Thursday, June 25, 2009

News From The Side

SO I AM back. The flight back was wretched, simply because it was long and the woman I was seated next to was a business zombie fixated on the self-help book she was pitching as a management tool to whatever management tools she was going to go meet in Orlando (I spied on her notes), so in honor of that, today's lunch is tuna salad, in an iteration which I have decided to call Tuna Salad Delux: tuna, dill relish, minced shallot, mayo, yellow and dijon mustard, cracked green and black peppercorn, and a dash of celtic sea salt. Try it yourself. You'll see.
The beer is a mistake. Weekend before last I had been sent off to forage for lunch myself, retrieving spicy tuna roll (sushi) and a large Sapporo, returning to the in-laws to find that we were collectively headed out to my favorite joint for lunch. After that, there were lunchings of various outings, and then I was in California. So today it's Sapporo with tuna salad. Which is fine, but would have gone better with sushi.
Oh, yeah: California. Had a helluva good time, and some pics will be forthcoming, after I figure out which ones came out decently. Alot of the places we went are the kind that don't come out well in photo form. Just too much for the lense to take in, in my humble opinion. But I'll letcha know.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gone, Baby, Gone

SO I WILL be in California for the next week. Meanwhile here's a picture I didn't post earlier, on the grounds that it would have simply been cruel to those readers who find themselves in the throes of jealousy over many of my meals. This one is, in fact, one of the riskier and most satisfying iterations: a rare cheeseburger, hand-patted by my trusty and noble frinds at the Harris Teeter meat counter. I am posting it now because, well, I'm in California for the next week, so screw you guys.

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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Stray Thirsty, My Friends!

YESTERDAY the weather turned for the year. After a fairly cool, mostly wet Spring, we turned the corner into Summer, with daily highs in the 90's and the humidity hovering in the higher percentiles. So today's lunch is cold; tuna on white with Lay's Classics chips, the best sandwich companion ships in the universe. But the real story here is not the sandwich or the chips, but the beer.

I have not had a Dos Equis in better than a half dozen years. My claim would have been stronger, say, a dozen years or better, but the Wifey insists that I have had a Dos Equis since we have been together, which I do not doubt. Although I don't remember it. Perhaps in the Atlanta years. I drank a fair number of inferior beers in the Atlanta years. Not that Dos Equis-- and, specifically, their Special Lager, which this is-- is actually inferior. It's just . . .

Well, we-- myself and my beer afficianado buddies-- back in the day when we were still navigating the wide world of beer, would commonly refer to something as a __________an Budweiser. This, for instance, could be called a Mexican Budweiser, or a Molson Golden called a Canadian Budweiser. Which is to say it is geared towards taste buds acclimated to American style pilsners, heavy on rice in the brew and injected with CO2 just before bottling. The shorthand was that these beers didn't actually taste like Bud, but they aslo didn't taste like a Mexican or Canadian or German beer ought to taste.

In succeeding years I have discovered that the majority of the brews we had described as __________an Budweisers had a huge consumer base in their home countries, which is not to say that our assessment was wrong, but more to say that it is irrational to claim that Budweiser-type beers are an American abhoration. Also, I have heard Budweiser reps claim, in various media and at various venues, that they do not actually shoot their beer full of raw CO2, but that the CO2 is rather the naturally ocurring by-product of the brewing process. And I have no reason to doubt them, but I am going to anyways. Just feels more natural.

On a separate note, those jackassy Most Interesting Man In The World Dos Equis ads have been running in fairly heavy roataion lately, so I feel doubly like a mook. But what the hell? They were on sale.

The fillm of the day is not The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Although it has been in the past, many times. Part of the reason is because it is not on; I do not own a copy on DVD, but it tends to run fairly often on the classic movie channels, and once or twice I have caught it running on the pay-cable movie channels, with excellent results. It is a very heartfelt movie, one of Huston's best, despite what seem to have been some extremely wretched budget constraints-- of all the Huston work I have seen, this is the one that I recall looking really cheap-- and watching John Wayne and Very Miles and Jimmy Stewart and Woody Strode go at it is a sheer, cornball joy. (I think they'd all appreciate that sentiment; I know Stewart would have.) But today I read The Onion AV Club review of the newly released DVD, and-- spoiler alert? I dunno-- it reminded me of two things that will ruing the viewing for me every time. First off, the movie relies upon the subversion of stereotypes, which requires at the sam time that you swallow some ham-handedly stereotpical perfomances, especially from Lee Marvin-- "Lee Marvin! He's ALWAYS drunk and violent!"-- and the civilization-is-preferable-if-boring message is one that I have never fully appreciated. I have seen PLENTY of situations where "civilization" has been brought to bear specifically to brutalize a certain segement of the population or minority group, or just to serve the self-interests of the power structure. Also, I can still remember, clearly, the night I had the realization that Monty Python's use of the film's title as a punchline-- The Cheese Who Shot Liberty Valance-- is actually a pretty accurate summation of the film in itself.

As I am often fond of saying, via Kasdan's The Big Chill: sometimes it's best to just let art flow over you.

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