Friday, November 28, 2008

Fall of the Star High School Running Back

Micro Story

NOTE: Yeah, yeah... I haven't finished the promised three-parter "Liquor Run." Look, I'm working on it, I swear, okay? Until then, here's this...

Hot Sauce

Pour some hot sauce on the pasta and really make is sing.

She says this and I do it, because obviously... she's a pretty girl telling me to make food spicy. Spicy leads to sex, or at least I connect the two in my brain, and I dump in a quarter of the bottle. It turns the cheesy, vegetable-studded concoction pink. We eat it with too-large spoons, shoveling the gooey mixture into our mouths, the stereo blasting old albums from when we were in high school. The food is good; warming us up on this cold, cold night. We eat and eat until we're scraping the bowl, trying to get the last bit of cheese onto our spoons to smear on our tongues.

Finally, it is finished. We flop on to the floor of her living room, groaning, full nearly to bursting, and we drink cans of cold beer and tell each other stories about how we got our scars. When the beer begins to affect our brains, we move to her bedroom, undress, and lie naked under a thick comforter she got on sale during a brief spurt of domesticity. I run my fingers around her back, raising goose flesh, and she tells me about the time she got drunk at a party and stripped naked for everyone to see, because she liked the song on the radio, because it made sense at the time. She starts to cry at the memory; someone had a camera there, a Polaroid, and the pictures made the rounds as scandalous pictures do.

Thank god, she says, the Internet wasn't such a big deal back then.

She wipes the tears on her pillow and I ask her why she had never told me that story before. She says she didn't want me to think of her that way. I tell her that I only think of her one way, and that is her... the very idea of a thousand bright ideas thrown upwards into the sky, where they shimmer down upon us mere mortals, making us smarter, making us horny, making us better than we used to be.

She kisses me. I kiss her. It is dark and we are naked. Things happen that are amazing. When we finish, after we do the indelicate clean-up dance, we lie again, naked, under the comforter and talk, drowsy now, about our plans for the future.

I tell her that I'm holding out for the day when rockets power our cars and food is just pills. She pinches me, lightly, and says that with food in pill form, there would be no hot sauce to douse, no cheesy residue to scrape up with a spoon.

I tell her that my vision of the future is a foolish thing; that I want her to tell me how the future will be.

She looks at me, in the dark, our eyes connecting in the hazy middle of the night, and she tells me this:

The future is not going to be how we planned. When I say we, I mean the movies. Of course. It's not going to be flying cars and teleportation and sassy robots that are our maids. No, it's going to be just like this... apartments and cheap food for two eaten out of one big bowl and linens bought on sale... it's going to be how it is now, forever. Sure, the cellphones might get fancier, movies might get beamed into our heads and Google might destroy the dictionary like how Dresden got bombed... but, basically, it's just going to be like this. You, me, an old building, the stories we tell each other, the sex, the feeling of fingers on skin. I hope you're ready for this future; I really do. Because that is all there is.

I ask her, what about the end of the world?

She rolls over on her back, staring at the ceiling. The end of the world, she says, won't be fiery or violent, it won't be from terrorism or nuclear war. It's going to be us, like I said.. you and me... going to sleep and never, ever waking up again. The plants will overtake the buildings, the buildings will crumble into dust, the dust will blow out into the ocean, the ocean will dry up, the seabeds... the land... the geological plates... they will crack apart and the pieces will float off into space.

You're drunk, I say to her, kissing her neck.

Yes... yes I am, she responds, and she kisses me back. Our breath tastes like hot sauce, our minds focus like lasers on each other's bodies. Metaphorical explosions rock her building; walls shake and the windows shatter. Sweaty and groping, for real and not imagined. Not speculated or hypothesized. The right now and also the future, all at once.

It's just going to be us, she had said, and she is right. Until the end of the world, she is absolutely right.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Top Chef: New York - Episode 3

Previously on Top Chef...
Hot dogs! Angry rejects! Lots of food suckage! Fabio makes olives weird and wins! Oh, Jilly, Jilly, Jilly...!
-This is a long-standing issue that I've had with Top Chef and I feel it's time to address it in a public forum: The whole thing with the opening credits, where they show the chefs all getting sassy with their coats? I hate that. Because you can hear an associate producer off camera yelling, "More! Do more with the coats! Dance a little! Show us your personality!!! SASSY COATS!!!" I don't care for sassy coats, not in my daily life and not in my reality show credit sequences.
-This doesn't have anything to do with the show, per se, but I would like to point out that during it's entire duration I was eating straight from the box fistfulls of Raisin Bran. Malt-O-Meal Raisin Bran, for that extra, low-quality punch. I finished the box and I don't feel the least bit bad about it! (actually, I feel like an anaconda digesting several pounds of bran and sugared raisins, but whatever)
-Oh, uh, happy Thanksgiving!
Ah, the traditional Top Chef super fake, let's-pretend-we-didn't-shoot-this-in-the-summer Thanksgiving episode, wink wink wink. WHATEVER. Producers, it's okay to have summer-themed events or challenges happening when we're watching the series in November. We, as viewers, don't think that TV just happened yesterday. We get that it takes time to biased-ly edit footage into highly specious hour long records of "what happened." We get it, we're not stupid, quit it, you big nerds.
Anyhoo, it's Thanksgiving! But first, there's another Top Chef staple to discuss in the Quickfire; actually, it's a twofer: The Needlessly Complicated AND Groaning With Product Placement Bullshit-a-thon!!!
Okay, let me see if I can describe to you this Gordian Knot of a challenge:
First, the contestants had to draw knives from the Knife Block of Choosing. On each knife was a number, but not like 1,2,3,4, etc... No, it was a series of random numbers (132, 94, 188, 6) and everyone looked around going, "huh?" It was then revealed that said numbers corresponded to pages in the (you must buy the) Top Chef Official Cookbook! The contestants have to take the recipe on said page and "make it their own." This means, in Top Chef terms, that they have to make the recipe they're given, but... you know... different.

There's a twist. About halfway through the prepping of said recipe interpretations, Padma and the weaselly dude who was the guest judge this week came in and said, "We're going to flip the script on y'all sucka MCs (they did not say this verbatim). You all must now take the ingredients you've prepped and, while still keeping in mind the original recipe from the book, MAKE A SOUP.

What? Exactly. Everyone grumbles and groans (because, seriously, that's just stupid) but, in the end, a bunch of soups are made. They are all, uniformly, soupy. More on that in a minute.
Next, we have the faux-Thanksgiving sham Elimination Challenge, although it is different this year because OMIGOD IT'S THE FOO FIGHTERS!!! They, apparently, are big fans of Top Chef and just HAD to be on the show (I imagine there's some sort of alternate reason for their presence here... lending the show "rock cred," or maybe the Foo Fighters ran over a Bravo exec's kid with their tour bus or something) so, um, they are. And they want to be cooked a delicious Thanksgiving meal! Because, as you'll remember, it's TOTALLY Thanksgiving. (it's not)
SIDE BAR: I love me some Foo Fighters and would go gay for Dave Grohl in a heartbeat. Just try me, Dave Grohl... just try me. No, I'm begging you; please try me! I'm spectacular!!!
So the chefs divide into two appallingly named teams:
TEAM SEXY PANTS - Jamie, Hosea, Radhika, Stephan, Leah, Melissa, Fabio
TEAM COUGAR (yes, THAT kind of cougar) - Jeff, Eugene, Carla, Richard, Daniel, Ariane, Alex
They get transported out to beautiful Rochester, NY, where the Foo Fighters are playing their gig, and they get shown to the "we're trying to fuck you over" kitchen. It's a bunch of microwaves! Haha, SURPRISE, bitches!!! Oh, and it's outside. As in, out of doors. Exposed to the elements. In a parking lot, I believe, which is where ALL the best food in the world comes from. The way a single slab of seared foie gras tastes after it has mingled with car exhaust and the barf fumes from a concert-goer that pre-gamed too hard at Tanner's house... Mmmm, that's some health-hazardous haute cuisine.
They shop, they cook, it turns out better than I would have guessed given the circumstances, there is RAIN (but it isn't much of an issue, despite being in all the previews), and finally, a winning group is announced. The winning group, by the way, gets to attend the Foo Fighter's concert while the loser have to clean up everything. Very Hell's Kitchen.
Let's get specific, shall we?
The crazy, mix 'em up, soup challenge was just fucking stupid. Especially because the whole thing was just a roundabout excuse to plug one of the show's sponsors... namely, Swanson's pre-made broth. There were more lovingly shot images of beef broth boxes than there were images of the actual soups the chefs produced. I call, a million times, forever and a day, BULLSHIT on all product placement (it's what made Anthony Bourdain leave the show, jerkwads).
Anyway, the soups... what I could see of them in the brief glimpses we were allowed (gotta show off that sleek, sexy cardboard box of chicken soup base)... looked fine, I guess. There wasn't any that particularly stood out, save for Daniel's ham & egg soup with cheese and a bunch of other crap. It looked mighty tasty and, if I do say so myself, hangover-busting. The judges thought it was good, but the win eventually went to Leah, who made something with white asparagus even though she totally hates white asparagus so isn't it IRONIC that she won, omg???? Her prize, besides immunity, was picking her team for the EC. Thus, the birth of Team Sexy Pants (yuck).
Everyone made a bunch of food... lots of turkey and some pork and a bunch of salads and some starch dishes and desserts and, frankly, a whole bunch of shit that barely even got a mention. There was a buttload of dishes being made and everything was chaos as they tried to get what was essentially an improv catering assignment locked down under sketchy (at best) conditions.
A word about the show's title... last I checked, and I've been checking season Season 1, it's Top CHEF. Not Top CATERER. So why then does every season contain at least five or six catering challenges? It seems to me that knowing how to cater an event really well is a similar but ultimately different skill-set than that possessed by a restaurant-based chef. Maybe I'm wrong, but... well, I don't really care if I am. Personally, I'm sick of people getting sent home because they tried to make something creative that fell apart because it sat in a chafing dish for two hours while waiting on the bassist from a rock n' roll band to finish his entree.
I know, I know, the chefs should rise to the occasion, whatever. To me, it just seems like a lazy production staff who can't think of individual-oriented challenges.
Anyway, Team Sexy Pants wins, but it's a really close call. They are all kind of pricks about it; even Hillbilly Deluxe (Melissa), who didn't really seem to do anything. Speaking of pricks... Jamie, the tattooed lesbian? Hate. She, it seems, has taken it upon herself to embody the reality show archetype known as The Bitch/Bastard For No Reason (The BFNR). She's super complain-y and super gripe-y and seems to really enjoy both pointing out other people's flaws and rubbing victory in the faces of those that lose. I don't like her, however it appears that she has some cooking talent, so I think she'll be around for awhile. Don't think she'll win, though, and I will enjoy it when she gets the boot. Tsk... I can't believe I thought she was hot...
So, Team Cougar... they lost, which means one of their number will be getting sent home. But first they have to clean up all the mess from both teams, and they get to do it while listening to the slightly muffled Foo Fighters concert going on in the arena where their betters are dancing and having a ball. OUCH. Salt in the wounds, Top Chef producers... salt in the motherfucking wounds.
Finally, they are judged...
Ariane gets let off the hook because her turkey was made of redemption and awesomeness.
Alex gets let off the hook because... um... he did something good that did not make the final edit.
Eugene gets let off the hook because he rigged up a make-work grill and used it to smack pork upside everyone's head.
Carla gets let off the hook because her dessert didn't suck as bad as the other desserts.
So that leaves...
Jeff, who was the leader, which is bad when you've just lead your team to not-victory. He also made a dessert that was referred to by a Foo as a "barf-ait." Seeing as it was a pumpkin mousse with maple-glazed berries, I'd say the nickname given was quite apt.
Daniel, who made ass-y potatoes.
and Richard, who attempted to make s'mores, but with banana, not enough chocolate, and a lot of poor decisions.
Now, see, this is where it's hard to judge from a viewer's perspective. Personally, I thought Richard's s'mores looked pretty tasty. Meanwhile, the craptastic potatoes and the mousse atrocity all looked and sounded like food rape. However, apparently the tasty-looking s'mores held boundless evil within their graham crackers... Richard gets sent home, crying. Literally crying; dude was a fucking mess. It was a kinda heartbreaking, actually.
I don't know, I wasn't really feeling this episode. The first half was top-heavy with distracting rules and product placement, while the second half was about catering and certainly not the food; I feel like we barely saw any of the actual dishes for more than a few seconds. Not an ideal editing strategy for a food-based show, gotta say. Ah well, it's still early days. We'll see what next week brings.
Next Week on Top Chef...
Live TV! Vieira! People metaphorically thrown under buses! The plasticky face of Rocco DiSpirito!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

!!! INTERNET !!!

I'm happy to report that this post is being written from the comfort of my own home (where I'm in my boxers... ladies) and NOT in the smelly, dumb, gross library for weirdos as has been the case the last couple of days. Yes, my internet... she has returned, weeping, knowing that to leave me was a wrongheaded, quasi-tragic move. I played coy at first, but eventually my emotions got the best of me and I took her back into my waiting arms. Or, rather, my waiting laptop, but whatever... basically the same thing..

Anyway, all is forgiven and we can now put all this ugliness behind us.

More later! (maybe!)

NOTE: It turns out one of the wires up on our roof had shorted out due to water damage. Which is great because I was afraid this whole thing was caused by me peeing on the modem the other night.

2ND NOTE: The view from our roof is pretty unspectacular, as it turns out. Though now I know how to get away from the cops, should they ever find out about my liquor stills. A daring rooftop escape!!! Which will end in me falling to my death!!! Bathtub gin for sale!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scenes From An Internet-less Life

Oh, sweet baby Jesus, the cold, dark suffering. Everything is bleak. Everything is mushy and grey. All is lost. I am forsaken by a cruel and unfeeling God. My internet... my secret lover... she is out. Here's what I've been doing to keep myself busy while jobless and detached from the rest of the world...

-Yesterday, I ate a quart of low quality hummus mixed with a pint of cheap bourbon and sprinkled with little candy hearts left over from a Valentine's Day long past. It tasted horrible, like a drunk Middle Eastern man stabbing me in the tongue with a blade made from hateful sugar, but the after-effects knocked me unconscious for three hours and, thus, I killed three hours in a dip-induced alcoholic coma. In these troubled times, that's known as "a win."

-I've been teaching our cat to dance to "Greensleeves" while I accompany it on the pennywhistle. It has not gone well. The cat is uncooperative and I am covered with many, many scratches. Still, I will have made a classic YouTube video before too long. The cat will bend to my will.

-Reenacting scenes from The Office? Of course! Doing so poorly, drunkenly, and with too much make-up? Er... yes. Violating many, many copyright, FCC, and intellectual copyright laws by broadcasting these reenactments over their airwaves using a homemade satellite? I admit to nothing!!! (but yes)

-The cat and I have started a fight club. My win/loss record is unimpressive (2-34), but I feel that I'm gaining knowledge and experience as well as some very deep bone contusions that will never properly heal. The cat... he will break me. Seriously, he keeps saying that. It's creepy.

-Wearing a sheet with two eye-holes cut out, I've been "haunting" my neighbors. I creep around their apartments and make spooky sounds! And I steal a lot of their stuff, too. Most of my neighbors aren't home during the day, so I guess it's not really "haunting" so much as it is "breaking and entering." My neighbors have a lot of nice stuff. And it's all mine!

-Mostly, I've just been hanging out with our cat. He's a good conversationalist, but he cheats at cards. And... um... he's got mouse-breath. Still though, we're basically BFF for life. Or until the internet comes back on. Then fuck him.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Hey kids... bad news for all of us, I'm afraid.

Well, you know, not BAD news... more like "seriously inconvenient" news. Annoying news. Irritating, rasping, like fingernails-on-a-metaphorical-chalkboard news. News that is, unquestionably, fucking lame. It is this:

My internet has died. Don't know why, don't know how to fix it (buh-lieve me, I've tried), am now having to wait for the Time Warner Cable repairman of truth and light to arrive on Wednesday and show me where the whole thing has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

That's the bad news for ME. The bad news for YOU, my little lambs, is that due to this offensively terrible fact, I'm going to have to suspend the blog for the next couple of days. I know, I know... it's like you've been shot in the face with a bullet made of hate and it exploded all AAAAAHHHH MY FACE, YOU SHOT ME IN MY FACE!!! I know, and I'm really sorry to have to do this to you. But, eh, I don't want to spend all my time at the library (homeless people use the computers there to look at porn and it, the whole experience, smells) and I don't want to spend a million billion trillion dollars at Kinkos, either. Just not posting for a couple of days is really my only option.

However, you never know. I've still got to check my email every now and again, so maybe while I'm doing so, inspiration will strike.

Until then, and until further notice, I will see you when the internet returns! I love you all!!! (Biblically)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Morning Hodgepodge

That horrible (I assume) pseudo-goth movie Twilight opens this weekend... if you live near large groups of tweens, you're probably already deaf from the squealing... and keeping that in mind, I'd like to dedicate this Hodgepodge to my old friend Laurie. I don't think she actually reads this blog or anything, but she DOES run a movie theater up in the Chicago area and I know they're mostly just screening said flick this weekend and I imagine it's going to look a lot like the mall scenes in Dawn of the Dead only with more frantic texting of comments such as, "OMG so cuuuuute! wish he would bite me 4-eva!!!!" Or however the kids are talking these days. I don't really keep up with the hip slang. Or the unhip slang, for that matter. Not much of a slang person when you get right down to it... I mean, I'll throw out an ironic "homeslice" every now and again, and I'll admit that I use the term "dude" way more than should be allowed by the constraints of human decency, but... I don't know... I've always considered that to be just one of the facets in the drunken prism of my shabby hobo charm.

ANYWAY, Laurie... we're all thinking of you and praying to our respective Gods and we'll sit by the phone in case you need to be airlifted out of there stat (have I mentioned that Girlfriend and I bought a helicopter? well, Girlfriend and I bought a helicopter).

Remember: aim for the head.


I am SO glad there wasn't any of this "ooh, I'm a vampire look at me in a my black clothes and pale make-up but hurry because my mom's making Shake N' Bake and I gotta be home by six" bullshit when I was in high school. I mean, I had to put up with the "Korn Kids" but mostly they spent their time applying eyeliner and ripping up stuffed animals to hang on their backpacks (what was THAT all about?). They were harmless and that one Korn song with the video that had the bullet traveling in super slo-mo blowing shit up all high-speed photography style... that was an okay song. Not anything to add to that mixtape you made for Becky or whatever (unless Becky is a Korn Kid, I guess), but you know, decent enough.

But yeah, if I'd had to deal with kids thinking they were "creatures of the night," as it were, while roaming the halls of AHS, I think I might have a very different perspective today on my days spent there. Because, as it stands, I feel like I'm one of the people I know that actually enjoyed high school. Sorry, but I had a good time (which was sadly reflected in my GPA). And I didn't need fake fangs I bought at Spencer's Gifts and Sharpie-markered combat boots with a hundred buckles to do it. Good clean fun, I had, the kind that comes in red plastic Solo cups and from sneaking home with your girlfriend during off-campus lunch to any empty house and a world of possibilities.

That's the American way, dammit!!! Not hanging out at the Waffle House talking about "the dark mysterious one" and the "crimson kiss of rubies" or whatever the fuck . Fucking vampire teens... I swear...


In non-vampire teen news...


Oh, for fuck's sake, don't tell me that's ALL I have to talk about today!!! Do you see how the rise of vampirism in our nation's youth is ruining lives? They've got my brain all irritated and tweaked and, sitting here now, that's all I can think about. Ugh. I want to smack them in the back of the head with one of those long strings of roped garlic that you see in Italian delis.

SEE! They're making me violent and I am not a violent person.


Oh, okay, here's something else... Steve Martin was on 30 Rock last night. That was nice. I like Steve Martin. I wish he would stop doing shitty I-just-need-a-paycheck movies like The Pink Panther and that one with Queen Latifah that looked like a bucket of sassy barf, but still. He's generally quite funny and it was good to see him in Primetime television.

He did not at any point during the show play a vampire. And for that, he will win an Emmy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top Chef: New York - Episode 2

Previously on Top Chef...
New Season! Apples (because it's New York, GET IT)! Schmancy loft! The Scandinavian wins! Losers lose!
-Anyone else notice that the winner of Top Chef this season no longer gets a "culinary vacation in the Swiss Alps" or whatever it has been? I'd like to imagine the previous winners behaved so badly on the trip, they had to take it away as a prize. Like, pooped in a ballroom or something. Here, I'm thinking in particular of that weasel Ilan.
-Forgot to mention this last week, but the Top Chef kitchen... with it's mosaic-tile logos made to look like the interior of a subway station...? Adorable. I wish there was gourmet food being cooked in MY subway station instead of just homeless men peeing.
-In the credits, when they're showing all the chefs, Jeff... the pretty boy... winks and they key in a little *DING* sound. This does not endear him to me.
Tonight's episode was a perfect example of one of the things about Top Chef that I find absolutely maddening. Namely, the introduction of rules/aspects of a challenge that are then immediately ignored not just by the contestants, but by the show itself.
Let me explain what I mean...
The Quickfire Challenge tonight was to make a "signature hot dog." A fairly straightforward challenge, as they go (i.e. there were no vending machines or gas stations involved), but... to spice things up... there's a twist. They're going to be competing not only with each other, but with some lady who's a Hot Dog Expert and everyone in NYC knows her because she's famous for hot dogs and she's like Darth Sidious, but for hot dogs. It is clearly stated by Padma that all the chef's hot dogs will be judged against hers. Except they aren't. The chefs make their hot dogs, and the Wiener Queen makes hers, and they're all tasted and... that's it. There's never any judgement handed down with regards to how the contestant's hot dogs stack up against the one she made. So why the fuck was she there??? My theory, judging by the output of hot dogs from the chefs, is that hers REALLY didn't stack up at all, so they threw that part of the challenge out on the fly. The one she made was totally boring looking, so it wouldn't surprise me if that were in fact the case.
And then, in the Elimination Challenge, they did the same thing!!!
The EC this week was to create a New American menu (everyone seemed to know what that meant and were excited about it, despite... um... no one hewing to that aspect of the challenge) and serve it to a group of "opinionated, angry, judgemental New Yorkers." I was a little put off at first by the constant talk about how New Yorkers are, basically, these awful, rude people who will tell you to go fuck your sister if they don't like the cut of your jib, but I chalked it up to the usual reality show hyperbole of which this show is not above. HOWEVER, the producers were actually going somewhere with all this "New Yorkers are mean" talk! The people the contestants were serving? All chefs who FAILED TO GET ON TOP CHEF! That is a fucking genius move. Except that... again... the concept goes nowhere. We get a few shots of the understandably bitchy unselected chefs being bitchy about the food, and I think Colicchio mentions their general opinion of a certain dish at one point during the Judges Table, but otherwise... nothing. I don't know, maybe they were just there to rattle the contestants cages, so to speak, but... to me... it doesn't seem like they did anything with what really was a stellar idea. A round-robin Brazilian strap fight would have been awesome, if admittedly a bit off-topic.
Oh, and side note... you can TOTALLY tell why some of the unselected chefs weren't picked. Fugliness abounded and, though the show isn't about looks, gross faces don't play well in magazine ads and TV commercials and such.
Anyhoo... let's get down to specifics.
The hot dog idea, as I said, was pretty straightforward, but it left a ton of room for interpretation, which I think is the hallmark of a good Top Chef challenge. Generally, when the contestants are asked to create a "signature" anything, you're going to end up with some interesting results (both good and butt-nasty).
On the butt-nasty side, there was our Scandinavian pal Stefan, who made something that looked like a grilled cheese sandwich fucked a corn dog and then drowned itself in "Irish tarter sauce," whatever the hell that is (leprechaun jizz?). The judges agreed that it tasted like Euro-barf.
Eugene... whom I still love, but who was mostly a fuck-up this week... made some sort of bizarre sushi/hot dog hybrid and, though the judges never said anything about it, just looking at the thing sort of made me want to lie down with a damp cloth on my forehead.
And then there's Jill. Oh, Jilly, Jilly, Jilly... you are just the worst, and that is a reoccurring theme throughout the episode. Her "signature hot dog?" A store-bought wiener wrapped in lettuce. That's pretty much it. I mean, she tried to fancy it up with a few condiments... ginger, I think, and some sort of spice... but basically it was just a hot dog and some rabbit food and the judges unanimously agreed that it was ass-y. Based solely on the way it looked, and taking into account her attitude in general, I wanted to plonk her on the head with a large soup ladle.
The winner of the Quickfire ended up being Radhika... the one who made the big deal last time about not wanting to get pigeonholed as the Indian girl who cooks Indian food. Needless to say, she won the challenge with an Indian food-inspired hot dog. It, however, did look amazing; it was basically a tube-shaped lamb gyro with curry and grilled onions and I'm not ashamed to admit that I licked the screen a few times. Also screen-lick worthy: Hosea's pepper-happy hot dog concoction that also featured smoked bacon. Yum, drool, etc.
So yeah, Radhika wins the QC, gets immunity, moving on...
Basically, everyone was a disappointment. When it was all over, Tom Colicchio, looking like someone had just shot his dog, addressed the group and told them all that they sucked on ice. Have to say... just going on visuals here... most of the stuff people put out looked pretty bad. Melissa... the hillbilly chainsaw massacre one... put out just a grilled avocado with some sectioned citrus fruit as her dish, for fuck's sake! And Eugene... my homeslice... he made some sort of open-faced meatloaf sandwich that looked like a monster dump on bread made of sorrow. For shame, guy who I'd picked as my favorite. For shame.
But, there were some winners, so let's get them out of the way first. The top three were...
Fabio, for his beef carpaccio with bizarro olives (he made them, somehow, into spheres and all liquidy on the inside).
Carla, who is still a nutjob, yes, but one that can make an awesome apple tart. (fyi, it looked amazing)
And Jamie, for making a chilled corn soup. Which was apparently good. It was very yellow, I can tell you that, but pleasingly so.
The eventual winner of the EC was Fabio, mostly for his ability to bend the laws of physics with regards to olives, and he was very charming about it. The fact that he doesn't speak English very well is, I think, going to be a constant source of amusement during this season. I feel bad saying that, but, eh, foreigners are hilarious. Anyway, this means that the European contingent in the Top Chef kitchen is now two-for-two in the Elimination Challenge. C'mon, America, shape up!!! USA!!! USA!!! USA!!!
Okay, on to the losers. Like I said, there was a wide selection to choose from, but the bottom three ended up being...
Hosea, who made a crab salad which seemed to mystify the judges. They couldn't really pinpoint what was wrong with it; Colicchio himself states that all the ingredients Hosea used should have worked together and been delicious...but... for reasons unexplained, they weren't. Essentially, everyone just thought it was lousy, save for Hosea, who thought at first that he was one of the winners. Fail.
Ariane, who... oh my god, I just hate her so much. She's the keeper of the "I Don't Give A Shit" attitude this season, but she's mixing it up with this weird sad-sack vibe and a voice that sounds like if Sarah Palin were man. Grating and, apparently, completely talentless, I seriously can't figure out how she made it on the show in the first place. Anyway, she made some sort of bullshitty lemon meringue thing that everyone agreed was too sweet times a billion and which Padma actually spat out. Never a good sign.
And of course...
Jill. Oh, Jilly, Jilly, Jilly... you've finally reached the point in your life where sparkly pink shirts and kicky headbands won't hide the fact that you are a retard in the kitchen and a mealy-mouthed chump when asked to defend a dish you've made that was, I believe, compared to dog food by one of the diners. She made a quiche using an Ostrich egg (what? exactly.) and to this casual viewer at home, it looked liked it had cancer. It was universally reviled by the judges, however I'm pretty sure the thing that really killed her was her defense of said dish. Amid the "ums" and shrugs and pauses, her argument boiled down to this: "I dunno... I just, like... there was a lot of pressure and the time constraints... and... I guess I'll do better next time... or whatever."
Except you won't, because... Jill... oh, Jilly, Jilly, Jilly... you're going home. Which you shouldn't be too surprised about, seeing as how you're just terrible.
Overall, this was a good episode. There's still a couple of contestants who've yet to make any impression on me whatsoever... Alex, specifically, who I keep forgetting is even competing... and it looks like there's still a ton of chaff to be culled before things will get tense. Still though, I think we're looking at what's shaping up to be a very decent season. I'd say about mid-way through, once people like... oh... say, Ariane are gone... shit's going to get really interesting, really fast. Here's hopin'.
Next week on Top Chef...

The Foo Fighters, for some reason! Rain! Jamie doesn't like her group! Presumably, more cooking!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

People Magazine Has ONCE AGAIN Screwed Me Out Of The Distinction Of Being Their Sexiest Man Alive, Even Though I Totally Am

Look, I'm SORRY, People Magazine... I'm sorry I haven't been in a bunch of movies with explosions and tight pants and people saying lines with their acting skills or whatever but come the motherfuck ON!!! How could you possibly go with this...

...over THIS:

Regretting your horrible error yet? And you know what else?!?! HE'S not even American!!! I KNOW, RIGHT??? Way to go, People Magazine... you've elected a member of Al Qaeda as your Sexiest Man Alive.
I hope you all die.
NOTE: I am really looking forward to seeing the new Wolverine movie, though.
2ND NOTE: This is the second post this week featuring a damp Australian... something is afoot...

You Don't See That Every Day: A Pictorial

A Pygmy Tarsier Monkey

Apparently this freaky dude was, until a few weeks ago, believed to be extinct as nobody had laid eyes on one for the last 80 years. And now some scientists found one. So, hooray, I guess. We've FINALLY got an ugly, tiny monkey hanging around, being all unsettling first thing in the morning, making me spit out bagel chunks and causing an allergy attack and stealing money out of my wallet and making derogatory comments about Barack Obama. Ick... I bet it's slimy. I bet it smells like old bananas and burnt hair. I bet if you gave it half a chance, it would poop in your ear while you slept and then laugh it's haughty little monkey laugh and then hole up under your bed with a syringe full of poison like that evil monkey in Monkey Shines (a real movie about killer monkeys that you just KNOW real-life monkeys watch and go, "one day, man... one day").

Oh, and just in case you think I'm being biased against our simian friend up there because he's fugly with a capital "barf," you should know that in the Yahoo article I read about it (which I won't bother to link to, as I am lazy), the mini-bastard was described as being "small and mean." So, I think you see what I'm getting at here: This whole "no one's seen it for 80 years" thing is TOTAL bullshit. Yeah, no one has seen the fucker because no one has been looking. Sometimes, an animal is just an asshole and deserves to be extinct, even if it isn't.

LeBron James Commands His Clothes

Okay, so maybe LeBron James isn't actually a wizard with complete control over his clothes who sends them out to do his bidding; smacking around refs who harsh him on fouls and putting the fear of God into Tiger Woods for stepping on his endorsement game and stalking Paul Pierce through his house in the dead of night for making Master LeBron look like a fool during last year's NBA Finals.

Maybe this is just a funny picture taken mid-action as LeBron James threw his warm-up clothes to the floor before the start of game.

But what if it isn't...?

Beware the flying, XXL, lightweight, zip-up jacket and snap-up pants... the vengeance they wreak is swift, horrifying, and lightly stained with Gatorade.

Optical Illusion That Makes Me Want To Hurl

Ugh... blah... yeah, why did I post this... oh god, this is awful... it looks like it's moving, but it's not, it's just fucking with your eyes like a demon mirage sent from the bowels of hell to make you sicker than your worst tequila-induced hangover from college. Jesus, who would create such a thing? What sort of loner madman spends hours and hours hunched moistly over a hateful laptop sketching a terror like this, smirking to himself about the havoc he's causing in all our digestive systems?

Fuck, it's like traveling through time on acid, or staring into the universe's cosmic butthole, or trying to fight a giant clown after eating a handful of habanero peppers and dying from heat stroke.

I'm so sorry, you guys... I can just see you there, sitting at your cubicle at work or at your desk at home or at the computer carousel in the prison library during your state-mandated study time staring into the depths of this optical illusion and crying and vomiting and calling out for loved ones and being beaten severely by the warden for causing a scene. Mea culpa, my readers... mea culpa...

What Chewbacca Would Look Like Shaved

Like Ed Asner got melted, apparently. This is another thing that causes one to speculate about the sort of person who would take the time to figure out exactly what a Wookie would look like after a run-in with a bottle of Nair, and then put forth the energy to sketch the whole thing out like that's a perfectly acceptable thing to do with one's off-hours. The only thing that frightens me more than considering such a person is the fact that I'm pretty sure, after he got done with his drawing, he jerked off to it while muttering Han Solo's lines from The Trilogy and wishing desperately that he weren't in his mother's basement, so very alone.

I'm sorry, but you don't draw a nude Chewy just for funsies. Nope, you draw a nude Chewy because you're a big ol' freak with blurred lines between what's real and what's fantasy and your parents are so embarrassed by you, they tell people you died in a fire.

A Swimming, Robot Snake That Will Kill You (Probably)

Okay, that's not so much a picture as it is a video, but still... it's easily the freakiest thing in this post because it's not just a stupid monkey or a funny picture of a celebrity or an spew-inducing mindfuck or a sad, sad Star Wars doodle. This, my friends, is a robot snake that can swim in water. Fast. And it moves like a real snake all twisty and bendy and slither-y. And it's intent is not clearly expressed; we have NO IDEA for what purpose this chilling vision of the future has been created. The only thing I can come up with... its only conceivable use... is to track down escapees from the Thought Police who've somehow made it to the river that borders the Blade Runner-esque city where everyone lives in a government-controlled hive and powers The Computer Overlord with their brain waves. I mean, I know there are currently no people-hives or Computer Overlords or Thought Police or anything like that... yet. I think the robot makers of the world are just getting a jump on things so there's less to do when the cybernetic revolution comes and they can really focus all their energy towards worshiping at the motherboard of our new techno-masters.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Have A Surprising Amount Of Stuff To Do Today For A Guy Who's Unemployed...

Yeah, I know, it's really weird? But everything just kind of landed on this Tuesday and now I'm running around like a caffeinated woodchuck trying to get it all done and keep it all on course and basically make sure the world doesn't end. Not sure why I got put in charge of that last one, but Barack Obama is all about change and he seems to think I'm the man to fight off the apocalypse, so who am I to argue?

Anyway, while I'm battling the End Times and directing traffic for the influx of Christians into Heaven and saving the penguins from melting rainforests (or something), here's...

The Most Slapdash ZFS! Post EVER

Uh... drinking sure is neat, huh? I drink a fair amount and enjoy it greatly! Also, poop is funny and a comedic well that should be visited as often as possible for it will never run dry. Poop! Girlfriend sure does put up with a lot of my monkeyshines, am I right? She's patient!

God, what else... um... CLOWN PICTURE:

Haha look at that guy. He's probably a serial killer because clowns are usually serial killers. And check out his pants! Hey serial killer clown, the 80s called and they are PISSED that you've been killing people while wearing their pants!!! HA!!! Not to mention the fact that you have way more horns than what is acceptable in modern society. Lousy serial killer clown. Wait, don't serial-kill me!!! AIIIIIIIIIEEEEE!!!

Yeah, so I'm dead because the clown killed me. Or... whatever... fuck, I'm so busy saving the world right now...

Maybe more later, though, if I come back to life (C-dog the Friendly Ghost) and/or get all my crap done that I need to get done. We'll just have to see how it goes.

And in conclusion, I'd just like to say this: Poop.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I've been meaning to post this for a while now but, for reasons that I'm sure have everything to do with my alcohol intake, actually doing so just hasn't happened. Damn you delicious liquor and your mind-erasing properties!!!

Aw... liquor, I can't stay mad at you. (sound of C-dog chugging Everclear and, faintly, his liver screaming)

Anyway, Mindgame. It's a play that I can't tell you anything about. I know that sounds a bit coy, but... well... it's sort of the truth. It's got one of those plots with a kajillion twists, see, and after having seen it, I'm now afraid to talk about it lest I accidentally give away something best left to in-theater discovery. I'm pretty sure the director, Ken Russell, of The Who's Tommy and Whore fame, would track me down and try to drown me in baked beans and/or beat me with Theresa Russell's high heels.

NOTE: These obscure Ken Russell references brought to you by My Film Degree (haha, I'm a big nerd who has trivia where his ability to love is supposed to be!).

I can tell you... I think... that it stars Keith Carradine, whom I once saw in Will Roger's Follies while on a class trip to New York in 1991. So, you know, suck it. There's also another guy in it and a girl, too, who wears a sexy nurse uniform for most of the show.

God... was that an important detail... I don't think so... shit, I should have written this sooner...

Look, just check out Mindgame, okay, especially if you like British-flavored drawing room mysteries with creepy music and general head-trippery. And, of course, my apologies to Ken Russell for painting him in this post as a spoiler-adverse psycho who tries to kill people in ways that allude to his filmography. It was only an attempt at humor!

A horrible, horrible attempt at humor...

Anything Goes!!!

The frighteningly nude couple you see soaking in the pool up there are Mr. and Mrs. Tony Fox, owners of the White Cockatoo resort in Queensland, Australia. Usually a pair of moist, drunken, naked Australians wouldn't be anything to blog about... at least not on any blog I run that my parents know about... however, they bear mentioning today because of the unique method they've come up with for fighting the current global economic downturn, at least with regards to how it effects their business. Rather than run a coupon special offering guests some free meals, say, or cutting back staff during night hours, they have decided to hold a month-long "anything goes" party at their resort; a move that will surely find the entire coast of Australia dripping with chlamydia by the end of the year.

Naturally, as I am a dedicated and unemployed reporter, I've booked my tickets and will be reporting live from the scene of this potentially awesome, mostly likely disgusting rules-free event. Here are a few of the things I plan on getting up to in the part of the land down under where, for four crazy weeks, absolutely anything goes:

Hedonism, The ZFS! Way, or, "I will make you regret your usage of the word 'Anything.'"

I'm going to...

...slow-dance with every former member of the Bull-Moose Party until the break of dawn. Then, cuddles. Bull-Moose cuddles all up in here.

...stab myself repeatedly in the face with a pair of scissors until I go all the way around "horribly disfigured" and land on "the most beautiful girl in the world," like the Prince song, but not so much like it that we have to pay royalties.

...start a betting ring based on the horrible sport of Monkey Boxing. (the monkeys are the gloves)

...challenge Jackie Chan to a kung-fu battle where I will beat him so bad I become Jackie Chan and thus ensure at least six more Rush Hour sequels.

...explore the rings of Saturn. With my tongue.

...tap dance, tap dance, TAP DANCE!!! back through history via a magical, talking car to Dallas, TX on November 22, 1963, just minutes before the assassination of JFK. I have no intention of stopping the assassination, however; I just think it would be hilarious to see me doing the hula on the grassy knoll whenever The History Channel replays the Zapruder Film. an educational facility that helps kids learn about science. (they'll learn about science by building me a meth lab from instructions I downloaded off the internet)

...become one with the universe in a melding of the conscious and the unconscious, exploring the inner galaxy of the soul and testing the boundaries of human experience while shattering the preconceived notions of the mind. Unless there happens to be unlimited access to the resort buffet. Then I guess I'll just eat at the buffet until I pass out.

...probably end up fucking a bunch of people, since, you know, that's what everyone else is going there to do. Might as well join in the gross, gross fun.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Your Hat Makes You Look Like A Douche

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Morning Hodgepodge

For some reason, I can't ever seem to get in on the ground floor with whatever America's pop culture darling du jour happens to be at any given moment. LOST? Started watching after the first season. The Shins? Bought their albums around the time Garden State came out on DVD. Getting large back tattoos depicting hellspawn ripping through my flesh in a orgy of brightly colored inks and black metal album cover-inspired art work? Mine is woefully mired in the blueprint stage.

Not to mention the fact that there's a better than average chance I just flat-out won't get into said phenomenon at all! To date, I've never read a Harry Potter book, I'm still not entirely sure what a "Coldplay" is (it's a kind of soup, right?), and I've yet to catch on to this whole "wearing pants" craze for which all the kids are just going bananas. I'm sorry but is it my fault that my junk needs to breath, I don't like whiny British men who marry wan American actresses, and I have a general aversion to whimsical children who fight Ralph Finnes? No, so enough with the hate mail, MOM!!!

Anyway, I bring this all up as an awkward and meandering segue into me telling you about this awesome new show called Mad Men that apparently I'm the last one on the planet to discover and fall in love with and because of which get arrested for trying to break into the house of Don Draper so we could cuddle, even though he's fictional. Sigh... that Jon Hamm, I tell you what. I am not a gay gentleman, but if he showed up at my door with a pack of smokes, a bottle of scotch, and a look in his eye that told me I had no choice... well, let's just say he and I would be having sex. Smokey, drunken sex. I bet he smells like Old Spice and the leather they use to make saddles. Mmmm... oh... uh... sorry... but beyond Studly McLooks-Amazing-In-A-Suit up there, Mad Men basically has everything else in the world going for it. The writing is subtle yet powerful and could be used to solve the world's problems if the Government wasn't so fucking blind to obvious solutions (c'mon Obama... read my letters...), the acting is top shelf all the way, and the overall look of the show is so spectacularly retro-awesome, it kind of makes me want to burn down my apartment.

Soooooooo good, Mad Men. If you're not watching it already, go watch it now. Quit your job if you have to. But make sure you stock up on liquor and cigarettes because this show will leave you with a craving for both so powerful your clothes will rip off like The Hulk.


I slept weird last night, and by that I mean I fell asleep drunk and with my head at a ninety degree angle pressed up against the radiator, and now my neck if fucking killing me. Also, I've got these burn marks on my face. They don't feel good either, but I've been rubbing them with a cooling balm and that has helped.

The cooling balm I've been using is butter. I've been rubbing butter on my face. My face is delicious right now, if anyone is in the area and up for a lick.

Anyway, I stole some cat tranquilizers from a veterinarians office and I ground them up with 38 baby aspirins and made it into a thick slurry with a can of lukewarm, expired Red Bull and shot the whole mess into my jugular vein with a homemade syringe (a turkey baster, the tubes from a few empty Pixie Stix, and a fork, in case you were wondering), so I should be fine before too long. Thanks for your concern, though.

Wow... I can totally see through time right now.


I guess I don't really have much more to say. Things here are basically the same as they have been. Still looking for a job, still going on interviews, still with Girlfriend (no worries on that front, kids), still trying to write things that don't make me vomit with self-loathing and regret, still eating my feelings, still mostly remembering to shower, still trying to figure out who murdered Old Man McGintey for his fortune in rare coins, still driving these cattle down South before the Winter comes, still touring behind my latest album of doo-wop covers, still lurking in the shadows of a Chili's waiting for the right moment to steal a fresh Awesome Blossom, still writing love letters to Blossom from Blossom who DOES NOT find my vaguely threatening letters awesome in the least apparently, still coasting on my "caught a falling infant" fame, still dancing with the stars, still punching out trees just to prove to Mother Nature that she's not the boss of me, and... I guess... still just being me, C-dog, the man to whom your heart belongs.

Have a great weekend, my little lambs. I'll be sure to drink one (many) in your honor!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Top Chef: New York - Episode 1

So, fellow food nerds, here we are... the beginning of a long, delicious-looking, potentially annoying journey through the upper echelons of reality television programming. Yes, hallelujah and call the headwaiter, Top Chef is motherfucking back!!! And, judging by the premier episode, the already five-year-old operation still appears to be cooking with gas!
See what I did there? Yeah, I'd get used to that level of discourse if I were you. Late-night blogging combined with all the drinking I'll invariable be doing while the show actually airs pretty much guarantees at least two or three food-related puns that will make you want to flambe your own brain in a wine reduction with quince and, I don't know, Cracker Jacks or something. Look, up front, you should be aware that I don't technically, like, know a whole lot about food, per se... other than I like to eat as much of it as possible, of course... so I'm probably not the highest authority on what exactly the contestants are getting up to in the kitchen. I mean, I'll do my best, but, basically, any and all dishes will be rated on a sliding scale that ranges from "I'd Eat The SHIT Out Of That!" to "That Literally Looks Like Poo."
And while we're on the subject of how I'm planning on doing these posts, let me lay out my overall plan for the series...
Okay, so maybe I don't HAVE a plan. But what I do know is this:
-I will not be doing straight-up recaps. The folks over at Television Without Pity have that whole thing pretty well locked down and, besides, that shit takes FOREVER to do and I haven't the patience.
-These are most likely going to be very free form and laden with bullet points. Deal.
-I'm sure shit will get a lot tighter as it goes along, but keep in mind this is my first attempt at doing something like this on this scale. So... cut me a teensy bit of slack during the early days, m'kay? Thanks, muffins.
-I will not be discussing Padma's outfits (unless she wears something completely bananas that cannot be ignored, like a clown suit or just a discreet layer of peach preserves).
-Comments from you kids are TOTALLY WELCOME AND APPRECIATED. If this series proves popular enough and everyone's having a good time with it, I'd like to live-blog the season finale.
So, yeah, there's that.
But the season finale is a long-ass ways away, so let's get down to the business at hand.
First off... hooray, New York!!! They're in my neck of the woods, fucking finally, and even more literally than you think. If I'm not mistaken, the whole Top Chef production is actually being shot in Brooklyn; apparently even a major network with a hit show can't afford Manhattan rents. Which is hilarious.
But whatever, good lord there's a lot to cover... onward...
17 chefs step onto Governor's Island and are immediately whomped upside the head with the first Quickfire challenge: knife skills. On apples. Because this is the Big Apple, get it, GET IT, says a producer with a headset jabbing you in the ribs with a frantically gnawed on pen.
Yes. We get it. It is to laugh.
So anyway, there's a lot of peeling and chopping and one guy nearly cuts his thumb off and I have a desperate, sudden craving for McDonald's Apple Pies and then it's down to the four doofs who can't peel and/or chop in a timely fashion. They're asked to make a dish with the apples to see who wins, but HERE'S THE TWIST:
Whomever loses this Quickfire challenge is going home!

What? That is fucking harsh and I looooove it. Much as I dig the show, Top Chef has a tendency to be skew a bit formulaic, so this was a nice twist. Oh, and it ties into the fact that New York is a cutthroat city and if you do poorly you'll metaphorically get stabbed in the face with your own kitchen knife. Or something. Apples!!!
The contestants cook and, after twenty minutes, all four dishes look like varying degrees of lame. The two mega-doofs who made salads are OBVIOUSLY the bottom two and, in the end, it's the girl who gets sent home. Because she made a fucking salad. On Top Chef. Have these people not SEEN the last four seasons? Lettuce or whatever doesn't fly. Awwww, but we're sad because the two losers are BFFs forever or something. Whatever, he's the next one to go down, so I don't care about either of them.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
So the Elimination Challenge happens (or, rather, the SECOND Elimination Challenge happens) and it's all about ethnic food, of which there is a lot of in NYC. They get paired up, they go to a different neighborhood known for one style of cooking or another, and yadda yadda, you can figure it out from there.
As I said a second ago, it all ends up with the aforementioned mega-doof loser... who was only a culinary student, mind you... getting shit-canned and everyone shrugging in indifference at his sunny attitude and hip t-shirts. It was all very dramatic (not really, because the kid clearly sucked on ice). Some of the other people's food did look good, though... there was a couple of lamb things that made me want to eat some lamb, and I think I saw some sort of steak dish, which, mmmmm. And, I don't know, there was probably fish in there somewhere.
Whatever, doesn't matter, because at this juncture the food isn't what's important; the contestants are. So, with that in mind, let's polish off this inaugural post by looking at:
NOTE: Like hell I'm going to put pictures up here of each and every one of them. Look it up your own damn selves. Greedy, greedy...
2ND NOTE: This is, of course, excluding the two knuckleheads who already got voted off.
Stefan: He won BOTH challenges tonight and is clearly the favorite to win the whole shooting match. He's from Finland, bald, kind of arrogant, and he reminds me a little bit of a tough version of the guy who played the professor in Good Will Hunting who's name escapes me at the moment. Anyway, I like him, but I tend to always like Scandinavian people, so who knows.
Jeff: The pretty boy who I instantly hated because his first interview included him talking about his looks and how he always carries a comb with him. Ugh. He DOES, however, look like Chase on House so I'll hold off judgement for a little bit, particularly because he seemed to get less smarmy as the episode went on.
Alex: Dunno. He's Latino, I think, and kind of a big guy, but otherwise he left no impression on me. I think he might have worn stupid hats.
Ariane: BARF. There's always one "mom" on the show who's "doing it for her kids" and whose "kids are her inspiration" and who makes the viewers at home want to find out where she lives so they can smack her kids in the face with a spatula. Needless to say, she was in the bottom two of the Elimination Challenge and it seems like she'll be leaving us quite soon because it's pretty clear that she blows monkey.
Jill: Shrug. There's like three girls this season that look irritatingly alike. She's one of them.
Carla: Hoo-boy. You can tell by looking in her wildly spinning eyes that she's out of her fucking mind. I'm not entirely sure she even knows she's on a cooking show. She mentioned, at one point, her "spirit guides" and how they were going to help her find ingredients. Seriously? She better be gone soon because I can't put up with that shit long-term.
Danny: He's the Long Island native with the stupid beard who otherwise looks an awful lot like my landlord. I really like my landlord, thus I really like Danny. I'll let the beard slide for now. I will say though that if anyone is most likely to threaten violence on another contestant, it's him. That's how we roll in the 212.
Leah: No idea. I think she might have been in the top three at the end, but she's also one of the three who all look the same. Actually, now that I think about it, the nimrod chick who got the boot first thing was one of the three... so, okay, there's only TWO girls who look alike. Well that will make things easier.
Melissa: Got a real strong Texas Chainsaw Massacre vibe off of this one. Not like she's Leatherface or anything, but like she's a cousin who comes over on holidays to eat freshly killed vacationing 70s teens. She said she lives up in the mountains and cuts her hair with a Swiss army knife (or something) and I've got money on her trying to at least once incorporate roadkill into one of her dishes.
Fabio: He's Italian and everyone hates him immediately because, well... he's from Europe and we're led to believe that that's a bad thing. Whatever, It seems we've found who'll be playing the Villain role this season. I don't know, he didn't seem THAT bad; arrogant as all hell, I guess, but what chef isn't? They are going to edit him all evil no matter what, so I guess we should get used to the idea. Also, his name is "Fabio." Heh.
Eugene: This dude was both Girlfriend's and my favorite. Heavily tatted, worked his way up from being a dishwasher to a chef, seems like he might have a switchblade taped to his leg, AND the dude can cook like a motherfucker. Who knows how it'll all shake down, but if the winner isn't that Stefan dude, it'll be this cat right here.
Radhika: Let me sum up Radhika for you... In her first interview, she makes a big deal about how she doesn't want to be known as just the girl who cooks Indian food (because she's Indian). So what does she make for her first dish? Indian food. Nicely done, dumbass. However, she is hot in a Helena Bonham Carter goes Bollywood sort of way, so we'll let it slide.
Hosea: Eh. Not much personality, other than that he's the other bald guy. Girlfriend thought he looked cute in glasses, so there's that.
Jamie: All covered in tattoos and sassy, and totally hot. She announces she's a lesbian within minutes of being in the fancypants loft, so she's "the lesbian" for this season, I guess. Again, though, HAWT tattoos.
Richard: He's "the gay" for this season and an out-n'-proud one at that. But flipping the script a little bit, he's totally a bear, as in all big and hairy and junk, which is a refreshing change of pace for how the gays get portrayed on these types of shows. Anyway, he's probably going to be the go-to quip guy this season. Seems nice enough.
Whew... okay... so that's the premier. Now that I've gotten all the names and whatever out, I'm going to go open myself a delicate can of Natty Light and pair it with a tangy, bright eating-mustard-out-of-the-jar-with-my-hands. Ah, haute cuisine!!!
See y'all next week!!!
Oh, PS, Martha Stewart is going to be guest-judging this season. Whichever episode she's on is going to be a guaranteed riot!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Programming Reminder

Starting tomorrow morning, and continuing every Thursday until the end of the season:

You can cut the excitement with a knife! Like the one in the logo! GOD, I am so fucking good at blogging...

The College Kids, They Love Me!

We've discussed before the topic of my almost criminally poor eating habits, but what can I tell you... it is a tree that keeps on bearing fruit which I, the uncreative farmer, must harvest lest it rot on the vine.

(Vine? I thought it was a tree...)

Look, that's not really the point, Parenthetical Voice...

(You're already drunk, aren't you? God you disgust me.)

Yeah, well at least I didn't get thrown in jail for not making child support payments like SOME people!


That's what I thought. See kids, this is why you should be judgemental, especially if your mail is getting sent to the same house as the guy running the show.

(Bitch doesn't deserve my money)

Okay, that's just about enough out of your parenthetical ass. Why don't you go call your kids or something; I'm sure they miss you.

(She's dating a Urologist and they call HIM "Daddy" now...)

Yeah, well, divorce is hard on everyone, particularly disembodied deadbeat voices that live in punctuation marks... ANYWAY, the point I was trying to make before that little melodrama started was that, yes, I have poor eating habits and, again, this fact has been brought to my attention in such a way that I am compelled to write about it for all you lovely people to read and enjoy and take to heart the inherent lessons and so on and so forth. This go-around, said issue was pointed out to me by a young lady who now thinks I'm the coolest guy on the planet.

So, I'm at the grocery store, doing a large amount of shopping for the weeks ahead, stocking up on only the essentials... microwave popcorn, Hot Pockets, cans of chili, cans of beans, cans of off-brand ravioli, pizza bagel fixin's, and beer, among other, less-savory things; a representative from all the major food groups, provided we're all looking at a Food Group Pyramid sponsored and therefore content-directed by 7-11. After making sure that I haven't forgotten anything, particularly the beer, which I double and triple-checked because if that gets left behind, well then, might as well pack it and go live on a vegan commune for the rest of my life... you wouldn't think one six pack of beer would be the support beam keeping my life upright, but that's apparently totally the case... anyway, after checking my list and clapping eyes on my beer, I proceeded to the register.

Ringing me up was a proud example of our nation's youth; a girl with severely dyed hair, enough piercings to qualify her as an emergency fishing lure, and make-up applied via tossed re-appropriated water balloons. While scanning my items, she looked up at me with reverence and said:

"Wow, you're totally buying all the stuff I love to eat!"

And I said:

"Ah, well, I still eat like I'm in college."

And she, after a beat, said:

"I'M in college."

And I pointed out then that she had in fact proven my point. She rolled this around in her brain for a minute, face jewlery jangling like wind chimes, and then she smiled.

"So you're not in college now, huh?"


"And you still eat like this?"


"That's pretty awesome."

And it is, right? I mean, obviously, it's not because a grown-ass man shouldn't really be eating products that are such a shocking color of orange (the ravioli) or can only be cooked in a microwave (the popcorn) or are basically just bread sacks of cat vomit (the Hot Pockets), but... in a way... it totally IS awesome. I'm staying true to my roots, man, I'm not changing for ANYBODY. I'm very literally living out The Who's credo, "I hope I die before I get old," because the food I'm choosing to shove into my body at an alarming rate most likely WILL kill me before old age has a chance to settle in.

America, I... and not my Gothic-minded friend behind the register... am your youth. I am your punk kids struggling in the dorm, I am your failed-dream children working the metaphorical dead-end job that we commonly refer to as "life," I am, above all else, your eternal college student. Sure, the Freshman Fifteen has become more like a Freshmen Hundred, and, granted, me hanging out on the quad usually causes campus security to show up and direct me to a homeless shelter, but none of that MATTERS. My eating habits are terrible, amazing, and leave the youngsters in awe. I will live on, brothers and sisters. I will live on! Because the college kids, they love me!!! They really fucking do.

(You are so full of sad, pathetic shit.)

Dude, shut up.

(Can I crash on your couch tonight... I don't take up much room because I don't exist.)

Yeah, alright. But you're buying more beer.

(Mind if I split a box of Hot Pockets with you...?)

We'll see, Parenthetical Voice... we'll see...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Micro Story

NOTE: Something a little different, just for funsies.


How does it taste?

Bad... bitter, caustic and sharp, like if you could drink a smashed disposable razor.

That means it's working.

What is it going to do to me?

You'll see.

Tell me.

Fine. You're no fun, you know. It's going to... relax you. A lot. You're going to be very relaxed.

I don't know how I feel about that.

You'd better get used to the idea. What you just drank; that was a double dose.


It's unlikely that he will help you.

God, what did you do to me?

I told you.

But... why... how long until it starts working?

We have a few minutes.

I thought you loved me.

I do love you. Why would you think I don't love you?

You've poisoned me. Seems like a pretty good reason to doubt your intentions.

If you think of it as poison, you're going to have a really bad time. It's not poison. It's just a drug. It's going to relax you completely so you can become one with yourself.

I don't understand what that means.

You will.

So you say.

I'm right. Give it a few minutes. You'll thank me for this. I promise.

Why do I get the feeling that as soon as I pass out, you're just going to strip me naked and do... stuff... to my unconscious body?

Do I seem like the kind of person that would molest an unconscious person?



Why else would you give me this stuff? Why else would you trick me...

I don't believe I had to do much convincing...

You tricked me...

I said, here, drink this, and you drank it; it's not like a I poured it in a glass of Sunny Delight or something.

But you didn't tell me what it was! I trust you! TRUSTED you.

I would never hurt you. I would never hurt you, nor would I ever molest you while you sleep. Unless, you know, you WANTED me to.

I don't.

Just sayin'.

I think it's starting to work.

Are you getting sleepy?


Do you feel like you're falling?

Ugh... yes... my stomach...

It will settle. Do you feel like your mind is breaking apart, like the unknowable is suddenly known and the blackened windows of the world are smashed inward by bricks of pure, white hot perception? Do you realize that the truth will in fact set you free?

I feel like I'm going to vomit.

Here's a trashcan.

Thank... you...

You're getting there, aren't you?

Getting... where...?

To the really good part.

Am... I...?

Oh yes, baby... oh yes...

God... oh my fucking god... oh no... no, no, no, no...

You have arrived.

It's all... so...

I know. I've been there too. That's how I know it works. Now, can you still hear me?

Yes. You're far away. But yes... come out of that canyon so I can hear you better...

You can hear me fine. Listen to what I'm saying. Are you listening?

I am listening to you, my one and only.

That's very sweet of you to say. Now, I want you to tell me where our mother hid the combination to the safe in the hallway. I need to know the magic numbers because I need to get inside.

I don't understand...

I need you to tell me where I can find what I'm looking for.

Oh... my... lovely love... you can ask me anything in the world... I will rip open my heart like a bag of potato chips and pour out into you my soul, my thoughts, my everything, my essence...

Just the location of the safe's combination will be fine.

Okay... okay, then... my soul is up for grabs, but I will give you numbers... she left it in the pocket of the fur coat she never wears... the one daddy gave her before she died... she never wears it because it makes her cry... the thoughts of him... THEY make her cry... she hides things there... in the coat, not in the thoughts... the coat...

That is all I've ever wanted to hear you say. I love you for the words you speak. I could kiss you, but I wouldn't want you to get the wrong idea about my intentions.

I love you so much, I love... you... so much...

Sleep, okay. Just sleep now. When you wake up, I'll be gone.

I'll... be... alone...

Not alone. Just without me.

That's alone.

You'll be brave, though. You've always been brave.

YOU have always been brave.

So be it. Regardless. I love you, but this is the end. See you on the other side.

The... other... side... of... what...?

We'll see. We'll just have to wait and see.