Saturday, July 31, 2010
Cheers to all of us thieves!
1. Was your dad named after anyone?
My dad was named after his dad and I was named after my dad.
2. What do you think is the minimal age to get married?
Personally I don't know or really care. In Oklahoma it's probably 14 with parental consent.
3. What’s the longest time that you‘ve been involved with the same person?
4. What actor/actress do you consider hot at the moment?
Chris Pine, the new Captain Kirk.
5. What is you favorite album by a band?
Tough one. Fleetwood Mac's greatest hits and We Are Pilots by Shiny Toy Guns.
6. What is your favorite album by an individual artist?
Another tough one! Off the top of my head, Extra Virgin by Olive or Funhouse by Pink.
7. What is something that you‘d rather be a bit dirty?
I'm not sure I understand the question. My men!
8. What was the last TV show that you watched?
9. How many people have you met from the blogosphere? Who are they?
None unless we're including family members and friends.
10. What's your philosophy on life?
"I'm not ready to make nice."
11. Do you think prescription drugs are over prescribed?
12. Would you keep a secret from me if you thought it was in my best interest?
I would certainly try but I'm sure we'd get drunk together and I would spill the beans.
13. What is your favorite memory in the last year?
Definitely my trip to Chicago in early July.
14. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?
Vegas bombs (equal parts Crown, Peach Schnapps, Malibu Rum and red bull).
15. Tell me one odd/interesting fact about you:
I have webbed feet. My second and third toes on each foot are mostly connected.
16. You can have three wishes (for yourself, so forget all the 'world peace etc' malarky) - what are they?
1. To have enough money to do whatever I want.
2. To live in a bigger city (like Chicago).
3. To be 3 inches taller.
17. Who would you want to get together with and make a cake?
Anthony Bourdain, hopefully it would be a rum cake.
18. Which country is your spiritual home?
The good 'ole US of A or Germany.
19. What is your big weakness?
My inability to see that all I have in life is a great thing.
20. Do you think Judd Corizan is a good person?
I have no clue who this person is.
21. What was your best/favorite subject at school?
Political Science or German.
22. Describe your accent:
I really don't think I have much of an accent. When I meet people traveling they usually can't tell I'm from Oklahoma.
23. If you could change anything about yourself, would you?
Wouldn't we all? The fact is we can all change things about ourselves for good or ill, we just usually don't.
24. What do you wear to sleep?
Boxers and sometimes a shirt depending on the temperature.
25. What is your favorite casual outfit to wear?
Shorts/jeans and a tee shirt.
26. Do you use cigarettes or alcohol?
I don't use them, I abuse them!
27. If I only had one day to live, what would we do together? (If you have no idea, just say something crazy, it'll entertain me!)
It would depend on who is asking the question. Rob a bank and donate all the money to Green Peace.
28. Rate the memes that you play generally. Use any scale or just in order.
I usually don't do memes.
Friday, July 30, 2010
"Mick Fortney and his partner Leeds manage to cruise above the standard police stress-pools of coffee and Pepto-Bismol--they’re water cops in the 'Club Harbor Unit,' manning a patrol boat on San Diego’s Mission Bay. A typically rough day’s detail consists of scoping out body-sculpted beauties on pleasure craft, rescuing boating bozos who’ve run aground, jeering at lifeguards, and hauling in the occasional floater who comes to the surface.
But now their days are anything but typical, because the America’s Cup international sailing regattas have come to town and suddenly San Diego is swarming with yacht crazies of every nationality, the cuppies who want to love them, and the looky-loo tourists, racing spies, scam artists, and hookers who all want their piece of the action. It’s the outstanding body and jaunty smile--full of mischief, full of hell--of one cuppie, a particularly fiery redhead names Blaze, that gets Leeds and Fortney’s attention. First Leeds drowns in frustratingly unrequited boozy love from afar. Then with her increasingly odd behavior, Blaze tweaks every one of their cop instincts, alerting them that something’s not quite right on the waterfront.
Indeed, Blaze will soon lead leggy Detective Anne Zorn and Mick Fortney along a bizarre criminal trail that would be hilarious if it didn’t wind up just as nasty as it gets, with a pair of murders right on the eve of the biggest sailing race of all.
Filled with all of Wambaugh’s trademark skills--laugh-out-loud writing, crackling dialogue, outrageous excitement, and, of course, plenty of raunchy veteran cops who leap off the page--Floaters is Wambaugh at the very top of his form."
The description above pretty much sums up the novel. Wambaugh certainly has a way with cop talk and dialogue interjected into the storyline. Several character storylines all slowly come together toward the book's climatic, yet hurried conclusion. I would recommend this book and just about anything written by Wambaugh for no other reasons but his great skill at character conversations and bringing to life the burnt out middle aged cop. I also found the in and outs of the America's Cup competition surprisingly interesting. Not Wambaugh's best work to be sure but a funny and interesting read. If you're unfamiliar with his work, start with "The Choir Boys," a true masterpiece and one of my favorite books.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I liked the quick fire challenge. Aaron Schock, a Republican representing the 18th district in Illinois, explains to the contestants that the first day on the job a Congressman must go through an ethics class. What this has to do with food is that a Congressman can only have food purchased for him that is small enough to fit on a toothpick. Thus the challenge, create a satisfying snack that will fit on a toothpick. Once again Angelo wins another quick fire with a duo of tuna. Not only did he win immunity in the elimination challenge but also a 20 thousand dollar reward. I really thought Stephen was going to win the money since he really believed he was!
Elimination challenge, draw knives for a protein to be served at Palm Steakhouse, the first time they've loaned their kitchen out to anyone. This is where all the drama starts with Ed's pea puree. Apparently he had prepped it the night before and the next day during the competition the puree mysteriously disappeared. Alex ends up winning the challenge with smoked salmon with black forbidden rice and English pea puree! A puree he supposedly prepped during the day of the competition. Andrea is sent home for her swordfish vanilla bean dish, oh and because she can't cook.
Other random thoughts on the episode:
Joe Scarborough was one of the tasters at Palm along with other journalist and Republican Senator Mark Warner. Though I would consider myself very liberal, I've always like Scarborough, a definite conservative. I like his ability to call bullshit on conservatives from time to time, basically not towing the party or philosophical line all the time.
Chef Art Smith was also one of the guest judges. His whole cooking from the heart routine wears me a little slick.
I love how Kelly refused to share her salt with Amanda and then proceeds to get busted to the bottom ranks for over salting the steaks she prepared. Apparently she was trying to produce "strong flavors." Yep, a shit ton of salt will get you a strong result. Karma's a bitch hag Kelly! Oh and Amanda's revenge is a dish best served cold (old Klingon proverb).
Stephen was especially cringe worthy this week and seemed to be featured a ton in interviews. I thought the Bravo editing machine was preparing us for his departure but alas his dream continues.
So what does everyone think of the pea puree fiasco? I totally think that Alex stole Ed's puree but who can really say with the editing. I don't remember ever seeing Alex making it on the day of the elimination challenge. Maybe further episodes will reveal more.
When are they going to bring in some Democrat guests?
Next week on Top Chef: I can't even remember the promo. Restaurant Wars has to be coming soon, no?
My "Bye Felicia" award this week goes to Alex. Cheaters never prosper. Alex, bye Felicia! On a personal note I wasn't too upset that Andrea was sent packing.
Next chef out: Stephen please, please, please, please.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
"Something that seriously fucks with your brain, such as watching Fight Club every night for a week. Trust me on this."
"To experience a situation which calls into question the way your mind currently sees a certain idea or the world in general. Such an experience usually leaves the person stunned/speechless while he/she begins wrapping his/her mind around the new idea."
Has anyone seen the movie Inception? The two definitions above from Urban Dictionary are appropriate when describing this movie.
In a nutshell, without giving too much away, technology has advanced to a point where people can enter each others dreams for the purpose of "stealing" valuable information. The movie takes this premise and asks if it would be possible to incept a thought or idea into someone's mind. It's all pretty simple and thought provoking until you start dealing with dreams inside of dreams inside of dreams!
I really can't say more without giving the premise away other than this movie totally blew me away and continues to do so as I still try to wrap my head around what I saw. I think a second viewing is in order.
Superb cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy (wow, does he look different from his Star Trek: Nemesis days), Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger and Marion Cotillard. Excellent music and special effects also lend themselves to the overall experience.
I especially enjoyed how the movie didn't get bogged down in explaining the technology behind dream sharing, it was simply stated that it was developed by the military. One other point, there was a physics defying scene in a hotel hallway that was perhaps one of the best movie experiences I've seen in quite some time.
Go see this movie now then tell me what you thought!
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
"Bright light city gonna set my soul
Gonna set my soul on fire
Got a whole lot of money that's ready to burn,
So get those stakes up higher"
I promise this trip I won't do as many countdown posts as previous years. I'm just super pumped for a multitude of reasons to be heading to Nevada next month, one being my dad's 70th birthday.
Monday, July 26, 2010
The quick fire challenge was simply to cook with some ingredients that are not commonly used in restaurants, I guess in America? Snake, crocodile, frog legs, duck testicles, that sort of thing. The contestants drew knives to see what order they would pick their proteins. After some whining the time starts. But wait, there's a twist! Fifteen minutes into the challenge the contestants are instructed to take the protein from the person to their left. Bummer, eh? More whining from the contestants ensues. Get over it Angelo, this kind of bullshit has always been part of the show. Kelly ends up winning with an Emu egg omelet and has immunity for the elimination challenge.
I was actually looking forward to the elimination challenge this week based on the previews from last week. All the contestants were divided into two teams where they were to prepare a cold dish to present in their "Cold War." The interesting part is that each team would be at judges table and would pick a top and bottom chef to be considered for the win and elimination. I thought there would be a little more nastiness than there was but it seems each team did the right thing and truly picked the best and worst dishes. Tom did chide one of the teams for being overly picky but that was about it for the drama. Tiffany and Kevin end up in the top and Kevin wins the elimination challenge reversing his fortunes of late. Tamesha and Kenny end up at the bottom much to both of their chagrins. Tamesha is sent home.
Thus ends another dull episode with contestants I don't really care about. As of now I think the only contestant I kind of like is Tiffany.
Tamesha really got on my nerves this week after she was kind of growing on me! When she says things like "there's no way I'm being sent home," you know she's toast. I really hope she doesn't kiss her mama with that mouth. She went out acting like an ass, or so the editing would lead us to believe.
I think next season on Top Chef (Des Moines?) they should take all the first and second round losers and put them up against each other. I bet it would be more fun to watch than the current season.
Next week on The Real World, I mean Top Chef: Restaurant wars? Could be fun, usually one team is a total disaster and it can be fun to watch the meltdown.
Two things I'm sick of that don't endear the contestants to me: the constant whining and the lack of humility. I'm talking to you Kenny. I'm sorry but your food looked like ass this week, there's no conspiracy out to get you! Get over yourself and cook better food.
My "Bye Felicia" award this week goes to the producers of the show for picking such a motley crew of contestants this year. Maybe we were just spoiled last year by some pretty fantastic chefs. Producers, bye Felicia!
Next chef out: for the love of all that is holy Stephen must go!
After proofreading the post, I'm really sorry about the complaining this week! I think it just typifies how disappointed I am in a show that I usually enjoy...
Friday, July 23, 2010
Either "Fearless Fourteen" was better than recent entries in the series or it's just been a while since I read one of the Stephanie Plum novels but I really enjoyed the 14th book in the series. Of course Stephanie is back working as a bounty hunter for her cousin Vinny in Trenton, New Jersey. I think what I really liked about the story was, for a change, the focus of the story didn't revolve around Stephanie's work as a bounty hunter and the danger wasn't directed at her, rather more toward her boyfriend cop Joe Morelli and his family. Stephanie still managed to get into some trouble, which she's usually knee deep in, but she seemed to be more in control in this entry and I hate to say it but maybe a little competent! From the book jacket:
"Personal vendettas, hidden treasure, and a monkey named Carl will send bounty hunter Stephanie Plum on her most explosive adventure yet.
The Crime: Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars
Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money, and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.
The Cousin: Joe Morelli
Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi, and Dom’s sister, Loretta, are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all-American family.
The Complications: Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux
Less than a week after Dom’s release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He’s getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.
The Catastrophe: Moonman
Morelli hires Walter 'Mooner' Dunphy, stoner and 'inventor' turned crime fighter, to protect his house. Morelli can’t afford a lot on a cop’s salary, and Mooner will work for potatoes.
The Cupcake: Stephanie Plum
Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection, and driving each other nuts. She’s a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she’s involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.
The Crisis: A favor for Ranger
Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie’s evening activities.
The Conclusion: Only the fearless should read Fourteen.
Thrills, chills, and incontinence may result."
A good entry to the Stephanie Plum series, which has been inconsistent lately. I'm sure it's hard to produce a winner with each novel about the same character when there are sixteen books, especially when a new novel is published every year. I look forward to catching up with the series over the next couple of months, two to go. Recommended for Stephanie Plum fans. If you're not familiar with the series, start with "One for the Money."
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Read more: I've got this one covered. I'm up to 27 books so far this year. Though I've fallen a little behind, I should be able to reach 50 books read easily this year.
Blog better: I'm not so sure about this goal. I've definitely written a shit ton more posts than any other year. It's a start.
Work on the house: Definite "F." What can I say? I don't know where to begin with the eighteen layers of wallpaper throughout the house!
Cook more: Why did I start writing this post? I have the tools. I believe I have the talent. Motivation is the problem. It's hard to get fired up to cook for only oneself.
Lose weight: Getting there. I'm not as heavy as the winter. More beer, less food should do the trick.
Not go to jail: I think I've mastered this goal. I've been very careful about not driving intoxicated.
Grow up: ...
Cell phone: I've yet to break or lose a cell phone this year! I'm sure it's only because I have insurance now!
Drunk texting: Ummm, hit and miss. Perhaps I still send out too many texts while drinking but I think on the whole the frequency has been less and the texts nicer.
To see the original New Years Resolutions posts, go here and here.
How is everyone else doing on their goals for the year?
"Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy with a normal life, married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. They're even about to have their first child. Yes, Charlie's doing okay - until people start dropping dead around him, and everywhere he goes a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Charlie Asher, it seems, has been recruited for a new position: as Death. It's a dirty job. But, hey! Somebody's gotta do it."
Moore certainly writes on a variety of subject from what I gather, though this is only the second novel by him that I've read. I went from reading about the lost apostle and best friend to Jesus Christ in "Lamb" to death merchants and the underworld in "A Dirty Job." Quite a swing. No matter the subject, Moore has a knack at storytelling in a quirky and funny way. His characters are colorful, quirky, and funny as well.
The only complaints I would have about the novel is the length and the predictability of the story. The book comes up just short of 400 pages which isn't bad but I felt it could be trimmed down a little for such light reading. I also saw how the conclusion of the book was going to play out fairly early on. Minor nit picks to be sure, recommended for a nice and easy read that will have you chuckling throughout.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The good folks from the Westboro Baptist Church will also be attending the festivities in Bricktown, at least protesting the venue. From their website:
"Ford Center - Lady Gaga Concert 100 W. Reno Ave. WBC to picket Lady Gaga in Concert. There appears to be little to no hope for her, but who is to say what is doing with the souls of those who may be swarming to listen to your less-than-beautiful singing program? Not us! We do not own salvation. Therefore, while you ponder these glorious words: 1Corinthians 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. I say while you ponder those great words of wisdom, consider these parodied music lyrics written by our young elect lady to your favorite whorish tart to the tune of Telephone: 'No hesitation; you got more perversion to display But there's no part of you ya haven't pimped already You should've planned for curses from the God you disobey Now he hates all you do cause you love fornicating Stop prayin', stop prayin', God will not hear you anymore You taught the boys & the girls to be proud whores Stop prayin', stop prayin', God will not hear you anymore You taught the boys & the girls to be proud whores' Lady GayGay has done more to promote filthy and perversion not even to mention the fact that she is the very picture of modern DOOMED american spirituality (ugh, gag!). Keep your eye on this silly woman, as she and the Beast Obama are good examples of what you all love most about this vile nation. Praise God for the oil spill, and hurricane season that will soon spread that oil all across the land. AMEN!"
I really hate these people...
(The sign is one I made, obviously! If there were a God he would've already smote us for producing the Twilight Saga!)
Monday, July 19, 2010
- Old Style beer is hard to find! The only bar I found the cheap Wisconsin beer and the supposed beer of the Chicago Cubs was at a place called Sluggers near Wrigley Field. Everyone gave me a hard time about wanting to drink such a shitty beer but I figured it was something I had to do while in Chicago.
- I was extremely surprised at how clean the city was. Not just in the touristy parts of the city but even in the neighborhoods. I was expecting a little more grime for a city of millions of people. I was never in really bad parts of town so maybe that was the reason for my perception. Next time I'll check out the south side.
- People from Chicago are friendly. Maybe it's the Midwestern attitude but everyone I encountered was very friendly and polite, with the exception of a couple pretentious queens the last night out at Roscoe's. I felt just at home with the people of Chicago as I would with the people of Oklahoma City, as friendliness goes, that's saying a lot.
- Chicago is casual. At least the places I went. I never felt out of place in shorts or jeans no matter where I was at, including the Terrace at Trump. Of course I'm sure there's exceptions to this rule but I went to some pretty fantastic places without having to worry about a dress code. Here a supposedly nice club in Bricktown has a dress code of no sneakers and jeans. Get over yourself OKC!
- My favorite destination in Chicago for drinks was a martini bar called Marty's. The place was very nice and modern, casual, with superb mixologists. Besides, how can you not love a place where the bartender says, "I'd rather be a shooter but drizzling is fine." He was making a chocolate martini at the time.
Some shots of the last night out:
Frozen drinks at Sidetrack after a long trek from Wrigley.
Drinking at Marty's.
At Big Chicks.
So long Chicago, you will be missed! Hopefully I can get back up there soon and see more of what the city has to offer. In the meantime I'll have the memory of great times with new and old friends...
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Dann's ass really moved slowly Saturday morning! I'm ready to hit the road, we're in Chicago Felicia! So yeah, after harassing Dann for a good hour to "HURRY" we headed to the "L" to meet up with Jason and to head to Chinatown. The primary goal of the trek south was to find some good Dim Sum. This did not happen. We went to a place called Phoenix that Jason's friend recommended, in his friend's defense, our friend the Captain said it was good as well. It's not that the food wasn't good, it just didn't come around a whole lot. We finally got frustrated and left, none of us full. After "eating" we walked around Chinatown, kind of cool, but a tourist trap. Here's some pictures:
Not one, not two, but three happiness!I liked Chinatown a lot, though I was expecting a little more especially with the food. Definitely check out the area when in Chicago.
More to come, the quest for Old Style and some trendy neighborhood bars...
Dance, its all I wanna do, so won't you dance?
I'm standing here with you why won't you move?
I'll get inside your groove, cause I'm on fire, fire, fire, fire!
It hurts, when you get too close, but baby it hurts!
If love is really good you just want more,
Even if it throws you to the fire, fire, fire, fire!
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've got to get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
Quick fire challenge: prepare a meal using fresh (live) blue crabs. Once again there was much whining from the contestants about the challenge, mostly about not knowing how to get the meat out of the crab or being accustom to working with larger crabs. These are the top chefs of America?
In a snippet from one of Angelo's interviews he said he had crabs once! Are the producers writing or encouraging this shit? Sometimes what they say doesn't feel real. Speaking of Angelo I did like how he helped Tamesha with cleaning her crabs. Strategy or is he genuinely being nice?
Kenny is a beast (in the kitchen). How do I know this? It was said ad nauseum throughout the episode.
Ed ends up winning the quick fire challenge. Ed? Is he new to the show? A mid-season replacement? I'm kidding. Ed's most endearing quality is his loathing of Alex. Ed also states in his interview that he's coming out of his shell. Har har, get it he won a crab contest. Seriously is some producer telling them what to say.
Every commercial break features Bethenny Getting Married promos. Does anyone give two shakes of a dead rats ass? If I was married to that crazy bitch I would be in jail for domestic abuse (by strangulation).
Elimination challenge: prepare six family style dishes out on a farm together as one team using ingredients from the farm and produce from a traveling pantry they set up in one of the cars. What was interesting was they wouldn't know what the main ingredients were until they reached their destination. The planning stages the night before was just a pissing contest between Kenny and Angelo to see who had the biggest cock.
The contestants arrive at the farm and more bitching and whining begins. It's too cold or (gasp) they have to cook on grills or propane stoves! Have any of them ever seen an episode of Top Chef? These kinds of twists are pretty standard.
Angelo made duck for the elimination challenge, he mentions that he prepared it so well that he made love to his duck. I wonder if this kind of behavior lead to his crab infection.
Kevin, Kenny, Kelly, and Andrea were the top four for the elimination challenge with Kenny (the Beast) winning with a sweet and sour curry eggplant dish. Sounds yummy. Tim, Amanda, and Stephen were on the bottom with Tim being selected to go home. I felt Tim would be the one since he changed his dish in the middle of cooking and he's been struggling lately.
Anyone else think the judges were kind of harsh, at least Padma? I hate it when it when she gets cranky, saying things like "I would send this dish back." Great criticism. It's probably just Bravo's crappy editing.
Next week on Top Chef: The contestants get to judge each other! Sounds like a lot of fun and potentially a lot of drama, I guess I'll tune in next week.
The "Bye Felicia" award goes to Tim. He changed his dish and basically didn't do anything in the elimination challenge, good call judges. Bye Felicia.
Next chef out: going back to Stephen who is consistently on the bottom.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Quick fire challenge, create a dish that both Tom and Padma can eat and can be pureed for their babies to eat. This has to be one of the most ridiculous challenges to date. Baby food, really?
The quick fire challenge didn't provide immunity for the elimination challenge but it was a high stakes challenge with the winner being awarded ten thousand dollars. Arnold said he would donate his potential winnings to children in Thailand living with HIV and AIDS. Awwww.
Alex said if he won the quick fire challenge and the money he would buy a hooker and an eight ball with the winnings! I nearly fell out of my chair. One of the funniest and most aweful quotes in the entire series. I still think he's a dousche though.
Alex nearly tops himself by saying that he practices making babies, not baby food! Gross. Does anyone want to practice with him?
Tim, Alex, Kevin, and Kelly are on the bottom of the quick fire challenge while Lynne, Tamesha, Angelo, and Kenny are the judges favorites. Tamesha ends up winning, good for her! Way to take on Angelo girlfriend.
As lame as the quick fire challenge was, I thought the elimination challenge was pretty cool. All the contestants were split off into teams of two where they would cook a breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal for the Hilton hotel. At the end of each leg of the competition two teams would be safe and would not have to move on to the next meal to be prepared. By the end of the cook off there were three teams left where one team would be eliminated, both team members. Here were the teams and results:
- Team Alex and Ed - they had a complete cluster fuck at breakfast forgetting to plate one dish among other problems but they were safe after the lunch portion of the competition.
- Team Amanda and Stephen - one of the favorites for the breakfast portion of the competition and was safe from elimination.
- Team Andrea and Kelly - they won the dinner portion of the competition and the overall competition, resulting in their dish being featured on Hilton's menu as well as winning a trip to Spain or Italy! Awesome prizes.
- Team Tiffany and Tim - one of the favorites for the breakfast portion of the competition and was safe from elimination.
- Team Angelo and Tamesha - also know as team Flirty, they were safe after serving lunch.
- Team Kenny and Kevin - last team to be safe by surviving the dinner competition.
- Team Arnold and Lynne - eliminated by having the least favorite dish during the dinner portion of the competition.
I was disappointed to see Arnold eliminated, being one of the few personalities on the show I actually like at this point. It was funny to see him and Lynn throw each other under the bus after the decision came down and how what probably ruined them was how the pasta was cooked since that's what they argued about while cooking. I blame Lynn, she fought to not overcook the pasta and it ended up being undercooked.So who is the villian this year? It hasn't become clear, I thought initially Angelo but he's been pretty mellow lately.
So far this is probably my least favorite season of Top Chef. Has the show run its course?
Amanda did have a point when arguing with Kevin, you shouldn't have to explain to someone on how to eat a dish, at least in my opinion.
My "Bye Felicia" award this week goes to both Alex and Arnold. To Alex for his off the wall sex and drug comments and to Arnold because he would probably enjoy being called Felicia. Bye Felicias.
Next contestant out: I'm switching to Alex from Stephen, he's now under my skin the most.
Finally I get to read all the Top Chef blogs I've been avoiding for a week.
I made arrangements to stay over the weekend in Chicago, I had contemplated just one day but in the end I booked a new flight out on Sunday afternoon.
I finished up working in Chicago on Friday afternoon just after 4PM. The consultant who hired me to travel up there suggested that after work we ride the "L" Red Line (the train line running north and south through downtown) to Wrigley Field. Once there I could see the historic stadium and surrounding area, find somewhere to drink an Old Style beer, and then we could grab some dinner.
The historic Cubby Bear.
Unfortunately the Cubby Bear was closed for a private party due to a gathering of Young Republicans, how bizarre is that? I didn't think they had Republicans in Chicago! My Old Style would have to wait another day. Jackie, the consultant I was working with, took me down the street to a little Italian restaurant, I'd provide a link but I can't remember the name! If anyone was to ask me at pretty much any given time what kind of food I wanted to eat, usually Italian would be at the bottom of my list. As it turns out the place we ate at was awesome. I had a pasta stuffed with dumpling in a veal sauce with truffles. Like I said, really good and really reasonable.
Jackie helped me navigate back to the Magnificent Mile and we said our goodbyes. I had such a great time meeting her and it turns out we have a lot in common on a variety of subjects. I hurried back to my new hotel to meet up with Dann who decided to fly in Friday and hang out with me on the weekend. He just couldn't stand that I was in Chicago having fun without him!
Dann and I headed to a pub to meet Jason so he could eat and we could plan out our night. We decided to go to the Signature Room at the 95th at the John Hancock building. There was a pretty impressive line to get into the elevator as well as into the bar but it was worth the wait, and it also helped that Jason talked a server into giving us a table he was busing, thus probably passing 100 people in line ahead of us! I would post some pictures but the flash on my camera couldn't get the view of the city at night through all the glass windows. Dann should put his pictures on his blog, hint, hint.
From here we grabbed a cab and ended up in Boystown to visit the usual places. One of the best things about the night was a wonderful bartender we found at Sidetrack who (a) didn't know how to make Vegas Bombs and (b) didn't know how to charge for them! At one point Dann bought a round of beers and Vegas Bombs for around twenty bucks, definitely a huge savings over Oklahoma City. We finished the night kicking it at Jason's condo with some beers. I think we finally dragged back to the hotel around 5AM.
A couple of random pictures from the night out:
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
1. Denial - "Maybe my flight will get delayed for another few days."
2. Anger - "Why me? Why do I have to go back to Oklahoma City! I'll kill my parents for rearing me in this state! Now I know how Tulsans feel when they have to leave Oklahoma City after a visit!" I kid my Tulsa friends...
3. Bargaining - "Please Allah, if you find some way for me to get to stay here permanently I'll become a devout follower of Muhammad and the Qur'an."
4. Depression - "I wish I were dead. Yes I'll have another ten dollar airport beer please."
5. Acceptance - "It's not that bad here in Oklahoma City, in fact our little town has grown up quite a lot over the past 15 years. Oh and it's really cool that I have great friends, a close community, and my family is here."
Yeah, I'm still waiting on the acceptance step to kick in!
We started out the night by meeting at Crate and Barrel (the only store I actually physically entered besides Walgreens on the Magnificent Mile). From there I was lead to Friends Sushi. The place was great, low lighting, modern, intimate. The server we had, an adorable Asian girl, was helpful suggesting a Thai beer to me I'd never had, Singha. She also suggested a salmon roll to go along with one of the tuna rolls we had and some tuna sashimi. While the overall experience was fabulous, I was a little disappointed in the food. The sushi wasn't bad, I was just expecting something really great, considering I was in Chicago. I was also under the impression, as was Jason I think, that we ordered a couple of spicy rolls that ended up having very little heat to them.
Next on the agenda was drinks at the recently completed Trump Tower. We went up to a restaurant called Sixteen (guess which floor it was on) and sat outside on The Terrace at Trump. With the recent rain the weather was fantastic in the 70's and the view of the surrounding buildings was breaktaking.
The view from The Terrace at Trump. Not a great picture, taken from my cell phone.
The bathroom at The Terrace at Trump was so swanky they had individual hand towels instead of paper towels in the bathroom. I don't know why I get such a kick out of this!
Next Jason took me to the Loop and nearby Millennium Park to see Cloud Gate, also known as "The Bean".
"The Bean." I was unable to get a good picture at night so I ripped this picture off from here.
We walked around the Loop and made our way to a trendy bar called Roof at the Wit hotel. Another great outdoor experience with great weather. Throughout the club there's fire pits that you can stand or sit around producing a great experience. I didn't even know we were outside until Jason pointed it out to me!
Jason and I at the Second Story Bar. There's actually one more adventure from my third night out in Chicago but I'm inclined to leave it out at the moment. Not all experiences should be shared, maybe. Some of my friends will know what I'm talking about...
After work on Wednesday I relaxed a little bit, wandered around Michigan Avenue some more, and finally worked up the nerve to check out Boystown. I'm not sure why I was so apprehensive to travel to Chicago's gay area. Probably because it's such a big city and it's been years since I was last down there. After a short cab ride I wandered around the area for a while trying to find some of the bars that were suggested to me by my friends. I ended up at Roscoe's Tavern, a kind of neighborhood bar, similar to the Park here in Oklahoma City except much larger.
I had the best luck in meeting a local while sitting at the bar at Roscoe's. Since I was from out of town, Jason agreed to take me around to some of the other bars in the area. We stopped off at Sidetrack and Cocktail, both really fun places to hang out. Sidetrack ended up being my favorite bar in Boystown during the entire trip, it's very clean and modern with great music, staff, and drinks.
I'm afraid I was quite intoxicated by the time we finished our bar crawling but as luck would have it Jason lived downtown near my hotel so he gave me a ride back to the Magnificent Mile. He switched to lemonade much earlier in the night anticipating a drive back downtown. Upon our return we checked out the rooftop balcony at his condo and had a couple more beers and some awesome calamari at a bar and restaurant called Bijan's Bistro.
I ended up crashing at Jason's place and got up early enough to make the walk of shame back to my hotel, wearing very wrinkled clothes from the night before in a downpour of rain. I was thinking to myself as I headed to work a little tired and a little hungover that I needed to be careful not to drink too much or stay out too late the rest of the trip since I was in Chicago primarily for work. Wednesday ended up being one of the most tame nights of the entire trip...
Thursday, July 08, 2010
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
A contact at the office I'm working with picked me up at the airport and off we headed downtown. The office I'm working for is literally a block off the Magnificent Mile as is my hotel. I pretty much spent the day installing software and getting everything ready for training the next three days. I was a little afraid that I would be working for one of those offices that opens early and closes late. Nope, my hours, at the most, will be 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM with an hour for lunch. Sweetness. This will allow me plenty of time to get into trouble around Gotham.
Tonight after checking into my hotel room I headed to the Magnificent Mile. I've been to Chicago before but I had never been to this area on Michigan Avenue. Meh. I'm sure it would be great place to spend the day, if you like shopping at Tiffany and Co., Saks 5th Avenue, and Ralph Lauren, to name a few. Lots of shopping going on and not much else. I had a great time just walking up and down the Mile admiring the views and architecture. I even walked down to the John Hancock building and bought a pass to the observation deck on the 94th floor (16.00 bucks). The elevator to the observation deck took 40 seconds to make the distance to the 94th floor, supposedly going 20 miles an hour as the fastest elevator in North America. My ears popped a lot.
In total, not a bad day. I saw some great sites, had some 5.00 dollar domestic beers (really Chicago?), and got to encounter more people in a small radius than I ever have with the exception of all the blue hairs in downtown Las Vegas.
Here's some pictures from the John Hancock building observatory as well as some shots of the various buildings along Michigan Avenue:
I'll try to do a post again tomorrow; however, I'm planning on going out to Boystown so it may be a late night!
Monday, July 05, 2010
Saturday, July 03, 2010
My favorite song ever.
It is the distance that makes life a little hard
Two minds that once were close now so many miles a part
I will not falter though i'll hold on till your home
Safely back where you belong and see you how our love's grown
Another great one by ATB.
It's the little things that make you crazy
Like the flutter of someone touching your skin
I can see you everywhere I go
Friday, July 02, 2010
In honor of "Oh My God, Felicia, is it Five O'clock Yet?" Friday, here's a fun video I found over at The Queer Whisperer that will knock two minutes off of everyone's day that's in the same boat as me. I love toward the end when the AT-AT has to take a poopie...
Here's some information about the show from Bravo's site:
"Bravo sweetens the deal as Top Chef: Just Desserts -- a spin-off of the popular Emmy-nominated and James Beard Award-winning 'Top Chef' -- adds celebrated pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini as Head Judge with critically acclaimed chef Hubert Keller and DailyCandy Editor-at-Large Dannielle Kyrillos rounding out the Judges’ Table. Top Chef judge Gail Simmons will serve as the host of Bravo’s newest delectable delight that airs on Bravo later this year.
Each episode of Top Chef: Just Desserts holds two challenges for the pastry chefs: the first is a Quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved Elimination Challenge designed to test the versatility and inventiveness of the pastry chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic ingredients or catering for a range of demanding clients."
So what do we think Top Chef readers and bloggers? Are we even going to watch the show, let alone blog about it?
Speaking of Top Chef, here's a list of blogs you should be reading weekly about the show, especially with Top Chef: DC in full swing:
Tales from LaLa Land My favorite Top Chef reading. Hilarious commentary.
Dealing in Subterfuges Miss an episode? No problem, just go here for a super in-depth recap and analysis. This site is a great resource for me when I'm trying to remember who made what dishes in any given episode.
Please Pack Your Knives And Go Another funny site with great weekly power rankings.
All Top Chef A site that has it all, recaps, polls, and links to other sites that muse about Top Chef.
Blogging Top Chef Just as the title suggests, another site with lots of information and links to lots of Top Chef information.
If there's any must read Top Chef blogs out there that I'm missing, I'm all ears. Actually I have quite small ears that are in perfect proportion to my head!
"Sick of it
I have read your so-called magazine for the very last time. The June 23 issue was filled with filth supporting the gay agenda. Regarding the gay pride weekend, who cares?
Your garbage magazine has become more and more liberal as the years have gone by. You ran an entire article on a fag who plays the piano with AIDS (Hailey R. Branson, 'The man at the organ'). Was that supposed to make us feel sorry for him? Well, it did not. He is getting what he deserves. AIDS is a gay disease designed by God to wipe out fags. You, Mr. Editor, are probably a fag yourself.
And the idiot who wrote the article (Chicken-Fried News, 'There’s something about Sharia') defending Sharia law and Muslims should be fired, you moron. Do you remember 9/11? Yes, we despise Muslims, and rightfully so. They want to kill us and dominate the world with their religion. We do not want them in this country, much less this state.
I may keep a couple copies of the Gay-zette around in case I run out of toilet paper, because that is all it is good for.
So, you liberal dipshits keep up the poor work. When you realize Oklahoma is a conservative state, maybe the popularity of the Gay-zette will go up. You will never get a penny of my advertising money.
I'm not really surprised that an Oklahoman would have this kind of view, I am a little surprised the Gazette would publish such a vitriolic letter. I'm sure they'll get a lot feedback before next week's edition.
I think my friend, who is active in the Air Force, said it best: she said she should write a letter back explaining to J. Simms that she's proud to protect his freedom and right to say stupid things! Me, I would just suggest that J. Simms blow me. For those reading who live elsewhere, wouldn't you just love to live here or visit Oklahoma?
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Quick fire challenge: so everyone has to make a pie and some of the contestants whine about it! Someone (if any of these people were remarkable I'd remember who it was) mentioned that they weren't pastry chefs! Really? I can make a pie, maybe I should've applied for the show... I think the contestants should consider themselves lucky, usually when a dessert is involved in this show someone is going home.
The judges for the quick fire challenge were Gail and Johnny Iuzzini (hot, hot, hot!). They mention that they'll be judging and hosting Top Chef: Just Desserts, I'll probably take a pass on that one when it aires. To make a long story short, Kenny wins his first challenge with a Bananas Foster Pie. Yay Kenny, one of the contestants I think I actually like. Stephen mentions that he wants to be on top too, yeah, that's what she said!
Elimination challenge: cook something on the grill at Mt. Vernon. Jonathan Waxman is the guest judge, one of my favorites from Top Chef: Masters! Right off the bat Arnold mentions he isn't a grill guy (gal). No shit? Naturally he ends up winning the challenge with a sesame lamb meatball and tabouli salad. The bottom four from the challenge: Kevin, Stephen, Tim, and Tracey. Tracey ends up being sent home, who knew the judges wouldn't like raw Italian sausage sliders.
This week's thoughts:
I read somewhere that ratings for this season are at first season levels, I guess that means low.
I almost named the title of this post "Top Chef: BBQueer" but I really need to stop picking on Arnold, and perhaps Angelo?
Who was it that admitted to being a cocaine addict? Was it Amanda? First of all I would never admit something like this on a reality television show. Secondly, you work in a restaurant, of course you do drugs and probably smoke heavily!
I could totally kick it with Tracey and have some beers with her at a neighborhood bar somewhere. She's a little obnoxious but at least she has some personality! Three episodes in and the majority of these contestants I couldn't pick out of a line up. I also like, given all her talk, the humility she showed at judge's table.
Arnold: "My flame goes poof" and "I've never been the bitch." When he opens his mouth a purse falls out!
Pork butt? Is that the technical term?
Next on Top Chef... Mike Isabella returns! Noooooo! It is what it is.
My "Bye Felicia" award goes to Andrea and her spicy root beer glazed skirt steak. The only thing that would make skirt steak worse is to glaze it with root beer, in my opinion. Bye Felicia! Unfortunately the judges disagreed.
Next out: still waiting on Stephen "I look like a baby snatcher" Hopcraft to hit the road...