Friday, November 7, 2014

Food Fight

Fair warning: this post contains potentially offensive subject matter, especially if you have food allergies or watch cooking shows. Believe it or not, I do actually understand things like celiac disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

Before we left, my child bride told me to make a list of what I would eat and what I wouldn't. Her plan, I think, was to give it to the rest of the family in Michigan to help them in their meal planning. In the end…well, this is what I ended up with:

To Eat:
Meat (almost all, see notes below for exceptions)
If meal plan is exhausted, see above
Note: Anything that my wife makes is food.
Additional Note: Sometimes it's nice to skip a meal. Maybe just snack a little later. No big deal.

To Not Eat:

Mushy Peas
--All Peas are mushy, even in the pod.
--All beans are probably peas in disguise.
--All vegetables are probably related to beans.
--Best to be cautious on this.

--Things wrapped in intestines like sausages and brauts.
--Only poop should be in intestines.
--Poop is not food, no matter what Rachael Ray says.

Brains, Liver, etc.
--No organs
--Not even animal ones

Shredded Coconut.
--Probably a vegetable; only pretending to be a nut.
--If not vegetable, might be little pointy white spiders waiting to come alive in your stomach.

No Transitional Food.
--Food should only be eaten when finished.
--Sushi is not finished.
--Cream cheese, cottage cheese, curds, whey, etc. are not finished. Too late for milk, too soon for cheese.
--Cabbage (aka pre-sauerkraut) is not finished. Sauerkraut is not food.
--Yogurt is not food. Food has flavor, not culture. Yogurt is a bacteria aka rot. Rot is not food.
--Fungus is also rot, not food. Remember the rule: Fungus is no fun for us.
--Green is usually the sign of a food in transition. Green meat is transitioning to rot. Green bacon is transitioning to rot. Green eggs are transitioning to rot unless you are British.
--Vegetables are also green.
--Mayonnaise is a transitional food (see below). It is a food of unfulfilled potential. The ingredients separately looked good; combined, they're on a road to nowhere. Not even starving leprous kids in India are that hungry.

Tomatoes should be sufficiently dead.
--Raw is not dead.
--Sliced is not dead.
--Diced is not dead.
--Stewed is not dead.
--Crushed is not dead.
--Pureed into a sauce, seeds removed, all chunks strained out, mixed with spices and made into a nice spaghetti or pizza is maybe dead enough. But no black olives.
--Olives are made by the spit of old Italian men. That is bad.

No mayonnaise.
--Remember, potatoes are good, salad is bad. Potato salad, therefore, is a breech in the matter/anti-matter containment vessel. That's bad, Egon.
--"Salad Dressing" is not a mayonnaise loop-hole.
--Seriously, the stuff is gross.

Food should be food.
--Food is not pretty. Food has work to do; it doesn't have time to get dressed up. Fancy looking food is hiding something.
--Food should not touch. If the cook makes two different foods in the kitchen, do not be rude and let them touch on the plate.
--Food should not be allowed to touch in the kitchen.
--Handy tip: food should be brown, black, or gray. If not, food may be undercooked or need gravy.
--Bread is food. Gluten is hippy propaganda.
--All food should be made from ingredients.
--Ingredients should be things known to western civilization for at least two hundred years.
--The Food Network lies. A lot.
--If you have to order it, it is not an ingredient.
--If you cannot pronounce it, it is not an ingredient.
--If you cannot spell it, it is not an ingredient…or Italian. Italian is okay.
--Some Spanish and Mexican is okay too. To test, rub suspect ingredient in your eyes. If it burns, it is not an ingredient.
--There is no food in Asia. Some ingredients, yes, but no food. If all the ingredients together make Asian food, you have failed.
--Grease is an ingredient. Greek is not. Those people eat some weird things but it is not food.
--Just leave the poor sheep alone, okay?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Home Again

They called it horror because they had forgotten the real meaning of the word, because there was no word sufficient for the harrowing trail, the eternity of butt-numbing boredom punctuated by moments of sheer orange where stalagmites rise up from the asphalt like the flames of Hades and men shuffle listlessly between arcane machines.
So, yeah, there was some travel. Not so much with the men and machines though. I don't mind construction when it's necessary and done right, like in Kentucky where they're out there only a few feet from traffic risking their lives to make sure the shoulders are solid and the guardrails intact so I don't go plummeting down the side of a mountain. I'm totally fine with that. Places like Ohio and Michigan however, where the entire state is down to one lane because that one guy who actually does something is probably going to want to work on part of the road when he gets back from vacation next week, they get on my nerves. But I shouldn't complain, I've been through worse (any given trip through Indianapolis, for example) and the car ran splendiferously. Plus my lovely wife did most of the driving because she's wonderful like that.
We're home now and rested up to the state of exhaustion that we call normal. I'll try to give a few more posts on the details of the trip but the short version is: we went to Michigan, spent some time with family, went to Conclave, and had a great time and a lovely convention.
It's hard for me to give anything resembling an honest convention report because, over the years, 'Clave has gone from a convention to a second home where I visit my friends who just happen to run a convention. That said, I still think this year went very well. FEMA was actively commandeering large chunks of the hotel away from the convention and, if it hadn't been for the signs, you wouldn't have known it. Even the "disaster that delivers" couldn't stop the smooth machine that is 'Clave's staff. Panel rooms were easy to find and in rooms that were the right size for the panel and, if anything, noise and distractions from other events and outside business was less than usual. Very, very impressive.
I was allowed to do a relatively large number of panels, which I enjoyed but I do hope that the people who attended didn't get tired of seeing me. Even better, I was privileged to do many of them with the Guest of Honor Kelly McCullough who has his own very thorough and nice convention report on his site. ( or Stupid blog will probably mess up the link; you might have to do the usual cut-and-paste thing. I swear, I need a teenager on staff to do the web stuff. I'm not kidding; you want the job, ask for it.) I also was fortunate enough to meet and speak with his wife over the course of the weekend. As most of you are aware, authors get the by-line but the spouses are what really make the books possible. They were even gracious enough to come to my reading of Purple Wings and pretend they liked it.
I'll try to get into more details of trip and convention as time goes by but for now, know that we're home safe from our trip to the first world and go read Kelly's stuff.