Thursday, March 30, 2006


What is "fresh"?

I ask this because the WB wants me to stay tuned for "fresh" new episodes of its latest Piece O' Fluff TM, Pepper Dennis:

Feature film star Rebecca Romijn (X-Men and the upcoming feature film Man About Town) stars as Pepper Dennis, a beautiful and ambitious reporter whose career goal is anchoring Chicago's top-rated evening news broadcast. Pepper Dennis is a one-hour comedy about a modern woman who refuses to give up on the dream of having it all.

Pepper is a rising star in the newsroom of Chicago station WEIE. Intent on being the best reporter she can be, she chases down the facts of every story, often throwing caution and common sense to the wind. Literally throwing herself into her work, Pepper has been known to land in puddles, dumpsters and - occasionally - bed.

Folks, "fresh" is an adjective which, according to my copy of The American Heritage Dictionary means, variously: "New to one's experience; not encountered before", "Recently made, produced or harvested", "Not preserved, as by canning, smoking, or freezing", "Not yet used or soiled", "Free from impurity; pure" and, my favorite, "Recently calved and therefore with milk".

Let's examine the veracity of these definitions as they may pertain to this "fresh" show:

"New to one's experience; not encountered before"

A whole hour about a quirky career single chiquita who wants it all with an equally quirky ensemble cast of friends and co-workers. Damn. No, I'm sure I've never seen anything like this since my last roommate OD'ed on Ally McBeal. What? You say this is going to star Rebecca Romijn ? Is she going to be blue and scaley and try to shiv someone while kinda nude? No? Then I'm not interested.

"Recently made, produced or harvested"

Yes. I'm sure there are several episodes of this in the can as I type. You know what else had several episodes in the can and didn't make it past episode 8 or 9? Point Pleasant. Of course that one had the stink of Marti Noxon all over it. Yes, the daughter of the devil washes ashore in New Jersey.. Where the hell else would.. she wash ashore? And then it turns out that her liaison to Satan is Grant Show, late of Melrose Place. A former Melrose Place employee is in league with the Devil? About the only way that casting gets better would have been if they could have gotten Aaron Spelling to do a walk on as The Prince of Darkness ( or, himself...whatever...) in the never seen finale. This project was clearly destined to succeed.

But, I digress. I think what I'm saying here is that a lack of Marti Noxon on board may be the only thing this sad trainwreck of a show has going for it.

"Not preserved, as by canning, smoking, or freezing"

*cough* Botox..*cough*

"Not yet used or soiled", "Free from impurity; pure"



John Stamos has been in there.

And, maybe, Magneto.

Just sayin'....

"Recently calved and therefore with milk"

I...want my lawyer.

Look... All I'm saying is that none of those definitions said "fresh" meant "good". For example, I took a "fresh" shit this morning. The next person to walk into the bathroom would not agree that it was "good".

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

These Dreams...

Have you ever had a dream where you dreamed about another person? You may or may not actually know them in waking life, but in this dream everything happens with such crystal clarity that you begin to wonder: What if we're having this dream together, he and I? What if he's having this exact same dream, too?

And if last night's experience was, in fact, the case, I'd really like to apologize to Matt Damon for puking in his pool.

And the broken windows.

And assuming that the hookers he ordered were for "everybody". My bad. I didn't realize that the hookers were "model/actresses" trying to "network". I didn't realize that networking involved abusing the vibrate function of my cell phone. And mayonaise.

You owe me a new cell phone, Matt. And I'll find you, oh yes.

Sweet dreams, Matt.

We'll meet again.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I Have A Little....Kitty...

We have a new addition here at Chez Scoop. His name is Fuzzy, because that was what was on the tag. I wanted to call him "Small Amount of Cat", but apparently Lance Manion has copyright issues with unauthorized use of the name. And I don't really need any new boxes of poisonous spiders being delivered "anonymously" to my house this week.

Fuzzy likes to torment Mr. Scoop. He likes to try and drink his Guiness when he thinks Mr. Scoop doesn't notice. He finds Mr. Scoop's ever lengthening hair an excellent place to bat away at invisible foes. He also likes to attack Mr. Scoop's empty Coors Light cans and bat them around on the floor. One night, Mr. Scoop said he was awoken by Fuzzy sitting on his chest, "trying to steal my breath. Goddamn awful, rat bastard, fucking cat! I got a Lo Mein recipe with your name on it! C'mere!"

In short, Fuzzy is kinda psycho and possibly a budding alcoholic. I didn't realize that these qualities could be found in a Beanie Baby, but there you have it.

I do know that Mr. Scoop's already picked out a present for when he inevitably puts Fuzzy through a wall.


Also, in other news, Mr. Scoop has relaunched The American Jerk. Drop by and say hey. He probably won't call you a "goatfucker", but you can never be sure. The American Jerk is your "Go To" source for dark humor involving drinking, general debauchery and things you can do with your ass if you get bored. Go on. Click the link. You know you want to.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Building Equity

I recently tried to convince Mr. Scoop that leaving a nice, juicy grunt in the sink of a basement half bathroom, during a condo open house, is not actually the same as giving the realtor a down payment on the property.

He tried to argue with me, but then the cops came and we had to leave anyway.

Yeah, so? Eventually me and Mr. Scoop want to be the "in possession of 'Home Equity' types". I'm not entirely sure how we're going to finance the liver transplants otherwise.

Looking at "grown-up property" with Mr. Scoop is much like you might expect.

While I've finally convinced him that, Depends equipped or otherwise, a beer hat will not impress the realtor, this upsets Mr. Scoop. The first thing he likes to do when we visit a property is check the deck or balcony for "pee-worthiness". So, as a compromise, I've bought him a shiny new hip flask for these occasions.

The definition of "pee-worthy" is the ability of Mr. Scoop to hit a frat boy's BMW with a stream of urine from 20 paces. Fortunately, our area is college heavy and Mr. Scoop's prostate is mighty.

The first realtor didn't really care when Mr. Scoop fired off a urine volley on the brand spanky new BMW 325 from Rhode Island. The unit she was showing, although kegerator equipped, barely cleared 1000sq. ft. in space. It was no place for the majesty of Mr. Scoop's mighty DLP tv. Hell, it wouldn't have reasonably fit my 32" normal tv. Let the peeing commence!

The second realtor cared. Mostly because there was a rooftop deck involved. And the BMW was his. Whoops.

After Mr. Scoop was coaxed off the roof, we took a tour of the rest of the property.

I'd like to think he was dazzled by the property's spiral staircases, but I lost Mr. Scoop for a good 10 minutes.

It was long enough for him to do horrible, Geneva Convention defying, things to the basement half bath.

When I found him, he was trying to explain to me that he was being contacted, through the toilet, telepathically. I told him to flush if he needed air conditioning, but to save the "act" for the paying rubes. He said, "But, we're supposed to be here. God told me to leave a down payment." He looked at the toilet and shrugged.

That's when the cops came.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Animal! Animal!!!

You know I don't like to rely on memes, but this was too much fun to pass up:

You Are Animal

A complete lunatic, you're operating on 100% animal instincts.
You thrive on uncontrolled energy, and you're downright scary.
But you sure can beat a good drum.
"Kill! Kill!"

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Danger, Will Robinson, Danger

Sometimes it's not a good idea to blog while drunk.

And, I'm saying this, probably being able to count the number of times I've blogged sober on my elbow.

Sometimes, you blog in a blackout and discover that you've posted only the next day when you see the comments that have been emailed helpfully to you by Blogger.

Then you check your site and realize that, in addition to posting something involving fart jokes and Shakira while you were in your blackout, somehow you managed to wipe out every single link in the side bar (including your statcounter). Possibly because you thought reinstalling the template was the only way to save your webpage from the 3-D HTML spiders that may or may not have been trying to crawl out of the screen and eat your face. Possibly.

Fortunately, sidebar/template fuck ups can be fixed by googling a cache of your page and stealing the missing code back by using the "view source code" function of the browser. But that's not the important thing to remember.

The important thing to remember is this:

When you are in a blackout you get to live a whole chunk of your life...without actually being there. But your friends are.. And they are more than willing to tell you all the stupid shit you did while you weren't there. All you can do is believe what they tell you and apologize.

And, I'm really sorry I killed that hooker. But there was no other way to save her from the 3-D HTML spiders, I swear.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

On My Not Being Boned In The Ass

I don't appreciate being boned in the ass by the morning staff.

And, thus, my lack of appreciation for "Mike-FM" here, as foisted upon us by Infinity.

Are you familiar with Mike? Or Frank? Or Jack?

The premise is that THERE'S NO DJ!!!!!! And, on top of that, the playlist appears to not follow a particular format/playlist. This is because some marketing people told the radio suits that a lot of us own I-pods, or some similar device. We all have a lot of interests, so our lists of MP-3s look like drunken train wrecks.

Well, I know mine does....I download a lot of music drunk. In fact I wake up with a lot of music that I look at with suspicious coyote morning overtones.

George Michael's "Faith" never needs to know it found its way to a hard drive if it never makes it to my pale, pale ear buds...

My WinAmp library tells me that it could play for, literally, 7 days straight without repeating a song.

That doesn't mean that everything should be there.

Let's get back to "Mike-FM". For crappolla in the morning.

6:12 in the AM and I hear Billy Squire, No Doubt and...Justin Timberlake.

Now, I'd ask you which of these three didn't belong, but I think we'd all differ.

But there's no DJ to call and berate. Mike-FM is all about automated. There's breakers. After every damn song. But no real people.

And I came to a disturbing conclusion: I'd rather listen to the most awful example of "morning show business" than be caught unawares and be boned in the ass aurally by Justin Timberlake.

I use my asshole to do stuff. Like shit on crappy pop music.

Basically, it comes down to this: we all have things on our MP-3 lists that we're not proud of. That actively stink. But, here's the thing:

There's some Shakira on my own playlist. I'll own up to this. I'm a little embarrassed by it if it comes on when other people are over. I hang with a more Social Distortion ready crowd.

Ultimately, people don't mind the smell of their own farts.

If Shakira comes up in the course of private listening in my home, I'll blush and secretly groove. It's my musical fart.

If Justin Timberlake comes up, unbidden, in the course of my listening experience in the car, I'm going to need to pull over and punch the person who did this to me until he cries "Safety" or, once the fart is out and he's being punched repeatedly , "Doorknob". I don't know why. That's just how we did things in college. Plus, Unbidden Timberlake is as insidious as a silent, but deadly, fart.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Helmets and Pads

I must say that I really appreciate it when the retarded go out of their way to wear helmets to identify themselves. It makes me feel less bad when I push them off their bikes. You know, when they take up entire sides of streets I'd like to be driving on?

Why are they on these bikes clogging up my streets? Why aren't they safely locked away on a short bus, like God intended?

It was later pointed out to me that these were not retarded people, but children. Apparently, it's now all the rage in parental control to make your kids wear helmets when they are riding their bikes. Whatever. All I know is, the day I was told I had to wear a helmet or not ride my bike would have been the last day I rode my bike. That would've been the day I started thumbing for rides with strangers.

Because, a helmet just looks more retarded than a face on a milk carton.

Because I make all the good decisions. For example, the picture on the back of the milk carton wouldn't have helmet head.

I do think that knee and elbow pads are a good idea though. Because you just never know who you're going run into when you leave the house...

Thursday, March 09, 2006


At what point does a resident of a given town stop being a "resident" and become a "townie"?

There's a Greek restaurant down the street that appears to have been built from the ashes of a gutted White Castle. You enter the place, order your kebob or gyro from the counter upfront, retire to a booth and eventually the food is delivered to your table. They have a liquor license and have no problem serving an entire carafe of vin blanc, a solo diner for consumption with his moussaka or grape leaves platter, complete with chunky, cut glass goblets - the kind you might find stored in your church basement for "functions". This is not a place that thrives on the strength of its liquor license. Particularly when you figure that if you order a solitary bottle of beer and want another one, you have to get back in line at the counter to order another one. Kind of becomes a buzzkill.

The selling point of the place, in my opinion, is the large townie contingent that gathers nightly in the place. They settle in a flock over the breadth of the restaurant. They have no problem shouting over your head to some other flock member across the room "Hey, how's it going? How was Melissa's soccer practice? You going to the play at the high school tonight? Yeah? Oh, no my wife's over visiting her sister." Why walk over and have the conversation in a normal, civilized fashion? After all, everybody knows everybody else, right? Consequently, having a conversation about how little Billy's just got his first karate belt, coupled with and further discussion about how all the women in the house seem to all be getting their period at the same time at an 11 volume is just normal townie pack behavior. Oh and don't forget to mention how Dad is getting those polyps looked at.

We're not sure where the polyps were, but that's ok. We were eating.

I can't get Mr. Scoop back into the place. Despite the excellent people watching the venue provided, the old folk and running toddler contingent was more than he wanted to deal with. And the "getting in line for beer" nonsense was something neither of us had to put up with since college "all campus parties". It's one thing to have to get up repeatedly to get beer; it's another thing entirely if you have to step over a drooling person who isn't a college kid in a dorm to do it. The elderly also appear to really hate it if you draw penises on their faces just because it looks like they've passed out.

And, I don't know if you've noticed, but Mr. Scoop and I aren't really "people" persons. The whole, collective consciousness of townie culture - I know you, you know me, my neighbor's sister blew your cousin's lacrosse team - is a bit too stifling for us. I'm more than happy to go to the dive bar on the corner and drink in collective anonymity in the dark with Mr. Scoop until they turn on the lights at closing time and make us scurry like so many rats into the night. We can wake up the next day around 11 AM and wander over to the breakfast place, also Greek, and get eggs and pancakes.

Until the guy at the stool next to us looks at us, raises his coffee cup and says, "Hey! Sam Adams and Amstel Light! How's it going?"

Monday, March 06, 2006

Recipe Day!

This recipe was created in two parts - the rainbow trout comes from inspiration I had during a dinner I had with my mother at The Elephant Walk. The veggies come from a long night of hitting Chinese restaurants in and around Leceister Square one night after seeing "Death and the Maiden" in the West End. By the end of the evening, the idea of vegetables braised with soy, ginger and garlic served with cheap red table wine had become inexorably linked in my mind with the idea of beginning my weekend on a Monday.

Rainbow Trout with Chile Lime Butter
with Mixed Vegetables

2 tsp. canola oil, divided
2 lbs. boneless rainbow trout filets
2 oz. cooked ham, slivered
1 lb. bok choy, chopped – whites and greens separated
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
2 c. mixed green beans, yellow beans and baby carrots
¼ c. water
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 slice of ginger (size of quarter, peeled), minced or grated
4 scallions, chopped finely
1 T. soy sauce
1 t. sesame oil
1 Serrano chile, sliced thinly
2 T. unsalted butter
juice of 1 lime
2 T. fresh cilantro, chopped finely
salt and pepper
3 c. cooked jasmine rice

1. Preheat oven to “warm”.

2. In a large heavy nonstick skillet, heat 1 tsp. oil over medium high heat. Pat the filets dry and season both sides with salt and pepper. Add the filets skin side down to the skillet (you may need to do this in batches). Cook without disturbing for 2 minutes. Flip over and cook for 1 minute more. Filets should be just cooked through (adjust times depending on the thickness of the filets). Remove to an oven safe plate and keep warm in the oven. Set skillet aside.

3. In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat remaining oil over medium high heat. Cook the ham until it just begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and a dash of salt. Continue to cook until the mushrooms give up their liquid. Add the mixed vegetables, the white part of the bok choy and the water. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Then remove the cover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are just tender. Add the garlic and ginger. When the garlic and ginger are just fragrant, add the scallions and the green part of the bok choy. As the greens approach the “barely wilted” stage, add the soy sauce and sesame oil and stir through until the vegetables appear glazed. Remove the pan from the heat and keep warm.

4. In the pan in which the trout cooked, add the butter and the chiles over medium heat. Cook together until the butter begins to brown. Then add the lime juice and cook for 1 minute more. Taste for seasonings. Remove from heat and keep warm.

5. To serve, divide the rice between four plates. Then mound one fourth of the vegetables over the rice on each plate. Top each mound with a trout filet. Spoon the chile lime butter sauce over each filet and garnish the dishes with the chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

Serves 4

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Big Night!

Today, Mr. Scoop brought me flowers! .Just because!

He also killed a man today, just to watch him die.

It's important to have balance in all things. And an airtight alibi.