I had only planned on attending one funeral while in town and, thus, packed accordingly. The news that I would have to attend a second took me by surprise and left me feeling like that guy who only owns a single suit, dress shirt, and tie he wears to every momentous occasion be it a wedding, an office party, or his own wake. Fortunately, the two services would be playing to two completely different crowds on two separate days so I didn’t have to worry about committing a fashion funeral faux pas.

This morning, we were at the Catholic church – unfamiliar territory for yours truly. Okay, granted, Protestant church aint exactly familiar territory for me either on account of my spotty attendance record of late (“late” being the humongous gap between early high school and now), but I was raised Protestant and have a basic sense of how things roll in the old holy hood. “What’s that?”you say. “Protestant? But your Italian!” True. Somewhere in my vast blog archive, I’ve already gone over how my mother was once a minister of the United Church and how my father was raised Catholic until the day his younger sister caught a beating from a local nun that so enraged my grandmother she chased off an apologetic priest with a broom, renounced her Catholic faith, and converted to Protestantism. Run a search for “Catholic” and “broom”. I’m sure you’ll be able to track it down.

Anyway, today, we were at the Catholic Church. After exchanging condolences and chatting about jury duty and Istanbul as a vacation destination with a distant relative, we all headed inside. Moments later, the coffin was rolled in (allowing the pallbearers to push rather than do any actual heavy lifting which really is a bit of a cheat when you consider they‘re not doing any actual “bearing“). The priest approached, said a few words, and then everyone bowed their heads to observe a moment of silence. Some thirty seconds into the extended hush – CLAK! – what sounded like a snapping whip broke the stillness. I hazarded a peek and watched an elderly man look down at the cane he had dropped then glance up to see if anyone had noticed. I dropped my gaze to avoid embarrassing him. Another twenty seconds of silence and – CLAK! In an attempt to surreptitiously pick up the cane, he had dropped it again. Perhaps having lost patience, the priest launched into a murmured a prayer that ABRUPTLY BOOMED THROUGH THE ENTIRE CHAMBER AS HIS MICROPHONE SUDDENLY KICKED IN!!!

The procession made its way to the front where the priest assumed his position at the pulpit. Then ensued a church version of Simon Says with mourners standing, sitting, kneeling, crossing, and murmuring at various points throughout the service with no apparent rhyme or reason. At first I figured I’d be the lagger but it quickly became evident that fully a third of those in attendance hadn’t a clue what to do. At certain points, a handful would suddenly stand, prompting others to join them, only to have some retake their seats with the realization that the standing wasn’t unanimous. As they would retake their seats, still others would rise, leaving those who had just cast their lot with the sitters to reconsider their allegiance, causing some to stand up once again. While others were in the process of retaking their seats. It was like watching one of those pop-a-weasels in action. Half way through the service, the woman sitting in front of me jumped to her feet, presuming the next movement – and guessed wrong. She was on her feet for a full minute, seemingly willing everyone to join her. No one did. After a while, she glanced around in bewilderment and retook her seat, mortified.

I’m conversational in Italian but couldn’t understand most of what the priest was saying on account of him being a bit of a low-talker. I wish I’d paid closer attention because, partway through his talk, I heard the fellow sitting behind me mutter: “Wrong sermon.”

After the sermon wrapped, a guy with hair like Harry and Norman Osborn from the Spiderman comics gave a speech. While he was talking, I heard a bit of a commotion from the back of the church. One of the church elders approached the spotlight family member – still in mid-speech – and said something to him before trundling off. Harry/Norman finished up and, as he stepped off, another priest stepped in and informed those gathered that they could pay their condolences at the cemetery as there was another funeral waiting to come in and if everyone could file out as quickly as possible that would be great. Stunned looks were exchanged, the music swelled, the coffin was wheeled out, and everyone followed in orderly fashion, passing the second-shift mourners in waiting, their coffin poised and read to roll.

Tomorrow, we’ll be at the Protestant church, one block up. I believe we have the venue all afternoon and, as such, won’t have to worry about being bumped by a second memorial service, women’s choir practice, or charity bingo.

Last night, as expected, I had the meal to end all meals. We were at Au Pied de Cochon – the one place I absolutely have to visit whenever I’m in Montreal. And with good reason. This is Quebec-style comfort food at its finest. On the menu, you’ll find everything from rustic French onion soup to the freshest of seafood platters. But the one item that Au Pied is known – and keeps me coming back – is foie gras in all its forms: cured, pan-fried, in tarts and terrines, crowning hamburgers, stuffed in pig’s feet, served atop duck. Surprisingly, they haven’t incorporated into the dessert menu yet – but maybe that’s for the best because their dessert menu is mighty outrageous on its own.

Here’s a pictorial rundown of my dinner:


The place is always bustling.
The place is always bustling.
Me and sis.
Me and sis.
Tarragon bison Tongue.  I ordered this one because it sounded unusual.  It was fantastic.  Tasty and unbelievably tender.
Foie Gras Poutine.  Down home delicious.
Guinea Hen Liver Mousse.  Melts in your mouth.  Had this last time I was in town and is now one of my favorites>
Guinea Hen Liver Mousse. Melts in your mouth. Had this last time I was in town and is now one of my favorites>
Cromesquis.  Crispy on the outside.  Oozing with sweet and savory foie gras goodness on the inside.
Cromesquis. Crispy on the outside. Oozing with sweet and savory foie gras goodness on the inside.
Tarragon bison Tongue. I ordered this one because it sounded unusual. It was fantastic. Tasty and unbelievably tender.
Tarragon bison Tongue. I ordered this one because it sounded unusual. It was fantastic. Tasty and unbelievably tender.
Foie Gras Stuffed Pig's Feet.  Sis's fave.
Foie Gras Stuffed Pig's Feet. Sis's fave.
PDC Melting Pot.  A whole mess o' tasty.
PDC Melting Pot. A whole mess o' tasty.
Maple Syrup Pie.  Served with vanilla ice cream of course.
Maple Syrup Pie. Served with vanilla ice cream of course.
Maple Churros!
Maple Churros!
Pouding Chomeur.  The consensus pick.  Outrageously decadent.
Pouding Chomeur. The consensus pick. Outrageously decadent.

P.S. I went out and bought my mom a t.v. set yesterday.

She hates it.

49 thoughts on “July 10, 2009: Playing Pop-A-Weasel In Church. Au Pied De Cochon.

  1. Your description of the service at the Catholic Church made me LOL. I also used to attend the United Church of Canada when I was a young child. As an adult, whenever I have to attend a funeral or wedding at a Catholic Church, I find the whole service quite bewildering, as I never quite understand what is supposed to happen when. It’s quite fascinating to see how all of the Catholics know the full drill. I don’t remember the UCC being quite so ritualized.

    I’m going to keep Au Pied de Cochon on my “to visit” list, as my husband and I never know where to eat when we’re in Montreal. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look “family friendly”, so until my toddler gets much older, I’ll have to wait awhile.

  2. Forgot to mention: You should actually buy a mattress for the guest bedroom. It’s something that you can use, and save yourself some aches and pain.

  3. Joe… JOE good God man, I nearly choked to death laughing at your Catholic funeral narrative. Never before have I seen discomfort put into writing with such realistic, heartfelt passion.

    I too, have to sometimes attend a relatives or friends Catholic funeral or wedding church service. I’m always lost, never knowing when to sit, kneel, stand, sit again and attempt to make a cross. I can sometimes keep up if the priest gives audio/visual clues.

    With apologies to those readers out there of this faith, it is all too confusing to the uninitiated, especially if the service is not in your native language.

    I can also attest to confusion if attending unfamiliar services within the Protestant faith. A Lutheran service is very different from a Methodist or a Reformed Church in America or even a Baptist service!!

    The PDC Melting Pot gets my vote, oh yeah…;)

    2cats in NJ

  4. She’ll come around, Joe, just give it time. You did the right thing. You’re a” mench!!” If you don’t know what that is, google it, just be assured, it’s GOOD!! It’s POURING here-s.fl. – We had a tornado and tv went out- leave it to direct tv. I hope the weather is better tomorrow for the space shuttle launch, KSC here we come, bye, sheryl

  5. 😆

    A joy to read from beginning to end…especially the end! LOL! After bugging you to get your mom a tv, I got to wondering if she’d be annoyed by the distortion that sometimes occurs to the picture on these widescreen televisions.

    Hey, you could always keep it for yourself. 😀

    Neither my husband nor I are Catholic, but most of my husband’s family is. Been to a couple weddings, and more funerals than I care to remember, in the Church. At the first funeral I went to, when the priest rang the little bell, my husband leans over to me and says, ‘Good Humor Man!’ – I burst out laughing and ran from the building, and everyone thought I had broken down in tears. They’re all coming up to me afterwards, consoling me, but I was still a bit giggly over what my husband had said, so their consoling only served to make me crack up even more. It was torture!

    The last funeral we went to was for my husband’s grandmother. The priest was on vacation, so they had a retired priest fill in. He couldn’t find his place in the book (not sure what the book was), and the service was a bit choppy. But the worst was when he told the family it was too cold for him to go to the cemetary, leaving the family without anyone to pray over the grave. My husband, a minister (shocking, innit?), was asked to say a few words…and that saved the day for the family. Death is upsetting enough, and just made worse when things don’t go smoothly.

    And Joe – you keep it up, and you’re gonna turn into a fatty goose liver! (what is your cholesteroll, anyway??? 😉 )


  6. Not sure where that extra ‘l’ came from…

    Edit it for me, Joe! 😀


  7. Love your shirt in the photo. Wish I had one…*dreamy sigh*

    I’m Catholic, and the nun-and-broom thing sounds about right for the olden-day nuns. My Mom has some horror stories about the nuns..Hah.

  8. *wipes tears from eyes*

    Your funeral story was all kinds o’ funny (“Gorram hysterical,” says Wash) and then some. Needs rereading. I’ll be in my bunk. (ok, no double entendres, honest, just a favorite scene and line that I had to use, the tale was that good. – Have you ever thought of writing a story?)

    I spent a few years as an unorthodox Catholic, and can now look back on my ritual-learning experiences in a new light. “Pop-a-weasel,” hahaha. I learned that at old-school services, the priest looks at you like you need to be exorcised if you reach out your hand to take the Communion wafer. Also, the church I attended didn’t have kneelers; so the first time I saw such a thing, I figured they were to keep your feet from getting tired, and so made myself at home and propped up my own. “Thoughtful of them,” I mused. Then the middle-aged lady sitting to my right hissed at me, “People kneel on those.” I was properly mortified until I saw the choir nuns in voluminous pink habits with head dressings sort of like really elaborate origami, and it wasn’t because my breakfast omelette had mushrooms of dubious origin. I was hemmed in at that point, and had to bite my lip blood-drawing hard in lieu of going to find a water fountain, or even better, a soundproof room with a clean floor. (Later, I found that those nuns were some of the nicest, kindest people you could ever hope to meet, so decided that, as with the military [or any other vocation], it’s what’s inside the uniform that counts.

    – Next time I go to Vermont, I just might accidentally take the wrong exit from Burlington, and – quelle chance! – wind up at Au Pied de Cochon. Thanks once more for a mouthwatering recap of a delightful meal. (Liver mousse? Really? For that, I’ll have to take your word.)

    Re: the tv, at least you tried. But you probably had a good idea what would happen. Maybe your mom will soften up about those things eventually. Oh well.

  9. Is the dog twitter feed in the sidebar new or have I not been paying attention?

    Btw, your vacation sounds like an episode of Seinfeld. How does one plan on going to a funeral on vacation? Unless you knew when & where they were going to die. You didn’t did you?

    What’s with the sunnies inside? Hangover? I love that wormhole t-shirt. Really want one.

    Cheers, Chev

    p.s. Mrs M. aka Mom – priceless!

  10. OMG, the poutine looks incredible (along with everything else.) Must now find funds to visit Montreal soon!

  11. Hey Joe,

    Glad to hear you’re having an….interesting visit. And that you bought your mom the new TV set 😀

    Just a quick question: is it just me, or was that Atlantis on your t-shirt in the picture?

    In case you’re keeping track, it’s now back to beautiful weather in Vancouver, after raining all week 😛


    P.S. Burrard Bridge has been hell and they don’t even open the bike lane until monday…

  12. Huh…. Is it just me, or have the emoticons changed?

    (I haven’t been on much lately ’cause I’ve been studying, so if they changed a couple days ago, this is the first I’ve noticed)

  13. @ Charlie’s Angel: Your quip about The Android’s Dream tickled my funnybone. It’s one book that I was actually glad didn’t come with olfactory-activating software. (And thanks for the punctuation correctation. 😉 )

  14. “P.S. I went out and bought my mom a t.v. set yesterday.

    She hates it.”

    Aaaha,ha,ha,ha,ha,haaaa!!! Joe you poor baby! I am so sorry! You really do have your hands full. You are such a wonderful son, can I adopt you as mine? I promise to always appreciate everything about you and I will tell you so everyday. Anything you say, do, or give me will put me in hog heaven. Son, I love you and I am very proud of your thoughtfulness and kind gestures! Your the best!
    (I still think you did the right thing.)

    This entire entry made me laugh my butt off! This is a good testimonial for having just a graveside service for immediate family only – or cremation. I feel sorry for the family having to endure that disorganization. My brother always referred to church as aerobics because of all the standing and sitting. Don’t worry, men only have to have one suit for church. It’s the women that have to have a seasonal wardrobe (unfair – as usual).

  15. I couldn’t help noticing that your blog entries are much better when you have been properly fed!

    About the TV: You did good, but make sure that your sis knows how to operate it so when you are half way across the continent someone can help your mom change channels with the new remote. I’m serious.

  16. Hi Joe, funeral story was too funny. I almost decked the rabbi at my mother’s funeral for cutting my blouse (and my gorgeous French bra with it), thought he was being a perv or a homicidal freak. What did I know? I had never been to a Jewish funeral before! But really, all I saw was the guy coming at me with a knife and reacted rather strongly. Strange rituals, all of us.

    I’m so glad you bought your mom the tv. She’ll get used to it. Mr. Deni insisted on buying a new tv a couple of months ago and I still miss my “regular” tv (better picture, no distortion), but it does look cool, anyway 🙂 I moved the “regular” tv into the bedroom (and no, I don’t want another new one in there) and I can watch all the Stargate I want the way it was MEANT to be seen. Mind you, it actually stays on all night, nothing like your mom’s, but some people laugh at me, too. More importantly, I do hope you get her a fence for the yard, for her safety and your peace of mind. Actually, a force field would work as well.

    Your dinner pics actually made my mouth water, everything looks to die(t) for 😉

    Enjoy the weekend! D

  17. Catholic funerals are kind of cool to me. One weird funeral I went to was a Church of Christ one. No music and they had the family go behind a closed curtain with the casket for part of the ceremony. With no music, everyone else outside the curtain didn’t know what to do. Talk, not talk, sit, stand, wait?

    You are a good son, Mr. M. I hope the TV gets accepted. It might turn out like my dad and the new toliet paper. She could always put the new tv in the guest bedroom.

    Have a good weekend.


  18. Hilarious, Joe! And so true. As a former Catholic, I used to know all of the ins and outs of the sitting/kneeling process – and it’s amazing how much comes back to me when I attend a Catholic wedding or funeral. But I understand your confusion.

    In some churches, the priest will direct the congregation. (Please rise for the prayer…Please be seated for the sermon, etc.) But that’s not nearly as funny as the pop-goes-the-weasel approach.

  19. p.s. I grew up Catholic so I loved the description of the Catholic ceremony. I went to a wedding earlier in the year and the priest (who’s quite well known) had me cracking up. He was so great with all of the folks that didn’t know what to do. He’d give a running commentary for when to say Amen, stand, kneel etc.

    God bless Father Bob!

    Cheers, Chev

  20. That looks like the dinner Au Pied de Cochon served to Tony Bourdain, except he ate it all himself. I thought he was going to keel over from foie gras poisoning while we watched (unfortunately for the ratings, he survived). The more I see of their food, the more I think visiting Montreal just for a dinner there would be worth it. Capping off a Trans-Canadian train tour from Vancouver with that… Mmmmmm!

    I’ve never understood why Christians haven’t figured out what the Jews do – have the prayer book clear SAY when to stand AND the Rabbi states “Everyone, please rise”. Even the most non-observant Jew can figure that out. You guys ripped everything else from us, but you forgot the simplest part!

  21. I’ll have to search the blog archive for the religious history of the Mallozzi clan; it sounds fascinating.

    Your play-by-play of the funeral was hilarious! I was raised Catholic (but have lapsed of late) and am of the opinion that all the standing/sitting/kneeling was just to keep the congregation from falling asleep during the interminably long masses/wedding ceremonies/funeral services.

    That food looks fabulous, but I would be sick as a dog if I ate all that rich stuff in one meal. And das had a good question: what is your cholesterol level? Are you one of those people blessed with low levels regardless of what you put into your body?

  22. Of course she hates it, such is that hint of pride that all parents have.
    I just hope you didn’t buy huge thing, they don’t seem to like the sensation of looking from one side of the screen to the other apparently.

    Joe I have to say this, well I don’t actually – but I am that horrid! Your shades…. buy some others – I wont say why, but do.

  23. I always took for granted there was a lot of sitting, standing, an kneeling in Catholic services since I was raised in it. I went to a high anglican mass a few years back because my brother-in-law was singing at the Christmas day mass. None of us are religious, but funnily enough everybody seems to work in churches, except me who has only marginal musical talent.

    At any rate, my sister thought it’d be a brilliant idea to sit in the front row. As a result, we had nobody to watch for cues, and I ended up on my knees with my head down the whole time.

    That’s what she said.

  24. I am so impressed that you can arrange for people to have the funerals while you are in town. I have been trying to get people to do that on my schedule for years but somehow, they don’t comply. Can you tell me how you do this? amazing!!!

    One time I went to a first baptism service for a friend’s child. I have been to Catholic churches before, including Notre Dame in Paris (the whole service in Latin). So I felt like I could figure it all out. No, I could not. Nothing made any sense to me. Up, down, read, sing? I decided I was a visitor, everybody knew it, so I just sat there and watched. No up and down for me. The most bizarre thing happend when the priest fell asleep during a musical interlude and started falling forward in the chair. My husband and I were taking bets to see if he would wake up before hitting the floor. The priest woke up with a jerk before he fell out of the chair. I won.

    Can it be possible that my mother has a twin? Indeed, she hated the TV I bought her too! At first. She would complain, “This remote doesn’t work! What does this button do?” After she figured it out, now she loves it. they don’t like change. She’ll get used to it I bet. Take comfort—you did a very nice thing for her.

  25. HAHAHAHA. Hilarious. 😀 I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that you can even make a funeral (or two) sound funny. I say it’s a good thing.

    No worries Joe. It sounds to me like your mom is just being contrary on purpose; she’s is “hating” it just to teach you a lesson to not buy her any more stuff, even though secretly she loves it, and loves you. You see, I understand women.

    I don’t comment on your food very often since I don’t do restaurants, but DAAAAAAMN that looks good!! Those Cromesquis especially look appetizing. And the Churros. If I ever make it to Montreal, this is one restaurant I won’t hesitate to try.

    Loving the MGM Stargate site. The photosynths are awesome, and the cast interviewers were intriguing, to say the least. I think my opinions on every character went up as a result of seeing those. Is it just me, or are Scott and Chloe getting…close? Do I detect a ‘ship already? 😉

    Oh, and it’s great seeing you, AnneTeldy! I’m sorry about that fever; it sounds nasty. I’m glad you’re feeling better though! Keep us updated! 🙂

  26. TV – hates it…Moms gotta love’em.

    Bison tongue. I don’t think so. Was that your plate? ick

    Sorry about the funeral during your vacation. I am sure your family was happy you were there.

  27. I’m a Catholic, I found this hilarious. Everyone has the same complaint about our mass. It seems like whenever I tell someone I’m Catholic and they’ve been to a service, they’ll complain to me about all the sitting/standing/kneeling. I’ve never been to a Protestant service, is it really that much less ritual?

    For anyone who has to go to a Catholic mass in the future the order is:

    Stand when the priest comes in
    Sit when he sits
    Stand when he stands, for the reading of the gospel
    Sit after the reading, during the homily. The priest will then go sit back down.
    Stand when he stands.
    Kneel during the blessing of the bread and wine. This is when the bells are rung.
    Stand. (I forget the cue)
    Kneel for Communion.
    Sit when the priest sits back down (this will be brief unless there are annoucements)
    Stand when he stands.

  28. Coucou Joseph!!!

    ça va ? moi super =)!!!

    Waou merci pour ces photos! Mais j’ai un petit ptobléme, je ne peut pas agrandire les photos, notament celle où vous êtes avec votre soeur O_o..snif j’en ai besoin pour ma gallery “Mallozzi”

    Vous avez été à l’église? je ne savais pas que vous étiez croyant. Moi si j’aurai le choix je préférais me concertir au protestantisme. Mais bon j’aime beaucoup ma religion actuel le “Stargatisme” lol.

    Je ne serais pas là surment pendant plusieur jour car mon meilleur ami vient à la maison. Il ma promis pleins de choses super et apparament je n’oublierai jamais son séjour ici ^^! Je me demande ce qu”il prépare.

    Bonne journée!
    Bisou bisou!

  29. Forgot: Like others have already posted, that’s a great t-shirt. Basic black with a cool logo or image goes anywhere, really.

    Since it’s the weekend before my birthday, I’m just having myself a good ol’ time. For instance, I did as you suggested and found the story about how the Mallozzi family became Protestants.

    She did what any loving yet firm-minded mother would do. She rolled up her sleeves and marched down to the school, prepared to beat the living crap out of the gulty nun. The clergy in charge of the school tried to calm her down to no avail, and it was only because the nun in question went into hiding that my grandmother finally returned home, unsatisfied, knuckles unscathed. The next day, the local priest paid my grandmother a visit, hoping to smooth things over. She responded to his house call with a couple of well-placed blows from that wooden broom handle she’d been known to wield with alarming accuracy. She chased off the priest, pulled her children out of the school they’d been attending, and left the Catholic church. And that is how my father’s side of the family came to embrace the Protestant faith. Truly an inspirational journey.

    Truly. – That story sent me off into another round of euphoria, and altogether I’m so worn out from laughing at this and that, I’ll sleep like a drunken badger; and if I get lucky, I’ll dream about autobahns and a BMW convertible – if I ever get to bed, that is. The ‘net can be far too entertaining sometimes. (It’s easier to say that than to admit I lack self-discipline. And of course I had to keep reading and find out what a typical guy you are when it comes to Christmas shopping. What is it with you people?!?)

    I’ve forgotten when you said you’re heading back home, but I hope you have a good trip this time. 🙂

  30. Now I know why I don’t go to church!

    Ahahahahaha! Great rendition Joe..

    That restaurant has Oh My God food! Wow.. I’d have to visit the gym 7 days in a row (might as well camp there) to work off all that food.. looks heavenly and so decadent.

    No protestors there this time?

  31. LMAO. I know exactly what you mean about the congregation not knowing from sitting,standing,kneeling or doing the hokey-cokey. I attended a funeral last year at the local C of E church, a beautiful saxon building next to an old (as opposed to modern?) roman fort and as the deceased considered the local hostelry his “church” all of the attendees seemed…nay were, totally ill at ease, I was fortunate (?) in that having been dragged kicking and screaming to church every sunday as a kid the responses were automatic and I struggled to keep from laughing at the bewilderment of the “congregation” who couldn’t wait to get to the pub for the “real” service.

    Good on ya for getting Mom a new TV, she has to object cuz thats what us moms do when our kids do outrageous stuff like that :))
    Best wishes to all the family

    Shiningwit X

  32. Meanwhile I’m off to Tregaillett to help number one son and Fiancee to clean their new home up so they can finish moving in. Photos will undoubtedly ensue.

  33. As far a the new t.v. well, Joe, all you can do is try, yeah, she’ll come around, it may take a while, give her time.

    Your funeral experience, LOL, that was so funny. I was in a Catholic wedding, about 15 years ago, not being Catholic, and never been thru a service, it was a good workout. But you know, it’s never to late to start going back to church, in these time, I find going to church a comfort and encouraging.
    It’s easy to get discouraged and God reminds me of the blessing I do have.

  34. Let your mom go on hating it. A few months down the road she’ll make some comment about how nice it was to watch whatever on that new TV. 🙂

    And thanks for the laughs about the funeral. Hilarious!

  35. Love the story about your grandmother chasing off the priest, so here’s the Jewish counterpart to the story. My grandmother was a proper English lady who converted to Judaism when she married Grandpa. Apparently, the rabbis in Guatemala were having none of that and decided to be really mean to her (and to all converts). She went to the synagogue to pick up some books my grandfather had ordered and the rabbi treated her like sh-t. Apparently, Grandpa had a gun and went after the aforementioned rabbi with it, then stayed in the same synagogue. As I understand it, the rabbit was really nice to Grandma after that 🙂 Italians…

  36. It’ official. I’m addicted to the internet, and specifically to your site. My old laptop completely crashed when I got up to Maryland for Shore Leave. I broke down and bought an off the shelf laptop, and am now wirelessly hooked up once more. I feel soo 21st century, for nearly the first time this decade.
    Enjoyed catching up on the last couple of days. I especially apprecieate the funeral story. For some reason funerals I attend tend to have some odd things happen. Or I suffer Mary Richards syndrome and find something about the service excruciatingly hilarious, and struggle not to let on. Worst case of that was at a cousin’s funeral. I started laughing so hard I had tears. Luckily, thanks to my efforts to supress the laugh, people mistook it for extreme grief and I was able to slide out of the service to recover. I’ve vowed to attend as few funerals as possible, and hope to avoid my own by crawling off into a national park before someone can round up the corpse and inflict the whole formaldhyde thing.
    Thanks as always for the posts. Das, I’m hoping to snag you your Todd picture this evening…

  37. LOL I am and was raised a Catholic. Your popping weasels is how it is all the time ha ha. I still don’t really know when to stand up or sit down, probably because I rarely go to church being all pissed off with it and all, I just do what everyone else does like a good little herd animal. I know when to kneel at least.

    Catholic funerals are fun like that because there are always mixed faiths represented. Sometimes the priest will gesture for people to stand but only if you are lucky. I find it the hardest when I go to a Polish mass, that’s when I really have to pay attention as the flow from the English ones just isn’t there and my Polish sucks.

    My first funeral was in Montreal when I was just a kid and my great Grandma died, I almost choked on all of the incense the priest was waving about. Ahhh memories.

  38. I was raised a Mormon, which is a nice white bread religion, literally, we had Wonder bread for communion, except we called is sacrament.

    Funerals, grrrr. My brother was completely non-religious and married to a devout Catholic woman. He agreed to a church wedding, then told her he never would attend another service of any type. He never did. When he died this past December, I thought we were off the hook for everything except a wake, he had donated his body to the University cadaver program. No luck. His wife insisted on a Catholic service to pray for his soul. Not a funeral, she said. Bullshit, I said. I attended wearing my finest pagan gown; yellow with brilliant green and blue patterns, in floaty chiffon over matching charmeuse, with sparkling sequins and a ton of my pagan pendants. I rose and sat, but did not kneel, when the hands were clasped in prayer, mine were making arcane symbols. I stared at the preset the entire time, knowing full well he knew my brother did not want this. And my friend who was also a friend of my brother’s, wore her short shortest black mini skirt., shocking both the Catholic and Mormon families. Yeah. We would not let him go quietly, just as he wished.

    Maple churros, I am enchanted. And drooling.

  39. After following JewelStaite on Twitter for a while, I can understand why you got along so well – she is such a Foodie!!! 🙂
    Of course I’m jealous you both stay so slim…

  40. Joe,

    Your association with the fantastic franchise of Stargate has always failed to win you points in my house. Today, however, I was reading your blog and my partner came in and glanced at the pictures.

    Her: Wait…this Joe guy…he’s a *foodie*?!
    Me: Um…yes. (now, why the hell hadn’t I thought of mentioning that before?).
    Her: Does he have more food pics/reviews on his blog?
    Me: Why yes, honey. Mixed in with all that “Stargate nonsense” I jabber on about.
    Her: Send me the link.

    So…while your professional accomplishments and writing chops raise you high in my book, it is for your foodiness that my sweetie will now be reading your blog.

    Go figure.

    Today’s selections looked particularly yummy, and I cracked up at the Catholic calisthenics. I did my share of those for years.

  41. Now is the perfect time to move the new refrigerator in and the new mattress for the spare room – your mum is so busy hating the new t.v. that she won’t even notice.

    My religion will have to be “Wraith worshiper” there is sometimes space for the Jedi religion on the relevant forms in the UK. So why not a Wraith Worshiper?

    I am not sure what the funerals will be like – could be fun.


  42. Hey Joe, hilarious story about the funeral.

    I had a quick question about something from…a while ago.

    Do you know what the circumstances of getting Janelle Monae to perform on the show were? By this I mean, was someone a fan of hers and wanted her on, or was there another reason behind it?

    I only ask because I’ve suddenly become a big fan of hers after watching the “Many Moons” music video on YouTube (it’s quirky at first, but the lyrics are so good), and now I’m just curious.

    Thanks! 🙂

  43. sorry I haven’t been able to read each night. I am on vacation as well and everything is all out of order.

    Russian Tea Cakes? Love them. I make them and sugarplums every year for christmas gifts.

    Your mom will get used to the TV she is just being stubborn. My dad is the same way.

    I went to a new dessertery in the city yesterday. I thought I had taken a short trip to heaven. Homemade and authentic Tiramisu right down to the mascarpone cheese and freshly made lady fingers. My best friend had a 5 layer chocolate terrine with a raspberry whipped cream. Being the good friend I am I took some bites. I can only describe it as awesome.

  44. Whoa. It’s weird seeing you without a suit on.

    That service reminds me of when I went to my uncle’s wedding, which was Greek Orthodox per his wife’s family. Our entire side of the church, being predominantly Protestant, spent the whole time with our brows furrowed in confusion and one eye on the other side, always a beat behind in taking the sit-stand cues and looking decidedly out of place. Still, it was a pretty church.

  45. Yowza, the food looks delicious, even the pigs feet surprisingly. Isn’t there such a thing as a “mom” universal remote with big buttons and parent-friendly simplicity?

  46. Agree with you Joseph: that’s some delicious food that they are doing at APDC. Perhaps, one of my personal most savourish meals ever was the one I sampled there (Pig food+ Poutine au Foie Gras) this past December. Thanks for sharing.

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