Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


OK,I'm totally stalling on reviewing the minutiae of detail for my Biochemistry final tomorrow. Geez, if anyone ever mentions Oxaloacetate, Pyruvate or anything else from the Kreb's Cycle I might have to be institutionalized. Are you feeling my pain Adam? :)

Jamie, its my family name. In high school I changed to James, it sounded more grown up. Then in my 20's I changed it to Jim, it sounded less formal. Now, I might have to rethink Jamie (happy now, mom?), its becoming a cool name again. Witness, Jamie Foxx and Jamie Denton.

Jamie Denton must be feeling like he's on some alternate planet these days, propelled from virtual obscurity to sexiest man alive thanks to his exposure on Desperate Housewives. I hold him up as a good example that you can be smokin' hot and 40-somethin' (he's 43).

I became a fan of Jamie Foxx back in the early 90's when In Living Color replaced a failing SNL as my weekly comedy fix. I interrupted my TV-free existence to glue to myself to the set when he was up for Best Actor after his incredible performance in Ray. I'm kinda glad he is from the Dallas area.

I'm ambivalent toward rap and neutral on Georgia native, Kanye West, but I was glad to see Jamie Foxx make an appearance in this song. I downloaded it over the summer, its not my favorite but it is fun (still). This morning was the first time I saw the video. Cute. :)

Kanye West, Jamie Foxx - Gold Digger

A delayed thanks to Persian Guy for helping me to setup the video thing!

Monday, November 28, 2005

19 Years Ago ...

This was my favorite song. It reminds me of Sundays at the IBeam in San Francisco. I'm experimenting with music feeds on study breaks, be patient with me :)

New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Swissgyptian Thanksgiving

Another wonderful Swiss-Egyptian Thanksgiving! The Swiss-Egyptian Thanksgiving is a two day event.

Day One
: Quasi-traditional Thanksgiving meal including the bird, spuds, carrots, and three hundred other traditional side dishes. However, we also include non-traditional items like Saag Paneer and Hummous. Wine, dont forget the wine, lots of it, with additional backup wine, just in case 7 people actually manage to drink 14 bottles of wine.

Day Two: Fondue. Who doesnt like fondue, particularly when it is made by our hostess, who lived in Switzerland. Along with the fondue there is wine, naturally, but there is also Cherry and Apple Brandy. Or as I like to call them, the stuff that is so strong it causes your throat to close up and the rest of you to hallucinate. If you survive the 'Brandy' there is an outdoor Shisha station with your name on it. The Shisha is a big community water-filtered tobacco pipe which usually sports an Apple tobacco.

There are regulars for the Swiss-Egyptian Thanksgiving and new people are always welcome. But, sometimes we forget to educate the new people on how best to interact with the Egyptian Hostess. So, since we had an indoctrination by fire episode this year, I thought it best to educate future Swiss-Egyptian Thanksgiving attendees.

First, the Egyptian hostess is extremely gracious. Accept her graciousness or you will be perceived as insulting. You're so on your own if that happens.

Secondly, when you are having any dinner at the Egyptian Hostess' house there is a single non-negotiable, not-open-for-discussion rule: The more you eat, the more you love her. And you should love her, alot. Whenever there is a noticeable empty space on your plate the Egyptian Hostess will leap from the table to quickly adminsiter a helping of whatever seems to be missing.

There are several techniques to avoid over-eating and therefore retain the waistline you had when you arrived. My technique is to take a little bit of everything making sure that the plate looks full. Then, after waiting a reasonable period of time, I go back for 'seconds', which involves making noises with the serving implements in the kitchen while taking virtually nothing. This imparts love to the hostess without unsavory effects. Remember not to leave a detectable empty space on the plate; parsley and other garnishes are excellent for this purpose.

Next, and this one is important, when you no longer wish to consume alcoholic beverages you should simply leave your glass full. Techniques like placing your hand over your glass or saying 'No, no more for me please, I cant feel my face' will not be effective. The Egyptian Hostess will translate these actions to mean that you are being polite and would not like more until everyone else has more. She will be impressed by your manners but she continue to fill your glass when you aren't looking. This is particularly important at the end of the evening when the Cherry Brandy is gone and she starts mixing Pear Liquor with your residual Cherry Brandy professing that 'this is how it is done in Switzerland'.

Overall, keep in mind that even though you are in the US and the Egyptian Hostess is part American, the hospitality is distinctly Middle Eastern: eat, drink, laugh and leave your amusing American boundaries at home. The Egyptian Hostess always has a spare bedroom so intoxication is not a good enough reason to stop having fun.

There will be another installment on how best to beat the Egyptian Hostess in the I'm-paying-for-dinner game, which is a favorite pastime of ours when eating out.

If you can read through the satire you know we had a fantastic time. Thanks Noeha! And thanks to Alana, Arjun, Niyamat, Todd, Lauren and Paul.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Present

My nieces, today.

They made the Indian and Pilgrim costumes themselves! :)

Thanksgiving Past

Me, Grandma, Mom, Dad and the Turkey - Florida, 1968
Does my dad look like Buddy Holly or what? lol


Garden State

New Jersey. Princeton. The birthplace of Bruce Springsteen. The Sopranos. Red Bull and Vodka. And the setting for this movie.

Our main character, Andrew Largeman, or just Large, seems calm as the movie opens. He's just sitting there in his plane seat, the middle seat, staring dead forward. The people on either side of him are decidely not calm; they are going ballistic, grabbing him, crying, hysterical blubbering messes. Oxygen masks drop, drink carts slam down the center aisle. The plane is going down. And its going down to some very intriguing Bollywood music. His heart-wrenching emotional reaction? He reaches up and adjusts his air vent.

Perfect. You can almost feel this like Valium deadening any errant emotion.

The plane-crash dream sequence ends and he wakes up in his bedroom. White carpet, white walls, white curtains. Him in his white bed, tucked neatly under his white sheets and, of course, wearing a white t-shirt. The scene is shot from above a slowly turning ceiling fan. Yep, you got it, its a white fan; 60's minimalism at its finest.

The phone rings, he ignores it. The machine picks up, its dad. Dad wavers a little on the phone, then reluctantly leaves a message. 'You need to come home, your mom is dead.' No shock, no crying, no movement, he stares blankly at the white ceiling fan and the scene fades.

Excellent. The lithium has kicked in, forcing the world to keep tempo with the turning of the fan blades. And this is, in fact, Large's situation, he has been numbed-up and faded on anti-depressants for most of his life, at least since that unfortunate experience with his mother when he was 9.

A quirky start to this off-beat life-living film, a quirkiness that permeates every scene. Even though the situations in this film are slightly off-center they feel possible and every bit real.

The music in Garden State is incredible. Anyone who can combine The Shins, Coldplay and Simon & Garfunkle in perfect harmony in the space of one movie has my vote for genius. Not only did I love all of the music, each song seemed fitting for the mood and setting.

The framing up of scenes is minimal and brilliant; odd angles and unexpected pan backs give an edgy underscore and blends well with the theme of the movie.

About that, the theme, I think one scene stands as a visual metaphor -- Large, his kinda-girlfriend and another sorta-friend are in a isolated forest. All three are standing on top of a CAT tractor, laughing, howling and screaming into heavy rain. You're not given a reason for why this is happening, it adds absolutely nothing to the immediate plot, it just is.

And thats life, baby. Despite all of our well-educated analysis, our neurotic need to figure things out, our well-intended mission to align it all to some context and give it meaning, sometimes it still makes no sense, it just is ... and you can't get more real than that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

One Down

First final, over. Earth shattering, pandemic ass-kicking was had by all :) Only 3 more to go!

I will be celebrating Thanksgiving, Egyptian style with Noeha, who, by the way, you should email about when she plans on releasing her next Idiot Stick Figure With No Soul installment :) In keeping with ancient Egyptian tradition, Noeha will have the obligatory post-Thanksgiving fondue party on friday. I will get pictures of both events.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tehran On A Plate

I attract three ethnicities more than others: Germans, Mexicans and Iranians. Yeah, I realize that is a little odd. But so am I, so there.

At one point, when I lived in Houston, I was dating an Iranian, my boss was Iranian and two of my neighbors were Iranian. It was my Tehran phase. It was interesting to be accidentally submerged into another culture.

The Iranian I dated, Tariq, loved three things: playing soccer, drinking vodka and cooking. Ok, not really cooking, more like instructing others how to cook. Always the willing student, I learned how to cook Tariq's favorite dish, which has now, after a few modifications, become one of my favorite dishes.

(chicken with pomegranate and walnuts)
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 t black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 c pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 c walnuts, finely ground
Sautee onion in oil over medium heat until transparent, remove onion. Crank up heat to high and sear chicken breasts on both sides. Lower heat to low, add back onions. Add lemon juice, pepper and chicken stock. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Add walnuts, pomegranate molasses and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Serve with rice, pomegranate and walnuts.

You can find Pomegranate Molasses at your neighborhood middle eastern store or you could sub POM, the pomegranate juice in the funky bottle.

The rice in the picture is just basmati with a handful of toasted pinenuts and a handful of dried currants.

On a side note, I remembered tonight, while I was making this, that Tariq actually gave me the cookware I used as a Christmas present. Tariq is Muslim, therefore Christmas meant absolutely nothing, leading me to believe there might have been a hidden agenda there. Hmmm, lol :)

Monday, November 14, 2005

Where's Jim?

Finals. Spring '06 planning. Turkey Day. Posting will be spotty.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Israeli By Proxy

I saw him everywhere this year. He would be coming out of a class while I was walking in. Then it was in the parking lot, at the library, even the sushi counter at the campus cafeteria. We started giving each other the guy-to-guy head nod acknowledgement, unspoken buddy hello and a smirk as if to say, 'oh, dammit, its you ...again!'. Then it got more coincidental, passing each other at Pei Wei, at Central Market, even one day on the freeway he zoomed past me in his Eclipse, waving.

My accidental stalker.

He has an odd look, not bad, just out of the ordinary. At 6'4" and all of 170 pounds I would say he falls into the tall-thin category. Freshly shaven but a persistent 5-o-clock shadow - Greek? Italian? Some flavor of Middle Eastern? But there's something more odd, a heightened awareness of everything, as if he is constantly waiting for the first shoe to drop and already forming a contingency should there ever be a second. A walk that is tight, almost militant.

It came as no surprise to me when I returned to my library table from a quick break and found HIM sitting at the opposite corner.

I just started laughing when I saw him sitting there. He did too. He asked me if I was stalking him. I told him I was at the table first, so he was the stalker, unintentionally, but still.

Hi, I'm Eitan.

The look, the walk, the awareness and now the name. It immediately cleared up his origin - Israeli.
I'm Jim. You're Israeli, right?

Well yeah, but how did you know that?

No, I'm not Jewish, not really, although I'm sure the blonde hair and green eyes probably give that away. However, according to part of family actively engaged in our genealogy, my sister and I are roughly equal parts German, British and Russian. Its the Russian part where we inherited a bit of Jewish.

I was raised in the Church Of Whatever You Want To Be, so we were never given a template religion from which to pattern our lives. I did go to Synagogue with Jewish friends in NYC, I certainly find Judaism and the Hebrew language to be fascinating, but no, I'm not Jewish.

But I do have family living in Israel.

The Israeli Connection

In 1972 my aunt, uncle and cousin moved from NYC to Tel Aviv. The 'why' part of the story is long, so I'll save that for some other time. My uncle, by marriage, is Jewish, orthodox, and through a sequence of life-altering events, he decided that he wanted to live in Israel and he wanted his family to be raised at the source, so to speak.

Cousin Marnina

My cousin, Marnina, at the time, was all of 3 years old, so she definitely considers Israel her home. I have two other cousins born in Israel, one of whom I have never met. He turned 25 this year.

Having family in Israel has been interesting to say the least. In the early 1990s during the Gulf War I remember watching the scud missles lobbed onto Israeli soil, wondering exactly where they were making contact and if any of my family was in the proximity. Several nights I spent hours trying to get a line to Tel Aviv to no avail. Days later when I finally did reach my cousin she sounded happy and expressed little concern.

Oh dont worry about this, its just more of the same. When all your neighbors want to kill you, you just get used to it and get on with your life.

Right, I'm not sure I could have that perspective if someone was shooting bombs at me. I think I might just take it personally.

Going Orthodox In Houston

Some of family from Israel came to visit my parents in 1995 when they lived in Houston. If you have not had Orthodox Jews come to visit a non-kosher house, it is quite the treat. You would not have believed the preparation. Since my parent's house was not kosher they could not use anything in their kitchen; no plates, no utensils, no food, no appliances, not even anything in their refrigerator. My mom went out and bought a microwave, a small refrigerator and tons of kosher items.

I have to admit their stay went very smoothly and they didnt fuss a bit at the many inconveniences. They prepared their meals separately, ate separately and went through their prayers and rituals quietly and without fanfare. Fascinating rituals and of course Hebrew is an exotic, mystical language that beckons you to watch their rituals clandestinely from the other room. Which I did.

The Star Issue

One night Marnina and I decided to get out and see some night life in downtown Houston. She was really excited but at the time we agreed to go she was still not ready and I found her staring wildly out of the kitchen skylight, cursing. Apparently after the Saturday rituals, they can't leave the house until they see a certain star in the sky. My cousin might be orthodox but she's also impatient and intensely lippy.
I can't leave the damn house until I see the f***ing star!!

Interesting. I forget why or which star but it was fascinating to me that this ancient ritual from thousands of years gone by was playing itself out in my mom's kitchen, in modern-day Houston.

Squeamish Americans

I haven't seen my cousin since 1995 but we have chatted and exchanged letters. The last time we spoke in early 2001, she bugged me relentlessly to come visit her in Israel. At the time there were some unpleasant exchanges with the Palestinians. I told her I thought I would wait until things 'settled down'. She gave me quite the earful.

Oh that? Oh come on Jamie, that will never end. Plus the fighting is miles and miles away, most days you can barely hear it!

Barely? Definitely not coming, lol.

She went on and on about how she was working for the Israeli police and knew how to stay out of the line of fire, nothing bad would happen, everything would be fine. She would not let me continue to go through life without experiencing Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in person.

You Americans are so squeamish, just wait until someone starts dropping bombs on your soil, you'll start taking more risks.

I heard my cousin's haunting words on repeat in my head, several months later on September 11th as I watched CNN in disbelief.

The Police Women

Eitan kept interrupting me during this time to ask more and more questions about my cousin Marnina. How old? How tall? Last Name? etc. I know Israel is a small country and perhaps now it is much smaller to me. Eitan's older sister also works for the Israeli police ... with Marnina.

I had to laugh, it just couldn't be possible. But as I read my aunt's address from my Palm Pilot, he showed me his sister's address; same town, same street! After all the wierd vibrations settled down, Eitan leaned over and whispered to me.

We have a phrase to describe people like you - Israeli By Proxy.

מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Keyhole View

Here we go again. Completely predictable, in fact, I'm surprised we haven't heard of this earlier than now. I was reading the campus rag today and there was a rephrasing of another article in the Dallas Morning News regarding a Dallas woman trying to block Dallas theatres from showing Brokeback Mountain.

As I'm sure we all know by now this is the story written by Pulitzer-prize winning authors Annie Proulx & Larry McCurtry, directed by award-winning Ang Lee and, at least according to the rumor mill, will net Heath Ledger a nomination for best actor. Sure, its touchy content; two married men carying on a secret relationship over several decades but on a higher level this is a love story.

The article went on to discuss that the film offended this woman's strong 'Christian moral fiber'. Oh, you'll love this part, if the movie was released into theatres, she and her church would boycott Lowes, who will be showing it in Dallas. I think the gist here is that she and her misguided crew would try to put the financial hurt on Lowes.

I wish she knew that many of my Christian friends are coming with me to this film. I wonder how she would respond. I also wonder what exactly is she trying to accomplish with these tactics?

Hello? This is America, welcome to my country. Here in America, businesses like Lowes are run with a single-focused agenda - profit. The entertainment polls are indicating over 25 million people will see this movie right out of the chute. Let me get out my calculator. Wow, at $8 a ticket did you know thats $200 million dollars, that is a huge pile of green. Does this lady honestly believe Lowes is going to give a crap about her personal issues with this film?

Dear whack-job in Dallas:

We at Lowes have decided to forfeit our millions in profit to make sure that you, merely one of our millions of potential customers, are pleased with the selections of film offered to the general public in your area.

Delusionally yours, Lowes

Anyway ...

Maybe she has a problem with the infidelity aspect. Fine. Maybe its the homosexuality. Fine. These are aspects of society that have been around from the beginning and therefore we can safely assume, by induction, that they will continue regardless of one's personal views. Each person will make their peace with these realities. Or I should say, some of us will, while others will continue to fight a disappointing, frustrating and ultimately, losing battle.

When the movie 8MM came out I decided the content wasn't something that I wanted to see. So, and I know this is highly controversial action on my part, I just didn't go to see the film. I know, I'm out there. I suppose in my mind I thought that denying the rest of the world the right to choose whether or not they wanted to see the film would be wrong. That would have been a case of me imposing my will and unjustifiably huge ego on others, which is always offensive to everyone's moral fiber, Christian or not.

Ultimately I feel sorry for people like this lady, it must be a sad, limiting life to look at the world through a keyhole.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

International Jimification

Hey there, USA!
Hey there, eh?, Canada!
Hola, Mexico!
Guten Tag, Germany!
Bom Dia, Brazil!
Bon Giorno, Italy!
Bon Jour, France!
Nee How Ma, China!
Annyonghaseyo, Korea!
Kak Pazhevayesh, Russia!
Ma Nishma, Israel!

I installed a statistics counter on my blog when I created it in May. I'm just now looking at the data, fascinating. What I can see? Of course I have no idea who exactly is looking at my posts but I do know in which city they live or more precisely, in which city their ISP lives.

First, I looked at the country break down. OK, I was expecting a huge US percentage and a few from friends in Mexico, India, Brazil and the UK. Wrong! Yes, the US was the largest percentage but here were the next 5: Germany, Canada, Russia, India and Argentina. Interesting.

Within the US I expecting Dallas (and suburbs) to be the majority. Wrong! Here are the top cities clicking me: NYC, Los Angeles, Little Rock, Miami, Phoenix, Las Vegas. Dallas was actually #9. Interesting.

This I loved. I can see what keywords people use when they Google to one of my pages. Here are some from the past week. I seriously have to wonder what some of these people were looking for when they punched these keywords into Google.

1) hurt wallet lesbian
2) naughty mistress basil
3) awesome sushi joint
4) black white movement
5) dominatrix barbie
6) jaded gay cowboy
7) natural disease relationship

and my personal favorite

8) narco sex band blown

Entertainment for the whole family!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Naughty Thai

Thai Garden

6090 Campbell Rd Ste 124 (at Preston, SE corner)
Dallas, TX 75248
Phone: 972-248-8861

Thai Garden has become enormously popular since I first discovered it 10 years ago. Not surprising, since the food here is excellent and the lunch specials are very reasonably priced for what you get ($5-8 for Tom Ka soup, salad, egg roll and entree).

Mistress Lauren (pictured here with doctor-to-be, Eddie) decided that she would grace the good people of Thai Garden for her birthday. Wise choice.

Atmosphere: Atmosphere? Let me put it this way. Thai Garden is located in one of the last 1970's strip malls in the area. This is far north Dallas, a sneeze away from Richardson, the land of everything that was built after 1985. It should be preserved as a cheesy historical monument to the era. They are wedged between a martial arts studio and something that changes weekly. If I had to pick a word to describe atmosphere it would be cartoonish.

The Plate: I could go on and on but everything at Thai Garden is incredible. Some of my favorites here are the Green Curry, Panang Curry, Thai Garlic and Spicy Thai Basil(choose meat of your liking or tofu).

Spicy Thai Basil is the dish I order most often. Its the herby basil imparting its sweet and citrus nose to the otherwise deliciously salty fish sauce based gravy that makes this dish excellent. Thai Garden, as opposed to some other Thai, keeps a good balance between veggies and meat. The rice is always perfectly prepared and an isolated conical mountain, way on the other side of the plate.

Service: This is a small family run operation so service can be excellent to 'hey, where the hell is my food?'. Whichever is the case on your visit, you will find that they go out of their way to be friendly and to take care of you, they just might be slow at delivering.

Price:Very, very decent. $5-8 for lunch specials. For dinner, unless you are ordering the scary whole-fish in clay pot, which they talked me out of one night, claiming it would not be something a white boy like would enjoy, most everything is $9 and under.

Overall: If you find yourself in these netherregions of the Metroplex, Thai Garden is the choice for a satisfying, budget-conscious lunch, as long as you are not on a 30 minute schedule.

We noticed on this trip that there is a naughtiness when creating a phonetic translation of the Thai language. You probably can't read the sign Mistress Lauren is holding but it advertises Thai Garden's Quam Suk Happy Hour. Arent you just the least bit curious about the Quam Suk Happy Hour?

Lets not get started on the many interpretations of the Prik King Tofu, we could be here forever trying to decipher that one :)

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Pitch Black

The House Of Yes

I love me some dark comedy. Noir-esque films always take a view of normal life and twist it into horrendously funny disproportions. Not everyone relates to the dark side of humor. Parker Posey does though. I think Parker Posey has more than earned her title of 'Queen of the Indies'. And House Of Yes must have put her over the top and sealed her title for years to come.

This is a crazy, sick (emphasis here), pitch black comedy. Like other dark comedies, you should expect cult film acting, not good, however Posey actually manages to be good in a crazy, lovingly- psychopathic way.

Posey and her brother are twins, twins with a very close relationship, too close. And she also has another small problem - she's insane, literally. Since JFK was shot she wanders around her Washington DC mansion dressing and acting like Jackie-O. The family, or facsimile thereof, coddles her and they even refer to her as Jackie-O.

Jackie-O can't stand for her twin brother to be away from her. She shot him in the stomach when he tried to go away to college. Wonder what she will do now that he has a girlfriend? Hmmmm.

Dead-pan funny performance by Freddy Prinze Jr, as the twins other brother, the perpetually horny 23 year old who takes a liking to his brother's girlfriend.

Also good was Genevieve Bujold as the slut turned reluctant mother, who isn't sure who fathered one of her children and doesn't care. She perpetuates the dysfunctional relationship between the twins and tries her hardest to scare the girlfriend away.

Shake a couple of cocktails and invite a few of your off-beat friends for this one, one of whom, of course, should be dressed like Jackie-O.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Grad Grub, Entry 5

Orange Bourbon Salmon

  • 1/4 C bourbon
  • 1/4 C orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1/4 C brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 C green onion, chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon

Combine all ingredients, except salmon, in a large plastic bag, shake. Cut salmon into serving sizes and add to the bag. Marinate for 2-4 hours, flipping once. Prepare grill or broiler. Remove salmon from bag, reserve marinade. Cook on each side for 6 minutes, basting frequently with marinade.

Brother Nick Pick

Sushi House
5619 W Lovers Ln. (North side)
Dallas, TX 75209
Phone: 214-350-2100

My brother, Nick, found this place. No, Nick isnt a blood brother, more a brother in spirit, we are bound together by a sick sense of humor and the ability to find that humor in just about any situation. Oh, and we both love sushi and cheesy martial arts films like Kung Fu Hustle.

My experience was so good with brother Nick that I took Noeha here the other night to sample. She was looking for someone to supply the Japanese portion of her pan Asian party tomorrow night. She found it.

Atmosphere: None. Sushi House is a neighborhood joint and a low vis one at that. Tucked away into the Lover's Lane maze of look alike facades, it fades. Once you step through the small door, it still fades. The interior is certainly presentable and clean but nothing distinct and definitely nothing to leave an impression.

The Plate: The food, however, is fanatastic. In some respects I rate Sushi House higher than Reikyu, in others it pales.

The do-or-die selections: Yellowtail, Eel and Sea Urchin. Two out of three. The Yellowtail was awesome; smooth, buttery, cool and the portion was huge! The Sea Urchin was also good but a bit on the small size. The Eel, ugh, horrible. Maybe they were out of the good stuff but the one I had was gristly, undercooked and almost no sauce at all. Normally this would get them black balled in my book but they made up for it in a number of ways - all of which were interesting rolls.

The House Special Roll II. I don't think brother Nick heard my squeal of delight but it wouldn't have bothered him anyway since I heard his. Silently between squeals we ate this delicious blend of tempura asparagus, tuna, avocado and cucumber topped with a criss-cross of wasabi sauce and a smoky sweet plum sauce.

The Winter Roll. Why play? Go ahead and let the squeal out, you know keeping it inside will just eat you alive :) Wow, this is art; tempura shrimp, avocado, roe and cucumber on the inside with grilled yellowtail on the outside. A criss-cross of wasabi sauce on top of all that.

Special Cucumber Roll: I can't remember if this was the name of it or not. I was so fascinated by it that I forgot to write it down. The inside is a blend of crab and something else crunchy mixed in a spicy creamy sauce then rolled in thinly sliced cucumber. No rice. Very good and very inventive.

Other winners were the Philly Roll, Samurai Roll and the Sex On The Beach.

Service: Winner! Its owned by a Korean couple. Lira, the wife, hosts and waits while the husband, Koon, chops, assembles and rolls. They both do their jobs incredibly well. Noeha and I are late eaters so we arrived at 9:45, they close at 10:00. They never complained or hurried us, they simply went about their business until we decided to leave. Lira, when we asked her about catering, went out of her way to come up with appropriate selections that would stand up to a 4-6 hour party. She also agreed to present the sushi on one of her large decorative plates (as long as we bring it back).

Price: Moderate for sushi, however some of the special rolls are upwards of $13. I would expect about $20-$25 a head for a moderate combination of sushi and rolls.

Overall: Sushi House is a good bet for great sushi in a very casual setting with friends who do not like to see or be seen.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Where It Hurts

Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah. These are the states that have ammended their constitutions to ban same sex marriage.

I'm not going to waste time engaging in rhetoric over this issue, since calling it an issue is giving it too much credit - its wrong and everyone with the capacity for simple analytical thought knows it too. Yet still it is being presented in state after state constructing a collective ass-smelly display of how far we have not progressed.

It will pass in Texas too, it doesn't take clairvoyance to determine that outcome.

But here is the thing that puzzles me. Collectively the gay and lesbian communities in this country hold a whopping 620 billion dollar fist of economic power, over 60 billion of that is spent on travel. Why doesnt the collective economic power start banding together? Example: Dont travel to these states, dont buy products from these states, cut them off.

Really, if you want someone to listen to you, you have to kick them where it hurts the most, the wallet.