Halloween! And I'm back! And you'll have to wait till Monday for any kind of a decent update :(

Okay! So here it is! I'm back from vacation, and I have tons and tons of pictures and stories, but none right now. You see, I have been transient-living for the past week and haven't had time to sort through everything. Here is what you will have to look forward to come Monday:
- a post about Disney World
- a post about Universal Studios
- a post about the Gross People of Orlando, Florida
- and a terrific story about an absolutely ridiculous timeshare presentation I took

Oh! And it's Halloween this weekend!! My favourite holiday of the year. Of course I will be dressing up, and this year it's going to be (probably) the best costume I have thought of. Last year I went with a 'sexy' costume and went as Peggy Bundy (FAIL! Everyone went as Peggy Bundy) so this year I'm going to throw a "Big deal, who cares?" to the wind and going as....
Jesse Pinkman! Yes, Jesse Pinkman; everyone's favourite high school dropout-turned-drug dealer-turned-meth cooker-turned-thorn in Walter White's side. Also, so that the costume isn't lost, my boyfriend will be going as Walter White. I think I may even post pictures of our costume since I will be rendered completely unlike myself (as I don't often dress like a mid-20s drug dealer from New Mexico). Anyways, have fun this weekend! Cross my fingers that I don't get busted for selling meth this weekend :(


So...I'm going back to Merica

Yep, so I'm going to Flordia...again. I know, you're probably sick to death of Florida/Canadian Smugness posts, but guess what? I'm not! Merica is amazing, and I plan on blogging about this trip so thoroughly, your spray-cheese-filled brains will 'splode. But this isn't just any trip to Florida, oh no. It's going to be better than a post about Cracker Barrel. It's going to be better than a post about swap-meets. It's going to be better than a post about those shitty sea shell-selling tourist traps on the beach. This time I'm going all out; I'm going toooooooooooooo
Hells yes!! I, a grown-ass adult woman, am going to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. I'm also going to Epcot (awesome), Universal (pretty cool, I wanna ride the JAWS ride), and Universal Islands of Adventure (seriously the best place on earth).

This will be my 3rd time to the Magic Kingdom, 2nd time to Epcot and both Universals. I'm pretty siked because the last time I went to Epcot, it was the first year of Michael Jackson's Captain EO and I was 3 (I'M OLD, DEAL WITH IT). You got these sick purple 3D glasses but I was only 3 and had NO FUCKING CLUE how to deal with 3D glasses - I did not get it at all. So the whole time I was sitting there being like "THIS FUCKING SUCKS FIND ME MICKEY OR A STAR WARS OR SOMETHING" and I didn't enjoy it. I regret being such a tard, because I am amp-a-lamped to see it again. MJ lives! Anyways, the Magic Kingdom is going to be a great place for second chances too, since the last time I went I had to be dragged on to the Haunted Mansion ride by my Grandmother. Oh, did I mention I was 9 YEARS OLD? Yeah, too damn old to be askaird of fake ghosts and haunted-happy music. I was FREAKED. OUT. I hid my head in my hands for the whole ride and what I did manage to see gave me nightmares for weeks. Yeah, um, we're still talking about Disney's Haunted Mansion; the one that 4 year olds can go on and have a good time? Yeah, same one. So this time I'm going to definitely go on it and enjoy it and hopefully won't cry or faint or have nightmares for life. Oh, and I didn't open my eyes on Space Mountain either because I was scared I was going to die. I know, it kills me to know me. Aight, see you in a few! Next time you hear from me, I'll be in MURRRRRICAAAA!!!


Did you know?

Did you know...the voice of Brain from Pinky and the Brain is also the voice of Toucan Sam? It's true! You may already know that Brain is voiced by the effortless and talented Maurice LaMarche, but did you also know that:
1. He is also the voice of a billion other characters, such as Kif, Morbo, and my personal favourite, Hedonism Bot on Futurama, Fred Flintstone, Apache Chief, and tons others on Harvey Birdman, Alec Baldwin in Team America: World Police, etc etc etc. This guy's Wikipedia is as long as the entry for the Lincoln assasination.
2. Maurice LaMarche is Canadian? Weird, right?
3. He's the voice of Orson Welles in...everything they need the voice of Orson Welles. Like in Ed Wood; Orson Welles was the body and face of Vincent D'Onofrio and dubbed-over voice of Maurice LaMarche. If you want to watch something truly funny, watch this:

Did you know...that Freddie Mercury was Indian? Weird but true! Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar (which also happens to be a popular strip club in Toronto. Zanzibar, that is, not Farrokh Bulsara). Anyways, he went to boarding school in Mumbai and had a younger sister named Kashmira. His parents are Bomi and Jer. I swear to god, I had to look this up about 10 times because seriously - have you ever seen a guy you were more sure was named Freddie Mercury at birth?

Did you know...Winona Ryder was nominated for an Academy Award? Yes, star of such Awards-show fodder as Mr. Deeds, Alien Resurrection, and Boys (see how I didn't mention Heathers? Because DOYE Heathers rules my life) was once considered a good enough actress that she should possibly, maybe get an award for it. In 1993, Winona Ryder was nominated for her role as May Welland in The Age of Innocence, but lost out to Anna SOOKEH Paquin for her role as an adorable moppet in The Piano. I'm going to guess it was a mistake on the part of the voting academy because - also nominated that year? Rosie Perez. I KNOW! What the hell was up with '93?

Did you know...that badass Homicide detective Lennie Briscoe is the voice of Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast? This shocked the hell out of me, since there was no one more no-nonsense and cool than Jerry Orbach; heck, just hearing his voice made me ground myself for a week with no TV. And yet, in 1991 Jerry Orbach recorded the voice of Lumiere, the bi-curious sex addict/candelabra. AND sung all of Lumiere's songs too. Here's a funny thought: imagine Sam Waterston voicing Lumiere; it's hilarious, right?

Did you know...
that the star of the Smashing Pumpkin's Tonight, Tonight is Spongebob Squarepants? Well, not Spongebob himself, obviously, but his voice - Tom Kenny. And if you're too old to know Spongebob, then you know Kenny from Mr. Show, or...uh...well, if you have kids, he's a pretty big deal. If you look at his Wiki page, you'll see that even though he is rolling in Krusty Krab dollars (they smell like chum) he STILL works. He doesn't have to work another day in his life, and yet he's still auditioning and voicing cartoons (well, any cartoon that needs a very high, squealy voice). Oh, also in Tonight, Tonight? Kenny's real-life wife Jill Talley, who he's been married to for 17 years. Adorable!!!! Watch the video and swoon:


Mars vs. Mars: Two go in, one comes out!

As a Canadian, there are certain things that run through my blood: the overwhelming pride I get when I see a beaver damn, getting teary-eyed when I hear Gordon Lightfoot, and an insatiable appetite for Mars bars. In the US, Mars bars are very similar to that of the Milky Way bar: a layer of fudge/nougat underneath a layer of caramel, all wrapped in milk chocolate. The main difference is that a Mars bar tastes like heaven, where as a Milky Way tastes like an asshole dipped in sorority vomit. What I'm getting at is that Milky Ways aren't very good. But it was the other day when I was in a UK candy store that I saw a British Mars bar and I thought "Hey! I should do a side-by-side of Canadian Mars bars and UK Mars bars. They can't be that different, can they?" Hatchi matchi, they're as different at Elijah Wood and Macauley Culkin in The Good Son. So let's settle the score, once and for all - which is better: Canadian Mars bars or British Mars bars. Queen Elizabeth III vs. Beavers! Let's do this! ENTER THE OCTAGON.

History: I used to have a friend who worked at the Mars factory two towns over and he told me that there would be huge vats of Mars nougat just floating around the factory floor. Never in my life had I wanted to steal something so badly. Mars bars are a Canadian staple; they're in every convenience store, grocery, vending machine, and gas station. Also, the quality control on them is crazy - you'll never eat a stale/old Mars bar. It's weird.
Stats: 260 calories per 58 gram bar. That means that there are 4.48 calories per gram.
Ingredient list: Sugar, corn syrup, modified milk ingredients, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, hydrogenated palm and palm kernel oil, lactose, malted milk powder (malted barley, milk ingredients, baking soda, salt), palm oil, soy lecithin, salt, dried egg white, artificial flavour. Shit, lots and lots of palm oil/palm kernel oil in here. Isn't that the one that's supposed to kill you? Sheesh. Better cut back to 3 a day.
Look: The Mars logo hasn't really ever changed. It's pleasantly retro. Sadly, this is as classic as our candy bar packaging gets; that's where America really does it well; how classic is Reese or Snickers?

History: I had a friend when I was a kid with British parents. For some weird reason, her parents used to import British candy at Halloween and give it out (I guess they thought Canadian candy was sub par. Pfft.) She used to have tons left over because they NEVER TURNED ON THEIR LIGHTS AT HALLOWEEN. Doyes! If your lights are off, it tells neighborhood children that you don't do Halloween. So yeah, I'd go over in November and eat my fill of British mini-Mars'es. It's a taste I remember to this day. I also remember knocking over a whole can of orange Crush on their living room floor, and barfing a peanut butter and jam sandwich all over their kitchen, but those stories are best left for another day.
Stats: 259 calories per 58g bar. That means that there are 4.46 calories per gram.
Ingredient list: Sugar, glucose syrup, milk ingredients, vegetable fat, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, lactose, demineralized whey powder, fat reduced cocoa, barley malt extract, emulsifiers, salt, egg white, hydrolised milk protein, vanilla extract. Holy shit, are we sure Soylent Green is made from people? This is like a laundry list of weird science additives.
Look: I do not like the look of this typeface. It's too swishy. It looks like a fake candy bar prop for a sitcom.

Here is the Canadian bar out of the package. It's stocky and dark. It slid out nicely (that sounded so rude!!!)

The British bar is longer and lighter (in both colour and weight) but the caramel had started to leak out the back end, making it stick to the wrapper. Someone in quality control was clearly havin' a laugh.

Side by side, the bars are pretty different. On the left is the Canadian bar, on the right the British bar. The Canadian bar has darker chocolate and is significantly shorter. Its weird that both the Canadian and British bars weight the exact same. The British bar didn't seem that much shorter (to make up for the length. Taken out of context, this post could be seriously NSFW).

And here's our cross-section. Again, they look fairly similar. Both have the same chocolate-to-candy ratio, although are you looking at the cut-lines on that British bar? The Canadian bar is perfect; no drag from the knife, all the layers are completely level. That's a classy candy bar.

Look at this? I'm practically a geologist, what with these cross-sections and slices of interior. No surprise that the Canadian bar is near-perfect (save for some crumbly chocolate on the side, although that is to be expected when dealing with real chocolate and not "chocolaty coating" aka Mocklate). Shall we discuss the British slide for a second? Santo. Dios. What in the name of Willy Wonka is that? The minute I put a knife through it, the chocolate bar just threw up its hands and said "I quit this bitch FIR RULL". Marf.

Okay, let's stop judging a book by its chocolaty cover and get to tasting it.
Squeeze: Yes, I judge on squeeze. I like to know how solid the bar is. This is important when you are eating it on a hot day; you don't want it to totally squidge through your fingers, right? The Canadian bar was pretty solid; I was applying fairly innocuous pressure here and it held its own.
Chocolate: Very cocoa-y. This tasted very similar to an Easter Bunny. The milk chocolate was dark-ish, and I appreciated that; Dove makes a bar that is 1/2 milk and 1/2 dark chocolate, and it's lovely! Milk without all the sweetness, dark without all the bitterness.
Caramel: It tasted like Kraft caramel squares. I knew it was caramel because of the colour and viscosity, but in a blind taste-test, I could have confused it for anything sweet and sticky.
Nougat: Very malty and smooth. It tasted like malt balls and whipped nougat. I wish the nougat middle of a 3 Musketeers tasted like this.

Squeeze: As before, I applied very little pressure and this bar was all everywhurr. I should also stress that this bar had been stored in the refrigerator for 3 weeks and came out cold. Ew?
Chocolate: Very sweet with lots of milky notes. I think they cover everything in Cadbury's milk chocolate in Britain (I think they brush their teeth with it. Hey, remember that old SNL commercial for Hedley & Wyche British Toothpaste?)
Caramel: This was by far the best part about this bar. It tasted smoky. I think I could describe it as tasting like burnt sugar. It was really nice. The only problem was that it was a bit too soft; I like a chewy caramel, not a saucy caramel. One time this girl was applying for a job where I worked and her email address was karamel_brown69@gmail.com. I was like "Are you serious? Maybe you want to get an email address that will help get you a job somewhere other than a strip club or a Hip Hop Recording Studio".
Nougat: This was such a fail. The nougat was ashy and gritty. It tasted sort of malty, but more like molasses. It was like a dry molasses fudge. Which is good if you want that sort of thing, but when you're combining it with a smoky caramel and a creamy milky chocolate, maybe take it ease a bit, k? The nougat reminded me of what's inside a Milky Way (Answer: Poo Poo Fudge).

The Canadian Mars bar. The British version was too sweet and had too many flavours working against each other, whereas the Canadian version was 100% cohesive. The only thing that makes me cringe is knowing that the British caramel was so good; I would DIE if they used the same recipe in the Canadian bar. It would change the taste and make it just a bit more sophisticated. Also, the British one loses for using glucose syrup. Use corn syrup like us, you cheese-eating surrender-monkeys! That's the French, you say? And that we use artificial flavour instead of vanilla extract, you say? Well, I'll be damned. Anyways, go out and judge for yourself. And if you don't have Mars in your part of the world, email skipraid@gmail.com and I'll send you one, but ONLY the Canadian one, because by geeze, that British bar is SPENSIVE. It was like $3, and I do not have that kind of money to be throwing at near-strangers.


Drawings and a Paper Toy!

Last week we had a contest at work wherein the winner would receive a delicious dozen of mini cupcakes baked by yours truly.

They were obviously very very good - are you looking at those gumdrops? They were hand-picked from the classiest of Bulk Barns. Note: The employees of Bulk Barn will shank you with their eyes if they catch you hand-picking specific colours of candy from their bins. Apparently, the "scoop is there for a reason". I also decided to make a cute little card for the top of the container, just to jazz it up a little. Here it is:

Awwww, two little kitties sharing a stack of cupcakes. Adorbs. Then it made me want to draw something else. In the comments, one reader mentioned that their cat will do anything for donuts. A cat who likes donuts? I wanna meet that cat! But until then, I'll have to settle for drawing that cat instead:

I would think that a cat could juggle donut holes if they really put their mind to it. Plus, that cat and I have a lot in common; we both like glazed donuts with sprinkles.

I also wanted to draw my favourite thing from this week: seeing dogs chase butterflies! Isn't that cute? I love how out of control they get - I mean, it's just a butterfly.

Its a Shiba Inu; I like the way their tails go.

I was also working on a paper toy mobile this week that I think turned out pretty cute. They started out as cats, but now look a little more like cute sasquatches. Note: I was trying to describe a sasquatch to a co-worker and I couldn't remember the name (all I could think of was Yeti) so I did the mid-walk pose and went "this thing. I'm making this thing". Thank god he understood that I was doing this. So yeah, it's super easy to put together: just click on the picture to make it bigger, then print it out. It's formatted to a standard size 8.5x11 and I suggest you use card stock or a heavier weight paper when you're printing it out. I made one for a friend for her birthday and hung it over her desk. Imagine doing a bunch of these? Critter Castle!

Anyways, that's all! I just wanted to share some drawings and stuff with you.


The last Cathy ever!

Click to make big.

Welp, we all called it! Cathy is procreating (EPIC SHUDDER) and her mother could not be happier. Sidebar: why have we never noticed that Cathy's mother bears a striking resemblance to Mother Bates from Psycho? Whatever, the long and short of it is that now we have NO MORE CATHY!!!!! Who will take the coveted spot on the front of the newspaper where we once had a whiny, disgusting slob? Knowing my personal hell, they will probably just double up on Garfield; turn Garfield into a graphic novel of sorts. Anyways, I think the comments from the final Cathy were some of the best material all weekend. Gems like:

"Don’t like this ending at all. Always loved Cathy before she married Irving. He’s such an idiot. I was hoping for a divorce not a baby."

Ahahahaha, exactly. Oh well, with this ending, it's very easy to predict Cathy's future:

Separated at birth, or the same person? You make the call.