Friday, October 29, 2004

Tonight's party is gonna SUCK!

Just kidding! Man, tonight's party is going to tear six kinds of new ass. First of all, the theme is Machete Madness. I have all these machete-based activitites: a timed contest where you hack your way through a length of simulated forest, a doner-kebab where you machete your own meat off the wheel, a machete arts teacher, a booth where you can buy all sorts of machetes, and a performance by Machetes de Fuego, this awesome machete performance troupe outta Quito. Since machetes seem kind of South American, I had Dimitri drop off a couple pallets of tequila, cachaca, rum, and all the fixins. Gonna make us some mad mojitos and caipirinhas! Also this mornin' in the Tasting Lab I worked up a recipe for a new drink called the Piso Mojado, which has three kinds of mezcal and icy grape purée. It gets you donked in a hurry.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Tryin' to make this work.

I been really tryin' to make this work. Tina is lookin' good, and it has been really sensual to revisit all the old feelings we had for each other and kindle them, etc. This Atkins thing shows no signs of abating, though, and she just seems to be an even bigger jackass every time we go out.

Let me let you in on a little history, here. Last time we broke up was because despite whatever good times we had had, we hadn't really seen all that many other people and I think we both were havin' our curiosities about what it might be like out in the open market. I played it pretty free and had a decent time, and she sprung for all these dudes who were one shave away from shakin' change cups at you on the sidewalk. Pony tails, problems with credit, unable to lease a car, all that crap. I'm talking about guys who crashed at friends' houses even though they had mustaches. You know what I mean.

A couple nights ago we went out to Naomi Sushi (yeah, she had the miso and salad with dressing on the side) and a flick. When we were pullin' on our coats and tyin' our scarves, she notices that the busboy is this guy she dated a little while back —7-ball—and they say "hi" and all that jazz and pretty soon we're in the alley behind the restaurant and he bums a smoke off me (plus two more for later). Of course I ain't any part of the conversation and they are swapping all these names like T-Bone and Terry Chrome and I am picturing trucks with Raiders decals and Calvin going to the bathroom onto the Ford logo or whatever. I do not doubt for an instant that 7-Ball is going to go home and mainline Chinese hot mustard while he gets laid off from his job creating random words for Spam emails. Finally I hit Tina on the shoulder and leave and a little while later she comes and finds me in front of the theater.

Long story short she needs to go with 7-Ball to help this one guy yadda yadda and can she borrow fifty bucks. Yeah I loaned her the fifty and I don't expect it back at prime. I stuck around through the first ten minutes of this Chilean art movie about a man who was trying to start his car and then I bailed for home. I was too steamed to call any dudes over so I just sat and made stinky lines rise from my head while I fumed.

That's where I'm at.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

What's goin' on with Tina, etc

So I guess it's been a while since I last blogged. Sorry, blog. I was not mad at you. I was living my life, so I would have interesting things to say in you! Do not be mad, blog!

Okay, sorry, just being silly. Silly's the thing, though. I guess it's the main of what I want to talk about today.

Tina and I have been spending just a ton of time together, and it's been a kick. We'll walk past, like, Primo's Pizza, and just instantly we'll have the same memory of the time we had the waiter who sat down in the booth with us and made us uncomfortable. Sharing even the littlest old memories with her really made our dates special.

We went golfing (she loves to drive the cart), out to all our old haunts (Napoleon's, the Red Room, Smith & Wollensky), a few movies...we even took this pottery class together (she had read in Cosmo or someplace that making pottery is supposed to be sensual, but I just ended up ruining a really nice pair of Hermès sandals). I even stayed over at her place a couple nights, and she made me coffee in the morning. Sure it was instant French Vanilla, but I wasn't complaining.

Just a couple little things have been getting under my skin a bit, though. First of all, I mentioned that she is on Atkins, and at first it seemed like no problem, but over time it is a huge, I mean HUGE pain in the ass to put up with. About 99% of restaurants are off-limits, she always drives the waiter crazy when we do manage to sit down, and whenever I cook anything for her she tries to be nice but just ends up making me mad. Like the time I seared us off a couple filets mignons and set them on a little cloud of mashed potatoes with veal/Port reduction, she took the meat off the potatoes and sliced off the part that had been touching the potatoes, and then sliced off the part that the sauce had touched (I guess Port has carbs! I guess I should be on the lookout for low-carb Sandeman's!). That made me pretty bonkers, I don't mind telling you. Plus wine apparently has like one carb in it, so she didn't want any of the '97 Cakebread Pinot I had decanted, instead asking me for a vodka and diet tonic. Fortunately I had some diet tonic around from that time I was testing out my new shotgun, so I mixed it up, careful not to add a lime. I didn't even bother mentioning that I had some baked Alaska in the fridge, because I think the only part of that she could have eaten would have been the flames.

That's just a fad, though. Atkins ain't something you can do full-time, and I could wait for it to pass, but the main thing that bugs me is that she just doesn't "get" me. You know me, I'm a silly guy! If someone at a party dares me to eat a jalapeño, I'll eye the little sucker, hold it up to the light, pause, pop it into my mouth, chew, and then fall to the floor holding my throat as I convulse. A few seconds later I'll stand up and laugh with everybody. Whenever I'd do something like that with Tina around, though, she'd get embarrassed and say that I was "random." One time after a date I came into the bedroom with whipped cream on my nipples...she just looked up from Vogue and went "oh no you di'in't" and kept reading. Also, she does not at ALL appreciate Ren & Stimpy. Man, there are about fifty more instances I could give, they keep popping into my head.

OK, I'm done whinin'. I got to get plans for tomorrow's party together. I'm thinkin' maybe the theme will be carbs and 'toons.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Country-Western party!

Damn, I forgot to tell everybody about what I did for Friday night's party! Sorry, all. I was bidding on these old board games on eBay right up until it started. (I got an original 70s Mousetrap, the old quality piece construction, before they replaced all the plastic and metal parts with cardboard, and also an old version of Monopoly from 1935 where the "Chance" cards say things like "Your negro spilled soup on a Senator!" and "Your only son is a confirmed bachelor, pay $50 to finance his musical.")

Anyhoo, the theme of the party was Country Western. I saw Urban Cowboy earlier in the week and it was straight-up blumpity, so I went to Salvation Army and bought them out of old yoked western shirts, tight jeans and cowboy hats. Then I stopped by to see the guy who sells flags down by Samoleans' BBQ cart, and he set me up with his cousin who operates a portable mechanical bull, so the main event was locked. Dimitri set us up with a few kegs of Michelob and Michelob Dark, plus Ten High whiskey, and I contracted a guy called Danger Chuck's Cooking to serve chuck wagon-type cowboy food from his special old-fashioned cart. For music, I got the guys from Black Irish to come pick some rockin' lowhills bluegrass.

Téodor and Lyle showed up kind of early so I dudded them up and had them start drinking—this way it would seem like there were already rowdy cowboys at the party when folks showed up. For about an hour while he's gettin' plowed Lyle likes to be real chummy and optimistic, so he was all about helping Danger Chuck get his rig set up (Lyle occasionally works in food service as a cook). They finished off some real nice dutch oven pot roast, simmered the chili beans, baked up scrumptious biscuits and cornbread, basted the rotisserie chickens, and even made mile-high apple pies for dessert. The chow wagon was lookin' good when folks started flowin' in.

First to arrive were Molly and Beef, and I don't want to be a gossip but they were having some kind of dispute. They got into the costumes alright, but they were pretty steamed and couldn't wait to get some beer and separate from each other. Beef went to help Lyle and Chuck with the cart, and Molly cooled it with Téodor, who had set some bottles up and was throwing baseballs at them, like a carnival. Meanwhile, folks started to stream in and get into the duds. The Black Irish struck up and it was all of a complete, promising scene.

Some guys I wasn't expecting to see showed, like old Smacks Peel. I blogged about his baby shower a little while back - you might remember. Anyhow, his wife apparently kicked him outta the house and told him to get lost, so he came and wound a couple on. Turns out he is not happy to be a dad and she has postpartum depression and he wants to die. I know when Smacks says stuff like this he'll get through it — dude is a straight player. I slapped a straw Stetson on him and poured out a Dark faster than you can say Raymond Quentin Smuckles.

Over in a corner Téodor was setting the bottles up for Molly, and when she pitched a ball that took down his pyramid, they hugged. Beef had been watching all this from the sidelines, and then he tried to do that thing where the country guy pulls the country girl off the premises by her forearm. Molly was having none of it and kicked him across his butt cheeks (Beef! Dude!). Anyhow, the guys in Black Irish got all into it and started to defend the lady, and before you know it Beef was fighting the Black Irish. He banged one guy over the head with his own mandolin before the rest tackled him and forced him into a pretty bad position. I had to go in and bail his ass out, and let me tell you, I was none too pleased about it. I love my friends, but a dogg does not have to be a dirt dogg at his friend's party.

About this time the mechanical bull was getting pretty heavy use, so folks started lining up to take rides. Damn but if Lyle isn't a dynamo on the mechanical bull! He didn't fall off once, and by about eleven he had the whole crowd cheering for him. I know the dogg has seen some serious days, but I never thought he had experience in honky-tonk pastimes.

He kept going beneath the base of the mechanical bull and cranking up the difficulty level, and this had the crowd hooting and hollering. He'd get up, it'd throw him around for all it was worth, but he never let go. He'd be a little dizzy when he got down, but he never fell. People were all over him, slapping him on the shoulder and getting him beers. I thought he had the thing cranked up as far as it would go, but then I saw him talking to the bull operator, who nodded and gave him this special red metal key. Lyle went under the bull, pulled up this sliding door, stuck the key into some kind of lock and gave it this really hard turn. Then he got on the bull, cinched up his glove, and raised his free hand to signal that he was ready. What happened next kind of confused and scared me.

I guess that red key-lock thing is like the turbocharger for the bull, because it started bucking so fast that the whole thing pretty much became a blur, whipping Lyle around like a rag doll. At first people tried to cheer, but then they just became slowly concerned, and then genuinely terrified. It looked like Lyle was having all his bones broken inside the sack of his body. There was no way his spine was handling all the heaving and dropping and whipping and turning — he looked like if you've ever dropped a raw chicken into a laundromat washer when it's on spin cycle. I ran up to the operator but he just set his jaw and pointed: Lyle was still holding on. I guess that's part of the honky-tonk credo: if the cowboy is still holding on, you've got to let him ride. People were starting to yell things like "Call 911!" and "Oh my god, make it stop!" and a few women (plus Smacks) started screaming and crying.

The bull has an automatic shutoff feature, so it won't keep going indefinitely. When the bull finally shut down, Lyle was leaned over, limp in the saddle, his face resting on the foremount. His left leg twitched once, and then he lay still. No one was sure if they could go near him, or if the bull was still dangerous. The operator got up, walked over to him, and took the key out of the lock. He whispered something in Lyle's ear and then, lifting his head up by the hair, poured something from a small flask down his throat. Lyle fell back down onto the chassis, but then, ever so slowly, his body seemed to draw back into form, and he began to sit up. It had been dead silent all this time, and now people started to cheer and holler with a passion. Lyle squeezed his forehead, spat, and stood up on the bull, his fists raised in the air. The crowd was deafening. At the back, I saw Beef and Molly turn and fall into each others' arms.

Later on I went up to congratulate Lyle and he was standing alright, but he wasn't making too much sense when he talked. I asked him if I could fill his beer and he said things like "a muscle in a poke, baby strawberry pie!" Not a good sign, but probably temporary while his brain settles back down inside his skull. If there's one guy I don't worry about after physical torture, it's Lyle.

So, a pretty good party! I nibbled on some chili beans while Danger Chuck and the bull guy wound down their operations, and soon all you could hear on the property was the low buzz of the floodlight.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Time After Time

Tina and I went to see Goonies down at the Guild tonight (the Guild plays older flicks, you know, just for fun - last week they were showin' Superman, for example). She saw that it was playing and said it was her favorite movie, in that way that means it's not really your favorite movie but you really like it and have good memories of it, so we went. I always like to see that Japanese kid with all the inventions in his shoes. She laughed way too much when the fat kid did the Truffle Shuffle (I kind of slunk down in my seat so no one could see me), but it was still a pretty good time.

After the flick we went to Toshi's for some nice sushi, tempura and sake. I wouldn't have chosen Toshi's if I had known she was on Atkins, but she was a player and just picked the seafood off the rice, scraped the batter off the vegetables, and had lots of miso. We talked a little bit about Atkins, and I do notice she is lookin' pretty trim these days. I don't think I could ever do a diet which doesn't include Round Table Italian Garlic Supreme, but it's workin' for her, and that's all that matters. She used to be a little thick around the middle, you know, like it would bunch up when we were in missionary position, but now that's all gone and she feels a lot sexier.

Since she's feelin' so good lately, she is a lot more forward in the sack. That don't do me no harm, but since I found out she was on Atkins I think I notice that her breath is always sort of funny, like kind of oily, like a little light puff from a can of cooking spray-oil. Maybe we need to experiment with positions more. I don't know. I shouldn't blog about this.

Not really sure where all this is headed, but it's good to be with her again. It's like, we've both been down all kinds of roads and found each other again, maybe a little bit wiser but also a little bit more vulnerable. I tell you, there is never any one point where you understand how this all works.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Gnome Party clues (SPOILER: read previous entry first!)

Okay, so I mentioned that each of the gnomes hidden around my last party had a clue on them, which would lead to treasure! This is how it worked: each of the ten gnomes was wearing a ring on one of its fingers. Each of the gnomes was wearing the ring on a different finger. Each ring had a different letter of the alphabet on it, which, when put together in order, spelled something. The left pinkie ring was the first letter, and the right pinkie ring was the last letter. What did the ten rings spell out, when put in the correct order?

t e l l r a y 2 7 !

That was the clue to come up to me and tell me the code word, "27"!

Did anyone get it? Oh, hell no. A couple of the gnomes got thrown over the fence, one of them got tied to a 25lb. dumbbell and thrown in the pool, and this other one had his face all burned up with lighters. Most of them had their rings stolen and taken home as party favors.

I guess I could have provided some sort of instructions that the party had a hidden theme-riddle based on the gnomes. Bad move on my part. Next time, people.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Friday Night's Party - Get Into The Gnome

Okay, so tonight's party has a Gnome theme. The people don't got to dress like gnomes, nothing lame like that. The thing is, there are various gnome-type concepts going to be scattered throughout the party, there for people to enjoy. In one corner I put a little gnome figurine lying down against a tree, smoking a small pipe and napping. Under the little bridge that connects the lap pool to the main pool, I suspended a watchful gnome in a kind of straw and leather "aerie." On the buffet table (the food theme is choucroute garnie, which goes nicely with my newly expanded line of Belgian lambics, all of which are on tap) I had a local meat artist build a gnome out of various sausages, slab bacons, kielbasas, frankfurters, and other cured meats. He is totally styling in his little structured prosciutto Tyrolean and leberwurst lederhosen. He is even carrying a little bag of sausages! I love a good meat artist, someone who really uses his imagination. Anyhow, some other gnomes are hidden in the Japanese garden, in the bushes, around corners, all the places it seemed like a gnome would want to be.

That's not all. Each of the gnomes has a clue, and if you can put the clues together and figure out the riddle, and you are the first one to tell me, you win some treasure! Hopefully someone will win the treasure, but I may have to give out hints (the treasure is the big new iPod, a bunch of fancy canned and jarred food, and Bo Diddley's first Gretsch, which I just bought at auction last week).

I'm not going to blog about the clues until after the party (I've said too much already!), so go on out and then come back later!