Thursday, June 30, 2005

id vs. ego (superego?)

It's been two one is reading. I'm shocked.

It's amazing how I somehow deluded myself into thinking that I would immediately receive the following due to my contribution to the WWW:

a) 2,000 unique hits a day - I mean come on, shouldn't everyone be interested in what I have to say/type?

b) Women's underwear via either FedEx or UPS but not the USPS - I swear I thought this one was a lock. What woman wouldn't fall for me after reading my pictureless bio? Shit, I forgot. No one is reading.

c) An invitation to write monthly OpEds for either the Post, The Economist, or one of those men's magazine's where they interview strippers and sorority chicks about their favorite sexual positions - No explaination neccessary.

If anyone has any ideas about how to increase readership, please let me know. But since no one is reading this I probably shouldn't stare at my inbox awaiting a revelation. Maybe I should actually tell people I have a blog...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

If it looks like a duck...

"Surrounding himself with uniformed soldiers and standing before a backdrop emblazoned with American flags, Bush portrayed the two-year-old war in Iraq as the logical extension of a larger struggle that began when hijackers slammed passenger jets into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001."


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Way to go Viktor!

Former(ish) Oligarch and current Prime Minister, Ukranian Yulia Tymoshenko is a hottie.

It looks like the Orange Revolution is working out pretty well so least in the looks department. We'll see if she's got what it takes to help President Viktor Yuschenko keep Moscow at bay while wooing direct foreign investment from the West. I know I'm rooting for her.

What's in a name?

So what is a hipster dork? In a word, me. But I guess the best way to describe it is with an example:

Lat Thursday I was torn between my plans for the night and what I actually found myself doing at 8pm. I was very much looking forward to going to see Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at the 9:30 Club but got ensnared by a showing of The Karate Kid on one of HBO's 20 channels. It had a been VERY long time since I had seen the film of which I had forgotten how great it was over the 21 years (!!!) since it was released. I sat mesmerized in front of the tube for an hour hating on the Cobra Kai thugs and having flashbacks to when I was a kid practicing crane kicks with my friends. I finally came to after a phone call from my buddy Sean and was able to wrestle myself out the door and get downtown for the show which kicked serious ass. (Pick up Ted's album Shake the Sheets. Fantastic.)

I think that kind of says it all. I live with a constant battle between my two selves fighting over whether or not it's better to hang out in DC watching great indie rock bands or stay at home watching the Holy Trilogy and playing with my Darth Vader Force FX Lightsaber from Master Replicas. Sad but true.

BTW - Elizabeth Shue is soooooo hot.

Something old, something new (or vice versa)

Before I realized it was much more efficient to write on the web as opposed to emailing Word "essays" to everyone I know, I wrote this little screed on the problems with Scottish baking:

A Shortbread Recall, Please

…a lunatic’s rant by Jason ******

In the golden age of low-carb fitness this has probably become quite passé, but for me, the holiday season means eating myself into a coma. Breads, meats, cheeses, and of course sweets, I spend most of Thanksgiving through New Year’s gorging on varied and gluttonous combinations of the four-plus major food groups. This sort of eating is my biggest vice and greatest pleasure during an otherwise drab part of the year because yes, I am a Scrooge when it comes to Annual Gift Exchange Day.

Christmas just isn’t my thing but this year I have made a conscious effort to throw myself into the Holiday Spirit and participate on every level. I procured, inscribed, and mailed cards to friends and loved ones, purchased and personally wrapped innumerable gifts, and even helped to prepare the holiday meal over which I usually leave my parents to slave. Of all of the standard December/January traditions, all that remains on my holiday To-Do List is to reflect upon the year that has passed and life in general. So in a nod to my favorite holiday tradition, I have decided to reflect upon Food. In particular, a certain food that has recently drawn my ire and for which I cannot find any conceivable need for its continued existence. (I know it sounds silly but so is the notion of a jolly old fat man living it up in an Arctic tax haven.)

The next time you are at your parents’ or grandparents’ home take a look in the cupboards. Dig past the dried spaghetti, the canned vegetables, and the 32 boxes of Knox Blox that no one will ever make and I bet that you will stumble across a flannelled tin container at least two-thirds full of the shittiest dessert item ever known to man; that dry, crumbly bastard cousin to everything moist, sweet, and delicious; that soul-crushing “treat” you discovered in the pantry which turned out to be even nastier than the bar of baking chocolate you ate when you were six; the worst and most insulting gift you ever received from a coworker. I am of course speaking of shortbread cookies.

Not surprisingly, shortbread cookies were introduced to the world by the Scotts sometime around the 17th century. These are the same discriminating gourmands who also gave us the Scottish Egg (a hardboiled egg wrapped in sausage, dipped in batter, and deep fried) and Haggis (sheep’s lung, heart, and liver, stuffed into said sheep’s stomach and slow-boiled until just right). Now why the world, or at least North America, has taken to indulging in this long line of Scottish culinary tragedies I simply cannot understand.

I can certainly appreciate the roots of the shortbread cookie. It is a simple food that can easily be made from modest ingredients. At a time when items like sugar, chocolate, vanilla, and molasses were at a premium the thought of a tasty treat like a chocolate chip cookie was pretty far out. So, making the best of a bad situation some inventive homemaker took whatever he or she could (lots of butter, flour, nuts, and the tiniest bit of sugar), baked it until it was bone dry, and ended up with something resembling a cookie. Considering the times it was probably quite a treat. But times have changed and so have the costs of common kitchen commodities. While 17th century Scotland may have held the shortbread recipe in high regard, today I equate it to something like wringing a bar rag into a shot glass. Yeah you’ve got all the ingredients for a “cocktail,” but I sure as hell wouldn’t order one.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think shortbread cookies taste bad per se. They certainly cannot be as awful as I imagine Haggis is. It’s just that quite frankly I think they suck. Honestly, when offered dessert is a shortbread cookie the first thing that pops into your head? Is some mealy glob of crumbs no sweeter than a Triscuit what you would ask for? Do you crave a Christmas treat that tastes like half-a-stick of margarine bashed into a Saltine and that leaves you with the a level of dry-mouth typically reserved for potheads and Bedouin castaways? That certainly isn’t my idea of holiday goodness.

The point of this exercise is that I think the time of the shortbread cookie has passed. We now have a wonderfully diverse array of sweets available to us: chocolates and cakes, cookie and brownies, ice cream and fudge, they are all there for the taking and at the same price as a tin of Walker’s Shortbread. There is no need for us to subject ourselves to such boring fare. Times have changed and our use for the shortbread economy of scale has gone the way of the dodo.

As a people we have seen the unjust errors of our society and have risen up to cast them aside. Unspeakable practices such as slavery, child labor, and Dodgeball have haunted us for millennia but it was this Great Nation that stood up and shouted “No more!” But we have long lain dormant and it is now time to take to the charge once again. Seek out your shortbread cookies and throw them in the faces of grandmothers and supervisors everywhere who would try to pass them off as gifts and treats. Grind those bland shards of oven rind under your heels and cast them back into the dirt they so resemble in color and texture. Send into oblivion the history’s worst cookie.

Let us welcome in a new era of holiday desserts that will be moist, sweet, and most of all, shortbread-free.


"We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold." - HST

That's probably my favorite opening to a book (although I'd be hard-pressed to quote another one other than "Call me Ishmael.") so I thought it would be an appropriate beginning to my first ever blog post. Yes, I am fully aware that this is a late and desperate lunge at the blog bandwagon that has been running full speed for some time now but I figure that this is a better forum for my thoughts and witticisms than the inboxes of my remaining friends who have yet to filter out my address.

More to come on what I had for lunch, the holes in the Social Security debate, and why I think Bright Eyes really really suck(s).