Friend from home is visiting me in London. I woke up at 11am. We watched 1980s quiz shows until lunch. This was lunch and it was excellent, definitely in my top ten pizzas of all time:
Back to the house. Lazing around and having a few beers. Went out to watch Euro 2012 matches and now I’m watching the golf. I will pay for all of this dearly when I get up at 7.30am tomorrow morning but future me can worry about that. Future me has a lot on his shoulders but he’s a bit of a dick so he deserves it.
So this post won’t be overly smart… In fact I think I’m only writing it because I’m so damn hungry but I’m in bed and it seems completely ridiculous to get up and cook. The word ‘food’ is only one letter away from ‘good’ which in turn is only one letter away from ‘God’ therefore food is awesome. QED.
I recently spent 3 months in North America, mostly the USA but a couple of weeks in Canada. Watching the Superbowl last night made me reminisce about some of the excellent and almost all unhealthy food that I ate on my travels. As much as I loved the sites and people of the lands across the pond, the food was way more important. Here are some of the great things I had along the way:
New York City: Dos Toros Taqueria’s Burritos
The burrito was born in San Francisco, but these guys have done excellent things with it on the complete opposite site of the continent. Chipotle is good, and something I’d love to have in the UK, but it doesn’t come close to the brilliance of the burritos I enjoyed here. Also their hot sauce is probably the best I’ve ever had. Have a look at these tacos:
(picture from newyork.seriouseats.com)
Buffalo: The Anchor Bar’s wings
Another thing we really don’t do in the UK are wings. It’s insane. When it comes to sports, drinking with friends, friday nights, romantic first dates, wedding receptions, funeral buffets, wings can do the job. If you want wings that do more than ‘the job’ and you’re in Buffalo (just an aside, Buffalo is…well…boring, so wings are all it really has….and the Niagara Falls I guess) then you’ve got to head to the place chicken wings were invented. Yes you heard me, chickens did not have wings until the Anchor Bar genetically modified an entire species and gave them wings. Before this chickens were classed as reptiles. The best thing about the Anchor’s wing is the blue cheese sauce which is better than any competitor I’ve ever tried. Here’s what I had to eat the night I was there (3 of us couldn’t quite finish it and I’m still ashamed of myself for leaving some):
(taken by me in September 2011)
Washington DC: Five Guys Burgers
Wow, what a burger. Five Guys are the Mario Manningham catch from last night’s Superbowl of burgers. The concept is simple, order a burger and add as many toppings as are humanly possible for no extra cost. I never saw another Five Guys after I left DC, I’m pretty sure they are quite widespread but I couldn’t find them. Another thing, their jalapeno peppers are just so much spicier than anyone else’s, be warned. I can totally understand why this guy goes to Five Guys:
(from the Huff Post)
San Antonio: Chicken Fried Steak from LuLu’s (featured on Man vs Food)
Chicken fried what?! When I was first told about Chicken Fried Steak my brain went into shock. I ran through various ideas of what it could mean and couldn’t work it out. For me it epitomises Texan food, big, fried, battered, unhealthy, delicious. Rather than a weird chicken-ey steak which I thought it would be, it is actually just a massively tenderised steak, coated in Southern style batter and deep fried. Being Texas you generally get two gigantic side orders and a wallop of ‘country gravy’ which is an odd white sauce that tastes like chicken gravy, and you pay around $6. This is the most palatable picture that I can find, there’s some pretty messy looking ones out there on google images.
(picture from freeingmymartha.blogspot.com)
San Francisco: The salsa from Papalote
Papalote was made famous by beating Bobby Flay in his Throwdown show. I know their burritos SHOULD be better than the one I had in NYC, but for me, it actually came a close second. The salsa however was out of this world and I’ve a heartbreaking story to tell you about it. I was in Papalote for the last time, I was flying to LA the next day and knew I’d probably never be back. I decided that because of this I should be generous with my tip…WHAT A MISTAKE. Minutes after paying and leaving my tip I noticed that they had jars of the world’s best salsa for sale and it was $7. I counted the cash in my wallet and it came to…..$6.40. I’m not entirely certain what the etiquette is for walking to the tip jar and removing your tip but I’m pretty sure it is frowned upon. My stupid, idiotic generosity cost me dearly and I will forever lament the decision. A slight silver lining is that they post the salsa, but only to North American addresses…i’m sure that I’ll make some friends on WordPress and they’ll be willing to organise it so I get some!
(from the Papalote website. PS, where Meatloaf ‘won’t do that’ for love, I’ll do it for this salsa)
Halifax NS: Poutine from Alexandria’s Pizza
Poutine is a fancy French word for such a simple thing. Fries topped with mozzarella cheese and covered in gravy. Everything melts, the fries become soft, tangled together with cheese and saturated with gravy. I’ve had a lot of food when drunk in an attempt to ‘cure drunk’ but this is the best. Though it sounds pretty plain the fast food places have added so much variety, you can get almost any meat added to the Poutine and it makes things even better. I generally got my Poutine from Alexandria’s because they have won their fair share of poutinerie awards. I want this so badly right now:
(from the Alexandria’s pizza website)
And that’s it. Your journey from East to West and then North East again is over and chances are you’ve put on some weight. But it was so worth it.
I’m very new to WordPress and so far I’ve been amazed by the breadth of blogs out there. I’ve been in the stage between finishing being a student and starting my first job for a little while now so I feel my brain has become stagnant and it’s great to read peoples’ views on such a wide variety of things that get my mind working a bit.
Reading so many great blogs has got me thinking, what type of blogger should I be? Should I write about interesting news, humour, TV, politics, my life, your life, the MetLife blimp, the possibilities are endless. So let’s go for it, lets write about ALL these things in one post, it might just be crazy enough to work! (but the organiser in me requires clearly distinct sections!)
Section 1: Super interesting news
Russian scientists are days away from drilling through ice hundreds of thousands of years old to an actual lake of water, kept liquid by the heat of the earth’s core. Who cares? The reason I think this is cool is that this lake hasn’t seen light in 20 million years, who knows what they’ll find. If any life is found then it could mean that there is life on Europa, one of Jupiter’s moons where it’s also believed that under thick ice there is vast amounts of liquid water.
Want to read more? Check out the Washington Post article here
Section 2: Hahahumour!!
I honestly believe that I’ve made a huge mistake. Who puts themselves on the spot to be humorous? Stand up comedians you may say, and you’d be correct, and you’d make me look like a fool. My funny moment for the day was seeing that this ‘person’ was following me on Twitter:
It made me actually laugh out loud. We’re all used to spam and over the years it has got more subtle and conniving. What’s great about poor June Pedroza is that the scam is just so hilariously basic. Let’s get a picture of a pretty girl and add a link with not just the word ‘sex’, but also ‘gangbang’ and ‘hardcore’. What man wouldn’t immediately believe that this woman is a genuine sexual partner opportunity? It’s foolproof. I’ll take a break from writing this post while I head over to her website to woo her and make her mine.
Section 3: TV
I’m not American but when it comes to TV I really am. The USA is lucky to have so many great sitcoms, animated shows, hosts like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, dramas, it’s brilliant. What does the UK have to compete with the behemoth of American television? The answer is of course a show where the creators took a pretty famous British model and turned her into….A BODYBUILDER! I proudly present, Jodie Marsh: The latest victim of King Midas:
Section 4: Boring depressing politics
Even though I’m from the UK it’s impossible to avoid hearing about the Republican nomination contest. What makes this politics so depressing is the money being paid for advertising and smear campaigns. I’m genuinely shocked by the millions of dollars that these guys are spending to insult people in their own political party, at least the UK does something right. Please America, set a cap for the amount that can be spent on election campaigns. While the average person finds their income falling and their chance of employment reducing US politicians are building a multi-million dollar war chest to spend on defamation and mud-slinging. It’s one thing for politics to be boring but you guys are making it depressing.
Section 5: My life
As I said at the start of this crazy post, I’m just waiting to start my first job. It means that I’m in limbo at the minute because there’s no point doing any other jobs as I start in 4 weeks, but I’ve no money to do anything fun. If I could sum up how being stuck in this limbo makes me feel I’d do it by showing you this actual picture of what the sky looked like today where I live. I mean seriously, what are you supposed to do when it looks like this outside…
Section 6: Your life
Well, you’re just going to have to click on the comments box and let me know that you are in fact alive, and not June Pedroza inviting me to another one of her scrumptious gangbangs on twitter!
Section 7: The MetLife Blimp
I said I’d cover everything that I mentioned above… Did you know that the giant MetLife blimp is available for hire? You can get the blimp to do an actual flyover for your birthday party. With my birthday only a couple of months away I’m going to make sure that the MetLife blimp comes to the UK and drops a giant birthday cake down for me.
And so we’ve reached the end of this post, and discovered next to nothing about what kind of blogger I’m going to be!
(Lake Vostock photo from Washington Post, Jodie Marsh photo from kissandmakeuptv, Sad Face cereal from elgoog.cc, Metlife blimp photo from blog.amycrissman.com)
I watched the most recent episode of Family Guy last night and as well as being very funny it raised the issue of Christian Scientists and other denominations who don’t believe in many forms of modern medicine. I’ve got to say right off the bat that I’m not religious, I’m not trying to advocate any sort of religious viewpoint, I’m just trying to write objectively.
When I was studying law I read a few cases on Jehovah’s witnesses who refused surgery and blood transfusions because it went against their religious beliefs and inevitably, they all died when they could have possibly been saved. One particular case involved a man who stabbed a female Jehovah’s witness. The woman then died as she refused life-saving treatment. The defendant in the case argued that he shouldn’t be convicted of murder. He stated that his actions would not have led to death if not for the decision to withhold medical treatment.This argument was flatly rejected by the UK Courts, and rightly so.
Nobody should get off with murder simply because they feel the religious beliefs of a certain individual are crazy and irresponsible. It may be that the views of the individual are irresponsible but it comes down to simple common sense that is dressed up in a long-standing principle of law, the ‘thin skull’ principle. When you choose to attack someone, you take the risk that they may have, for example, a thin skull or in this case a religious belief that prevents them from surviving and that your attack will kill them even though it wouldn’t kill the average man. You will be punished for the murder irregardless. Ignorance is not a defence.
What is however very tragic is that ignorance is a defence in many societies when it comes to parents and their children. If you are a Christian Scientist or a Scientologist or a Jehovah’s witness and you make medical decisions on behalf of your children that are deemed by contemporary society to be irresponsible should you be punished?
For me what it comes down to is that every citizen is a citizen of the state, with rights that ought to be protected by the state. An adult has the right to choose whether or not they refuse treatment, a child does not have the mental capacity to do so yet. People in this vulnerable position need the state to step in and make the right decision for them. In reality, often parents will not be found culpable by the courts and the state, in the form of the legal system, will have failed to step in after the death of a child. This is a double failure for the state who should have first stepped in, in the form of child services, when the medical treatment was refused and again to punish the parents.
Family Guy made an excellent argument. In the episode a family refused to have their child treated for cancer as they planned to pray the disease away, Lois Griffin responded with the following:
“I know you don’t believe in modern medicine, but you do believe in the power of prayer. And through the years when there was disease or infection people of good faith would pray to God for a cure. Well then isn’t it possible that penicillin, vaccines and antibiotics are all actually answered prayers? And isn’t it possible that the amazing men and woman of medicine who brought about these miracles could be the instruments of God’s answers to our prayers? It’s wrong for you to ignore what very well could be the Lord’s will, what’s the point of praying to God if you’re just going to wipe your butt with his answers?”
We should all embrace Lois Griffin’s message. Thanks Seth MacFarlane.