4.28.2011

Someone crawled inside my brain and made a Tumblr












All wonderfully accurate pictures are courtesy of my two new favourite memes, Elliot Stabler: RageCop and Taking it Personally Benson.

4.21.2011

Questions about Canada

Alright! It's time for me to answer some of your questions about Canada! I received a lot of good emails, but the best was from a regular reader named Abby who asked her American friends through her facebook status to think of questions for The Skip-Raid. Um, amazing! See, facebook isn't entirely awful. Sidenote - that embroidery of Canada is one of my favourite pictures to visually describe where I'm from. See how Toronto is represented by a raccoon? Yeah, that's about right. This is actually a pillow from Catstudio.com (please PLEASE click on that link. They sell the best glasses and tea towels with states and cities and stuff on them. I have a Tennesee glass and it's seriously one of my favourite things in my house). Anyways, enough shilling for a company that is paying me nothing...on to the questions!

1. Do you have scrapple?
No, we don't. I only know what scrapple is because on Ace of Cakes one time, they had a competition to see who's scrapple was better: Geoff's traditional scrapple made from pork discharge (or whatever scrapple is made from) and...uh…I can't remember the baker's name with the glasses, but glasses makes a vegan scrapple. Suffice it to say, both looked gross. I just Google image searched 'scrapple' and, while it doesn't look totally disgusting, it looks like welfare spam (pfft, I'd still choke it back).

2. Why are all the HGTV shows filmed in Canada?
Yeah, I guess we do film a lot of HGTV stuff here! Its because, truthfully, Canada has a very big reno scene (does that even make sense? What the hell is a reno scene?) I think it's because we have a million reno professionals in Canada. I think the ratio of interior decorators to normal citizens is like 1:9 or something. Also we have a show called Canada's Worst Handyman. By geeze, if you can find it online, WATCH IT!!! It's so hosery. I really really love it. They take normal Canadians (aka Mostly Rednecks) and ask them to perform simple reno tasks: re-grout the sink, put up some tile, paint a room. And they all fuck it up so badly and then curse out everyone else ("MY DAMN HAMMER WAS ON WRONG!!")

3. Why do you say Aboot?
We don't. It just sounds that way because you pronounce it Ah-baw-utt. Really though, we pronounce it more like "a-boat".

4. Why do so many comedians come from there?
Because Canadians are very funny. I'm sorry, that answer was not funny in the least, but it's the truth. But for every funny Canadian you meet, there are about 10 who are really boring and love bragging that they don't own a TV and wear a million layers of loose clothing and listen to nu-jazz.

5. Is Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan as awesome a town as it sounds like it would be?
HELLS TO THE NO, BOBBY B!!! The only thing good about Saskatchewan is that they filmed Corner Gas there (prepare for hatemail from Saskatchewan in 3-2-1...)

6. Are you cold? Do you want me to mail you a sweater?
I know that America loves to joke about this, but for real - from October to May, I am constantly wearing a sweater. I was listening to the radio the other day (shit, that makes me sound like such a hick) and they described Canadians as "A Winter People". Very accurate. We are a winter people. But in some parts of the country, we're also Summer People (Toronto) or Rain 24-7 People (Vancouver).

7. What's the obsession with curling?
Fuck me, I have no idea. Nobody I know curls. One time when I was about 10 or 11 I tried it with my sister. We didn't have proper curling shoes, so we had to put duct tape on our soles to make them slippery. After like, 2 minutes, I was so ready to go home. But really, I'm the wrong person to answer that - I'm so inactive, climbing stairs is like a sport for me (if it were an Olympic event, I'd take home the Gold! Kidding, I'd be disqualified for cheating and using an elevator).

8. Are there really only 42 Canadian actors?
We literally have 42 actors. They appear in every TV show. You see the same faces in commercials over and over again. And TV? Holy god, if you appear in one failed TV pilot, you're sure to be cast in another 1 week after it's been canceled. The thing about Canadian actors is that they usually have 50+ acting credits on their IMDB page, and yet they still work at Foot Locker. One of my friends in High School was a Canadian actor who had been on countless TV series since she was like, 6 years old or something, and yet she was always worrying about selling her car to pay her phone bill. She now lives in LA (smart move).
It's sort of a Catch-22, though. 99% of American programming is American, right? Sometimes you get the odd episode of Extras, but for the most part all the shows you watch are made is the Good Old USA starring red-blooded 'Murricans. Okay, so now when you look at Canadian TV programming, most of it is...American. It's so bad we have this thing called CanCon (Canadian Content) which means a tv station/radio station, by law, has to have Canadian content. So then we get those really shitty shows that are canceled within the first 3 months, and it just keeps going and going and going...etc etc till death do us part. The only exception to this rule are the following shows:
Corner Gas
Trailer Park Boys
Degrassi Junior High
Degrassi High
Degrassi: The Next Generation
SCTV
The Kids in the Hall
Dragon's Den
These were/are all amazing TV shows that didn't make you embarrassed of Canadian television (I'm speaking to you, Little Mosque on the Prairie).

9. The only knowledge I have of Canada is from the movie Canadian Bacon. How accurate a portrayal is that? Also, why is your bacon so weird and not as delicious as American bacon? Do you ever call it ham?
First, I think I have seen about 1/2 of Canadian Bacon, and it would have been purely by accident in like, a dentist's waiting room or something. So let's just say that that movie both accurately portrays Canada and is completely wrong about Canada (I'll have to re-watch it...someday. I have a dentist appointment coming up soon). But on to your question about Canadian bacon:
a) We have normal American bacon. We call it "bacon". We put it on everything and use it the same way Americans do.
b) Canadian bacon is only sold in America. You will never, ever find Canadian bacon in a Canadian grocery store.
c) The closest we have to Canadian bacon is Peameal bacon, but Peameal bacon is waaaay better.
d) We have ham. We treat it the same way you treat ham. Jesus, how confusing is pork, eh?

10. You should teach us all how to use "eh?" properly, because we have no idea.
Oh, hello! My favourite question. Using Eh is really easy, and many Canadians act like they never stoop so low, but we all do it. Especially those of us who were raised "up north". In America, you refer to rednecks as "southerners" and "down south" etc etc but in Canada, it's anyone who lives north of the American border. So you talk about people being from "Up North" (aka Narth) instead of "Down South". I'm from up north, and no matter how much I try, I cannot never be total trash. So when I use Eh, it's like:
"They've got some really good dresses at H&M, eh?"
You always use it in a question, you use it like the word "right". But also Eh means "believe what I'm telling you is the truth, for real". And you pronounce it just like the letter - A. Americans are always doing the "eighhhhhh" thing, but it's just like "A". Aye. And it's never a separate word - you attach it to the end of your sentence. For instance:

"Jenny was pretty drunk, eh?" sounds like:
"Jenny was pretty drunkaye?"

Kind of like when The Fonz says "Ehhhhhhh, sit on it". We never add it on for no reason (well, maybe super rednecks do) so it's never just "How are you doing, eh?" No one ever says that. Its always like, you add Eh if you want someone to agree with you. And it's something that spills out. It's never forced. It just happens. "That guy was a dick, eh?" Sort of like how Americans use "huh?".
And something all Canadian rednecks say: Get R Done. I hate it.

11. Ummmmm wtf is poutine?
Boom goes the dynamite! There's the question that most Canadians are asked most, and I do not mind answering it.Poutine is very simple: french fries (usually fresh cut, but shitty places will serve frozen bagged fries. It's okay) are put into a bowl, sometimes a plate. The white cheese curds (never orange cheddar) are sprinkled generously over the fries. If you have no idea what cheese curds are, imagine taking string cheese and ripping it up into little quarter-sized pieces. So then brown gravy is poured over top. It's sort of like beef gravy? But not au jus; it's thick, like KFC gravy. And it's loaded on. You get it really hot and it's so salty and fatty. You can try to pick at it with your fingers, but it's best to eat it with a fork. Now, Quebec has the best poutine because they have amazing cheese, and it was invented there, so they've perfected that shit. You can go anywhere in Montreal and get the shittiest, most pedestrian tourist poutine and it will still be awesome. In Toronto, we try to make poutine 'jazzy'. We can't leave anything alone. Fuck. So you get garbage like Mexican Poutine (fries, cheese, gravy, TACO MEAT!! SALSA!!!) or Indian Poutine (fries, cheese, gravy, BUTTER CHICKEN!!! NAAN CRUMBLES!!) and it's like, not a dumpster, stop throwing everything in there. In Toronto we have a restaurant that isn't...totally tragic...called Smokes. Visit their website to see all the abominations to the word 'poutine'. With the exception of the Pulled Pork Poutine, which RULES. In case you're wondering how it's pronounced, there are two ways:
Correct French: puh-TIN
Trashy Anglophone: POO-teen

4.12.2011

I ate my first Fillet o' Fish from McDonalds

Over the past couple of weeks in Canada, there has been a very interesting little fight going on within the fast-food world. Wendy's starts airing commercials promoting its fish sandwich (I believe it's called the Wendy's Premium Fish Fillet sandwich). In the tv spots, it shows a couple of fishermen hauling up fish from the side of their boat being like "wtf is that? Who cares! Let's make it into a sandwich!" and then some voice-over is like "who knows what the other guys put into their fish sandwiches. Probably fish discharge, amirite?" and then goes on to extol the merits of the Wendy's fish sandwich (which is made with North Pacific Cod and none of the shit that washes ashore like the "other guys"). In essence, they're basically telling you that McDonalds is making the Fillet o' Fish from all the shit the ocean doesn't want: suckerfish, dead goldfish flushed into the sewer system by their owners, dead bodies of snitches from New Jersey, etc). Even though they don't mention the name of "the other guys", you can pretty much read between the lines. Can you name another fast food place that sells fish sandwiches? Exactly. So then McDonalds decides to fight back and un-sully their name by heavily promoting the Fillet o' Fish. Their ads are all "hey! We know you've heard some unsavory talk about the Fillet o' Fish, and we're here to tell you that we're not, in fact, making fried sea-garbage". And when I say heavily promoting, I mean that there are billboards everywhere with Fillet o' Fishes on them and commercials airing on every channel, etc etc. Jesus, McDonalds, stop over-compensating. Everything you make is hot, salty trash; it's not like the Fillet o' Fish's reputation was starting to make the Double Big Mac look bad.

Anyways, it was after the millionth billboard that a friend and I decided to try the Fillet o' Fish at lunch. It was ironic, because at 3:00am that morning, I was in a McDonalds with a few drunk friends ordering cheeseburgers when one of my friends was like "I think I want to try the Fillet o' Fish" and I was like "NO YOU DON'T! You're going to eat it and then hurl it up in the cab on the way home and I live the farthest away, so I'll need to spend 20 minutes in a cab that smells like fried fish and cheese!" And then, here I was, less than 10 hours later ordering a fish sandwich from McDonalds for lunch. And round and round we go.

So anyways, here is what you need to know about the Fillet o' Fish. When we ordered it, both of us made jokes about turning into our parents, since the Fillet o' Fish's reputation as an OPF (Old Person Food) has preceded it for years. I also associate it with Fridays. Remember when McDonalds had the McDeals and every day of the week you could get a different combo for $3.99? The Fillet o' Fish was on Fridays. Fridays were the worst day of the week for the McDeals.

Here is the Fillet o' Fish in all its glory. In the commercials and radio ads, they make sure to mention that the Fillet o' Fish comes in a steamed bun. I don't know what makes a steamed bun a steamed bun, but I do know that it's just a Cheeseburger bun that is shinier on top. I also like that it comes in a box and not wrapped in paper; I like to have a holder for my fries. Also, I associate the paper wrapper with cheeseburgers and hamburgers, and I feel like the Fillet o' Fish is a classier sandwich that deserves a better, sturdier vessel. Aw, I'm talking out of my ass. I'm sure I wouldn't have cared if it came wrapped in paper.

The Fillet o' Fish is pretty standard: it's a shiny-ass Cheeseburger bun with a slice of cheese, a fried square of fish, and 3 generous dollops of tartar sauce. Let me tell you - I found it to be far too much sauce. My friend said she liked all the tartar sauce, so to each his own, I guess. I wiped a lot of mine off inside the box.

Eating it was another story. I was pretty gagged-out after looking at the inside of the Fillet o' Fish, so I was scared I wouldn't like the taste either. The fish patty kind of reminded me of their hashbrowns, but in my head I knew they wouldn't taste like hashbrowns, so my mind was sort of blown before I even put it in my mouth. I can honestly say though that it was, in fact, very delicious.


But for real, it was very very good. The fish wasn't stinky or gross; it didn't taste like it was made from washed-up sewage. Maybe it was all the crack-cocaine that Adbusters tells me McDonalds puts in their food, but I was hooked. Coincidentally, that's what most of the billboards say. "McDonalds' Fillet o' Fish - GET HOOKED!" Yes, thank you, I am now. Very hooked. The only weird thing is that bun. What is god's name are they doing to that bun? I think Ronald McDonald jizzed on it, cause the bun is very rubbery and sticks to your teeth. Also the bun didn't spring back from where my hands were holding it. Which is...unsettling?

I clearly didn't care though, because I finished it all. I even scraped the leftover cheese from inside of the box and ate it (then again, I do that all the time, so it might just be habitual). All in all, my first Fillet o' Fish was a good experience. I would totally order it again, but it's not going to replace Cheeseburgers for me, because so help me god, I will die with a McDonalds Cheeseburger in my hand. They are so good. I think I'm going to get one right now. Fuck, I need to take a good look at myself, cause this ain't living. Sike! I love my life! See you all later. Go get yourself a Fillet o' Fish and think of me.
xo

4.10.2011

There is a god; he's made of marshmallow

Friday, April 8th, 2011 will go down in history (well, down in my diary, aka The Skip-Raid) as one of the best days of my life. On Friday I was delivered a massive cardboard box at work. At the very same time (literally within minutes) I got a call from my apartment buzzer (it rings to my cell) that a mailman was at my front door trying to deliver a box to my house. And guess what was in those boxes? SWEET SWEET SUGARY PEEPS!!! I couldn't believe it. Never have total strangers brought me so much joy (the close second being the time a homeless guy called me beautiful. Me? Really? Here, take my wallet. My pin number is 3939).

So let's look at what I got, shall we? This first package was sent from 800 kilometers away in Odenton, Maryland by one of my favourite readers Abby. Abby sent me 2 boxes of purple Peeps, 2 boxes of green Peeps, a box of blue, and a box of orange. These are the colours you can't find in Canada; all we have are the yellow and pink Peeps. The minute after this picture was taken, the blue Peeps were torn open and devoured. There were two people eating them (me and my friend who generously helped me take pictures of the Peeps) but still...it was way too easy to put down 5 Peeps at once.

Abby also sent me a package of the chocolate mousse Peeps bunnies. I haven't opened these yet because several people at work have asked to try them, so I'm going to have a tasting on Monday. I'm just going to go ahead and assume they're FUCKING DELICIOUS (I'm probably not wrong). Thank you so so much Abby! Your Peeps made me so happy, and also made me look absolutely insane to those I work with. There were a few people who still have no idea why I received a large cardboard box of marshmallow Easter Peeps at work from a total stranger. Abby, I have never been to Maryland, but from what I understand you have a lot of crabs, seafood, summering Kennedys (yes?), the birthplace of John Waters, and The Wire. Thanks so much again. You're the best!


The next package was sent to me from a reader and fellow blogger who I truly admire, Renee. Renee lives in the great state of Arizona, so that means this Peep Package traveled more than 3500 kilometers to get to my house. Right now, a dozen Locavores just died. Anyways, this is how it looked when I opened the box:

ARE YOU SEEING THAT?!?!?!?!? Renee has two really adorable children and I have a feeling they drew this. But I shouldn't jump to conclusions - maybe Renee did this? In which case, good for you! In either case, I will be framing this and putting it up in my house (and, as my friends can attest, that's not just me being nice. This will actually go in a frame and up on a wall in my living room right next to the framed picture of a cat celebrating his birthday that my sister drew for me).

So let's put that picture aside for a second and see what Renee sent me. In the back is a tri-pack of blue Peeps. 15 Peeps? BALLIN! I think that's what Donald Trump buys. Then in the front is a collection of chocolate-dipped Peeps. Starting from L to R: Milk Chocolate-dipped Chocolate Mousse, Dark Chocolate-dipped Original, Dark Chocolate-dipped Chocolate Mousse, and Milk Chocolate-dipped Original. I seriously almost cried when I saw this (I'm lying. I totally cried). And it took me about 0.2 seconds to tear into one of those chocolate-dipped mousse Peeps.


I tried the Dark Chocolate-dipped one first. In the words of my friend Lauren: "That Peep looks like a poop". It didn't taste like a poop though; it tasted amazing. Chocolate marshmallow is such a nuanced flavour, and the addition of the dark chocolate was a surprise that was appreciated. Listen to me; I'm like a white-trash Anthony Bourdain. But honestly, this was a lovely little snack. I later tried the Milk Chocolate-dipped Original (at Breakfast, natch) and it was also very pleasant. I like that they come in packages of two. It's nice to share. "Would you like one?" I'm going to make lots of friends this week. So thank you so much Renee! Your Peep Package was just fantastic. Renee, one day I hope to go to Arizona so that I can learn more about it. Right now all I know is that it's hot, it's a desert State, there are lost of Native Americans and Mexican-Americans, it's one of the 4-corner States, and that you guys own one of my favourite Canadians, Steve Nash. Anyways, thanks again. This package made me smile.

That's it for now! I'll keep you updated if I get more Peeps! And to all my readers who have a crippling gambling addiction, now is the time to start taking bets as to how soon I'll develop Diabeetus. Play at home! Right now "Sometime in June" has even-odds. Check with your local Vegas bookie for more information.

4.06.2011

Questions about Canada

Hey everyone! After I made a post about Peeps, my inbox was flooded (that seems like a poor choice of words) with emails from total strangers (aka American Readers) asking if they could send me Peeps. Hells yes!!! I'm not going to look a Peep-horse in the mouth (what?). But one thing that kept happening over and over again is that they would ask questions about Canada, and then in turn I would ask questions about 'Merica, and round and round we go. And I thought "why the hell don't I do a post about what Americans want to know about Canada?" Durr, amirite? You don't want to read about texting 9-1-1 (ahaha, yes you do, admit it). So here we go! What I need from you is this:
Send me your questions about Canada. I will answer them all and publish them to this blog. Any question. I have been alive for almost 3 decades (SHUDDER. After writing this, I think a good crumpled-in-the-shower crying jag is deserved) so I know a lot about Canada. Also I live in Toronto which, buy nature, makes me a fucking know-it-all about my country (this is why the rest of Canada hates Toronto). So go ahead! Any question! No question is too stupid (actually, those are usually the best. Keep those ones coming). And in the meantime, I'm going to go back into my email archives and see if I can't find more. I guess you could say this is an "I Have Questions" post, but starring you (and a very lazy Me).

So yeah. Email skipraid@gmail.com and ask away. Or, forward this to your dumbest American friend and make my day.

4.04.2011

Can you text 911?

On Friday night, my friends and I decided to let the McDonalds in our stomachs settle while we watched Dateline NBC. I know, this is what the cool kids are doing on Friday nights now, McDonalds and television. Anyways, so this week's Dateline wasn't To Catch a Predator (rats) but instead we were treated to a really good 2-hours of true crime. A mother, father, and their adult son are shot inside their home (in Virginia or South Carolina or something). It's made to look like a burglary gone wrong, but one of the crime scene guys says it looks like an inside job (GASP!) No one knows who did it, but all signs point to the eldest son, even though there is no physical evidence at the crime scene. Okay, so the way they found the bodies is the mother, who was shot in the face (but really just the neck, mind you) wakes up on the floor after being shot with a shotgun and crawls into the living room, pulls out her cellphone, and dials 911. Okay, so with blood gushing from her damn neck, she manages to talk to the 911 operator and they save her life. Um, hello?!?! Imagine being shot in the neck and then trying to speak to a 911 operator? She was super brave, let me tell you. I know if I was shot in the face, I would be on the floor thinking "oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck" till I bled out (but mostly because I don't have much common sense, so I wouldn't think to move my ass to the closest phone). So during the 911 conversation, my friend and I remarked that she was lucky she had enough foresight to push a t-shirt against her neck so she could slow down the bleeding and speak a few words. I mean, that's pretty crazy. Shot through the throat and she's coughing out words like it ain't no thing. Southern people are pretty tough. But then I was like "What would she have done if she wasn't able to talk? Do you think you could text 911?" At which point, I realized how dumb that would be. Well, we all did, because we started laughing and joking about texting 911. And, for your enjoyment, here is how we imagined texting 911 would look like. Please note: it very quickly turns into sounding like internet commenting and/or high school sexting. I apologise. Also, as any of you who have had to call 911 know, it can be really scary; you honestly feel like the only person who's ever had to call 911 before and every minute feels like 10. So, with that being said, I have no idea why I find the idea of texting 911 so goddamned funny.

Caller: need help
911 Emergency: a/s/l?
Caller: 21/m/on kitchen floor in pool of blood :(

Caller: right now i'm like this O_o but soon i'll be this X_X

Caller: ROTFD
911 Emergency: oh shit!

Caller: shit still dying. where is you?
911 Emergency: FFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK
Caller: you better leave soon, house is far away
911 Emergency: okay, ttyl

Caller: hurry up, I'm bleeding out!
911 Emergency: rip

911 Emergency: yo, whatup?
Caller:
911 Emergency: u there?
Caller:
911 Emergency:
srsl, quit playin

Caller: I just shot an intruder in my house!
911 Emergency: u go girl!

Caller: hurry!
911 Emergency: starbucks line is sooooo long. u want?
Caller: yeh, latte
Caller: wait, make it soy latte
911 Emergency: too late, is regular

Caller: I just fell down the stairs!
911 Emergency: pics or it didn't happen









911 Emergency:
hahah EPIC FAIL

Caller: I think I might have been stabbed
911 Emergency: ZOMG

Caller:
need getta help here soon
911 Emergency: u drunk?

Caller: on fire
911 Emergency: hawt. send pics?
Caller: no, really on fire
911 Emergency: shawty fire burnin on the dance floor lol

911 Emergency: where u at?
Caller: wrong address :(
911 Emergency: facepalm

911 Emergency: can u describe the intruders?
Caller: 2 girls...
911 Emergency: 1 cup. lulz

Caller: I startled an intruder and accidently shot myself
911 Emergency: hahahaha FAIL

Caller: shooting at a house party!!
911 Emergency: n e hottiez?

911 Emergency: where u at?
Caller: the west side
911 Emergency: ain't no party like it, amirite?

Caller:
I need you here asap
911 Emergency: booty call?

Caller: I just sent you a pic of the accident
911 Emergency: whatever bro, thats shopped

Caller: some guys broke in 2 my house and left their guns and a bunch of drugs and stole my car :(
911 Emergency: gtfo! u got free weed?!?

Caller: I just got shot!
911 Emergency: brb - on phone

Caller: where u at? I texted u like 20 mins ago
911 Emergency: playing Killzone 2
Caller: wow...just wow
911 Emergency: stfu dude
Caller: I'm pretty sure I'm dying right now
911 Emergency: fiiine. am leaving. but u owe me so bad

Caller: my sister's going n 2 labor!
911 Emergency: gross

Caller: I think my girlfriend just killed herself!
911 Emergency: (sending picture)










Caller: help! need cops! robbers in my house!
911 Emergency: sorry, wrong number bro
Caller: Really?
911 Emergency: lollllll jk, will send someone asap

Caller: I think I'm having a heart attack
911 Emergency: come on, its like 3am. be cool
Caller: I need someone here soon. I don't know how long I can make it
911 Emergency: u got a hot wife?
Caller: no
911 Emergency: sorry, don't speak english
Caller: WHAT?!?!
911 Emergency: si senor
911 Emergency: for real tho, call back at 7am