Saturday, March 27, 2004

If you care what I think about Dick Clarke (I love the fact that his name is almost Dick Clark!) -- I think he lied. In 2002. He said there wasn't a plan, and now he's saying there was a plan, and there really appears to have been a plan. I posted a comment here about it.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Ah yes, the epic of the freestanding lasagna.

Once upon a time, oh it seems a lifetime ago, our Aussie chef at Tulip introduced a menu item called "Freestanding Chicken Lasagna With Mushroom Duxelle." The point, he explained, was that it's not a traditional lasagna -- the kind made in a baking pan that's cooked onced, then festers in its own lasagnalally goodness for a few days, and then gets re-heated -- but it's made right on the plate each time it's ordered. The name elicted a good deal of discussion, most of it owing to the fact the people thought "freestanding" refered to the chicken, not the lasagna. (Sort of like free-range, I guess, but it doesn't walk around much?) So after a few weeks I changed the name to "Freestanding Lasagna of Chicken and Mushroom Duxelle."

A few more weeks went by, and I noticed people were still looking at the name in a sideways perplexed kind of way, so I one day I Googled "freestanding lasagna." Go ahead, click on it. That's right, nothing. Here I was thinking this was some cutting-edge culinary innovation that our chef learned in France, but no -- the chef couldn't think of what to call it, so he made the name up. No wonder people were confused. So I finally ditched the word "freestanding" entirely.

Recently I was having a drink with Geoff Goodfellow, a resident of Prague who from the sound of things never eats in. He claimed that at a Prague restaurant that shall not be named he saw a lunch special named "Freestanding Chicken Lasagna," and it pretty much looked just like Tulip's.

It gets better. Goodfellow is a much better Googler than I, which stands to reason since the good bloke pretty much invented the Internet, or something along those lines. He typed in "free-standing lasagna" and found this. Go ahead, read it. What, too lazy to click on the link? OK, well, apparently the "free-standing lasagna" was in fact patented in August 1999. No joke. Here's the extract from the U.S. Patent Office.

Monday, March 22, 2004

"Never Gonna Let You Go." That's the cheesy 1983 easy listening duet by (though not sung by) Sergio Mendes that I've been trying to remember for a week.
There's a hell of a lot going on in the world right now. Know what bothers me? What bothers me is that I don't know of a single blog-type news/commentary source that devotes itself to international news events -- not Beltway bullshit -- without some huge ideological axe to grind. I'd buy a beer for anybody that could recommend, for instance, some interesting commentary about the killing of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin or the non-capture of Ayman Al-Zawahiri or the non-killing of Herat's Ismail Khan. I'd buy a whole dinner for somebody who can link it all to the Peace of Westphalia.
Here's an article I wrote a little while back.