Archive | March, 2015

Kudos to Kaan Malkoc and Groupon UK

31 Mar

In school I was told time and time again that Wikipedia is not a reputable source.

“Anyone can edit it!” professors would insist.

I’ve used Wikipedia for years, and I still don’t know how to edit an article (though to be honest I’ve never really tried). I had also never noticed an article edited with incorrect information. Until last week.

The other day I happened to find myself on the One Direction Wikipedia page (Don’t ask, it was for work. Really.) Zayn Malik had just announced he was leaving the band, so I glanced over at the list of members.

one direction kaan malkocThat was fast, I thought — they already replaced him! …With Kaan Malkoc? I found it curious he didn’t have his own Wiki page, so I googled him. And almost nothing came up. Turns out he is not a world-renowned pop star, he’s some Turkish kid who’s a ninja at Wikipedia editing. Well done, Kaan Malkoc, you just proved all my professors right. However, Wikipedia did correct the edit, so maybe it’s not that unreliable.

one direction wikipediaIn unrelated news, I noticed a bizarre Groupon today. UK Groupons are often a little bizarre — I’ve seen ones for a decorative Lord or Lady title, as well as a 6-month supply of allergy pills (I totally just bought that one). But this one was something else:

groupon dog barkAnd then I realized what day tomorrow is and clicked on the link.

groupon april fools pug
Well done, Groupon, for kicking off April Fool’s Day early.

Why we can’t be trusted in the Chinatown bakery anymore, and pickles

15 Mar

During the week I try to eat healthily, with lots of oatmeal, vegetables, and lean proteins. But the weekend? Let’s just say I’m “working out for the weekend,” because all the calories I burn running all week are likely eaten back up.

In continuing with the awesomely bad ’80s tune themes, “sweetness is my weakness” (Dead or Alive, anyone?). Particularly Chinatown sweets. At my normal Monday grocery stores (yes, plural, because I go to at least 3 different grocery stores during my big Monday shop), I never even go down the cookie (“biscuit”) aisle. But in Chinatown we can’t help ourselves. It started with “the cake,” then Hello Panda, because, hello, I can’t not buy it if it has a panda on it, then Kittyland, because they were 3 for 1, and then our favorite chocolate-covered gummies were by the register — and there were 2 new flavors! — and suddenly we’ve spent way more than anyone ever should at a Chinese bakery and all this is in my kitchen:

london chinatown sweetsWe should be good for weeks now, “should” being the key word.

Take a look at the English phrases on the Kittyland cookies:

kittylandWho decided “My dad bought it for me” and “It’s lonely sleeping alone” were the best ones to use?

In other food news, I had a lengthy text message conversation with my dad the other day regarding pickles. I sent him this photo of some pickles I bought at Waitrose to prove that they’re the real Kosher deal.

london kosher pickles

Apparently “kosher” pickles in the US just means they’re made in the traditional manner of Jewish New York City pickle makers and may not have been prepared in accordance with Jewish dietary law. These British bad boys, however, were. I’m not sure how that affects the taste though. They are sweet, like US-style bread and butter pickles. But most pickles in the UK are sweet. To get dill I had to buy these imported from Poland.

dill pickled cucumbersThey’re good, but they’re not US deli (like Izzy’s) dill good. Also, for whatever reason (probably this crap), pickles are not called pickles in the UK, they’re either “pickled cucumbers” or gherkins, not to be confused with my beloved Vlasic sweet gherkins. But I believe I blogged about this pickle issue before. I’ve just recently been digging pickles as a relatively low calorie snack since, well, SEE PHOTO ABOVE.

Day seats, Mädchen lieben die pancakes, and interesting library people

10 Mar

Last week it hit me — how is it already March? And, perhaps more importantly, how is it already March and I haven’t seen a single play in 2015?

I decided I needed to do something about that, and queued for day seats for The Nether. It was my 24th show in London and 13th time queuing for day seats. People occasionally ask me what my favorite show is, and I never seem to have an answer. They’re all so different, it’s hard to compare. However, there are a few things that made some of my favorites, like Chimerica and 1984, stand out: impressive and surprising set design, and a theme or story that stays with me long after the curtain closes. The Nether checked both boxes and was an amazing show. It’s one you have to see for yourself — I did not do myself any favors trying to explain to Stephen how amazing a show about pedophilia was.

There were only three people ahead of me when I joined the queue, two of which were young German students. They spent the entire time talking in very animated German. At one point I heard the girl say “pancakes” 5 different times. Is there no German word for “pancakes?” Or maybe she just prefers the English? Either way, it was weird to hear “wedeln ja dran einfrierenden rennende PANCAKES die rase einrennendes in vor soll PANCAKES dran winden verworrene versessenes PANCAKES denn weis an da reinen PANCAKES.” (no, that is not real German so don’t try to translate it)

stewie click click bloody click pancakesAfter I got my front row center ticket for the matinee, I went over to the library with my laptop to get some work done. The computer lab of a public library, for lack of a better word, is an “interesting” place with “interesting” people. And with that, an “interesting” smell that comes from said “interesting” people. One such interesting person plopped himself next to me and proceeded to play music loudly on his phone. Then he decided to play with one of those apps that repeats what you say, so he would say a phrase in Russian (most likely obscenities), some animatronic animal would repeat the phrase back to him, and he would laugh hysterically with his friend. Keep in mind that this is going on in the computer room of the library, usually a quiet zone. Never mind the fact that we were also in central London and it was a gorgeous day — didn’t these guys have anything better to do than to play with their phones in the library? Luckily they left after 15 minutes, my guess is they were killing time before their hostel would let them check in. Still, I was surprisingly productive, reminding me that even though waking up early sucks, queuing for day seats is always worth it, especially when I can still get my work done.