Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Witz Pickz: Weekend Excursions

I'm back! Where did I go, you ask? Why, on a Weekend Excursion of course! In this case, a few of us drove down to LA to catch the Red Sox ALDS Game 3 against the Angels. The drive was a bit long (which it turns out you find out on the way BACK, not on the way there. Once the excitement of "We're going, we're going" turns into "We went, we're exhausted, we're-- going back to work..." it becomes a bit rough.), but the trip itself was amazing, the Red Sox won and swept the series which was perfect, and we met some good people while we were there. For the record, Angel Stadium is gorgeous, albeit a little Disney-fied, but there are great views of the field all over the place, and the seats aren't outrageously small and packed. Also, if you're a Red Sox fan, watching at Angel Stadium feels like a home game, because Angels fans invented things like Thunder Sticks and Angels Paddles to make up for the fact that there just aren't that many Angels fans who are that hardcore. As one guy said, "Oh yeah, you got paddles? At Fenway we tap the plastic of our empty beer cups and do it the old fashioned way-- you know, clapping..."

On the way back, their was really only one momentous event-- Carl's Jr. I loath Carl's Jr. I don't have any basis for hating C's J so much, but I do. It's like the scummy, asshole cousin of Sonic and it always seems to show up when all I really want is a Sonic, only Sonic doesn't exist in 95% of the areas they advertise (apparently they're stealing Little Caesar's marketing plan). But oh, there's CARL'S JR! With that goddamn star logo, smiling evilly as if to say, "We know we're you're only option! What're ya gonna do-- get gas station food? Nope, we're Carl's Jr. and we are prevalent at desolate rest stops." So we went to Carl's Jr. We went to face our hate head on and find out if we were correct. And ya know what? Like most things, my hate was misplaced. Inside, Carl's Jr. is pretty much like any other fast food joint. The menu is almost entirely like Burger King's and tastes similar. There is one wild difference, and that is the option of Waffle Fries. They bafflingly don't advertise this option, and it was only through chance that any of us were able to acquire them. They also have amazing milkshakes that far surpass BK or McDonald's. And they put whipped cream on top-- which I like, because they are essentially saying, "Look, we know you know our food is bad for you. And we know you know we know our food is bad for you. So here's some whipped cream on top of your milkshake, as a little wink to you that we get it, and we know you get it, and we just all wanna have a good time here, ok?" It turns out my real hate for Carl's Jr. is simply at Sonic for not providing enough coverage. Carl's Jr is simply filling in the void they are leaving, and that's noble. I also have my issues with the name, because I pretty much don't get it. See, the apostrophe is after the Carl (not that this helps any). So it's Carl's Jr. The Jr. belongs to Carl. Nobody calls restaurants Juniors, so that doesn't work. It could be referring to Carl's son, Carl, Jr. but I'm not attending Carl's Son, I'm attending his fast food chain where I can acquire fat and feel shameful about it later. So what's with the apostrophe, Carl's Jr.? The burgers aren't small, they don't offer tiny burgers, and they even offer Thickburgers, which just absurdly bad for you, even though they are low-carb meals (poor marketing). So my only guess is that Carl was impotent and not able to conceive a child and thus made his restaurant his son. Or perhaps he was just too large a man with very evil eyes and never met a special lady to have a child with. Either way, Carl's Jr. was born and exists, and has an evil smile I can only assume is reminiscent of the lonely, but hungry Carl.

Vineyard Visits: Another great weekend excursion is a vineyard visit. There are vineyards all over the place in Calinfornia, the Pacific Northwest, the Northeast, etc. and visiting, it turns out, is a lot of fun. You see, you go and if they have a tasting room, they will generally give you some free samples of their wine. For usually only a few dollars more, you get a bunch more tasted of more of their wines. They are discussed and presented to you by someone who knows waaaaay more about wine than you and lets you know it, in a friendly, but dominating manner. This is an especially good time to hone your acting skills. Because, once they give you the wine, you ACT like you have any freakin' idea what you and the lady are talking about. "It's like smoky, with a thick berry initial offering, and finishes with a smooth plum tart with plenty of tannins."
"Yes, agreed! It' burning wood...with a fruity IPO worth getting in on and then I swallow it and it tastes I mean-- pl-- plums? and then I can't swallow because my tongue and throat are dry..."
While I've gotten a little better at figuring out what wine's taste like, I mostly just know if I like them or not. The one thing I keep hearing though and have no idea whatsoever what it means is that there is a "plum taste" or a "plum finish." I don't think anyone has any idea what plums taste like, and I'm pretty sure that saying "plum" is wine talk for "something we can't identify." I can't remember the last time a plum was an option for me to eat, and I can't remember the last time somebody I know ate one. For a while, I at least thought I knew what a plum looked like, but then I realized I was actually picturing the McDonald's character Grimace. But it's nice to try. And for a few dollars you can try plenty of wine, get a light buzz, and figure out a little better what you like in a wine. Then, you can go back to Trader Joe's and pickup some more Two Buck Chuck knowing that it might taste a little worse, but that's called EXPERIENCE, and you're only getting more of it. Here are some things not to ask at a vineyard if you don't want to get evil looks:

--"And which is your cheapest bottle?"
--"What did the wine enthusiast say at the beach? I'm just tannin."
--"Which is your best like, DRINKIN' wine, know what I mean?"
--"I'm not swirling this wine because I have any idea what I'm doing, I'm swirling it because I'm a little buzzed and am trying to break my own personal record of perfect swirls-- of 3."
--To Friend, Too Loudly: "I like that other vineyard's wine way better..."
--"Wines to me are like the opposite of Christopher Columbus's upon discovery of America: I hate the whites and I'm really thankful for all the reds."
--"Which one goes best with Wheat Thins?"

Witz Pickz Is Another Great Weekend Excursion,

1 comment:

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