Saturday, October 31, 2009
I have a typical apartment porcelain bathtub and I like taking a bath, not a shower. So that day I was still groggy after waking up. After washing my hair with the flexible shower head, I was ready to get out. I unplugged the bath, turned off the shower and made as to stand up; this consists of putting both hands on the sides of the tub and pulling myself upright.
However, the cleaning lady had done the bath the day before and the bath mat -- the kind with suckers -- had not completely married with the porcelain.
So as I was three-quarters upright, my right foot slipped on the slimy bathmat and I began TO GO DOWN BACKWARDS. In an instant, while it was actually happening, I parsed the damage: the back of my head would have smashed extremely hard against the back tile, first, causing certain unconsciousness, maybe a fractured skull or a subdural hematoma, but then my body would have collapsed, my spine catching the lip of the tub in the back and probably fracturing several vertebrae. It would have been quick, over in one second or less, all 160 pounds of me dropped from four feet (my hip height) to a hard porcelain surface (imagine dropping a 160-pound sack of tomatoes onto concrete from four feet and think about the damage).
It would have happened, make no mistake about it. Those two or three seconds would have changed my life irrevocably.
If not for the safety rail I'd installed a dozen years before, for when my parents visited. My hand whipped out so fast for that rail you'd need a high-speed camera to see it. It stopped my fall cold. Bolted to the side wall, it's one of those ubiquitous things you see in hospital bathrooms.
IF it hadn't been there . . . people, I might right now still be breathing through a nasal tube with several worried relatives standing around my bed and wondering whether or not to take me off life support.
One word of advice after this happening to you: don't try to chop vegetables. You'll be shaking so hard realizing what could have happened that you'll just end up cutting off the tip of your thumb.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Well, believe it or not, they must have inspired this delightful elderly couple who decided to yacht sportingly into Somalian waters to visit the darkies. Just warms the cockles of the heart, doesn't it, the sheer adventurousness of the human spirit!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It’s tough to get a good hamburger in Montreal. Usually, the hamburgers are tough as well — because we’re in Montreal. Good buns are hard to get a hold of, unless you make them yourself, or have them made to your specifications. Most of the shops here just opt to stick with what’s already available. Perhaps Costco rolls; who knows. But the bun is half the burger and can make or break the whole thing.
No, I wouldn’t want to open a burger joint in Montreal unless I could somehow set myself apart from the pack. Rise above the Dilallos, the Anecdotes, the La Paryses, the scores of burger joints in this city that never really seem to score.
Hop across the border to New York, or across the country to San Francisco, and you’re in burger heaven. So why not Montreal?
Well, a fellow named Georges Najjar took it upon himself to set things straight, to devote himself to all things Burger. He flew around the States analyzing different burger places and what set them apart from the pack. Surfed the Internet. Krazy-glued his remote control to the Food Channel. Bought videos. In short, did massive amounts of research before he was even about to try opening a burger joint.
Thus: Le Gourmet Burger. There’s m:brgr, of course, but Georges wasn’t about to start charging $19.95 for a Kobé burger with truffle oil.
No, he charges about $5 for a burger with truffle oil (truffle oil three bucks extra!) And Georges has his own dedicated butcher to whom he specifies which cuts he wants and how he wants them ground. His rolls are all custom-baked.
Gourmet Burger doesn’t have those fancy names for each burger — you know, “The Italian” or “The Singapore Swing” or some other such nonsense that so many burger joints indulge in. Here, you start with a charcoal-grilled burger, made in front of you, which comes automatically with grilled onions and tomatoes in a brioche bun. This is $5. Extras, such as cheeses, coleslaw, hummus, fried eggs, pesto, beets, hot peppers, Caramelized fig walnuts, truffle oil, foie gras etc. are all less than $3 (except for the foie gras at $5). There are several condiments available, which include wasabi mayo, Dutch mayo, garlic mayo and so on, but also includes good ol’ French’s (hello, Dillalo).
I opted for the regular burger with bacon and Swiss (pictured). Others at the table went for the foie gras, mushrooms . . . I can’t recall exactly, but the grill chef, with Georges’ help, whipped them out in about ten minutes. Sides were grease-free fries, either straight, sweet, or a combination.
Those among us who prefer to be able to specify how we wanted our burgers done (I like mine medium) were swiftly admonished, and rightly so. There are the handcuffs on burgers in this city. They MUST be cooked to well done, by law. “You’d have to sign a waiver,” said Georges, “absolving us in case you got sick.” Hmm. I’ll cogitate on that one. Got any forms at the counter, Georges?
But the burgers? Redolent of wood-smoke, large but manageable, on a soft, slightly sweet roll, the fries a tad more Montréalais than I prefer (you know, thick instead of matchstick, dark instead of golden — but I’m a Yank so it doesn’t matter) but still great with the multiple sauces — well, it looks like Georges seems to be on track to compete on the Montreal burger circuit.
And with a bill for myself and my wife including all the extras and dessert, including tax and tip hovering around $20, I’d say Georges has a good thing going here. It’s all still a bit young, but beer and wine are in the works and when they arrive I know where I’ll be going for my Montreal burger fix.
Oh, christ, almost forgot. CHECK OUT THE BATHROOM!!!!!
Le Gourmet Burger
1433B Bishop street, Downtown Montréal
Open late most nights
Sunday, October 25, 2009
It wasn't a disaster. Far from it. It was a grand success. In the sense that buying a bunch of transistors from the electronics store and building a radio is a grand success. "Hey! It works! It even works great! It works even better than I ever even expected! I know I could have walked to the store and bought a transistor radio for $10 when mine cost $55 plus seven hours work, but that's beside the point! They do the same exact thing, but I did it! Not you! Me!"
Never mind that eight said they would come, but only one showed up; never mind that in the end, turkey is a pretty taste-free bird that either has to be gussied up with mountains of side dishes or just be another bland filling in a school-lunch sandwich or a major player in Jenny Craig's repertoire; never mind that it's just a total all-around hassle to prepare, maintain, serve and clean up after; never mind all that.
But it's like assembling an entire Everest expedition, complete with sherpas, oxygen, tents, Base Camp, Camp IV, South Col, summit, plant the flag! just to trek down to the corner store to get some beer.
I mean, I've never understood how keen people are to put so much effort into things that yield so little reward. Design a nuclear reactor? Years upon years upon most of your lifetime at the expense of your family, friends and collection of G.I. Joes, for WHAT exactly? My motto is, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. Don't Sweat the Big Stuff, Either. Let Someone Else Do It."
Thus, we come to the bird.
Here, I added rosemary feathers (and garlic slivers!) under the skin to see if I could make it fly again:
but the only place it flew was into the oven.
Making turkey is high-maintenance. In the pantheon of cookery, it's up there with sausage making or apple pies from scratch. Ya gotta HAVE A DAMN GOOD REASON to make a turkey from scratch when you could just get a few turkey pieces and roast those.
My motto is: let someone else do it.
The turkey was a grand success, was extraordinarily delicious,
but I'll never (fowl language) do it again.
Friday, October 23, 2009
And lo and behold, it was still near freezing but completely thawed when I dumped the brine and washed the bird at noon or so. Then I put it on a rack and put it back, naked, on the balcony, where it remains (at 11:30 p.m.) and will remain till tomorrow, air-drying in Paradise with its 20 virgin turkeyesses while I anticipate how to cook it.
Meanwhile, the gravy! Yes, all afternoon I painstakingly made the gravy (all recipes to follow upon approval of the attending masses).
Stage one was the raw stage, with onions, herbs and broth.
Stage II (the whole process takes about three hours; I kid you not) was the straining and then making the roux.
Stage III was adding back the strained broth and lovingly stirring constantly (and I mean every second of every minute while watching Season II of Columbo and drinking beer -- highly recommended for making turkey gravy) for about 30 minutes. Then add white wine and hey presto! Another thirty minutes of constant stirring and
smooth as a slug of 1956 Laphroiag single-malt scotch.
Need I remind you: tomorrow is Crunch Day. My turkey (let's call him "Dindy" for no particular reason) tells me to say hello and that really, really, he's all right on the balcony. But he could use a sweater right about now. And maybe a slug of double-malt scotch.
(He really DOES look cold, doesn't he?)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
With my usual gusto, I did all the research I could on making whole turkeys, and, as usual, there are three million differing opinions on how it should be done. So I picked #s 1.65M, #2.98M and #.94M and mixed 'em up.
So, here's my thinking, and bear with me here: the damn thing is frozen, it's Thursday and I don't want it to be an iceball come Saturday. Defrosting in the refrigerator at this point is going to take a week. So I prepared a brining solution of one part sea salt (about one cup), one part sugar, one nugget palm sugar (exotic, don't you know), two batons of cinnamon, a couple of cloves and about eight crushed cloves of garlic, boiled it in about a gallon of water for twenty minutes, put it on the balcony (it snowed this afternoon) until cool, then discovered we didn't have a pan big enough to put it in.
No matter. We had a pail that had been used to store feta cheese and that I had cleaned and adapted for strawberry daiquiris for our wedding earlier this summer, so I decided to repurpose it. I lined it with a plastic bag, put the (now carefully washed) still-frozen turkey in, poured over the brining solution and topped it up with water, put the lid on and put it on the balcony.
I know it looks slightly unappetizing, but just you wait, my faithful!
I figure it will brine until tomorrow sometime, then I will pull it out, wash it and put it on a drying rack on the balcony for 24 hours. According to Cook's Illustrated (and I've done this before, but with chicken) the drying action will produce an incredibly crisp skin.
Then I'll put slits in the skin and insert slivers of garlic and rosemary, rub the whole thing with slightly melted duck fat, and PUT IT IN DA OVEN. Baste every half hour or so with pan juices, then towards the last half hour baste with honey/dijon (according to my friend Barry, if I lay on the honey early, it will burn) and then see how it goes.
I'm very excited. My first-ever whole turkey!
But I'm even more excited about what I made tonight: Potatoes Hassleback. I got the inspiration from the site in the link, and mine certainly didn't come out as beautiful as those, but take a look:
The above is the spoon that I used to cut the potatoes so the cuts didn't go all the way through. But it was a bitch cutting those thin slices. Must be a better way.
But they turned out pretty well -- I inserted slivers of garlic between the slices and topped the potatoes with garlic butter, parmesan and breadcrumbs. An hour of closely-watched ovenwork, and they were delectable.
Round one for the turkeymeister.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
No. The list of the places I will not travel to is very, very long. Any place that is regularly in the news for any reason. Nope. Africa -- forget about it. India and most of South Asia, ain't happening.
Even Europe is off the list (cost of living). South America? Well, I haven't heard anything about Uruguay or Paraguay lately, if ever. This is a good thing. But the whole of the rest of South America: forget about it.
Hmm. In fact, about the only places I WOULD travel to are the Antarctic, possibly Finland and maybe Uzbekhistan. Maybe. Okay, sorry, the "stans" are out, I made a mistake.
How's about across town to Walmart?
Saturday, February 7, 1998, 7:17 am - Interview with Michael!
Bastard fans! An amazing coup! Through a relentless campaign of spam, harrassing phone calls and mass-mailings, the Bastard managed to secure an interview with Michael Jackson!
It's exclusive - in return for the interview, the Bastard agreed to "go away and never fucking bother Mr. Jackson or come within 50 miles of his person or property"- and it's hot.
Feb. 4, 11 am B.S.T., poolside at Neverland ranch. The Bastard has been sitting for two and a half hours in the now-baking morning sun in a sumptuous rubber deck chair, making obscene doodles of Michael touching small animals in his notepad and blowing kisses at Gunther the pool guard every so often, just to watch him blush uncontrollably, flex his tanned biceps and unconsciously check his "bulge."
Suddenly, a large group of people round the edge of the cabaña - fifty or sixty, at least. It's Michael's entourage!
The head "bodyguard," a stocky, muscular young man called Hans, stops the throng a little bit away from the Bastard's table with an "Okay, kids, now it's time to play with your Beanie Babies and not bother Michael. Yes, Satchel, it's okay to play with Dylan - no, don't wipe your hands on your shirt - here, let me help you." A moment later, there's an "Ooooo!" of frustration. Hans certainly has his hands full.
And then, well, then Michael himself appears, looking resplendent in a gold-lamé Arab headdress. We settle down to the interview. Michael sips a tall glass of bleach while the Bastard starts guzzling Jack Daniels.
The Bastard: Michael, I understand you're an inventor as well as the charismatic, nimble-fingered leader of roving bands of small-waisted 11-year-old boys of all nationalities.
Michael, his characteristic high-pitched murmur relaxed and friendly: Yes, yes. But please don't call them boys. They're children! They're all my children.
The Bastard: I stand corrected! Or rather, I sit corrected. I sit corrected and I stand on my honor. Oh, Michael, don't you just know how much the Bastard fans are going to appreciate this interview?
Michael: My hands go out to every one of them.
The Bastard: Michael, you know what we're all here for, I'm sure . . . uh, could you just give us a glimpse of it?
Michael: The Ranch is here for all humanity to enjoy. There's Jacko the chimpanzee - I prefer "primate" because humans are so close in brain structure, you know - and Audrey the Ostrich, she's, well, a little temperamental . . . (gets far-away look in eyes) and DeVon . . . he's going to be twelve on Thursday . . . remind me to get him one of those Elmo things . . . DeVon's always fighting with Joel these days (*sigh*) . . can you believe Joel doesn't like his pillow to touch Edwigg's? They're SUCH a pain in the . . . uhh . . . what was your question again?
The Bastard: Michael, don't play coy! (leans forward conspiratorially) The Tickler! The Tickler! Everyone wants to see the Tickler!
Michael (a cool shadow crossing his neatly-sculptured features): My hands go out to every one of them. There are private parts of my life that I wish to keep private. The allegations . . . the allegations! I deny the allegations. Those who know me will support me against these cruel allegations . . . my dear friend Elizabeth Taylor, you know, she came to Edwigg's eighth birthday party - that was the night Robbie argued with Gabor about who got the middle of the bed, you know, that's how I remember it . . . all these horrible rumors . . .I DENY them all . . . (slight sound of sobbing. Bodyguards move in and firmly escort the Bastard away.)
Sorry, folks!! The Bastard obviously fucked up and asked The Wrong Question. He's going to try again - and be assured this time he will do everything in his power to continue to try to get you a look at the Wiggly Bum- tickler . . . stay tuned!!
What kills me is that probably each one of them was an expensive production involving hundreds of people -- casting, crew, writers, actors -- well, you get the picture -- and 99% of them are dreck. I mean, two hours of complete and utter waste of time.
Okay, okay, I admit that if you went to any library and looked at books, and realised that human beings had taken the time out, in many cases years of their lives, and 95% of the books were still dreck, but those probably involved a maximum of ten people to come up with. Not 1,000 people.
How can 1,000 people, day after day, churn out so much garbage? Why was the writing/editing/casting/concept so inept yet the movie was made anyway? Didn't anyone along the way stop and say "Hey, hey, guys, TIME OUT. This is a horrific movie and no one, including my own daughter, is ever going to watch it. So why don't we all go home NOW instead of bothering to finish this stinking piece of shit and save ourselves all the aggravation?"
But the miracle is, that they don't. So I wander the aisles looking at title after title -- randomly, maybe "Alien Versus Predator," "My Cousin Dupree," "Battlefield Earth," anything with Meg Ryan or Adam Sandler and on and bleeding on until your eyes blur, and realise that most of them are complete and utter pieces of shit, yet a lot of people made those pieces of shit.
Well, for an example, why don't I quote an analysis of the movie "Catwoman" from Wikipedia? "The Village Voice summed up reviews of the film under the title "Me-Ouch." The movie was the winner of four Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Director (Pitof), and Worst Screenplay. Berry arrived at the ceremony to accept her Razzie in person (with her Best Actress Oscar for Monster's Ball in hand), saying: "First of all, I want to thank Warner Brothers. Thank you for putting me in a piece of shit, god-awful movie . . . It was just what my career needed."
And this movie probably cost around $100M and involved thousands of people.
Or, about a movie called "Alone In The Dark," this absolutely brilliant quote: "Critic Rob Vaux states that this movie is so bad that "the other practitioners of cinematic drivel can rest a little easier now; they can walk in the daylight with their heads held high, a smile on their lips and a song in their hearts. It's okay, they'll tell themselves. I didn't make Alone in the Dark."
I swear, I need a career change. This stuff is hilarious.
Unbelievable. Okay, last night we were able to rent four movies, one of them the excellent "Backbeat," but it's hard to imagine a more wasteful use of human ingenuity than moviemaking.
Unless it's hockey.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
However, please note that the current purchase price for a studio suite with one bathroom is 58.5 billion dollars. (This includes all costs of transport to and from Jupiter, and includes the transportation of one (1) pet and two carry-on items. Children currently travel free and food and beverage services are included. However, you will be required to provide a service fee of $6 USD for the purchase of a blanket and a pillow. Estimated flight times are 4.87 years).
However, please note that this purchase price is only available until December 6, 2009 (escrow services are available upon request).
If you act within the next ten days a stuffed toy of your choice will be included for your child or future child.
Please be advised that there are only 575 million square miles of property still available, and demand is high, so you would be advised to reserve your condominium package now.
When the website goes live, you will be able to see architects' plans of your chosen home on Jupiter.
Updates to follow in due course.
To all our customers who have been patiently awaiting news of the progress of the construction of condominiums on Jupiter, we have important news.Young, Bolton LLC architects have finalized the blueprints for all six pre-planned configurations according to the recommendations received from your numerous cards and emails.
We are now looking at site plans. As you know, Jupiter is a gas giant. This has to be taken into consideration when marking property claims. Currently, sites near the Great Red Spot are still being withheld due to legal restrictions. It is expected that these restrictions will be lifted in the next two months, as this matter is still before the courts. If you wish your condominium to be situated near the Great Red Spot, please advise our office in advance, as sites will quickly become unavailable due to demand. Also be advised that the area around the Shoemaker-Levy comet strike is currently unavailable, although it is expected that sites will open up in the next few months.
The first Jupiter launch is tentatively scheduled for November of 2012. Now is the time to peruse our brochure and reserve your new home, as the interest has proved considerable.
You know what? My own writing has me in stitches, and always has. It alarms Brigitte when I start laughing for nothing in the middle of the night. Much as my fingers surprise me when playing the guitar, they also surprise me when typing in this blog. Sometimes I don't have a clue where the post is going to lead me -- the fingers tap on the keyboard and the words come out.
My friend Dave took a look at this blog and said I was a certifiable lunatic. And HE is a certifiable lunatic.
When the word "blog" started circulating I just hated the word. I just hated it. It's just a fucking Web page where someone posts their issues. But now it's become just another part of the World Wide Web (do they call it that any more?)
But sometimes I wonder what to post on it. I've read (and hang around on) very specialised blogs, about some specific issue, be it aviation, food or just whatever the person's thinking at the time. The latter is kind of annoying, as most bloggers can't write to save their lives. But others can. Others can write extremely good pieces that I would bet would make it to a newspaper.
I don't know what this blog is about. I wonder why random people would check in to see some drivel that just came to mind, but you'd be surprised.
Some people have remarkably focused blogs. But this one is the exact opposite. I know you're reading this now, but do you care about what happened to me today? Why should you? Twitter and Facebook to me are absolute jokes. Who the fuck cares what random thought you came up with? "Ate chicken at Almovar but it wasn't good."
What is that? That is not writing. But people comment on it anyway.
But it comes back to the question: what should a blog be about? I've realised that mine has degenerated into completely random entries, some of them meant to be funny, some to be absurd, and lots of rants. I use lots of expletives and I realise that can turn a lot of people off, but it's how I talk in real life (but not with everyone and certainly not with people I've just met).
The conclusion I've come to is that if you post something on your blog, write it as though you were writing for a newspaper. It might not seem to be at the time that actual people are reading your posts (I certainly didn't think anyone was reading anything on my previous pre-blog website, so I just posted anything I wished and didn't give a shit) but obviously there are people who visit this blog. I know I have a list of favorite blogs that I visit often and comment on. They're all extremely different.
I often post one-liners or some dumb joke that I just thought of, but is that good? Should I be saying what I did today, as many people do? Should I involve the names of people around me?
I joke around a lot. Hey, Dave called me a lunatic, and that's coming from a reputable source.
But I guess people like that. And I guess that's the only thing that matters. Just please stop coming to this blog by Googling "Spicy garlic dill pickles." All 100,098 of you can just go to Hell.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Anyway, this is the first song I ever made with a drum machine.
I wish I had the digitized video to show you but unfortunately I don't have the equipment to do that any more.
But you can get a glimpse of what it was like. I was a precocious dude, was I not? The world was in my hand.
It still is . . .
Thursday, October 15, 2009
But the first hundred pages or so are filled with sentences like " He must have . . ." "It is probable that . . ." It is possible that . . ." "It is not fully known, but . . ." "Records of the time indicate that he might have . . ." "There are few remaining documents that might point a clue at . . ."
What, is that a book? Fuck, _I_ can write that. "Jesus was possibly a Jew living in what is now, according to some historians, a territory in Israel . . . it is debatable in which year he was born, but sources point to zero A.D. It is not known who his parents were but it is reasonable to assume that . . . blah blah blah."
That's a book? Get your shit together, dude, and write a real book, like, maybe, about flower arranging? That's a subject you can sink your teeth into.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
But my problem is with credits. Yes, the credits on television which say who did what. Plus the disclaimers for car and drug commercials. (You know, "Professional driver, closed track, do not attempt"). Except it's in 7-point type and absolutely useless. Like those EULAs (whatever the fuck that means) that you have to click through every time you register for software. (See? I told you I had multiple problems).
Well, the drug companies at least have a clue and rattle off the disclaimers with some fake doctor's at least you can HEAR "May cause uncontrollable convulsions causing death" instead of trying to pass it off as "fine print" and then claim the suitor didn't read it.
But it's the TV shows that bug the hell out of me. Sorry, but I'm actually INTERESTED in who the Key Grip was or who wrote the music. But they scroll it past impossibly fast; why do they bother? Please, let us off the hook and just hold a title on the screen saying "This movie was made by People."
Skip the ambient music.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
I like my foof chair.
She wants to take it away from me. She's mean. I like to watch Nascar while eating carrots and onion dip and drinking Boréale Cuivrée in my foof chair. That's all going to go away if she takes away my foof chair.
She's mean to me.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Here's the exchange:
Titles do not sway me either way since I had one from birth but never used it. I find it silly in todays world to use titles as they do not achieve anything nor give you something back.
I am very happy for you that you have so many wives and you are pleased with them. And since I do not play bridge I would be absolutely no good to you.
As for the swimming pools you can only use one at the time to swim in. But since I was a skater in my younger days I let my pool freeze but skate at the indoor ring not far from my house.
As for the continental breakfasts I only drink a cup or two expresso just a habit I developed in Europe. And I also speak 5 languages which come in very handy traveling through Europe.
And please do not call yourself an idiot it does not suit your station.
But it makes me wonder with all that you claim you have why would you put an add on Craigs List?
Your power alone can get you any lady you wish.
I wish you all the best in your quest and hope you find the lady of your choice for wife No. 106.
Sincerely with good wishes
Eve (Like in Adam and Eve)
As for why I am humbly posting on Craigslist, it is that when I go to bars women shun me because I am short and have a somewhat portly figure. Also, my hairline is receding, though my dermatologists have tried time and again to insert hair plugs. So I decided to go to Craigslist, where I can lie to women about myself and maybe put up a false photograph of a much younger, good-looking man and brag about my, well, nether regions.
At least, this is what my most trusted advisers of the Grand Court of Brunei have advised me.
It is indeed a lonely life, this Sultanate, though it is filled with people. Wife #24 nags every time it's her turn to attend the Court and wife #78 drinks too much arrack (alcohol is allowed in Brunei). Wife #89 is a hypochondriac and wife #99 is too much into that game they call "goluf." (sp?) And the worst thing is that they all get together and talk about me behind my back.
Being wife #106 would be a privilege for you and a pleasure for me. You would even have air conditioning in the chambers. You would have a chauffeured bicycle (women are not allowed to be in cars in Brunei).
My swimming pools are the largest in the land. Indeed, they are the only in the land, since commoners are forbidden to have them. And on sunny days, I like to entertain myself by swimming a lap in each and every one of them.
5 languages is good. Comment ça va? Wie gehts Ihnen? Manishma? Konnichiwa! Ni hau! Namaste! G'day, what the hell's goin' on, mate? (I am not sure exactly what that last one means but it seems to work when the ambassador of Australia attends the Court).
I have learned 25 languages (I must, to speak to the many foreigners who visit my court) but I do not practice them as often as I wish. Perhaps you could instruct me in yours. Perhaps at the same time you could explain the term "My pic gets yours," as I am unable to decipher it.
At any rate, it pleases me that you responded to my humble advertisement and saddens me that you do not agree to becoming wife #106.
I will try, try again until I succeed.
The sullen Sultan
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
But from time to time, I go back, and I SO enjoy responding to some of these ads with the most cutting, diatribal wit at my disposal.
It's like seeing the seething underbelly of humanity; really, it is. Sewer rats, so many of them. Of course, some are earnest and honest, but after a while "Long walks and conversations by the fire" tends to get really, really old. Then there's the opposite swing of the pendulum and they try to be as outrageous as they can.
I think, Dudes, it'll never work. We know you're a desperate male in search of a mate and your social skills have proven ineffectual so far, so now you're going to classified ads. Well, here's Classified Ads 101: DON'T offer to show a picture of your penis. We already know what penises look like. DON'T say "long walks, good conversation and good food."
Christ, what part of "Sitting on a couch drinking beer and watching the game with Wings of Fire" don't you understand? Because that's what you really want.
WE ALL WANT THAT magical Kingdom in Heaven, the long walks, the earnest conversations. IT'S STATING THE OBVIOUS.
For fuck's sake, can't you come up with something more original than that? Like "Sultan of Brunei seeks Wife, Any White Woman Acceptable?" (Posted by me).
Anyway, like I said, I like fucking with these people.
It started with blackberry juice, but progressed rapidly to ten glasses of cassava water per day.
Their relationship was crumbling. "How come Ogg drink all day and not invent fire?" Ugg complained. "Wheel either."
So Ogg spontaneously decided to do a Twelve Step program.
He carefully carved twelve steps out of the mountain near his cave, walked up them to the BonBon tree and decided to drink there instead.
Monday, October 05, 2009
But the stats are somewhat fascinating: from an article in the New Yorker, " . . . many suicide methods are ineffective (poison is fatal only fifteen per cent of the time, drug overdose twelve per cent, and wrist cutting a mere five per cent) and therefore recommends bridges, noting that “jumps from higher than . . . 250 feet over water are almost always fatal.”
Hence, the Golden Gate bridge.
I've always thought that if I wanted to commit suicide, I'd become a race car driver, volunteer for Humvee duty in Fallujah or become a mine-clearer in Cambodia. Doesn't that sound like more fun than jumping off a bridge? At least I'd be doing the gene pool a service.
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Especially at 4:30 a.m.
However, a scotch and ginger ale can always be dehydrated. By my tummy.
Sure, Calcutta was bad, but what do you do when you have no traffic rules to begin with? Mayhem, but civilized mayhem. Kinshasa, Congo -- same thing. Never a single incident except boarding a crowded bus on a hot day and a lack of deodorant.
Dakar, Africa -- despite one harrowing ride with a drunken French guy, nothing. Nope. Not even close.
Osaka, Japan (and these are all places I lived in, wasn't a visitor to) -- whoa, make a wrong lane change and the police would be on you like stink on shit.
Paris: motorcycle chaos, pedestrians everywhere, but again, not a single incident (though I swore up and down that there would be about 100 motorcycle-related deaths per day by observing their driving).
Just how DO these people get their licenses? Out of a Rice Crispies box, or as a special offer with Chicken McNuggets?
Because they sure didn't earn them. It is extremely hazardous to drive on the streets of Montreal. Today we almost died. Brigitte and I were just minding our business, driving down a major thoroughfare in the right direction at the right speed, when out of nowhere, a minivan takes an illegal U-turn in the middle of the street and almost slams right into Brigitte's door. If she hadn't had the quickness to swerve to avoid him, she no doubt would have been badly injured and the car would have been a total loss.
Then the guy has the gall to yell at us! Then he burns the red light to get away. We were badly shaken.
This is typical in a city where one rarely sees a cop car, let alone anyone bothering to check for bad drivers. They're too busy handing out parking tickets.
Last year, I was driving with someone down Cote-des-Neiges Road in broad summer daylight when some woman just pulled out from her parking space RIGHT IN FRONT OF US . . . again, some guardian angel and my friend's amazingly fast evasive actions prevented a hideous, life-threatening crash (this time on my side).
I keep telling Brigitte "Drive safely," each time she goes out, and she's a good driver, but as I keep reminding her, it's the other guy who's going to get you.
After all, there are a million Crackerjack boxes sold per day.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Before we were born, there was nothingness. Remember that? In fact, pretty much until around age 5, there is nothingness, because you can't remember it. Oh sure, you might have a vague memory of an incident or two, as I do, but it literally has a term: Infant amnesia.
But it doesn't really matter. The concept of not being here, no longer being alive, is such a puzzling thing. It's also inconceivable. To know that a person is gone forever is impossible to me.
But to think that one day _I_ will be gone is even more inconceivable.
Will you come put flowers on my grave?
No, amend that. Sprinkle some good scotch on my grave. Regularly.
Friday, October 02, 2009
Are you fucking kidding? It's now 4:21 a.m. -- my witching hour. I'm going to spend half an hour making a sandwich? Christ, this scotch and ginger ale are good enough.
But I still did it again. I made Metro-brand "Carbonara" out of a package. I decided to spice it up with some grated Emmenthal and even some day-glo Kraft Dinner powder.
I berate myself every time I do this. I wish I could be a penitent and somehow give myself fifty lashings, razor-blade my scalp or spend twenty years in silence in a monastery.
It was categorically the worst midnight meal I've ever had. You know when you try to boil pasta, you know that you've got the timing right, but somehow it still becomes pasty on the outside, but crunchy on the inside? Well, add that to a sodium-toxic powdered . . . something . . . (how do these people come up with these noxious products? Years of research?)
God, you couldn't have dressed it up with Beluga Prime and a little Perrier-Jouet . . . it would be the equivalent of spraying perfume on a turd.
Why do I do this? Can you tell me? Why?
But Brigitte wasn't too thrilled. Me, I don't have a love affair with lamb, either. I'm a pork and beef guy.
But I bought it anyway, and made it last night. I made a tomato-red-pepper sauce with mushrooms, covered it with some 5-year-old cheddar, a little Emmenthal and some Reggiano, and baked it nicely, but it was a failure.
The BISON was the failure. It was grainy, slightly gamy, and just tasted bland and unpalatable.
I guess it's like oysters. You WANT to like them because everyone else does, but once is truly enough.
There will be no more bison dying for my sake.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
I learned Japanese. Got that down pat. With a Japanese person who also speaks English, it's usually a give-and-take, a mishmash. Usually they want to use their English, which is understandable, but also regrettable. And for sure, I can't hold, say, a political or even remotely complicated conversation, but as far as day-to-day stuff -- "Yes, I'd like to reserve a room. Can I use my credit card? Yes, I'd like these dates blah blah blah and I'd like a non-smoking room" -- hey, it's easy-breezy-cheesy-squeezy.
But when I hear Brigitte talk -- to someone who speaks Hebrew -- it's incredible. I listen in,trying to figure out what the conversation is all about. It's like listening to Mongolian. I have absolutely not a clue what most of the words are all about. There's no "European" clue, unlike Spanish, Portuguese or German, which I can, say, KIND OF get a sense of.
But in any language, humans seem to say the same old things . . . "What? Yes, I know . . . no, I don't think so . . . yes, I'm fine . . . what?" so that's what I'm gleaning from listening to Brigitte, who is completely, and I mean completely trilingual. She switches effortlessly between Hebrew, English and French, frequently peppering her speech with either English or French, so that's when I have a clue of what she's saying.
Well, there's a project. I'm trilingual but now I want to be quadrilingual. Wish me luck.