Monday, May 25, 2015

Bleak House

Two Dickens in one year!  Wow, that sounds waaay dirtier than it is.  It is something to put on your resume because those are lot of pages my friend. But it was cool, it was cool.  This was a special project with my friend Amy P. You see, Amy P. is much much smarter than me.  I'd like to think that I amuse her.  She keeps me around for joke purposes.  It's like having a talking monkey.  I throw my food at her in frustration occasionally but only when I'm having trouble finding the right word.

Bleak House is about some people involved in a lawsuit that is taking forever.  There are a bunch of characters.  Not all of them are involved in the lawsuit but a fair number of them do die. It's like a erudite Game of Thrones.  I must say, one dude spontaneously combusted...which is pretty awesome.  Most just get sick but never get better.  There are a couple of doctors in this book and I don't see these doctors doing anything.  They just seem to be like a nice roommate.  The doctors will sit and talk to you and get you a glass of wine while you suffer from pneumonia, oh and by the way good luck with that!  You're dead? That's sad!  

I suppose its not really fair to look at modern medicine and judge the olden times doctors. Two hundred years from now, people will think, why did they die of cancer?  Just put the nanobots in the body and it will all get eaten away! Duh. (In the future you can only die by getting beheaded). Apparently I envision the future as being some Terminator/Highlander mash-up.

Punch time!  This one is called Felicitation Punch which sounds very fancy and happy: 3 ounces rich simple syrup (think 1 cup sugar to 1/2 cup water ratio), 12 ounces fresh lemon juice, 4 ounces maraschino liqueur, 1 and 1/2 liters chilled club (preferably in a large block), 6 ounces of Irish whiskey (David Wondrich uses this to mimic the taste of the olden times gin--a friend gave me some Navy strength gin which likely strong enough), zest strips of 4 lemons, 1 liter bottle of gin. In a punch bowl muddle the lemon zest with the whiskey, add the gin and let that stand for two hours. Add the maraschino liqueur, lemon juice and rich simple syrup until chilled, about two hours.  Just before serving add the club soda and the ice.  It should serve 18.  I would limit guests to one, otherwise your house will turn into Barf House.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Station Eleven

First, kill all the actors!  Didn't Shakespeare write that?  Maybe I'm getting that confused with lawyers.  Too bad there is no such thing as the Internet where a simple search can render your results in less than half a second.  In Station Eleven there is no Internet.  Argghh!  I cannot imagine.  We all know a couple of old people that don't use it much and it's soooo weird.  When you talk to them you feel like saying, What's wrong with you?  You talk weird. The Internet is like my bonus brain. BRAIN!

Station Eleven sounds like it would be outer-space Sci-Fi but its more dystopian Sci-Fi and it's very good.  Shakespeare comes up in this novel quite a bit. And actors, and killing too. No lawyers, but some musicians.  Kill all the flutists! That doesn't seem right. Although I could use a flute as a weapon, but I am much more comfortable with an oboe.

Wait, I remember time without the Internet where unanswered trivia debates were settled by feats of strength and my spelling mistakes exposed me as the idiot that I am.  I suppose I could survive without it but I'm really hoping I never have to find out.  Also, I like electricity and clean water and not getting ambushed and killed.

Drinks: God, without the Internet--what else is there? A future dystopian hot summer deserves a super refreshing drink. Paloma: 1/4 cup grapefruit juice, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup tequila 1/4 cup club soda.  First, rim your glass with some grapefruit juice and salt. Combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice and sugar in a glass and stir until dissolved. Stir in tequila and add ice top with the club soda. Garnish with a grapefruit wedge.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Year of the Flood

You can tap into your inner hippy (mine smells a little like sage, feet and patchouli) while reading The Year of the Flood. This is book two of the MaddAddam trilogy. I loved book one, Oryx and Crake, and I think this book is even better. The Year of the Flood follows some eco-hippy-religious group that spend their time keeping bees, eating homemade vegetarian food, and gardening.  It sounds kind of nice to me, personally, but I have a secret hippy side. That's the side that doesn't get shaved.

This book follows a group called God's Gardeners, who warn of an apocalyptic future where there will be a "waterless flood" and a major portion of the population will be wiped out. Think of them as hippy-preppers.  Well, it turns out they were right, as we found out in book one.  And as a consequence, they fared quite well, albeit a bit stinky. Don't worry, it syncs up with the first book perfectly.  (Yes, you should read the first book first).  

This book will make you want to make your own vinegar, go off the grid and start hoarding things. In real life, everyone is freaked out about the future of avocados with the California drought.  I call it the avapocalypse. We are not there yet--but you should not be taking your guacamole for granted. I wasn't before, because, hey, guacamole.

It would seem appropriate to drink kombucha with this book, but I'm too afraid after this guy I know from the Ukraine told me what he saw at the bottom of a barrel (a mouse). Anyway, I think we can do better than that.  Dirty Martini: 2 & 1/2 ounces gin or vodka (use the good stuff here), 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, splash or up to 1/2 ounce of the olive brine.  Add all to a mixing glass with ice.  Stir and strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with two olives.  Hey, this isn't God's Gardeners approved....but I say, enjoy this with your guacamole while you can.