Thursday, December 27, 2012

The iPhone 5

The iPhone 5. "It's the thinnest, fastest, lightest iPhone ever."

That's what they always say. Which doesn't mean I'm disappointed in the product, it just means that I'm not amazed or surprised. I got one for my 16th birthday, and I love it. Going from a $10 Target pay-by-the month phone that barely did anything to an iPhone 5 that does virtually everything, is a huge leap forward for me.
Most people already know that it has an 8-megapixel camera with flash as well as a pretty decent front-facing camera for video chatting. They also have probably heard that the new "EarPods" that come in the box are much better quality than Apple's previous attempts at making headphones. However, there are a few things about these EarPods that you may not have known. The small little remote on the right EarPod looks deceptively simple. People normally assume that it only has a built in mic and can be used to turn the volume up or down. However, the space in between the + and - buttons is actually a button in itself                                                that has a multitude of functions:

  1. One click: pause/play
  2. Long press: activates Siri
  3. Double click: skips to the next song
  4. Triple click: goes back to the previous song
  5. Double click and hold: fast-forward
  6. Triple-click and hold: rewind

The smartphone is amazingly fast, and the multitude of apps that you can get in the App Store is astonishing. You can do anything from reading books and playing games to watching TV and doing work on it. It is truly a phenomenon in the age of technology.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Sectionals. They started on my birthday. Which meant that I would technically be 15 for a few extra days. It would be my last meet as a 15-year-old.

It started on Thursday, December 13, and I was exhausted from the action-packed 3-day meet that I mentioned in my post previous post: Las Vegas!!!. Katelyn and I had made it for a couple individuals, and Jordan and Makenna would join us for the relays on Saturday and Sunday. This meet, held at the Belmont Olympic Pool in Long Beach, CA, was decidedly more professional and businesslike than any meet I had ever been to. All of the swimmers who qualified for sectionals were insanely fast, many of them just coming back from Junior Nationals the week before.

Before my first race, the 100 free, I was sitting up at the bleachers and caught sight of people's bag tags on their backpacks. Many of them read 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials, or 2012 North American Cup Challenge - huge meets that indicated that the people here were extremely talented, and some of the best in the nation. I was in a pond with some pretty big fish. This wasn't your regular age group meet, this was a senior meet, where everyone was competing against everyone, and age wasn't a factor. I saw people as young as 12, and people past college-age competing. By the end of the meet I was completely exhausted from the two demanding back-to-back meets.

I went from being at the top of the meet to being somewhere in the middle of these incredibly speedy people of all ages from California and Nevada. It was an incredibly eye-opening experience. I was swimming with people who will definitely be swimmers to watch at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. I realized that for these people it wasn't just about the fun and games, but that the people in this meet were in the "Big Leagues." These are people who were breaking National Age Group Records, and I was extremely humbled. It was amazing and extremely inspiring that I got the chance to compete in the same meet as them.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Las Vegas!!!!

"Real athletes swim. The rest just play games."

After months of intense training, the moment finally arrived. We were going to Las Vegas for our Winter Age Group Championship Meet. It's a 3-day meet that's usually right before or around the same time as my birthday. The crazy anticipation was tangible in all of us in the week leading up to the meet. This was the very first out-of-state meet that I was going to attend, and I was beyond excited.

Despite being indoors, the pool felt really fast, and Thursday night when we were warming up, they were playing Christmas music through underwater speakers so that all of the swimmers could hear it.

From the moment I swam my first race, I knew that all of my hard work had finally paid off. To the surprise of the entire team, I won gold in the 100 free finals the very first night of the meet, and then found out that I broke the meet record. That was the very first time I had ever won a gold medal at such a big meet, and I was one of the youngest people in my age group. Even my hard-to-please Russian coach smiled and actually said, "Good job!" It was only the second time I had ever heard him say that to anyone in my life.

Our Team Logo
The rest of the meet went just as well. Jordan Stead, Katelyn Farrow, Makenna DuBois, and I were in every single relay and we medaled in 3 out of the 4 relays despite being seeded much lower. We would come back from behind even though we were swimming in the outer lanes, while the inner lanes are the ones predicted to win. I had to anchor (go last) in all four of the relays.
The highlight of the relays was the 200 Medley relay in which we got the gold.

Then, to close out the the weekend, I swam the 200 free and 50 free in finals, Sunday night, medaling in both, and getting another gold medal to add to my collection from the crazy sprint: the 50 free.

Since our team (OC Riptide Aquatics) is only a year and a half old, the performance of all of our swimmers made a splash in Vegas. We created a name for our team, and established it as a force to be reckoned with in the midst of many well-known, esteemed teams.

At the end of the meet, Katelyn and I found out we qualified for sectionals (an even higher meet) in some of our individuals, and that our relays had qualified too. All four of us were going to have to race again, within the next week.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Science to Sleeping?

App Store Icon
Sleep is the key to success. If you get enough sleep, you perform better, in all aspects of life including sports and school.

Last summer, my friend told me about a sleep cycle alarm app. She said it woke you up at the time when you'd feel the most rested. I decided to give it a try. The app was only $1, and it turned out to be one of the best $1 investments of my life.

The Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock by Maciek Drejak Labs ingeniously calculates the optimal time for you to wake up. By putting in the time you need to wake up by, the app creates a half an hour time slot for when it will wake you up. It wakes you up in your lightest sleep phase, when you're closest to being awake. At first I was a bit skeptical. Could it be a fluke? Could it really be possible for this $1 app to accurately map out your sleep cycles? Weren't applications/software like that usually extremely expensive? Yet, as I read the reviews, tens of thousands of people were extremely satisfied with it.

Recommended Placement
When I finally downloaded it, the app immediately caught my attention. I put it under my mattress cover, like it instructed me to, and went to sleep. Not expecting much the first night (because it takes 5 days to calibrate), I surprisingly woke up at a time when I actually felt good, and not extremely groggy from the previous night's sleep.

As I continued using it, the app became more and more astonishing. Not only did it show you a graph showing your sleep movement, but it gave you a percentage of sleep quality. Depending on the calmness and length of time you slept, you would have a different sleep quality ranging from 0%-100%. It would also generate other graphs that showed what things affected your sleep quality and averages for the amount of time you spend in bed as well as what time you go to bed.

I would highly recommend this app to people who feel like smashing their alarm clock to bits when they wake up in the morning, as well as anyone else looking for an exemplary alarm clock.

Here is the link to download the app in the App Store/iTunes (it's currently only available on the iPod, iPhone, and iPad):

Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Things That Make Swimmers Happy

All these things make a swimmer smile :)
1. Food
2. Tapering
3. Warm down
4. Lightning
5. Dropping time
6. Relays
7. No morning practice!
The great thing about swimming is that you work out so much that you can eat everything and anything you want. After an especially hard practice, swimmers are often starving, so any food that they can shovel into their mouth is welcome. Any kind of food makes a swimmer happy after practice.

Tapering makes any athlete happy. Following those intense months of excruciating training, your big meet is in a couple of weeks, and the taper begins. For the non-athletes out there, tapering is what swimmers do after a long period of intense workouts. You dramatically reduce the amount you swim, and since your muscles are conditioned for long, hard workouts, it provides your body with tons of energy and puts you in prime condition for the huge competition coming up. Your body is just itching to work harder, so when the time comes, you can release all of your pent up energy, and you usually drop time. Although we never taper for that long, it comes as a joy to swimmers because it means easy workouts!

Warm down.
Whenever I hear those words, my face breaks out into a huge grin. Warm down means the workout is virtually over, and it's time to relax. It's the time when you can ease your aching muscles and cool off and move as slowly as you want to.

Lightning = no practice! Anything indicating no practice brings happiness to a swimmer. To read more on why lightning is so amazing, read my previous post Lightning: A Swimmer's Friend.

Dropping time. 
There's no greater satisfaction for a swimmer than dropping time. After the countless hours of hard work, dropping time makes it all worth it. The blood, sweat, and tears - all of it finally pays off.

Relays are the best. Swimming generally isn't a team sport, except when it comes to relays. You're depending on 3 other people, and it makes swimming so much more fun. Everyone always swims their fastest in a relay and we just get so much more competitive!

No morning practice.
Only swimmers get excited when they find out they only have one practice, instead of two. It totally makes my day every time I hear my coach speak those words.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Swimming With the Stars

Southern California is known for breeding outstanding swimmers. That's why it has the toughest competition. When you're swimming among and against a lot of Olympic caliber athletes, it's really hard to shine. Sure, you might be the fastest girl on your team, but in the grand scheme of things, you might not even be in the top 10% in Southern California. While you may not be in the top 10% in SoCal, if you just drive 6 hours north, you might be in the top 2% of the entire region. Like I said, Southern California has the toughest competition.

The last two swim meets I swam in, I had the chance to compete with some prodigies that went to the Olympic Trials this year who ranged from ages 14-16. That means that they're about the same age as me! As you can probably imagine, it was extremely intimidating swimming against these girls. But at the same time it was an amazing experience, and it pushed me to go faster than ever before. I thought to myself, "If these girls can make it to the Olympic Trials, why can't I?"

It's crazy to think that people my age are actually making it to the Olympic Trials and competed with major celebrities in the swimming world like Missy Franklin, Natalie Coughlin, Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, etc. Even if they didn't make it to the Olympics, they're still super young, and have a bright future ahead of them, the possibility of them making it to the Olympics in 4 years is something attainable. I'm glad that I live in Southern California, because it gives me the chance to swim with a huge pool of astonishing talent, an experience that I would be able to get in very few places around the world.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Note on Classics: Pride and Prejudice

I know that this blog is supposed to be about swim stuff, but occasionally I'll put in a thing or two about books that I've read recently. I felt that it was absolutely necessary for me to post something about this.

Whenever I pick up a classic to read, I already have a negative view toward the book. I don't know what it is about classics, but for some reason I am always reluctant to read it. So naturally when I downloaded Pride and Prejudice onto my Kindle (because it was free) as my SSR book, I was not particularly looking forward to it.

I generally keep an open mind, when reading books, but when I have to read classics, my brain automatically goes into "classic mode," and I prepare to be bored out of my mind. Although I generally end up liking most of the classics I read, the bias against them seems to be hardwired into my consciousness, without any real cause. I subconsciously negatively judge the book before I even start reading it; just because it's a classic.

Now that I've made my prejudice clear on the subject of classics, I found myself inexplicably drawn into the world of Pride and Prejudice. This completely caught me by surprise, because although I usually like the classics I read, they don't pique my interest until the very end. This book, however, was different. Despite the fact that this book is considered a romance novel, it was probably the most non-romancy romance novel I have ever read (by contemporary standards). I actually thoroughly enjoyed reading it - and I am typically not a romance fan. It wasn't your typical boy-meets-girl-and-they-fall-in-love romance, but a more intellectual romance that did not follow the traditional storyline. The complexity and multi-facetedness of the two main characters made for it to be a completely new type of book that I had never encountered before. For the first time, I couldn't wait until I could get back to reading the book - an irresistible urge that I normally have for other, non-classic books, but have never had for a classic. It was incredible. This book was ingenious and some of the characters' silliness made me laugh out loud.

Although some of my friends claim that this book is terribly boring and impossible to finish, I beg to differ. If you give this book a chance, it can turn out into being an incredibly good read, and I highly recommend it. Jane Austen wrote wonders in this book, and it taught me an important lesson: Don't judge a book by its status as a classic.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What Is a Swimmer?

According to the dictionary, a swimmer is "one who moves in the water."

I am here to tell you that there is MUCH more to it - especially if you're a competitive swimmer. Being a swimmer means being insane. All competitive swimmers have a touch of craziness in them. No one would deny the fact that a person who willingly tortures themselves every morning by dragging themselves out of bed and into the pool at 5 AM is crazy. To a swimmer, sleeping in is a luxury that we cannot have - it's something we dream about constantly. No person in their right mind would subject themselves to waking up at the crack of dawn every day just to jump into an icy cold pool and train.

This meme comes very close to the truth.
Swimmers are athletes of the highest caliber. While other sports boast of their intense training regimens, none of them compare to those of swimming. Swimmers are the only athletes that have to work out twice a day. While people complain about one workout per day, we have the privilege of complaining about two. I am basically in the water every 12 hours; the water is my home, my solace, and my workout room. Also, swimming is virtually a year-around sport. If you skip one practice, that is considered acceptable, but strongly discouraged. Skipping two practices means it will take you four days to get back to where you were before you skipped. Missing one week of workout is unthinkable - it would take a person two weeks to get back into shape! This is the case because a swimmer's medium is the water - not the air. While "land sports" can skip workouts occasionally and bounce back easily, swimmers cannot because they have to get used to their medium again. Land sports are in the air, and we are constantly in the air, which provides the same resistance as when they are practicing. However, human beings are not always in the water, so staying out of the water for long periods of time (ie: one week), can be detrimental to a swimmer's performance.
This is an underwater view of a competition pool -
something competitive swimmers see every day.

One side effect of being a swimmer is the chlorine. Chlorine is a swimmer's perfume. We always smell of chlorine, and there is nothing we can do to prevent it. We are immune to it. It also contributes to the scales on swimmers' legs. Yes, we do develop scales - and more quickly than the average person. The chlorine dries out our skin to the point where it actually looks scaly. The chlorine also naturally bleaches our hair, giving girls a lighter hair color, but killing the boys' hair. One of my friends could actually pull out a tuft of his hair just by tugging on it as a consequence of the chlorine.

The daily life of a swimmer.
Another definition of a swimmer is a person who is incessantly hungry. Especially when I have morning practice I eat almost 10 times a day: before morning practice, after morning practice, during 1st period, 3rd period, lunch, after school, before afternoon practice, and after practice. The nonstop exercise allows swimmers to eat practically anything they want to - although I generally tend to eat healthy foods because they make me feel better. The life of a swimmer often includes only eating, sleeping, and swimming.

Swimmers are also dedicated, self-disciplined, and excellent time managers. In order to survive high school and be a highly competitive swimmer, those three qualities are absolutely imperative. 4-6 hours of your day are taken up by swimming, so you have to make the most of your time. Although outwardly most swimmers appear to despise swimming, we have an innate, subconscious love for the sport. It is impossible to find a swimmer who does not have some love for the sport, otherwise they would have quit a long time before that. We don't like to admit it, but in spite of everything, swimmers actually love what they do.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Injustice of Being the Oldest

Being the oldest, quite frankly, has no benefits, whatsoever.

Sure, you get to have the new technology first. But guess what? By the time your younger siblings get it, the technology is a million times more innovative, with more amazing new features that you will never get to have. Other times you get the same technology at the same time - so you get no advantage over your younger brothers and sisters. In fact, you're at a disadvantage because you're getting the technology late, and you're siblings are getting it early.
It's a lose-lose situation.

This is one of my personal examples of the unfairness of being the oldest child: when I finished 8th grade, my grandparents awarded me with enough money to buy a 32 GB iPod Touch. After waiting 5 long months, I finally got it, and I was utterly indebted and grateful to my grandparents. Then I found out that my mom had gotten one too, on a whim. Although that does not seem unfair at the onset, the truth of the matter became clear extremely soon: my mom rarely ever used her iPod, and it basically became my sister's. So basically, my sister got her first iPod when I did. Now let's speed up to present day. It has been almost 5 months since my sister finished 8th grade. She just got the newly-updated, wonderful iPod Touch with a 5 megapixel camera and flash. Those were the two things I had been wishing for ever since smartphones started coming out with high-quality cameras! Of course she was appreciative, but she felt that she was entitled to getting that iPod since I had got one two years ago. Yes, that's right, she felt entitled to it. So now in addition to virtually having an iPod as long as I have, she gets the brand new technology that she thinks she deserves. The injustice of that is enough to make me scream!

My parents always say, "You always get everything first, and you can't expect technology to remain stagnant. Your sister will always have the better technology because everything is always new-and-improved two years later. Deal with it." That's what they said about a car for me too. "You'll most likely use one of our current two cars when you get your license. We'll probably get your sister a new car when she gets her license, though." That's literally what my dad said.

Growing up, I have fallen victim of being the guinea pig to all of my parent's hopes and desires. Piano, is one subject I have been especially been bitter about. Forced to play since I was three years old, my mother never once let me quit even up until this day. How many times did my sister quit? Twice. And she doesn't even play it anymore. Instead she got to pursue her short-lived wishes like flute and voice lessons. It's just not fair.

What other disadvantages are there to being the oldest? I assure you, there are plenty more. The youngest children in the family are always shown the most favoritism by their parents. No matter what my sister does, if we are both involved, I always get blamed. They will not listen to my explanations, and if they do, they always fall on deaf or biased ears. My dad always automatically assumes that everything is my fault. Whenever he hears yelling or anything suspicious, he says, "Sarah! What are you doing?!" regardless of whether or not it is my fault. Whenever my parents punish us, they are always easier on her, or punish us equally when I had nothing to do with it.

Going to school is also initially worse for the oldest. You have no idea what to expect as you advance through school because you don't have any siblings that you can ask for advice or which teachers to avoid, or tips on what to do in different situations. Essentially, you are the guinea pig again. And then you are expected to pass all of your knowledge along to your younger sister or brother because your parents believe it is your duty to tell them all about it. The only possible downside of that is that your younger sibling may live in your shadow for the rest of their life, but that's a really small price to pay compared to the rest of things the oldests have to sacrifice.

I also had the "privilege" of being restricted from doing everything. I wasn't allowed to go to birthday parties, with few exceptions, no sleepovers, and I barely went out with friends - to the point where my friends even stopped asking me whether or not I wanted to come with them because they knew their efforts would be futile. My sister? She's allowed to do practically everything she wants to. She's extremely worldly and allowed to go out with her friends almost every time she asks. Sure, she makes a big stink about it, but my parents practically always eventually let her go. She was even allowed to have a boyfriend last summer!

I'll acknowledge that I'm biased against younger siblings because I am the oldest in my family, but that does not invalidate any of the previous arguments and paradigms. I could go on and on about inequity between siblings, but there just isn't enough space in one blog post to rant and rave about all the terrible things the oldests have to suffer.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lightning: A Swimmer's Friend

Lightning shows look amazing when
you're not scared to death in the pool.

That split-second of light can be life-changing for a swimmer. Lightning is the only weather condition that can cause practice to be canceled for swimmers (if your pool is outdoors). Given any other circumstance, we practice rain or shine. People ask, "You guys still have practice when it's raining?!" And the answer is simple: yes, yes we do. We're swimmers. Rain makes you wet. We get wet regardless. Therefore it doesn't matter whether it's raining or not. Unless - there's thunder and lightning. Why is that the only reason we can't just keep swimming? Because everyone in the pool would die if lightning strikes the water. However, practice is only stopped or canceled if the lightning is extremely close and in a position that it could harm us. In other words, the thunder has to quickly follow the lightning, or practice won't be stopped.

This morning on my way to practice at around 5:30 AM, my mom and I saw two flashes of lightning so my mom told me to call my coach. What did he say? "There's no lightning over here, so we still have practice!" When I finally arrived at the pool there was another flash of lightning. Walking to the pool deck I asked my coach, "Did you see the lightning? Do we still have practice?" He said, "I didn't hear any noise [thunder]! We'll wait 10 more minutes and then start practice." Despite my desperate pleas to the weather, there was no more lightning or thunder in the next ten minutes. So we got into the pool. And, of course, right after we got into the pool, there was a flash of lightning, and a faint sounding of thunder, but we kept swimming. By that point, I was scared. It's one thing to be scared in bed during a thunderstorm, but swimming in a pool during a lightning storm brings the scariness to a whole new level. It's life-or-death danger. I could have died! After numerous flashes, finishing warm-up, and starting a parachute set, my coach stopped me after the first 100 yards and says, "Sarah, get out!"

My first thoughts were, "What did I do wrong? Was it my pulling or my kicking? What was wrong with my technique this time!?" Then I realized it had to do with the weather and I joyfully hopped out the pool thanking the lightning for working its magic on my coach. We only had to swim for about fifteen minutes! With smiles on our faces, the rest of the swimmers got out after me, and we all got to go home early. All of us were thinking: Shortest. Practice. Ever!!! Immediately after we all piled into the car, the real lightning show started. It was as if it had been waiting for us to get out of danger so that it could fully unleash itself. The whole car ride home was filled with spectacular flashes and bolts of light that outlined the sky in an amazing fashion, followed by the powerful rumbles of the thunder.

Although personally I love swimming in the rain, lightning adds a slight hazard. If it is just raining, I normally enjoy the feel of the frigid drops pounding down on my skin. The stadium lights around the pool illuminate the rain and make the normally clear air look way cooler. Today was different. I was actually scared I was going to die out there because my coach refused to let us out at the beginning. BUT it allowed us to get out of practice early today - and anything that gets swimmers out of practice is always welcomed with open arms as a life-long friend.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dark and Early

Sunrises are one of the few good things about morning practice.
"See you tomorrow! Bright and ea--oops...I mean dark and early!" For a swimmer, that would make sense. Any other person would think, wait a minute, doesn't the saying go "bright and early?" That's how any average person would say it, but for swimmers? We don't see any brightness whatsoever when we see each other for the first time in the morning. I don't think it even qualifies to be called "the morning." It's basically nighttime. It's pitch black, and the sun doesn't come out for awhile.

Welcome to the world of competitive swimming. We wake up before the crack of dawn. What for? Morning practice. Yes, that's right, we wake up when you can still see the moon just for morning practice. People think it's insane, and it is. To be a swimmer, you have to be a little bit insane. Nobody in the right mind would wake up that early just for a workout. Do you see any other sports waking up at 5 AM for practice? Nope, just swimming.

But despite waking up that early, I will admit, there are a few (I repeat, few) perks of going to morning practice. One, you get to see the sunrise most days (if you're not swimming during it). Two, it wakes you up in the morning (kind of). And three...I can't think of a third benefit, sorry.

It's foggy, it's cold, and it's miserable, but I guess you can say that it's beneficial in the long-run. Although we may not see the point in morning practices at the times when we're actually in the water, we see them pay off at the times that count: our huge competitions. And then we're (somewhat) thankful that we dragged ourselves out of bed and for our coaches that forced us in the water.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Never!!! (1st blog post ever!)

I've never really blogged before, so don't judge me if it doesn't live up to your expectations. I named my blog Swim Tales on a whim. I have yet to discover the inspiration behind that spontaneous decision. I was forced to create this blog because my English teacher, Mr. Z, told us that we have to post at least once a week. He thinks that we should have a worldwide audience, instead of an audience that only consisted of him. Personally, I prefer minimal audiences, because I'm not sure if I want the world to know what I have to say. I'm not sure if the world is ready to hear what I have to say. But then again, I'm not that interesting to some people, so I guess it doesn't matter. If people want to read this, they will, if they don't want to read it, no one's forcing them to.

Anyways, I'm here to talk about something other than the rationale behind me creating this blog. Yesterday in class we were asked to make a list of things that you'll never do. Thinking back, I had surprisingly few things to put on the lists.

Things I will never do:

  • 200 Butterfly
  • 400 IM (Individual Medley)
  • 1650 Freestyle
  • Eat pig feet
  • Eat chicken feet
As you can see, my list is relatively short. There are not a lot of things that I will refuse to do, but those five items are things that I would never, ever, ever do if I can help it. It's interesting to see how my five items fall under two categories: swimming and food. Those are two very important things in my life - I swim around 2-4 hours per day, every day of the week (except occasional Sundays), and eating is utterly essential for me.

For all you swimmers out there, I'm sure most of you would understand why I blatantly refuse to do the 200 fly, 400 IM, and 1650 free (a.k.a. the mile). The 100 fly is already bad enough, but a 200 of it? That borderlines on torture!! And the 400 IM?! That just speaks for itself. The 200 IM is terrible in its own way, but the 400 goes beyond my limits. And the mile? That should speak for itself. If my coach ever tells me I absolutely have to swim those events, I will quit swimming. I will seriously quit swimming. For anyone who knows me, that's not a statement to be taken lightly. I am known for my love and dedication toward swimming, and even though my strict Russian coach can be a pain, he's still amazing. So for me to say that I would quit swimming? That shows how much I would refuse to do those events. I like challenges, and I'll accept challenges, but I refuse to be led into being tortured. I refuse.

Pig feet and chicken feet should be understandable to most human beings. Although some people find those things appetizing, I think I would rather starve than be forced to eat those two things. There aren't many things that I won't try because I love to eat, but with those two, I had to put my foot down. I will never, ever eat those things. I don't know if it's just the concept of eating feet, or the nauseousness it gives me when I look at them, but I know for a fact that these "exotic delicacies" will never touch my tongue. And I mean never.