Monday, January 30, 2006
Everyone's been all over that Lazy Sunday short from Saturday Night Live -- it's actually funny, plus it mentions Red Vines and Mr. Pibb ("Put it in your head"), two of my favorite college staples -- but I think I prefer the shorter Taco Town commercial spoof. It's funny, it's an accurate comment on the eating habits of way too many people in this country, and between you and me, I'm maybe slightly curious to have a taste of this thing.
Thursday, January 26, 2006
But then a few days later, we caught a possum! I would have rather trapped a raccoon, but then again, I don't really want possums hanging out in our back yard either. The next morning, Paul put it in his trunk to haul it away, and it was all shaky and really scared, and it was bearing its teeth, and looked generally unhappy, the way I guess any creature would look in a trap. And then the nosy neighbor lady came over to look at it and make comments, and then her daughter bounced over too, and then we closed the trunk and Paul took it to a wooded area about ten miles away. That seems like a safe enough distance.
Hopefully, a raccoon will be next. I've been seeing their tracks near where we had the trap (we don't have it out now because it's really cold and we were thinking that maybe they don't come out as much in the cold), so hopefully it's only a matter of time.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Although -- and maybe this is a result of not having the high sugar intake -- lately I seem to wake up at least once a night feeling starving. As in I could get out of bed and eat a full meal. I don't allow myself any kind of midnight snack, since eating too late or too much makes me wake up all logy and slow, not to mention that it's a great way to put on unwanted weight, and it's not like I need the energy at four in the morning, but for the past week, my stomach's been growling at all hours. Strangely enough, when my alarm goes off, I'm not hungry anymore. In fact, the idea of food at six a.m. is really unappealing to me, and most of the time I have to force myself to eat a bowl of cereal. I guess hunger is better than night terrors, but still, it's all very strange.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Okay. There are some good things about an all-fondue restaurant. For one, it's an interesting concept. The restaurant makes itself memorable by having something very different. Not that I ever took any business classes, but I would imagine that from a business standpoint, it's brilliant. Another good point is that it's interactive. I think we as Americans are, in the broadest and most general terms, an increasingly lazy people, but I do think that we, also in the broadest and most general terms, enjoy limited interaction on a moderated basis, provided that there is a reward for us. We'll do what we're told. So yeah, we'll dip all kinds of crap into a fondue pot if it tastes good and if we can eat it. And also, it's a slow meal, which in theory means you eat less. You have lots of time to talk and catch up, and you really can't just shovel food into your face. In this case, I thought that was a plus.
Now the bad parts. First, there's a lot of hot liquid in the retaurant. Some of it is boiling temperature and hotter, which means lots of evaporation. The ventilation system in the place was good, but all of that evaporated broth/oil/wine/who-knows-what has to land somewhere, and it lands on you. When we left, we smelled like short-order fry cooks. (Paul and his friend found this somewhat amusing, as they met at their high school job at a fried chicken place.) Another negative is the price. Why is a bowl of melty cheddar with a bowl of cut-up bread and apples $14? Because it can be. But probably it's because, and this brings me to negative number three, you're paying for insurance. The insurance rider on a place like that has to be enormous. Example: we had, at our table, not more than a foot away from me, a pot of oil that was probably 350 degrees. Not only was it not bolted down, it wasn't in any way secured to the table, which, did I mention, had a flat-surface burner on it that would have melted the skin right off my palm if I accidentally put it down there? I think most people understand the concept of third-degree burns, but you get a manic-depressive who's forgotten to take his meds in a place like that, and you have a potential incident. (Oh, and we had a five-year-old at our table.) That's your $14 cheese right there.
Our food wasn't awful. We had the fabled-yet-real $14 cheese, and it was good with the apples and the celery and the other stuff they brought. What's not to like about a big bowl of hot, melty cheese? And then we got a salad, which was non-fondue and actually really good. And then they brought out a big pot of oil. They did have broth-based entree options, but then you're basically boiling your food, and that didn't appeal to me so much. We shared a seafood entree, so there was a plate of shrimp and scallops and mahi-mahi (all raw, mind you -- mark that down, insurance adjuster), and they brought out some raw vegetables. They also gave us a dish of tempura batter if we wanted to use it, which I did. So the essence of the place is, you sit there and skewer your stuff and put it in the oil for a few minutes, then put it on your place and eat it. I basically sat there and made veggie and shrimp tempura, which tasted good, but I couldn't help thinking that for half the price, I could get a big pile of real tempura made by someone who knows how to fry right. You're probably also paying for the experience, but I guess I'm not that interested. I cook at home. I don't want to cook at a restaurant.
We skipped dessert, since we were kind of full and were noticing that we were starting to smell like grease, but they did have a dozen or so chocolate-based fondues (and yes, they were all about $14). It sounded good, but I'll make it at home if I want it.
Maybe I'm just skeptical about the whole experience, and maybe I just have a bad attitude, but I don't know that we'll go back to a place like this. People seem to love it, though: they were packed last night, and of all the online reviews I skimmed through before going, I could only find one or two people who felt the way I thought I would feel and now do feel about it. Most of the reviews said it was the greatest place ever, it was totally worth the price, they had so much fun, the food was so good, and stuff like that. Call me old school, but when I go to a restaurant, I want the food brought to me already prepared, and unless it's sushi, I want it cooked.
After the restaurant, we hung out at our friends' place and relaxed in their super-jet hot tub for a little while, which made me feel less greasy and less fried-shrimp-smelly. There's an analogy here between dipping your food in bubbly stuff and dipping yourself in bubbly stuff. Go ahead and make it if you feel the need. I'm fondued out.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Monday, January 16, 2006
Voice on radio talking about corrupt CEO's and corrupt politicians.
(Heh. Apparently it is shoe shine stuff.)
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
To be honest, I was kind of dreading going to class tonight. I figured I'd be the oldest one in the class, and I kind of feel like I'm at the point now where I can self-teach whatever I need to learn, and besides, class takes up several hours each week, reading and study time notwithstanding. And because I'm taking this class, I don't have time to teach the college class that I usually teach, which means less income and more outcome, since I lose a paycheck but pick up a fees-laden tuition bill and the insanely high cost of college press textbooks. But I have to do it (or it was strongly suggested that I do it), so I'm doing it.
And while it's annoying, it maybe wasn't as awful as I thought it might be. I'm not the oldest one in the class -- that honor belongs to the overeager gray-haired lady on the other side of the classroom -- but I am clearly the second-oldest. And it looks like a lot of class time will be spent watching old Japanese movies, which I've kind of been meaning to do anyway. And there are some novels that I have to read, and they look kind of interesting, and I've also been meaning to read more Japanese lit anyway. And the professor seems kind of cool and quirky, and he's all small and Japanese and stuff, and part of me is hoping that he'll throw us a sushi party on the last day of class (if that is ever going to happen to me in this lifetime, it will happen in this class). I guess this is making the best of a bad situation -- or a very annoying situation, anyway. And maybe, maybe, I'll get a free spicy tuna roll out of it. One can always hope.
Monday, January 9, 2006
Saturday, January 7, 2006
Thursday, January 5, 2006
I'm not sure what's going on, but I have spent some time thinking about it, and I chalk it up to the following: overtiredness, overactive imagination, darkness (which I've actually never been comfortable with), and maybe even too much sugar, since these late-night paranoia fests started, I think, around the beginning of December, which is when holiday cookie and candy season started around here. Anyway, it's been strange and a little unnerving, but I am now really trying to get enough sleep and to keep my sugar intake at a reasonable level. Hopefully I will be able to get up in the middle of the night and pee without incident very very soon.
Tuesday, January 3, 2006
And just so you know: it's a trap and release kind of deal. We plan on driving the raccoon(s) to a nice, non-residential area where it/they can be free and not do any damage to homes. We won't kill any.
Monday, January 2, 2006
Another thought hit me yesterday: it's been ten years since I graduated from college. And then I started wondering if I am where I thought I'd be all those years ago. And then I started worrying, because it's not like I'm hugely successful, or making all kinds of money, or anything like that. But then I relaxed because really, I had no fucking clue what I was going to do a week after graduation, let alone ten years after graduation. So I feel better about it.
And then I started wondering about new year's resolutions, and how I usually don't make any, but maybe I should, just for a goof. But then I was at the gym earlier, and just like the first few days of any new year, the employees were giving tours of the facility to people wanting to sign up and shape up, and I thought, these people won't be here past February, and that they really give new year's resolutions a bad name, and that maybe I'm okay not having any resolutions, because no one seems to keep them anyway.
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