Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Generation Old

Place: Jimmy John's
Lunch: Gargantuan (no tomato), Coke

The staff of roughly ten twenty-somethings crammed behind the counter have the music blaring and some are singing along randomly.  Playing is AC/DC's "Hell's Bells", followed by the Rolling Stones' "Shattered", followed by Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall".  It sounds like a mix tape classmate Dan would have made for our junior high school home economics class.

(Normally, our junior high home ec class was all girl, and the shop glass was all guy.  Dan and I were in home ec because the shop class was too full and they needed volunteers to move over.  When the class was told this, somebody exclaimed "No way!  That's where all the girls are!"  Dan and I gave each other a sudden realization glance and immediately volunteered.  Dan, who was the first official ladies man of our class, was fawned over by the girls the entire year.  Me, not so much.)

Anyway, the point is that I was in junior high school in 1979-1981, well before any of these kids were born.  Why are they listening to this?  This would be like Dan bringing mix tapes of Fabian and Bobby Vee to class.  The most modern song in this mix has been Guns n Roses' "Night Train".

Why doesn't this generation have its own music?

The downfall of album rock radio in favor of "classic rock", I suppose, is partly to blame  I was there first-hand for this back in the early 90's.  I know exactly who started it.  I know exactly who to blame.  It was a terribly depressing time for those of us radio.  But today, there are so many ways to access great new music online.  Radio has become completely irrelevant in breaking new artists (with the possible exception of Country). 

I suppose a lot of available modern stuff is niche.  Rap and hip hop are popular but still not mass appeal (and a little too risque for blaring in retail).  Rock is all but dead, or worse, Nickelback-ish.  The only real rock band out there today doing anything worth listening to is the Foo Fighters.

I don't's just really sad that today's generation doesn't have their own music.  That they have to rely on the stuff that was cool when I was a kid.

Really bums me out.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Super Graze 2012

Place: Burger King
Lunch: Bacon Cheddar Topper, onion rings (with Zesty sauce), Coke

I am a SERIOUS fan of this sandwich.  Where previously I might go to BK a few times a year, this sandwich has become a weekly thing.

Super Bowl Whatever Number They're Up To is this weekend.  And that means Super Graze is here.

Super Graze is what I call the day-long meal that has become tradition at the Townhouse of Solitude.  No main course...just snack foods that one can graze on throughout the day.  Put it all together Saturday and spend Sunday...grazing.


So what's on the menu this year?

Little Smokies in Barbecue Sauce - These are a must-have for any Super Bowl party.  You can't not have these.  Even if you're vegan.  HA HA HA HA HA!  Vegans.  I have this little mini crock pot that's perfect for keeping these stewing all day.

Deviled Eggs - It will take me roughly three days, but I'll eat every last one.

Chilled Jumbo Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce - The best cocktail sauce is Heinz Original Cocktail Sauce.  Not Heinz Zesty...the original already has a bit of a kick.  Walmart carries it, but they don't put it near the seafood freezer like they do all the other cocktail sauces, so head for the condiment aisle.

Cheese Curds - Stick a bunch on a plate and microwave until they're just squeaky, which is about 10-15 seconds.  They should look partially...but not fully...melted for cheese curd perfection.

Chicken Fries - Tyson "Any'tizer", specifically, deep-fried just enough to make them crispy without being overly crispy.  If you briefly microwave them to thaw them, then drop them in the deep fryer for one minute, they should be perfect.  Serve with Hidden Valley Ranch Sauce for dipping.  But do NOT buy a bottle of pre-made Hidden Valley. Get a season packet and mix your own.  THIS is the difference between restaurant-quality dipping ranch and 'something tastes funny and oily' ranch.

Chili - Found a new Steak n Shake knockoff recipe on the web to try.  I've been big on chili this past football season, making up batches of various seasoning packets since my no longer available.  French's "Chili-O" is a bit odd, but has been a standout favorite. Can't say the same about their taco seasoning.

Smoked Salmon - "Changing Seas" smoked salmon from Whole Foods, specifically.  It's ruined all other smoked salmons for me.  It has a nice mellowness to it.

Chips - And dip or queso, if you want.  I have forgone dip because Pringles came out with an incredible "French Onion" seasoned chip this year that has made dip completely unnecessary.  Plus for some stupid reason I have FOUR bags of Doritos on hand (the limited time Sour Cream & Onion, plus Spicy Nacho, Taco, and Sweet Chili), plus a bag of crunchy Cheetos.  It's entirely plausible that some of these chips will still be around when the next football season starts.

And for dessert...

Edy's/Dreyer's Girl Scout Thin Mint Cookie Ice Cream - Because it's girl scout cookie season, kids.

So get your snack foods together and enjoy spending the entire day watching talking heads over-analyze the game to death before the actual game and the even more important lavish commercials air.

Then watch them too.