March 04, 2008

This Week's Line

This Week's Awesome Shopping Experience
So Rite-Aid is closing all of their stores in Las Vegas. So everything's on sale. So i've been stopping in on a pretty regular basis to see what i can get at a 10-60% discount, which is mostly booze and beauty products. Thus, my $12 fancy iPod case (it's a little padded metal box, just like you'd use to carry a bomb or $1,000,000 in unmarked bills), my $10 bottle of Southern Comfort, my stack of $1 tubs of moisturizer, my pile of ten-cent greeting cards. I am telling you: A store where both the body butter and brown liquor are on super sale is like paradise to me. I could fill up my blue plastic basket all day (pixie tangerine foot scrub, six-pack of Pacifico), wandering the half-empty aisles, a vacant little smile of bewilderment and satisfaction on my face. And it is kind of a relief to know that i won't have to buy toothpaste, tampons, soap or shampoo for a very, very long time.

This Week's Creepy Event
The Palm Mortuary is a chain of large death-processing plants in the Las Vegas area. And, boy, do they like to celebrate. For each holiday, The Palm hosts a "non-denominational" service and somehow this seems weird to me. Like the upcoming Easter Sunrise Service. I always kinda felt like visiting the graves of your loved ones should be a private experience. But here hundreds of people get together in a graveyard to have some kind of mass semi-religious gathering. Really, think about it: What are these people hoping will happen? That the dead will come back to life just like Jesus? Or maybe not quite like Jesus and they want to make sure it's their loved ones that eat their brains? (Hey, we may be undead, but at least we're still together!) And they're these giant creepy corporate monolithic places where you know in another 60 years, they'll start digging people us, mass grave-ing them and re-selling the plots. Corporate, I tell you. They don't make cemeteries like they used to.
Of course, like every time i see something like this, i have delightful visions of dressing up in head-to-toe black leather, firing up a giant black motorcycle and tearing around shooting great clouds of red smoke and blasting AC/DC. I have the same reveries when they do the "Gift of Lights" at Sunset Park at Christmastime, and i just want to plough through in a tank running over 15-foot candy canes, dragging the remains of giant electric gingerbread houses. (According to my new used palmistry book, I have the rare "killer's thumb," where your thumbs naturally point out and turn away from the rest of the hand. Well, i always knew there was something essentially wrong with me.) I guess something about it just sets of my tacky (and not good tacky) meter. What could be tackier? The Palm Mortuary's 9/11 service.

This Week's Taste Sensation
Not just this week, but every week, if you asked me what my favorite kind of food is, i might well say "condiments." Why? Because they make everything taste better. Eating without condiments is like writing without adjectives (well, maybe adverbs). So, with nothing especially luminous on the horizon, I give you my top ten condiments!
Trader Joe's Peach Salsa: I love pretty much anything peach-flavored. This is best consumed on chicken, pork, plantain chips and lime-flavored Tostitos.
Red Onion Confit: It's sort of like a relish and sort of like a chutney. Good with a steak you've melted a little blue cheese on top of, or with Brie on a cracker.
Marie's Blue Cheese Vinagrette Dressing: Best salad dressing ever. Try it on spinach with dried cherries and slivered almonds, but it works on pretty much anything, including bare lettuce.
Peter Luger Steak Sauce: I love Peter Luger. I used to live near there in Williamsburg back before it became a college town, back when it was still a 10 block-square crack den. But Peter Luger is a 120-year-old steak house staffed by surly old guys--no menus, just "Steak for one, steak for two or steak for four?" the steaks are aged and flawless (and, need I say, expensive as all hell) and normally it would be a crime to put anything on them, but a drop or two of this sauce does it just right. It also goes on the salads, the potatoes and whtever else. Speaking of condiments, Peter Luger's is also big on "schlag," a kind of Swiss ultra-heavy whipped cream. That goes on pie, ice cream, cake and coffee. Everything "mit schlag," as Marlene Dietrich used to say.
Pickapepper Sauce: Basically, it's kind of like Jamaican steak sauce--made with tomatoes, mangos, peppers, it's got a dark, stout-like taste, but also an edge of fruitiness.
Sweet Thai Chili Sauce: Another one that's like a universal solvent (or adornment). I don't mean the regular red chili sauce in the bottle with the rooster on it, but specifically the "sweet" variety, which has a lighter color and more jelly-like consistency. Also, this is a key component of my Best Scrambled Eggs Ever, which is made as follows: Mix eggs thoroughly with a spoonful or two of milk, as well as dashes of garlic powder, black pepper and white pepper. Scramble in pan and, when partly set, add about 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese. Serve with abundant amounts of sweet Thai chili sauce.
Torito's Cilantro-Pepita Caesar Salad Dressing: You can put it on salads, tacos, chicken wings, burritos, cheeseburgers, tortilla chips, pretty much anything. It's like ranch dressing, but Mexican.
Vidalia Sweet Onion Relish: It's also excellent when combined with the condiment below, especially on hot dogs. A curry catsup and sweet onion relish hot dog is bettered only by the bacon chili cheese dog, and that is saying a lot.
H&P Indian Curry: It used to be called "Curry Catsup," then they changed it and i was terrified those bastids over the HP had pulled it, but they just renamed it. This goes on anything, but especially fries. Especially sweet potato fries. Also satay, spring rolls, fish n' chips, barbecue and burgers.
Ketchup: What can i say? I've been a fan since i was a tiny child, when people marveled at my ability to douse everything in red goo. When i was eight, i once caused great uproar and consternation when i asked for catsup at Brennan's restaurant in New Orleans. They were horrified and apparently the chef refused until told it was for a child, at which point a waiter bought it in a little glass dish "for Mademoiselle." Fer chrissakes, it wasn't like i was putting it on filet mignon: I was having scrambled eggs! But, yes, still ketchup on everything. Preferably Heinz: Hunt's is too sweet and generic is just ghastly. One must have standards when it comes to these things.

This Week's Religiopolitical Observation
We could be forgiven for sometimes thinking out national government is run by Evangelical/Born Again whackjobs. But, the more i think of it, i realize that what those assholes are, are Calvinists. Particularly heavy on the predestination. The idea that God has selected us before birth to be damned or saved would naturally appeal to a bunch of entitled children of wealth. After all, you can easily tell the damned fom the saved because all the damned people are poor and have nothing and the saved people get all the money, the power and the women, as Tony Montana would say. I'm not sure where it is that Jesus said "the rich should get richer and the poor should get royally screwed." I mean, i'm not familiar with the Bible (Oscar Wilde's Salome, yes. DeMille's Samson and Delilah, yes. Monty Python's Life of Brian, of course. Last Temptation of Christ, totally, several times, but not The Passion because i think making a snuff film starring Jesus is just plain wrong. It's kind of sad when i feel like i respect Mel Gibson's god more than he does.) but i'm pretty sure that was not part of his dialogue. However, it totally backs the Calvinist predestination philosophy. Yes, poor people should be tricked out of their homes for the benefit of Wall Street financiers: God wants them to have the money because they're better human beings. Poor people are wicked sinners who don't deserve houses. Of course the lower classes should pay taxes and the rich should get tax breaks: That's just the government carrying out the Lord's work of reassignning all earthly wealth to the chosen people. And we all know George Bush thinks he's Christ anyway.

This Week's Quote
"When I needed your faith, you withheld it. Now that I don't want it and don't need it, you give it to me."--Marlene Dietrich, Shanghai Express

Posted by lissa at March 4, 2008 08:49 PM