Monthly Archives: July 2011

Technical Difficulties

 

 

This week it’s been hot as hell.  It’s so hot, it’s too hot to even be racist.  Rednecks will just say begin a slur and then just forget about the hatred and wipe the sweat off their brows.  In all seriousness, it’s that rare kind of triple digit heat that happens a few times a year and causes the local news stations to run montages of mirages and heatwaves rising off asphalt while the anchors tell you to not to kill your old people and animals through ignorance in the heat.

Last week was much better.  Low humidity, a nice breeze, bearable heat.  It was great weather to go for a bike ride, so that’s what I did.  I mounted my trusty Bianchi Campione.  I was going to get a nice 11 mile ride in, taking a suburban route that would let me sneak down to Mount Trashmore and back.  I managed to get through most of the scary heavy 4pm traffic and into the neighborhood that would be the rest of my ride.  It was beautiful.  Sun low enough in the sky to just make everything beautiful, a gentle breeze carrying away any hint of what heat there was.  My legs were just beginning to warm up.  I was entering a zen like state where I felt one with the machine I was clipped into.  Pedaling, I rode faster, and faster, and faster.  I felt like I could take flight at will, and was just staying terrestrial through choice.

Pfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffftttttt

I’d run over a nail with my back tire.  Having had nails and tacks in car tires before, I wonder, how the hell do so many nails and tacks end up inthe road?  Are construction workers really that negligent in the use of their nails, where these things just fall into car tires all willy nilly?  Or is there a conspiracy among the rubber lobby to put these things in roads so people need to buy more tires?  Either way, I unclipped from the pedals and got my ass off the seat in time to avoid riding the bike with both tires entirely flat.

 

Putting on biking gear sucks.  Putting on biking cleats to clip into your bike, appropriate shorts and a shirt made of wicking material; and then sunglasses and a helmet (yea, I wear a helmet.  I owe enough money on my student loans that there’s no way in hell I’m letting the little bit of knowledge I’ve purchased be wasted by a bump on the head) is a pain in the ass.  The only thing that makes all of this worse?  Wearing all of this gear while next to a bike you can’t ride.  You just become a mockery of both man and machine.  Luckily, I was able to call my girlfriend to come and get me in my Subaru Legacy wagon.  At 203,000 miles, she was a beast (my car, not my girlfriend, whose mileage I’m not currently aware of).

 

And so I took my bike home and resolved to fix my flat when I had time.

A week later, I found myself with a great deal of time, as the timing belt of my dear Subie broke.  A trip to the mechanic confirmed this, along with new knowledge that my engine likely never run again.

So, stuck at home, able to drive only when I can borrow my girlfriend’s car is available (I don’t have money saved up to buy a new car) I figured I would record a new video blog.  And then I found out either my camcorder is broken or its charger.  The final meaning of either is that I can’t even record a proper video blog today.

Shit is just falling apart on me right now.  Thank God I don’t rely on a pacemaker, or else I’d probably be dead.

Fuck.

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Filed under Rants, Stories

Fat Weasel Ale

I was at Trader Joe’s, picking up the random whatnot and so forth and found myself, as I often do, in the beer and wine section.  I’ve tried many of both their exclusive in-house contract brewed selections (the Winter Ale brewed by Unibroue is a yearly favorite of which I buy several bottles for instant consumption, and several to save for future enjoyment.

On this most recent trip, I spied with my soon-to-be-intoxicated eye a six pack of Fat Weasal Ale.  With a black background and cartoonish graphic of a weasel in clothing, it arouses the curiosity.  I bought a bottle.  Bragging a 7.1% alcohol content, if nothing else, the beer should pack a buzz.

On pouring it from the bottle, it was an awesome coppery-golden color, with a lovely foamy head that evaporated all too soon.  On smelling it, I was presented with rich malty caramel aromas, and just a kiss of hops.  Not citrusy APA essence, something more English.  First sip: the malty tease I smelled rewards with biscuity maltiness and just enough hops to remind you that you’re drinking beer.  While I’m not always in need of intense lupulin, I do think this beer would greatly benefit with more hop flavor.  Either this is an old bottle, or the makers of Fat Weasel Ale seemed to add hops at the beginning of the boil and then forgot about adding later additions, leaving it with very little hop flavor.

Final thoughts: tasty, but it seems like they put entirely more effort into the bill and mashing process than they did into hopping the beer.  A bit more aggressive hopping, and this beer could be quite noteworthy.  Not bad for the price… certainly more character than your average macro-brew, but short of being much more than that.

Here’s what other people thought: here.

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Filed under Beer, Food, Wine and Spirits

Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Curry

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To sum it all up, here’s a summary:

Ingredients:

  • Two sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into 1 inch cubes.
  • One can pureed pumpkin
  • One chili of your choosing
  • One large onion
  • Three cloves of garlic
  • A big hunk of ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Enough olive oil to keep your stuff from burning
  • Cumin,Coriander, Cilantro, Fennel, Cardamom, Garam Masala, Turmeric

I love Indian food.  Yes, despite my pale skin and nomenclature, I am able to consume foods other than Guinness and potatoes.  Now, don’t get me wrong… I’m fairly sure I could survive indefinitely that way, but I love eating all kinds of food.  During my unemployment, I essentially lived off dahl, though I didn’t veganize the recipe I just linked to.  Lentils,  such an incredible cheap source of protein, nutrients and general culinary pleasure… it was a match made in heaven for the price.

Tonight, it was deemed my night to cook, and a healthier curry was requested. In the past, the only curry I’d ever made was eggplant curry, or in Indian, Baingin Bharta. I’ve always loved the name of this dish, because when reading it, I can only think some Indian dude who listened to too much hip hop was like “eggplant curry? Yo, that Bharta’s straight up baingin, son!”  I wanted to go out of my curry comfort zone.  I wanted to make something I’d never had before.  In the past I’d heard of butternut squash curry, and thought of making one.  I did a quick few Google searches to get an idea of where to start, but upon visiting my local grocery store found that they were all out of butternut squash.  I needed something else to currify.

I remember reading about a sweet potato curry recipe once upon a time and thought I’d take a stab at it.

In making my curry, I decided to start from where I knew.  In making dahl, I’d always started off with my own version of an Indian Mirepoix: Garlic, Onion and Ginger.  I went ahead and sauteed these in Trader Joe’s’ Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  If nothing else, Trader Joe’s has ridiculously good deals on tasty olive oil.  Additionally, I minced a cherry pepper and a clump of cilantro.  I used a cherry pepper rather than a jalapeno, because a) I was familiar with its heat level, and b) I thought its inherent sweetness would round out the flavor of the soup vs the flavor of a green pepper like a jalapeno.  For a second, I thought about using a habanero, but thought it would be better to make the food edible vs. me and my girlfriend crawling around our front lawn in agony with 40 foot flames erupting from our gullets .

As the flavor foundation of the soup (onion, chili, garlic and ginger) merged together, it was time to take the soup to the next level with additional flavoring.  I added seasonings, starting off with some of my favorite C-words.  No, I’m not talking about the Real Housewives of any particular high income area of the country, I’m talking about cardamom, coriander, and cumin.  About a half a teaspoon of each.  I then added fennel, as it’s a spice frequently used in Indian cuisine, and I figured its licorice-like and sweet flavor would help contribute to the sweetness of the dish.  I stirred the mixture around until the fragrance of the spices began filling the room.  Lastly, I added garam masala ( a  glorified mix of Indian seasonings) and a pinch of turmeric for additional color and a hint of earthy flavor.

At this point, I added the sweet potatoes, which I’d chopped up into one inch cubes.  From there, I added a can of pureed pumpkin.  Why?  Well, I figured that sweet potatoes and pumpkins are typically seasoned similarly, so they’d probably set each other off well in a soup.  If nothing else, I wanted my curry to be nice and thick, and pumpkin is awesome at adding body to a dish.

I covered it all up and simmered it for about a half hour.  After 30 minutes of cooking on low heat, all I had to do was add salt to taste.  Once I’d added a bit of yogurt and basmati rice, I’d arrived at my destination.  This is something that started as an experiment, but is something that will be made again, for sure.  Full of both complex sweet yet savory flavor, fiber, and glycemic index good carbs, this is great stuff.

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Filed under Food

How to drink like a comedian

I’m at Shakas in Virginia Beach, about to do another show with Tim Loulies.  While I’m waiting on him, I’m drinking a concoction of my own creation.  One shot of bourbon in a cup of coffee.  No cream, no sugar.  Just bourbon and a cup of coffee.  For my own ease, I’m drinking it on ice.  It’s like a frappucino, but more like a man-chino, because well it’s coffee and bourbon.

It’s what your dad drank before people even thought of red bull and vodkas, and classier than a Four Loko

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Filed under Beer, Check this out, Comedy, Food, Rants, Wine and Spirits

This is what happens when a funny person pours their heart and soul out on stage

Most of the time comics don’t like to give TOO much love to other comics, because the business is such that if you have a chance for someone to see you, take advantage of it, and fuck everyone else.  I’m going to break that rule for afformentioned friend of the blog, CB Wilkins…

CB Wilkins combines the size and strength of a bear, with a wit as quick as a cheetah, and a sense of humor like a lion eating a zebra, after the zebra said something cunty and tried to run away before anyone could notice. His background as an author and filmmaker gives him a style that is both autobiographical and yet universally understandable. While his tone swings wildly from having a huge heart to venting hate and bile, it’s always authentic and always funny. He loves baseball, dogs, and not drinking.

 

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Filed under Uncategorized

Casey Anthony Verdict Outrage is Outrageous

Generally speaking, I mostly try don’t pay attention to tabloid news stories… pretty white women dying in the Caribbean, athletes being convicted of atrocities of their own… it all seems to be in the news media solely for the fact that there are things we can relate to on some level that have been flipped around in a way that makes us uncomfortable. Am I saying that filicide should not be covered by the news media? No. I am saying that in this country, we pride ourselves not only in a) democracy, but b) the fact that a person can be presumed innocent and then tried by a jury of their peers and be given a verdict, and cannot be retried for their crimes.

All this goes out of the window when people hear a verdict that doesn’t agree with them. Here’s my problem with that:

12 people sat together for an entire trial, where they had lawyers carefully explain the reasons why the defendant may or may not have been guilty. These people had no other outside stimuli. They didn’t pay attention to the news media, they didn’t even talk about the case until they were told they were allowed to! Then, after thinking it over, and talking amongst themselves, they reached an understanding they could all agree with.

Do you know what that means? They had absolutely nothing else going on in their lives but the decision of whether or not this woman was guilty of murdering her child. And you know what? They decided that she wasn’t.

So, chances are if you’re a silly chatty cunt flapping your lips in my break room during the brief meal period I have while I’m at work, I don’t want to hear your fucking legal analysis. I know you studied at the forensics lab of whatever a talking head told you on a commercial media outlet that was tantalizing you to watch more so they could sell advertisers more ad time, but you know what? I don’t give a fuck what you think.

A horrible thing happened when this child died. The legal process is done. Now shut the fuck up and move on with your life, because really, this whole clusterfuck had nothing to do with you in the first place.

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Filed under Rants

Video Blog 7/4/11

Sorry it’s taken me so long to put up another video blog… day job and all.

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Filed under Check this out, Comedy, Rants, Stories, Vlogs