Archive of ‘Eating’ category

Respect Yourself

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A recent Los Angeles Times business column looked at a new company called ReviewerCard that issues IDs to “prolific online reviewers” to presumably help them get better service from hotels and restaurants.

According to the snake-oil salesman “entrepreneur” behind this venture, people who “post lots of reviews on websites such as Yelp or TripAdvisor don’t get enough respect from the businesses they write about.”

Um, what?

A legitimate reviewer does not ask for respect. They assume it will be given to them because they are a customer. And if it isn’t, that will be reflected in the review they write.

A legitimate reviewer will not demand good service – they will expect it. And if it is lacking, this too will be captured in their review.

And a legitimate reviewer will not announce their presence by waving a card and demand outstanding service or free upgrades. That’s not what reviewers do. It’s what assholes do.

I always thought that the point of a good review is to remain anonymous so you DON’T get preferential treatment. That way, you can write a review that accurately reflects the experience that every customer will get.

What the ReviewCard offers, in my opinion, is the opportunity for subtle blackmail. By waiving this card in a staff member’s face, you’re implicitly saying “Give me preferential service or I will write a nasty review.” That is not how this review thing works.

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The OMG Diet: WTF?

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I’m breaking my self-imposed but entirely unintentional blogging hiatus to comment on this OMG Diet. I will probably start blogging again because as I get older, the more things piss me off. Instead of beleaguering my boyfriend with my rants (and because Twitter only allows for short angry missives), I’ll pour out my rage here.

To recap: Some douchey personal trainer, who has no medical or scientific background, wrote a book called Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier Than All Your Friends. In it, he gives some stupid tips to lose weight, like blowing balloons, taking cold baths and skipping breakfast. Seriously. Not making this shit up.

The sad part is, publishers are beating down his door to publish this tripe because — fuck you, young girls and common sense — this will make them a ton of money. Because there are people who want to lose a lot of weight in as little time as possible and with minimal effort, and they are desperate to try anything — except, you know, eating better and exercising — and will buy this book. They will buy it, and they will try to adhere to its crazy methodology, like chugging black coffee and shunning broccoli (seriously?). They will then tire of it because taking cold baths is not pleasurable and smoothies are very delicious. They will consign the book to the cobwebby bottom shelf of their bookcase, nestled between other stupid  books about the Atkins diet and the master cleanse. But it doesn’t matter, you see, because the author and his skeezy publishers will have taken their money. Suckers!

Perhaps I’m being harsh on the guy. After all, for as long as woman have been shamed by the ladymags for their thighs and eating and whatnot, there have been weight-loss books. Lots and lots of weight-loss books. For every “How to get a flat stomach in 6 days to get a man in bed” Cosmo article, there is a fad diet that makes you drink your own pee or give up air. The author, who goes by the alias of Venice Fulton (I’ve rolled my eyes back into my head so severely they’re stuck that way and I’m now typing blindly),  is just the latest in a long line of modern snake-oil salesman who claims to have the solution to quick and easy weight loss.

Here’s why the OMG Diet makes me ROTFCMAO (rolling on the floor cursing  my ass off, in Internet-speak – because everybody likes acronyms!):

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Stay Classy, San Diego

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Ah, San Diego.

Prior to visiting the city, the only things I associated with San Diego were the zoo and Anchorman. But after my (too short) vacation there, I would not hesitate to recommend it as a Nice Place to Visit.

I was pleasantly surprised by the clean streets – Toronto’s a pig sty compared to San Diego – although there was a distinctive lack of waste/recycling receptacles. You wouldn’t even know there’s a jail in the centre of the city (although that explains the plethora of bail bonds services).

I  won’t list everything I saw and did while I was there, but will highlight some of my favourite places and activities.

The San Diego Zoo
During the golden age of Johnny Carson, Joan Embery, the ambassador for the Zoo, was a frequent guest on The Tonight Show. She would always bring a couple of the animals from the zoo with her when she was on the show. As a kid, those made for my favourite episodes.

I loved watching Carson’s reactions to the cute (baby monkeys!), the scary (tarantulas!) and the unpredictable (watch his reaction when a Burmese python gets a little too intimate).

So the Zoo was a must-see for the kid in me. The place is enormous and the exhibits are well-organized, and even with the aid of a map, I got lost twice. The admission price wasn’t cheap ($40) but it was definitely worth it!

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Eating: Croatian Goulash

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Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~Voltaire

I love food. You wouldn’t necessarily know that if you went solely by my blog postings. I rarely blog about food. Well, that’s about to change.

I’m not going to make my blog only about food – there are others that do a great job of that and they can be found in my links. But given that I make it a rule to enjoy the finer things in life, I’m going to start sharing them with you. And nothing can be finer on a cold winter’s day than goulash.

My mother has made this dish for as long as I can remember. Derived from the well-known Hungarian variety, the Croatian goulash (gulaš) is more of a sauce served over pasta, gnocchi or polenta. We’ve always had it over pasta, with some hard goat’s cheese grated on top. I started making goulash years ago, but can never truly replicate my mother’s recipe. Perhaps it’s because she seasons it differently each time. As the beef and onions are cooking, and before the tomato sauce is added, she takes every single jar of spice from the cupboard and adds a pinch from each in the pot. We’re talking Italian seasoning, paprika, salt seasoning, Vegeta, Mrs. Dash and god knows what else. I’ve tried my own blend of spices but it never comes out like hers. I think the secret lies in the haphazardness of it all.

So, I cheat. Instead of adding spices, I add prepared tomato sauce. My preferred brand is Olivieri’s Arrabiatta Sauce but any other brand will do. I like arrabbiata because it gives it a little kick. (Recipe below.)

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