Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Eating Out Warm Buttery Creamfish

Happy Holidays intrepid readers!  Here is hoping that all has been bountiful and well.  Thanksgiving was a comfortingly low key affiar this year and we only wound up making some basic artichoke cream cheese dip.  The eating around has been at it's recently common trickle, with one somewhat odd trip for tepanyaki and hitting up common haunts that I've previously covered. 

On a somewhat related front, I've been collaborating with my friends at on some video projects for The Germ short film festival.  We've thrown around some really interesting ideas so far and the inspirational topic is food.  So you know I've got a few tactless plots festering in my brain.  Once we get into production, I'll hopefully have the presence of mind to share some behind the scenes stills.

But on to the reason for the season.  Eating!  In this particular case, Mrs. EOF cast dinner responsibility on me so that she could finish working on her finals.  Digging through the freezer for something interesting, I found a nice little package with some wee sea scallops.  As I'm pondering them, I find myself wondering maybe a cream soup?  Upon looking for bacon, all I can find is a chub of hot breakfast sausage and it all starts to gel.  Milder shellfish, milder unsmoked pork...I've got some seriously questionable new potatoes...screw it!  Let us boldly assume we can meld this into a chowder!

The stuff:

1 lb Small to med sea scallops
1.5 lbs New potatoes chopped (about a dozen)
3/4 lb Hot breakfast sausage
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter
4 tablespoons Flour
1 qt Chicken stock
2 cloves Garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon Black pepper

Begin by heating up your soup pot to start browning and crumbling the breakfast sausage.  For the potatoes, if they're good you can just peel them, since mine were almost vodka, I used the par-boil method where you boil the potatoes for 3-5 minutes and then rub the skins off with a paper towel.  Chop the potatoes and add to the sausage.  Stir through the sausage and cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes if par cooked or until just before they become tender 10-20 mins from raw depending on your chop-size.  At this point add in the butter and stir until fully melted and then add the flour, garlic and pepper and stir until incorporated, 1-2 minutes.  Now add in the quart of chicken stock and again stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer.  Allow to simmer for 5 minutes to allow thickening.  Add your thawed sea scallops and simmer another 5-10 minutes or until the scallops are still soft but pull apart easily in your burned fingers.

When you serve this, be prepared.  Prepared to fight off your family and/or friends, because once you taste this, you'll be reserving seconds and all subsequent numbers of refills for yourself!  And don't expect them to capitulate easily.  I'm still nursing some pretty bad scratches and a mild concussion from my last batch.

Happy Holicookerying!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Eating Out and Getting Hye

Oh happy day!  Why so happy?  Well, because my hangover isn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been.  If you follow us on the Facebook as well, you'll have seen our braggart's photo of the the bounty of fine beers in our fridge.  And together they're enough hangover fuel to keep us in the bathroom all day, working from both ends if you catch my drift.  Bless Old Doc's for their well focused beer section and enough wine to drown a Frenchman.

But also important to hangover avoidance is having a good food base in your guts before you start upending one bottle after another.  After another.  And boy, oh boy did we ever find ourselves a wicked good base to fight the alcohol wars from!  Just around the shopping complex, past the tiny tiny Ace Hardware, and the art gallery and rather near the Way of Japan dojo is Hye Deli.

I've known of Hye Deli since I was a tiny wee scumbag Fresnan.  Alas, my folks were nowhere as foodly adventurous as their young regrettable spawn.  So I have lain in ignorance these 30 years.  But no more!  I was craving deli, I was craving new and as always craving local.  So we're off to get Hye!

The inside of the deli is the epitome of a generationally owned business.  It's a little sparse, a little hodgepodge in the seating and decorated with pride in the old country.  In this case the old country is Armenia, so you've got the maps and celebrity pictures with famous folks and oddly...judges?  Yup, there are 3 or 4 celeb-type pics of well known law givers of Armenian descent.  Hey, at least it's not another stupid photo of Bubba, right?

In the meantime, I am a hungry little princess!  So hungry in fact that I'm essentially eating for two.  So I order two sandwiches.  One for me and the second for my psychic food baby that is constantly expanding my waistline.  And this being a new culinary tradtion to explore, I really want to step outside of what I already know and try something unique.

But first I've gotta have me some falaffel!  I fell in love with falaffel in Santa Cruz of all places, being ignorant at the time that there were several thriving Fresnan communities that love it as well.  And it's been at least 3 or 4 years since I've had any, so I'm jonesing.  Theirs was lovely.  Crunchy exterior and warm, moist, well spiced center.  All wrapped in a much more pliable and flat type of pita than I've ever experienced.  Sadly tzatziki is Greek, but their tahini sauce was still quite good.  Overall a wonderful revisiting of a favorite sandwich.

Also, it is worth noting that the folks at Hye prepare everything fresh as you order.  So if you're in a rush, make sure to call your order in ahead of time and they'll have it piping hot and ready to go for you. 

Round 2!  Fight!  So our second sandwich contains a meat new to my mouth-world.  It's called soujouk.  From what I've read, it is a popular type of dried sausage, often fried for breakfast.  Somewhat similar to linguica, but larger and with an underlying kick of cumin.  It's sandwich fixings are pretty standard, the awesome pita bread, lettuce, tomato and mustard.  It was extremely delicious, although some might take pause at the unique structure of such a sandwich.  It essentially came together like a salami burrito, which feels a little odd at first, until the the flavor pleasure overrides your confusion.  I'm going to keep an eye out and see if I can buy some of the sausage for home use.

The Mrs. chose a polish sausage sandwich and went with a side of the falaffel.  I really liked the presentation for the side dish.  It was simple but orderly and well balanced.  Just enough pita and tahini for the 3 falaffel patties.  Equally tasty as the aforementioned falaffel.  I can only assume that her sandwich was good, because she devoured it immediately and still won't speak of it to me.  Like some crazy gold prospecter who found El Dorado and will kill to defend the secret.  I'm almost afraid to recommend it, lest one of my dear readers and my beloved wind up in a monkey-knife fight.  That's right, she fights with a monkey who is holding a knife.

What a life!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Eating Out WTF DUDE?

Hidey ho guys and gals!  It's the long lost blogger finally crawling out from underneath his sticky rock, with a new blog design to boot!  I have been absent, but not idle!  For the most part anyway.  Number one on my list has been learning how to run the Adobe suite that I recently acquired by going back over some older video footage and doing the old cut and splice.  They're not currently foodcentric, but I'll make sure to post them once they're done.

In other news, I recently announced (much to my own terror) that I'm going to be putting on a show at the upcoming 2013 Rogue Festival!  I don't want to give away too much too early, but it is going to be an EOF production, so grub is in the theme.  I'm collaborating with my good friend Jody Patterson from Ratbox Productions on the project and I think we've got a fun concept to run with.  We'll be putting out various media teases and promos as the day approaches, so stay tuned for that!

But on to the reason for the sneezin'.  Now that the computer is stable again and I have something resembling storage space again, I've gone through my photo collections and weeded out a few shots that didn't make it to post time or a few series that just didn't get written.  So I give unto you, the brickabrak file:

First from Coffee Bandits in Merced

FFA Mixer @ The Lamp Post

And another meal at Livingstone's

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eating Out A Brief Video Interlude

So I got a new battery and a mother lode of tapes for my camera.  So now you're not only going to have to suffer through my half baked wordsmithing, but now I think I'm Cecil B. Demille to boot.  Ah well, some erronious content is better than dry old interweb mudhole, right?


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Eating Out Lin's Leaky Fusion Reactor

Ok, I think I'm finally stretching the whole themed title thing after two years.  But so what?  It makes me feel clever.  Plus!  Even though they've got a tough to riff on name, Lin's Fusion (Innovative) Chinese Cuisine and Buffet pretty much set themselves up for a spectacular juxtaposition between attitude and execution.  But of course, I foreshadow.

So I'm out watering the lawn when the dinner collective...did I mention I've got a dinner collective now?  It has been a bit of a hiatus hasn't it?  Essentially the collective consists of 3 friends and neighbors who have had me chained to my bbq/smoker nigh nightly since Memorial Day.  Did you know that being appreciated means that you have to work harder?  I dunno who wrote that rule, but they officially suck.

Back to the eatiosity!  So the collective tells me that we're doing a new Chinese place and I'm all, "Cool".  And then they tell me where it's at and I'm all "The New China Buffet?  It's like that?"  They proceed to explain that the place has been totally rennovated and is being relaunched and is totally under the same management.  I like how they snuck that last part in.  But, whatever.  I recently got a whole new lining for my lower intestine, might as well give it a shakedown cruise, right? 

My first impression on arrival is that they changed the sign.  I like the font and color changes.  Though two things gave me a giggle, the word "innovative" anywhere on buffet signage should be percieved more as a warning than a point of pride.  And at the bottom, Full Service Bar and Buffet.  That just sounds like redneck heaven.  Put a fat guy in a mouse suit in a room full of video games and it'd be more popular than Nascar!

Now a little nice.  Upon entering, I must say it was a unique experience for Fresno.  I've been welcomed by hundreds of hosts/hostesses.  Even the best of them are at best attentive and polite.  But at the end of the day, you see in all of their eyes that "I could take 'em or leave 'em" state right behind their smile.  They're professionals, but they still hate your food eating guts.  Walking into Lin's was like walking into the fanfare of a musical.  No less than three people practically jumped out of their skins to offer us a most obseqious welcome and promptly whisk us off to a cozy booth.

Now for alot of mean.  Ok, buffet.  But they set a high bar with the interior decor and nigh terrifyingly warm staff!  But my fork was gross.  Tucked into a tastefully folded black linen napkin of course.  I mean, what's more elegant than feeling someone else's sweet n' sour crust flake off in your palm with every bite?  Not a damn thing.  That and, we got whipped to our table so quickly that we had no idea how much the buffet was, what was up with the bar or the fact that they've got a somewhat extensive tea menu.  More on good things later, I'm on a roll here!

Again, the decor is quite nice.  But one thing I would expect from a place that just reopened would be that they would have the proper labels for all of their food.  I get it with older buffets, shit gets lost, new dishes get made and who is gonna pay for a minimum sign order for one or two new items.  But that high dollar decor makes one expect proper thoughtfulness throughout the operation.  Not so much.  Unless kung pao chicken is baked in oyster shells with cheese.  If so, then my bad.  Speaking of bad!  It's bad when your fried shrimp look like they have seasoned breading, but just taste like new fryer oil and when your coconut shrimp taste neither like coconut nor shrimp.  They were sort of chickeny with an odd, sweet, mayo/pudding sauce.  Not awful, but made me think of those 80's horror movies where the new food sensation was mined in an old Indian burial ground and winds up taking on a life of it's own and terrorizing a sweet family of four.  Yeah Dad drinks, but he's got a hard job and Mom is just doing her best to keep the family together, and then The Stuff melts it's way out of the fridge and shows them what a family can do if they pull together.  Ok, sis did get eaten by it first, but TEENAGERS!  Am I right?

Crabs.  Crabs!  They had crabs.  That's the nicest thing I can say about their salt and pepper blue crabs.  Not soft shells mind you.  These babies are off season as they come and as thorny as a rose bush.  There's a reason they're harvested when they are.  And the salt and pepper had about 9 other components in the mix.  11 secret herbs and spices more frequently tasted in a bucket.  Yes friends, they made delicious crab taste like it had made shameful alleyway copulation with the common fried yard-bird.  And semi-miraculously they found a way to cook the crab until it had the texture of over cooked chicken too!  Truly an astounding and blood drawing dish.  Remember to use them crab crackers kids!

A little more nice and alot more mean starting with the dim sum.  Yup, they've got a little dim sum section.  It's fairly cute with the food even displayed in their little aluminum steamer pots.  And most of what I had was tasty.  The shumai had a nice little bit of savory sausage in it, the dumpling had a nice semi savory and sour meatball, sticky rice with red bean was stickier than rubber cement and delicious.  The steamed buns were even fluffy yet pliable.  However every 3rd one we grabbed...HAD NO FILLING!  At first we thought it was just 1 selection that was a plain bun, but no, 3 different bun shapes each yielded a lack of filling for each diner at different times.  Maybe it's a culinary 3 card monte, keep your eye on the filling, 3 buns in the pan but only one has the cheese, keep your eye on the OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT!  Ooops, sorry bro, maybe you get filling next time.  Sigh.

Now the super mean.  First, sushi bar manned by active sushi chefs should not be serving tuna that tastes more like the bait that caught it.  A seafood lover shouldn't be turning green after taking a bite of what is arguably the least fishy sushi fish out there.  And speaking of green, a half picked at 1 foot tall molded mound of wasabi is not complimentary to the idea of fresh sushi.  The guy will totally cut you up a tuna roll fresh and on the spot, but can't be asked to put out wasabi more than once every 24 hours.  But it doesn't stop at the sushi bar, oh noes.  Ever get gyoza dipping sauce that already has other people's floaties in it?  Ever seen bits of cookie and strawberry and god knows what valiantly struggling to not get sucked back down into the pump for the chocolate fountain?  Ever sat in a buffet for 2 hours with DOZENS of staff running back and forth and never see them change or strain those sauces, much less do a safe and sanitary temp check on food items sitting out over 15 minutes?  Ever had a waiter snatch the plate you were still eating from, directly in front of you and then try to replace it with someone else's dirty dish??  Yes, that happened.  I'm still shocked too.

So, obviously after noting the state of the chocolate supply, dessert was officially cancelled.  And while the girls enjoyed an in depth discussion of the merits of cruise directors and Broadway musicals, a smoke was in order.  And here was where I was truly torn.  After the bait and switch sort of schizophrenic experience of dinner I was ready to tuck in for a happily smug slagging of a faux fancy buffet and crow their deficiencies from the highest tower.  And so I have.  But then came Jin.  As we were sniffing our way through their fancy tea display, Jin sidles up to us and starts a warm and friendly banter that Fresno will likely drum out of him soon enough.  Even the bartender and one of the wait staff came up to ask questions, make suggestions and be generally friendly and engaging.  I've eaten at $100 a plate joints, tipped 20% and still never been treated so well after a meal.

And while I've varied from picking on to outright slagging their food, it is only a $15 buffet.  Parts of it are odd and even awful.  But there are good parts that are overshadowed by my love of nit-pickery.  The gyoza were tasty as was the aforementioned shumai, the tempura items outside of the soggy veg were adequate.  There was a unique baked/fried chicken on a stick that had the crab spices applied to the proper creature.  And also on the chicken front, there was a wonderful chicken congee that was intentially mislabelled as cream of chicken.  Though a bit of a warning, the different texture of a thick congee will make people think that it's made with a different kind of chicken cream, if you know what I mean.

Overall, it wasn't half bad, but it was close.  The bad was bad/wrong b'dong.  But the acceptable was well within buffet allowances.  And the low price brought me to the thought that if we'd had dinner at Denny's, we'd have paid around the same and Denny's sucks harder than microwave dinners and a beating with the belt.  Plus, personality goes a long way with me and Jin was certainly full of that as he floated from table to table with compliments and pimping his teas as hard as a pimp can pimp. 

So, I say try Lin's for the experience at the very least.  Like any buffet, you sort of graze your way towards what you like and get to try things you wouldn't likely buy as an entree.  And at the end of the day, any buffet is a nightmare if you pay close enough attention.  You're getting to gorge yourself for the cost of an overpriced burger, some corners must be cut.  At the very least, they've sprung for a friendly and active staff.  Maybe a few helpful suggestions and insights could help the food be as friendly as Jin.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Eating Out Reuben's Ribs

God bless a liar.  I suppose someone who thinks themselves a comedian rather than a reporter is ultimately pointing out that he's a horrible liar and so I shouldn't blame myself for being a total lazy ass hopless liar sonofabitch.  But I am and I do.  But apologizing blindly to the internet is stupid and all of my excuses have been expeneded.  I'm a bad blogger.  Eat my ass, or better yet, eat Reuben's new owner's ribs and Ghost Chili hot sauce!

So just to gloss over the lost months, we were out getting our blood taken to check out how much damage our fat-centric diet has been doing to our delicate booze filtering liver and having to not eat for 12 hours required a big ass ole reward for our lack of self destructive indulgence!  Bar-be-motherucking-Q time!

Now we've all heard of the spot over by the VA hospital quite a bloody bit over the past 2 to 3.  And I'm glad as hell that I was a horrible lazy ass and took so long to review it to now.  Why, you may ask?  Because it's acutally fucking bomb diddly in my guts good now! 

Now I know what you're thinking, but I had to fast before the blood tests, meaning that this is probably my one and only most soberest review ever.  And don't take it as a bad thing.  Beyond the ribs being falling-apart-tender and the chicken still being juicy and yet smokey and delicious and despite their hot links being bomb diggity hot linguica.  Their damn Bhut Jalokia sauce is 8 shades of tasty and not, I repeat NOT too hot for normal humans.

Don't get me wrong, the heat on that molasses sweet dark brown treat will grow on ya like a warm pond fungus.  But it ain't too scary for the non-hardcore to have a bite or two of.  Though credit where she's due, by the 4th dip even I was reconsidering my bragging about "I GROW THESE DANG PEPPERS Y'ALL!"  Yeah...and they still make me sweat so hard I gotta throw away that pair of underwear.

But above and beyond the meat rocking my socks, it was the personal touch of the entire staff.  The kids behind the counter wanted to make sure I had everything I could possibly want.  And in the course of the eating, not only was the owner sweet enough to ask if my skinny ass was a veteran (because I had blood taken and had a bandage, so presumably came from the VA hospital) but was also kind enough not to pick on me for being a dickhead citizen just having his cholesterol checked.

And fun enough as our conversation expanded, so did our meeting of the family.  First daughters came out of the kitchen and were introduced, then sons and close friends of the family and finally Mrs. (Totally not) Reuben as we talked smoke, peppers, news and food.  And finally I got to hit what has kept me from writing these many months.

There is another near and dear food establishment I've been harboring these thoughts about, but I finally got to talk to a restaurant owner before it was too late.  And that oddball in-my-head tie up is: Don't Fucking Expand!  Yes, I know you've made some money and Fresno is beating a path to your door this month but...DON'T EXPAND!  Yes, you took out a big ass fucking loan to get off the ground and you're pulling in enough cash in the first 6 months to qualify for another loan but...DON'T FUCKING EXPAND!

Why you say?  Everybody I pay to give me advice and the evil fat fuckers who underwrite my loans tell me that this is the best time in my business to do just that!  And all of my fans love me so much that I'm sure my poop muffins taste just like blueberry tarts and they tell me so every day!  My Mom told me that I'll be President and my insurance guy swears he'll eat there 3 times a week!

And you know what?  Nobody is going to tell you that Fresno loves to jab it's culinary interest into a new face.  Loves to throw money at it's tawdry newness and tell it that it's special, it's the #1 in their world, it's gonna bring ALL of it's friends to rub their wannabe, faux rich, no class, North Fresno face in it's big ole food titties and smear the owner with dirty food stripper dollars.

And then that poor fool opens up a bigger dining room with those dirty dollars.  And still then...crickets...  Where went the crowds?  Why when that cramped room, full of personality, still stands empty alongside that afterthought emotionless space that we added on to, what was already working?  Is it the new room, is it the expanded menu, is it the new

Nope!  Dumbass!  Fresno was sick of you and getting ready to ignore you in the first place!  But your dumb ass decided to sink 50 to 100 grand of investor money in something we were sick of by the time you knocked on their door!  If you were smart, you'd have been busy refining your business model and adding burgers to your menu to cement your place in the Fresno Food-Brain.  But no, more art, 5 more tables and the inability for your kitchen or staff to keep up with the same flow of business you had before the expansion kills you every fucking time.

Ok, I don't think I was that expansive, but really thats how it goes down.  And my angst is rooted in another Fresno food institution making an even bigger classic Fresmistake,  I hope this confession will give me the courage to write what I really feel (I know right?  It gets worse that this??)  But for any hopeful Fresranteur, please heed these words and find the way to prove me wrong.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Eating Out Wondercon Day 3

And so Day 3 starts with the sraping of the Spidey spooge from mine crusty eyes and marshal up the strength to face one final day of nerdery.  Although I did forget one fun little tidbit from the night before.  As I was race-drinking in the back yard, it was raining pretty good in SoCal.  And as I'm huddling beneath the awning, I notice that there seems to be a fine mist mixed in with the rain.  Seems strange, given the strength of the rain.  Then I look a little closer...they're BUBBLES!  Apparently someone used dish soap to clean the gutters, so in this rainstorm I'm surrounded by this cloud of teensy tiny bubbles, so thick that it looks like I'm a salmon swimming up a very clear stream.

At least there was a nice little pseudo-hallucination before my brief nap.  Then up and at 'em for another Wonderconful day.  This one even earlier since we had to get in early to open up the booth.  I honestly think there are gnomes who wake up once the doors close and throw parties in each of the booths.  I've got no other explanation for how cookies got in there.

Sunday was our big shopping day, being that we'd spend the last 2 days slobbering over geeky gew gaws that we didn't need and could barely afford.  Even though there was every comic I never knew I wanted available, I was looking more for viewable art that I could display to show off my eriudite tastes.  Like my Mustache Ride poster!

It was also our big panel day.  Our friend over at The Ratbox was giving his perspective on how to creatively collaborate on projects with a limited time schedule.  It was a fairly eye opening and inspirational panel.  Not so much for the theme, which was good and raised good points.  No, the gem of the panel was the faux aspergers basement troll, who apparently only came to the panel to get 6 people to all agree that they were wrong and he, Master Billy D'Twenty was absolutely correct that he could rely on being successful strictly on the strength of his work with absolutely no networking or pleasant interation with any humans at all.  Oh how he quivered with rage when they tried to gently reestablish that we were living on Earth and that there is always an ass to kiss.

And how do you follow up a potentially explosive Q&A?  Why a mixer at the Hilton lobby bar of course!  Sadly the future Ed Gein didn't show.  So instead I got to sit down and have some great conversations ranging from where Lucas went wrong with the prequel trilogy to why organic farming can't feed our current populations to why beef ranchers finish fattening a steer on grains.  And finally in the course of grabbing our gear and pay, we got to run into Tina (remember her from day 1?).  Security had "wisely" locked her out of tearing down her booths because she had left her badge behind since the event was over.  However, happily I still had my 1-shot sticker from opening that morning.  So we whisked her away to see "a guy" who'd fix everything and bestowed the sticker upon her so she could pack up for the trip back to Texas.

So after grabbing a couple more drinks at the mixer, we headed back to the pad to pack up for the final run back to No-Town.  And short of the grumpiest tweaker to ever run an AM/PM overnight, it was a thankfully uneventful drive home.  After a brief unload, I staggered into the house and proceeded to sleep for 12+ hours and wake up sometime Monday evening.  Full of great memories and a fresh creative drive to serve you, the blogly public with another year of inane rambliosity!  Next time, maybe something about food?


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Eating Out Wondercon Day 2

This exactly what my buddy looked like when he was waking me up after a whopping 3 1/2 hours of sleep on Day 2 of the Wonderconly extravaganza.  A quick bolt of coffee down the neck and we're zooming off to the Con.

Now here's a funny know, placing a popular and heavily patronized convention directly next to the most heavily patronized theme park in the world...bad idea.  It took us nigh an hour just to get near enough to the convention hall just to pile out of the van in the middle of traffic in front of a rather exasperated cop.  And thank jeebles I didn't have a car to park!  I saw more than one person having a nervous breakdown shortly after dropping an exorbitant amount of cash to leave their car on a little spit of concrete.

The next pain in the ass that was destined to be the theme for the day was security goons seemingly swapping entrances and closing exits at whim.  Can't go in through this door, for 10 minutes, then they wander off to go huff paint or whatever Anaheim event staff do to remain legally incompetent.

But enough of the whining, there's still a full day of Contastic fun ahead!  Naturally we first check in at the t-shirt booth and set about hawking and spreading the love.  And of course the lovely people of Orange County were nothing but receptive and kind to a hulking longhaired maniac in overalls, flinging sharp edged pieces of paper at their lily-soft hands.  Okay, they mainly stared at me in terror and stutter stepped away, clutching my flyers in their bleeding hands, thankful that they narrowly avoided a ride on the Deliverance Experience.

And there was yet more fun to be had.  You see, the Transformers had teleported in from Cybertron for a very special photo-op!  And what goes better with a photo-op than a photobomb?  After only miniscule amount of prodding, I find myself successfully dared to go ape at the windows behind the noble warrior-bots.  So I get into my perfected Wild Okie Amble and proceed to appear dazzled and more than a little aroused by the massive metal forms before me.  When I realize that I'm seeing quite a bit of pink jiggly activity out of the corner of my eye.  And I turn to see that I'm about 3 feet from the ass of the most scantily clad Moral Kombat chick-ninja I've ever seen in my life.  I mean, like I could see what she ate for breakfast scantily.  And so with an uproar of outrage and laughter echoing behind me, I scuttled far away from any potential security conflicts or nerdrage moments.

At this point it was wisely decided to downshift on our excitement of the day.  So, we set out to do some browsing and wandering.  We stopped by the autograph alley to get a peep at Lou Ferigno and the very first playmate (GILFtastic!  Polydent and support hose all the way!).  And then we went around to scope out all the toys we could never afford.  I was really quite taken by the fez vendor's designs and the quality of construction.  A fez is a hat for life after all.  Also the designs over at Steam Crow were extremely witty and drew more than a couple guffaws as we perused.

Saturday cosplay was decidedly stranger.  With the gender bending costumes going from say girl Boba Fett, to Ron Jeremy as Wonder Woman.  The brain bleach is on backorder, but I'll be using vodka until then to try and wipe the memories from my mind's eye.  Plus, it being St. Patty's, you got to see things like Chewbacca with green hair extentions and a kelly green bowler.  But sadly, no demented leprechauns to be tackled for their wee gold coins.

As the Con wound down, we again met up with some SoCal chums and headed back to the pad.  Upon arrival we then set about savaging a fabulously Filipino beef curry over rice.  Could have been a little spicier, but it was certainly a restorative that got me through the rest of the evening.  Which consisted of sitting paranoid in a pickup at a grocery store parking lot on St. Pattys until 1am.  Sober.  You read those hated words right.  Dead, bloody, sober.  I did my best to make up for it by glugging until 4:30am.  But I could feel St. Pat's disdain at my not getting puking drunk on his blessed day.  Alas!  There is still day 3 to come!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Eating Out Wondercon Day 1

So what a wild and wooly weekend!  A good friend and creative cohort over at Ratbox Productions hooked us up with a gig selling t-shirts for  And to top it off, gave us a ride and put us up with family!  We'll get back to that soon, but now on to Friday.

So it's always fun to see an event waking up and getting ready for the public.  We started off having smokes and coffee at an exit patio while we waited for logistics on getting our badges.  While we were cooling our heels, we got to see the early ebb and flow of the con folks as they steeled themselves for the onslaught they've committed themselves to.  So when a couple folks approach shamefacedly looking to bum a final smoke before they weld themselves to their booths and exhibits, I'd be a churl to accept their offered dollar.  And you know someone seriously wants a smoke when they're offering a greenback for whatever you've got.

And thats how we made our first Wondercon friend, Tina.  More about her later.  First was my initial impression of my first real sizeable comic book convention.  It's BIG!  I'm sure Comicon is many times larger, but even Wondercon is far to vast to be able to take it all in on your initial viewing.  There is a riot of vendors with every geeky, dorky knick knack you've never known you coveted, displays and demos of all shapes and sizes.  And it wasn't until day 2 that I finally saw any of the artist areas.

We took it pretty easy for day 1.  There were some basic munchies, most of which I completely forgot about once I realized we were also sharing space with Brianna Garcia.  You might not know the name, but you should certainly seen her artwork passed around the social media scene.  Check on my first celebrity of the day.  Rapidly followed up by Kaja Foglio of Girl Genius fame and Kevin Grevioux from Underworld.  Naturally I'm such a rube, I'm turning to my friends and exclaiming "Isn't that the dude from the..."  And I'm answered with a much suffering "Yes..." and a look that tells me that I'm still a jackass at heart.

Friday at a con in a new town is fairly slow....I'm told.  Still, I saw probably 2 or 3 thousand people file past our booth alone during the hours I was passing out flyers. Many of them were folks working the con and taking their one opportunity at a slow time to walk the floor and get a feel for the event.  Still, folks with exhibitor badges were quite kind to the smelly weirdo with bloodshot eyes shoving a card in their hand and decrying his wares as the cutest at the convention.

As the day wound down, we beat feet from the convention center towards Mom's house, with a quick pitstop for some sanity defending beers.  Upon arrival at the place I was doomed to get a maximum of 4 hours sleep in, we immediately tucked into some delicious breaded and baked trout filets accompanied by a deliciously spicy shrimp gumbo.  The red bell pepper had a pleasant front seat in the gumbo's flavor profile, with the seafood flavor of the shrimp peeking up from the cajun seasoning.  And the trout just had an outright clean and mild flavor that stood well against the seasoned breading.

I was irritably dragged from my plodding enjoyment of dinner for a coffee gab at a local corporate diner with some associated local friendlies as well as keeping our booth bound artist friend up well past her pumpkin hour.  But great and fun conversation was had, discussion of the unrealistic expectations of female anatomy in funny books was made and general goofery and fun was had by all.  My night ended tucking in with some PBRs and a nice Warhammer 40k novel until inebriated exhaustion crossed my eyes too much to read.  Meemees now.  Day 2 tomorrow.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Eating Out A New...Wait, It's frigging March!?

Great galloping snack cakes!  It's been 3 bloody months!  Where the hell have I been?!?

Well, the truth of the matter is I've been pretty much nowhere.  Nothing awful, thankfully.  Although we did just lose our beloved cat Knickerbockers after nigh 19 years.  She was a wonderful and beloved cat and will be missed.  Her life of general awesomeness reaffirms my solid belief in rescuing your pets rather than purchasing them. 

But enough of the griefly topics.  The top end of the year has also seens some pleasantness as well.  I've got my pepper babies a-gestating on top of the fridge!  This year I'm going for a full rack of 54 fatali peppers along with 18 trinidad scorpions, 9 bhut jalokias and another 9 of the awesome mystery tutti fruitti peppers we had last year.  I'm hoping that I might be able to get a small plot of land to experiment with a larger scale growing operation in soil.  Maybe I'll even have enough to sell through a Farmers Market vendor.  Or, barring that, I'll be looking to dry tons of 'em and have all the chili powder a boy could dream for.

Of course, the Rogue Festival has just passed for the year.  Alas, I was still too broke to attend any of the wonderful shows this year.  But I did at least get the opportunity to film 2 performances of The Bright Side of Total Doom for Scurvy the Prophet for Profit at Veni Vidi Vici.  This year he shed his Captains coat and cast of beloved mutants for a more intimate one man performance of his innovative self actualization program to smile your way through the coming apocalypse.  Truly an innovative method of finding the joy in everyday suffering.  It's more of a thinking mans comedy, while your sides are splitting from the absurdist humor, you're also left pondering why we participate in the puppetry of the modern world.

And the most recent big event though has to be our attendance at Wondercon 2012 in Anaheim!  A good friend of the blog was able to secure us a gig pimping t-shirts for at their booth.  Which, by the by, I would like to thank them again for the opportunity and all of the fun that came with it.  And being that it was a whole weekend of thrills and spills it deserves it's own little post.  So, methinks that's what we'll do....and not three months later