I don’t watch a lot of television. Mainly, it causes me to lose hope in humanity. If there’s a God and he’s judging us based on how we entertain ourselves then all he has to do is catch a rerun of Toddlers and Tiaras before he ends it all for us with a meteor and starts over. I admit that I watch True Blood, The Legend of Korra, and Downton Abbey. I’ve also a penchant for watching the Real Housewives once in a blue moon because it helps me stop and say, “Garrett, you know what? You do have your shit together!” before I turn off my brain and drool on the couch for fifty minutes while a loud Italian woman banshees at her cousin.
But cooking competitions. Why? What is the fascination with people doing what you (supposedly) do every day except they might get cash while you only get dishes? Watching a traditional cooking show you can learn something, like how to hide the fact you flipped on omelets on the counter or how to whiz together hummus.
On a cooking competition show you’re watching people be bitches – sure – like every other reality show. But at the end there are composed plates of food! Styled! Haute! (Well, maybe.) Seen before in your copy of the French Laundry cookbook, but with far less talent and forethought. You can’t taste it. You can’t smell it. You barely get to look at it.
However, the judges will spend 10 minutes telling you how great it is, grinning it up that the shmucks at home aren’t here to try this god damn epic filet of salmon with blueberry-lavender reduction. It’s a culinary cock tease.
People Magazine (or Any Magazine of its Ilk)
Okay, now I know it's brain garbage just like some of the television shows I just rattled off. I acknowledge that. What I don't get is how invested some people are in the lives of celebrity strangers.
I grant that you may feel a connection to these people. Singers and actors play an important part of our lives and emotionally affect us. But to obsess over their marriages, children, back fat, and cocaine problems? That we devour images of them in court, or of them grocery shopping like normal people? That we casually offer them advise as they stare back at us from the page?
Personally, I feel most people probably have enough drama in their own lives. (Or, worse, maybe it's just me?) Why fuss over another person's?
I assume critiquing someone more powerful, wealthy, famous makes people feel good. That I get. I mean, I judge people all the time. I consider it a hobby.
Fifty Shades of Grey
“Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that?
His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly. “No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there’s a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my playroom.”
My mouth drops open. Fuck hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot. But why are we looking at a playroom? I am mystified.
“You want to play on your Xbox?” I ask.
He laughs, loudly.
Hemingway this is not. Bad fan fiction? Yes. You can see why I thought the previous false quote was real.
Oh, god! Bad words! I bet his playroom has whips and leather straps! Tee-hee! The naughtiness of it all. I'm sorry, but if you want to tell someone you want to fuck them, then just say it.
Gag me. Actually, gag the author with the ball gag that's in the playroom. I'm done.
Not the tats of anchors and pin-up girls you see on burly naval officers. I mean the sparkly suns around some guy or girl's navel. In the gay world this tattoo has very succinct meaning. What better way to not only tell the world that you’re a slut, but that you never use a condom? I mean, personally, a person’s navel doesn’t get me all hot and bothered, so why give it so much attention with tattoos and rhinestone piercings? Is there a fetish for this that I’m thankfully unaware of? And just as every tattoo generally has a deeper meaning, the only one I can ascribe to this one is "Mommy didn’t love me enough."
Somehow this happens. I’m not sure how.
I was at a party about two years back and it was the middle of January. For some reason the host thought that in the first things guests would want after surviving the sleeted holocaust outside would be a nice chilled glass of sangria and not – say – hot mulled wine or an emergency thermal blanket. Still, it looked nice as it was filled with chunks of mashed pomegranate and apples, so I decided to get my drink on.
After a sip and a enthusiastic number of noises that were meant to communicate pleasure and approval the host left to, assumedly, poison another guest. I quickly tossed the chilled mess down the drain and grabbed a beer to wash the taste out.
You know how you hear those stories of how a cook’s attitude could somehow through whatever somatic or psychic means or whathaveyou affect the taste of the food? Say if the cook was angry and making salsa then those negative vibes would make the salsa hotter and more astringent, or if you were in love the cookies you just baked would actually taste sweeter. If this sort of empathetic cookery is true, then I can only assume that the host had a number of brutalized hookers in his basement, and that they were stuffed ass-tight with cocaine for their forced pack mule sojourn into Canada.
That sangria was foul. I think he had used an entire bottle of bitters or something because, son, that juice was rank. I’m pretty sure that the only people that drank it were the host, the sink drain, and a very unfortunate orchid that was dead the next morning.
Here's what... sangria is easy. Buy the cheap stuff. Get quality fruit. Add mint or basil for white, and cinnamon sticks and star anise for red. Ta-da. Easy peasy. Plus, it's exactly what you want on a crazy hot day. Admit it.
Now go make sangria and get yourself a bit boozed. You need it.
2 bottles cheap Pinot Grigio
1/2 cup Triple Sec
1 plum or pluot
1 bunch of mint
a few slices of lemon or lime
Place the wine and Triple Sec in a pitcher and stir. Cut the fruit into slices and discard the pits. Roughly chop the mint. Throw it all in the pitcher and stir. Allow to chill in the fridge for about 2-3 hours before serving with ice. It's even better the next day.