Print Story Annus Novus
By Kellnerin (Thu Dec 31, 2009 at 11:50:55 PM EST) (all tags)
2009 was pretty good to me overall. I'm definitely in a better place right now than I was the last time the calendar flipped over. This decade? I can't really grasp the whole decade in my head at once -- my impression is that it was sort of an uneven road, but overall I'd have to say the trend has been upward.

I'VE HAD SOME bad luck lately with food orders. It started when I tried to get assorted lollipops for my office Yankee swap. I probably didn't order them as early as I should have, and they didn't come in time, so I went with a backup plan for our holiday lunch -- I figured D wouldn't object to extra lollipops once they came. But when they finally arrived earlier this week the contents of the box bore little resemblance to what I'd ordered, which was perplexing. The reference number on the packing slip was the right one, and the contents matched the packing slip, I just couldn't figure out how those particular items ended up on the packing slip.

Then, tonight, we got Chinese take-out -- something D and I started doing a few years ago. I called in the order, and again, got an order number, and D went to pick it up. When he got home and started unpacking the bag, it looked suspiciously unlike what I'd asked for, even though I'm pretty sure the person taking the order had understood me perfectly.

What we got was: A pu-pu platter, a large order of white rice, a large order of fried rice, and a large container of bland-looking white noodles.

"What the hell is this?" I asked, incredulous.

"Order number 1573, right?" D said. It was right. I'd written it down for him. I double-checked.

"Yeah, but ... what is this junk?"

"This is awesome," he explained. "It's a pu-pu platter in a box ... and pork fried rice! This was such a treat when I was a kid."

"This ... is not food," I protested, as he portioned out the pu-pu platter.

"This is what I thought Chinese food was for the first eighteen years of my life," said D. He's mentioned before that I've managed to casually educate him over the years as to what Chinese food really is. For example, the fact that white rice is where it's at. Fried rice is what you make out of leftovers. It's the meatloaf of Chinese food. "Just think, you're educating someone else right now who got what we ordered."

"Well, I'm glad it's nostalgic for you, but I want what we ordered."

"No, this will be good, try it."

"What is are these deep-fried things?"

"Oh, you mean Chinese chicken?" he grinned.

I just glared.

"It goes really well with sweet and sour sauce," he said, looking in the fridge. Of course we don't have sweet and sour sauce in our fridge.

"There's this tub of neon pink stuff that it came with."

"Oh, yeah."

I tried a piece of the chicken. "Tastes like fried," I observed.

"Try it with the sauce," D suggested.

Anyway, we laughed, we ate, and that's how I'll remember New Year's 2010. We both agreed that it was a pretty wacky order though -- whoever got this was a little carb-crazy. And we're going to have pork fried rice as leftovers for tomorrow.

I'm just waiting for the third messed-up food order to complete the cycle now.

D AND I HAVEN'T done the TV New Year's thing in a while, but this year we hit sort of a lull in activity about twenty minutes before midnight, so we flicked on the TV for the countdown. We hadn't seen post-stroke Dick Clark until now. All I can say is: whoa.

I DON'T TEND TO go with New Year's resolutions, either, lately, although being more awesome does sound like a really good idea.

Hope that 2010 brings more awesomeness for all of you.

< What's a bit of snow when one wants a good white wine? | New Year's Eves: Snippets from the last two decades >
Annus Novus | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)
My local offers bacon fried rice too. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:41:50 AM EST
Mmmmmm . . . baaaaaaconnnn!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

everything is better with bacon (n/t) by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:30:08 AM EST

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
including bacon (nt) by BlueOregon (4.00 / 2) #17 Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 02:08:25 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Being more awesome... by ana (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 06:48:53 AM EST
I rather like Neil Gaiman's wishes for a new year (now several years gone):

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

a fine wish by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:37:52 AM EST
When I think these days of resolution-worthy goals, it's not so much along the lines of "exercise more" or "be nicer to people" but "Create Something." That's certainly in the back (or even front) of my mind for 2010.

"Live as only you can" is a lovely goal to aspire to.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician

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Awesome enough? by aethucyn (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 11:51:37 AM EST
So what did you get from the lollipop site?
I actually joined my family in Maine for my parents' tradition New Year's cheese fondue. My mom suggested that perhaps we should start the new year by being nicer, but I'll remember seeing in 2010 with snarky comments, and laughter, because nice is not what we do.

I did see Dick Clark on TV as well, and it was disturbing. Considering that in my lifetime the only things notable about Dick Clark is that he does New Years and seemed to never age, seeing a drastically aged Dick Clark is not something I wanted to see.

If social networking sites have had any effect on me, it's that I'm now more allergic to saccharine holiday greetings than ever before, so for the New Year I offer this: May you survive when Jupiter becomes a second sun.

who wants "nice" anyway? by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 12:20:05 PM EST
I did get lollipops, just not the selection (or quantity) I expected. I suppose it would have been more of a shock if I'd gotten, say, yo-yos or something.

I'm not sure I'd describe Dick Clark as "drastically aged" -- more like "reanimated"? Somehow I could see this version of him continuing to preside over New Year's into the next millenium, Futurama-style.

May you skip the New Year's Rockin' Eve next go-round.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician

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yeah by dev trash (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:15:30 PM EST
Dick was pretty bad this year.  He messed up the count worse than the last two times.  It's sad.

Happy new year! by technician (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 01:57:23 PM EST
For years I thought that Uncle Bao's in El Paso was Chinese food, much in the way my Malaysian friend thought KFC was southern food.

But it was tasty. These days when my co-workers want to get Chinese for lunch, I have to ask them: do you want Chinese Chinese food, or American Chinese food? All but one (my former boss Sam) want the deep fried everything with syrup that gets served by the metric ton at most buffets. I can normally find some sort of extra-hot stir fry that the chefs put out to punish the curious and some really well-done rice.

You know what, though? I really miss Strange Flavored Chicken. That's a Boston-area-only dish that I can't replicate. It's not Chinese, but it is tasty.

Where does one get Strange Flavored Chicken? by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:07:44 PM EST
I haven't come across this, but it certainly sounds intriguing.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
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We'd found it by technician (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:38:09 PM EST
at a place on rte 9 between Framingham and Worcester, at a Chinese place on Mass Ave whose name I was too drunk to remember, at Cheng Du in Mansfield, Zoe's in Slummerv...uh, Somerville, Lucky Wahs (or Whas? Can't remember) in Brookline....

And at just about every Chinese place in Worcester. Some menus substitute "weird" or "unusual" for the word strange. It uses a lot of cilantro, and is just fantastic with red pepper flakes.

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I ordered "Crushed Chicken" yesterday by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 07:48:33 PM EST
at an Indonesian joint. I was horrified when she brought a crushed chicken hindquarter to my table. I spent ten minutes trying to remove the bone shards, then gave up.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

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You get what you order, apparently. by technician (4.00 / 1) #15 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 08:23:19 PM EST
I've learned that certain kinds of cuisine, the names aren't marketing gimmicks. They are descriptive.

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I will by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #16 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 09:12:15 PM EST
be asking more questions of the waitstaff. for sure.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

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Strange Flavored Chicken by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:47:27 PM EST
I'm not sure I've ever had it, but I'll be on the lookout for it now.

It was a tasty meal -- we finished off the fried rice for lunch today -- but just not what I was expecting. Not celebration food, y'know? At least not to me. The restaurant we go to has been there forever and it's got a weird split personality. Like, they can do all this American Chinese/Polynesian food with the Scorpion Bowls and the whatnot, and it also happens to do some really good Chinese Chinese food. We're regulars now and they give us the menu in Chinese (which I can't read, but which they gracefully translate) when we come. They also have some of the best damn Peking ravioli in a 10-mile radius.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician

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Well, now I've got to have by muchagecko (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 02:54:50 PM EST
Absinthe Lollipops. I can't even imagine how they'll taste.

A purpose gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
So a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
My Name is Earl

D has had them in the past by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Jan 01, 2010 at 03:48:53 PM EST
and can confirm that they taste quite credibly like absinthe -- which is to say, kind of licorice-y.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
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Just shows to go you by johnny (2.00 / 0) #18 Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 07:19:00 AM EST
that what Dear Wife & I always say -- borrowing a line from Joe Pesci's character in the generally execrable film "Lethal Weapon 2"-- is true (context: after carefully giving orders at the Goodburger & upon opening their bag driving way, Mel Gibson & Danny Glover & Pesci discover that their order is all fouled up): "They fuck you at the drive-thru! They fuck you at the drive-thru! They ALWAYS fuck you at the drive-thru!").

Note: I spelled "drive-thru" that way on purpose.

Also: anybody else here remember that Nickelodeon kid's show "All That"? It was pretty lousy. I used to watch it with my children. But I did like the name of one running skit, "Vital information for your everyday life", and I very much enjoyed the running skit about the Goodburger place.

"Welcome to Goodburger, home of the Goodburger. May I take your order?"

Whatever you ordered cost "eight bucks" and the guy behind the counter didn't know how to make change.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

how else are you supposed to spell drive-thru? by Kellnerin (4.00 / 1) #19 Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 10:58:36 AM EST
I never watched All That -- I was part of the You Can't Do That on Television generation.

"Plans aren't check lists, they are loose frameworks for what's going to go wrong." -- technician
[ Parent ]
Annus Novus | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)