2003 Notebook: Weak XLVII
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20 November 2003
No. 486 (cartoon)
You couldn’t have known.

I could have known; I chose not to know.

21 November 2003
Cosmos (as in Cosmopolitans)
I’ve decided that I need to take a healthier, more holistic approach to life. I should honor my fellow beings who comprise the Earth’s delicate web of life. I’m going to devote more time to studying spirituality and enhancing my awareness of both nature and the cosmos. I’m going to let the caring poet within me free to explore all that is sacred and magnificent.

Ha! Just kidding!

(At least it seemed funny after a few pints of Rainier Ale.)

22 November 2003
A Tale of Two Chilies
Drs. Wahlberg have a spectacular mountain laboratory high above the tiny city of San Francisco. Although they enjoy a wonderful, panoramic view, there’s not a decent taqueria within a kilometer. As a result, they’ve been experimenting in the laboratory kitchen with concocting chile relleños.

Their bold experiment is fraught with peril. For some reason that I fear involves an absence of lard, gringos just can’t cook Mexican food very well. It’s not a problem for me, since my laboratory is within walking distance of many excellent taquerias.

Last night, Drs. Wahlberg invited three dear friends and me to dinner at their lab to for a test chile relleño dinner. I decided to contribute to the experiment by bring the hors d’ouvres: a couple of chile relleño burritos from a local Mexican restaurant.

We all enjoyed burrito slices as an appetizer, although Marge was a bit uncomfortable with the audacity of my unscheduled experiment.

“The burritos were David’s idea,” she nervously repeated two or three times.

Fortunately, Drs. Wahlberg had clearly done excellent, rigorous research; their chile relleños were every bit as scrumptious as the Mission imports. Without lard, even.

23 November 2003
I met some wanker who was scamming lots of money from stupid corporate drones with his snake oil program of “coopetition,” or cooperation and competition.

I told her that she was missing out on the lucrative opportunities in the emerging meditainment field.

“What’s meditainment?” she asked.

“Are you serious?!” I replied. “Medication and entertainment, it’s all they’re talking about in LA. I can’t believe you’re not in on the action.”

I lied; I’d invented meditainment only a couple of minutes earlier. Scammers are surprisingly easy to scam.

24 November 2003
East and West, Stagnant and Stale
A recent speech by Igor Kolenikov in the Russian Duma reminded me of the old question, “What’s the difference between capitalism and communism?

Kolenikov dismissed one of his political rivals as “a stagnant pile of stale air wrapped in meat.” The west, of course, is run by politicians who are just the opposite: stale piles of meat air wrapped in stagnant air.

25 November 2003
A Kitchen Secret
Everyone agrees I’m a really good cook. Since I’m feeling especially magnanimous on Thanksgiving eve, I decided to share one of my two chef’s tricks.

Invite guests for dinner at 19:00. At 18:30, put two diced onions and some olive oil in a large skillet over a high flame. Stand by the stove with a spatula in one hand, a glass of wine in the other, and an open bottle of wine in the other. (Although the three-handed approach seems counterintuitive in theory, it comes naturally in practice.) Drink wine, chat with guests, and pour some wine in the pan when the onions start to burn.

By 19:30, the studio will be permeated with the smell of onions, the guests will be salivating both because of the odor and because they expected to eat a half hour ago. By now, the onions are just a carbonized glob of brown vegetable matter, so throw them in the compost and start preparing the real dinner. By the time the guests finally get some food on their plate, they’ll be so famished that they’ll inhale anything you serve and declare it’s one of the finest meals they’ve ever had.

Try it. It works.

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©2003 David Glenn Rinehart