April 30, 2009

Stephanie Meyer No Longer Carried At Deseret Books

Utah bookstore Deseret Book has removed the Stephanie Meyer novel "Twilight" and its accompanying sequels from it's shelves. The books, once stocked at in store are now on a special order basis. Reports indicate that they are not even listed as a sale on item on Deseret Book's website. When asked about the removal of the popular series, a spokesperson said: "Like any retailer, our purpose is to offer products that are embraced and expected by our customers. When we find products that are met with mixed review, we typically move them to special order status,"

As a resident of Salt Lake City, and someone who is less than enthralled with the success of this series, may I be the first to say:


That is all

April 28, 2009

Supreme Court Ruling On Indecent Speech

Our Supreme Court, the end-all governing body of our country, made a ruling yesterday that would give federal regulators more authority to clamp down on broadcast television networks that air isolated incidents of profanity, apparently known as "fleeting expletives."

While no law has been passed to define what constitutes an instance of profanity, nor has it been discussed whether such restrictions affect the guaranteed right of free speech, this new ruling gives more authority to prosecute an instance that is considered to be indecent.

Know what I have to say about this? Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

It never ceases to amaze me how something that is so easy to turn off, and costs a good chunk of change to even watch, gets stuffed with such stupid ass regulations. Are there obscene things on the public airwaves? Of course there are, and there have been since I was a teenager. Dennis Franz showed his ass on network television without this much fanfare, and that should've been a crime against humanity. Frankly, given the choice between seeing Janet Jackson's boob, and Dennis Franz's behind, the boob sounds like the better choice.

But, I never actually saw Dennis Franz's ass. You know why? Because I heard it was going to happen.......and decided not to watch it. It's that simple people. You don't need to have tremendous willpower or an advanced knowledge of thermo-nuclear dynamics. You just need to know where the OFF switch is on your television. You'd be surprised how many controversial things you can miss by knowing that kind of shit.

And it's not like it's hard to see what's going to be controversial. If I'm not mistaken, the Supreme Court has forced these same networks to inform the public of their viewing material. We have the ever popular ratings system, not to mention the "Due to content, viewer discretion is advised" voiceover that comes with the start of any edgy program. So, it's not like people can't know. And I find it hard to penalize a television network for putting on content simply because some dumbass parent decided to ignore all the obvious warnings and let their child watch something with adult themes.

And the other thing is, television isn't going to be on public airwaves anymore. I'm sure everyone's had enough of the analog-to-digital transition shoved so far up their bums, they see converter boxes in their sleep. Not sure what this tells you, but it tells me is that unless you subscribe to cable or the dish, you can't see all this controversial shit anyways. Television's a luxury people, and now it's something that requires a monthly charge.

So, members of the Supreme Court, please stop protecting the sensibilities of the stupid. It is within their wherewithal to protect their wee-fragile natures, so why stick it to the corporates? I'm no fan of network television (FOX can rot in hell!) but even I can see that they're not the bad guys. What you're doing is basically threatening the car companies for making engines more powerful because I decided to violate the speed limit. And that's dumb, no matter how you look at it.

April 24, 2009

Homestar And My Moment Of Shame

Anyone hit up Homestar Runner Lately? I stopped by there tonight, and happened across a new music vid featuring the Cheat. And, it was as fantastic as you could imagine. Witty, catchy, and it really made you think.

Well it made me think at least. A lot harder than I would've cared to. You see, during the end of the video (animation....animated video........whatever,) It is stated that the phrase "ATM machine" is redundant. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how. Was it possible that the physical act of walking to an ATM machine unesscesary? Was it a reference to the convenience of online banking? Or perhaps was it a quip based on the reasoning that going into the bank is a much more streamlined experience than using an ATM machine? I didn't know. And as a result, I stared blindly at the screen like a deer in headlights for what was probably a second or two, but felt like an eternity.

And then the End image came up with some fine print beneath it, which read:

ATM machine = Automatic Teller Machine Machine.

Bing! The lightbulb went on, and now I feel dumb.

April 20, 2009

Robert Irvine Part 2

I have partaken of the second episode in this, the new season of Dinner: Impossible. The season that has resurrected Robert Irvine to his celebrity status. Our protagonist found himself at Yahoo! headquarters today, dealing with a randomly selected computer menu, and it was his job to assemble the menu in an attractive (and I presume edible) fashion. I'm not going to give too much away here, but let me at least say that my prediction was correct: Shit did indeed go boom.

Now many of you may think that I'm beating a dead horse here. "Yeah, okay so Irvine's not the stand up guy who got you on the road to foodstuffs like he used to be. We get it already." Well, I admit there is a little bit of that "I just learned my hero is human" disappointment to this new season. But it's more than that, really it is. Dinner: Impossible is not so much watching the hero fall a little short as it is watching him fall from grace. Watching Irvine drag through these last two episodes is kind of like watching Muhammad Ali suffering with Parkinson's Disease. Except without the integrity and conviction.

It just seems like Food Network is kind of changing the motif of the program. Now it's not so much about sending a skilled and capable chef into a difficult situation and producing top notch cuisine for high amounts of people. Now it's more akin to handing a control freak a steaming pile of crap and having him spray paint it in bright and vibrant colors. Everything is a disaster on the new Irvine Impossible. Equipment is constantly failing, food is spilling all over the place, tempers are flared beyond belief, and the standards? The standards have gone all to hell. No more elegant top tier food executed flawlessly, every single recipe I've seen in the past couple shows has been positively Rachael Ray. This man used to preach about his skills with world regional cuisine and making things gourmet, now he's become the guy who dumps barbecue sauce on everything.

So now it's completely about ridiculous and unreasonable challenges, done without any real kind of emphasis on quality, but painting a happy ending at the end of the program. That's FOX territory right there! Food Network's trying to play this off like their veiled attempt at Kitchen Nightmares (the American version, not the good one.) At least, that's what it looks like to these cynical eyes. British chef, ridiculous settings, big mistakes happening every five or so minutes, and very little talk about the actual food. In fact, the person who seems to talk about it the least, is the host. His job is apparently to either tell people that they cooked something wrong, or scream at everyone to hurry up. And the few times food talk does go on, he basically ruins it.

Here's one of my favorite moments on the Yahoo challenge. I can't quote it verbatim, but it went something like this. Robert says:

"These tuna sliders are too dry. We need to find some way to make them juicy."

Underling replies: "Well, I guess I can cook them to medium rare to retain a bit of moisture."

"I don't care what you do, just make it happen."

Ten minutes pass, Robert returns and samples the newly cooked tuna burgers and says:

"This is rare, nobody's gonna eat it when it's still pink inside. What were you thinking?"

And communication isn't the least of this season's problems.

To be fair, I think Robert did get a bit of a raw deal in his return. I can almost hear the meeting that took place at Food Network when they reenlisted him. "Alright Robert, despite our decision to terminate you due to falsification of your resume and so forth, the fans seem to like you, so we're gonna bring you back. But, just so you don't go out getting a big head about this, we're gonna make a few modifications to how Dinner: Impossible runs. I won't get into the specifics, but I will say this: Dance Monkey Dance!" And now we've got a guy who spends time slapping stuff together in dumb scenarios and pretending it works. The man's just doing the motions people.

And I think that's what makes it sad. He may be back on the air, but he was still beaten. I had hoped he would come back to television with a furious dedication to do it better. Better food, done more precise and more interesting then ever before. And I'm just not seeing it happen. It just seems like he's fallen more and more into Sunny Anderson/Sandra Lee land, which is a bit crippling.

But, I'll probably still watch. Mostly because the constant disasters and arguements make for good television, but hey I'm still watching. At the very least, it's become my textbook guide for how not to cook.

April 17, 2009

A Boogie Take on Susan Boyle

I am a snarky, cynical bastard.

Anyone who reads this blog with any kind of regularity would probably agree with that statement. And I've made no secret of hiding it from anyone. Being a bitch is a big part of my personality, and frankly, I think is what makes me entertaining. Seriously, would anyone out there read this thing if I was pleasant all the time? If I had nothing but wonderful things to say about that dreamy and uber-talented Shia Lebeouf? Or how about singing the praises of the innocent musical genius Milely Cyrus? Shit no, If you wanted that sort of dribble, you'd be watching Nickelodeon right now. I'm here to satisfy the yearnings of those who like their reading material to be blunt and pissy.

And I'm sure now one out there can argue that I am no more blunt and pissy, than when it comes to music. Despite being someone who doesn't take his own personal musical work too seriously, I still judge the collective body of our musical history with an iron fist. I am a musical elitist, and hold high expectations on what ever bit of song and tuneage filters into the masses. And I don't tolerate dreck.

But I don't think I ask for much. I don't audibly feast on classically trained artists or those who possess fleet fingers or extended singing ranges. All I really ask for is a bit of emotional conviction. Those die hard souls who say "I'm gonna make the music that makes me happy and not compromise a thing." That's the stuff that really gets me going. And I don't care if it's Dream Theater or The Ramones, if it's done with heart, I'm listening. I freely admit that I have Lionel Richie and Mandy Moore albums in my collection. Laugh all you want, I think the tunes are great. They definitely got a hell of a lot more emotion than half the people who are successful today.

And perhaps, that's what makes me a cynic. By large, the biggest amount of musical artistry that is available in widespread rotation, is total crap. It's all auto tuned jailbait singing in Cover Girl ads. And what hasn't been pre-programmed by the industry is making it's name off of doing glossy karaoke on primetime programming. Reality TV has proven that there are a great many people who can sing competently, and that none of them can do anything better than rehash the hits of the Carpenters. I suppose not a bad thing if you like extensive vocal calisthenics done over 30-second snippets of classic tunes. Personally, I don't. And thus perpetuates the constant infuriating agony that is the mainstream music scene.

So when I hear a name like Susan Boyle springing up everywhere, I get real ornery. Every news feed and blog I hit, they're talking about it. "Oh yeah here's this woman in Britain. She's like 47, but she went on some reality show, and boy she can sing!" Yeah, I've heard it all before. There's at least two American Idols every season who are constantly being praised with similar skill. And frankly, most of them only keep my interest for about 30 seconds before I realize they sound like everyone else. I'm fully aware, much like you my fine readers, that words like "talent" and "soul" are just buzz words to draw the eye to articles. I pay them very little mind, and spent the last couple days ignoring it. I was completely convinced that while Susan Boyle probably could sing, it would be just another person wailing on incessantly with a bunch of unnecessary notes and scales, and ending a very emotional song with a long warbling vibrato that completely overshadowed the orchestration. It's how it's always been, and I knew things wouldn't be any different. So, why bother wasting my precious time with something I know will be more of the same? But, after seeing article after article, I got fed up and decided to finally hit Youtube and see what the fuss was all about.

And I'm happy to say, Susan Boyle proved me completely wrong.

If you haven't heard this snippet yet (and I'm not gonna post a link up here, since it seems like every media site out there is talking about it,) I wholeheartedly recommend that you do. Yeah, it's "I Dream A Dream" from Les Miserables, not some original composition. And yeah what she's doing can definitely be defined as karaoke. But, it's irrelevant, trust me. At the end of it, you'll probably agree with me, and the rest of the world that this scary looking woman with the bushy eyebrows can not only sing and sing well, but she can put her heart into it.

She balanced well with the orchestration, she stuck to heart of the melody without adding any ridiculous scales to it, and the one moment where she does show her range, it fits perfectly with the composition. No flash, no technical proficency, just pure honesty. Her rendition of that piece was stirring, and I don't meant that in a backhanded way, or some pretentious way either. I mean it in the sincerest way a guy who got his mind blown can mean it. It was truly something magical.

This cynic's eyes are definitely open a little bit wider. I was impressed, and it wasn't some unshaven band playing heartbreak songs in a candlelit mountain cabin, nor some downtuned distorted symphony of droning. Just a scruffy woman in her golden years singing Schonberg. Sometimes a little raw musical greatness comes from the most unlikely of places. And it may mean stepping out of comfort zones and predefined notions to find that out. But Ms. Boyle has proved that the trip is definitely worth it. And while I defintely won't be tuning into American Idol more often, it was nice to see something good get through the cracks for once.

Susan Boyle, I salute you.

April 16, 2009

Music And Food

Sometimes I stare at my instruments or gaze upon the ridiculous pictures of myself streaming in the sidebar of this blog, and I have to chuckle a bit. I was really pushing the rock star bit pretty damn hard. I had studied the formula well, and knew that anytime a camera was abound that it was my job to look both distant and pissed. Deep set eyes filled with human suffering, well that’s good album cover material right there.

I suppose the most beneficial thing about switching gears and putting the music down for a spell is that it’s taught me to take myself less seriously. I certainly don’t feel like I have to prove any of my musical steeze to anyone, that’s for sure. And at the very least, I can certainly admit when I fuck up better than before. That’s the beautiful thing about food compared to music. When you fuck up in music, you can claim you meant to do it. I hit that wrong note as a means of expressing my angst and individuality. It’s art baby. Not so with the foodstuffs. You fuck up with food, it’s not self expression, it’s just burnt. So, I definitely am forced to man up and hide behind significantly less bullshit.

But beyond a little self realization, can being a cook benefit the die hard musician? Does all the burns and sliced finger tips actually make you better when you pick up your instrument of choice and create?

Surprisingly yes. More than you’d think.

After spending several weeks away from the studio, and ridiculous amounts of time in the kitchen practicing cooking times and getting my knife skills up to passable levels, I finally decided to take a day to tend to one of my guitars. My goal was to do a bit of work on the “bastardcaster,” my trusty fluorescent blue piece of crap featured in a few photos out on the web. Anyone who’s seen it knows it to be a heavily beaten, stripped of innards, barely functioning desecretation of a musical instrument. Mismatched components, beaten paint, chipped wood, and a big gaping hole where a pickguard and neck pickup used to be. And while many a punk like to make new and attractive instruments look like shit, that's not my bag. So, it's been my mission to at least get her looking a little better. And, after a day of cleaning, I finally found the original pickguard, which gave me all the emphasis I needed to get her looking sharp.

My original goal for that guitar to get a custom pearloid pickguard (the white sparkly one for those who don’t speak musician) and a big fat sassy humbuckler (the magnet things that are square in musician talk) in the neck. But budgets are tight, and frankly, I’d rather have me a new sharp gyuto and some cast iron goodness for my kitchen than happening equipment for a guitar I rarely play. So, the big mods have been on the backburner. But, I am quite fond of that instrument, the thing has character after all. So, I can at least get it looking moderately close to how it looked before I plundered it. The original neck pup sounded pretty decent, so why not go the easy route?

So, I cleaned up my tabletop, grabbed my soldering iron, and took a deep breath. I’ve never been a great at soldering. My hands shake a bit too much for such delicate work, and I’m an impatient bastard, which only complicates things further. But, I’m also a stubborn old fool who must do everything himself, so that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I grab my iron and start working.

And it was the best soldering job I’ve done in my life.

My hands were perfectly still, And I was breathing in a good relaxed rhythm that the job finished before I even realized it. It still wasn’t super pretty, and I’m sure most luthiers out there could probably do a far superior job than me. But, it didn’t completely suck either, which was a personal best.

And if that weren’t enough, when I finally plugged in the thing and let loose with a few licks, I noticed something else, my vibrato was fantastic! I could rock a string in a steady rhythm that was neither too fast nor too wide. My noise sounded clean baby!

I’m thinking that apparently all this time in the kitchen practicing my cuts, trying to get my dices uniform and precise, and trying to pare the skin off apples in one pass has made my hands steady. I trust my limbs a little more than I used to and don’t constantly stare at every motion my wrists making to ensure I don’t screw up what I’m doing. I’ve learned how to relax my movements a bit, which is never a bad thing.

Take note eager musicians of the world, food can not only sustain you, it can make you better. Now get the hell out there and cook something!

April 15, 2009

Jamie Foxx Apologizes To Miley Cyrus UPDATED

Jamie Foxx made a public apology to Miley Cyrus for some crude comments issued on his Sirius satellite radio show. During Foxx's program, he was heard making a joke regarding her gum size ("She needs a gum transplant,") and also was quoted as saying "Make a sex tape and grow up!" in regards to the recent controversies surrounding Cyrus. Foxx apologized on last night's episode of the Tonight Show, saying that "He is a comedian, and didn't mean for his remarks to be malicious."

Two things surprise me about this. Firstly:

Jamie Foxx has a radio show?

And secondly, why exactly are we sparing the feelings of Ms. Miley Cyrus? I mean, what makes her so immune from the crap we dump on other celebrities? Hell even her father got abused quite viciously until he learned that nobody wears mullets anymore. But we're supposed to spare the good name of Miley Cyrus? Why?

Let us analyze this, you see Foxx never implied that Miley had performed in a sex tape, as that would be libel. So her good name wasn't defamed by Foxx's program, whom I'm sure has at least 12-13 listeners. Nor did Foxx place her in a situation where she felt threatened for her life or the lives of others into doing a sex tape. His remark is based on the reasoning that many other young starlets tend to make sex tapes at this point in their lives, and that they often start dressing more provocatively in order to prove to the public mass that they are in fact, "grown up." It has not been implied that Miley has, or will, do either of these things. So, where exactly is the maliciousness of the insult?

I'm not enough of a psychic to say what Miley will do in the future. Will she ever make sex tape? Your guess is as good as mine. If I was a betting man, I would say based on her personality, that it's very unlikely she will. Will she start dressing more adult in the future? I'd probably guess, "Yeah, most definitely." But at the end of the day, I really don't care either way. What interests me most, is that she is a celebrity. And being in the public eye means taking a few lumps from the comedians, shock jocks, and outspoken personalities of the world. And while Foxx made a joke that may not have been in the best taste, I'm not so sure it's exactly so horrid an insult as to warrant all this nonsense.

Now, if this is just Foxx feeling bad about what he said, and losing sleep over it until he said something, well that's fine. I'm glad you got it off your chest. But if this is Miley's camp getting heated over something that is pretty damn trivial in the day of celebrity bashing, well that crosses the line. Get over yourselves and accept that being a household name is gonna involve a few not-so-pretty words sputtered in your direction. And it will only get worse from here.


Apparently Big Daddy Bill decided to make some noise on the Bonnie Hunt Show today. He let loose verbal tirades about the inappropriateness (which Foxx has already acknowledged and apologized for,) and went so far as to say
"There wasn't nothing funny about it. And, quite frankly, I think if I said those things about his daughter, he might not find it so comedic."

Umm.....Bill, William, B. Ray, whatever........the difference here is that Foxx's daughter isn't a FREAKING CELEBRITY! The game changes significantly when you got your face on backpacks and lunchboxes, ya dig? You and your little camp really need to grow some skin.

The Return Of Robert Irvine

The voice of the people have spoken. After a shocking and underhanded move by the dark forces who rule Food Network to remove Robert Irvine from the lineup due to an "enhanced" resume, the protests of the masses have been heard. For those in the know who were tuned on Wednesday, Irvine has returned as host for Dinner Impossible after a yearlong absence from the program.

And admittedly, I'm feeling a bit iffy about it.

Yeah I know, I was an advocate for the guy way back when. I signed the petition, and spoke about the unfair treatment he got at great length. I am probably a very small infinitesimal part of the reason he is back on the air. And now that he is, I find myself conflicted.

Perhaps it's my development as a cook. Maybe getting a fundamental background in all things culinary has helped me to see the cracks in his armor. My philosophies about what happens to the food that ends up on my plate are definitely in a different category from Mr. Irvine's. Plus, I have spent a lot of time ingesting the fine works of both Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay over the past year. Possibly it has made me a more refined bastard. At the very least, a different class of bastard.

But then again, maybe it isn't me. Maybe it's him. And maybe it's the things I started to see in him.

Flash back to those last episodes of the season, when the announcement had already been made about his departure, and Food Network was just throwing them on the air to honor a contract. This was not the same guy who managed to not strangle Neil Patrick Harris, or whom cooked up a classly looking spread at Pixar. This was a different Irvine altogether.

And I for one did not like this Irvine. Watching those episodes left me shifting uncomfortably in my seat as though someone had dumped thumb tacks drenched in lemon juice on my seat. I've never denied that Robert Irvine was an ass, but those episodes definitely pushed the level up into ass-hole land. Not just being snappy and about the job, but just being downright mean. Even to people who didn't deserve it.

Remember that episode at the fire station? The one where he was relieving the regular cook for a day? He was snapping at everyone, even getting a little bitter to the woman whom he was supposed to be replacing. Then there was the whole business of the stove breaking. Robert stomped around ordering firefighters (firefighters people! A breed of civil servant worthy of a great deal of respect) to fix the damn things because, and I quote "It's not my job to fix stoves because I'm a cook."

Ummm, okay Robert. Perhaps I'm a little novice in my thinking here, but......don't you kind of need stoves to do cooking with? I know I use one all the time. Most folks I know use one too. And it seems to me that with all these years of training, you might know a thing or two about how stoves work. And being a military man where knowledge of your equipment is part of the job, it seems you'd have some background in the subject. But hey, maybe you don't. Maybe it's something you never did, or haven't done in a long while. That's alright by me. Had you said, "Can someone please fix this stove because I don't know how to," I'd have dismissed it without a second thought. But you didn't. Instead you barked orders at decent people instead of helping the process along, making it sound like you were better than maintaining a stove. Sounded kind of shitty to me.

Another example would be the Japanese festival. He had a good and knowledgeable staff, including a trained sushi chef with over 30 years experience in the field. Here is a man who has paid his dues and is typically treated with some degree of reverence by his colleagues. Apparently, that wasn't how Irvine rolled. Nope, instead of mutual respect and a proper collaboration, we got Robert playing "I'm The Better Chef" on a naturally syndicated show.

Oh wow Robert Irvine, you chopped celery much faster than an old man. Never mind that bits of celery were flying everywhere while your competitor managed to keep everything clean and uniform. And never mind that the knife your competitor was using was a delicate thing of beauty, designed for the precise cutting of seafood and sushi rolls. Nope, you beat a capable chef with great knowledge at wagging your prick. Yay you. And of course we can't forget that moment when he taught you how to make a sushi roll using the side of a pan. You remember that moment right? You stared wide eyed into the camera and said "I made sushi. It took him thirty years, me thirty seconds!" What a great moment that must have been.

And of course who could forget that bi-cultural wedding you did. Getting into a shit fit with the wedding planner had to have been a good moment for you. I literally slapped my head in frustration when you threatened to walk off the job. What were you thinking man? That somehow the catering staff have more say so than the wedding planner? Oh yeah, you're definitely more important than the person the couple hired to put their wedding together. Go ahead and piss her off because you want all kinds of fucked up flowers on the plates of food that don't jive with the couple's wishes, I'm sure that won't be a problem. The wedding won't start on time and nobody would be able to put that tent up to have a reception in, but that's cool. They can all stand around in the middle of the field eating food off your pretty plates. I'm sure they'll notice all those nicely colored flowers when they're freezing outside. And of course, wrap it all up by forgetting to make the bride her special dessert......which she did ask you to do.

Ahh, treasured moments eh Irvine? By the time those last episodes ran, I was starting to have doubts. Maybe this was someone who wasn't worth supporting. I stand by my statements regarding the whole resume thing, but the issue was more than just added fluff to his paper. The guy just wasn't nice to people. And I saw no justification in that.

At the same time, Michael Symon just wasn't cutting the mustard as host. I mean no disrespect to the guy, Symon is insanely competent. And he is, without a doubt, a very nice person. But he was also very much out of his element. Not to say he's inept, Symon knows how to run a restaurant. But Dinner: Impossible is a different skill set in itself. One Symon really didn't have a background in. So, the few episodes he was around, the poor guy looked very uncomfortable. Not to mention he actually failed a challenge, which kind of ruins the suspense. So, despite my issues with his attitude, part of me did miss the testosterone fury that was Irvine.

So, I watched this last Wednesday with more than a little skepticism. I didn't expect to be blown away anymore, but part of me was still hoping I would be. But my big hope in watching was to see him be a stand up guy. Before the challenge began, have him make a public address saying "Thank you for supporting me, It is because of you the viewers that I can make this program again. And I'll do my best to honor your commitment." Just something to make me feel like this experience has humbled him a bit. Like he's grown.

For anyone who hasn't seen it yet, I'm gonna spoil it for you: He never said that. In fact he never said anything close to that. He went on air acting like nothing ever happened. Like he was the same, dependable conceited ass. In fact the only thing he really did was find ways to squeeze the word "extreme" into as many sentences as possible. And if that doesn't sound impressive, it was even less so watching it.

The cooking wasn't all too spectacular either. I'd say roughly 80% of everything that got served spent time in a deep fryer. Admittedly it was an outdoor kitchen in the middle of winter, but still a man of his caliber should be able to come up with something more brilliant (Perhaps I am too much of a novice, but the first thing that came to my mind was, "how about some tarps?") The few things that managed to avoid the fat looked pretty unpleasant. The chicken looked cooked to shit, and swordfish with hot sauce? Really? I'd expect that from a barbeque pit or Bobby Flay, but you're supposed to be all about the gourmet.

But maybe this isn't what this program is about anymore. Based on that episode and the previews from tonight's episode, I'm getting the feeling that Dinner: Impossible is becoming less about making great food for lots of people within limited time, and more about how many things they can make go wrong. Trips and spills galore, things going wrong all over the place, major train wrecks people. The new DI is about watching things fall over, equipment breaking, stuff being forgotten, people hurting themselves, and having the host stare wide eyed at it all. Culinary excellence and skill may have gone right out the window people.

Of course, I am jumping the gun. It has only been the first episode after all, and I'll definitely watch a few more before I dismiss it as more dribble. Heck, it's possible the food will get better, and Robert will become a more interesting host, and not just a dick. I may even get the gratitude I've been hoping for.

At the very least, I'll be watching to see shit go boom.

April 13, 2009

Boogie The Student

As of this last week, Boogie became a student.........again.

I have been officially enrolled in local college to pursue higher education in the world of food stuffs. Now, this is probably none to surprising to any regular reader of this blog, has I have mentioned this before. In great vivid, boring detail no less. So, at most, you reading this only confirms that I actually have the ability to stick to what I say. Yay me.

I have fought tooth and nail against further education. Not that there’s anything wrong with education of course, and I’m still a firm advocate that people should get as much as possible. But for me and the sad little world I live in, I figured I had done enough. I still have that overpriced piece of paper on my wall from my last venture into higher education. And I’ve got a few jobs on the resume that say I’ve done intelligent work and can be a guy trusted to perform well in the pinch. So, going back made no sense to me. I was done man! And when I walked away from school in full gown, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. I hadn’t slept in a month, was shaky, paranoid (well more so anyways,) and was an all around not pleasant human being to be around. It was mad pressure, trying to get through the classes, and pass the tests so I could be done. And once finished, I slept the next day post grad swearing to nobody in particular that I would never walk into one those hell holes again.

And here I sit, enrolled again. Fate’s a funny bitch.

I’m not complaining, I promise.....well not as much as usual anyways. I’m pretty stoked about my studies and what kind of stuff I’ll be picking up. But I can’t help but feel like a man out of time. I am feeling ridiculously out of place here. I’ve been away from the college world for a few years now, and having to walk back in makes me feel so.......old.

The day I got my application in really hit that feeling home. As I walked into the student services building, all around me were young goofy looking kids, fresh faced with high school still a pretty clear memory in their noodles. I stared at my application, trying to decipher this code I once knew pretty well. The moment of shame hit when I had to break out my cell phone calendar to remember which month I graduated high school in. High school people! My youth is over. And all the while, the new youth bounced around me, laughing ridiculously in the trendy wear of the moment, fearing nothing as the future was still wide open for them. These were kids that had never had a legal drink, or had the pressure of a full time day gig to fill their minds. Insurance and retirement weren’t even a thought in their minds, the hard truth of their mortality hadn’t hit them yet. It was clear from the get go, that I was in a strange land.

There was no way I could sit amongst any of these young folk and let my hair down. In fact the mere idea of even carrying on a conversation with one of these proper students felt sort of dirty. Like I was some kind of sicko for even considering it. I walked from admissions to financial aid to testing as quickly as I could, not giving anyone a chance to think that this old hairy man in the leather coat might not belong here. Part of me was on the defensive, ready to yell “I may look like a pervert, but I swear I’m a student!” And I was fully prepared to have nobody believe me. I was constantly aware of the nearest exit, and kept my knees loose in case I’d need to make a break for it.

Fortunately, people were generous and kind, as they so often are. And aside from some particularly dirty looks from a particularly angry looking woman at the assessment center, I walked through unscathed.

I’m in now, and there is no turning back. This isn’t some strange thing I’ve been forced into by the powers that be, I actually want this. And I ain’t about to fuck it up. So, every day in class is now going to be another day where I defend my age and decision against people who can probably run circles around me both mentally and physically. I hope and pray that the deep lines under my eyes and the slight gray appearing on my beard will be hard to see in a kitchen lab. But eventually, they’ll catch on. They’re a smart bunch that way. And I’m gonna have to bust a little ass to prove I can not only keep up, but outrun and outlast the little pricks. Should be fun.

Watch out bastard rugrats of the world, Boogie Man Montoya the student, has entered the building.

April 7, 2009

Where's Boogie?

I have not written for awhile, an act that has brought much joy and rejoicing to many, and has left a small but dedicated few sitting in the fetal position within the corners of dark rooms. Where is he? What has become of him? Is he dead?

No I am not dead. The multitides of death threats and voodoo dolls aside, I'm still around in the corporeal form.......more or less anyways. I have been very busy however. Lots of interesting and exciting stuff happening around this old crazed bastard lately.

I'll have to tell you about it sometime. But not now.....now I need sleep.