Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I Knew It!

I friggin' knew it.

I knew she killed that nice Jerry Hall.

Now, how do we convince Batman that it's worth his time to give Rachael Ray the beat down she so richly deserves?

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Return of The Iron Chef Drinking Game

Mmmmm...Fetal Pig Battle...
There were people here yesterday. In the room and stuff.

I had to find pants.

The goal of the afternoon was to engage in a rousing round of “The Iron Chef Drinking Game”. More than a mere drinking game, it would be a booze soaked extravaganza that promised to make your hair stand on end, pickle your liver and cause you to pass out suddenly in a warm pool of your own vomit. "The Iron Chef Drinking Game" is. the King of “watch and drink” drinking games.

Why subject oneself to this kind of binge-drink abuse? Well, why not?

I’d been good all week, after all.


We stumbled upon this game several years ago when Iron Chef was still new in the country. A lot of the variations on the game were based on feeds of Japanese programming that came to the West Coast with all of the Japanese commercials intact. So, these versions involved rules for the commercials as well.

You will find, if you choose to play this, that the commercials are not a time for drinking. They are a time for healing. A time to take a breath and not be chugging.

For whatever reason, I had difficulty pulling up the original versions we found, although there are several sites with a wealth of variations on the rules. Just throw "Iron Chef Drinking Game" into Google and you'll find all kinds of stuff.

The basic rules, if memory serves me right, are as follows:

During The Opening:

Drink when you see the opening quotation.
Drink when you hear Kaga say "If memory serves…"
Drink if the challenger comes from some "faction" that wants to take out the Iron Chefs.
Drink twice if the challenger is female.
Drink if Kaga demonstrates a "look of great emotion".
Drink twice if he does it while eating something (a yellow pepper, for example).
Drink if you see Kaga’s shoes.

During The Battle:

Drink if the challenger has already selected an Iron Chef before coming to the battle.
Drink if the challenger enters Kitchen Stadium with an entourage.
Drink twice if it’s Morimoto (poor bastard)
Drink if other Iron Chefs are present in the stadium to watch the battle.
Drink when the mystery ingredient is revealed.
Drink if "special rules" for the battle are introduced because the ingredient is unusual (like a pasta or other noodle).
Drink twice if Kaga has to use English to name the ingredient.
In fact, have a drink anytime Kaga attempts English.
Drink if the Iron Chef gets to the ingredient before the challenger
Drink twice if the challenger gets to the ingredient first.
Drink whenever you see a camera man in shot.
Drink whenever Ohta interrupts with "Fukui-san!"
Drink if Ohta recites a list of ingredients a chef is working with.
Drink twice if they show a replay.
Drink when the time remaining is shown on the screen.
Drink if there is another Iron Chef present in Kitchen Stadium's audience.
Drink twice if another Iron Chef gives commentary from the audience.
Drink if a chef works with a "luxury ingredient" (truffles, caviar, swallow’s nest, or shark fin)
Drink if you start to get hungry.
Drink if you get repulsed by something.
Drink if Dr. Hattori predicts what a chef is going to do but gets it wrong.
Drink if Fukui tries to make a sports analogy to the floor action.
Drink if Fukui says "Bang a gong we are on!"
Drink if Fukui says the battle is "Ovah!"

During Interviews

Drink if the challenger says he’s going to win.
Drink if the Iron Chef tries to be humble.

During Food Presentation

If the challenger has made more dishes than the Iron Chef, drink the difference.
Have a drink for any of the dishes you actually want to eat.
Have a drink for any of the dishes actively do not want to eat.

During Tasting

Drink if the Iron Chef serves any of the dishes personally.
Drink if a female judge says something stupid.
Drink if Kaga says anything during tasting.
Drink if one of the judges is a member (or former member) of government.
Drink if the judges are American and behave embarrassingly.
Drink if a chef gets upset by a judge’s comments.

During The Verdict

Drink if you predicted the winner ahead of time.
Drink the difference between scores if the Iron Chef wins.
Drink twice the difference between scores if the challenger wins.
Chug if it’s a tie.
Drink if Kishi tries to pad the score in favor of the Iron Chef.


So, that's the game in a nutshell. Mr. Scoop has a simplified version of the rules: "Drink if you see anybody Asian". It works.

We made the mistake of starting the game after we'd already been drinking for about four hours. Some of us tried using alcoholic beverages other than beer. To the wife of Mr. Scoop's friend from high school, if you're reading this: I'm sorry we broke your husband last night.

However, I'm still up for a rematch in February. Call us.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Seven hours and Twenty-three Minutes Until Wine o'clock

It's not like I have to do it.
I can stop any time I want.
Being sober, that is.
It's been an odd week. I've been experimenting with weekday sobriety. I took a look at my diet and noticed that I've been putting down a bottle or so of wine every night for the last month. If you consider that a serving of wine has between 110-120 calories (per 150 ml) then an entire bottle is between 550 to 600 calories. 7 bottles of wine, therefore, would be about a pound of weight. Continued consistent consumption of several cases of wine equals me becoming Jabba the Hut in short order.
Of course, it's not like I couldn't take calories out of other places in my diet. Last night I made one of my famous mondo burgers: 1/4 lb. Hamburger patty, pan seared and finished in the oven topped with sauteed mushrooms and brie on toasted rosemary sourdough bread.
On the other hand, I dropped four pounds when I got on the scale this morning, so, who knows?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Hating Lana: Now More Than Ever

The writers at Smallville just had to dangle in front of us the hope. that they might kill off that awful simpering bitch Lana tonight. They even went so far as to actually do it before pussying out half way through the episode and killing off Jonathan Kent instead. Nobody's killed off Jonathan Kent in continuity in, like, 20 years!!!!! What the fuck? Did John Schneider get some better offer like "Bo Duke, The Colostomy Years"?


I mean, look at her. Awful crossed-eyed useless waste of space. My mother's cat gets that look if you tease it with a laser pointer. It understands something is wrong, just not what. Because intelligence happens to other species.

Somebody go out and hate fuck this cooze for me.

That is all.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Theo Epstein's New Position?

Please forgive the clumsiness of the picture. I only have Paint here to work with.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

True Story

The opening paragraph of his composition read: "Macbeth stepped from shadows near the icy loch. Except it wasn't a loch, it was a fish pond. Somewhere in Paris. Near the Eiffel Tower. He was going to have to take Duncan out. That was for sure. Otherwise his bitch wife wouldn't let him hear the end of it. But first he needed a Double Whopper with Cheese with all the fixings. King food for the future king. And then: THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!!!!"

Welcome to midterms. You all may have been wondering why it's been a little quiet here at Amandarama this week. I've been grading all the stuff I've been blowing off for the last quarter. The sample "composition" above may or may not be representative of the type of assignments I'm currently wading through. As far as you know, it is. The topic was supposed. to be "How Can Macbeth Become King Without Murdering Anyone?" Giving this kid's paper a cursory read through, it seems to involve running off to France and getting drunk until Lady Macbeth (and everyone else he knows) dies. Then he tries to kill himself only to discover that he can not die. This kid has a future in political strategic planning. Somebody alert the President.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I Marvel and Wonder

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

I'm not sure.

But it sure looks..retarded.


Once upon a time, at least 10 years ago, I had a student named Brian.

The school nurse said it was "rosacea", but Brian looked like what might happen if Beavis and Butthead had a child. I didn't know gums could recede that far.

Brian was...limited...

Brian...farted, and often pissed himself, defensively.

Brian generally sounded like Keyop from Battle of the Planets from when I was a kid. And not on purpose.

He was one of my favorite students. And I wonder what happened to him.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Sweet Tang of Adolescent Desperation Is Love's Baby Soft

"Just because you're better than someone., doesn't mean you're good."

I heard some high school drama clique kid saying this to some other high school drama clique kid today as I was leaving work. Given the usual level of talent our drama department brings to the stage, I wonder how the girl who was saying that is going to feel when she discovers she can't even get parts like "Cum Dumpster #2" in a low rent porno.

There is some new production brewing. I hear it is a school wide talent show. Auditions have left the tang of adolescent desperation hanging heavily in the hallways outside of the auditorium. I can only imagine what it's like inside. Desperation and "Love's Baby Soft", I'm guessing.

To my freshmen's credit, they have heard about the curse that uttering the name "Macbeth" carries if you utter it during a live theater production. AIDS. They all plan on sitting in the front row on opening night and shouting it. God bless their curious minds. I see extra credit in their futures.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Time Does Not Apply To My Family

When a fifty year old mother of two pulled her pants down to show me her tattoo, I knew the afternoon was going sideways. The thick, faded cross had been applied with India ink and a needle when she was just thirteen. I was trapped between a kitchen island and a bookshelf full of vegetarian cookbooks with nowhere to go. She was very insistent and kind of drunk.

She was also my aunt.

"I had an open beer in the truck the entire way here", she said. "And I told him". She gestured to my uncle. "But do you think he heard me?" I nodded, trying to feign understanding. "He totally freaked out on me", she exclaimed. I kept nodding. "So, anyway, I think I want another tattoo. It's going to be my Celtic astrological sign", she said, pulling a small pendant with a bunch of squiggles out of her neckline. "I'll have them do it over the old one. He'll never notice." She jerked her head conspiratorily at my uncle. "He doesn't want me to get one!"

I smiled sympathetically. Then I offered her another beer.

This is how I kicked off Christmas with my family. Last Saturday.

My family is not particularly known for being "on time". Our family Christmas party happened so late this year that I think we even missed the Epiphany. In my family, time is a problem that happens to other people. For the physicists in my family, time is a dimension to be "worked around". I'm an atheist and I get particularly aggravated when late holiday observances cut into my weekend drinking. That's all I know.

Christmas was observed at my cousin's new house in Northeast Assfuck, USA. New was a relative term. It'd been owned by others. It showed in the odd avocado colored clapboard siding as well as the worn wide pine flooring. There was an ice covered, stagnant brook that looked like it'd be an excellent breeding ground for mosquitos in the Spring. I bet the realtor humped the "eventual babbling brook" as a selling point. Because malaria itself does not sell.

The trip to the house in Northeast Assfuck was an hour and a half of hard driving from my abode in the city. Getting directions that involved major highways had been a 45 minute chore in itself. Several relatives gave me directions that involved "Follow the road...that is not really a road...under the bridge...there will be a bunch of signs for things...I don't know the name of the actual road...there will be a bunch of mailboxes...oh, and, avoid the troll...that is not really a troll...but bring money..."

Mapquest acknowledged that the town existed. But not the road.

As obscure as the directions we received were, Mr. Scoop and I were the first to arrive. Because my family does not believe in the concept of time.

We made a plan to leave within an hour and a half to two hours. We were in what is generally acknowledged as the incest capital of the state. What happens in Northeast Assfuck, stays in Northeast Assfuck. For several generations. At twilight, the looming shadows would be menacing to unprotected orafices. We wanted to be on the road and headed toward cell phone service that did not include roaming charges.

Mr. Scoop helped matters by proclaiming that the chicken that was served at dinner was the same one that killed his father. Then he broke a beer bottle and brandished it as he backed toward the door. My family wasn't sure what to do with this. The ensuing awkwardness gave us a window for our escape.

I love Mr. Scoop.

Merry Entirely Belated Christmas and Happy Totally Belated New Year!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

TiVo: The Saga Continues...

So, I've now had TiVo for a little while and I can already say I'm a total convert. Commercials are for the poor and underpriviledged who can't afford the Glory Of TiVo. Broadcast schedules are something that "happen to other people".

I'm already trying to sort out how to keep up with the content I've asked my dear little DVR to deliver to me. Tonight, Mr. Scoop and I watched an excellent documentary on the evolution of the Hong Kong style martial arts movie. We also watched what turned out to be a so-so short film showcase that opened with a 25 minute opus of what can happen when Furries who live with their mothers go horribly, horribly wrong. At this very moment, Mr. Scoop is trying to erase the memory of the film with hard liquor, an Exacto knife and a dream. The dream is to find the address of the director of the movie.

Because I'm already having to make hard decisions about what to keep and what to delete, it is with great joy that I was informed about weaKnees.com by John Rogers over at Kung Fu Monkey. weaKnees.com is a site that provides the materials to upgrade your TiVo. Want a TiVo that will let you record 900 hours of TV? You can get it there! They also have accessories. They carry a remote control by Harmony that I'm totally in lust for. Sure, it might be overkill for my home theatre system but...who cares?

All praise the Glory Of TiVo!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

First Recipe for the New Year...

...because I love you and this goes well with beer. Happy New Year!

This recipe is inspired by one of Ming Tsai's. His involves tracking down banana leaves and some other hard to find (at least in my grocery store) ingredients. However, you will find the results of my version quite tasty, as well as find that it gives you a bit of summer heat during this winter blast. Here in New England today we are prey to a mercurial winter storm that can't quite decide if it's snow or rain. It also won't give us enough snow to actually cancel school, just gak up the highways.

Bastard Father Winter.

Thai Shrimp en Papillote

Serves 2

1 T. red curry paste
juice from ½ a lime
1/3 c. cilantro leaves
1 scallion, cut into large pieces
1 jalapeno pepper, including seeds (remove stem)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 t. sesame oil
1 T. canola oil
1-2 t. fish sauce
8 oz. large (21-25 count) shrimp*
1 ½ c. cooked jasmine rice
12 slices grilled summer squash**
12 slices grilled zucchini**
½ c. grilled sliced onion**
1 grilled tomato, cut into 6 wedges**

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

1. Pulse the first 9 ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Scrape into a non-reactive bowl and set aside.
2. On a 12 inch sheet of foil that you’ve sprayed with Pam (or similar), place 2 rows of 3 slices of squash (side-by-side). Cover evenly with half the rice. Add 6 slices of zucchini, followed by ¼ c. of onions and 3 tomato wedges. Place half of the shrimp on top. Spoon ¼ to ½ the curry paste mixture on top (to taste).
3. Carefully fold the foil over the ingredients and seal tightly on all sides. Place foil packets on a baking sheet in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. When cooking is complete, remove the contents of each packet to a plate or bowl and serve immediately. You may want to garnish with more scallion or cilantro.

*If you don't like shrimp, 6-8 oz. of lightly pounded chicken breast that has been cubed up will work too. Up the cooking time to about 25 minutes, to ensure doness.

**Use a grill pan or run these veggies under the broiler until lightly charred before making the recipe. Or order grilled veggies from the local barbecue place as part of your take-away and use those instead. That's what I did the first time I made this.

To drink with this meal I recommend Singha. This lager cuts through the spiciness nicely. And clocks in at 6.0% ABV!

Happy New Year, folks!

Drink up!