More State Fairiness

Because I know that other, ridiculously long post just wasn’t enough!

We went back to the MN State Fair last night since you can’t do everything in just one visit. And when we got there we were pretty hungry so we started the night off right …

… WITH SOME MORE FRIES!!! No bucket this time, but still a whole lot of deep fried spud tastiness.

Husband Mike felt adventurous, and sampled some teriyaki ostrich on a stick. He claimed it was “good,” but it tasted pretty vile and grisly to me.

He also had a sparkling cider float with cinnamon ice cream. He dug it, I thought it tasted funktastic. We were clearly not on the same foodlength last night.

We did not sample the “deep fried SPAM curds,” but had to photograph the booth that was selling them. When you all come to visit me next summer to attend the State Fair, I will also be dragging your asses to the SPAM Museum in Austin, MN. I’ve been to El Prado, I’ve been to the Uffizi, I’ve been to MoMA and the Art Insitute. And yeah, they’re way better. But the SPAM Museum is 100% awesome, I swear.

Part of our mission on this second visit was to follow instructions given by A Click in the Dark. First, had to try this pulled, marinated turkey sandwich from the booth outside the Poultry barn. He INSISTED that it was the best food at the fair. And, barring fries, he was totally right. If I could eat one of these savory, tender, beautifully seasoned sammies every day of my life, I’d be a fat and happy Sal.

His second instruction …

… was equally enjoyable. The llamas were put through either the obstacle course or something called the “public relations” course, which looked like a series of activities a llama would have to endure while being shown/judged on merit. Like a dog show.

Here are the two courses, end to end. It was pretty dark in there, so these photos aren’t the best, but hopefully you’ll get the idea.

The PR course included this inner tube, and let me tell you, llamas DO NOT WANT to shimmy their way through an inner tube.

You can see the fake forest a little in this blurry-ass photo.

I believe this llama was the only one we saw who made it through the water obstacle, a shallow pool filled with about 57 rubber ducks. We felt seriously sorry for the 4H’ers who had forgotten their wellies, since they had to wade through the murky wetness, too.

This one’s handler kept letting in sniff the water and rubber ducks, in hopes that the llama would think, “Oh, no big. I can totally walk through this without getting my ankles gnawed off,” or whatever a llama would fear about walking through a duckie-infested pool. But no dice. She had to skip this obstacle in the end.

Then we went into the barn to visit with the resting llamas.

This fella had won a fistful of ribbons already. You can totally see why. Check out his regal bearing!

You can’t see it from the obstacle course photos, but most of the llamas are shaved to resemble enormous poodles. How embarrassing.

OK, don’t. Llamas spit.

Welcome to the Llama Wash!

Out next stop was the much-anticipated (by me) goat barn. But …

OMG you guys, the goats were gone. GONE! I nearly cried, I swear. But since we were pretty hungry after the llama festivities …

… I consoled myself with a coneful of hot chocolate chippers.

Then we hopped on the skyride, a new fair activity for us this year. They offer two routes, and the other one had enclosed cars, but since it was SUCH a gorgeous night, I wanted the foot-dangling option.

You get some pretty fabulous views of the fairgrounds. This is the Kidway! (We never make it into the actual Midway, because of the noise and the preteens and the grease and the not-liking-vomit-inducing-rides.)

We took this ride one way, passed Machinery Hill, where you can buy a new tractor or personal watercraft or giant mower, and got off up by the semi-creepy pet barn. Outside the barn, the St. Paul Police Canine Unit was doing a demonstration. Dudes, those dogs were amazing. The heeling and the silent commands and the finding pipe bombs and the jumping and the biting the bite sleeve. And it was fun to see the bond between the dogs and their handlers. Did you know police dogs live with their handlers? I did not.

We were pretty hungry after that, so we headed back toward the Food Building (which amuses me, as there are food stands about every six inches, yet there is still an official “food building”), where Mike got some stuffed potato skins.

Then we went back into the Agriculture Building to see what kind of flower arrangements were on display. Our first fair trip is always on the first Sunday of the fair, and always coincides with the gladiolas, which I hate. But we’ve seen amazing displays of bonsai and orchids on other past non-Sunday trips, so I was excited to see what was being shown.

Turned out, it was Super Weird Table Setting and Flower Arrangement Day. I mean tell me, WTF is this thing?

We also found the Largest Sugar Beet Contest wandering around the Ag Building. Not quite as impressive as an 800-pound punkin, but … ya know, yickier!

On our way out, we were pretty hungry, so we got a bowl of chopped apples doused in caramel – now our preferred way to consume caramel apples.

Then we noticed that there was some weird shopping to be had inside the grandstand lobby. Mike asked if I wanted my handwriting analyzed, and when I said, “No,”he basically called me chicken. So we did it, obviously. The extremely powerful and high-tech machinery used in the analysis can be seen here, as can its astute and technically savvy operator. Mike’s analysis was pretty spot-on, but mine was only 50/50. It did say, however, that “You think it is sensible to be happy.” And friends, that is my flippin’ philosophy of LIFE! So that was pretty cool.

It’s always sad to say goodbye to the fair. But within the next few weeks, Mike will start saying, “Hey, the fair is coming up, you know!” And he’ll say it regularly, every few weeks, until the fair actually IS coming up again. So we can simply continue building anticipation until NEXT August. And attempt to lose the 10 pounds apiece we’ve just quite happily gained.

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Bad Shopping Karma

You know how something occasionally comes up on eBay that you SORTA want because it’s almost exactly like an item you’ve been looking for, but not quite? And you think about it for days and days, and check on it obsessively, and no one is bidding? And finally you think, oh hell, I might as well?

And then within a DAY the actual exact thing you’ve been looking for shows up for sale?


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I Laughed So Much That Rowan Jumped Out of My Lap in Disgust

I was fortunate enough to catch the attention of Blogtations last week, and now a tidbit from my beauty/brains post is enshrined there forevah! The tidbit happens to be the one in which I refer to myself as a hobo with good teeth … but hey, that’s sure to spark some reader curiosity, right? Let’s hope.

Anyway, Blogtations is running a contest with a juicy $50 Amazon gifty certificate as the prize. To participate, I’ve got to pick my favorite quote from the site and share it with y’all. It took me approximately 4 seconds to find THE quote. And it made me laugh so hard that I angered my girl cat, who promptly leaped from my lap and stalked out of the room. She would not stand for such offensive noise and lap-jigglage.

Here it go:

Some company just came out with a scale that tells you your weight in animals. I can’t think of anything more insulting than being told I weigh as much as a hog, or half of a bear. Is this really working for anyone? Does any woman wake up and say “Oh I only weigh 8 ducks today. That’s not so bad.” I don’t think so. By the way, I just did the math and I weigh a satchel of 60 smallish ferrets, or 62,000 newborn hummingbirds.
~The Blogess

HAH! I so wish I knew how many badgers I weigh.

All are welcome to enter the contest, of course. Click here for the rules!

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