It gets worse. Maybe I should knock off the websurfing for a day or two.


Crazy shit can also happen if you search for "chinese restaurant" on ebay. Don't try this at home! Among other things, you can actually buy a Chinese restaurant in Ft. Worth, Texas, opening bid $18,000. I think I'll pass on that one, but I did download all their pictures with great glee. You could also buy one in Edinburgh for about 8x as much, if that suits you better.

The thing about this project is that it never ceases to turn up crazy shit that stops me dead in my tracks with amazement. Such as this place calling a wok a "Chop Suey Bowl"... I mean, wtf? Everybody knows what a wok is by now, right? On the same page, they have a "Pot/Wok Brush" so what gives???


Janet Cardiff really isn't giving away too much on her site—really just enough to tip me over the edge so I'm actually ordering the microphone set I dreamt about last weekend. (Yes, I did end up returning that first mic I blogged about before. & yes, I am dreaming about microphones!)

The thing that always drives me insane about art is that you can't just run out & see whatever you happen to get fixated upon at any moment. If you're a poet & you suddenly *must* read the work of some wonderful famous poet who inspires you, you can just check things out of the library or go to the bookstore & buy all their books. I can't exactly jump on a plane & go to East Oakville, Ontario without being seriously late for brunch tomorrow. That would be a bad thing.

By the way (back on topic now) the menu from Ireland has Ham & Tomato Soup! A Chinese classic, to be sure.

Oh, I groan in defeat because They have declared that my method of writing dates (25 July 03) is no longer The Preferred Way. At least my way is "a fully acceptable alternative" but it still doesn't feel as good as before.

I'm such a misfit in this world... I like to file things in the back of the file folder, too, instead of in the front like most people. Sigh!

(I do still adore Them, though; Their FAQ is the bee's knees AND elbows!)


Wow. I had no idea... I organized all my takeout menus tonight & realized that I have menus from 20 states! Already! Of course, some of em, it's just one menu from a state. But I appreciate breadth.

Oh, also I have one from Germany & there's one from Ireland coming, whenever I next run into my swimming cohort who brought it back for me.

Keep em coming, menu collectors! I am full of gratitude to all who've given me menus thus far.


Sick puppy that I am, I went to Safeway & plunked down $4.39 of my precious cash in exchange for a hefty hunk of La Choy Chicken Chow Mein. This weighty package consists of 2 large cans taped together, an unusual arrangement known as a "BI-PACK MEAL" (& "BI-PACK" is a registered trademark, they'll have you know). The smaller can, on top, contains Chicken & Gravy. The larger can, on the bottom, contains Oriental Vegetable Mix & Seasonings. It says: "The chicken and sauce are packed separate from the vegetables to keep the vegetables their crispiest."

That's very thoughtful of them. Crispy is a good thing, I think we can agree on that.

Serving suggestions:
Serve over rice
Serve over chow mein noodles

No, I have not separated the cans yet, much less opened them. I'll be sure to let you know if that happens.


But wait! There's more! Another quote from an NPR station's cooking show recipe page (I know, grammar geeks, that's like a compound modifier from hell):

Daniel says: "When I was growing up in New York, every Chinese restaurant served duck sauce and hot mustard.  I have no idea where duck sauce came from originally, but I've always missed it since moving to California.  The above recipe is my attempt to reconstruct the flavor of the sauce.  I'd always mix in as much hot mustard as I could stand and use it as a dip for the fried egg noodles that came with soups."

Daniel, go out & buy some plum sauce!

What a little Googling will get you, & I quote:

...hoisin-based sauces can be used in place of plum sauce. In fact, plum sauce gets its nickname, “duck sauce” from the fact that westerners initially confused the two, believing plum sauce was served with Peking Duck.

This enlightening bit o' info turns up on Google's second page of results, while a recipe from jewishfood-list.com captures the #1 spot; the recipe source is credited as www.orientalfood.com but my browser couldn't find that, alas!

Anyway, I had kinda suspected as much: that duck sauce is really plum sauce disguised in little one-serving plastic packets. Wannabe ketchup.

Coincidentally, right now we are deluged with raining plums from the tree in the neighbors' backyard. I'd been thinking chutney, but now... hey....


Wanted: 14,000 fortune cookies. Not such an outrageous wish, is it? Did you know that a box of approximately 500 fortune cookies can cover 6 square feet of floor space? Of such information is my world made. (Diagram that sentence!)

In the sound department, I finally bought a mic yesterday. Now I am filled with anxiety, wondering, did I buy the right one? Are its imperfections due to my own total lack of experience & know-how, or should I get a better one? Of course, neither answer would make me feel better, so I should probably calm down & just try recording more stuff with it before freaking out.


It's a little scary just how much time you can spend looking at this survey.

In other news, I got my Minidisc yesterday & I'm so excited! I walked around the house recording the sound of my bare feet on the wooden floor, the birds in the backyard (including those loud robins), a motorcycle driving by... everything sounds great, & that's just with a lousy cheap mic I happened to have lying around (laying? uh oh... ok, sitting around, then). Chinese restaurants here I come!