006 - Stutter Island by Dennis Lehane

FACT: The book is always better.


Lately I’ve been really big on audio books. I kind of suck at sitting down and reading a book because I rarely have enough time to waste on reading and because I have the attention span of a goldfish. But I discovered I DO have enough time to LISTEN to a book on my way to and from school! I would much rather listen to a book than the radio any day.


So just a few weeks ago, I was searching my Barns & Nobel’s depressing little audio book section for... something. I didn’t quite know what I was looking for. I knew I wanted something kind of spooky, like a Stephen King book or something of that nature. But my B&N doesn’t have a wide selection, so I was kind of in despair. I’d seen the cover of the Shutter Island audio book a few times, with Leonardo DiCaprio’s pretty face on the front lit up by a match. I’d seen the movie before, and I actually rather liked it. So since I’d totally failed at finding anything by Stephen King, I settled for Shutter Island, and I’m very glad I did.



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I’m not going to get heavy into the plot here, simply because I recommend you either pick up the book and read it yourself (or pick up the audio book and have someone else read it to you!), or at least see the movie, which is remarkably close to the book.


The writing in this book is awesome, The plot of the book is also awesome! The characters... While awesome, that’s kind of hard to say ;) There are a lot of characters that may or may not exist. Keep on your toes, kiddies.

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003 – eos Lip Balm


FACT: Winter can leave you with chapped lips!


Chapped lips suck. Really, there’s nothing worse. Like when you have little bits of skin hanging off of your lips, or when you’ve been sleeping, and you open your mouth and your lips stick together, or maybe your lips get so dry, that they split down the center, or at the corners.


Now there are plenty of lip balms out there to sooth and prevent chapped lips. Though, every one of them seems to have flaws. Maybe one is super moisturizing, but tastes like campho penique. Or it tastes really nice, but its a little kids brand like Lip Smackers, so it’s more like candy than lip balm. Or you have something like Burts Bees, which is great, but it’s way too expensive, and gets used up too fast!


So what do I want in a lip balm? It has to be very moisturizing, it has to taste and smell good, but not be TOO over powering, and it has to hold its value. I’m willing to spend good money on a product, as long as that product lasts a good, long time. Also, being organic is defiantly a plus!


So, after going through many a tube, pot and squeeze bottle of lip balm, I decided to try something a little different. 




eos, (evolution of smooth) is a cosmetic company that specializes in smoooooooth. They make shaving creams, lotions, and lip balms. And their “Smooth Sphere” lip balms are the best. I own the Summer Fruit and the Lemon Drop flavors.  ALL eos lip spheres come in these super cute egg shaped containers. The large, rounded ball of balm makes it easy to just swipe it across both lips and be done with it. It makes a great base for lipsticks and glosses too.



Let’s start with the Summer Fruit. It’s the most generic of the eos line, along with Honeysuckle Honeydew and Sweet Mint. It’s 95% organic and 100% natural.  They are free of most allergens and preservatives, like gluten (a common allergen produced from wheat), paraben (a preservative that commonly causes skin irritation and allergic reactions), petrolatum (petroleum jelly) and phthalate (trust me, this shit just sounds gross. It’s used to strengthen industrial plastics, sometimes used as a preservative). 


The Summer Fruit balm is long lasting and super soft, goes on clear with no stupid colors or shimmer, and tastes really really good. But the flavor and smell isn’t overpowering. It’s actually flavored with real blueberry extract, strawberry extract, and peach extract. I keep the Summer Fruit sphere on my desk and just slide some on whenever I remember to.



I also have a sphere of Lemon Drop eos balm. It’s different from the Summer Fruit and other flavors because it contains an SPF 15, with broad spectrum, UVA/UVB protection. Its free of the same preservatives. Both balms are packed with vitamin E, shea butter and jodoba oil. The balm glides on super smooth, and isn’t waxy like other balms can be.


The Lemon Drop flavor/scent is totally my favorite. It’s flavored with real lemon peel oil keep this one in my purse and take it out with me, because of the SPF, it’s good for on the go. Eos also has a medicated lip balm in tangerine flavor.


Eos doesn’t test any of their products on animals. They used natural, organic ingredients like palm oil, olive oil, hemp seed oil, rosemary extract, shea butter, jojoba oil and beeswax.



So, back to my list of lip balm requirements.


Very moisturizing: Check. With so much vitamin E, shea butter and essential oils packed into these little spheres, you won’t have to reapply for quite some time.


Smell and taste good: Check! Eos uses real fruit and herb extracts to flavor their lip balms, so it’s never too over powering, and the tastes doesn’t get all stuck in the back of your throat.


Organic: Check! Most ingredients are organic and all natural, and they’re all free of nasty preservatives and allergens.


Price fits quality: Check! Each sphere is $3.29 USD, and lasts for several months! I’ve had my Summer Fruit Sphere since July (about 6 months), and I still have a lot more to use from it. Also, the packaging is just so darn cute.

You can buy eos lip balms and other products from their website, or from walgreens!


So there you have it. Eos lip balm is... the bomb :C BAD PUN IS BAD. SEE YOU TOMORROW.

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002 – The Venture Bros.


(made up) FACT: The Venture Brothers is one of the best shows on [adult swim]


I know it’s not really a fact. It’s more of a very strong opinion. But really, it’s MY favorite show on [as]. If you’ve never seen it, wrap up Johnny Quest, Scooby Doo, Hardy Boys, VH1 Classics and Star Wars in a paper and smoke it. You’ve got the Venture Bros. The show revolves around the Venture family, their friends, and their enemies.


Let’s start with the Venture family.



Dr. Thaddeus “Rusty” Venture is a failure at life. As a kid he was a boy adventurer with his own TV program “The Rusty Venture Show” where he and his father, Dr. Jonas Venture and the rest of Team Venture (a glorified Super Friends type group) when on mystery solving adventures. Like most child stars however, Doc lost his fame and fortune along with his father. He’s not even a real doctor, as he never finished college. He tries to be a super scientist like his father... He also likes to pretend he’s a god in the sack. The only proof he’s not a virgin are his twin sons, but even that’s debatable...


Favorite Clip: Operation: Get Me Some



Hank and Dean Venture are the title brothers of the show. They’re comparable to the Hardy Boys, but considerably less intelligent. They don’t live the life of normal boys, with a super scientist father and all. Hank loves Batman, girls, and pretending to be Batman. He had no interest in Super Science, and would much rather pretend he’s Indiana Jones. Dean is feminine, but loves to go on adventures and solve mysteries. He’s slightly more science minded, and will attempt to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a Super Scientist. If your child is clumsy, you buy him a helmet, if your children are death prone, you keep a few clone slugs floating around. The boys have died several times, their memories are backed up on a super computer, and every time they die, Doc just pops a few clones into the oven and BOOM, happy 16th birthday again, boys!


Favorite Clip: The Boys Never Died


Brock Samson is the Venture family’s body guard. Since Doc is a Super Scientist, he’s constantly being arched by super villains, and there for needs protection. Other characters in the show have said it best: Brock is a Swedish Murder Machine. He’s a blonde haired, butter cream frosted murder cake.


Favorite Clip: Assclamp!


With every Super Scientist, there must be Super Villains. And the Venture family has a very special arch nemesis...



It’s unknown exactly why The Monarch hated Dr. Venture, but we do know he’s been Arching venture since college. When the Monarch was a child, there was a terribly plane crash. Everyone else in the plane died, and a young Monarch was left to fend for himself in the wilderness. He was “adopted” by a school of real monarch butterflies, thus manifesting his obsession with the winged insect. The Monarch professionally Arches Dr. Venture, green lighted by the Guild of Calamitous Intent.


Favorite Clip: The Summer of the Monarchs



Dr. Girlfriend is the Monarch’s Girlfriend. Though she has a remarkably deep voice, she is in fact, a woman (and a suspected 12 pack a day smoker).  She later becomes Dr. Mrs. The Monarch. She’s the more competent of the arching duo; the Monarch would be nothing without her.


Favorite Clip: Don’t Scream



While the Monarch has a ton of henchmen to do his bidding, there are two in particular who have managed to stay alive and get special treatment. The fat one is #21, and the skinny one is #24. They’re... they’re amazing. They banter about the stupidest things, like whether Smurfs lay eggs or are mammals.


Favorite Clip: [adult swim] has lovingly made a montage of awesome clips.


Those are basically the main, most important characters of the Venture Bros. series. There are a ton of secondary character however, which I think deserve recognition. For me, the following characters make this show worth watching.



Dr. Henry Killinger and his Magic Murder Bag. Killinger is like the Dr. Phil of the Venture Bros. universe. When The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend were having relationship issues, Killinger stepped in, teaching them that “Compromise, my friend, is the essence of diplomacy, and diplomacy is the cornerstone of love. Sweeeet love...” When Dr. Venture is experiencing financial difficulties, Killinger works as a type of motivational therapist, working out Doc’s problems with his father and brother, though the final result of Killinger’s therapy isn’t what Doc had in mind.


Favorite Clip: Remember



Dr. Byron Orpheus is a Necromancer that lives on the Venture Compound with his teenage daughter Triana. He is the polar opposite of Dr. Venture, relying on magic, hypnotism, and other such nonsense, while Doc relies solely on science. Aside from this obvious contrast, Dr. Orpheus has an amazing sound track for everything he ever says, and a group of friends called The Order of the Triad, which consists of The Alchemist, an openly gay monk in search of the philosophers stone, and Jefferson Twilight, a Blackula hunter.


Favorite Clip: Another [adult swim] Ode!



Sergeant Hatred is another arch nemesis from the Guild of Calamitous Intent. When the Monarch fucks up and loses his right to Arch Dr. Venture, Hatred gets assigned to be Venture’s new arch. Sergeant Hatred has a little problem with pedophilia, making him... Just morbidly hilarious.


Favorite Clip: Block Party



Perhaps my favorite character, Hunter Gathers was operative for the same secret service Brock Samson works for. He trained Brock, taught him everything he knew, and was like a father to Brock... Until he got a sex change, in order to go off the map and live the life he always wanted.


Favorite Clip: Tip Me!

And then of course, there's David fucking Bowie; the Soverigne of The Guild of Calamitous Intent. He has special powers that let him shape shift. Need I say more? David Bowie. And Klaus Nomi. But that's for another day!

Favorite Clip: Poser

And that’s the Venture Bros. At least all the reasons I love the Venture Bros. Until next time, folks, stay awesome.

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001 - Bacon


FACT: Everything is better with bacon.

Bacon on its own is godly, of course. My parents made pancakes and bacon this morning from breakfast and honestly, I was most excited about the bacon. I love nice, crispy bacon, and I also like tender, slightly chewy bacon. Bacon is never, ever bad.

Bacon is simply a wonder food of awesome. When vegetarians cheat, they cheat for bacon. When people go on a diet, they go off of that diet for bacon. Unless it's the Atkins diet, where it's 100% totally cool to eat bacon. And sure, they say that bacon is bad for you, but it's good for your soul. Bacon is often imitated, like turkey bacon, and vegetarian bacon, but nothing ever compares to straight up salted smoked pig fat.

It's amazing how simply changing the order of two words can result in something awesome, and something not awesome.

For instance: Turkey Bacon = NOT awesome.

(these are lies)

But on the other hand: Bacon Turkey = TOTALLY awesome

(not a lie)

Bacon can stand alone, simply eaten as strips, but I think there's something to be said that, according to my first started fact, everything is better with bacon. Meaning bacon makes everything else taste better. For instance, I'll start off with one of my favorite bacon enhanced inventions: Mo's Bacon Chocolate Bar.

Vosges Haut Chocolate makes a lot of strange chocolate combinations, but none are quite as decadent as Mo's Bacon Bar. I'm personally a fan of the Milk Chocolate Bar, but it also comes in a Dark Chocolate Bar. The Milk Chocolate bar is 41% cacao (the Dark Chocolate has 62%), with delicious bits of applewood smoked bacon and alder wood smoked salt. The inspiration for this chocolate bar came from the breakfast I had this morning: Sweet pancakes and syrup with salty crunchy bacon.

Honestly, this Bacon Chocolate bar is one of the best things I've ever tastes. It's like... nothing will ever be quite as delicious again. The chocolate is smooth and rich, it contains the perfect amount of bacon (and trust me, they aren't stingy with it) and the balance of sweet and salty is just... unrivaled. You can purchase Mo's Bacon Bar at
Whole Foods Market.

This decadent combination of Bacon and Chocolate inspired me to search for Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes. And while I have yet to actually make any, I certainly plan to, using
this recipe from allrecipes.com. What about chocolate (or vanilla) ice cream with bacon on top? The potential awesomeness just goes on and on.

If you don't like chocolate (weirdo) but you still want to test out the wonders of sweet and salty bacon. You can always try Praline Bacon "Candy". If you're allergic to pecans, or just don't like them, you can still do the following recipe with just brown sugar.

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Since I started with dessert, I supposed I should move on to dinner. Another one of my favorite bacon combinations (that is slightly less adventurous than chocolate) is bacon and shrimp. Sure, everyone has had bacon wrapped shrimp and/or scallops as appetizers, but I defiantly think shrimp and bacon deserves it's own place on the menu as a main course. I have a recipe for a very simple dish of Spaghetti with Shrimp and Bacon, but it's really freaking delicious. Try it with Bakon Vodka.


Collapse )So we've covered dessert and dinner. The obvious next step is lunch, of course! Now, most people would say their favorite bacon themed lunch is the BLT. Unfortunately. I'm not a big fan of lettuce, tomato, or mayo... So it'd totally rather have a sandwich of JUSt bacon. Lots of bacon. Or, maybe, a bacon cheeseburger. The best bacon cheeseburger I've ever had was made right here in my own home. It was a burger patty bade from bison (buffalo) meat, with melted American cheese, Sweet Baby Rays Sweet 'n' Spicy Barbeque Sauce, some fried onion straws, and of course, 4 slices of super thick cut, slightly chewy bacon. Goddamn was that a good burger. The major grocery store chain in my area, Publix, also makes a stuffed bacon cheeseburger, which is basically a burger patty with pieces of bacon and shredded cheddar already in the patty. It gives the whole burger that delicious smoky bacon flavor.

Now, we've all had this happen before: You're eating your bacon cheeseburger (or maybe your BLT without the LT), but for some reason, you just can't seem to get a bite of bacon in every bite! curly strips of bacon aren’t very consistent. Sometimes you'll get a bite with just bread and no bacon. And that's just a travesty. So what do you do? You make yourself a Bacon Quilt of course.

 In case you're not so good with the maths, that's 12 slices of crispy, meaty bacon, braided together into a perfectly consistent, every-bite-full-o-bacon quilt. Never again will you have a disappointed bite of sandwich, void of bacon. And it won't be only one slice of bacon, but every bite of bacon will have at least 2 perfectly fired slices per meaty square inch.

Dessert, Dinner, Lunch... The only logical next step is Breakfast. And I've already mentioned, perhaps the best breakfast in the world is pancakes and bacon. But what if you're on the go? What if you just don't have the time to sit down with a fork and knife and cut up your pancakes and eat your bacon? Well, Aunt Jemima's got you covered.

 It's the perfect solution! You fry up your bacon, nice and crispy like, and on the same damn griddle, you pour your pancake batter over your bacon slices and BAM. Bacon in a pancake. As for syrup, if you've just GOTTA have it (i can go without syrup sometimes) there's no reason you cant just dip them in syrup. And they don't just have to be for "on the go". They're pretty good all the time.

I've covered several edible ways of enjoying bacon, but did you know you can enjoy bacon all the time, without actually having to eat it? I know I know, you're asking "what's the point?" But bacon has a loyal following, so bacon also has merchandise! 

That would be Bacon Lip Balm, Bacon Air Freshener, Bacon Bandages (free toy inside! I WONDER WHAT IS ITS?! IS IT BACON? I BET IT'S BACON!) and Bacon Soap.

Check out mcphee.com for some other awesome bacon and meat stuff.

Need the perfect gift for your favorite bacon lover (or just want to treat the hell out of yourself)? Get a subscription to a Bacon of the Month Club!
The Pig Next Door offeres two kinds of Bacon of the Month packages. There's the Traditional package, which sends you a different kind of artisan bacon to your home once a month. Then there is he Heirloom package, where you get to sample different bacons from specialized breeds of pigs.

I hope you all love bacon as much as I do! See you tomorrow when I discuss the finer points of... something else that's totally awesome x3
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