Sunday, July 30, 2006

You Are a Mermaid

You are a total daydreamer, and people tend to think you're flakier than you actually are.
While your head is often in the clouds, you'll always come back to earth to help someone in need.
Beyond being a caring person, you are also very intelligent and rational.
You understand the connections of the universe better than almost anyone else.
Your Summer Anthem is Holiday by Green Day

"Hear the sound of the falling rain
Coming down like an Armageddon flame (Hey!)
The shame
The ones who died without a name"

Dude, you're harshing everyone's summer mellow.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Welcome to Detroit: The world's biggest sauna

My brain is so fried it's not even funny. This crap weather isn't helping either. This week has just been ass-nasty. It's hot and often rainy. Rain usually sounds nice, but when it's coupled with a heat index of 98 f'in degrees forget about it. Every time I stepped outside yesterday it felt like I was being smothered by a wet St. Bernard. Not my cup o' tea. This global warming shit sucks ass! Please fix the world Mr. Gore.

Work = poop. This has been a rough week and yesterday was especially crappy. It doesn't help that my assistant is on vacation this week. However, due to things at work going on this weekend and such I was asked to switch my days off. I'm now off today (Friday) and tomorrow. I've got two days off in a row, but I've got nothing to due. I was thinking of maybe going to see Clerks II by myself. I may not get a chance otherwise. This weather is balls so I really don't want to do anything outside. I'd be fine splitting my time between my air-conditioned car, bedroom, theaters, stores, etc. I should probably figure out something decent to cook tomorrow since I've got the time. I love to cook, but I don't usually go too fancy as I'm cooking for one. Sigh. I may get a haircut today. I certainly should. I also have laundry to do. Actually I do have a stack of Netflix movies to watch. Good ones too. This crap weather is a decent enough excuse to stay in for the weekend during the summer. Really.

I was flipping through channels the other night and noticed that they had pro wrestling on the Sci Fi channel. WTF?

I love the Food Network, but it seems that every time I turn to it it's Rachael Ray...that's just annoying.

I was flipping through the Metro Times and noticed that Radio Birdman is coming. Wow! They're an old school Aussie post-punkish group. I had no idea that they were still together/reunited. That would be a good show to catch.

Speaking of the Metro Times there was once again a great opinion piece by Jack Lessenberry. I've suggested to him that he run for President but he didn't seem interested. How about governor then?

Here's a tough one... I'm still semi-boycotting WDET because of the line-up change and have stopped donating, but they are offering exclusive tickets to see David Sedaris speak in October. For a $240.00 donation you get two tickets and an autographed copy of Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I might just have to do it. David Sedaris is one of my favorite writers/storytellers.

Gary Numan is coming on Monday. I can't go, but that would be a great show. I saw him several years ago at 7th House with the DJ friend. Great show and very nice to his fans. We had our picture taken with him and he signed my ticket stub.

I guess I could go see Plan 9 from Outer Space at the Main at midnight tonight or tomorrow, but it's such a crappy movie...which is its draw I suppose.

Have a great weekend!

Random poll- What should I do this weekend?

Random poll #2- What's the best outdoor summer concert that you've been to? (Mine was '94 Lollapalooza)


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Always use protection...things may get sticky.

A pretty funny thing happened at work today. But first I've got to give you a little bit of set-up.

There is a type of dessert wine called ice wine (Eiswein). It is made from shriveled grapes that are frozen on the vine. The grapes that survive rot, disease, and birds that are still hanging on the vine into the first major freeze are picked and then crushed while still frozen. The resultant wine is very rich, very sweet, sticky, and traditionally expensive. There are some ice wines that "cheat" mother nature that are more affordable. These are made essentially by freezing the juice of ultra-ripe grapes to separate the ice crystals and to make a rich, concentrated wine. One of the nicknames for these wines is "cryogenic" because of the obvious connotations. When helping customers with ice wines I usually explain how they are made and personally usually call the "fake" ice wines "cryogenic" ice wines. There's your very short version of ice wine and the set-up to today's quick story...

I was placing my order with one of my wholesale wine reps today. I was sitting facing the wine department and he was sitting facing me. An older woman (mid 70's started to walk up and then she spoke.
"Excuse me. I'm looking for an ice wine. You sold one to me before. It was very good. It's not as expensive as some of the other ice wines. I think it's one of those prophylactic ice wines."
I held a straight face and my rep buried his face in his hands. I got up and started walking over to the dessert wines and said, "Sure. The cryogenic ice wines are over here. We have the Selaks from New Zealand. It's a blend of riesling and gewurztraminer. It's actually quite good for the price ($19.99/375ml). We also have the Bonny Doon Vin de Glaciere made from muscat from California ($17.99/375ml). It's pretty nice also."
"Which do you prefer?"
"Well...actually I'd probably have to say the Selaks. It's quite good."
"Thank you. I'll take it. Thank you so much for your help."
"You're welcome. I hope that you enjoy it. Have a great day!"

She walked toward the cashier as I returned to my seat. My sales rep was silent. He then asked if she was still behind him. I said that she was gone and we both started cracking the hell up. That helped brighten a dreary day. I wonder what she had on her mind???

True story.

There's another quick and funny wine story that sticks in my head. I was in Chicago once and was speaking to our waiter at Bin 36 about wine. He mentioned that his roommate worked at Binny's (a popular wine store). He said that there was once a customer who couldn't remember the name of Veuve Clicquot champagne. She came in looking for the "Velvet Chiclet". It may not be funny to you but it cracks my ass up. I'll never forget a name like that...

Have a great day!


Have a great day!


Short and sweet and sour post with Asian-ish soup...a sticky situation.

Yesterday there was quite a bit of stuff that I wanted to post about, but I was too dang lazy to do it. Today I'm still feeling a bit lazy and I've forgotten most of the stuff I was going to post about. That's sorry news for you the consumer.

I really don't feel like posting right now but I feel obligated to write something.

I made a pretty kick-ass soup yesterday. That's something. I didn't know what to cook yesterday, but I've been wanting to use this new uber-soy sauce that I recently got from the Grateful Palate catalog. I went to Westborn market and picked up some produce and assorted proteins and figured that I'd go for a soup. It's an amalgamation of Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese ingredients and flavors. I was completely just screwing around and the result was pretty kickin'. I started by marininating some thin sliced raw chicken breast and center-cut pork chops in the soy sauce, lime juice, and Saracha hot sauce and then coated the pieces with some cornstarch. I got some peanut oil hot in a big pot and then added some red curry paste and then the meat. I sauteed for a while and then I removed the meat and added chopped garlic, fresh ginger, and finger hot peppers for about a minute. I then added red pepper, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, snow peas, scallions, baby bok choy, and a little more soy sauce. I let the steam naturally deglaze the pan a little bit and added a can of coconut milk to finish the job. I then returned the meat to the pot and added both chicken and vegetable stock as well as a few stems of fresh lemon grass as well as a bit more Saracha. I brought it to a boil and then dropped it to a simmer as I added Chinese wide noodles, a handful of fresh chiffonaded basil, and a whole bunch (green part) of scallions and let the dish finish itself off. DELICIOUS!!!

I've been wanting to try the new Haagen-Dazs flavor called Mayan Chocolate for a while now and we finally got some in the store. YUM!! It's chocolate ice cream with a fudge swirl and a hint of cinnamon. It's pretty tasty, but I'm a big fan of Mexican hot chocolate and chocolate spiced with assorted chiles. I'm also anxious for the release of the new Sticky Toffee Pudding flavor. There was a special on the Food Network about a contest to choose a new flavor. Sticky Toffee Pudding was the winning submission and it sounds darn good to me.

I can't believe the surviving competitors on Hell's Kitchen. Last year's crew was MUCH, MUCH better. I wouldn't give a restaurant away to ANYBODY this season.

I'm very convinced and glad to pronounce that Reno 911! is the funniest show on TV...3 years in a row.

Too lazy to post anything else right now. Sorry.


Friday, July 21, 2006

You Are Best Described By...

Impression, Sunrise
By Claude Monet
You Have Your Sarcastic Moments

While you're not sarcastic at all times, you definitely have a cynical edge.
In your opinion, not all people are annoying. Some are dead!
And although you do have your genuine moments, you can't help getting your zingers in.
Some people might be a little hurt by your sarcasm, but it's more likely they think you're hilarious.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

I bless the rains down in Africa, but I hate Toto...but I gotta love 'em for writing a song about Rosanna Arquette

Sorry for the post title. This will be another short one...

I did in fact receive Tsotsi from Netflix today and I did indeed watch it tonight. It was really very well done. It's a dark and bittersweet redemption story set in Johannesburg, South Africa. I very highly recommended it, but you have to be in the mood for it. Although it's largely redemptive and optimistic it's still very hard to take. Great movie! Add it to your queue... I was impressed that I actually got it in the mail from Netflix on its release day.

In other African news...
One of my favorite customers recently returned safely from Ghana. She works for an airline and had to go investigate some goings-on for the company. She would spend 4-5 days in London then 4-5 days in Ghana and repeat for a month. She said that conditions in Ghana were indeed very poor and the poverty was extreme, but the people were very friendly and hopeful. She was lucky enough to stay in some nicer hotels, but did experience the real Ghana first hand. She said that it was a tough experience and that corruption is rampant on every level, but the people were wonderful and the jungle and cities were beautiful. A bittersweet trip really... I'm just very glad for her safe return. Would you believe that her camera was stolen in Detroit before her trip started? Sure you would. I love to hear her stories of world travel. She usually does a big trip every other year. Her trips have included Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka (separately). She went to Sri Lanka after the tsunami for two weeks. She enjoyed herself for a week and volunteered for another week. That's a pretty damn admirable thing to do. She vacations with a purpose. That's pretty awesome...

I ended up in a conversation with some folks about "disturbing" or "f'ed up" movies the other day. I think that the perfect trifecta of absolutely disturbing films (disturbing = movies that make you feel dirty or uncomfortable or make you squirm in your seat) are...
Pink Flamingos - John Waters at his trashiest. Vile. I love it! Starring the divine Divine! The scary thing is that it doesn't make me feel as dirty as the next two...and that says A LOT!

Happiness - Creepy, creepy, creepy. Makes you want to crawl out of your skin. Thanks again Todd Solondz!

Gummo - Just plain old f'ed up! White trash at their mulletest! WTF?!? From the f'ed up mind of Harmony Korine. It makes more sense than Julien Donkey-Boy.

Now, if this says anything I actually own all three of these films. Please don't hate me...

Random poll- What are the most disturbing films that you've seen? (Waterworld or the Care Bears Movie do not count)

That's all for now...


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

How much for a quickee?

This will be short. It's too damn hot and humid to concentrate for long. I need to return to my air-conditioned bedroom...

Some may accuse me of being a fan of all things Aussie and that indeed is true, but this has merit. I just finished watching a frickin' great Aussie movie called Little Fish. It stars a mesmerizing Cate Blanchett along with an amazing Hugo Weaving, Sam Neill at his most diverse, and wonderful performance by Dustin Nguyen of 21 Jump Street fame. Look out Johnny Depp! Seriously! Now we just some stellar performances by Holly Robinson Peete, Peter DeLuise, and Richard Grieco.
I don't want to give much away, but it's a fairly dark yet hopeful film about a young woman who is trying to get her life on track after years of heroin abuse. It takes place in the suburbs of Sydney and follows her relationships and her struggles with the past as she is thinking to the future. Very well done! Another great Aussie film! Netflix it!

Tomorrow I should be getting Tsotsi from Netflix. I'm really looking forward to it. It's supposed to be wonderful. (It won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in '05)

That's all for now...I'm a bit sweaty.
This weather sucks!


Friday, July 14, 2006

Never mind...

I was all excited that Tom Waits is coming to town and I was going to try to get tickets until I discovered that they're $72.00 a piece (before Ticketbastard service charges)! WTF?!?!? Ouch! I'll just keep listening to the albums and watching the movies...

This has absolutely nothing to do with anything- I was flipping channels and Magic Johnson was on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Did you know that Magic Johnson owns 97 Starbucks franchises? Damn! That's a lot! I just thought that that was pretty interesting. He also owns 5% of the Lakers. Interesting too!

Hallelujah! I finally have an AC unit in my bedroom. Woohoo!!!

Strange post?
Sue me!


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cool beans in Detroit...

Wow! There's a myriad of interesting stuff going on in the D right now!

Perhaps the coolest thing is that The Muppet Movie is going to be showing at the Main this Friday and Saturday at midnight! Anyone interested? (Either night would work for me at this point). YAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! I've mentioned before what a genius I think Jim Henson was. One of the greatest!

I also may have mentioned that the Buzzcocks are playing at the Shelter this Friday. It's unfortunate that I probably won't be going and that's a damn shame. The Shelter is way too small a venue for one of the world's best bands. That's also what would make the show so damn cool. I think the last time I saw a show at the Shelter it was Half Japanese about 10 years ago. A friend of mine is friends with Jad Fair's brother David. Jad is as strange as they say. That made for an interesting evening...


Half Japanese

Do put away your kicker boots yet! The Germs are also coming soon (to the Magic Stick). Of course Darby Crash won't be there, but as far as I know legendary guitarist Pat Smear will...

The biggest frickin' shock of all is that Tom Waits is coming to town. WTF?!?!? As far as I know Tom Waits has never played Detroit and he probably never will again. I'd LOVE to see him, but unfortunately yet hopefully I'll be back at the restaurant by then. I'll try to get the night off (assuming I can get tickets). Ticket sales are especially fascist. Tickets go on sale at 10:00AM this Friday for an August 11th show, but tickets are ONLY available through the Ticketbastard website or phone number. They are NOT available at Ticketwhore outlets or at the venue. There is a limit of 2 tix per person. I'll do what I's probably the only chance I'll ever have of seeing him live. I still can't believe that Tom f'in Waits is coming to Detroit. Strange but true...

Mission of Burma is coming soon too!

Work is really weird right now. I'll have more details when it's safe.

Another interesting opinion piece from Jack Lessenberry here.

I'm looking forward to see Clerks 2 and Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby this summer. I need a laugh the way everything is going in this country. Trailers from both look hilarious.

Stupid ad of the week- I was flipping through my new issue of Food and Wine when I came upon an ad for a food product. The flavor shown was "Wild Salmon Florentine in a Delicate Sauce with Garden Greens". Sounds delicious, right? The add is for frickin' Fancy Feast cat food. I wonder if it's line caught or day boat salmon???

There was a pretty interesting article in the new Food and Wine about biodegradable disposable, plates, utentils, etc. made out of potato, sugar cane, and corn. Also was a great idea to by products made from bamboo as it is one of the world's fastest growing plants. Great idea!

Sorry for all the filler...slow news day on my part.

Random poll- Who was your favorite Muppet (excluding Kermit)? Did you prefer "Pigs in Space" or "The Swedish Chef"?


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Two Days Off in a Row- Redux

This was another one of those rare times where the stars aligned and I got two days off in a row. I think that makes for about twice in the last 7 years. Just having two days off in a week is an odd thing and I'm starting to adjust to it. I'm certainly enjoying it but missing the extra cash. Not a lot to report unfortunately as I do not live the life of a celebrity or a meter reader...

Yesterday I went out with friends to the Redford Theatre in Detroit to see It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. It's a great film and one of my all time favorite comedies. As the announcer before the film said it's a "super comedy". It was a lot of fun, but it's such a classic movie. I love the Redford Theatre. Where else can you see a great film for 4 bucks and get a real live organist playing before the film and during intermission? It's a non-profit theater run by volunteers...lots of fun! Unfortunately I'm usually never able to go as I usually have to work Friday and Saturday nights. It's a great theater! Check it out! Also showing this summer will be The Maltese Falcon, North by Northwest, and Goldfinger (as voted on by attendees). Not too shabby. Unfortunately I didn't win the 50/50 raffle...

Today I had a wonderful late lunch with friends. We went to Zingerman's Roadhouse and had another great meal. Today we had corndogs as an app. Yup! Corndogs! Of course they're kicked up a notch as it were. The beautifully golden-brown batter envelops Niman Ranch hot dogs. The Niman Ranch! They make hot dogs and I must say they're darn fine. What else do you expect from Zingerman's? Accompanying the trio of besticked bovine goodness were a trio of delightful mustards. Good stuff! When we were there for dinner a few weeks ago they ran homeade cheesesticks as an app. They didn't have any homemade mozzarella in-house today, but they were nice enough to make it with our choice of cheeses. I said "Chef's Choice" and we ended up getting some sublimely good stuff. They made it from their very own Manchester. It's a kick-ass double cream that's very rich and creamy with just a hint of wonderful stink! Delicious!!!

I then had a cup of the soup of the day which was also quite good. I was really tempted to get the VERY BEST New England Clam Chowder again, but the special sounded good. It was a spicy puree of sweet potato with red peppers, cumin, chiles, tortilla strips, and sour cream. Fan-flipping-tastic! As it was the lunch and not the dinner menu I was eyeing the sandwiches on the menu. I opted for the BBL&T. Here's the description from the menu...

"Rated one of the five best BLTs in the US by Atlantic Monthly. Both Wisconsin applewood-smoked and Arkansas peppered bacon on toasted Roadhouse bread with Hellmann's mayo, leaf lettuce and sliced tomato." was flippin' great! The two bacons were wonderful, the toasted bread divine, the Hellman's Hellman's (best mayo anywhere...ask a chef), the tomatoes perfectly ripe, and the lettuce crisp. The double-cooked fries weren't too shabby either. Certainly the best BLT I've ever had. But that's what you get when you've got the absolute best ingredients.

Feeling a little piggy today I ordered both the citrus cake for dessert AND the chocolate shake made from Scharffen Berger chocolate. Hedonistic!

My friend's homemade hazelnut gelato was delicious too! Yum!

A nice pot of French press coffee was the perfect ending to the perfect lunch. I skipped wine today and got some Stoudt's Pale Ale. Good stuff! I very highly recommend you get your asses to Zingerman's Roadhouse toot sweet (I don't know how to spell that in English...please correct me). I guarantee that it's better than licking a stripper pole on Amateur Night...

I was invited to a party tonight, but I really don't like the majority of the people there. I'm stayin' in. That should be somewhat obvious as I'm posting right now...

Unfortunately I do have to work tomorrow (Sunday). That sucks, but it's a fair trade-off for having today off. I'm looking forward to the new season of Reno 911! tomorrow. Funniest damn show on TV if you ask me...

Random poll- Which older films make you laugh the most? Who are your favorite "old school" comedians/comedic actors? (Pre-1960's to you kids out there)


Friday, July 07, 2006

Funny strange...

...not funny ha ha.

There was a customer in the store today and he mentioned that he just got back from a vacation in Tucson. He said that he opened the paper and saw my picture. Apparently the article that ran in the Detroit paper last month just ran in the Tucson paper recently. I haven't been able to find anything on it online, but googling my name has led to a few interesting discoveries. I e-mailed the writer and she didn't seem to know anything about it. I wonder where else my face has been forced upon unsuspecting readers. For the record, I'm not generally a fan of wines with animals on the label. I hope the writer gets residuals...


Thursday, July 06, 2006

"Don't shoot shoot shoot that thing at me..."

Wow! What a crazy week!

Kwazy Kim Jong Il tried launching at least 7 missles for tests yesterday and they supposedly all failed. I can't believe the way the White House is still downplaying the whole North Korea thing. I'd be way more concerned about North Korea or Iran than Iraq or Afghanistan. A spokesperson was essentially saying that we should have nothing to worry about. He said that the failure of the missle tests shows that they're at least 10 or 12 years away from the technical prowess of launching accurately. I can't believe how they're trying to placate us. This test launching could have been an isolated scenario. They can also possibly buy/steal the technology before then too. Does this mean that the US is going to ignore North Korea for the next 10 years while we continue to occupy Iraq?

The real Kim Jong Il.

The real Kim Jong Il?

This missile launching happened on the same day of the successful launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. There were concerns about some of the foam before the launch. I'm actually quite surprised they let the launch go on considering how appropriately anal they usually are. They've stopped launches for less. Maybe there's a super secret spy satellite on board or lasers to be attached to the space station...

Another great opinion piece from Jack Lessenberry here.

In the biggest upset in possibly EVER France beat Brazil in the World Cup series to eventually advance to the Finals to play against Italy. WTF?!?

The f'in bastard died before I could kill him! Super Asshole Kenneth Lay died today! It seems he took the easy way out...dying. That's so not fair. I wonder if it's some sort of ruse and he's hiding on an island somewhere...

Swiss superstar Roger Federer makes it to the Wimbledon semi-finals! (No surprise there really>)

Work = balls
It's been a crap week! Hope you had a nice 4th.

I found out yesterday that Lou the waitress died a few months ago. Lou was a waitress at our favorite 24-hour college hangout. She was in her 70s then. She was really sweet and had a great memory. Everybody loved Lou. She'll be missed dearly. I'll write about our hangout (Andoni's) specifically one day...

I just read that the Buzzcocks are playing Detroit next the Shelter! The Shelter is pretty small and I can't believe that the Buzzcocks are playing such a venue. They're only one of the greatest bands ever...

Another musical oddity...
I love the Flaming Lips, but I'm a little taken aback that they're top-billed over Sonic Youth for an upcoming show. Come on! It's Sonic f'in Youth fer Chris'sake!

I'm developing a new semi-addiction. There's a show on Speedvision called Pinks. People bring there cars to the drag strip and race each other for their pink slips. I'm not a car nut or anything, but it's pretty insane!

I can't remember anything else right now that I wanted to post. I'm forgetting something...

I guess I'll give up.

Random poll- Who's the better songwriter? Bob Dylan or Prince?

Random poll #2- What was/is your favorite late night divey cheap food hangout? What do you usually order? What do you order after the bar? Any favorite stories? Favorite server?


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Quick foodie news...

There was a special edition of No Reservations this evening in which Anthony Bourdain met world famous/infamous chef Ferran Adria and had dinner at the famed El Bulli restaurant. It was absolutely fascinating! The man is an insane genius! It's no wonder that El Bulli is the hardest restaurant in the world to get a reservation at. Wow!!! I was lucky enough a few years ago to have the 21 course tasting menu at Trio in Evanston, Illinois but it was child's play in comparison to Ferran Adria's presentation. Grant Achatz, who was then chef at Trio, did spend some time in the kitchen at El Bulli. That was the best meal I've had. (He's currently at Alinea in Chicago) It would be hard to imagine having the amazingly creative food of his mentor. Fascinating stuff! I need to get my ass to Spain...

In other foodie news...
One of my restaurant coworkers who already has a culinary degree is leaving this summer to go the French Culinary Institute in New York. Good luck to him!

I just found out today that a former coworker who is currently in culinary school at OCC is leaving for at least 6 months to study in Vitznau, Switzerland. Very cool! Good luck to him also.

I did receive my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer last week and it's a beautiful thing...a beautiful thing indeed.

Have a nice 4th! I have to work...


Sunday, July 02, 2006

You Are Spider-Man

Quick and agile, you have killer instincts (literally).
And that kind of makes up for the whole creepy spider thing.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Your Aura is Blue

Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life.
You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships.

The purpose of your life: showing love to other people

Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah

Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor
Your 2006 Summer Anthem Is

Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

"I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that phase
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space"
You Are 35% Normal

You sure do march to your own beat...
But you're so weird, people wonder if it's a beat at all
You think on a totally different wavelength
And it's often a chore to get people to understand you
You Passed 8th Grade US History

Congratulations, you got X/8 correct!