June 23, 2009

Jon And Kate Divorce

Hey America, did you know that Jon and Kate of "Jon And Kate Plus 8" are getting divorced? Did ya? Huh? Did ya? All I can say about this matter is THANK FUCKING GOD!

Up until last week I didn't know who these people where, and I was happy not knowing. My life was good people. Then all of a sudden, everyone has to go on talking about the dark sinister lives of these reality superstars that I never heard of. "He's a whore, she's a piss-poor mother, they fight all the time, it's all gone to their head....blah blah blah." Never in my life have I had something so inconsequential rammed down my throat. I couldn't turn anywhere to escape it. It was on the radio, in magazines, on every news feed I hit up, commercials were rampant about this whole thing. Commercials! On stations that don't even show the fucking program! Even if I just read the headlines, I was learning too much. I got the entire history of the program from countless headlines and half an article, that's how bad this was.

Who won American Idol wasn't blown up into this scale, and neither was Susan Boyle. Both people who actually have talent! And by talent, I mean something greater than dropping a high quantity of children out of an over-fertilized uterus. If you find this to be a pinnacle of human achievement, then more power to you. Me? I find it amazing at the potency of modern drugs and the ease at which one can get them. And yet, this simple act of basic biology and advanced pharmaceuticals is the talk of town. Apparently even Iran isnt' as important to the masses.

I don't know, did the brunt of this country really idolize this family as America's Sweethearts or something? Was this the family that "spoke to the heart of middle class America?" I'm not being smug, it's an honest question. I never watched the program, and have even less of an interest in doing so now, so I have no idea what even made these people likable to begin with. But with all the shock and awe that has been thrust upon these souls, I can't help but thing that many out there saw them as some cultural ideal. And I guess, if I just look at the black and white of the matter, I can see why. Big family struggling to make ends meet in a tough time, we've all been there. Hell, many of us are still there trying to dig our way out.

And the sad reality is, that by divorcing, they probably are more real than we give them credit for. In a time when the majority of marriages fail, it only makes sense that the darlings of the state follow suit. Celebrity status is harsh, and dangling shiny things in front of people who are struggling is always a sure-fire recipe for collapse. These things have happened to many, and it will continue to happen long after these people stop being a gleaming light in the public's eye.

For me, I'm just glad the whole thing's over and done with. Everyone can quit holding their breaths and get on with shit. Maybe now I can get back on track, having pointless news tidbits that I can easily ignore, shoved in my face.

June 22, 2009

A Different Breed Of Cook.

I had a revelation of sorts today. For one brief second, in my typical meanderings around the interweb, I had the famed moment of clarity. In that moment, browsing from blog to blog, I realized that I would probably never be a line cook.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not abandoning my recent leap into cooking, because I still very much enjoy the work and the fruits of my labor. And I'm certainly going to continue my efforts to get into culinary school here in the next few months, despite what many a pro may think of it. It is something I still crave higher knowledge of, and am fully committed to getting. It's just that while reading the great many blogs written by talented (and equally entertaining) professional cooks from around the country, I realize that I just don't fit into that clique.

Strange as it may seem to you, it's definitely something I wanted to be apart of. Many of the things I have done in my life were to attain some degree of community with the people in that field. I crave "talking shop," with like-minded individuals, and have tried over the years to develop enough of a wealth of knowledge to speak well of the topic. Lately, this craving has included the world of professional kitchens. I've been jumping up and down like an anxious child, trying to gain some acceptance in the realm, but I've never actually been apart of it, so how can I truly fit in? I can't, and the harsh reality is, I probably never will.

At my advanced age, standing the line is certainly not something I'll be able to do long-term. And yeah, I know 30 is still pretty damn young in all aspects of the world. But, when it comes to cooking, hitting that age is pretty much the equivalent of applying to the AARP. That shit takes stamina baby, being on the feet for hours at a time. And while I've done some fairly incredible feats of stamina in my day (at least, I considered them impressive,) there is still that lingering doubt that says I can do it that consistently.

What's worse is that it's hard to get the opportunity to find out. You'd figure that getting to work in a kitchen would be one of the easiest things to do. You may not be able to handle advanced mathmatical computations or sit in a cubicle processing numbers all day, but surely someone will let you flip fries right? Well, apparently not so much. Not when you've spent a good third of your life in other pursuits. And having a degree, several certifications, and years of experience in other fields, doesn't speak well for me.

And I'm not blaming the kitchens of the world, they're operating under sound logic. Why take in someone who's older, burned a lot of calories in other endeavors, and can probably get a job as a bank manager when you can hire some young kid fresh out of high school who's loaded with stamina, and will do exactly what you tell them without question? Especially considering the old guy spent many years of his life trying to be a rock star. That can't bode well for me either. But, assuming that they've never heard of my musical endeavors (which, is pretty darn likely,) the sad reality is that I'm too smart for my own good.

Scratch that........I appear too smart for my own good on paper. Face to face, I'm still the charming idiot you've come to know and love.

In some ways, it's sad, because I truly wanted to be apart of the war stories that collective tend to share. But, on the other hand, it's pretty liberating. I don't have to fear my fuck ups, and my body's weaknesses so much. I can go to culinary school excited to just learn stuff.....which is probably what I should have been doing in the first place.

So, you may be asking, "If you're probably not going to be a line cook, what the hell are you going to cooking school for?" That's easy: because I like it, and because I want to know more. And it's not like having more skill is a bad thing either. Perhaps I'll look more appealing to a restaurant once I got the degree. And perhaps, I'll actually find myself being a line cook a few years down the road, and enjoying the hell out of it. But if it doesn't happen, no big deal. There's tons of other stuff I can do.

Like, maybe write a food blog?

June 12, 2009

Sarah Palin Vs. David Letterman (Egads!)

Anyone hear any good jokes about Sarah Palin recently?

If you haven't heard this by now, and frankly it'd be near impossible not to, Mr funny-pants David Letterman made a few relatively minor jokes earlier this week which implied that Sarah Palin's daughter (who's names I really haven't found worthwhile to research,) was impregnated during a few social events with family. The crux of the material was based on Palin's 18-year old daughter whom is pregnant and unwed. However the events discussed in those jokes had Palin's 14 year old daughter present. A seemingly small matter one would think, and I'm guessing one that should be minor, since most of the population could figure out exactly who Letterman was referring to.

Well, not everyone apparently. It appears that Sarah Palin couldn't. And as a result, we're all forced to ride a media shitstorm.

Ye gods, this whole situation is so comically bad, that it should only be coming from the mouth of some pampered celebrity, not someone who's supposed to be a functional member of the United States government. Palin has taken a relatively minor joke (and I know he has gone far lower than that in his distinguished career for a chuckle,) and suddenly made it an attack on family values. She's even gone so far as to accuse Letterman of things like "rape," and "contribution to the abuse of young women," and "erodes a young girl's self esteem." To sum up, she basically called him a dirty perverted old man. How dare he say such horrible things about a 14 year old girl and so forth?

I'm not sure about you world, but I'm inclined to believe Letterman. Material like that is right up his alley, and I don't think he spends huge amounts of time researching every little detail of a situation just to make sure he's got his facts straight for what equals eight seconds of joke. Best I can tell, the guy's got more than enough workload on his plate to consider the logistics of what daughter went where.

Was it in poor taste? Probably so but hey, the man admits it. What more do you want?

And that's the thing, Sarah Palin doesn't seem to want anything. She seems pretty content just sitting around screaming "atrocity!" Public apologies (though admittedly, and hilariously tongue in cheek) didn't work, invites to be a guest didn't work. I'm not even sure burning at the stake would work in this case.

So Governor Sarah Palin, if you are reading this, (natch!) let us go over a few things. Firstly, you are not so important that someone like Letterman is going to invest huge heaps of time tracking down every movement of your family. Sorry, but you're not. You are a crutch, a topic that still has some comical value and can be used at any time to fill up space. That is your current role in the grand scheme of things.

Secondly, don't you have a state to run or something? Maybe it's because my governor has a fancy new post, but I've never heard him make time to bitch about shit like this. Frankly, I've never heard any governor bitch about shit like this. And the reason why, I'm guessing, is that they're pretty busy people. So, Letterman's busy, governors in other states are busy, what the hell are you doing?

Thirdly, if we break down the linguistics of Letterman's joke, we shall see that never once implied your daughter (either of them) was raped. What he did imply, was that your daughter is a slut. And it's an implication that everyone in the world pretty much agrees with. These men mentioned in the jokes were not suggested to have taken advantage of your daughter so much as having your daughter thrust upon them in the throws of passion. See the difference?

And finally, considering how you managed to be a guest on all sorts of comedy programming and poke fun at yourselves when you running for vice president of this country, it looks really childish that you'd whine about being the butt of a joke now that you're a loser. Seriously, you stood there with Tina Fey and bobbled your head around like you were one of the team. You sure seemed prone to laugh it off when you thought you might get promoted. But now that you find yourself still being a governor, you can't handle the heat? Sorry lady, that doesn't fly with me. If you wanted to run a serious campaign and be taken seriously, then great. But you didn't, you took the lighthearted approach and went pop culture. That shit comes with consequences.

So Mr. Letterman, if you're reading this, I'd like to offer a suggestion: Make no more jokes about Sarah Palin. Not because this controversy is important, and not because the topic material isn't rife with parody, but because she's basically a big baby. And while babies tend to make easy targets, the fact that you're picking on them always feels kind of cheap. And I know you're better than that.


Unbeknownst to me, Sarah Palin had also referred to Letterman's jokes as being about "about the statutory rape of my 14 year-old daughter." As I learned many years ago, in high school no less, there is no legal term called statutory rape in the articles of law. You'd kind of figure someone who holds a high office like Governor would know that.

June 9, 2009

Newt Gingrich Claims Obama Already Failed

One of the many reasons I try very hard to avoid politics on this blog is that, put simply, politicians are dumb. The whole lot can be a bunch of hypocritical swine, spending more effort into saving face than doing the jobs we've hired them to do. And they have no qualms about stabbing a fellow politician in the back, claiming it's in my best interests, despite the fact that I've never once asked them to do it. I don't like people speaking on behalf of me, and really hate it when they say things I completely disagree with.

Of recent note is Mr. Newt Gingrich. At a recent Republican party fundraiser, the man fired off his mouth about the people currently in charge. And all of it as illogical and biased as we've come to expect from this man. The big quotable statement of the evening from New is that Obama's "already failed." That the ball has been dropped and the next three or so years are pretty much pointless since we're all screwed anyways.

This makes no damn sense to me, love him or hate him, the guy's only been in office since January. Exactly how much did you expect would get done in six months? Hell, it took your boy Bush two years before he claimed "Mission Accomplished," and even then nobody got to come home. Is Mr. Gingrich saying he can see into the future? And if so, why the hell didn't he warn anybody about the pickle this country finds ourselves in?

Other notable quotes include "Bureaucrats managing companies does not work, politicians dominating the economy does not work."

Okay, fair enough. I'm not sure I can argue with that. But I am curious Newt, exactly how is this different from when your boy was in office? Seems to me that bailout money had already been tossed to some pretty undeserving banks, and to a bunch of automakers who still couldn't get their act together to properly utilize those funds. That's my money tubbo, And watching a bunch of elitist capitalists take it and figure they get to keep their fancy suits and private jets is quite a sore spot for me.

As for politicians dominating the economy, exactly how many of your friend's companies were over in Iraq, spending huge amounts of our money? I don't have specific figures here, but I do remember hearing that it was quite a bit. Wouldn't that technically be politicians dominating the economy?

And if you're in doubt Mr. Gingrich, let me just ask you this........what economy? Your boy pretty much bankrupted everything, so really there is no true economy to speak of. So, what you're basically telling me is that people the people in your little clubhouse handed a broken-down pinto to the new administration, and are now pissing and moaning because it doesn't yet drive like a Ferrari. And frankly, that's not really anything worth giving you money for.

Like I said, I try very hard to avoid the political scene for source material, but when the lardy tend to sound this stupid, I just can't help myself. Forgive the break from the norm.

Don't Piss Off A Musician

Recently, I rediscovered one of my favorite bands Type O Negative. After a long estrangement from their wonderfully morose stylings, the gods at YouTube saw fit to reacquaint me with a group that so exemplified my childhood.

I must admit, it's been a pretty happy reunion. I had forgotten just how epic that band can be. Those guys sure know how to use the same damn chord progressions over and over again, and continually make it sound fantastic. And, the older fella in me found some new appreciation in lead singer Pete Steele, who barely managed to hit his musical stride in his early 30's. And here the guy is, approaching 50, and still working a great deal of magic. Who can't dig on that?

While getting reacquainted with the catalog, I happened to be listening to one of their newer songs entitled September Sun, when out of a fit of boredom, I decided to do a bit of research on the song via my friendly interweb. You see, being a new song and one I really hadn't listened to until recently, I didn't know the lyrics by heart. This is rare people, since I usually tend to listen to a song so many times, that if I wasn't allowed to hear it until several years later, I could probably remember every single word within the song. So, in an effort to "catch up" and to answer a few things about what the song is about (since it's a little vague,) I hit up Google.

One of the things that caught my eye was that there is a point in the song where my buddy Pete yells out the name of an ex-girlfriend. Even more interesting was that this was the same girlfriend he was complaining about when I was still in high school. And anyone who knows the work of Type O knows that nobody on this green earth knows how to poetically bitch about a woman whom has caused scorn quite like Pete Steele. So here it is, some eleven or twelve years later and the guy is still tearing into her, and doing it brilliantly.

As someone who's own body of work has spoken harshly about my ill encounters with women, I find this absolutely fascinating. Being tortured sells, and nothing tortures more than bad blood with the women-folk. Sorry gals, I love each and every one of you, but your gender does a hell of a lot of damage on our fragile male psyches (and yes, I know most of the time it's our fault.) And, we tend to immortalize it....and by proxy you, in one of our angst ridden tales.

So be warned people of the world, especially those of you who deal with musical types, that if you cross us in any way, we will retaliate in the most melodic ways possible. And 10-20 years later, you'll probably still be in the cross hairs when we need another single.

Hug a musician. Only you can prevent having your name shouted angrily in songs.

June 1, 2009

It Was Supposed To Be Dinner

It was just supposed to be dinner. Nothing magical, or life changing. I wasn't curing cancer or liberating a condemned people. It was dinner........proteins, starch, and a veggie.

I had a London Broil in the broiler (natch,) some potatoes boiling in a pot, and carrots steaming in another pan. In exactly two minutes, I would need to flip the Broil, dump the potatoes into a colander, and pull the carrots of the heat, all at the same time. I don't have much space to be dumping pans all over the place, and most of my work station's being used up for my mashed potato manufacturing line. Add to that the fact that my kitchen's been running handicapped with only two functional burners, and the end result was I would have to move damn quick to avoid overcooking anything.

But not just yet. I stared intensely at the digital clock on the microwave, waiting for everything to come together. Essentially, I was in the eye of the storm, just waiting for things to get crazy. Most folks would probably have done something with their two minutes. Maybe looked at what was on TV, or flipped through the paper. But not me, I never let my eyes leave that clock. I stood there with my arms crossed, waiting for the numbers to flip. In the back of my head, I was processing everything. Did I have everything I need to do this? Was my cream, Parmesan, and seasoning on hand in an easy to reach location? Was there a colander placed in the sink for easy draining? What would I need to do first? I stood there and processed this information, making sure I had accounted for everything. That I was truly ready.

The digital clock flipped, and now I had one minute left. There was no doubt I was about to pounce into the thick of it. And for some reason, I felt......jittery. I was actually nervous, nervous about dropping the ball, about screwing up my meal. It was just supposed to be dinner after all, and yet I couldn't shake that unmistakable sense of worry.

But it wasn't just worry. No, it was also excitement. A rush of adrenaline, giddiness I dare say. I was thrilled to go screaming into this crazy situation I had made for myself. In a few moments, I would be tested. I would have to prove to myself and anyone I fed that I could handle all these elements at once, that I could process this scenario effectively, and respond with great speed. That one guy with a bunch of malfunctioning appliances could deliver something great.

The clock flipped again, it was time.

I had outlined my priorities, and hit everything that I knew needed to be done. I moved as gracefully as I could muster without wasting time. I wish I could tell you step by step how everything was handled, how I moved and what got done when. But to tell you the truth, I just don't remember. My mind went blank for those few moments in time, I didn't think about much, just tried to stay on task. The only thing I remember clearly, was the humming. Ye gods, I was humming the whole time.

The one thing I remember was the end result. Two plates, clean and well laid out with food that was still plenty warm. I still had plenty of adrenaline in my bones and was darting, looking for things to do. I needed to do more, but alas, I had done it all.

And the meal turned out pretty fantastic. Everything turned out just the way I had hoped. Cooked to the right temperature, and seasoned perfectly. Of course, maybe it wasn't perfect, maybe it just looked perfect because of the work I put in to get it right. Maybe I was a bit too biased, and not willing to see the imperfections. Who knows? All I can say was, it tasted great to me.

I suppose sometimes, some things just go beyond "dinner."