EatDrink&BeMerry has tagged me in the Five Things About Me meme that has been going around the Interwebs. So here’s my barf.
1. The very first live rock concert I went to was Ratt, in 1985, who were touring in support of their “Invasion of Your Privacy” release. Opening was a heretofore unknown band by the name of Bon Jovi. It was after witnessing this horror that I began an exodus from my newly-pubic, testosterone-stunted heavy metal fascination. Next stop: Thompson Twins.
2. I spent many of my formidable, younger years overseas, including 7 years in Northwestern Saudi Arabia on the Persian/Arabian Gulf. Suffice to say, these were (sadly) mostly pork-free years. We watched highly censored, non sequiturs disguised as television programs that would segue from Alex P. Keaton’s imminent kiss to denouement all in the matter of 5 seconds, thus leaving 12 minutes of air time which was often filled with some bearded guy on a rug chanting “Allahu Akbar” in rapturous song. We played a lot of kickball.
3. I am a lover of instant ramen. Not Americanized crap like Maruchan or Top Ramen — these brands are a scourge and blight upon humanity. But, rather, imported brands from all the countries than comprise the Asian continent. I have particular respect for the Koreans, who IMHO are the current world instant ramen kings, having wrested the mantle from the Japanese. This occurred some time in the early-to-mid nineties. Whereas most food dilettantes use their discernible faculties of taste detection to refine an appreciation of fine wine varietal and vintages, or train a palette to distinguish between olive oil appellations or artisanal cheeses, I have honed my tongue to recognize the noodle styles and MSG-laden broth characteristics of various instant ramen brands and their regions. Without seeing the package, I can correctly identify the distinct Korean brands (in their prepared states) of Jin Ramen, Nong Shim Shin Ramyun, and Samyang Ramen. Among the Nong Shim varietals, it is very likely I would be able to tell you which was Shin Ramyun, which was Kimchi flavor, and which was Neoguri seafood flavor. Likewise, I could differentiate between Nissin’s miso, tonkotsu, shoyu, pork, or prawn flavors rather easily. I would be able to inform you that I was about to slurp a bowl of Tung-I Chinese Onion Flavor simply by the nose.
4. I have a young daughter who will be three in July. She is cute and funny and I’m a horrible role model because I can’t stop cussing. Profusely. In fact, I’m quite enamored with the F-bomb, as all 1.7 regular readers of this blog can attest. Due to a perfunctory corporate climate at my job, I am a language eunuch during the day. So when I get home, I have difficulty containing my excitement for a chance to use salty language. It is a problem that I have acknowledged.
However, I do not have any similar reservations about using colorful language on my blog, as my daughter is too young to read. I find the F-word, especially in gerund form, to be a fine rhetorical tool, a veritable colloquial Swiss army knife when employed by a skilled wordsmith. Why would any writer, especially a plebeian hack such as myself, deny the existence or refrain from the use of such an elocutionary flourish? Here is such an example writ large. Compare:
“It was good burrito.”
“It was a fucking good burrito.”
5. I am half-Vietnamese. As some people mistake me for being Latin or another indeterminately equatorial ethnicity of some sort, I’m often asked what my other half is, to which I reply “Cracker!”. I can make fun of both white people and Asians. It’s my right for being forced to check “Asian/Pacific Islander” on all my standardized tests in high school. First of all, how come America is so binary? You are either black or white, or something else altogether. When Tiger Woods splashed upon the scene, the media narrative dictated that he was the finest black golfer of all time, the first to win the Masters, etc. Which he certainly was…but with a father who was African AND Native American, but a mother who was FULL Thai, wouldn’t simple ratios qualify Tiger Woods as the best Thai golfer ever and first to win the Masters? The Sultan of Siam? Fuzzy Zoeller SHOULD have said, “You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve Khao Soi next year. Got it? Or Pad Kee Mow or Pad See Ew or whatever the hell they serve.”
And second, there’s only, what, 3 billion Asians? Maybe a few hundred thousand Pacific Islanders? Lumping both groups together under one umbrella gives short shrift to the Asian experience. How come there is no correlative option for “White/Caucasian/Icelandic” or “White/Caucasian/Baffin Islander?”
There you have it. Five things you now know about me, time that could have been better spent watching Growing Pains reruns or cleaning the sock lint and jam from the inner nail nook of your big toe. For my part, I will pass the torch to the following:
- Hungry T at Tarte aux Poires
- Mary at Eat, Drink and Be Mary(Sue)
- Markovitch at gastronautical gastronomicon
- Sorcha at The Food N00bs
- Jared at The Carnivore Project
Consider yourselves tagged.