Thursday, March 31, 2005

 Posted by Hello

Holy moly! A miraculously hot tip has arrived from reader Syd B. Though the real pope may be at death's door, this eerie tater doppelganger will live on forever, provided it is properly cared for and not allowed to fall prey to hungry doves. I would also venture to say that anyone in possession of such an artifact will surely have no difficulty entering the kingdom of heaven when their own time upon this mortal coil comes to an end. In short: recommended!

When I got home last night I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new Cabela's sporting goods catalog had arrived in the mail, just in time for fish & fishing week. The item that first struck my eye isn't a real fish, but it sure is real crazy. As with the catfish grabblers, I had no idea that there even were extreme towable enthusiasts, but I now have an idea that there are going to be a few less of them after this summer with the new Manta Ray on the market. There's a video of this flying death fish on the Sevylor website, but it doesn't show the parts where it flips over while you're flying up in the air and then flops back down to drag you underwater for awhile, or where your driver cracks the whip and you go spinning wildly into another boat or jetski or pier or outerspace. In short: recommended!

Clearly the powers that be are doing their best to silence me; first the continuous Blogger ‘server errors’, and now today a second line of attack has opened up and I have been deluged by a towering crapload of actual ‘work’. But though the man may be trying to shut me down, he did not reckon on the equally towering crapload of small mammal news that I have squirreled away for just such a siege:
  1. Woman Tries To Exterminate Raccoon, Lights House On Fire Instead
  2. Thief Pulls Rabbit Out of a Hat - and Runs
  3. Peppering Squirrels Not Advised
  4. River Otters to Make Final Appearance
  5. Tiffin To Go Nuts For Squirrels
  6. Son of World's Biggest Rabbit at Farm
  7. Marmot Patrol! Those Low-down Dirty Rascals

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It seems like everyone else in the world is already all over this, but I just bought the new M.I.A. album Arular today and am so into it that I'm going to take a second to join in the chorus, by which I mean post a few links because I am no lame-ass music critic (Pitchfork, which I both despise and read all the time can take care of that for you). Boing Boing has a link to the video for Galang (directed by Ruben Fleischer, who also did at least one of those Burger King commercials I love so much) and Boom Selection currently has a couple of unreleased tracks up, not quite as good as the album but free and get 'em while you can. This is the first new music that's moved me to go beyond downloading a few tracks and actually buy the album in a long time, and as a bonus it's the first album I've bought in forever where I actually like every single track (doesn't hurt that it's not all that long, I suppose, but still). In short: recommended!

I wish I had the combination of time and enthusiasm necessary to recreate the fabled lost Apprentice post this afternoon, and I do have most of the enthusiasm that would be required... but not the time. I've got a combination of last week's and this week's topics in the Goldfish Cocktail, though, will that do? How about if I throw in a history of goldfish swallowing and the lyrics to the goldfish jingle? Synopsis of the episode of The Cosby Show where Rudy's goldfish dies? Yuebing the bunny with two types of cake and a tiny dish on her head? Come on, I didn't even see most of the episode, and as a former beauty queen I can tell you that is one poignant and accurate tiny dish. So are we cool?

I could make a Minor Threat reference here to go with the previous Angry Samoans one if this were a bass, but unfortunately it is a walleye.
Posted by Hello

Because Blogger is being bafflingly balky, I'm forced to frantically foist these four fishy links on you and flee, forgoing further filigree (apart from a little annoying alliteration): 1) tuna taco, 2) toddler tuna taco, 3) terribly classy tuna taco camisole, and 4) streaming Angry Samoans songs that sound like they are being performed by undersea robots.

Another part of the fun is the matching ensembles traditionally worn by walleye fishermen. Not so fun is the fact that Blogger is once again totally fucked this morning, leaving many ichthyological items of interest flopping helplessly inside the live-well of my skull with no means of escape. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I woke up this morning feeling very happy and energized, having gotten plenty of sleep and stepping outside to find a dry and warm new day. This afternoon the work I was scheduled to labor on did not materialize, so I took the opportunity to finally compose a few words concerning last week's Apprentice episode. Perhaps it is immodest for me to say so, but in my opinion they were unusually well-written and humorous words, quite making up for both their great delay and the unfortunate fact that I never saw most of the episode. Then I clicked on 'Publish Post'. Nothing happened. I clicked again and the progress bar at the bottom of the page began moving tediously rightward for approximately 20 minutes, at which point a page proclaiming "Internal Server Error" appeared. I clicked on the 'Back' button and was greeted by a fresh and clean posting form, quite devoid of any words, humorous or otherwise. I was unable to post anything for the rest of the day until this moment. I am now tired, uninterested in rewriting the demise of Erin Elmore, and filled with a passionate hatred of Blogger.

From left to right: Kristi Addis, catfish. Posted by Hello

I'll admit that I was concerned that fish and fishing would not prove to be as fascinating a subject as cocktails were, but that was before I discovered catfish noodling. And though I feel like I ought to move on to another aspect of this week's topic, there is some more cat wrasslin' out there to deal with first:

"Some folks say noodling is stupid," the man told me as he doctored his arm. "And maybe they're right. But for a poor ol' country boy like me, it's the cheapest thrill there is. That there's the biggest catfish anyone around these parts has seen in a long time. And I caught it bare-handed. It don't get no more excitin' than that." This is another story by Keith Sutton, who wrote the ESPN noodling article I linked to yesterday and appears to be to the sport what Hemingway was to bullfighting. He also appears to have only one set of noodling photos.

Speaking of noodling photos, some of the pictures which come up repeatedly when you do an image search for catfish noodling are not really photos of catfish noodling at all, at least not domestic noodling. So says Snopes anyhow, which is good to learn because they had me a little wary of ever swimming in a lake again for fear of bein' et.

Which was a fate feared by our frontier forefathers as well, it seems. "The story of noodling on the American frontier became intertwined with the legends associated with catfish, such as their supposed gargantuan size and propensity to eat small children."

Last, but most definitely not least, good news for all you lady readers out there who may have gotten the idea that this was strictly an old catfish-grabbing boys club that would forever be off limits to the purty likes of you. According to Wanda Garner of Women Anglers, "I have been told that many women participate, including Kristi Addis, former Miss Teen USA 1987, who told pageant judges that grabbling for catfish was one of her favorite pasttimes." And if such hearsay isn't enough proof for you, I've saved the very best for last: "Catfish Grabblers is now bringing you the first and only Girls Gone Grabblin' video ever produced. Be one of the first to watch and be amazed as 35 Southern women bring you the thrill of catching catfish weighing up to 44lbs. with their hands and wrestling them to the bank ... There is also a great music video featuring a special song performed by Stacy Wilson just for Catfish Grabblers." Goddamn right I just ordered it.

Monday, March 28, 2005

 Posted by Hello

"It's an extreme sport by anyone's definition, ranking right up there with bull fighting, skiing Mount Everest, parachuting off waterfalls and walking tightropes stretched between city skyscrapers. Some call it foolish. Others label it idiotic." What is this extremely maligned and often illegal sport? "You know, what we would do when we were young'uns," Rep. Pete Warren told a curious colleague. "We'd reach up in the creek bank and pull that catfish out." Welcome to the perfect blend of Mountain Dew's original and current brand positionings, the wet, wild, and wonderfully wack world of catfish noodling.

Now, via my beloved Google video search, CatfishTV:
"I know but I can't bring you catfish since you wanted fish I brought you the Salmon it's yummy I speak English very well Please, don't talk to me like that oh, I'm sorry look, just take the Salmon, okay, it's really good no, it's not okay your Salmon."

"Mr. Balboa, Mr. Creed's on the phone. Yeah? I'll be right there. You can get it right here. Hope it's not another rematch. Oh, don't worry about it. Have some catfish from Church's Fried chicken. Catfish from Church's."

"I'm going to solve, Pat. Blackened catfish fillet. Yeah. Feeling nervous about spinning again? When you have a little bad luck on the wheel, you get a little nervous about spinning, and I can understand."

So, this week's topic will be fish and fishing; clearly I was drunk when I thought up this topic but let's see how it goes. This first post will deal with the persnickety catfish. Catfish don't see very well and find their food by smell or taste, which is why many weird and smelly things are used to catch them. One of the premier catfish bait companies, Doc's Catfish Bait, is based not far from my hometown, and I can add my own testimony to these people's that it will catch you a catfish (though in my limited catfish/bullhead experience, a nightcrawler will also catch you plenty - and in my experience, you should wear gloves when you grab them, because they have poisonous spines on their fins that sting like hell). Adding to their danger, they've got tiny little bones that never seem to get completely removed when they're cleaned, so exercise caution while you're enjoying celebrity catfish lover Dolly Parton's Catfish & Fixins. And use caution when trying out the recipes from last week, too, otherwise you might end up like Catfish's son: "I am not going to worry about my son. He made is bed, now let him lay in it. I am going down to the pond and shot a few guns, just to calm me down. He knows I will not help him and I think he is in big trouble, this time."
Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Finally, to close out the week of the cocktail, reader recipes. The drink being prepared by readers Andrew H. and Mike A., and enjoyed by reader Sarah A., is the delicious office equipment-themed libation Three-Hole Punch. Due to the fact that nobody ever wrote the recipe down, specifics of this concoction will have to remain a trade secret, but Mike and I have managed to reconstruct the basic formula. First you make freshly-squeezed lemonade, substituting Grenadine for at least part of the sugar (and use Rose's grenadine, since my research this week has uncovered the fact that they are one of the few manufacturers that still use pomegranates, which are the traditional basis of grenadine). Then add equal parts gin, vodka, and triple sec, with around 3 parts lemonade to one part liquor mixture. The next recipe is my own creation (or slight variation), the Scootosa. This close cousin of the Mimosa is made with tangerine juice (Odwalla or some other fairly fresh tangerine juice, or you could squeeze your own; note that tangerine juice is seasonal, making this a wintertime drink) and champagne, with a maraschino cherry optional, but desirable. I've never actually had a Scootosa with a cherry, but I do have a great desire to try it with one someday - you tend to get a thick layer of tangerine pulp floating on the top of the drink, which a cherry would settle down into as though it were a citrusy beanbag chair. By the way, I also discovered this week that mimosas are sometimes made with cointreau or triple sec in addition to champagne and orange juice - who knew? As long as we're on the subject, here are a bunch of other champagne cocktails, including the delicious Kir Royale. Finally, reader Andrea B. has two signature cocktails to her name, the wintertime Brakeberry and its summertime cohort the Ginesca. A Brakeberry is a vodka tonic with a splash or two of cranberry juice, and though you'd think that this combination would already have a name, it hasn't turned up in a week's worth of looking at cocktail recipes, so it appears to be an original. The Ginesca, meanwhile, is gin and Fresca, a light and flavorful combination which is equally, though not as suprisingly, absent from existing collections of drink recipes. And a theoretical relative of this drink, which has not yet been tested in a real-world environment, would be the Guirt (I trust you can deduce that recipe on your own). This concludes our weeklong exploration of mixed drinks, be sure to tune in next week when our subject will be fish and fishing (and again, suggestions for future weekly topics would be super great). Oh, and this is one big egg. [Special note for anyone happening upon this standalone post: there are a whole week's worth of cocktail recipes and factoids to be found in the March 2005 archives between the 21st and 26th! You'll find the links to the archives if you click on Jeffy over to your left and head back to the main page. Or, now that I think about it, you could just click here.]

Friday, March 25, 2005

Well this just is not right. "But when he saw Johnson the next day, the boy didn't want to talk. 'He just started hitting,' Johnson said."

 Posted by Hello

I'm rushing to wrap up cocktail week because I've just been given the greenlight to head home early in celebration of Christ's death, but first I need to quickly address the other drink that I was discussing last Friday that got me to thinking about cocktails (the first being the "martini"): the pousse cafe. The pousse cafe is a layered drink which is very carefully assembled in a pousse cafe glass and then sipped layer by layer. From accounts I've read, they are generally disgusting to taste but look cool, and it could be fun to try to make one sometime. Every single recipe I've found for this drink is entirely different, so in lieu of a specific recipe here is a guide to the specific gravities of various liqueurs and mixers that can help guide you in case you have a large stock of these ingredients and feel like experimenting. I also planned on giving the recipes of a few reader-created drinks but since I've left my Three-Hole Punch imagry back at home I will need to fill you in on those tomorrow. Have a happy Easter and get ready for the fun and frolic of fish and fishing next week!

How y'all feel? Alright, I got a little question for all you. I wanna know - how many people here like to take a taste of alcohol? Alright. I know, you know it's getting so hot outside you always need something to cool you off. There's gotta be some people out there that like to drink tequila. Alright. I was talking to somebody backstage before, and they were telling me there's a lot of you people there that like to drink vodka and orange juice. Yeah. I'll tell you something - when you're down in the dumps and you need something to bring you up, there's only one thing that's gonna do it the way you want it. What's that? Cold gin. Before cocktail week at IAAFOTS is over I need to get to the recipes for gin drinks that I’m hoping to work into my personal drinking rotation – one of them is the gimlet, which has already been covered, and the other leading contender (that I assume most bartenders ought to know how to make) is the Tom Collins. This drink was so popular that it got its own glass named after it, the tall 12 oz. collins glass, and looks to be very refreshing. Following the Collins recipe I’ve also got some other contenders which I’m not as certain that bartenders will know how to make, but most of them look fairly easy to explain if a place wasn’t that busy some night (I’m particularly intrigued by the French 75).

Tom Collins
1 ½ oz. gin
Juice of ½ lemon
1 teaspoon sugar
Shake with ice, strain and pour over fresh ice in a tall (Collins) glass, fill with soda. Garnish with orange slice, cherry. Sour mix could be substituted for lemon/sugar if necessary.

Gin Rickey
1 ½ oz. gin
½ lime
In a 9 oz. highball glass, squeeze juice from ½ lime, then throw lime shell in after it. Add gin, fill with ice and soda. ¼ teaspoon sugar or dash of grenadine optional.

1 ½ oz. gin
½ oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Shake well with ice, strain into cocktail glass. Top with dash of soda, add cherry.

French 75
2 oz. gin
1 oz. lemon juice
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Stir well in tall 14 oz. glass. Add ice and fill with champagne.

Gin Daisy
2 ½ oz. gin
2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
½ oz. grenadine
1/2 oz. orange juice
Shake in iced cocktail shaker & strain into cocktail glass
Posted by Hello

You may want to mix yourself up a stinger or two before reading this news... I tuned in to The Apprentice a little late last night and then realized that it had started at 8:30 instead of 9 and I had missed most of it! So I don't really have much to write, but am going to see if maybe I can view some of the rest via Yahoo and NBC video clips over the weekend. I know this is rough, and believe me, I'm just sick about it, but if they're going to be moving shows around all willy-nilly they really ought to let me know. I liked The Office, though, whatever that's worth, particularly the receptionist, Jenna Fischer. A few fun facts: 1) she was in an acting class at age 6 with the guy who plays Kirk on The Gilmore Girls and later married his brother, and 2) Her cat Andy can proudly be seen in the 2005 Page-a-Day Cat Calendar as Mr. April 7. Posted by Hello

Reader Mike A. has sent in a tip concerning a sad passing in the world of boogie: Rod Price, Foghat guitarist, has fallen down some stairs and died. This tip also reminded me of another southern fried death which I neglected to note when it happened last week: Danny Joe Brown of Molly Hatchet. It's a little early to call this a trend, but if I were Jim Dandy Magnum I would definitely be watching my step right now.

Leave it to the blogosphere to blow something all out of proportion; if anyone had bothered do do a little research into Mr. O'Brien's various business ventures they would have realized that this was simply a bit of creative guerilla marketing for his cocktail sideline. Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

 Posted by Hello

This new weekly topic notion seems to be working out very well so far, at least with the current topic. I've got a list of around 10 ideas for future topics, but since I believe there to be around 52 weeks this year, more will be needed. Therefore, readers are encouraged to send suggestions for weekly topics in to the tipline; currently it's looking like next week's topic will be "fish and fishing", which should either give you something to look forward to or sufficient impetus to send along something better in the next few days. Currently our focus is still on the cocktail, though, and in the 1949 edition of Esquire's Handbook For Hosts I have found what may be the best cocktail recipe ever written (the drink sounds good, too, although I am not entirely sure that you ever get to taste it).

Gin Cup
Take a pint cup, pure silver
Fill it with crushed ice
Put in juice one-half lemon
Put in tablespoonful powdered sugar
Joggle cup slightly for five minutes
Add large jigger best gin
Let stand until entire outside heavily frosted
Sit quietly: only a mutt will talk or read
After 15 minutes of sedate joy
Take 15 minutes more of same
The day becomes beautiful!

 Posted by Hello

Maundy Thursday is the Thursday before Easter. Christians remember it as the day of the Last Supper, when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and placed cookie hats on the heads of his bunnies. The night of Maundy Thursday is the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane. The word "maundy" comes from the command given by Christ at the Last Supper, that we should love one another and cookie-hatted rabbits.

My own opinion is that bourbon is somewhat vile, but should you disagree here are recipes for a Manhattan, an Old Fashioned, and a Whiskey Sour (or, if you're like me as far as the darker liquors go, here is a recipe for gravy fried caribou). Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Some people have the mistaken impression that this is a breakfast drink, but in actuality the name just refers to its appearance, and the only time that a Tequila Sunrise would not be an appropriate choice of beverage is when you're stuck in rehab with Pat O'Brien. Posted by Hello

 Posted by Hello

Meanwhile, reader Will H. has another pink squirrel link for us (not the cocktail, though it is related to both cock and tails). Also, while on the subject of cock, if you haven't been following the growing Pat O'Brien scandal(s) yet, it's high time you get up to speed (perhaps while enjoying a glass of Pat's signature drink, the Hurricane).

Speaking of bunnies, reader Andrea B. has just alerted me to a link which shows why many people refer to the internet as "the bunny cookie hat superhighway": Yuebing's Homepage! Yuebing means "moon cake" is Japanese, but she can balance many different confections upon her head, a talent evidently shared by the owner's previous rabbit, Oolong. There are also photo essays on Yuebing's extensive travels, including a trip to the rabbit shrine and meeting her mother. There are no pictures of Yuebing with a cocktail balanced atop her furry noggin, but if she were ever to attempt such a feat I would suggest a frozen grasshopper, which goes very well with cookies.

If you had a bottle of rum tucked inside your bunny, you would be well on your way to enjoying a tropically delicious Mai Tai. Here is some research into the many conflicting recipes for the Mai Tai, here is the story straight from the creator, Trader Vic Bergeron (not to be confused with Tom Bergeron), and here is what seems to be the correct recipe:

Mai Tai
1 ounce light rum
1 ounce dark rum
1/2 ounce Orgeat
1/2 ounce orange Curacao
1/4 ounce simple syrup
juice from one fresh lime
Hand shake and garnish with half of the lime shell inside the drink and float a sprig of fresh mint at the edge of the glass.
Posted by Hello

Cocktails In The News:
From Pittsburgh, the Ladies United for the Preservation of Endangered Cocktails (who were also one of the pink squirrel links yesterday)
From San Francisco, the importance of ice
From Louisville, the importance of scooping said ice
From New Orleans, the Museum of the American Cocktail
and from Forbesville, vodka cocktails (with slideshow)
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Pink squirrel, pink squirrel, pink squirrel, pink squirrel, pink squirrel, pink squirrel.

Ever wonder what a Seabreeze would look like under a microscope? Wondering will be a thing of the past after you spend some time at this gallery of cocktail photomicrography.

Court Street, Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn 3/19/05

Bunny Hug
1 part gin
1 part whiskey
1 part Pernod
Shake well with ice, strain into cocktail glass

A large part of my interest in this week's topic has been a desire to find some other drinks that I might want to order instead of my traditional gin & tonic on occasion, but now that we've touched on malt liquor and fortified wines we may as well stick with drinks that will make you very sick and/or kill you for a moment. Readers who didn't grow up in the midwest may only be familiar with Everclear via the Geto Boys, whose Bushwick Bill drank a bunch of Everclear back in 1991 and then tried to get his girlfriend to shoot him, losing an eye in the process, an incident detailed in his song "Ever So Clear". But you could buy this stuff in Iowa, so from personal experience let me strongly advise anyone who lives in a state where it is not illegal DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DRINK ANY OF THESE RECIPES! Or at least, if you are stupid enough to do so, just have one cup of a grain alcohol-based drink and then wait half an hour before deciding whether you want another, because it's almost pure ethanol and you are not going to realize how strong it is immediately. I brought two bottles back to college one year and really did almost kill someone, though that same warning was repeated over and over again - it wasn't from alcohol poisoning, luckily, someone just threw down 3 cups or so immediately and then passed out in the middle of the road in front of the dorm and almost got run over. For illustrative purposes only, though, here are a few of the award-winning recipes:

Ozzie's Whoopee Fizz
1 oz. Everclear
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. gin
1 oz. 7up
1 oz. Squirt
1 oz. Mountain Dew
Mix and serve over ice

Mount Evermore
1 oz. Everclear
1/2 cup strawberry yogurt
1 oz. milk
Blend with ice, top with whipped cream

Christian Killer
1/2 oz Everclear
1/4 oz creme de menthe
1/4 oz Bailey's Irish cream
Fill a shot glass halfway with Everclear. Add Bailey's irish cream and creme de menthe, and shoot.

Raging Indian
1/4 shot Everclear
1/4 shot Kahlua
1/4 shot orange juice
1/4 shot mango juice
Mix ingredients together in a shaker. Strain into a shot glass, and serve.

Golden Clipper
1 1/2 oz. Everclear
1 oz. banana schnapps
2 oz. orange juice
Mix over ice.

Convenience Store Parking Lot Punch (IAAFOTS original)
4 cans Red Bull
4 bottles Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler, classic original flavor
1 fifth peach schnapps
1 B&J bottle of Everclear
1 can Del Monte fruit cocktail
Mix ingredients with ice in medium bucket.

I hope that the network here at work (and Blogger) are a little more stable today, otherwise I may need to get some liquor up in here and start taste-testing these cocktails. Reader Will H. has sent in this link to some nice Champale advertising; before you say that Champale is not a cocktail, let me provide a recipe you could use it in:


1 quart beer (or malt liquor that looks sort of like champagne)
1/2 pint brandy
2 eggs
Sugar to taste
Small amounts of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
Stir thoroughly until well mixed

The Champale has also reminded of a similar-sounding concoction which Fred Sanford would mix up for special occasions, Champipple, which is a mixture of champagne and Ripple in equal proportions. Ripple was a brand of very cheap fortified wine that is no longer manufactured, but after a few glasses of Chammaddog or Champancisco you'll be so busy yelling at Julio and his goat to get out of your yard that you won't notice any difference.

Monday, March 21, 2005

 Posted by Hello

Let’s commence with my thoughts on the Martini. It’s not a drink that I particularly care for, but it is at the center of the most serious problem currently plaguing the world of mixed drinks. The martini, traditionally, is made with 4 parts gin, 1 part dry vermouth, stirred with ice, strained into a martini glass, and garnished with an olive. At some point, people began to use less and less of the vermouth, until the drink had basically become chilled gin with an olive in it. Then gin, with its complex and sophisticated flavor, began to be replaced with the virtually flavorless vodka, until the most widely imbibed “martini” was actually just cold vodka with an olive. Once things had devolved this far it was only a matter of time until folks began to assume that “martini” was a word which meant “drink with vodka in it”, and today we are awash in appletinis, chocolate martinis, etc. My problem here is not that these drinks are not as good as an actual martini, it’s that they have absolutely no connection to a martini and should be called something else. Part of what got me to thinking about this was a cappuncino martini which was on the menu at the pizza place I went to on Friday night; shouldn’t this drink, which was probably some coffee liqueur and vodka, have a more fun and evocative name, like a Stalin (you know, russian joe… and wait, come to think of it, isn’t this actually a Black Russian?) Here’s an analogous situation: you have a classic sandwich called a BLT, which is made by combining bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Then you start using less and less tomato, until you’re left with a bacon and lettuce sandwich, which you continue to call a BLT. Then somebody decides that they don’t really like bacon and substitute a chicken breast, a concept which catches on until what people call a BLT is really a chicken breast with lettuce sandwich. And then any sandwich with chicken breast is referred to as a “something-BLT”, and you have people calling a chicken parmesan sandwich a ParmLT. If this disturbing trend is allowed to continue we will soon be left with a language as woefully inexpressive as that of the Smurfs, where 85% of the vocabulary has been reduced to a single word. So, to sum up: a martini is gin with dry vermouth, vodka with dry vermouth is a vodka martini, vodka without vermouth is called “straight vodka”, and mixtures of vodka with other ingredients often already have a name, and if they don’t you should make one up which does not contain any part of the word “martini”.

Now that IAAFOTS is entering its second year, I thought it might be good to shake things up ever so slightly with a new idea I'm calling Topic Of The Week. This gambit will allow us to delve more fully into the given subject and really get a handle on it; of course, mischevious otters, classy collectibles, and everything else you've come to expect will continue to be interspersed with posts on the featured theme. The inaugural topic for this Holy Week will be cocktails, a disappearing artform which I've been thinking about quite a bit recently. In a moment, the first of these thoughts...
Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Friday, March 18, 2005

Many thanks to Randy Travis, Olivia Newton-John, Kobe Bryant, Princess Diana, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, John Denver, Jerry Seinfeld, Dean Martin, Al Jolson, Danny DeVito, Connie Francis, Michael J. Fox, Reba McEntire, Eddie Murphy, Marcia Clark, Steven Seagal, Danny Kaye, Bill Lambeer, and Christina Aguilera for their participation in the First Annual IAAFOTS All-Star Filet-O-Fish Eating Contest held this noon at Rockefeller Center to benefit pika relief efforts. Coming out on top was Marcia Clark with 78 sandwiches in 30 minutes, but with your generous pledges totally nearly enough to defray the cost of the food and celebrity appearance fees, the real winners are the pikas. Posted by Hello