Friday, October 31, 2008

My Halloween So Far...

Jimi HendrixIs it a good idea to visit the Pipefitter before candy shopping?
"That's game, Hendrix."

Caramel applesThese may very well be the last three caramel apples from the James J. Chocolate Shop in Madison until next year. And I've got them. Brrraaahahahaaa.
(The guy who sold me these was wearing a kilt.)

Palin and friendPalin costumes 1, tie dyes 20. So hard to tell if people are in costume around here. I think I saw Jerry Garcia go into a sandwich shop on lower State Street this afternoon.

Tricky DickThe University of Wisconsin welcomes the GOP.

Dude with blue thingThis guy caught my eye. Does ANYONE know what the hell that blue key chain on his sunglasses is?

Nader backerHe seemed so sad, even for the Library Mall.

Kettle cornMaybe I should have bought the Nader guy some kettle corn. (Although the vendor couldn't keep up with the free samples. I mean, c'mon, have you ever known a student to turn down free food?)

Skeleton and lady(skeleton talking) "Hey lady, I wouldn't stick around here after the sun sets."

Bloody surgeonDidn't you take my appendix out?

Trash can ladySeriously, this is the sort of thing you see driving down the street, so why am I still here.
Seacrest out.

Room For One More

Halloween lawnI found this tribute to excess in Cross Plains. It just went on, and on, spilling into the backyard.
As Lily Tomlin says:
"Enough is never enough."
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tricks or Teets

What Will Be The Most Popular Costume Friday Night On State Street?
The Joker
Sarah Palin
Tina Fey
Whoever else is running for president
The Stock Market
Beer Pong
Skank of either gender free polls
Vote now, vote often (pretend you're working for the Republican Party). Put your guess in the comments and you may win something to be named later (I said named, not necessarily sent).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Chance Apples

James J. candy apppleTime flies when your computer desk is buried in candy wrappers and speaker wire.
Someone once told me the best caramel apples in the state were *over by Portage, home of a lovely maximum security prison. (I think the prisoners are really from Florida and they make expensive desk chairs.)
Caramel apples. Although Copps gets props for the over-sized Granny Smith's they decorate with *crushed nuts, M & M's, and Heath pieces, there is only one apple worthy of a snake and a naked chic with ulterior motives.

Candy apple in handThe James J. caramel apple is a seasonal homage to decadence made only in October. They're as fleeting as summer love and as sinful as sun dappled sex on a bed of Madeleine truffles.
You can't really call these caramel apples because the seductive caramel is wrapped around a perfect Macintosh apple like the legs of a warm lover--where am I and why is there a wooden stick in my hair? The caramel apple is then draped with James. J. chocolate and adorned with halved pecans or cashews.
They're lovingly made in Lake Mills on Thursday and arrive in Madison on Friday. They go quickly, and aside from the space-time continuum which sucked up this post, tomorrow is the last day to get them. Tomorrow is also Parent's Day at Freakfest, so if you want an excuse to abandon your life shackles and catch the last of the fall colors, unseasonable weather, and the best caramel apples in the state of Wisconsin, come on down.

Chocolate caramel cashew apple
* "Over by" is acceptable, nay mandatory, if you've spent more than three hours in Milwaukee, I mean over by Milwaukee, past the bubbler and that *Cubs fan in the Bear's jersey about to get handed his nads by a giant bratwurst.

Monday, October 13, 2008


Caramel applesThis post has nothing to do with caramel apples.

Horse applesOr horse apples either. Is this what horse apples are? I thought something different.
My quest for the best caramel apple in Wisconsin, however, continues, and today I'm dropping by James J. to see how they're doing, caramel apple-wise.

Devil's LakeJoy! Mid-October is a good time to frolic in the water (if you have the skin of a seal). This was the scene at Devil's Lake last Sunday. It was 83˚ outside, and ohmygawdshitshitshit˚ in the water.

Playing in Devil's LakeWHY did I listen to you idiots?

Effigy moundThere was enough noise to wake the dead. So much for a quiet walk circumventing effigy mounds and rattle snakes.

cool kidYeah all that sounds great—has anyone seen my BlackBerry?

Running kidNot all of us show that kind of restraint.

Wet dogSome less so near water. It was Dog City at Devil's Lake, and relatively FIB free.

FootballI spoke too soon, watch out, that was thrown by a Bear's fan.
Q. How do you keep bears out of your backyard?
A. Put up a goal post.

Ski Hi RdBa da dum.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'd Rather Be Eating Candy

Watching Rafael's reaction to You Know Who's bumper sticker was the highlight of Happy Hour. That's the last time I'm paying eight bucks for a martini unless the vodka is flown in on the red-eye (get it—too soon?) from Chernogolovka and prepared table side by *Chekov's ghost.

Eating a limeHere Sarah, you'll need some vitamin C if you're going to fight Madonna.
Madonna is cool.

Raf coloringThe Republican Party needs some color.
"And it's up against the wall redneck mother...Sarah Palin can get off my street, just get off my street..."

Bumper sticker artwork"Get off my street..."
I know what it needs.

Chico and RafThat's better.
Glad I could help—can I pee on it now?

*Joke on loan from SCTV Season 1

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Canine Couture

Mastiff in lion costumeIt's never too early to plan for Halloween or Freakfest 2008.
The lion won the costume contest at Dogtoberfest. I wish you could see his little ears better.

Green Bay Packer familyA well planned group costume or the only Packer fans left in Wisconsin?

Hello Kitty dog costumeSee what can happen when you don't plan early.
If you click on my Dogtoberfest flickr set, be sure to check out the Pom in the baby carriage. Need I say more.

Sick As A Dog

Roscoe won't eat.
They don't know what's wrong exactly, not a blockage (but something that shouldn't be there most likely is).
He may have gotten hold of a plastic bag which once held something delicious.
Now, not so much.
Vince and I got him to eat a few treats, and he nibbled on rice and hamburger Sunday. When Phil pointed to the dog dish with a stockinged toe, he nibbled some more.
Karen called yesterday and said the boy, as sick and anorexic (a legitimate pet illness meaning loss of appetite) as he is, managed to sniff out and eat an errant cookie crumb. And he's not the world's best sniffer.

Pug and cookiesCorrection: This is Kensi, not Nigel

Yeah, Roscoe is one of Karen's dogs and a Farino alright.
Let's hope he goes from this with the IV and spoon fed baby food

Roscoe sickback to this real soon.

Smiling skunk dog
Special thanks to Phantom Kitty for use of her Kensi photo.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Open Season in New Glarus

pumpkin seasonYou had me at "OPEN."
Care for another Schnittengruben?

New Glarus BakeryBaby, please, I'm not from Havana.
I stepped into the New Glarus Bakery and started buying things.

PastryIt's what's for breakfast. (This behavior must stop.)
P.S. Jim reminded me you might want to know what's on the table.
Clockwise: Pumpkin schnitten, pumpkin cheesecake, turtle cheesecake, bienenstich (sting of the bee), and caramel apple cheesecake.

Swiss cowYou eyeballing my schnitten? (Some old lady grabbed my plum kuchen in the bakery.)

Dog driverHey look, it's the driver that delivered Jimmy's package.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Jimmy's Package

Jimmy's packageWhat's this all about?
Where's my hazmat suit, I wonder if it works on hazardous repuplicans.
Are those male crabs lingering on Jimmy's package?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

All Melted and Eaten: Divine Chocolate

Divine dark chocolateI tried to wait for the other taste testers before I opened the Divine Chocolate package, but it got all melted and eaten.

This sumptuous Fairtrade chocolate attracted every bug and pudgy child in a five mile radius at the splash park where I shot it.
The Milk Chocolate Coins were quite tasty, made from the same drool worthy milk chocolate used in the Fairtrade Milk Chocolate Advent Calendar—Advent came early this year. The coins attracted insects even before I opened the foil. Unless it was me, I reeked of the bean.

chocolate coins and bugI still have some grubby pieces of dark chocolate nestled in mangled foil on my desk. I keep telling myself it's there as air freshener. That's how strong the smell of the 70% Dark Chocolate is, and it's surprisingly fresh and silky on the tooth after two weeks of abuse.
The Mint Dark Chocolate, 70%, is probably the same as the basic dark with peppermint crisp, but didn't make the same impression as the basic dark bar.
Interestingly enough, the Dark Chocolate has significantly more fiber and less calcium than the lackluster 27% Hazelnut Milk Chocolate. Maybe it's only interesting to me because I don't know much about chocolate.

Divine White DarkIf you want an informed opinion, Cybele is also writing about Divine Chocolate. My knowledge of chocolate is a lot like my knowledge of money: I can't tell you how to make it, but go through it quickly.
I pulled an Üter and ate most of the After Dinner Mints before the photo below was taken, then devoured all but the chocolate parts which touched surfaces. I was so stuffed with chocolate all I could do was sit there and read labels.

mintsThe After Dinner Mints, 58% cocoa, were one of my favs, and quite addictive. They were the first to be released from their holding cell in the fridge, and tasted even better warm and disgusting. Did I ask for 80º weather in September? No, I didn't, but I'm asking for it now—pleassseeee.

Melted MintThe White Chocolate With Strawberries contains no fiber or cocoa mass, but has real strawberries in the crisp. I found it too sweet, as white chocolate tends to be, and a little sexy.

White chocolate w/strawberriesI liked the Crunchy Milk Chocolate, 27% cocoa, best of all, and not being able to control my Caligulian appetite, barely took time to breathe as I scarfed it like a dog.
A dog I tell you.
I liked the Hazelnut Milk Chocolate, 27% cocoa, least of all, finding it dull and full of hazelnuts. But the calcium in this bar had a 10% daily value. Makes you reconsider your breakfast choices. (I wasn't kidding about not being able to do anything but read labels after feasting on the flesh of chocolate.)
A Ghanan cooperative is responsible for the aromatic and savory cocoa. The Divine story and more fairtrade information is on their Web site and inside their wrappers, do your own research. I've got bits of chocolate to lick off my desk.