Food in Review – Sence Rare European Rose Nectar

One must not mistake Sence – Rare European Rose nectar with that of the domestic variety drunk by those who attend NASCAR events or by office workers at chain restaurant happy hours.  This is both “Rare” and “European” and distinguishes itself from all the other rose nectars available on the market by being contained in a swirled glass bottle that looks more appropriate for perfume then any sort of beverage.

The first sip of Sence is sweet with a floral aftertaste that makes one think of a fragrance that would be generously applied by an elderly woman attending a religious event.  Because of its sweetness, pouring a tall glass of rose nectar is not recommended, but rather hummingbird sized portions seem to be the appropriate serving.

Though Sence  is made in Bulgaria there isn’t a single word of Bulgarian on the entire bottle.  Its ingredients are listed in both English and Spanish.  Reading the ingredients in Spanish is pure
poetry with Las Aguas, El Azucar end el Extracto se Petalos de Rosas sounding like the makings of a love potion found in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel.  It is hard to say if this rosy liquid will make one more attractive to a potential lover, but drinking Sence will surely attract the attention of wasps, bees and other stinging insects.

Woman eating roses

The Kindness of Strangers

The following text message conversation took place on my cell phone. For some reason I always respond to people, even if they clearly have the wrong person.

Tyler: Hey Angela its Tyler “message in a bottle”, lol, where in phx do u live?

Me: No response sent

4 hours later…

Tyler: Hola chica, how was urban planning?

Me (annoyed while trying to drink coffee): Dude, you have the wrong number.

Tyler: Ight, take a chill pill women…I know I don’t have the wrong# I made sure with the dude who wrote that ghey note b4 I texted.. but ne ways good day to you.

Me: This is a guy, you need to revisit “Mack Lessons”

Tyler: I just coversate with ladies, the fact is if you get to know the person before engaging in the physical aspect, the bond between those individuals is much stronger, the physical side is the easiest, but you already knew that since ur such a “Mack Daddy”, peace playa…

End of text exchange.

If any of my friends want to take credit for those, I will buy you a milk shake at Sonic.

Elitism Continued

My friend Clint and I were walking down the brick sidewalks of Mill Avenue. An extra spring was in our steps as we were off to see Tim and Eric perform at the Marquee. That same night the band Smashmouth were scheduled to play in front of the stagnant pool of disgustingness known as Tempe Town Lake. This performance was a “celebration” to entertain those who had ran in PF Chang’s Rock and Roll Marathon.

As we were walking among the clean and well groomed citizens Clint and I saw people scalping tickets. We joked how it would be funny if these scalpers were selling Tim and Eric tickets. We speculated about who on earth would actually be seeking out Smashmouth. Just mere seconds after having wondered about this, we saw a man go up to a total stranger and ask him (appearingly without shame) “Hey do you know where Smashmouth is playing”. The stranger eagerly gave all the details this man needed. We continued our walk to the Marquee in amazement of the world we inhabited.

We went and saw Tim and Eric perform and it was like lemon meringue pie on your birthday.

On the way back we walked on the Tempe Town Lake Bridge. We could see on the shore that there was a stage set up with lights. We heard horrible music being played. Could it be?

It was Smashmouth.

It sounded like they were winding things down and it was their last song.

I told Clint that for their encore they would play their hit song, that one from the mentally challenged Ogre movie. This was guaranteed.

Moments later that familiarly horrible riff started up, and the singer in a voice worse then a frat boy’s who had just vomited up the contents of eight cans of Keystone started singing, “Somebody blah, blah, blurgh, black….etc, belck blucha…etc, hey now your an all star get your game on…”

A tear came to my eye.

It was the best night ever.

The Dead Cat

Walking out to my car in the morning I noticed that the cat was clearly dead, it was not just taking a gravel nap. It was laying motionless near a pool of water left over from the recent rains that had fallen. Maybe the cat lapped at the muddy pool and succumbed to whatever toxins had leached out of the soil.

I was a little bit concerned about how the cat died, like maybe I had been responsible and had hit it without notice.

I began an investigation into the cat’s death. I will admit that there are many other things that I should do with my time besides figuring out how a cat died, but I had to clear myself of any wrongdoing.

Through my close inspection of the animal I determined that yes, the cat had been run over, as evident by the bruised indentation on the animals hind quarters. I found that there were faint tire tracks that led to a neighbor’ss space, and clearly one of the tires had squished the poor kitty.

I felt better in knowing that I was not the cat killer.

A day passed and the dead cat was still there.

Another day passed and it still laid in the spot that it had been struck down.

Clearly, the person responsible for sending this cat to the great beyond should have disposed of its carcass.

Yet another day passed, I had stopped parking in my covered spot as to avoid the dead cat.

I thought about disposing of the cat, but walking the distance from the back of my apartment with a dead cat stiff in a shovel is not something I wanted to do and I felt that any neighbor seeing this would presume that I was the culprit.

Finally the cat disappeared and I resumed parking in my regular spot – until I noticed that the cat did not disappear, but was now up against a chain link fence. Perhaps some miracle, or voodoo had made the cat ambulatory.

Or maybe my lazy cat, killing neighbor just kicked it out of the way.

Eventually I contacted my landlord who helped escort the dead cat into the afterlife.

I have my eye on that neighbor guy…I just hope he doesn’t “accidently” strike me with his car.

New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions
It is another New Year and instead of making such resolutions as “Take pilates class” or “alphabetize record collection to second letter of artist’s last name” I have decided to take on some resolutions that I hope are attainable, the first of which is “See more movies.”

I never watch movies. I mean, I somehow missed out on the movie ET. All I know is that it involves a dimwitted creature and a boy who gets into some sort of trouble involving Reese’s Pieces, a bicycle and an Atari 2600.

So far, in the two weeks that have been 2008 I have probably seen more movies in the theater then I saw all of last year.

Here is what I have seen-

Juno: Not a good way to start off my New Year’s resolution. I really wish there could have been a tie in with the movie “Alien versus Predator” and that Predator, that brave intergalactic hunter, could have poured his magical vial of blue liquid all over these characters, dissolving them into piles of “indie” culture referencing goop.

Alien versus Predator 2: Sleeper comedy of 2008, I laughed way more at this then Juno. Kind of recommended…

There Will Be Blood: A movie of complete awesomeness that made me want to eat a thick steak washed down with a tall glass of oil. Highly recommended!

So that’s it so far.

Music for clowns

The other day I was in Subway, and I noticed that the young man preparing my veggie sub had the crazy hatchet man logo used by the musical group Insane Clown Posse tattooed on his forearm. When my friend and I sat down I pointed this out to him and he had no idea what I was referring to. He knew neither of this logo or even of the existence of this afformentioned band. At that moment I envied my friend and wished that my brain lacked any knowledge about this clown rock band, my friend was a lucky man, so very lucky…


Emma Pollack

I cannot seem to stop listening to the newest Emma Pollack LP “Watch the Fireworks”. She used to sing in the Scottish band The Delgados and her wary, yet sweet voice was always the focal point. Emma does not stray far from what she did in the Delgados and this album shows how important she was in her former band – this is simply a Delgados album with Emma singing every song, which is fantastic because I would always skip the songs where that whiny guy sang. For fans of the melacholy pop of The Delgados, “Watch the Fireworks” is the album that they always hoped for.

Shark Attack

Music is supposed to be fun right? Well not always. As cool or interesting as the newest free jazz/death metal/drone ensemble may be it is hard to say that this is always enjoyable to listen to. Lately I have been listening to a great deal of almost unlistenable stuff. This is the type of music that I like to put on in my car while I drive around drinking strong espresso, stroking my beard and scoffing at the rest of the world.

On a recent trip to San Francisco I bought a CD entitled “Family Music” by a band called YMCK (laptop musician types – there is a cool 8-bit plugin here for you to nerd out with). This was an impulse buy as I could not resist the cover depicting the band in cartoonish pixellated blocks. When I returned from my trip I listened to this album and found it the musical equivalent of Sugar Smacks, which was a refreshing change from the atonal Grape Nuts that I had been subsisting on.

YMCK is a Japanese band that plays classic Nintendo styled music with mostly Japanese lyrics sung by a bubbly woman. The instruments used to record this album are all electronic and do not stray far from the white noise high hats and sine wave bass sounds of old video game consoles. YMCK is much looser sounding then the stiff mechanical accompaniment of many old video games, with their music swinging in an loungy way much like an 8-bit Esquivel. This combined with blips, bleep and cascading melodies makes one imagine this album being the soundtrack to the best video game that never existed.

Admittedly video games are kind of nerdy but there is nothing ironic about this album. When YMCK sing, “The blocks from Russia are falling down, to make your brain messed up with mysteries” they strike a chord with anyone who has spent hours entranced by Tetris. “Family Music” is a fun album that captures the pure joy of video games without actually having to endure the suffering of the dreaded Nintendo thumb or painful ridicule from members of the opposite sex.

Quite a Bounty

Usually afterwork I hit a couple of thrift stores for a quick run in, look at the records in disgust and then run out. Last Friday I had no intention of going to any of these as I had been pretty sick of seeing the same crappy records for the last few weeks.

Usually the first four records are all I need to flip through to determine if is going to be worth my time to darken my fingers with disgusting dirty record dust. Usually its something like Jim Naybors, Boston Pops, Chuck Mangione, Barbara Streisand and I am out the door. On this day the first record was Led Zeppelin II, which was a good sign, meaning that these records had not entirely been picked over. The next one was The Who – once again not a bad start. I flipped through a few unremarkable records and all of a sudden there is a Charlie Parker record then a Mingus record, then a Pharoah Saunders record. I started making a pile of all the records that were a go. There were old mono Rolling Stones records, Brian Eno, The Kinks, Love….I could feel the sweat forming on my brow as I feverishly flipped through the stack. I started glancing around quickly to make sure that no one else was approaching. I was like a Hyena and I was scavenging the vinyl remains of someone’s musically open minded youth.

I exited the thrift store with 36 records, all marked at 99 cents a piece. I loaded up my car and headed straight home so that the Arizona sun would not lay its final claim on this stack of vinyl.

Arizona Culture

Granted I try and avoid downtown Tempe at any cost, but every once in awhile I find myself making the slow drive down its depressing expanse. For awhile I have been telling my friends how Arizona is stuck in in the 90’s, not the 1890’s – as that would be totally fun with dudes walking around with cowboy hats and six shooters and horses and stuff, but the 1990’s. Mill Avenue in particular seems to be a time capsule of 1990’s culture. Here you will find teenage youths proudly wearing JNCO Jeans and chain wallets.

It took me awhile to figure out the cultural significance of this, then it dawned on me that these kids do not view what they are wearing as trash, but rather these are family heirlooms – undoubtedly passed on by an older brother or sister who had od’ed on Ecstacy and are now waving their glowsticks at the great rave in the sky.