Monday, January 01, 2007

file under not sure

I'm not sure what to make of this story. There's enough of a conspiracy theory buff inside me to want to read all sorts of interesting possibilities into it, but given the scarcity of information, one can only assume and hope.

Are we alone on our bright blue jewel of a planet, hurtling through space never to meet other intelligent species from other planets? Do we have some first contact with an alien race to look forward to? I want to believe that we are not alone, whether or not that alien species involves sexy green women waiting to make it with a slightly pudgy overacting ship's captain.

In November of '06, several employees at O'Hare airport in Chicago spied a UFO. What they claim to have seen was a metallic disc that hovered over the airport for several minutes before taking off. They also claimed that, rather than move through the clouds as would be expected, it left a large doughnut shaped hole in the clouds.

I heard this story on NPR and had to immediately go and find what information I could. Sadly, there isn't much more to learn. I'll provide a list of links to what I did find for those inclined to read up on this instance.

Links to the story at NPR, National UFO Reporting Center (scroll down to December 12,) Washington Post, sighting report from NUFORC as well as another report concerning a similar sighting in the UK.

Part of me has absolutely no doubt that we will eventually meet our interstellar neighbors. Perhaps they won't be as exotic as Star Trek and its lesser cousin Star Wars would have us believe, but considering the varied environments that have proven able to support life, we can only imagine what those lifeforms will look like. Evolution and random planetary environments will certainly manifest themselves differently based on planetary environments, so we have only our imagination to inform us.

A more cynical part of me thinks that we just might be alone, that we will never meet and make sweet love to hot aliens chics. That part seems pretty damn closed minded to assume that the happenstance that put us here couldn't just as easily have put someone else somewhere else. So I'm left believing that there is intelligent life out there, and with our luck as humans, we've probably already pissed them off.

dear Sunspot

I used to really love you. I never intended to start the new year ranting, but last night's dinner at your once beloved restaurant, coupled with the fact that you've taken the portabella fries off the menu has left me wanting.

Do your cooks know what it means to break a cream sauce? I should have sent the overly salty, greasy mess back, but we'd already waited too long in your almost empty dining room, I felt like shit, and I was hungry. I'm not sure when I'll be back.

Seriously, it's really easy to break a cream sauce, but if you have even the tiniest bit of cooking skill, it's really easy to do it right and not break it.

For anyone unfamiliar, breaking a cream sauce happens because you've cooked it too long. The cream itself separates leaving a horrid greasy pool in the bottom of your dish. It's very unappetizing and very unprofessional. People who serve this kind of crap should be led away from the kitchen and asked kindly to go clean something as they obviously don't belong in the kitchen.

Big Brother ordered the artichoke piccata which was mostly good, but you overcooked the pasta. This we couldn't have sent back without having to order something else entirely, and again, you made us wait forever already; we just wanted to eat and leave at this point. Seriously, how the hell do you overcook pasta?

The Boy order the tilapia, served over grits with a corn heavy cream sauce studded with crawfish. It's a really great dish and was actually well cooked. Tilapia is easy to fuck up as it's a very light and tender fish, but this is the one thing you did get right.

As to my complaint about the portabella fries, the person who decided to take this off the menu is a fucking idiot and should be beaten about the head with a sock filled with onions. Thinly sliced portabella mushrooms in a light batter fried and served with a red pepper aioli. The first taste of these I had, quite a few years ago, was like an epiphany. Working at other restaurants, I have actually made these for myself, though the aioli became a red pepper ranch because I'm a little on the lazy side, and I needed to get back to work.

So, once dear Sunspot, you've really done it. Your cooks working 12/31/06 fucked up a really good meal. You weren't at all busy at the time, so you don't have that as an excuse, and even if you had been busy, to excuse your inability to cook properly suggests that you belong in another job. I've enjoyed a lot of meals at your restaurant, and I've always looked forward to it. But the grease sitting in my stomach says I might try some other restaurant next time.

Seriously, your cooks broke the cream, had to see the orange greasy crap and thought it would be okay to serve it anyway. I'm somewhat to blame for not sending it back, but as I've mentioned, we had already waited longer than we should. I also had my kids with me, and when you bring your kids, you often don't have the luxury of time to make the restaurant get it right. That shouldn't be my problem though. What kind of fucks serve this shit? I'd have been ashamed of myself if I sent out that crap, but that's not a problem I have in the kitchen. I would never have put that out.

first post of '07

No one is really certain when Hank Williams died. He was placed in the back seat of a Cadillac on New Years Eve 1952, given a shot of vitamins and morphine and was one his way, driving to a show in Ohio. He never made it, his young chauffeur noticing that he had died when they stopped in West Virginia. That was around three in the morning, new year's day.

Hank had a number of problems throughout his life, and like many great artists, much of what he endured could be said to be somewhat his own fault. That morphine didn't do itself.

It's impossible to accurately judge the far reaching effects of Hank Williams' few short years. His songs, over fifty years later, still have a power that few singers and/or songwriters can claim. He's moved more people than Greyhound buses.

My first post of the new year is a video of Hank doing Cold, Cold Heart. I really wanted to find a video of his song Never Get Out Of This World Alive, his very last hit. None of us are going to make it out alive, but it has a special poignancy that Hank's last hit was followed by his leaving us. At least he finally quit hurting.