May 7th, 2006



Alex presents the five manliest things ever:

5) Boxing

boxing came from an Ancient Greek combat sport called Pankration which was itself pretty manly. The only rule in pankration was that you couldn't gouge out your opponent's eyes with your bare hands but if you happened to it was considered polite to return them after the fight. Apparently this wasn't enough because in 1865 John Grahm Chambers, a very manly man himself, drew up the Queensbury rules (named after the rather manly Marquis of Queensbury who publicly endorsed the rules) which basically came down to one relevant aspect: wear padded gloves so men can hit each other even more.
Edit: Based on Dessa's "historical" observations I did some research. Turns out boxing is even more manly than I thought! From Wikipedia: "A Greek ruler named Thesus, who ruled around 900 B.C., was entertained by men who would be seated in front of each other and beat another with their fists until one of them was killed."
4) Beer

Now men don't need to drink beer all the time, but there are limited alternatives. Scotch is a good one. Neat is best. Mixed drinks are acceptable but not if they come with a pink umbrella. Beer is a man's drink, no question. All men like beer. Blue collar man's men have Budweiser, sophisticate white collar men have Heineken, and effemenate gay men have fruity little microbrews with names like "L'Asse." In fact the only men who don't like beer are probably awaiting sex change opperations, not because they want to be women or are women in men's bodies but because they can't take the shame of being men who don't like beer.

3) Cooking With Fire

Many, many years ago cavemen went out hunting mammoths and saber tooth tigers. Have you ever hunted a saber tooth tiger? It's fucking hard. Ten cavemen go out, two come back. And one of them's in the stomach of the dead tiger. But the good news is the surviving caveman got to take the cavewomen of his fallen comrades. At least how it was supposed to work. Inevitably they said something along the lines of "buy me dinner" and, lacking prehistoric restaurants, the caveman would cook them dinner. At the time the only stoves were big fire pits so he'd cut up the tiger carcass, cut into steaks, and toss it on the fire. Meanwhile hte cavewomen made the salad that no one wanted to eat. Once the steaks were hot he'd pull it out with his bare hands which, as any barbeque chef will tell you, is the only real way to grill because tongs are for wimps who are afraid of a few burn scars. After eating the caveman would mate with ten cavewomen at the same time. He could do this because he just cooked with fire.

2) Mopping

Let's be clear here: there's only one way men clean and that's with a mop. Mopping is like having sex. You take this big stick and thrust it in a wet bucket, swirling it around, and pressing it in. Then it stops being like sex and you take the mop and rub around on the floor. But it's still manly. Women don't mop, they sweep which just pushes the dirt around. Men are tough enough that we'll take the dirt we just cleaned up, wash it off in stagnant water, then use the now dirty water to keep cleaning.

1) Growing Yams
Yams are a man's crop and you know it. Half of you need to stop reading this right now and go grow some frickin' yams.

One Word Meme

Use one word only. No explanations.

1. Yourself: Hopeful
2. Your Lover: Who?
3. Your Hair: Gelled
4. Your Mother: Supportive
5. Your Father: Proud
6. Your Favorite Item: Books!
7. Your Dream Last Night: Dunno
8. Your Favorite Drink: Wine
9. Your Dream Home: Cabin
10. The Room You Are In: Mine
11. Your Pet: Kitty!
12. Who You Are Now: Writer
13. Who You Want to be in Ten years: Screenwriter
15. What You Don't Wanna Be: Failed
16. Your Best Friend: Helpful
17. One of Your Wish list Items: Iaito
18. Your Gender: Male
19. The Last Thing You Did: Drove
20. What You Are Wearing: Classy
21. Your Favorite Weather: Warm
22. Your Favorite Book: Fiction
23. The Last Thing You Ate: Risotto
24. Your Life: Optomistic
25. Your Mood: Happy
26. Your favorite store: Ebay
27. Your favorite sport: Dancesport
28. Favorite memory: Dancing
29. Who do you miss right now: Friend
30: Who did you get this survey from: Julie


Mongol General: What is best in life?
Conan: To crush your enemies, see them drive before you, and hear the lamentation of the women.
Mongol General: No. Alex, what is best in life?
Alex: To savor every joy, enjoy good food and drink, and share them with good friends
Mongol General: These are best in life.

I truly enjoy food. Not just the eating of it but all aspects. Food is a joy to taste, it's true, but also to prepare. To learn about. To discuss. To savor. Food is an experience and enjoying it is an art. It used to be referred to as "entertaining," but I find the term misleading. Entertaining implies something passive for the majority of those involved. It's not. Food-based gatherings are interactive. People cook together and then enjoy the results together. They clean together, too, but that's not quite as bonding.

I had dinner tonight with Becky. Sarah was supposed to join us but is lame and bailed, something about a friend's birthday and massive apologies. I don't know. Becky and I had a good time anyway. Prep time and cooking took a little longer than expected but otherwise it was a perfect evening.

Spinach Salad with Honey-Brown Butter Dressing: This is the best salad I've ever had. It was ridiculously good. Shallots cooked in butter with honey and red wine vinegar to make a warm dressing that just slightly wilts the spinach as it's poured over. Excessively tasty. Pretty easy, too, it'll probably find a place on my regular menu.

Truffle Risotto with Parmesan Croutons: This was one of the richest dishes I've ever had. Probably should have saved it for a Winter meal but very tasty, even so. Obviously I didn't have truffles (they're three thousand dollars a kilo!) but they were only called for as a garnish. Most of the flavoring came from white truffle oil. It's an interesting ingredient; it smells like feces in the bottle, but then you cook it and it acquires an incredible rich and sublime flavor. I'll enjoy the leftovers and try again come October.

Creme Brulee: All I'm going to say is I received a wedding proposal based on this desert alone.

Beverages included a pinot bianco (very generic white wine but a very good generic white) with the salad and risotto and a port with desert. They paired extremely well.

Food + Friends = Fun.