“Part of the secret of success in life to eat what you want and let the food fight it out inside.”

                                                                                                – Mark Twain

I’m working on a recently assigned piece about bizarre things I’ve eaten.  Now, I’ve never considered myself an incredibly adventurous foodie type, however, now that I write it out, I’ve eaten some strange, strange things.  For instance, sea cucumber, huge prawns/gambas with the heads and feelers still on, and various other creatures of the deep; a variety of small birds including pigeon (Americans usually think this one is weird), goat (I found it tasty but again, most Americans find this one weird), and assorted offal like tripe, sweetbreads, and even an eyeball (in order to win a bet).  I also thoroughly enjoy morcilla and most blood sausage, which is one more thing that my fellow Americans find odd at best.

Despite the fact that I’ve definitely eaten some sketchy street food in places where doing so is probably…ill-advised, I’ve never had any ill effects.  Of course, many of the things Westerner types think of as bizarre (e.g. goat) are perfectly normal or considered treats in other parts of the world, but really, I’m starting to understand why I got this assignment.

So, what are the oddest things you’ve eaten?


The very best time to visit the Alhambra is midnight. 

The tourist hordes have left, the sun has set, and the palace is painted with delicate brushstrokes of light.  During the witching hour everything takes on a more mysterious quality, and if you find the right quiet corner, you can take a mental journey through the centuries and listen to the stories that those intricate tiled walls have to tell.

The Alhambra

Perhaps you will meet some friendly ghosts?  Or you might hear the long lost echoes of the poems carved into almost every surface.  You may come across a charming stray cat who has made the palace his home.  A wise choice indeed. 

From Paul Gillin’s blog – How New Influencers are revinventing journalism:

“With no formal journalism training, no editorial oversight and none of the trappings of conventional media, Ben Popken is becoming one of the most powerful voices in consumer journalism. And what’s funny is that if you ask him about the secret of Consumerist’s success, he uses the same words that any good editor uses: “The secret is to be reader-centric in a fundamental way. The content is driven by the readers and reacted to by the readers. We’re really just a curator of consumer-generated content.”

Get used to this. It’s the online journalism model of the future.”

A speech by Clay Shirky entitled “Gin, Television, and Social Surplus” – another look at how media is changing – and how it is becoming inclusive – the user creates/generates their own experience.

“Here’s something four-year-olds know: A screen that ships without a mouse ships broken. Here’s something four-year-olds know: Media that’s targeted at you but doesn’t include you may not be worth sitting still for. Those are things that make me believe that this is a one-way change. Because four year olds, the people who are soaking most deeply in the current environment, who won’t have to go through the trauma that I have to go through of trying to unlearn a childhood spent watching Gilligan’s Island, they just assume that media includes consuming, producing and sharing.”

And last but not least, an entirely unrelated but heartwarming story about Chicago’s feral cats.


Shop For The Snow Leopards

January 29, 2008

Every once in a while I come across a thoroughly excellent site, and the Snow Leopard Trust definitely falls into that category – it combines exotic ornaments and textiles, charity, and one of my favorite things, big cats.  Besides having tons of information about these majestic creatures, you can shop for handmade goods from the felines’ homelands of Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, and more.  It’s a great way to add a touch of the exotic to your home; of course, you can also adopt a snow leopard or two as well.


How can you say no to this adorable face?


The Definition of Adorable

January 27, 2008

Is sweet little tiger cubs!  Don’t you want to hug them?


More pictures of these Siberian tiger quadruplets here.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

December 22, 2007

May all your wishes come true!

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2007


You don’t think that I wouldn’t make a Halloween lolcat, do you?  And yes, the cat in the picture is mine (I’m having a cat blogger moment, but she is appropriate for the day, no?). 

When I think of the Wall Street Journal, the words “respected”, “prestigious”, and yes, “serious” come to mind.  However, last Saturday they ran an article about lolcats (and as awesome as I think those are, I wouldn’t have expected to run across them in WSJ), and I definitely wouldn’t expect an article about beer pong to show up. 

However, the article is kind of timely considering that college football season starts tomorrow.