Japanese Tuna Salad

Japanese Tuna Salad

Japanese Tuna Salad

After a rocky start to a 39th birthday week I decided to get out of dodge and see what I could find out in the wilds of North Carolina. 

Things I Learned This Weekend Traveling In The South: 

1. There are few problems a Reba McEntire impersonating drag queen, whiskey, and riding crop can't solve. 

2. The incorrect response to learning someone's cat is a hermaphrodite is, "your cats fucked up."

3. If for only a few minutes, the right meal can calm your tits. And the Japanese Tuna Salad at Lucette Grace in Raleigh, NC did just that. See photo above.  

Jujyfruits and Poppers

This weekend I found myself on some misadventures in Raleigh, NC with two good friends who live down that way. After entering a bar where I was branded with the over enthusiastic "BEST OF LUCK!" I hunkered down for a night of fun. 

Things I Learned This Weekend Traveling In The South: 

1. There is a gay bar with carpet, urinals that literally put you face to face with your future maybe baby daddy, and a gift shop specializing in underwear, leather goods and sells Jujyfruits nexts to the poppers. Giving you the opportunity to chow down while you bear down. 

2. In the span of 7 hours you can experience the roasted chicken at the James Beard Award winning Poole's Diner (here for information), and the fried chicken at Burger King. Both are excellent. 

3. A larger than life drag queen sporting a cheeseburger pill box hat and corresponding cheeseburger printed peplum blouse further validated my theory that no one ever looks bad in a peplum top.  

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bread

Girl Scout Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bread

This weekend I stepped out of my box and took a road trip with two friends, two strangers, and a cross dressing Scotsman. Which of course meant I had to make Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Bread. A road trip necessity.  

With swimsuits in hand and sunscreen freshly applied we drove 5 hours even deeper into the south to watch a friend perform in drag for the sake of theatre. But before that poor sun burned Scotsman got on stage to open the eyes of Hilton Head's elite to the world of farce we made Hilton Head Island our bitch.   

Things I've Learned This Week Living In The South (Beach Edition):

1. A last minute road trip with your hairdresser can lead to some of the best seafood you've ever had in your short sea food eating life. The Hilton Head Island Seafood Festival proved to be the best $29 spent in a long ass time. Why was everyone keeping the beauty of the Oyster Shooter from me all these years?

2. The South is home to some very friendly people. As seen by the community of women at the food festival who rallied together to share what few unused napkins they had to make sure all women in line had toilet paper as there was none left in the shitter.  

3. When told that the person getting in the car with you once crapped himself wearing an adult dinosaur onsie, don't judge. He may be the only other "Ben" you'll meet that is worthy of the name. And as he played soccer on the beach in a newly purchased shark onsie, his girlfriend looked on with what I feel was a mix of lust and love. We all need a partner who can can admire us in our onsies.  



Happy 4th, Hunting for Cookbooks, and (an education in) Hedwig

Ummm...looks like Daddy is checking out more buns than what's on the table.  Cookbooks even have tips on how to pick up women!

Ummm...looks like Daddy is checking out more buns than what's on the table.  Cookbooks even have tips on how to pick up women!

Another Independence Day has come and gone. And what's more American than binge eating, manual labor, antiquing for cookbooks and listening to musicals about transsexuals?

This week I found myself up north on the muggy July shores of Lake Superior with Just Joni. Casually trying to ignore my work while getting odd jobs done around the house. As I wrapped up the first coat of paint on the back deck and blaring the soundtrack to Hedwig And The Angry Inch, Just Joni suggested we take a mini road trip to the interior of the Great State of Minnesota to the old family cemetery plot. And if you are anyone who knows me you know I don't pass up a chance to check out a cemetery.

Once in McGregor we found ourselves slowly crawling down the main street (which is named after us and I wanted to point that out to every one of the five people who were on the street) we came across Molly's Antiques. From the road this run down yard sale with walls was a gold mine of crap everyone needs. There are two things that I am always looking for when I find myself side stepping creepy clown dolls and back issues of Time: green milk glass that is wrongly priced and first editions of cookbooks. I don't have a huge collection of cookbooks but the few I have I cherish. Save for the beautiful set of Gourmet Magazine Cookbook given to me under the false pretense of caring (mind you I would never give them up - I just sacrifice a goat for good luck before using them).

My present Neverending Story search of a cookbook is for the first edition of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook. As I kept my hands free from touching anything that looked like it might at one point have been on the set of Honey Boo Boo I finally saw the Holy Grail of cookbooks. I maneuvered myself over a suitcase I imagine to have the remains of some farming mistake and quickly picked up my find. This musty fourth printing of Betty Crocker's Picture Cookbook was as close as I'd ever come.  And for $8 I wasn't going to pass it up.  

This gem has everything you need. The classic recipe for "Burning Bush" - Form softened Cream Cheese into a ball and roll in minced dried beef. Mmmm....

It also comes with advice for every domestic diva inside us. Tired from housecleaning?!? Just lay on the floor, hands over your head for 3-5 minutes. Do your 'headwork' while doing your housework. Multitasking was thing even in the 40's.  

In a time when cookbooks are almost obsolete I am sure many of you are wondering why I even bother. Well someday when the zombie apocalypse comes someone needs to know how to make a Burning Bush. If you need a cookbook I highly suggest the new Betty Crocker Cookbook. And it has nothing to do with my name being in it. If there was a shameless plug emoticon I would maybe consider using it here.  

I have to get back to painting the deck while exposing the new neighbors to the trials and tribulations of German transsexuals trying to make it big in the music business.  

What's your go to cookbook? and will it prepare you for the zombie apocalypse?

Book-It, Buses, and Beers

Thank you docent for just barely getting the name of the museum in the photo and yes...those are GIANT fake frogs on the railing about to attack

Thank you docent for just barely getting the name of the museum in the photo and yes...those are GIANT fake frogs on the railing about to attack

Don't hate me. But I like Fall. I like Winter. And this weekend though it was sunny and nice out I was relieved to see a about a dozen leaves changing colors in the Minnesota countryside. That doesn't mean I am going to stop applying my daily sunscreen (because daily moisturizing is very important) or stop slowing my roll as I go by a Dairy Queen. But it does mean I am going to wax poetic about some fun times had this past Winter (early Spring really)with SAGL and Betsy Wetsy.  

Not so long ago Betsy Wetsy made the "most smartest" move a woman could make. She moved to Uptown in Minneapolis. And with her move she gained two free bus passes from her "generous" landlord. 

Now having never used the city bus (don't judge the poor thing - she comes from royalty I think) she reached out to her two pauper friends, myself and SAGL, to show her the ropes of the more pedestrian life. We decided to make a day adventure out of it.  

SAGL suggested we travel the foreign lands of Dinkytown. For those not in the know Dinkytown is where the kids who are striving for a higher education at the University of Minnesota live. There are bars, frat houses, fast food, theaters, herpes and other cultures there.

We met up at Betsy Wetsy's new pied a terre and ventured to the first bus stop. With the confidence of a q-tip with a new hip, Betsy Wetsy climbed the bus stairs and popped her cherry. Again.  

Ten minutes later and anticipation through the roof we arrived in Dinkytown. I had taken the pleasure of planning out our day, but keeping it secret so as to not spoil any of the fun. 

First on our riotous sojourn we hit the Bell Museum of Natural History.

It was a taxidermy DREAM! So many furs that could have been put to use as muffs. Shit - I mean it was so wonderful of those select Minnesotans to donate the dead animals to teach me more about life outside my bedroom window. Seriously though...pretty cool place. Check out these NSFW photos of our misadventures in learning.  

Yeah we were sober at this point in the day. We are just this much damn fun to be around.

Yeah we were sober at this point in the day. We are just this much damn fun to be around.

After visiting the kind people at Bell Museum we ventured to The Book House in Dinkytown - this joint could suck you in for hours. We're talking doubled up books on shelves and some nice Comic-Con  loving gents behind the counter. At this point I decided that we needed a challenge added to our adventure. I declared that we could not leave until we each purchased a book. 

Books in hand we needed protein STAT. Down the street we ventured to The Loring Pasta Bar.

More bar than pasta I have only been here once. They have Pimms and we all know that is a sure sign of a well established joint. Loring Pasta Bar is nice. The staff was wonderful (read:flirtatious with all of us). And the burger was enjoyable and to quote Betsy Wetsy, "I mean I gave up something for Lent. I gave up Vegetarianism". That and a few cocktails we had to hit the pavement again.  P.S. Betsy Wetsy is back on the Veg folks. She did not fall off the wagon.

This time we were going for ice cream. Annie's Parlour (google it - no website but people talk about it) was pretty damn good. We each ventured to try something different and walked out a little more gassy.  

Not to be outdone by a little gas. We circled the block to get things moving and stopped at our final destination.

The Kitty Kat Club was almost completely empty except for a really sad bachelorette party (it was like 4 pm - who starts a bachelorette party at 4pm?) and a few crazy locals. Thankfully this gave us the total attention of our barmaid. She was kind enough to throw away a nasty ass drink that she recommended and she also regaled us with readings from our Book House bought books.  All in all we were pretty well warmed up by the time we left The Kitty Kat Club. So much so we maybe got on the wrong but back to Uptown.

The lesson of this blog post fan(s). Venture out in your own city. Get drunk at 3pm on a Saturday. And buy books. I know you used to only read because you got a personal pan pizza from Pizza-Hut with Book-It. You can still do that. But now you just need to buy your own damn pizza.  Read people. First my blog. And then a book. And then the blog again. 

Party on...