Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mayo Chips

A. and I were shooting the shit the other day as we were munching on a bag of ketchup chips. We talked about how many chip flavours were based on condiments. Ketchup, salt-and-vinegar, honey mustard/dijon, black pepper, even Worcestershire-flavoured crisps in Britain and wasabi in Asian countries. So why isn't there a mayo chip? Many European folks enjoy dipping their fries into mayo, and apparently in Russia, mayo is more popular than ketchup. They even have different flavours of mayo. Mayo! So why hasn't there been an egg-y mayonnaise-flavoured chip yet?

I speculated with another friend, Kai, who wondered whether there was such a thing as mayo powder. I guess that's important in the chip-flavouring world. You've got be able to coat those thin potato roasties in some kind of powder, keeping them crisp instead of pouring some thick mixture of them. But if they can create ketchup powder to go on chips, why not mayo? This led to further speculation on whether mayo chips would even be that good. The taste of mayo is kind of subtle, so maybe as a chip flavour, it would be sort of bland. If there ever was a chip flavour, its catch phrase should be, "Heyo, it's Mayo! Chips"

Yesterday I went to an island near the city to help with a beach clean up. McNabs Island always had some mysterious allure about it. There's access to it if you rent/have a boat or if you go with a boating company, but I guess for whatever reason, not many people think of going there other than staring at it dreamily from Point Pleasant Park.

The island is pretty cool. There's some camping and people do come by to have picnics and such, but for the most part, it hasn't been too overrun by businesses. People used to have cottages there, but there are no shops or cafes or much phone reception for that matter.

The clean up was not what I had anticipated. On the boat ride over, I expected there to be lots of hippies and hardcore environmentalists. Instead there was a multitude of different kinds of people including couples, corporate folks, a few families and even some hipsters. Now, I'll admit, I'm not hardcore. I sometimes don't even compost, but I had dreams about conversing with others about how there were so many tampon applicators littered the beach. That didn't happen. Instead I talked to people about their fish oil selling business or teaching in China. Important things and interesting things to chit chat about, but not at all what I expected.

Then at the end of the outing, when we all piled onto the boat, after spending hours picking up trash and plastics, people rushed to the bar to buy drinks in plastic cups. What?! I don't get it. I'm now convinced plastic is evil after seeing it floating around the water and washed up onto the beaches. That shit doesn't decompose for years if at all. I guess people weren't throwing the cups overboard, but still. We spent our Saturday afternoon picking up waste only to add to it at the end of the day?! There's some pretty interesting things you can find. Aside from the gazillion tampon applicators, lobster traps, bottles and rope, I found a key and a duck decoy.

The weather was excellent though, and despite my smugness of never burning, I burned. Sort of. I guess browned would be a more accurate description. Like all that garbage that had time to brown on the beach.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Oi. My throat kills. I think my body has finally had a few days to catch up to the stress of my life lately, and as a result my immune system is saying, "Screw this, we're taking a vacation!" I have a runny nose and I can't bear to swallow anything other than tea and soup.

The move went relatively well. Moving piece by piece on foot is not pleasant though. After several days of walking things over, my legs and arms were actually looking kind of toned. Now they've gone back to their feeble state.

The other day, some friends and I were talking about animals we look like. It was decided that Denis was a goat. Margaret a dog, Shawn a badger, Sadiya an elephant, Kevin a bear and Kate an owl. I got a bird, which is the strangest thing. Not any specific bird, just the generic bird. I couldn't wrap my head around why. I don't exactly have a beak-like nose---on the contrary, I'd say it's rather small and button-ish. I'm not peckish or exactly flighty. Maybe somewhat scattered and bird-brained at times. I guess I like nesting, maybe ruffling feathers on occasion and flying around from place to place. But I'm still puzzled.

It's been lazy days for me for the past little while. Moving, settling and now my biggest task at hand is to job-hunt. One of my most despised activities. I've written about this several times before, relentlessly, much like my efforts to find a job I like. The quest seems futile, and despite having a journalism degree under my belt, I'm still back at square one. Journalism is a field where you have to work you way up, paying your dues and praying to the journalism gods to smile and take pity on you. While I'm definitely not a hard-hitting newsie type, I do enjoy writing and when I got into it, I realized it's a hard living.

I'm convinced that there are a few lucky souls out there who are smart enough to land a job that will allow them to climb the ladder quickly while the rest of us poor sods will have to take part-time jobs calling people, trying to manipulate them into buying something or serving java just to make ends meet while waiting for the world to recognize our hidden genius and talent.

It's the finding a job to pay the bills that is giving me a hard time. I'm selective (to a fault, ahem) and would not want a job that will make me want to gouge out my own eyes or pull out my own hair (follicles included). As a result, job-hunting has been less than fruitful. I've had a couple interviews and rejections, which does little to help my pathetic state as is. Sooner or later, I'm going to have to waltz into a coffee shop or call centre, drop off my resume, boast my credentials and grovel for shifts. The thing is, I feel like I'm too old for this. How long can I keep working jobs I hate? Yes, there's the idea from my parents' generation that work is work, you're not supposed to enjoy it. And maybe I'm coming from a spoiled Generation X, where dot commers learned to go for it themselves and the notion that work can be what you want, and telling the boss to shove it was commonplace. Sadly I don't have the gumption to go it alone. Even this brief sojourn into freelancing is proving to be challenging. I have a somewhat hazy idea of what I want to do but I'm not quite sure how to go about getting there. If only I had a little birdie to tell me.