Saturday, July 08, 2006

Notes from a day off.

1) Have I mentioned that the Chop House has darn good steak? I had a pound of rare prime rib yesterday that was so tender it would fall apart if you spoke at it sternly. A pair of visigoths ladies-who-lunch sat at the next table as I was finishing off my draft Newcastle and enjoying my post-meal cigarette; one ordered prime rib, medium-well, and the other ordered a filet cooked well-done (why not just ask for a charcoal briquette, honey? You'll never know the difference.) As I hurriedly gathered up my book and purse to escape the sight of ruined meat, I heard the filet-murderer ask the waitress if she had any steak sauce. For her twenty-three dollar cut of prime beef. I had to wait for my tears to subside before I could drive. Continuing the sad note, somebody had beat me to Leaf & Ale and bought every six-pack of Mash House Hoppy Hour IPA in the place. The selfish meanie.

2) Drove to McKay's and picked up ten pounds of good reading for about two bucks a pound. My boss and Bob the Gunsmith had been heckling me to pick up something by Tom Wolfe. "You need to read more mainstream fiction." Look, if I want to read about failed relationships, career problems, family struggles, and substance abuse, I'll write a friggin' diary. The characters in the books I like to read have problems, too, but they usually solve them with laser beams or tactical nuclear warheads. I read these books because I wish I could solve my problems that way, too. This is called "escapism", and is why most folks seek entertainment in the first place.

3) Got home to discover an almost perfect storm of linky-love had left VFTP with its best ever one-day hit count. Residual effects from being mentioned on samizdata.net the previous day, plus a bit of linky-love from SayUncle and LawDog, plus a link from Two-Four, coupled with a mention on RealClearPolitics all combined to leave me with a happily self-satisfied feeling as I sat down to watch the sun set over the lake. You like me! You really, really like me! ;)

15 comments:

phlegmfatale said...

Well done? Steak sauce??? Sacrilege! I always say if God intended us to eat overcooked beef, he wouldn't have made it taste so good raw. Good thing you got out of there, anyway - I find what tables of women blather on about in restaurants extremely annoying when I'm trying to read. It's impossible to ignore. Last time: "There was a raccoon on my porch so I called 9-1-1." Wimp.

I LOVE reading, and I have erudite friends who love to recommend books and sometimes I follow their advice. However, I resent when someone insists I read their "favorite" book and I do and I think it's terrible. I'd rather not choose my path according to someone else's (usually low) standards. If I recommend a book, I like to say why. By the way, I read L. Ron Hubbard's (i know, i know) Battlefield Earth about 15 years ago, and I thought it was a very exciting read. The battle scenes were really exciting. Did you ever read that one? NOT that I'm saying you should...

phlegmfatale said...

...cause I'd die of shame after that rant if you read it and thought I was insane for recommending it, so, please, pretty please, don't read it.

freddyboomboom said...

I remember reading it when I was in High School, and enjoying lots of it, but parts of it dragged on for me.

A much much more better book would be The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by the very very first Grand Master Of Science Fiction award winner... And you can't really go wrong with Starship Troopers for subtle commentary on the death of a civilization. Of course the downfall of civilization is covered quite well in H. Beam Piper's Space Viking and Cosmic Computer aka Junkyard Planet...

Then there's...

Lizard said...

Your views on literature are utterly identical to mine, and I have an English degree to wave around if anyone gets uppity. I have always felt this way; back in high school, they made us read "Catcher In The Rye", which I loathed from Word One. The mindless idiots in my class were drolling over this whiny, pathetic tome because it was so "realistic" and "meaningful". Yeah, like I need a frackin' book to tell me "Being a teenager sucks". I was a teenaget. I knew this. I had long been a Heinlein fan, and when HIS teenage characters had problems, they involved the fate of humanity or the universe, and they marched bravely in to do what needed to be done -- not sit around and whine about how horrible everything was and how no one loved them.

(BTW, "Battlefield Earth" is good pulpy turn-off-your-mind fluff. But buy a used copy so you don't put any money in the coffers of Scientology.)

Mushy said...

If I might suggest - next time Leaf & Ale is out of your brand, try some Old Scratch from Flying Dog. Not half bad.

Huck Phinn said...

Tamara,

If you are a fan of India Pale Ales, I offer three for your consideration: Laginitas Brewing’s IPA and IPA Maximus. IPA is great, Maximus is greater!

http://www.lagunitas.com/beers/index.html

If you are a genuine, certifiable hop head, you should try Stone Brewing’s Ruination. At over 100 International Bitterness Units (IBU’s) it is not for the faint of heart.

http://www.stonebrew.com/tasting/ruination/index.html

Huck

pax said...

Absolutely the only thing I liked about Battlefield Earth was elron's nearly brilliant method of describing the aliens (he did it by describing human beings ...)

BryanP said...

I differ with you some on meat - I prefer medium to medium rare - but steak sauce is an abomination.

You and my wife would get along nicely on that subject though. She once sent a steak back 3 times because "I asked for a rare steak." She's pretty sure the chef got mad and decided to mess with her the third time. What was sent out was just this side of raw. "Perfect!" was her reply.

As for fiction, you and I are in total agreement. I have shelves and shelves of SF, Fantasy and such. I'm currently reading "Redliners" by David Drake.

Anonymous said...

Wow. May as well go to waffle house and get their steak if you're gonna do that to one.

Regarding prime rib: wipe it's nose, slap it on the ass and send it to the table with a little horeradish.

-SayUncle

BTW, your capcha program word is:

kazviudy

and no one should have to type that.

BobG said...

"Regarding prime rib: wipe it's nose, slap it on the ass and send it to the table with a little horeradish."
That works; the most you might need to do is rub a bit of garlic on it first.
Cooking a good steak well done should be listed as at least a class 2 misdemeanor.

Tam said...

"BTW, your capcha program word is:

kazviudy"


Jeez, I read that and my first thought was "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" I had no idear that it was forcing folks to type obscenities!

;)

jmikey said...

David Weber, "In Fury Born", or any of his others! Anything over medium rare is an abomination, I even do the occasional carrpaccio!

Diamondback said...

Newcastle is one of my staples. Boddingtons is really good English beer with a slight honey flavor. You can sometimes find it at the World Market in Pint size can four packs. Not a really fan of Regular Guiness but the Draught Guiness in the Dark bottle is Really Good! Abita Turbo Dog is a pretty good Domestic and I'm actually drinking one of those at the moment (Cheers). The Purple Haze from Abita is pretty good as well. Can't really get a descent steak out around here, so I generally cook them at home. Beer and grilling just go together, don't they?

Zendo Deb said...

I recommend the stories by Elizabeth Moon... Once a Hero, Terms of Engagement, Change of Command and Against the Odds. a fair amount of laser beams, and the Honour Harrington Series - by David Weber - lots of tactical nukes. (Start at the beginning.... the first 4 are On Basilisk Station, The Honor of the Queen, The Short Victorious War and Field of Dishonor

Billy Beck said...

Once, at table with an Italian friend of mine, I began cutting my spaghetti up with a knife and fork. (Yup: just like a little kid's spaghetti, if you wanna crack wise.) My friend took one look and hollered, "Jesus!..."

I stopped what I was doing, pushed my plate over in front of him, and said, "Oh. Excuse me. I thought it was my dinner."

He got the point.

Same thing with steaks, kids.

If you're not eating it, you got nothin' to say.