Monday, July 31, 2006

Reasons for Having a Doctor Friend

Need someone to reassure me that the hiccups I had for the past hour are not permanent, like that one guy whose diaphram got stuck spasm-ing for years.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

What's this? A Salad Dressing? You Don't Believe in Dressings

Recipe for a Salad Dressing
Can be applied to Most Boring Salad Ever recipe (Friday, May 19, 2006 posting), to make Most Boring Asian-Inspired Salad Ever

7 dashes rice wine vinegar
1-2 hearty squirt(s)/spoonful(s) of honey (depends on honey-carrying receptacle)
9 dashes of soy sauce
5-6 shakes of toasted sesame seeds

Mix ingredients well. Add to salad. Enjoy, at least until your coworkers complain about the "vinegary smell." Practice looks of disdain in office mirror to shoot at coworkers who complained about salad dressing. Rehearse snappy retort to them next time THEY are eating in the lunchroom. Spread rumor about coworkers involved in torrid love affair in the copy room, as evidenced by toner stain on clothing. When coworkers leave company to find another job, due to lost respect, make a large batch of salad dressing to enjoy in complaint-free zone.

Serves 1-2.

For substance abuse, not eating disorders

A brief list of the people Oregano, Veronica and Bailey would be willing to go into rehab with:
  • Charlie Sheen (Oregano: he'd know where everything was)
  • Nicole Ritchie (drugs, not anorexia)
  • Ben Affleck
  • Rob Lowe
  • any of the Brat Pack, except for the two Coreys
  • Johnny Depp (Bailey: ooo, he'd be all vulnerable and stuff . . .)
Who am I forgetting?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

If you don’t have anything nice to say, come sit by me

Allow me to pilot the party barge into deep water for a moment – a somewhat uncomfortable position for us surface-dwelling gators and our sun-lounging tendencies. But a couple of things have got me thinking about the nature of inside jokes.

Wikipedia basically defines an inside joke as something that’s only funny to people with an appropriate point of reference. As any of our three subscribers can tell you (hi Mom!), AOAPB is one giant inside joke. The five of us came up with dumb pseudonyms, picked the least-offensive Blogger template, and started posting the random stuff that happens to us. Stuff we don’t expect anyone else to care about. We try to tell tales using proper grammar and a touch of the funny so anyone who finds us won’t consider their time aboard the Party Barge a complete loss.

The bar’s set pretty low around here, folks. Just thought you should know.

But we try to pull it together in public or with polite company. However, (together and alone) we’ve been accused of insider joking in several recent encounters with people who know us (making out with Urkel! Sharks Love Departing Coworkers!) But y’all – Urkel is funny. Sharks loving anything is funny.

These are anecdotes that, in my mind, stand on their own humorous merit. But we’re increasingly met with glazed or pinched expressions, and that annoyingly irony-intended, “um? I don’t get it.” *

Um, y’all? I don’t get it. What are the bounds between insider jokes and humor for public consumption? Discuss in the comments, if you dare.

[* I hate the written “um”, along with “er” and the “eh.” As Twisty Faster says, “Resist the compulsion, in your haste to convey sarcasm, to begin with the word 'um' or 'er'. You are not an edgy young character in a sitcom.” The one exception is “meh.” “Meh” is lovely.]

Friday, July 21, 2006

Baking is a science

Britney, yo and I went to pick up Mr. Bailey's birthday cake this afternoon from the ice cream shop around the corner. Mr. B had already been festivated at his office with a traditional sheet cake, so I was enjoying my amazing sense of forethought in selecting an ice cream cake for his at-home celebration.

Britney quickly deflated my sense of superiority. She said, "don't you have a bakery near your house where you usually order all celebratory cakes?"

"Yes, the Rolling Pin. But they don't take cake orders over the phone. You have to physically go to the store at least 24 hours in advance of your cake needs and pay at least 50% up front. It's a damned inconvenience for those of us without any sense of organization."

"Sheesh, you'd think they'd be interested in getting as much business as possible, and that someone would learn how to take credit card numbers over the phone."

"Not the Rolling Pin. It's PG county's version of the Soup Nazi."

"No pastries for you!?"

"Exactly. You best KNOW what you want when you're number comes up or it's your turn at the counter. The counter staff has no patience with your feeble indecisiveness. You are standing in the way of progress, bitch. Oh, and they hate children, too."


"Mmm-hmm. Rolling Pin hates you and your babies. They've got signs all over the place: Keep your children off the counter. Don't let your kids press their noses and fingers on the display case. Get your kid out of the pie freezer. Keep your children on a leash at all time. You know what, just take the damn kid out of here and never come back, ever."

"Damn, that's harsh. Why go there?"

"Because they make some damn fine cruellers. Which brings up another thing -- Rolling Pins isn't open on Sundays any more."

"Isn't that when the vast majority of all doughnuts are consumed?"

"Exactly -- church folk, and their coffee social hour. But Rolling Pin don't need no stinking, piddly church orders. Damn Christians can just pick up their doughnuts a day early and pray they stay fresh til the following morning."

"So Rolling Pin hates Christians and babies and customers in general."

"Yeah, pretty much."

"You're going there Saturday morning, aren't you?"

"Sure. We've got a potluck at the neighbor's that night, and I said I'd bring pie."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

...while visions of sugarplums dance in my head

And by sugarplums I mean, well, you know...

Ella's Wood Fired Pizza, Starland Cafe, and Roy Rogers(?)

Weekend selections from the Summer or Restauranting included those mentioned in the title.

After hitting up La Tasca in Chinatown for Friday night drinks with friends, a group set out to find a restaurant that I had never tried. Yes, I did feel high maintenance, thanks for asking. And the idea was met with some grumbling, some confusion, but the alligators are quite used to not being understood. After restaurant hopping, we traipsed through the door of Ella's Wood Fired Pizza. Most everyone in attendance has eaten at Matchbox, and this was more of an experience to compare. My chosen pizza had buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto and arugula and was actually pretty tasty. It was a mixed bag for the group, and many considered Matchbox to be superior. Also, our server? Bad.
Rating: Food: 2.5 teeth; Decor: 4 teeth; Service: 1 tooth

Starland Cafe on MacArthur Blvd. also boasted a bad server, but the food was really good: salmon appetizer on soba noodles(excellent!), side salad (the typical) and side of summer squash (interesting?). Great wine from Austria and it was such an amazing night to sit outside. I haven't spent any time in Palisades, but I saw many other eating spots that are must tries. Stay tuned!
Rating: Food: 3 teeth; Decor: 2.75 teeth; Service: 1 tooth

Finally: As I have never dined at a Roy Rogers, I think it merits a review, especially since as a girl raised eating Arby's and Rax regularly, Roy's roast beef sandwich, adorned with steak sauce, was quite a surprise by comparison. The meat was perfectly cooked, but the bun needed a little more toasting, as it got quite soggy near the end. As my side—there are quite a few diverse sides to choose from—I picked the fruit cup containing cantalope, honeydew and grapes. It tasted okay, but was likely not freshly harvested, and maybe not even picked this year. So that's a bit disturbing. Why couldn't I have choosen the fries?!

The Roy Rogers decor needs a little polish, however, while the condiments bar could contribute to some ill-planned seasonings. Consider if I had tried putting tartar sauce on my roast beef. That may have ruined the experience entirely.
Rating: Food: 3 teeth; Decor: 1 tooth; Service: 1 tooth

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Restaurant Review No. 1: The Green Papaya, Bethesda

In attendance: Bailey, yo; Britney, yo; and Veronica, yo

To commence the Summer of Restauranting, three alligators set out upon a quest to dine at Tommy Joe's in Bethesda, Md. Unfortunately, however, the line—which was peppered with former frat boys—extended out the door. The alligators, then, were forced to choose another.

We settled instead on The Green Papaya, which is a Vietnamese cuisine restaurant located on Elm Street in Bethesda. For the purposes of reviewing, I will be commenting on the food, Brit on the decor, and Bailey on the service.

We all ordered from the resonably priced lunch menu, for it was lunch, and all chose vegetarian dishes. I had a curry with coconut milk, which was similar in taste to many other curry coconut dishes that I have had before. It was absolutely fine, but not spectacular. Britney had veggie fried rice, which, again, looked to be pretty standard. Bailey had the best of the three—a tomatoey tofu extravaganza, which we all sampled and declared to be "fabulous!" Finally, we all had some chilled spring rolls with peanut sauce.

In all, from the food standpoint only, it was a very pleasant meal. Filling, but not heavy; refreshing for a hot summer day, etc.

Food quality: 2.5 teeth

For the rest of the review, see comments.