March 17th, 2003

flavored with age

It's a virus

You know, if today really is, as the president suggests, a "moment of truth", it will be the first moment of truth in the entire Bush administration.

And probably the last.
flavored with age

Because I know how much you all love to hear me talk about drinking

Saturday was the St. Patrick's Day parade. You'll be pleased to know that the Trav-L-Bar was not confiscated by the authorities. However, it was entirely depleted by myself and my friends.

The parade was nothing special -- the theme this year was education, which lent a sort of frowny, pedagogic air to the proceedings, and the Grand Marshall was Gov. Blagojevich, which is not only a let-down after having Bush and Gore the previous two years, but is also nothing special, since he lives in my neighborhood -- but the weather was inspirationally beautiful, sunny, clear, warm, calm, temperatures in the low 60s after a week of dreariness. And, to be honest, we were far too drunk to care too much about the actual, you know, parade.

I know that some people abjure the St. Patrick's Day celebrations, disdaining them as showcases for amateur drunks, but as a professional drunk, I always have a good time. We (we being myself, Lara, Jeff, Doug, Andrea, Claire and Steve) parked ourselves in the heart of a triangle whose points were a handful of Eurotrashy Polish and German girls, a woman with a pair of kids she seemed to have a lot of difficulty keeping track, and a big dumb frat dude who would yell out the names of each parade as it went by ("I.D.E. SALUTES A TRADITION OF IRISH EDUCATORS! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"). I brought along some soda bread, some Dubliner cheese, and a brick of Kerrygold butter, about which I have insufficient words to praise how goddamn good it is. The Trav-L-Bar was stocked with a full bottle of Scotch, a 3/4-full bottle of Irish whiskey, and a half-full bottle of Dooley's, as well as a large Thermos filled with Irish coffee. Lara also had a thing of Irish coffee and a flask of Irish whiskey. By the time we left the parade, it was all gone. All gone.

Afterwards, we went to the Red Lion for lunch and beer. Claire and Steve left, and the rest of us headed for Four Moons for more beer. Much more beer. Much, much more beer. Eventually Lara and Jeff left and it was just Doug, Andrea and I, drinking lots of beer and arguing about postmodernism and whether or not human emotional response is inherent or conditioned. I'm sure this conversation was fascinating to the people around us who had to listen to our drunken ravings.

Then I went home and spent all day Sunday in an alcoholic stupor. Happy St. Patrick's Day, friends! I hope your weekend was as flat-out fantastic as mine.
flavored with age

Will this obsession never end? Probably not.

You know what I like about Spider-Man? It's not the Ditko acrobatics. It's not the fact that he was a gnat-lash away from becoming a pro wrestler instead of a superhero. It's not that he gave the world Mysterio. It's not that he was called "webhead". It's not even that his escapades with Mary Jane Watson fueled many an adolescent fantasy.

No, it's definitely the music. He always had the best theme music.

And that really tells you all you need to know about Peter Parker: that his name is Spider-Man; that his abilities and those of a spider are identical (such as web-spinning and the catching of thieves/flies); that he is friendly and lives in your neighborhood; that he has foregone wealth and fame in deference to action; that he has the ability to arrive at crime scenes at lightning speed; and that, to him, life is a great big bang-up.

What's more, we know via song that when Captain America wields his mighty shield, all those foes who oppose his shield must yield. We know what kind of underpants Wonder Woman wears when she's defending the Constitution. We know that old Doc Banner, belted by gamma rays, turns to the Hulk. We even know that the people who wrote the Hulk's theme song ate peyote, because they tried to rhyme "gamma rays" with "unglamorous".

BUT WHERE'S MODOK'S THEME SONG, DAMMIT?!? WHERE'S MODOK'S THEME SONG? Write me one, or I'll do it myself. I may even write several of them. Yes, this is a threat.

writing down things that rhyme with 'organism'
flavored with age

Learning is condimentals

I was going to post a log that excerpted some comments left on Arab-hating web log Little Green Footballs about the American woman who was killed by a bulldozer in Israel this weekend, but eventually I started to get sick to my stomach at how repulsive it all was. Maybe some other time when I'm feeling more misanthropic; it won't be long, I'm sure.

Instead, here are some random thoughts about mustard.

Mustard is my favorite condiment. I put mustard on many, many things, from the obvious (sausage, sandwiches) to the not-so-obvious (bread, French fries). I will pretty much try any condiment if it can be categorized as mustard. This weekend, I went to Treasure Island to buy groceries, and decided to flaunt the current trend of France-bashing by picking up a few French things. I got some chevre, some French lemonade, and a big crock of my favorite mustard in the world, Vilux Moutard de Dijon Extra-Forte. If you've only ever had American Dijon mustard like Grey Poupon and never tried real French Dijon (from Dijon), then you have no idea how strong -- and how incredibly good -- it is. And the Vilux extra-strong is the nuke of Dijon mustards; it's eye-tearing, sinus-clearing stuff, which I absolutely adore.

It’s EXTRA-forte, motherfuckers.

I also got something called "Jamaican Dread Black Mustard", which is indeed a black mustard. Well, it's black, at least, though it's really more like a chutney or a horseradish than a mustard. There's mustard seed in it, but it doesn't taste very mustardy, and there's Scotch bonnet pepper, but it isn't very spicy. It would probably be pretty decent in soup or on certain cooked meats, but I was a little disappointed in it. Also, it doesn't appear to actually be from Jamaica, but rather, is from Michigan.


My current favorite sauce -- in the running with mustard and HP Sauce as the best thing to put on food ever in the world -- is Huyfong Sriracha hot sauce. I bought a gigantic container of it a couple of weeks ago and am almost finished with it already. I have to watch myself, because I could easily become with Sriracha the way kids are with ketchup, putting it on everything imaginable and refusing to eat things not drowned in it.

I would have you on my lo mein, you spicy devil.

Speaking of HP sauce, which I love almost as much as I love life itself, they came out with a curry sauce a while back. I picked some up, even though I'm not particularly fond of curry, because HP is one of the few brands I jettison my anticapitalist brand-loathing mentality in favor of. Yes, I know, I am a hypocrite. What can I tell you? HP sauce fucking rocks. Their regular HP is incredible and their HP steak sauce is better than any other commercial steak sauce I've eaten. Anyway, I wasn't that fond of the HP Curry, as it turned out. It's quite good on pork chops, but otherwise, the flavor doesn't mesh particularly well with most of the things I eat. However, they have also just introduced the comically named and intriguing HP Fruity, which is a chutneyish creation containing several different fruits and is marketed as a sweeter alternative to the tangy, strong HP, particularly good on cold meat sandwiches. I picked up a bottle this weekend and I'll let you know how it goes, because I know how much you love this incredibly long, boring entry about condiments I like.

The steak sauce for homosexuals.

Finally, I have not bought salad dressing in many, many years. Why? Not because I don't eat salad. I eat mindboggling huge amounts of salad. It's because anyone, no matter how bad a cook they think they are, can make a salad dressing at home better and cheaper than anything you can buy. Salad dressings are a big waste of money. That said, I seem to recall Annie's Naturals Sea Veggie & Sesame Vinaigrette being pretty damn good, if you absolutely insist. Still, I have made a fine version of it myself a number of times.

And it’s vegan!  Like I care!.