Archive for bad breath

Need a Fast Cure for Garlic Breath?

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , on March 3, 2010 by Jessica Lada

Last night my fiancé and I had a mediocre dinner—one of those frozen chicken parmesan meals.  I could have done much better from scratch, but that’s the price I pay for speed and simplicity.  It’s a curse of being a poor graduate student.  I did manage to make some “homemade” garlic bread, however.  Honey wheat bread + butter (churned by hand) + sea salt + garlic powder = delicious.  Unfortunately, as delicious and wonderful as the garlic bread was, it gave me some killer breath.

It wasn’t just stinky.  It was a full-fledged case of STANK BREATH that, I’m embarrassed to say, my fiancé could smell from several feet away on the couch.

It’s a dilemma any garlic-loving person has probably run into at one time or another.  You eat something with garlic but your date or significant other didn’t join in the garlicky goodness.  Or in my case tonight, he joined in the garlicky goodness, but not quite as enthusiastically as I did.  So what do you do about bad breath?  For garlic and onion on your hands, they make those awesome metal “soap bars” that get rid of the scent like magic.  But I wasn’t inclined to rub one of those on my tongue.  GAH.

Here was my crazily overzealous attempt to solve the problem and eliminate further nose crinkling of my fiancé.

First, I brushed my teeth thoroughly with Crest Citrus Splash Whitening PLUS Scope.  I brushed my teeth, gums, tongue, under my tongue, and even the roof of my  mouth.  Then I used ACT Restoring Mouthwash.  The electric blue foam it makes when you swish it around always seems a little strange, but the stuff works well.  Then, just in case I didn’t get all the garlic off my lips, I used Bath and Body Works Mentha Lip Balm Stick.  It’s one of my favorites for everyday lip moisture because it isn’t glossy at all.  (Safe for dude use!)  And then to top it all off, I drank a shot of Hiram Walker 90 proof Peppermint Schnapps*.   Prost! Bottoms up, down the hatch.

It’s important to understand I didn’t really expect any of this to work.  Usually I brush my teeth and the garlic stank breath returns almost immediately.  I mainly intended my overzealous garlic solution to entertain my fiancé.  But surprisingly, it completely eliminated any trace of stank breath.  We did a sniff test several times and even a kiss test.  In the following six hours, the garlic didn’t come back.

I don’t suggest you start chugging mint schnapps next time you eat something with garlic, but if you forget about your hot date until after you’ve snarfed a pita filled with shish taouk and toum (marinated grilled chicken skewers with garlic paste) and you need a quick fix, you might try the toothpaste-mouthwash-lip balm-schnapps* combo.

*If you’re twenty-one.  Don’t drink and drive.  That’s way worse than stank breath.

–originally posted at

Perfectly Bewitching — Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2010 by Jessica Lada

Joseph Delaney’s The Last Apprentice: Revenge of the Witch was exactly what I needed during Ice Storm 2010 last weekend.  Delaney submerged me immediately into fantastical 16th-17th Century England.  His hero, Thomas Ward, is the seventh son of a seventh son and he’s apprenticing with Old Gregory the Spook.  Old Gregory deals with any erstwhile witches, boggarts, and other such ghastly creatures that put County residents in peril.   Gregory’s time as Spook won’t last forever.   Now the big question is, how long will Thomas last as his apprentice?

Joseph Delaney taught English before beginning his career as a novelist.   Revenge of the Witch is his first children’s novel and he wastes no time proving that he can tell a great story.  The world is rich and vivid, and it’s no surprise that Delaney based the setting on the area in England where he lives.  From the very first page of the story, I was hooked.   Delaney speaks through his thirteen year old protagonist without sounding forced.  As a graduate student in my (hopefully) final semester of college, I thought that a spooky fantasy novel aimed for a younger audience would be simplistic and somehow beneath me.  But somewhere between the ghast (a ghostlike remainder of a departed soul) of a murderous miner and the witch Bony Lizzie’s manky breath, I remembered that deep down I’m a complete coward.

I loved that Thomas stuck to his own sense of right and wrong even though in several instances he contradicted his Master’s opinion.  If somebody told me not to go into the forest because there’s a witch locked up alive in a hole in the ground, I wouldn’t be tempted to go there for any reason.  Not even on a bet.  And I definitely wouldn’t feel sorry for the old hag.  But that’s why Thomas is the Spook’s apprentice and I’m the one sitting up at three in the morning reading about him.

I’m glad I came to this series when six books are already in print.  If I had to wait for the next book to come out, it would be an impatient wait.  Delaney tied up the main story questions, but he also planted the seeds for a great series.  Thomas, his mother, Old Gregory, and Alice are all characters I want to know more about.

For fans of spooky witch and ghoul fantasy novels, this is a great series.  It would also satisfy any fans of master/apprentice stories who might want a change from the page/squire/knight/wizard blueprint.  My fiancé even picked the book up, and he’s usually not much of a fiction reader unless it’s something post-apocalyptic and utterly depressing.   Revenge of the Witch has definitely earned its place on my shelf.  I can’t wait to plug in a couple of night lights and pick up the next volume of the series.