Monday, October 31, 2005

I know this will seem obvious, but it case you didn't know, or (like me) remember: KFC is terrible. KFC should not legally be able to call what they sell "food": maybe "phood," or "fud," or even "a food-related experience."

The only reason I tried KFC again was the memory of an awesome wing. About 10-15 years ago I tasted a deliciously sweet and salty thing from KFC. It was unbreaded and succulent and had the sauce baked into it, giving the wing a deep red-brown color. I thought it was what they now call "Honey BBQ Wings," so I ordered a six-piecer yesterday. I knew I was in trouble when they put a plate on my tray with eight golf-ball-sized gnarled lumps coated with uncooked "bbq sauce." Apparently they just put the nuggets into a bath of the "sauce" right before serving. And since the "sauce" is about 80% high-fructose corn syrup, it coats the nubbins quite thickly, so the sauce-to-meat ratio is way out of whack. I took one bite and had to spit it out into a napkin. Not only was the sauce disgusting — thick, sticky sugar syrup laced with liquid smoke, caramel coloring, and some salt — but under the sauce was fried breading, and under the breading was fried wing skin, and under the wing skin was a tiny piece of meat (on the bone, so you know it's real) that had been impregnated with artificial chickeny flavor and more salt. Unfortunately, I was hungry, so I gruesomely eviscerated three of the nuggets to get to a few small bites of meat. Of course I couldn't do it without coating my hands in the "sauce" which I sure as hell wasn't licking off my fingers. I did eat a biscuit, a chicken strip (dipped in ranch sauce — its first ingredient was water, which seemed more benign), and some cole slaw, so it wasn't a total loss.

Today I'm in detox, eating stuff like brown rice and root vegetables to make up for my diet this weekend. I was in P-Town for one night, which was very cold and rainy but then very nice, and I ate no vegetables while I was there (save the potatoes in my clam chowder and the iceberg lettuce on my lobster roll). Of course since I am eating so healthily today, it means I can also eat some halloween candy (and a cookie, and a doughnut hole, etc) to keep the toxin levels even.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Did you know? Faces gives you 10% the price of any umbrella if it is raining when you buy it.

Did you know? You can re-use oil for frying once (using it a total of two times) before it becomes kind of worn-out, chemically.

Did you know? The spiced creme brulee tastes just like egg nog. Egg nog and winning and God smiling upon you.

Did you know? Toddlers love ponies and riding and crackers, but they really, really, really love their mommies. Especially when it turns out they're suffering from roseola.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Something bad has happened.

I can no longer post from work.

I don't know why, but with the move, I have lost the ability to have cookies, or something, which makes no sense, because sites like the NY Times remembers my sign-in info from day to day. So, yeah. Maybe it's blogger-specific. Maybe they're onto me! Yikes.

What else? Oh, it rained a lot, for like ten days. Today it got sunny, very sunny, and for the first time our office was blasted with sunlight, making me search the storage boxes in the basement for a piece of yarn (and I found some), with which I hung my five-dollar pashmina as a curtain. But that wasn't enough, so I scrounged a large cardboard box that blocks the window nicely, although it's a bit tenementy. The building owner was supposed to supply shades before we moved in, but since real estate transactions never ever work out properly, there are no shades and no ETA for the shades.

On Saturday morning I drove to an estate sale in the pouring pouring rain. It was a very crappy little house a few feet from a busy road. An old Polish Catholic lady had lived there. She had an interesting living room set but I wasn't in the market for any furniture. It was the kind of estate sale that I love, where an entire household is for sale, so you are free to open drawers and pull stuff open and make an offer. (While I was in the kitchen a woman asked about the half-empty bottles of alcohol - not great stuff, mind you, as one was Manichewitz - and the estate sales guy said she could have them for free. She happily took them all.) Like many women of a certain age and class, the late woman was a sewer. She had a lot of bad, boring fabric, and like I've seen at other, similar sales, she had a curiously large number of zippers. But she also had some sewing pattern catalogs from the 60s-70s which I snatched right up. I dusted off the ol' scanner to share some choice shots with you. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I have a new office location, one that makes me the Eye on the Armory Street Parking Lot (as well as Armory Street itself). Armory Street is barely a street, yet gets a lot more traffic than I had imagined. I also never before noticed that the Thornes building has a roof seemingly composed entirely of pigeons.

Also seen today: a vet begging with the aid of a life-sized Halloween novelty head and torso. Well, it was more of a half-torso. It was holding a bowl and when someone walked near it would say something like "come closer, don't be shy" in a "spooky" voice. The vet was sitting calmly next to it with his cane and cardboard sign. After I passed him I overheard someone saying they had seen him outside of the VA hostpital over in Leeds, hitchhiking with the torso. More as this story develops!

p.s. I put up some photos in my new gallery (thanks, DG!): four from the amazing benefit show and dinner at the Apollo Grill Sunday night, and an incomplete gallery of photos from my summer in NYC. Check it out here.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

See last post for an update on the car fire, of which there are a couple of photos here, in my spankin' new gallery.

Monday, October 03, 2005

This morning at 6:30 a.m. I awoke to D saying "Do you smell that?" Never a good way to wake up. I sniffed and said yeah, what is that? I instantly thought that I must have left the toaster oven on or something. Then I noticed orange, flickering light reflected on the ceiling. We zipped the shades up and lo and behold, on the street right out front of my apartment, a big old white Jeep's engine was on fire; not just smoking or something, but on fire, in a big and unquestionable way. And it was parked right behind D's fancy car. We called 911, but they were already on it. D ran into the cops outside and they let him move his car, "if you hurry." He hurried. The cops sprayed the flames with their little tiny extinguishers but the fire just seemed to enjoy the attention and didn't get any smaller. The extinguishers made a big billow of white smoke/steam waft up to my open bedroom window and I was awake enough to close them before the cloud got inside. Then a fire engine showed up, and they hooked up a hose and sprayed the crap out of the car, but it still kept on relighting! Man. Finally they broke out the foam stuff, and that did the trick, though they had to whack the shit out of the front hood with a prybar in order to get it open so that they could really douse it.

By the time it was all over, the front half of the car was completely destroyed, and there was a very large white foamy puddle with small pieces of burnt car sitting in it. The woman who owned the car came out in her robe and be-towel-ed hair and said that earlier she had heard someone trying to steal her car, trying to get it to start. And I guess the car didn't turn over, but it got so hot that the dirty, oily engine caught fire. There are several key details missing in that story, though, and it's fairly unsatisfying.

UPDATE! I checked the local paper the next day and there was a little thing about the fire in the police blotter. They say it was most likely an electrical fire, and no foul play is suspected. So the whole thing about the owner hearing someone try to start her car was bullshit, apparently.