishing my memoirs now. Duh.

The Scene: T stop on the B Line in Brighton, near my house. My commute to current temp job consists of a three-stop T ride (which is actually a nice walk, for people with better time management skills than I) followed by a twenty-minute bus ride. Standing at the stop, I tucked my sacred Monthly Link Pass into a Good Vibrations bag in my purse, grabbed a random old stored value card, and prepared to board.

My brilliant scheme was to board from the middle of the car, hold my totally valueless old card up to confuse the driver, then sit pretty for three stops. First snag in the plan: the train huffed up to my face, but the middle doors didn’t budge. I smacked ’em with my purse, but they sat there, resolute, insurmountable. If anything, smacking them only made them angrier.

“Get up to the front!” growled the driver. Shit. I hopped up in front of her and began pantomiming going through my pockets in search of my hidden T Pass.

“The fare is two dollars!” she bellowed. First one pocket, then the other — I contemplated vaudeville-ishly lifting my fedora to check its lining, but I could actually hear the driver expelling hot air through her nose.

“I’m going to let you out right now,” she menaced, reaching for the lever. Just then, the train started chugging forward. She glared at me as though I were the one driving it. “Fine, but you get out at the next stop.”

To add some credibility to the thing, I continued tearing through my personal effects for the length of the ride, then — afraid of getting fined — prepared to exit through the front door after the train pulled up to the next stop.

“Where you going?” she grimaced. I told her I was getting off, just like she’d asked, and the tension washed out of her cheeks. “Get back on the train, honey. Have a good week.”

I was still smiling by the time I got to the bus stop, and my grin only upped its wattage when I saw the driver: a soft-wrinkled old grandma-type who was all but wearing a sequined cat brooch on her uniform. Absolute cake.

I politely waited for the rest of the (paying) customers to take their places on the bus and, while the bus waited through a long stop sign, stood in front of the driver and began my little pantomime.

“Can’t find your pass, hon?” she asked. I nodded with feigned befuddlement, beginning to nudge toward the aisle. She tilted her head up to me and smiled sweetly:

“Then get off my damn bus.”

Miraculously, my T pass managed to appear before she could physically push me to the street.

The Verdict: Oh hell no. Just purchase your dang subway pass. Much easier on your conscience, your heart, and your atrophied high-school acting muscles.

While I wasn’t busy with my fugitive lifestyle this week, I was writing my Wednesday post for Secret Society of List Addicts about things my Roomba does that make me want to drop it in a bathtub. Check it out!

Also: Dudes, thanks for your dozens of awesome comments on low-budget eating on yesterday’s post! I’m looking forward to trying your cheapo recipes — starting with the huge pot of lentil soup I have simmering in my slow-cooker!

And as a thank-you for being awesome dudes: anyone want a 10% Off coupon for Good Vibrations? Good for in-store or online purchase. Nothing too exciting, but they handed it to me last time I was there (as though I could love their store any more!) and I thought someone a bit less stocked-up than I might want it.

If you’re interested in saving 10% on a vibrating cock ring, or if you just want everyone who reads this to know you’re a frugal friggin’ fornicator, go ahead and leave a comment on this entry by noon tomorrow. I’ll throw the comments on random.org, choose a person, and mail out the coupon tomorrow.

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Today, I’m excited to be giving over my blog reins to one of my favorite 20something bloggers, Fabulously Broke, who writes a blog called: Fabulously Broke in the City, which is a lifestyle blog with a focus on personal money management and debt. She is also the author of The Everyday Minimalist and Style on a String.

And if y’all are missing me (I know, I know), feel free to check out my post at Secret Society of List Addicts, where I’m the new Wednesday blogger!

NTKOG Guest Blogger: The kind of girl who would think olive oil would be something good to put on her combination skin, as a cleanser.

I am: Not shy when trying back to basic beauty recipes like washing my hair without shampoo, coating shea butter on my legs, or using baking soda as a cheap, very gentle and effective facial scrub.

I am not: Willing to let this method go even if it sounds weird, if it will be better on my skin in the long run, and taste pretty good if it runs into my mouth by accident.

The Scene: My apartment, the test bathroom for all of my crazy going green ideas. Luckily, I have a wonderful BF who is VERY low maintenance, and totally supports my going back to basic beauty experiments.

I scoured the internet using my trusty Google skills to read up more about it.

Why they say it works:

Basically, your skin produces oil. Everyone knows that.

If you cook, you know that putting water into a pan with oil is NOT a good idea (and yes, I have done it by accident a number of times). Since oil doesn’t mix with water and wash off, it’s why we use a facial cleanser that has something called surfactants in it.

These surfactants grab those little oil molecules and hugs them with their white foamy lather so that when you rinse the lather off, the oil molecule goes kicking and screaming down into the drain, in a tight head lock by those lathered suds.

At least, that’s how I imagine it works.

Now that your skin is stripped of all the oil (both good and bad) and you will have to put back some sort of water-based moisturizer so your skin doesn’t feel tight and start to over produce oil to make up for the dryness of your skin.

Now for the recipes I found.

Method #1

The recipe: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Castor Oil. If you have dry skin, use more Olive Oil, and if you have oilier skin, use more Castor Oil.

The method: Take extra virgin olive oil, rub it into your face, and then using a warm wash cloth, gently rub and wash the skin, while slowly removing the oil. This is the decidedly messier option, as the oil may never completely rub off, they say.

Method #2

The recipe: Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The method: Take extra virgin olive oil, rub it into your face to mix with the bad oil that produces pimples and clogs your pores. Gently rub it off with a warm wash cloth, and finish with a facial cleanser.

This last part never made much sense to me with the finish of the facial cleanser, but I suppose it’s like putting oil onto your skin FIRST, and then when you clean it off afterwards, the oil has somehow absorbed into your skin beforehand, and built up a little olive barrier?

Either way, I was finishing with a facial cleanser, and my whole goal was to NOT use a facial cleanser if this method worked.

The Verdict:

No go for me.

I broke out within the first week of trying method one. Pimples popped up on my cheeks, and on my forehead. No go.

Method two, felt the same as when I washed with a facial cleanser. Just with an extra, messy, oily step.

While it doesn’t work for me and my skin, I hear it does wonders for others. I guess my skin is just extra sensitive to oils, and olive oil is just too heavy for it to handle.

I think I will stick to what I have been doing before — if I don’t wear makeup, I’ll just wash my face with just plain ol’ water and dabbing it try.

If I wear makeup that day, I’ll just use a good facial cleanser with some baking soda mixed in it to get everything off my skin.

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NTKOG #86: The kind of trendy bistro-hopper who happily chows down on cold dead fish — because in this day and age, in the words of Adam Brody’s character in Thank You For Smoking, “I guess you kinda have to.”

I am: so pupil-dilatingly afraid of fish that even the sight of my own foot in the bathtub often gives me cause for an alarmed shriek.

I am not: that trendy of an eater to begin with. If that’s not evidenced by my passion for bar food.

The Scene: Cafe Sushi in Cambridge, with Anglophile and Porn Star. Both are big sushi fans, and Anglophile swears that the sushi here will change my life. For better or for worse, though, it’s impossible to say. We hang out by the prep area for a few minutes while I lose a staring match with the gaping carcass of a spiny-headed sea beast. Finally the waitress escorts us to our table and takes drink orders. “A Sapporo!” I blurt out, and when she asks what size: “A big one! Your biggest!” Call me psychic, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the beer will end up being my whole dinner.

I suggest we get one of the chef’s sample platters to maximize exposure, then tuck into my beer ’cause my part of the ordering is over. Anglophile and Porn Star bandy about words like “sashimi” and “nigiri” and I assume they’re just reminiscing about their favorite kabuki troupes, but apparently not, because after a while,some food arrives. Except I’m using the term “food” loosely. Like, look, I may not know much about sushi, but one thing I know for sure: it’s supposed to be cute. Like, huggably cute. I was expecting layered little rolls of rice and nori, with some chopped raw fish shoved under a bit of avocado. What I got instead was:

Holy vomming hell. Just straight-up fish. Anglophile and Porn Star immediately start drooling in foodlust; after biting one of the pieces, Porn Star’s eyes roll back in his head and he points at its mate with his chopstick. “That’s the one. Try it. It’s fucking incredible.”

I chopstick it without looking too hard, hold it up to my lips and — and nothing. For ten minutes I raise and lower the piece to my lips — sometimes I even get up the nerve to hokey-pokey it into (and immediately out of) my actual mouth, but whenever I get close to biting, every fish word I know keeps rushing through my head: Scrod. Chum. Mercury Poisoning. No no no.

By this point, Anglophile and Porn Star have finished the platter and are eyeing my piece of apparently scrumptious dead fish. “It’s not going to taste any better now that it’s warm,” Anglophile tells me. I know this but — scrod.

“Quick!” I tell them, “take my mind off of it! Tell me a story! A good one! Filled with lots of sexy violence!” Same approach I use when getting blood drawn. And it looks like it’ll work, but Anglophile and Porn Star get engrossed in a semantic debate about British heavy metal music, and as much to end the boredom as anything else, I pop the piece in my mouth.

Quick cross-section of my mind during the chewing: This isn’t so bad. The flavors are kind of dainty! It’s soft. Like a marshmallow — a marshmallow … made of meat. That’s the muscle. There’s the skin. Oh god there’s the subcutaneous fat. How do I even–bleeeeech.

To my credit, I did not actually vomit directly on the table. But that’s about the best I can say. I promptly deposited the chewed-up fish into my napkin and decanted about three ounces of straight yellow bile right on top o f it. Then, because all I know about the Japanese is that they are polite, and asking our cute little waitress to carry my fishvom seemed a little oafish even for me, sat through the next forty-five minutes with a rapidly heating goulash of chewed fish and gastric juices seeping a hole through the paper napkin clenched between my knees.

Clearly I was right about one thing: the large beer was in order. And half a bottle of saké afterwards. And a new tube of toothpaste when I got home.

The Verdict: This was ultimate, epic fail. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that any food with the phrase “subcutaneous fat” in its tasting notes is right out for this guy. I’m potentially up for trying this experiment one more time, though, with the mild-mannered sushi rolls I first envisioned, and not huge glistening mounds of raw fish. Anyone have suggestions for good novice rolls?

Sorry to have failed y’all on the sexy violence front, but hopefully you at least enjoyed some gross-out words on this TMI Thursday. Oh, while we’re at it, don’t forget to vote for the 20SB Bootlegger awards.

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One in a two-part series about gross things I’ve put in my mouth lately. The next one is TMI Thursday-able. Ugh.

NTKOG #85: The kind of saline-blooded Bostonian for whom no table is complete unless weighed down by a bowl of chowdah (positively brimming, natch, with sliced up — ugh — clams).

I am: afraid of fish and all marine life. Like as in I have a legitimate fear of mermaids. Icthyophobia. It’s a thing, I swear to you.

I am not: going to bore you with the traumatic childhood events that sparked this phobia. Let’s just said it involves my sister waging koi-pond genocide with an algae skimmer.

The Scene: The lovely town of Newport in mythical Rhode Island, where I went to visit my dear friend Physicist. After he forced me to verbally confirm the existence of Rhode Island (I had theretofore been an Island denier), he promised to take me to a restaurant that would win even me over to the local delicacy.

The whole drive over to The Black Pearl, I mentally thumbed through my meager collection of clam trivia. To wit: 1) they are related to snails; 2) aren’t their brains in their feet or something?; 3) they are gross little fuckers, is what I’m saying.

We order bowls and just a few minutes later, the (adorable) waitress plunked before me:

This much I will say for clam chowdah: it’s a big time-saver. In that it comes already looking like vomit. But it smelled like cream and dill and kind of reminded me of Russia, so I tilted a brimming spoonful in my mouth.

TKOG: Hey, this isn’t bad!
Physicist: See, I told you.
TKOG: You kind of have to — chew it, though.
Physicist: Uh, yeah, about that…
TKOG: [thirty seconds later] OH MY GOD WHY AM I STILL CHEWING?!

So much for my glorious career as a chowdah aficionado. Waitress? One roast beef sandwich. Rare.

The Verdict: Hey, at least I gave it a shot, right? That’s the thing about seafood: from what I’ve experience, it’s way chewier than at all acceptable. Makes sense. I mean, the animals it comes from are water-proof, I guess.

My other thing about seafood, apropos of not much: when I eat beef, for example, no matter how friggin’ hungry I am, I’m eating, what, like 1/300th of the cow. But when you eat seafood? You’re eating the whole dude. Plus usually the fifteen other dudes he was hanging out with at the time of his demise. And look, I know there are parts of me that no one would want to eat. Like, if a carnivorous giant popped me into his mouth like a roasted peanut, personal interests aside, I wouldn’t be all that psyched about his culinary decisions. Whole-dude eating: not for civilized people. So. You can go ahead and think about that, chowderheads.

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