07 December 2009

NaNoWriMo Means Big Savings

Who's got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and wrote a novel in the month of November?

This moi!

That's right, as part of National Novel Writing Month, I wrote a novel of just over 50,000 words in only the month of November, which is the thing I'm going to use as the convenient excuse for having not posted anything. Well, in November anyway.

Here's the sweet image to prove it:


And just to prove how committed I am to writing, I'm taking December off too. What I learned from NaNoWriMo is to be prepared and dedicated. I know I won't have much time in December, so I'll use what time I have to get a jump on things for 2010. See you then.

18 October 2009

How to Get Attention

To get anything done in this world— especially on the internet— requires the unmitigated, if brief, attention of a network of mostly twenty-somethings with nominal social aptitude. How else do you think Mir-Hossein Mousavi was elected President of Iran? But, if you have loftier goals, such as having people notice how crazy you are, you'll need everyone's full attention, mass media and twitterati alike.

So, if you want people to think, for example, that your son is aboard an experimental aircraft you constructed for no apparent purpose other than looking like a flying saucer, start with a reality television show so everyone has a point of reference, and increase your celebrity profile from there. Then, try some of the following (note, however, that the balloon/experimental aircraft/UFO bit is played out right now and you should give it some time before you attempt it):

  • Fake your own death. Once word gets out that you died (as long as you are or once were important enough for us to care) in a horrifying hovercraft accident or of an undiagnosed, untreatable, extremely rare congenital disorder, everyone will mourn you for probably a solid week. You may, however, be upstaged by a bigger celebrity actually dying, and there's always a chance your cover will be blown when someone notices you leaving a 7-11 with a Big Gulp.
  • Start a charity that does work exactly like the work being done by another charity that already exists. Obviously, the work you're doing to ensure that people associate your face with other people helping the less fortunate is significant enough to be done twice. This is also a good way to spend a bunch of money on marketing, both traditional and viral (i.e. on the internet), and get a sweet tax write-off since it's for charity. Bonus!
  • Go crazy on a talk show or news program. Try a racist tirade, or maybe an "accidental" swear word. You could shout something at the President or a fellow Senator. Jump on a couch. Celebrity is about being decidedly non-normal, and you need to prove that to the world in a way that is modestly memorable and easily translates into a YouTube clip. By the eye of Zolnak, right you guys?
  • Live an unnecessarily public life. This one is not so much a method, but a whole lifestyle. If you want to be a celebrity, you need to believe you are a celebrity, and the universe will turn you into one via a mysterious and suppressed mechanism know only to a few true believers and everyone who watches Oprah. If you're having a divorce, have it publicly. If you're having kids, have like a dozen or so at once. Publicly. Let someone photograph your naughty bits. Do this all the time. People need to know details about your life that they do not remotely want to know. This way, you will be irrevocably seared into their memories forever.
Remember, the most important thing in being famous is getting people to pay attention to you. It doesn't matter what you do to do it, but do it with all your heart. And remember to have fun!

01 October 2009

I Eat Your Cubans

Sandwiches! Sandwiches are the best, and the best kind of sandwich is the Cuban. If you disagree, I will take you into the Sears parking lot after hours and beat you senseless with a reliable and affordable Kenmore appliance.

The Cuban: pork, ham, cheese, pickles, mustard, tasty bread— HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE IT? For the past year, I've sought out the places in Rochester, NY that make Cuban sandwiches. Here's what I've found, worst to the best, with special thanks to RocWiki for the great local links:

Cheesecake Factory
The first Cuban I ever tried, and technically in Rochester (OK, Pittsford), even though it's a chain restaurant. ANYWAY, OK taste, pretty good bread, all the right ingredients, and yellow mustard? Really? Good to know you can grab one at any Cheesecake Factory, but like any chain, the quality degrades thanks to franchising, and overall, kind of a weak sandwich.

Dinosaur Bar-b-Que
The bun (yeah, I said bun) was warm but not toasted or grilled, the pork was overbearing and soaked in barbecue sauce, the pickles were sweetish instead of dill, and THERE WAS NO MUSTARD! The only thing in life I take seriously is condiments. You have failed me, Dino. Still better than Cheesecake Factory, though, because let's be honest, Dinosaur's BBQ is tasty.

Pellegrino's Deli Cafe
Normally a sub shop, so this Cuban comes on a sub roll. All the ingredients are great, even the added shredded lettuce and onions. Sadly, the bread, being a sub roll, is just too doughy. Probably the best per dollar investment though, especially if you get the small sub for $1 when you buy a large sub special, meaning you can get three meals out of it. Ultimately, tasty enough to ensure I always order a Cuban when I'm at Pellegrino's.

Lovin' Cup
Lovin' Cup calls their Cuban a "Santeria," and they don't do us the service of telling us they mean a Cuban. I had to figure that out myself. OK, my friend Nick told me before I ever went there. Again, no mustard, but the so-called "Cuban sauce" is pretty good. Maybe I was there on an off night, but the sandwich was a little cold. It came out quickly enough, which makes me think it was not entirely finished cooking. Not a bad taste, but not everything I hoped for. Kind of like Obama's promise concerning Gitmo.

Dorado
The least traditional Cuban on the list, this one included cilantro mayo, avocado and salsa. While I miss the mustard, Dorado makes up for it with the great cilantro mayo and amazing bread. The second best roll, which Dorado calls "Portuguese Bread," and the most unique. I'd go back for the taste, even despite being just barely the most expensive sandwich on the list.

Sticky Lips Pit BBQ
My second favorite Cuban on the list, and the most traditional. The bread is sourdough, but it's fresh and it's grilled, so it tastes great. Everything else is spot on. The ham is top-notch and the pork is slow-cooked. The cheese is melty, the mustard is spicy, and the pickles are garlicky. Everything a Cuban ought to be, but sadly, only available on Wednesdays and only until the run out, which they ALWAYS do. I suggest going for lunch.

Tap & Mallet
I love the Tap & Mallet. Go there even if you don't care about Cuban sandwiches, because they have the best beer selection in town. Go there even if you don't like beer, out of respect for their awesomeness. Their Cuban is the most gourmet on the list and matches Dorado for price, but you get more sandwich. Instead of using shredded pork like every other place, they use a full slab, and the ham is easily the tastiest, smokiest and thickest on the list. Also, the best bread. Just, the best. Go there now.

Finally, I know this is not the normal tone of meatiocrity, but "meat" is in the title, so I'm exploiting that tenuous connection to write these reviews. I regret nothing. If you know of other great Cuban sandwiches, leave a message in the comments, and if I can, I'll eat one and review it.

EDIT: Georgie's has the best cubanos. Click here for the review.

14 May 2009

Swine Flu, Part Two

Questions from meatiocrity readers:

Q: My parents are currently vacationing in Florida, which is a lot closer to Mexico than where I live. What should I do when they return?

A: It depends on how old your parents are. If they're over 55, they're not coming back from Florida. Instead, they'll buy visors and fanny packs and learn how to use a turn signal in entirely the opposite way it is intended to be used. If they are under 55, just Lysol them down when they return.

Q: What should we call this virus? Swine flu or H1N1?

A: The first option, as previously stated, is highly offensive. The second is super-nerdy. Instead, to make sufferers feel they are experiencing something enjoyable, I suggest we call the disease "bacon lung." That's a virus I can sink my teeth into!

Q: How will the swine flu affect pork barrel spending?

A: Obviously this is a big concern. We will need to regulate the pork going into the barrels to ensure it is not contaminated. This will require additional congressional oversight as well as additional funding for the subcommittee and a subcommittee to oversee the spending of the first subcommittee. And since this will put a pinch on the pork barrel manufacturing industry, we will need to institute a stimulus package to bail out the pork barrel makers. This of course means greater pork barrel regulation to prevent the pork barrel bubble from bursting a second time and spreading swine flu all over, because let's face it, that's pretty gross.

Thanks for your questions everyone!

04 May 2009

I Can't Come Into Work Today, I'm Feeling a Little Porcine

The mainstream media may be winding down it's nearly fortnight-long infatuation with swine flu, but there's part of the story they're not telling you, namely that swine flu is still really really scary. To help you combat this epidemic, I've compiled some FAQs which will help you identify exactly which type of terrified you need to be. SPOILER ALERT: the answer is "extraordinarily."

Q: How do I know if I have swine flu?

A: If you're not sure if you have swine flu, check for the following symptoms: headache, fever, nausea, lack of ability to self-diagnose swine flu, and swine flu. If you exhibit even one of these, you've got it bad, and your loved ones are going to shun you until you can prove you did not have sex with that pig.

Q: Can I get swine flu from pork?

A: Definitely. If there's one thing epidemics teach us, it's that we should be afraid of even remotely possible to entirely impossible scenarios. Also, I predict that with fewer Americans buying pork, the pork bubble will burst and the industry will shrivel into recession like a strip of bacon in a frying pan. Mmm. Economic downturn never sounded so delicious.

Q: I've got swine flu. What should I do now?

A: First, stay the hell away from me. I don't want to be within spitting distance of anyone with the ham contagion. Second, try any of the following treatments: 1) down enough Tamiflu and 150 proof rum to pass out while your body attempts to fight the infection; 2) Cry softly into your pillow for three days straight then burn your pillowcase, because it's totally infected now; or 3) Freak out as often and as loudly as possible, preferably on camera. I think the swine flu is afraid of the noise.

Q: Isn't calling it "swine flu" offensive to Jews and Muslims?

A: Yes. It's also offensive to single white males who specified "no fatties" in their craigslist ads. A better choice is to call it "Mexican flu," because nobody finds Mexicans unclean. Except my racist grandmother.

Q: Should I wear a mask for protection? They look so ugly!

A: Not if you have a Bedazzler and glitter paint.

Q: Aren't you blowing this whole thing out of proportion?

A: No.

If you have any questions about swine flu, please leave them in the comments section and I will answer them in the order in which they were received.

27 February 2009

Clichés

Sometimes people use clichés or idioms, and I suppose that's fine if you want people to think you've never had any unique thoughts of your own. But, recently, I heard someone say "If life gives you lemons," which is not only not a full sentence, but not really enough information. Below, for the ease of the reader, I have provided some possible conclusions to the above sentence so that the use of clichés and idioms which has so enriched our history may continue into the future.

If life gives you lemons, throw them at someone until you feel better.

If life gives you lemons, it is not necessary, but a thank you note is always appreciated.

If life gives you lemons, please turn them over to the authorities as they may be contraband imported illegally from a foreign country.

If life gives you lemons, see if you can trade them for some tangerines.

If life gives you lemons, it may be a sign to finally get your fledgling juggling career going.

If life gives you lemons, politely inquire as to what exactly life expects you to do with all these lemons.

If life gives you lemons, they may prove to be difficult to transport home.

If life gives you lemons, give them right back. You do not need more lemons.

Please feel free to disseminate any of these as pithy folk wisdom however you see fit.

19 February 2009

The Only Thing You Have to Fear Is Everything Listed Below

Did you know that in the United States, any provider of information, no matter how completely made up the information is, is required to fill an annual fear quota? A certain number of statements must inspire fear in the people of the United States. Since they always do the audit around tax time, I found out that I'm pretty far behind, so I've got to make up some ground in one terrifying article. Listed below in order of increasing number of exclamation points are some things you may not know you should be afraid of.

MEDICINE!

The real miracle of modern medicine is that it will likely kill you dead, possibly in a way that involves either far too much or far too little of one of more bodily fluids. Even preventative measures like vitamins and flu shots might mess you up pretty bad. Just remember: white is the new black, and stethoscope is the new scythe.

ISRAEL!!

Did you think they were really on our side? Now that Benjamin Netanyahu is back, we've got at least two probably crazy leaders in a cramped and unstable area with someone else's war in the way between them. If Iran has enriched uranium, Iraq is the new staging ground for a pretty lousy reenactment of the Cold War.

PEANUTS!!!

It turns out that those delicious ballpark treats are real assmunches.* They can give you salmonella, which I'm pretty sure are tiny tiny fish that swim up your bloodstream to spawn in your brain. Or, you might be so allergic to them that you require a bubble of 20 yards free of anyone who has peanut breath, has handled peanuts in the past week, or who has on their person a newspaper which carries classic Peanuts comics.

RECESSION!!!!

It will probably turn into a depression, in which case you will have to eat cat food and tires (hint: add some gravel for an extra crunch!). If you are lucky, maybe they will let you build a road or something. That MBA has got to be good for something, right?

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLANS!!!!!

That's right, the money is most definitely not going to help you at all. It is an elaborate plan to get money into the hands of the Israelis because, frankly, we don't like that guy with the weird name who looks weirdly like Jake Gyllenhaal, who also has a weird name.

GOD!!!!!! JESUS!!!!!!! THE BIBLE!!!!!!!!

Atheism is on the rise, which is good news, because I am pretty damn sick of pot luck dinners. Turns out that a lot of ahteists believe that religion is killing us. In the case of "Shout to the Lord," this is pretty convincing. Thank empiricism we've got science and medicine.

RECURSION!!!!!!!!!

Oh balls, did I just say medicine?

FEAR!!!!!!!!!!

I know you are at least a little afraid by now. The real question you need to ask is "Am I afraid enough?"


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*On a completely different note, if you smuggle marijuana in your rectum, do you get the assmunchies?

15 February 2009

True Facts About Rod Blagojevich's Hair

The following are some true facts about former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's hair. You may want to take note as these can be helpful both on trivia night at British and British-style pubs, and also in making uncomfortable conversation with your stylist.

Rod Blagojevich's hair contains the following: three pounds of pomade, an entire can of hair spray, a family of grey squirrels, a rival family of red squirrels, six Cheetos, a lost sock and no less than seventeen acorns, although these are only the ones the squirrels have not yet found.

Rod Blagojevich's hair is a Virgo, enjoys white wine spritzers, is both driven and easy-going, dislikes haters and is, ironically, sick of games.

Rod Blagojevich's hair is the only known substance capable of withstanding one of Chuck Norris's roundhouse kicks. It is not, however, capable of withstanding two consecutive Chuck Norris roundhouse kicks.

It is a common joke, but Rod Balgojevich's hair does not have its own zip code. The suggestion is patently absurd.

Although Rod Blagojevich has been banned from public office in Illinois, his coiffure has not, and was, in fact, under consideration for Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

Rod Blagojevich's hair requires just under three hours to be properly and safely removed so that the former governor can pull his shirt over his head.

Finally, Rod Blagojevich did not always posses his current mane. However, we discover the true source of his pilary powers in The Amazing Ex-Governor #27 in which he is bitten by a radioactive toupee.

I hope that you find these facts about Rod Blagojevich's hair informative and interesting. I have certainly enjoyed sharing them with you. I encourage you to comb through them, to pick out some of your favorites, and learn to recite them in your own style as they can be quite popular at parties. Lastly, please keep in mind that these facts are entirley true and not made up in anyway whatsoever and are in no way exhaustive.