Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Free Naruto To Good Home...

I didn't wake up this morning planning to be drunk by 2pm.

Of course, I'm on vacation from school. That does give me entirely too much free time to play with. And when the cleaning crew showed up around 12:30, I decided that it might be awkward to sit around and watch them do what I should be able to realistically do on my own. Sloth like tendencies aside.

So, I wandered down the street to my favorite sushi restaurant. I partook of the sashimi lunch plate. I didn't plan on ordering booze but the server opened the wine list to the sake page and waited expectantly for me to give her the good word. I just couldn't bring myself to disappoint her.

In addition to my actual order, the nice people at the restaurant gifted me with free wasabi peas (the better to keep me drinking) and, at the end of my meal, a thinly shaved 4 inch cone of cucumber filled with a salad of crab and tempura flakes bound by mayonnaise. It was awesome. And free.

I love those people. I need to get paid so I can go back there for dinner. They have scallop carpaccio and uni shooters. And right now, I have a looming mortgage payment.

The problem for me, once I start drinking, is that if I stop then I want to take a nap. So, I wandered up the street to the conveniently placed liquor store around the corner from the condo. While I was shuffling up the sidewalk, trying to avoid slush and large puddles (they do a real bang up job of clearing the sidewalks on this side of town), a jogger blew by me on the left heedless of the snow banks and charcoal colored ice gaking up the sidewalk. Turns out his destination was the liquor store too. No word of a lie. As far as I know Boone's Farm doesn't make sports drinks. I might have told him, but he seemed so happy fingering his cold bottle of Strawberry Hill Rectal Explosion that I figured, who am I to get between a man and his electrolytes?

I've decided I'm going to spend the rest of the day drinking Sapporo and watching Japanese horror movies until I pass out. Yes. This is a good plan. Believe it.

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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Regionally Ambiguous

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Midland
The Inland North
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Well, this certainly isn't the first time I've taken an online quiz and laughed at the results. Not necessarily because it's wrong. I do live in the Northeast of the United States. However, Boston is one of the options and I live just outside the city. I've lived in Massachusetts my whole life (time living in England after college excepted). But, I seemingly do not have a Boston accent.

And yet, why should I figure that the cold electronic blips that compile a likely result from a series of mouse clicks would be any more accurate than the human ear? My entire life people have asked me where I'm from after hearing me speak. Usually they want to peg me as being from Connecticut or Western New York state. I don't know why. I've never been to Albany and all I know of Connecticut is that I have to drive through it to get to New York. It is an odd experience to be "from the neighborhood" and yet not "from the neighborhood" because you stand out the moment you open your mouth.

In fact, when I went to college, the only times anyone pegged me as being from Massachusetts were those occasions I got too drunk to remember to pronounce the r's at the end of my words and then peppered my sentences the word "wicked" as my choice modifier: "Dude, I'm wicked drunk! Where's the cah?" Then I may as well have had a big Red Sox logo or something tatooed to my forehead. I was Identified.

Of course, when you grow up hearing language pronounced a certain way - regardless of how you may pronounce it - you don't really notice any strong regional variances until you go away for a while and then come back. When I came home from college, I realized that my dad had a glaring accent while my mother did not. Maybe that's why I don't have one. Who knows? But, boy, I realized that my friends from high school sure did. It actually became a little hard to listen to and may have been one small factor that contributed to me drifting away from them. That and 223 miles and their refusal to visit after the first time; they'd decided that the new, more accent free crowd I was hanging out with in college were rich snobs. The ability to pronounced your r's and not describe the basketball game as "wicked pissah" equals more money? Who knew? I was dismayed that they chose to pass judgement in that way, but then I thought about difficulties I had had when trying to fit in growing up. Did I come across as some kind of snob in my little hometown because I didn't sound like everyone else?

Oddly enough, I live even closer to Boston now than I did then. As the population has expanded and become more diverse, you hear all kinds of accents native to Boston and otherwise. My lack of accent stands out less now. Although my awareness of it is still there, particularly when I find myself around co-workers or friends that speak in more traditionally accented speech. I am more comfortable opening my mouth to speak. Regardless of what I say or how it sounds, people are going to think whatever it is they're going to think. In the end, it is less about accent and more about state of mind.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Attention, Men!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you wondered, "Gee, I really wish I knew what my sweetie wants for Valentine's Day? If only could surprise her and show her how much I care!" Or even, "Shit. It's Valentine's Day. I need to do something or tonight will be another threesome with my secret, special girlfriends, Vaseline and Kleenex."

I'll let you in on a secret:

Whatever you decide to do, it will probably be better and more romantic than this
idea from the fine folks at White Castle.

"Make your Valentine’s day STEAMY! Take your Valentine to White Castle on Wednesday, February 14 between 5 and 8 p.m. and enjoy hostess seating, candlelit dining and your own server. Reservations are required, so check the list below for participating Castles near you!

Special this year, you can also treat your honey to a romantic White Castle dinner in your home! Cupid’s Crave Kits include eight cheeseburgers, one sack of fries, two regular soft drinks, coupons and keepsake items to heat up your homespun romance. Now, ain’t that sweet?"

To put it bluntly, unless White Castle is somehow memorable to you as a couple - say that's where she first blew you , for example - or unless the "Cupid's Crave Kit" includes a roofie to slip into her regular sized soft drink: don't plan on getting laid by your girlfriend that night or possibly any other night. There's only one thing "Steamy" that can come from an evening of dining at White Castle and, despite what you may think, supersaturating your bedroom with your own farts ("the hotbox effect") is not romantic.

Just say no, fellas.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I Got What You Want...

Can I ask you a question?

Do you like bacon? Crisp, salty. Just a little sweet. A little smokey. A trace amount of the pork fat that's been rendered from it still clinging to the meat like nature's own most perfect sauce?

How about mozzarella sticks? Crunchy on the outside. Warm and melting on the inside. Marinara sauce for dipping that is somehow savory and yet sweet with bright punches of basil, oregano and garlic. They go just as well with a cheap glass of house red as they do with a pint of PBR. Less messy than nachos or wings, they might be the best of basic bar food.


And still, is there anything better than a calzone, I ask you? It's basically a small pizza folded in half so that the fillings are on the inside encased in chewy, warm bread dough. A pizza sandwich, if you will. Who could say no to a pizza sandwich?

Which of these would you pick as a favorite food if you had to pick?

What if I told you that you didn't have to?

That it was possible to combine these items into a feast of gourmand greatness?

Across cyber space I can hear your brains. I can. I'm drunk magic. Some are opening as wide as they can to even remotely contemplate the possibility of such a creation, while other brains are snapping shut on the idea faster than Martin Yan can chop up an onion.

Oh, yes, gentle readers. It's true.

I have been to the top of the mountain. And it was full of bacon. And mozzarella sticks.

I give you the "Dick's Heart Attack" Calzone, from Pete's Pizza and Wings, folks.

I'd like to also share that this particular outfit does another cool calzone stuffed with buffalo chicken fingers and mozzarella with blue cheese dressing on the side for dipping. You know, for those occasions when you can't quite decide on pizza or wings, but you know that one of your hands is definitely going to be occupied. Trying to get in all seven deadly sins in one evening requires some serious multitasking. So you'll need to be able to get through the experience of eating one handed. That beer isn't going to drink itself. And that hooker certainly isn't going to chop herself up now, is she?

I love this century...

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Name Of The Game

I have developed a sudden, intense dislike for Peyton Manning.

I'll be honest with you. I'm not particularly interested in football. I played Little League in middle school and lettered in field hockey and track in high school. Football wasn't on my radar - although I was the one who taught my sister to throw a football. No one else in the family could be bothered to show her.

I'm not entirely sure why I hate Mr. Manning. For example, I didn't even realize he was a white guy until today. All I knew was he was the quarterback for the Colts. The Colts beat the Pats to go the "Big Game". I live in Boston. My inclination ought to be "ok, fine. If they were good enough to beat the Pats, then let's hope they go all the way." But then I watched the Bears as they scored a touchdown within the first, like, 15 seconds of the start of the game and Manning got nearly intercepted and nearly intercepted and, finally, intercepted. "Manning has a lot of hands resting on his shoulders", one of the announcers shared with the viewing audience. "Yeah", I said. "It gets pretty tiring taking a guy repeatedly up the ass. Hard on the back."

Watching the Colts choke, the flash of realization in Manning's eyes - "Oh, God. It's not that Tom Brady has cursed me. I am, in fact, less than man.", I became resentful. Why the hell did my team have to fuck up the AFC playoff so badly? Near as I can tell, the Colts don't seem to deserve to be here, least based on what I'm seeing.

Then, Peyton sorta got his shit together. It only made me more angry. "Peyton seems to be settling down", the announcer dude said. "He's really beginning to step up and take control." Suddenly, out of my mouth unbidden I hear myself say: "And that is why we must sweep the leg".

But why the hell should I care? I'm not a big football person. Who cares? Let's just watch the commercials.

The commercials are kind of lacking this year.

Prince's half time show is pretty good though.

All I know right now is this: I'm pretty drunk. And if we are being over seen by a just and loving God, Peyton Manning will be sacked at least once before the end of this game. I bet he does a really good impression of a deer caught in headlights.

Go team.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Plonk du Jour

So, tonight I'm drinking a wine called The Stump Jump. It comes in red or white flavors. I'm drinking the red.

The red is a blend of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Mourvèdre is not the name of some hitherto unknown French Morlock. It's a grape varietal that grows well in hot climates and, left to its own devices, will produce an "okay" wine that is high in alcohol and tannin. Kind of like if I put vodka in my English Breakfast tea and smooshed in a couple blackberries. For fiber or something. If you add it to its wine BFF's, Shiraz and Grenache, it provides an earthy, blackberry-noted something-something that enhances the overall complexity of the resulting wine. Kind of like adding anchovy or nutmeg to a recipe for subtle background notes of something you can't quite place, but with 100% less fishy flavor or cloying spice.

God, I hate nutmeg. It's right up there with tarragon as a "now you've just ruined this and may as well throw the dish out" ingredient for me.

But, I digress.

At about eleven bucks a bottle and sporting a screw cap, this is good stuff to have in the house when the occasion calls for a hearty glass of "brain-go-bye-bye" after a long day of dealing with the unbearable less-than-lightness of being. I call that...a day. Thursday, Monday - I'm not particular.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go open the second bottle.

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