Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Coffee, Tea or Avian Flu?

Life's little spurts of progressive luxuries certainly add sunlight -- and ease -- to the everyday.

Things like perfectly ground coffee beans, toasted rye and rice cookers. TJ's 21 seasoning salute, red pepper flakes and delectable saffron. Creamy cambozolas, gruyere-topped-gratins and the always-available gourmet olive bars in most markets.

Culinary creations have jumped amazing hurdles -- long before Emeril convinced middle America to drive by McDonald's and opt for healthier fats.

Which is why I'm continuously perplexed -- whether seated in 36B or 12A -- by this simple, yet unappealing question: "Chicken or beef?"

If the rest of the globe has caught on to the magic of simple-yet-delicious foods, why does American Airlines insist on residing in the 1970s?

ps. for obvious reasons, I'm a fakey vegetarian within the realm of the friendly skies. At least until they begin catering Wolfgang Puck.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

If You're ___

... hungry: there's mushroom-and-pepper pizza in the freezer. It's right next to the frozen chili and the left-over barbecued ribs.

... thirsty: we may still have some secret Pacificos stashed behind the plastic bowl in the cabinet below the fancy toaster.

... antsy: Oskar's your buddy. If you time it just so you won't even need to bring a plastic bag -- just coax him right by the dumpster next to the barber shop.

... sleepy: try my pillow. It's tried-and-true and completely conducive to magical rest.

Back in a flash. Just in time for a deliciously lazy Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Found: Chapter Excerpt

Junior-year high-school English pays off in Crescenta Valley Park, and I'm able to identify Chapter IX from the Cliff's Notes version of The Great Gatsby.

Underlined snippets, courtesy of anonymous studier:

"....Nick is the only person besides 'Owl-Eyes' who has enough real feeling for the man to take an interest in giving him a decent burial."

"...Tom and Daisy who had fled to New York even before Gatsby was murdered, carelessly leaving the chaos they created to be straigthened out by others."

"In contrast, Nick expresses a desire to 'leave things in order' rather than just hoping they will take care of themselves."

"...but the essential element of the man, his intense spirituality, is missing."

"Mr. Gatz's copy of Gatsby's 'schedule' is especially important in that it places his son squarely in the American tradition."

And my very favorite:

"The word 'pandered' connotes the corruption of this 'last and greatest of human dreams,' the final moral that the ideal can never be realized in the gross materialism that has made a moral valley of ashes of the green freshness of America."

Huh. If Cliff's Notes is hiring, evidently all it takes is a fondness of hyperbole and extraordinary run-on-sentence skill.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Board Education

Recently garnered from a snow-inspired Trivial Pursuit session:
  • Evidently, there is an FDA-acceptable threshold for rodent hair within packages of boxed pasta.
  • Southerners like to call their greasy biscuit-lathering concoction redeye-gravy.
  • "The Mezzanine" is a popular work of non-fiction focusing on ... shoelaces.
  • The Seychelles might one day be engulfed by water.
  • Sixty-eight percent of purchased novels reside in the Romance category.
  • Manicurists sometimes have amychophobia.
  • The Pathfinder was sent to Mars for a probe.

Soon there-after, gleaned from a bout with Scattergories:

  • "Ambling" is deliciously under-used.
  • Beer and butts are both cold.
  • Fish that begin with the letter "i": ink-squid?
  • Ligers are official animals.
  • D-inspired terms of endearment are clearly not limited to "dear" and "darling."