Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Doc, It Hurts When I Go SHUT THE @#$% UP!

SO THE LUNCH of the day is another take on poutine and curd, this time fries with cheese and gravy topped with chicken bits and a fried egg. To quote the Bard: Dude.

Adding a fried egg changes everything. This is one of the reasons I just don't get people who don't eat eggs. Being absent the ability to marvel at what a huge difference adding an egg to this already stupendous creation simply does not compute. Then again, I don't know if fries with gravy is something the good Doc would eat. We do have some other things in common.

For instance, a grasp of logical argumentation. I was very nearly put off my lunch when a kid selling something in a spray bottle door to door showed up. Being that we do not take door to door solicitations, I very politely informed him, before wasting any more of his valuable time, "Sorry, we don't take door-to-door solicitations."

He objected: "But, you don't have any signs!"

I rejoined: "Well, we still don't."

He argued: "Well, maybe you should get some signs!" And then stalked off as if I had offended him.

This is not a public place. This is our house, private property, ours, bought and being diligently paid for. There is no statute requiring me to display any kind of device explaining "HEY, @#$%-HEAD, YOU DON'T LIVE HERE," so that people don't mistakenly wander by and aquit themselves of the facility. Nor does the law require that I implace plaquards explaining that any random shithead that wanders by is not necessarily welcome to come up and knock on my door and insult me just because he's an idiot who took a crappy job because he's a loser and his life sucks. The law is simply not that specific. The law will support the notion that if you do come to my door and I tell you to go away, you should just go away.

But I effed at the kid for a coupla minutes to let off steam (with the door closed, is how polite I am), and finished making the meal. Final analysis: Poutine 10, Shithead 0.

The movie of the day is not The African Queen, which has just been released on DVD and Blue Ray. The review from one of the good flk at the Onion AV Club missed (or simply neglected) what I think is a key component of the film, which is a rising tide of bloodlust in the character being played by Ms. Hepburn. Which is something I could easily be mis-reading, or being overly cynical about, but the mission lady seems so blithe, so sweet, even tender in her increasingly rapt attempts to convince her counterpart ship's pilot that what they raaally ought to do, raaaaally, is rig the boat up so they can go blow those gaddamned German sons-a-bitches straight to hell! Raaaalllly!

So I'm watching this instead. I mean, it's not like this is a matter of choice, The African Queen is neither on right now or available for me to peruse on DVD right now. And it's not like this film isn't guilty of the occasional bloody-minded gesture. Hell, it opens with footage of Steve McQueen driving a gorgeous little black Porsche through the French countryside (and a small village) before stopping to re-visit the site of a fatal crash that claimed the life of a friend and colleague in the previous year's contest. But beyond all that, to me, it's just an hour and a half* of guys racing these gorgeous race cars around one of the most famous and demanding courses in the world. And I just think it's beautiful.

Raaaaaaaaally I do.

*I ususally claim this as two hours of guys racing beautiful cars, but after the opening fifth business, and granted some cruchy-chewy business in the upper third, it's really more like 90 minutes. Raaaaaaally it is.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Goodnight, Moon

THE UPSHOT of having had a plough-man's lunch is that there is no way to do it without having a highly un-predictable amount of leftovers.
In the most recent case, mostly what I have left is brie and pepperoni. The bread, being a La Brea brand bread, was useless by the next day. I had the other half of the mango just a coupla days ago-- it was utterly beautiful, ripe and sweet and slightly mushy and cold, just gorgeous. And I have two calmatta olives left. Two. No good for anything, really.

But having brie around can lead to some wonderful things, like today's lunch. Which is tuna salad on rye with brie, grilled. Just say that out loud: tuna salad on rye with brie. If the mere words alone don't give you a chill up the spine then, well, I guess you don't like brie. Or tuna. Or me. Go to hell!

Pairing the Saranac Pale Ale with the last Mighty Arrow was indeed illuminating. My Spidey Sense told me to start with the Sara and finish up with the New Belgium, and that was indeed inspired. After the Sara (and with the brie and the highly spicy tuna salad) the Mighty Arrow was light and almost sweet, flowery and kind of . . . bottomless. Except I'm not sure how to describe what I mean by that. All this is by way of saying that I have become a kind of a left-handed fan of the New Belgium and its products. They have been suprising and delighting me in ways that I find terrifyingly unpredictable. It's like living with a gorgeous schizophrenic.

Oh: speaking of which, tomorrow's lunch will probably involve smoked turkey and pepperoni. Which is more like living with a passive-aggressive physicist. I have no idea what I mean by that.

The film of the day is something I have been anticipating for some time. When it came out, the reviews were mostly positive but oddly non-commital, and now I know why. The big plot twist-- if you can call it that-- comes early on, and while there is a small period of homina-homina-homina, where several possible conclusions are up in the air, they commited to the foregone conclusion relatively quickly. After that, the revelations came hard and fast and with stunning regularity, and had way more to do with the truth of the situation rather than the mysteries of it. Which is not to say there were no mysteries: in many ways, this is a very straightforward thriller. Which is why I hesitate to call the plot twist a twist. It's really more of a plot point.

See how coy I'm having to be? This is why the thing was so maddening for reviewers. It would have been so much easier if they could just let on that *** *** ** * ***** and get on with the review.

See? What's so wrong with that?

So do I recommend it? So many things can be done with brie. Never be afraid to experiment with your tuna. Moon is way more than the satisfying sci-fi thriller so many reviewers made it out to be-- mainly, I think, in hopes of enticing potential viewers without actually disclosing that *** *** ** * @#$%ing *****! Anybody want an olive?

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Monday, March 15, 2010

Tonight, The Role Of Yukio Mishima Will Be Played By Carl Perkins

SO THIS is what the Canadians apparently call "poutine and curd:" fries with cheese and gravy. The Wifey maintains that "curd" must mean something more specifically Canadian, some kind of raw milk cheese of some sort, but I have known enough Canadians to know they're just like Americans. They think that by calling it something different and cool sounding, it's not just gravy and cheese. Me, I'm a realist. Cheese? Yes, please. Gravy? Thank you! I plunked chicken nuggets on top to, because, well, why the hell not? And, since this bears a passing resemblance to the KFC abomination which Patton Oswalt dubbed "a failure pile in a sadness bowl" (before traipsing off to do the painful mass that is the movie Big Fan), I have decided to call this a Strategery Stockpile. I know: it's big and stoopid, and it cannot possibly be good for me, but I did it all entirely on purpose, and I put a good amount of thought into it, too.

As opposed to this, which was lunch last Wednesday. On the grounds of wanting something different, I went and bought the ingredients for a ploughman's lunch, which is midlands-British for "what's left in the cupboard." This started out as something my Dad and I would drag along for lunch on hiking trips, evolving into something more elaborate during my college years, and occasionally ramping into the kind of madness you see before you. Particularly: brie, olive-herb bread, pepperoni, mango, and calmatta olives. The beer, both last week and today, is New Belgium's "seasonal" brew Mighty Arrow Pale Ale. While in the past I had mocked New Belgium and their Fat Tire Ale, I have now concluded: New Belgium can do no wrong. Or at least they haven't yet, so far as I know.

The movie of the day is last Sunday's F1 racing from Bahrain, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, re-run today on the Speed Channel. Prepare yourself for alot of "Blah, blah, blah, Ginger!*"
I started watching this stuff last year, a few races into the season, and ended up catching up with the first few races of last year this year as they re-ran them on the Speed Channel. This is real racing. These are state-of-the-art cars piloted by extraordinarily talented drivers; the tracks are specifically designed to demand the absolute utmost performance from car and driver. This year the cars are all limited to a single fuel load, which is an extension of the F1 ethos: the goal is not just speed and agility, but also efficiency. I have found, so far, no reference, but based on what data I have seen, I am under the impression that these cars are operating in the neighborhood of fifty miles per gallon. (I so could be totally wrong about that.) It's also an enormous waste of time and energy and money, which is why it suprises me that more Americans don't watch it. I mean, NASCAR is a huge waste of time and money and resources, but the cars and the tracks are, by comparison, dead cheap.
Which just goes to show ya: Americans are dickheads. F1 isn't cheap or dirty or tacky enough for us. We'd rather watch crappy cars run around in circles while their drivers plot to make one another crash into the wall, and then have some bogus parlimentary body sanction them with toothless penalties afterwards.

It's the American way.
*The picture here is that of Spaniard Fernando Alonso in his winning Ferrari. Felipe Massa, also driving a Ferrari, came in second. This footnote was originally going to explain that "Blah Blah Blah Ginger" referred to an old Far Side cartoon, but I decided to fill it with something else you couldn't possibly care about.

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Thursday, March 04, 2010

Seriously, He's Wearing Han's Clothes

THE MEAL is nothing new, my favorite empanada etc. The real story here is that I do not like Spanish Peaks Brewery's Black Dog Ale. It describes itself as an English style amber ale, but it's . . . I don't know. It's over-worted and under-hopped, so to me it tastes mealy, almost skunky. And it's way waaaaaaaaaaay too bouncy. Which is to say I over-poured this stuff twice, the first time actually over-flowing the glass and flooding the counter-top. That never happens to me. All that that adds up to: I do not like Black Dog Ale. I am sure it is fine for others, but I do not like it. I think this is the third time I have come to the realization that, for me, no good will ever emerge from Bozeman, Montana.

The movie of the day is he he he he hoooo hoooooooo HAAAAAH!!!
I think I stuck this in the Netflix queue because of the title. I cannot call myself a fan of Family Guy. I watch it when there is nothing else on and the Wifey is not around. I find it amusing enough, and the average episode will get me to laugh out loud a coupla times, but, as many major mainstram critics have observed, it's a show whose rhythms can get to be a bit repetitive.
But this was great. I laughed out loud a dozen times or more over the course of the hour. The reproduction of the movie, beat by beat, was perfect, and they left suprisingly little of the substance of the film out over the course of the 48 minute running time.
And then I watched it again. With the commentary, which was really cool, since everyone in the room was just having a damned blast. Especially Seth Green, who was very funny indeed.

And now I feel like I hafta watch this.
Dunno. We'll see.

I really have nothing against Bozeman, Montana. Never been there. But really, based on my experience with their beer, I can only imagine that it is a damned, cursed place. The people at New Belgium now have my whole-hearted endorsement. The Ranger blew the Black Dog away--- Ooo. That doesn't sound good. But it's true. If you're only going to see one Star Wars parody this year, well, I don't even know why you'd make such an arbitrary limitation, but who am I to judge? Is Star Wars all that sacred to you? Who the hell are you, George Freakin' Lucas?

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