Monday, January 24, 2005

swag vs. schwag

ok, so i have always known promotional items, free goods, etc., as swag. i have always known the viscous eight-inch of liquid that gets left in a bottle as schwag. in apes' recent post, he refers to some booty he got as a result of winning a bet as schwag. it's not the first time i've heard someone use schwag as a synonym for swag, but when did schwag become an acceptable alternative for swag?

today is the day

today is stupendous for 2 reasons. first, ms. margie j turned 30 years young. hooray for margie.
second, today is my half wedding anniversary. good lord, i can't believe i've been married for 6 months.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

bacon update #1

we just had some of bacon shipment #1 for brunch today and it was ever so delicious! i like to cook bacon in the toaster oven using the broil function. it gives the bacon crisp edges and renders out a lot of the excess fat, but helps maintain tenderness. at first i was a little intimidated by the peppery aroma when i first opened up the package, but it mellowed out in the cooking.


Friday, January 21, 2005

fry like bacon you little freshman piggies, fry!

the other day i came home and found a shiny silver envelope atop the row of mailboxes. before anything else, i noticed the words bacon of the month club on the address label. i quickly filled with jealousy. who, if not me, in this building could be so deserving of such a present? i then noticed it was addressed to listmaker and my jealousy turned into unbridled excitement. i bounded up the stairs two steps at a time to show listmaker what i had discovered. "look at what someone got you!" i shouted over and over. i noticed listmaker wasn't sharing in my enthusiasm because it turns out the bacon of the month club was a actually surprise for me courtesy of him and his parents. how could i be this lucky?

in the shiny silver envelope was my membership kit which consisted of a membership card, a shirt that's way too big for mee, little rubber toy pigs and a bacon of the month club pig pen. each month i am promised a package of hand crafted artisan bacon delivered to my door, along with a bacon recipe and a bacon comic strip. i received my first shipment the other day at work - it turned out to be a package of New Braunfels Pepper Bacon. if you think people are lax about bacon, wait til one of these bacon shipment show up at your office. bacon fans will be crawling out of the woodwork with saliva dripping down their faces. with the anticipated weather, i'm not planning to leave the apartment all weekend so it makes for perfect bacon eating conditions.

co-worker and fellow bacon enthusiast sara passed along this tip for all the madison area bacon lovers. consider yourselves informed and warned.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

ouch, quit it.

a couple months ago i interviewed andrew kenny of the american analog set for ouch! it's live now and you can read it here.

additionally, tylenol has made a split cd with amanset and white magic that is available as an insert in finer magazines or as not an insert at finer record stores.


Monday, January 10, 2005

my hair is so boring

we have not much love for the upper sides of manhattan to begin with. after yesterday, we have much less. on our way back from stone groove manor we stopped off at the whitney to catch the romare bearden exhibit. it was the last day of the show and it unfortunately coincided with a new york times arts and leisure festival that granted readers two-for-one admission to select museums, including the whitney. so with our bags in tow, we waited on a line that wrapped around the corner for nearly 40 minutes. the weather was pleasant enough and it would have been a tolerable wait had it not been for the two most annoying upperXside girls that were standing on line behind us. for 37 of those 40 minutes they talked about hair. what products they use. what products they shouldn't use. what sylist they go to. what stylists they don't like going to. why stylists their mothers go to. what one thought the other should do with her hair. what one though of the other's current hair. the horror of split ends. the horror of having boring hair, which in turn would make your personality boring. they were loud and their voices screechy. i think they may have even smelled. one of the girls kept bumping into my overnight bag. the two girls were hideous with their faces overly caked with expensive makeup. i couldn't imagine two uglier girls if i tried. i wasn't going to write about them because just thinking about them makes my blood boil. but i think it's important for me to share these things. so we get close to the museum's entrance when one of the girl's spots actor/rapper mos def. they stop their hair conversation cold and start squealing. one girl says she needs to call someone to let them know. this is the most important event in these girls' lives even though girl A casually mentions to girl B, "didn't you say you didn't like his new album?"

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Park Slope Gastronome #8 - Field Trip to Seattle: Cheap Eats

We took a field trip to Seattle over the holidays and we ate a couple places worth mentioning.

First of note is Red Mill Burgers. Listmaker, J.E.R.C., B Zissou and I had lunch at the Phinney Ridge location (there's also one in Interbay). This had been a favorite of Listmaker's during his last visit to the Emerald City (I think that's Seattle's nickname and I'm too lazy to fact check at the moment) and he was quite eager to relive that burger experience. Red Mill Burgers is a made-to-order fast food joint. It looks like fast food, but it sure doesn't taste like it. You place your order and then you mill around while it cooks. They call your name when your food is ready and you hope you can find a seat. I ordered the bacone deluxe with cheese, which came with pepper bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle, red onion, american cheese and something called Mill Sauce. It's some homemade conconction that's sort of like Thousan Island dressing, but totally not. I also got an order of onion rings and they were some of the best I ever had. Unfortunately Listmaker and I had a tangle and some dropped to the floor. I was really tempted to invoke the 5 second rule and pick them up and pop 'em into my mouth. Ok, so let me tell you about these onion rings. They were coated in this delicious cornmeal batter that was light and crispy. It created a perfect seal to keep the onions moist while they cooked. I wish I had some to eat right now! Someone was disappointed in the burger, saying it didn't compare to Bonnie's, but I thought it was an unfair comparison. Red Mill's burger is a thin, unseasoned patty, while Bonnies, is a monstrous circle that's dipped into a blend of spices. It's more like an In-N-Out burger. Also Listmaker got the barbeque burger, sans lettuce and tomato so it was just a mushy, saucy mess. Oh, his fries were delicious too.

Food: A
Service: n/a (although if it were, i would take off points cause they called me Susan when my food was ready. boo).

We also ate at a pho restaurant called Than Brothers. It's a chain in the loosest sense of the word - there are about a half dozen locations spread out Seattle and I'm sure all have the same mirrored interior and glass covered tables. Underneath the glass are clippings of reviews the restaurant has received over the years. The place endeared us immediately because as you sit down you are presented with a plate of creme puffs made by the owner! I tried to save mine for dessert, but I gobbled it down as an appetizer. Than Brothers serves a variety of pho in 4 sizes: small, medium, large and x-large. We were warned that the portions were quite generous and to order on the conservative side. My medium portion of Pho Bo Tai Nam was enough to feed two and less than $5! The broth was fragrant and tasty enough to stand by itself but I am never one to say no to sriracha sauce. I usually overdo it with the sriracha, but luckily at pho restaurants, there's plum sauce to balance it out. All the pho trimmings come on a communal plate, so it's this overflowing bounty of bean sprouts, hot pepper slices, lime wedges and thai basil that's presented before you. I don't really know much about the intricacies of pho to go on further.

Food: A
Service: again, not really applicable. the waiters and waitresses bring you your food and then pretty much leave you alone. you walk up to the cashier when you are ready to pay.

In the next installment of the Park Slope Gastronome, I'll discuss the other places we ate at in Seattle that do not qualify as cheap eats.


Monday, January 03, 2005

the year of the rooster

so far i am loving the year of the rooster. first i got a cold sore on january 1. then my dad sorta disowned me because i didn't call early enough in the day to wish him a happy new year. earlier today, i got a root canal. you know what, they really suck! the procedure was the best part. i mean, aside from the smell of calcium grinding and the eardrum piercing whirr of the drills, it was easy street. they smack on all that novacaine so you don't feel a thing. the fun begins when the novacaine begins to wear off and you can feel the pain all the way up to your temples. i did get a prescription for codeine, but that shit ain't doing nothing. vicodin, please.