Friday, October 24, 2008

love that Family Guy

awesome clip. the back story...stewie, brian, and mort inadvertently use a time machine and end up in WWII Berlin...political commentary ensues.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

frivolous, needless, ridiculous, glorious self-indulgence

the way i see it, there are basically two categories of beer drinker. there are those who drink for flavor and those who drink for alcoholic impact. of course there are impact drinkers who appreciate flavor and flavor drinkers who appreciate a beer's impact, but by and large, the world is thusly divided. i align with the flavor drinkers. although i was born and bred on old milwaukee, my tastes have grown considerably more discriminating. as that is the case, i'm always looking for the perfect blend of malt, hops, flavorings, and alcohol content. it was that search that led me to a heavenly creation from Dogfish Head Brewery they call Punkin Ale.

**at this point you should stop reading, go to your nearest beer/wine/liquor merchant, purchase at least one bottle of this stuff, chill it to a few degrees below room temperature, pour into a draft glass, and savor the sweet, spicy goodness.**

and please forgive my brief tangent but....

(this is my "tangent" font) i can't say enough good things about Dogfish Head brewery and their products. they started small and honest, use organic and natural ingredients when possible, and let their consciousness and ambition spill into their community. they're always pushing to expand their repertoire and they produce great beer...not to mention that they once made a beer called "Golden Shower Imperial Pilsner." click around on their site, you'll be impressed too.

i first had the Punkin in 2002 while living in Frederick, MD and have marked the turning of seasons and the passage of the past 6 years by it's yearly limited production. i've basked lavishly in it's increasingly masterful harmony each year but this year, being 1,767 miles from the brewery in Milton, DE, i'd found it a little hard to come by. enter the savior that is internet commerce.

fortunately, the electronic age has spawned more inspired products than bootleg paris hilton porn and one example of such has come in the form of internet alcohol purveyors. sites like Liquid Solutions, Internet Wines & Spirits, Beer Geek, and Bottle Trek help connect lamenting (or lazy) drinkers with distant or particularly hard to find drinks from all over the world. so i placed an order for my beloved Punkin Ale and some other selections and waited. two weeks later, my package of liquid love arrived.

behold the contents ("the expurgated version") of my package-o-decadence...
yes, i do know how ridiculous it is and yes, i do know that there are many more intelligent ways to spend money but no, that didn't stop me.

for those that are really interested, I can give more detailed reviews of the beverages pictured here and, for my foodie friends, i'd like to point out that the Dogfish Head site offers pairing suggestions with their brew descriptions.

ok, now that i've drafted the first chapter of my autobiography, "the day i knew i was an alcoholic," i'll leave you all to happy surfing and sipping, whatever your libation may be.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

startling but representative, i fear

an anecdote...a charming interaction that left me simultaneously amazed and disgusted.
during a conversation with a secretary at my "office" this morning, i mentioned that my girlfriend was sick and that i was heading to the store to gather ingredients to make some soup to aid her in her recovery. the secretary asked what kind of soup i was going to make and i told her "vietnamese noodle soup" (phô, for those of you in the know). she wrinkled her nose disdainfully and said, "Yuck! That would make me sicker!" I asked her if she'd ever had it or even knew what was in it and, predictably, she said, "No, but I know I wouldn't like it."

i knew very well that there was really no point in arguing but i couldn't help myself. i said, "it's noodles and broth with vegetables and spices. it's not that much different from chicken noodle soup. are you saying you wouldn't like it just because it's vietnamese?" she shook her head and said, "It just sounds gross." at that, i shook my head and said, "that's a pretty intolerant perspective, don't you think?" with nose still crinkled, she quipped, "I dunno.," and shrugged off my challenge lazily. i saw my chance to learn something here and i probed, "you're probably voting for McCain, too, aren't you?" she proudly and emphatically announced with a put-on dignified tone, "Why, yes I am!"

hooray for ignorant people!


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

happy world vegetarian day!

today, october 1st, is world vegetarian day and is the annual kickoff of vegetarian awareness month.
i'm not suggesting you all eschew your meat eating ways completely but consider how every meatless meal can help:

- reduce your risk of heart disease, strokes, and cancers
- reduce your risk of exposure to foodborne pathogens
- save animals from suffering in factory-farm conditions
- conserve vital and limited freshwater, fertile topsoil, and other natural resources
- preserve irreplaceable ecosystems like rainforests and other wildlife habitats
- decrease greenhouse gases that accelerate global warming
- mitigate the ever-expanding environmental pollution of animal agriculture

i'll spare the lecture, but there are so many good reasons to reduce or stop consuming meat. there are tons of great sources of information out there and i compiled a lot of them in my "unplug yourself: part one" for your edification.

try this month to replace even one meal where you'd normally use meat with a vegetarian meal. get reacquainted with vegetables and perhaps the tons of great faux meats from burgers, to ribs, to meatballs, to "chicken" nuggets, to (i swear it exists), vegetarian haggis. most of these things can be found at your local heath food store and some are surprisingly convincing analogues. try it for a month...consider it an investment in your health.