Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Mortification and Embarrassment

OK, the best part of that was not the rude guy's mortified daughter mouthing the word "sorry" behind his back, but his reaction when he realized that, in fact, we correspond regularly by email.


Monday, October 29, 2007

Look, Skippy...

If one of us ends up in the Emergency Room having a large pair of shears removed from them, it's not going to be me. Back away slowly and be very thankful for the tolerance I'm displaying toward your rude behavior.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tempting Fate

Hey, remember that missing DVD at my Local Indie BooksellerTM? Guess what's playing in 3-D in the movie threater right across the street from my hotel?

Village, Street, Same Difference.

My cow orkers and I went out for dinner tonight, with no particular destination in mind. One of them had always wanted to go to Greenwich Village, so we decided we would go, wander around a little and then find a restaurant. After a cab ride that she declared later to be the worst she'd ever taken (It was nothing. I've taken taxis in Mexico City... save your cabbie horror stories, amateur.) we eventually came to our destination where he stopped and waved us down a street and said there were restaurants to be found in that direction.

The neighborhood was not exactly what we expected, but there were restaurants and we found a decent little Italian place with the standard restaurant Sade mix. (The singer, not de whip enthusiast. I should really learn how to do accents in blogger.) Throughout dinner, we joked that the cab driver had finally become bored with driving the rubes around and had dumped us on a convenient street corner.

As we divvied up the check, she decided that one of us should ask where "Tavern Upon The Green" was. (I stepped fearlessly into the breach: "I am not asking them where Tavern on the Green is.")

After a brief discussion about where we were in the city, she found that we were, in fact, not in Greenwich Village, but in the meat packing district (this is an actual part of New York, yes?), somewhere near Tribeca.

It wason the way back to grab a cab that we spotted a sign on a semi-paved cowpath: "Greenwich Street".

Close enough, I guess.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dinner and a Show

I just finished working, changed, and went outside. I bought a gyro from a cart and watched a New Yorker try to parallel park her car.

She failed.

Sometimes the best things in life are free.

(Can someone explain how I made it this long without a Schadenfreude tag? Clearly I have some posts that are mislabeled.)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Deadspot, Chicago, the Past, Redux

One advantage to blogging from the past: I can blog from the runway.

That part where they parked the plane and turned off the engines? That was a little more like it, but please. I have Naked Raygun on my iPod and I packed two books for the flight. You’ll have to do better than that, fates.

So here’s the deal. In New York, you don’t have to know simple arithmetic in order to be an air traffic controller. Good to know, if you’re not mathematically inclined. Apparently the assholes at Laguardia aren't sure which number is bigger: the number of flights they've scheduled or the number of gates available.

Instead, our departure time was delayed by an hour, and then after we pulled away from the gate, they shut down the engines so we can park here for 45 minutes while they sort things out in New York.

Really, bring some fire and brimstone next time. This is just sad.

Welcome to the New Future, Just Like the Old Future

So, here I am in Chicago, home on the late 90s, when people still thought “charging people for wireless acess” was a business plan instead of a way to look like a cheapskate. On the plus side, I have my iBook back in rehab. Apparently, someone believes that I will be so happy to find a row of outlets that I will buy insurance from them. I remain skeptical.

By the time you read this, it will already be the future. Do we have rocket cars yet? Are the robot overlords reasonably benevolent?

Here in the past, we compose our blog posts into an application called AppleWorks, and wait to make them available when communication with the present has been re-established. It is so primitive here in the past that Starbucks has not yet accomplished their goal of a barista at every gate. They have to get by on a measly five outposts between my arrival gate and my departure gate.

I started reading Lamb on the flight here. I was using this morning’s shopping list (“Water, Ricola, Books, Altoids.” See what a considerate traveller I am? I will not cough on you or engage in tedious conversation, and I’m always minty fresh. Go thou and do likewise.) as a bookmark, and as we were about to take off, I noticed the Far Side comic on the back of the list. In it, an airline passenger is about to accidentally hit the “Wings Fall Off” button on the arm of his seat. Is that really the best that you can do, fates? That’s some weak sauce.

On cue, the overhead speakers in the airport tell me that the threat level is Orange. I should secure my baggage and rat out my fellow travellers to the nearest available secuirty officer for appropriate disposal.

Do we really make it to the future? Let me know when I get there.

Fear and Loathing at the BMI

So, here I am on the road, coming to you live from the Green Zone at the enchantingly named Central IL Regional at Bloomington/Normal Airport. It's just as nice as it sounds.

Thus far, the horsemen have stayed well out of sight. I was in and out of my Local Indy BooksellerTM in 5 minutes, Lamb and Island of the Sequined Love Nun in hand. (It's going to be a very Christopher Moore trip.) I raced like a bat out of hell from Urbana to Bloomington without a police car in sight. I entered long term parking and found that the closest possible parking spot was empty and waiting for me. There were no lines at check in. The TSA officers were attractive, upbeat, and displayed a suspicious lack of neanderthal brownshirt swagger.

My traveling companion, an ancient iBook, immediately found the airport's free wireless network upon powering up, and aside from the fact that it's sucking down power like a Lohan fresh out of rehab, I'm online and blogging with a minimum of effort.

Not only has the other shoe not dropped, I'm starting to wonder if the first shoe slept in. The fact that my Local Indy BooksellerTM did not have Nightmare Before Christmas on DVD is hardly the kind of drama I expect from one of my trips. I packed Corpse Bride just in case. Suck it, fates!

Next stop, O'Hare. Assuming they have not joined the 21st Century (already in progress) since the last time I passed through, there will be no internet access. There will, however, be omnipresent announcements from the Ministry of Truth about the current state of the war against Eastasia (or is it Eurasia this week?) so I'll have that to entertain me.

It's almost time to board, so I will close for now.

I am Deadspot, reporting live from the BMI Security Zone.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Flying North

Tomorrow afternoon I'm off to New York. Oddly enough, even though I'll be working longer hours, I should finally have time to catch up on all of your blogs. So... um... I guess you have that to look forward to?

If any of the New York gang want to meet up while I'm there, shoot me an email, the link's in my profile.

Morlocks and Eloi

An evolutionary theorist working for Bravo has predicted that in the future, all women will turn into Lolitas with glossy hair, hairless clear skin, and pert breasts while all of the men will be athletic giants with big dicks, and if you don't get on board with that, you're going to end up in the dim-witted, goblin-like underclass.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhkay then.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Old Cold Leftovers

Sometimes a post is not a dish best served cold. Happy Bohrer Day seemed much farther off when I said I would start posting again. I thought I could whip this into something entertaining. Instead I found that I had waited so long that I no longer remembered details, and I was left with these sketchy notes. You may still find something tasty in there, or you may pop the lid and be sent fleeing from the moldy remains.

Your milage may vary.

First, the recap:

Wrong, Wrong, Wrong! Bad Judges! Bad!
We're in Aspen! Hung thinks the lift passes are movie tickets, they ride to the top of the mountain, and they're presented with a ton of ingredients. They're told that there will be no wacky challenges, they just have to present the best three-course meal they've ever made. Have they seen the show?

So they cooked and stuff... Oh, and there were some celebrity sous chefs and they brought back some of the last chefs to be eliminated. Hi, Second Sara, we love you! Brian, well, he got to eat with the judges, so he had that goin' for him.

The Producers' M. Night Shamalamadingdong Tweest was that halfway through prep, the judges revealed that the chefs would have to come up with and prepare a fourth course and get it ready within the hour they had remaining. How will they handle the pressure?

Hung won the first course. Mohawk won the second. Hung won the third course. Mohawk won the last. Yeah, Casey got shut out completely. Ouch. Sucks to be her.

The judges deliberated. Then they revealed on National Television that they can't follow their own criteria.

Here's why:

If they're comparing the results of the rounds, head to head, like they said they were, Mohawk won it. Radicchio said that the two best dishes were equally good. In their comments on the two second-best dishes, they had complaints about Hung's, but not Mohawk's. So if their best dishes were equally good, and Mohawk's second winning dish was better than Hung's second winning dish, it seems clear that in the head to head, they tied on the quantity of winning dishes, but Mohawk won on the quality of the dishes.

So how about the challenge they tossed out? If it's important enough to give the challenge, it should be important enough to judge the challenge. How did they do under pressure? Mohawk improvised on the spot and pulled off one of the best dishes of the night with his Scallops and Purslane. Hung pulled out a recipe that he'd brought for some crappy ass Applebee's dessert and nobody was all that excited about it. Hey, Hung, your monkey can make chocolate cake and whipped cream. My mom can make chocolate cake and whipped cream.

So by my reckoning, Mohawk wins the the head to head and the challenge. Why are they still deliberating?

Instead of relying on the best dishes, head to head, and instead of relying on the challenge results as a tie breaker, they looked at the worst dishes of the night... or at least, the worst dishes of the night not prepared by Casey. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they say over and over through the season that it was not enough to not be the worst chef? In any case, they decided that Mohawk's worst dish was worse than Hung's worst dish, so Hung won it.

They're the judges, I guess. Even though they're wrong.

The biggest issue is this: They said that it doesn't come down to a more fundamental question than "Would you hire this person to run your kitchen?" Hands down, Hung fails that test. Except for technical expertise, he never displayed the qualities they said they were looking for. He was wildly inconsistent, he never took an ounce of responsibility, and the only time he ever displayed an ability to work as a part of a team was when Second Sara took charge and made everyone toe the line in Restaurant Wars. This isn't Top Sous Chef, and there's no way in hell I'd let him run my kitchen.

And finally, Hung served up not one, but two dishes garnished with cat spit in the final. Enough with the fucking foam already. Can we get an automatic disqualification for foam in Season 4?

But you know... I'm not bitter or anything.

On to the reunion!

Reunited and it Feels So Good

"What was your favorite challenge? Clay?"

I laughed so hard at that. Too bad Clay didn't get the joke. Thanks for playing, Clay. There are some bagels in the Green Room. Help yourself to the leftovers on the way out. I thought that was definitely the highlight of the show.

A close second was when Padma told Howie he didn't get to have an opinion about the Grocery Aisle challenge because he didn't actually make anything.

Aside from the quote I led off with, Mohawk had the best lines of the night: "I've always wanted a montage!" and "It's Chicken Cordon Blow!"

Hung tried to say that the person acting like a dick week after week was not you. All I'm sayin' is, that guy bore a strong resemblance to Hung. The distinction between the kind of person who is a dick to try and make a few bucks, and one who acts like a dick to try and make a few bucks may make sense to Jesuits and Republicans, but not to me.

The love connection movie was amusing.

It was nice to see Sassy Lia again.

The dancing was amusingly bad, but not amusingly bad enough.

I'm sure there was other stuff I enjoyed... but I'm drawing a blank. I should have served this when it was fresh.

What am I missing? What did I lose to freezer burn?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Corinne. Love ya! (But not in that creepy internet stalker way.)

You know, I've been thinking about my congenital snarkiness recently, and it occurred to me that if she were to google herself and stumble across my blog, she might not see my adoption post in the affectionate way that it was intended. She might, in fact, think that I'm kind of a dick.

Sorry. Mea culpa. I have, as my regular readers will attest, a genetic predisposition.

She's made a career doing something that she loves and people appreciate her for doing it, even if some of them are freaks or assholes. We could all do worse.

So Happy Birthday, Corinne, and the offer still stands. If you ever need a place to crash, the Villa del Punto Muerto is always open.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Silent Running

Instead of trying to get out a few half-assed posts while trying to keep my head above water at work, I'm going to take a brief hiatus until Corinne Bohrer Day, when I will return with the kind of full-assed posts you've come to expect.

I'll catch up on my comments in the meantime, but to answer one: yes, an NYC blogger summit sounds fabulous. I think I should have most of the evenings of October 30th and 31st open, but I realize that everyone probably has the 31st booked. I have to work bright and early on the 31st and I have to catch a flight back on the 1st, so I will have to limit the debauchery to something in the half- to three-quarter-Caligula range. Please don't hold it against me... unless the "it" in question is something that I might enjoy having held against me.

If those dates won't work out, let me know. I'll actually be in town starting on the 26th, but I won't have as much of my evening free and I'll have to be up even earlier. Since work is paying the tab, I'm kind of stuck with their schedule, and it's just a little bit horribly inconvenient.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Evil Dictation

Young Master Yen, Ze Evil Dictator, has pierced the Veil of SecrecyTM and asked 5 questions. I have responded with 5 answers, thusly:

If you could switch places with any dictator in history who would you switch with?
The Weimar Republic looks like a great party destination: it's decadent, it's German, it's stylish, and the architecture is fabulous. Despite the lack of high-speed internet access, it seems pretty cool, even if you have to burn Deutschmarks to keep warm. We could skip the Holocaust, go straight to the conquering the world bit, and there's not a chance in hell I'd wear that silly moustache.

Unfortunately, because we're switching places, Adolph Hitler is right out. My family and friends would never forgive me for dumping that little Austrian douchebag on them. Just as well... I'm hell on wheels at Risk, and we'd probably all be blogging in German. I don't know about you, but I can never remember how to get the umlauts to show up right.

I think I'll have to go with Fidel Castro. He seems like a decent enough guy that I wouldn't mind foisting him off on you guys, I'd get to hang with Che, and I'd get to make a whole slew of American presidents look like jackasses. Who wouldn't love that?

I'm not wild about the heat, but there would be plenty of rum, great old cars, and I think I've mentioned that I like a little hot, spicy Caribbean now and then.

I'm talking about food, people... This is a family post.

If you had a rock band what would you name them?
Like most of us, I've come up with and forgotten hundreds of great band names, so I came up with a brand new one just for this interview: Richard Scarry's Best Punk Band Ever. Of course, our first CD would have to be Richard Scarry's Loudest Punk CD Ever.

And yes, in the first draft, that said "album" instead of "CD". I'm old.

George Bush has publicly announced that he is the fourth reich, would you start a riot or eat cake?
I would have my cake and riot too. Angel food would be nice, or that raspberry fudge torte from Sweet Indulgence. I think that would go nicely with a tall, cold glass of kicking ass.

If your in a room with a shotgun, which politician would be in that same room with you?
Dick Cheney, because I'm a huge fan of irony.

In Chicago the newspaper wrote how many starbucks are in each neighborhood, about five neighborhoods have twelve alone, what is your
reaction to this true madness?

I'd have to take a stroll down to my local independent coffee shop, Caffe Paradiso, for a large cappuccino, extra shot, to mull it over. I've given up trying to understand why people go to Starbucks when there are such good alternatives. Maybe it has something to do with the extra f.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Chapter 8

Wherein the author is not, despite the name, actually dead per se.

I was going to blog about last night's weirdness, but the more I think about it, perhaps I won't. Parts of it were amusing, but it had a tragic twist in the tail that makes me not want to laugh about the earlier stuff. Instead, allow me to present a few rules for polite society.

Try not to mix alcohol and regret. It's the kind of thing that starts out seeming like a good idea and ends up with you on a stranger's doorstep trying to convince them that they are supposed to give you a ride home. (We walked. There was a little staggering into bushes, but no vomiting, so it went better than I had hoped.)

If you do find yourself on somebody's doorstep needing help to get home, no matter how confident you are that you know the way, lead with your address. It'll simplify things.

If you are just a garden-variety fuck up, pull your shit together and solve your own problems. You're sucking up people's ability to cope with actual problems. People should not be sharing their horrible news with me in the middle of the night because the rest of their family is too busy dealing with you. If your problems are your own fault, suck it up and deal, asshole.

And finally, I'm much more comfortable with the whole "crying on shoulder" thing when it remains strictly metaphorical, but you've gotta do what you've gotta do.

S'aright? S'aright. Let's move on.

There will probably not be a Top Chef recap today. Recaps are, like gazpacho and revenge, best served cold. Right?

Work continues to be a crushing grind. Did I mention that I'll be in New York at the end of October?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Flan Pressed

Up, up and away,
in my beautiful balloon.
So glad Hung's knifeless.

Frying Pan River?
You've Got To Be Kidding Me.
Who Named This Shit, Dude?

Trout cooked on a stump
is not seafood, says Brian.
Really? Are you sure?

Hung is done so fast.
Did his monkey bring lemon?
'Cause Hung sure didn't.

Hung Don't Know Cowboys
Like The Mohawk Knows Cowboys.
It's A Rodeo!

Yippie kai yi yay!
Them cowboys love some baked beans.
Thus sayeth the Hung.

Mohawk's cheese tart sucks.
Today, pressure is his friend.
Cauli-tatoes rock.

Cooking's for sissies.
Cowboys are like cavemen, right?
Casey serves raw elk.

Dublyuh tee eff?
Brian wears a cowboy hat.
No one is impressed.

Judges' Table Time:
Three Go To The Finals. One?
Pack Your Knives and Go.

Condescending Hung,
Mohawk kicked your ass real good.
Taste the justice, dick.

The judges have seen
Enough of frat boy antics.
Brian is sent home.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Olfactory Hallucinations

I spent yesterday afternoon cutting these out of my back yard, and I'm still, after several showers and changes of clothes, smelling them out of the corner of my nose. Tree of Heaven? More like Tree of Stank.

I haven't even started on my Top Chef recap... crushing deadlines at work. I'll get on it, and hopefully get it posted before the second part. I will not resort to haiku unless sorely pressed.