Things I've done since being unemployed pt.3
- Read Jeff Pearlman's Boys Will Be Boys
in under 48 hours...fantastic book
- Watched Thin Blue Line
, To Live and Die In L.A.
and Sukiyaki Western Django
here at the house. We'll go A-, B, B+
- Jammed some pre-game wings at 97 Estoria. Good not great...y'all aint gotta make 'em all gourmet n shit. They're wings
- Watched the Bravos look good Friday night against the Astros...then the rains came.
- Bought Moms the complete Extras collection for her birthday.
- Had a cookout in the rain with the fam for said birthday.
- Riffed with my bro and watched some choice youtube videos including the Seth Rogan version of "Like A Boss" from SNL and I'm the Juggernaut bitch! (always a classic)
- Borrowed Terry Gilliam's Jaberwocky, The Verdict with Paul Newman as well as Cat's Cradle and A Connecticut Yankee in King Aurthur's Court (never read those) from the folks
- Hooked up Sandra's external hard drive and cranked some jams in the house
- Laundry and dishes....lots of them
- Downloaded the School of Seven Bells record (see post below)
- Downloaded the She & Him record
- Played extensive amounts of Mah-Jong (see post below)
- Saw I Love You Man again....still awesome!!
- Drinkin at the Brewhouse
- Drinkin at the Local
- Drinkin at Estoria
- Drinkin at the Righteous Room
- received a check from Bank of America for $932
- Made a sweet mix of crunkly ATL rap jams for this Mexican dude that works with Sandra...he bought me two Coronas. Fair deal
- Took it to a 8.5 on the rage scale for Cinco de Mayo at Tesoro in Decatur
- Killed the bottle of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Classic Lime Margaritas
- Guided Wolf Tusk to a 3-1 record so far in BMoA (this week aint lookin so good though)
- Cooked more bacon
- Was embarrassed by the Hawks game 1 performance
- Spent too much time on the internet
- Failed in finding a job so far
Part 4 soon
"A Study in Scarlet Tongues - Solo Wang Jam Report"
A touching piece from our long time friend and "wang" historian...Lord Douchebag:
A New York Times article today exposes the struggle many Chinese face in attempting to find a sense of individuality amid the faceless masses and the faceless, massive government. As the Communist nation replaces the required identity cards each citizen must carry with newer, computer-scannable and typed versions, the government is running into a number of individuals whose names are too rare, and feature characters that the computerized printers cannot insert in the cards. There are over 55,000 Chinese characters, but the card-printing bureaucracy can only print around 32,000. The result, in the government's gentle eyes, is that those millions of Chinese individuals who have odd or simply rare names must change their names to something more common. Aside: what is a self-important, maternal celebrity to do, what with the propensity for international adoption and the propensity to endow children with bizarre names? So the government is requiring people use more common names in China. This has led, naturally, to more and more Chinese named the same thing. According to the NYT piece, "[a]t last count, China's Wangs were leading with more than 92 million...."
I'm going to have to bold this, in case the extensive lead-in didn't payoff. THERE ARE 92,000,000 WANGS IN CHINA.
Wangs, as you may know, are not a renewable resource. When one eats a wang, that which is impeccably spicy and delicious becomes something which is disgustingly spicy and foul within 4 to 48 hours, depending on your other starch intakes. There are only so many wangs out there. And now we learn that China has been stockpiling them, and, indeed, wasting them. See, there's nothing wrong with the Chinese-style wang, per se. It has a nutty bar-b-que flavor that can, in the right mood, offset other wang flavors quite well. Chinese-style wangs are not, and will never be, a main-event wang. Nobody has ever gone to the Golden Phoenix Dragon Buddha Imperial House Buffet to get a plate full of wangs. You might get one or two along with your eggroll and sesame chicken, but rarely a dozen. The flavor doesn't demand indulgence, unlike the various Buffalo, lemon pepper or BBQ flavors. So China has all these Wangs over there, and they're just letting them sit there, staying warm under a hotlamp, preserved in MSG. Those wangs could be over here, bathing in myriad delectable sauces, waiting to be devoured by me. But, alas.
Now I know why my own town is devoid of one exceptional multi-flavored wang estate. I live in Decatur, Georgia. Yes, a suburb of Atlanta, but also a college town - the home of Emory University and Agnes Scott College. While womens' colleges might not be the best demographic for a wang restaurant, there have to be enough New Yorkers at Emory to support at least one top notch wang joint, right? Nope. There's Taco Mac, whose wangs have shrunk over the last decade to thumb-size and who prides themselves on their hottest flavors but fails to provide any alternative sensations. Weak tea. Why is there no Wild Wing Café in Decatur, pray tell? Do the Wild Wing Café corporate masters not believe that there are wang aficionados inside the perimeter? Are we not good enough to enjoy the benefits of your dozens of diverse delectables? Or perhaps the reason there is not a great wang shop in Decatur is the stockpiling of wangs in China? What is it? ANSWER ME!!! I WON'T BE IGNORED!!!
Nevertheless, the Lady and I (and the little Countess) have been living up in East Cobb while we're renovating our house. The vast nether region between Marietta proper and Roswell proper is filled with acres of power lines, strip malls, Mexican restaurants, massive Baptist church parking lots, and many, many oversized SUVs with those family-member stick figure stickers on the back. But there is a bright, shining beacon in the shadows of that tall hill that nobody really knows the name of but it's the tallest one around and I think Tom Glavine might have lived on it or something... East Lake Shopping Center, right next door to Marietta Martial Arts (with advertising that would make the King of the Demo Fred Simmons proud). In the far left hand corner sits Wild Wing Café. Not the mothership (over in South Carolina), and not the most heartwarming location (Athens, natch), but a fine oasis for the suburbs. Dozens of flavors drown consistently meaty and properly cooked wings. I was not going to miss the opportunity to have a wang jam with reasonable commute.
The Countess is not yet 2, and therefore has a somewhat rigid schedule for dining and napping. This wang jam was not going to be thrown together. I needed to map out a strategy to afford myself prime wang time without interruption by the necessities of a toddler. Lunch would not do - naptime is too soon thereafter. A normal dinner would not work - night-night is too soon thereafter. A true wang jam needs at least 2 hours - one cannot rush things for two vital reasons: (a) jamming too many wangs too quickly leads to getting full too soon and cutting oneself short; and (b) a short time between wangs limits the ability to enjoy the subtle distinctions in flavor (you're making the effort to come to a place with dozens of flavors, you shouldn't just have a mishmash of sauces). I was left with two options: leave the Lady and Countess at home and make it a truly solo wang jam, or time the afternoon nap well and hit the door at Wild Wang between 5:30 and 6 at the latest. How could I not include the Lady in this jam? She wants to jam a wang as much as any woman I know, but I was careful with the "a wang" diction - she is not known for the size of her portions. As for the Countess, it was high time to include her in a wang jam. I firmly believe in starting kids young on indoctrination. She was not yet 6 months old at her first Dawgs game. She took part in a Dave's Cosmic Sub Throwdown on her third day of existence. She's even shared in the utter culinary orgasm that is the Ghetto Burger at Ann's Snack Bar (I brought my own high chair and everything). She needed to learn.
We rolled in around 5:30. Weather was perfect, so we grabbed a table outside in the Tiki Bar area. Drunken parents and little leaguers at the table behind us - looked like they'd been jamming since the noon game ended. Hammered dude at the bar wearing workout clothes - appeared to be an accidental annihilation - was giving eyes to every dude in the place like he wanted to fight. Weird, but that can't get in my way. One track mind.
Grab a Shiner Centenary, the Lady gets a St. Pauli, juice for the Countess. The Lady wants cheese dip. I know that'll limit wang intake, so I balk at first. She convinces me: "You won't fill up, you'll just prep the oven." Priming the pump it is. Main orders? Quesadilla for the kid, buffalo wrap for the wife. All eyes on me. Can't mess this up.
Sampler. 25 wangs, 5 different flavors/5 wangs each. Bleu Cheese, Celery. About as solid a solo wang order can be, in terms of structure. But the toughest decision lay ahead. Which flavors? There are 30 some kinds. How traditional should I go? How diverse should my flavors be? What if I make a huge mistake and 20% of the jam is simply ruined? Stress... Take a swig of the Shiner and focus.
Here's where I become a massive pedant so get your dictionaries out... I scan the menu. Not "scan" in the form whereby one means "skim" or "glance over". No, I scan in sense of "analyze word for word like an English student reading poetry." I seek out the slightest distinctions among the varied descriptions. I triangulate, seeking out the maximum diversity of flavor without causing conflict between such. If I have one slightly BBQ, I can avoid similar types. I whittle down the options. Too many! Some names have changed - what was once "Mardi Gras" is now "Ragin' Cajun." Some are new - the "Slayer"??? What to do, what to do? Can't screw this up... Just make a decision already!
Ranchilada: no brainer. Never failed. Always pleasing.
Wild West: Classic change of pace wang.
Gold Rush: want something BBQ, and was torn between Ol' Smokey, Chipotle Jolt and this. Went with the honey flavor.
Ragin' Cajun: Mardi Gras was one of my favorite back in the day. Let's see if they just changed the name.
Red Hot & Bleu: Wanted a traditional buffalo style, and this one piqued my interest. The Bleu is cooked right in.
Delivery. Deliverance. A tray so impressive I don't know where to start.
Pick up a Ranchilada and get moving. Classic, but not very hot. I remembered it being sharper before. Hmmm... a slight let down from the all-star? Wait, could this be a dud of a batch? Will the jam be over before it starts?
The Ragin' Cajuns look slightly more well done than the others. I'm nervous, but I want to find out ASAP if these wangs aren't up to snuff. I dive in. Smoky. Spicy. Crunchy, but in a good way. HELL YES. Louisiana comes strong. Wang jam still on.
Turn to Gold Rush. Sweet flavor, but mild. Not too different from Ranchilada, which would normally worry me. Maybe I've made an error in judgment? No, the sweetness hangs on a little longer and mixes with the straggler sensation of the cajuns. Solid stew going on now.
Wild Wests are just sitting there, looking all lemon peppery yellow, but not to taste like that. A burst of ranchy garlic explodes. Totally different sensation from the others. Strongest taste, but neither overpoweringly good nor overpoweringly bad. Just different. Gets me ready to move on though.
Now I'm worried, because the only one I haven't tried yet is the one I was probably least certain of - Red Hot & Bleu. I like my wangs hot, and this was my choice for the traditional flavor, but I feared there wouldn't be enough heat in the buffalo, or that the bleu would overpower and water down the buffalo. Nervous. Take a hit. Whoa. Nerves disappear. Best wang of the night. I was right about the heat - it's a mild wang. But I was dead wrong about the taste. Sweet, subtle. The Bleu isn't too strong, like sometimes you can get with a wild dunk. It's a bleu cheesy subtext that draws you in. This is a layered, deep wang. The kind that makes you think about what you've just tasted, not the kind that makes you reach for another immediately. It's a piece of art to be contemplated. Exceptional.
I plow through, wondering if my initial impressions would be correct. The Ragin' Cajuns have the right flavor, but their crunch does dry out over time. I have to rush these a little. Ranchiladas improve with BC. Wild Wests get a little sloppy - the sauce is dripped on more than cooked in. The Gold Rush stands up to the Ranchiladas and stands toe to toe - but next time around I wouldn't get both (too close together). Red Hot and Bleu remain the class of the lot. Each one provides multiple taste sensations - slight heat, then sweet, then creamy. A delicious wang that will be a part of my return.
Regrets? With a larger group, I'd have more variety, but this was still a solid wang jam. Next time I'll go for a honey mustard or Colorado Coppers instead of Wild West. Carolina Fireball or Chipotle Jolt instead of either Gold Rush or Ranchilada. Maybe some way off the reservations - Thai, Jalapeno Cheddar, maybe the Slayer.
And the aftermath? Wang coma. Stared into the middle space for the rest of the evening. Confused by what had just occurred, befuddled that my mind and body were not in better shape to handle wangphoria. Resolved to get in better wang shape. And the final verdict: whatever reason it is that Decatur has no Wang-ri La, and I am prepared to blame the Chinese, East Lake is still close enough to make the trek there worth it. More wang jams soon.