Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Thing #9--Crash a Wedding!

Hey, I forgot about something!

On October 9th--which also happened to be the day before our first anniversary--D had his 10 year high school reunion (wow we're old!). Our friend Lisa was there, & while on a trip to the restroom we lamented the fact that no one was dancing. We really wanted to dance, but didn't want to be the only ones. On our way back to the room the reunion was being held in we passed a wedding. Aaaaw maaaaaaaaaaaan! They were playing fun, danceable music & EVERYONE was dancing!

Hmmmmm.....

Lisa & I shared a knowing look, but walked back into the danceless reunion to let the idea marinate.

After a couple false starts the moment of truth came. The plan was, well, maybe if two cute girls were to explain their predicament to those two middle-aged men it wouldn't be a big deal. So we sidled on up, found that they were deep in conversation & figured screw it. We're doing this!

So we danced our way to the dance floor & did our thing. In my head the song was 'Whoomp, There It Is,” but I know that wasn't it. We were careful at first to not make eye contact with anyone, but that quickly went down the drain when my hand whacked into the best man's hand. Oops! So we figured, live it up, have fun & avoid the bride. If we do come across the bride, we would tell her how beautiful she looked & how awesome the wedding was & go from there.

We probably only danced for about 6 minutes or so until “Sweet Caroline” came on. We decided to make our exit because that is a song that everyone sings to each other & our guttsiness (or mine, at least) was waning.

We slipped out the door, laughing, shared a high-five & reentered the reunion as secret wedding crashers. Or beginners, at least :)



Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Thing #8--Passion fruit!

Passion fruit is one of those things I either love or hate. Well, I should say the flavor of passion fruit. I love the scent of it in lotions & shampoos & all that, but sometimes I have something--usually a beverage--that is just not my thang. Like an iced passion fruit white tea I had once. Gag! It was so perfumey that I wanted to hurl. But the other day I saw some almost ripe passion fruits at the grocery store & decided to get back on track with my clam handling via trying a real, live(err...) passion fruit.


I waited a few days for the passion fruit to ripen completely, which you tell by the wrinkliness of the skin. Once it looks like what I assume a very old man’s…well, you know where I’m going with that. Once it’s crazy wrinkly, it’s ripe! Yay weird nature. So, Sunday morning after a delicious & leisurely autumny breakfast with my husband (yup, still kinda weird) I prepared to cut into my passion fruit.

Pay no attention to the pile of apples in the corner. I had leftover from the muffins I made earlier that morning

So I cut into the fruit. Well, I tried to, that is. As you can see here, the leathery skin would not yield to my usually sharp knife & went from looking like an old man’s junk to an old lady’s junk. Mmmm, appetizing. Or, for my less twisted readers out there, I guess it kinda looks like a giant, mutated coffee bean, huh?


Once I finally hacked it open I let out an involuntary sad groan. Just what I expected. A viscous, snot-colored custard-like yuck (I actually just gagged writing that sentence). And embedded in this marvel of fruit were dark seeds.



It was at this point that I realized that I didn’t really know how to eat a passion fruit. Can you eat it all? Do you suck off the infection-yellow substance & spit out the seeds? *Seinfeld voice* What’s the deal with passion fruit?

So D--being my wingman--hopped online to make sure that the entire inside was edible(yup) & it was time to “indulge.” I was actually really hesitant. I’d seen pictures of passion fruit in the past, but seeing what was going on inside of that thing was somehow not what I expected & kinda threw me. I’m a big texture/mouth-feel sort of person & by the looks of it the passion fruit taste-test was not going to be pleasant.

Disclaimer: In the upcoming photos you will see my new-found commitment to this blog. You get to see me in all of my awake-for-three-lazy-hours, red-faced, pajama-wearing glory. Glamour! Hotness!! Beauty Queen!!!

But I put on my big girl face & stuck my cute ceramic spoon in. Upon doing this I found that the whatnot going on inside of this thing wasn’t as custardy or springy as I feared, which was a relief. It was more of a thick, juicy substance. Yay!


Down the hatch!
It was initially a weird taste which almost instantaneously turned yummier. A little tart, a little sweet . Overall the flavor was nice & tropical. And the texture was no problem! Well, aside from the seeds. The seeds were a little too crunchy, which I at first appreciated when paired with the other part of the passion fruit. But then I was just grossed out by them. Seeds, get outta my passion fruit!

And here are some pictures of D, who is vastly more photogenic than I am pre-shower & who makes the best faces ever & always!! These may be better than the photos of him trying Guinness while at the Storehouse Brewery in Dublin, which is saying a lot.


Verdict: I liked it well enough. I’m not sure that I’d get one again, mainly because of the seeds, but I did really enjoy the flavor of an actual passion fruit. And D? Well, I think the photos speak for themselves, don’t they?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New Thing #8--Backstage at a big concert (& finally being completely covered in magical confetti)

On July 24th I, along with Derrick, my parents & my cousin Marissa, traveled to Holyoke, Massachusetts to see my brother’s band Fang Island open for the (duh duh duh!) Flaming Lips! Not only were we pumped to see Marc’s band again, but we were really excited to see the Lips. I’ve wanted to see them for a few years, especially once I learned what sorta shows they put on.

Leading up to the date only fueled the fire. Marc texted me a few pictures while out on the road, which only made me anticipate the coming show even more.

The day finally came, & holy crap was it hot. And humid. We arrived in Holyoke (side note: I also learned that Holyoke is apparently the birthplace of volleyball)It's hard to tell, but this sign proves the volleyball invention claim.

& went to grab a bite to eat. Turns out we had just missed a rainstorm. Once we got to the outdoor venue we found that the grass was majorly waterlogged & muddy. In spots it smelled uncannily like a farm. Unfortunately there were no cute animals to make a visual for the olfactory wonder. The extreme heat & humidity, paired with the fact that it had rained & the added bonus of everything being muddy made everyone sweaty. So, so, so sweaty. I have seriously never sweated so much in my life, particularly while standing still. It was disgusting. DISGUSTING!

Anyway.

We ended up meeting up with some friends there, & we all stood around & watched Fang Island play. They were awesome! It makes a big sister proud to see her brother up on stage, blowing everyone away with his drumming(dork). This was my third time seeing them, but my first time seeing them while in a group of people who largely had never heard of Fang Island, but who instantly loved them. Overhearing people talk about the band was great, & I *may* have told (or, you know, demanded) people to buy the album. Enjoy some pictures of Fang Island.












Despite the daylight, my pictures from Fang Island's set kinda suck. It was a no-camera venue, but I sneaked mine in & was trying not to draw the attention of the 3 dudes ten feet away who were taking other people's cameras away while the sun was still out. But there you have it! Here is a picture of the gigantic disco bawls that I need to have in my house someday:


Yay Fang Island! Dayum, why you sound so goood?


After their awesome set was done the roadies for the Lips came out to finish setting up the stage. One thing that I thought was cool & unusual was that the guys IN the Flaming Lips
also helped set up. For anyone that’s been to a major concert (ie everybody ever), you know how rare it is to even catch a glimpse of the band during the actual show. Hell, they were even walking around, interacting with fans from afar & watching Fang Island play from the side of the stage. Very cool, I thought. Wayne Coyne, the lead singer, came out at one point to a) tell us that he was going to try to go as far back as possible when he was in his space bubble, so to pack in , b) that they were going to be out a little later than planned because it might rain & people were still coming in & c) let us know that if there was more rain or a thunderstorm they might have to stop playing for a little, but that they would definitely come back onstage as long as no signs pointed to imminent death for them. Again, cool. It was clear that they are just sorta "normal" people & that they treated everyone else with respect. No “I’m famous, bow to me” crap, ya know?

Once they started to play I was in my happy place. All of the members were birthed out of a psychedelic naked hippie’s vagina & the band started to play an amazing song as Wayne Coyne edged to the crowd in his space bubble. Best ever!

We were essentially in the front row, most of the time. It was craziness. Loud awesome music, a guy in a hamster ball walking on the crowd, confetti, gigantic balloons, more confetti, people dancing in orange costumes, confetti guns, a guy in a bear suit, people in butterfly & catfish costumes, giant laser hands, disco balls…oh MAMA!
Enjoy the following:

On the left you can see the blur that is my brother, Marc.


One of my favorites of the night, Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.


Wayne on the shoulders of a guy in a bear suit. In talking about it later with my Dad, I found out that he somehow thought I was in the bear suit. What?? :)




My brother was onstage during the show & we exchanged many looks & gestures (wholesome ones!). About halfway through the show I saw that my DAD was with him, what?? A few minutes passed & I saw that Marc's/our friend Sweaty was up there too. What the hell. This was about the point that I was motioning to Marc to take us up there & in true brotherly form he pretended to not know what I was saying. So, I had D text Marc, & minutes later Marc was motioning to me for us to meet him by the side of the stage. YES!!

So, Marissa, Derrick & I pushed our way through the crowd, leaving some of our friends (don't worry, they came onstage later). We met Marc by the side of the stage, who told me to get Mom & he then took us all backstage. Awesome! We followed him up the steep ramp to the stage & behind the backdrop. As we were walking you could peek out in spots & see the band playing & the crowd undulating.This shot is a complete & utter mess, but it is the first one I took as I set foot on stage, so it's here for sentimentality's sake.

Then we got to “our” spot, stage right, we joined the dancers, Sweaty, Dad & some of the dudes of Fang Island.

What an awesome vantage point! It was so fun to be backstage, having a big dorky fan moment with friends & family. We danced & sang along, got free water & sips of beer, got to check out all the guitars & we had an awesome view of both the band & the crowd. We got covered in confetti (I ruined my new shirt with the appetizing combination of copious amounts of sweat and orange confetti), showered with laser beams reflected in disco balls & got to witness one of the top three live shows of my life ten to fifteen feet from the band. Seriously off the hook, as Buster Bluth would say.Electrocution just waiting to happen.

My dreamland. I wish big moments in life were automatically showered with metric tons of confetti.




After the show we got to hang out backstage as we waited for my Dad to finishing talking to the drummer, for D & Marissa (it was the day before her 16th birthday!) to meet & talk to Wayne Coyne, for Marc to get his stuff together (he was coming home for two days in between shows) & while he got M & D’s stuff signed by both bands. We got to use the air conditioned (aka HEAVEN) trailers for relief & to visit the bathroom. We got to eat pretzels & watermelon while shooting the shit with old friends & new friends. It was really awesome (up to the point where the euphoria wore off & I was insanely full of pain & super sleepy & I got cranky…& then had to wait for what felt like 5 hours for Marc to be ready, hehe).
Wayne & Derrick.

Wayne & Marissa the birthday girl.

The aftermath.


Backstage story time, post watermelon!



But anyway. Being backstage for a show like the Flaming Lips was the best thing ever. We really got the best of both worlds; we got to be in the crowd for when he space bubbled his way over us & we were showered with confetti & got to hit giant balloons, & then we got to go onstage & watch the second half of the show…& still get covered in confetti. Thanks, Marc!! You’re fun & stuff :)

And thanks Dad, for being the best dad ever & biting the bullet for your son by riding home like this:(I'll remove it if you want.)

Unofficial new thing--While we were onstage I witnessed my first seizure--insanity! It happened quite quickly. I saw Marc’s bandmate carrying one of the dancers in orange (who are people who bought a ticket to the show & just get chosen to be onstage dancing the whole time) behind us. I honestly just sort of assumed she blacked out from a substance or fainted from being hot, especially in that polyester get-up she was wearing. As he passed me I noticed that she was seizing, & he was covering her eyes because there were strobe lights flashing. A bunch of people rushed to her aid while someone went to get the paramedics.

This actually happened just as the Lips were playing their last song, & when they finished some of the band members ran over to her to see what was happening. What I thought was really nice was that the lead singer went back onstage & told the crowd that one of the dancers had had a bad reaction to the strobe lights, & asked that everyone try to keep it down while she ‘recovers,” & that the band would be back in a few minutes for an encore when they knew that she was doing alright. How nice is that, & it worked! It was totally surreal, really, being in such a huge group of people that was honestly almost silent.

In talking to Mike, Marc’s bandmate, I found out that that was the third time in four shows that one of the dancers had a seizure & the second time that the person landed right in his arms. What luck, huh? Later, when D was in the trailer, he heard Wayne reassuringly & nicely talking to the girl (who was ok) & heard him say that seizures do happen at their shows from time to time but, oddly enough, he finds that they happen almost every night when they play in New England & Scotland. How weird is that?

So, all in all, I loved being onstage & backstage for a show like the Flaming Lips, & I love the chain of events that brought me there. To many more! And Marc, thanks again! Someday I'll be onstage while you play to thousands :)

Disclaimer: I wrote this ages ago & decided to finally slap it up on the blog to get the ball rolling again. Outdated, but whatever! Also, I had my old camera with me and it was difficult to take good pictures in the dark with strobe lights & the like, so I apologize for the mediocre photo quality. Plus, I was concentrating more on having an awesome time than awesome pictures. Deal with it!
video Here is a video of Fang Island. I have more videos of Fang Island & the Flaming Lips that I'd like to post, so keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Thing #6 & #7

Yesterday I did TWO new things...though one is kind of a cop-out. Let's get to that one first.

Yesterday I did something I've never done before--I turned 27!! I've never been this age before :) Oh me oh my, I'm getting old.

It was a lovely, laidback sorta day (to even out the over-the-topness of this past Saturday, where we had a four-way birthday party--which included mine, of course--& our housewarming party). First I woke up to a note from D & found that I had glitter on my face. Birthday fairies, for sure. Then I mostly just lazed about, drinking iced coffee & eating breakfast, watching tv, farting around online, snuggling my cat & playing with birthday gifts. Then out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw someone quickly go into the backyard & then I heard a knock on the door. Weird. So I threw a t-shirt on over my tank top (it was gross pajama-y) & answered the door. Oh, & I thought I heard footsteps running away. No one was at the door, but there was a bundle of roses & a small brown paper bag on the doorstep. Weird, but fun! I gathered up the gifts, looked around the corner to see no one & then heard the front doorbell ring. What! So I went over there...no one(thought later I discovered that that was the first place he went & that he had left a single rose on the step there. aw!). Then there was a knock on the side door again--I thought I was losing it! I go over, open the door & it's Derrick!! He took a secret half day, sneaky-sneak! I had even talked to him on his "break" about an hour earlier, & I had no suspicions.

So we hung out & ate the nime chow he brought me (best one eveeeeeeeeeeer), then I hopped in the shower while he rain to the transfer station (read: fancy word for dump) to bring the party trash. After he frosted my cake we hopped in the car, picked up some falafels & went to Scarborough. Ahhh, delightful. While at Scarborough we finally had a chance to use something we bought about a month ago. And this leads me to New Thing #7...Boogy boarding!

I have to admit, I was a little nervous for numerous reasons. There's been great white shark sightings at Cape Cod recently & I sometimes get in my own head & freak myself out that I "see" things...which always end up being the shadow of my head or a hunk of seaweed or, like yesterday, someone's t-shirt, haha! I didn't want to look like a giant seal! But I quickly put that out of my mind because it's dumb to let stuff like that stop you (if we were actually on the Cape it might be a different story), especially when I know I'm just having a worrywart moment & it will pass. Also, it was my birthday & it was hot as hell & damnit, I was going in the ocean with my husband (even if it was a little chilly at first).

The waves alternated between totally nonexistent & lame to pretty sizeable & awesome. Another of my reasons for nervousness was that I didn't want to get whacked by a crazy wave while boogy boarding & hurt my back even more. Oh, & I'm a sissy & didn't want to get saltwater up my nose--it burns like crazy, ok??

But anyway, once I stopped being a baby D strapped the string to my wrist & we hung out in the water, waiting for a wave. Then there was a big one & it was aweeesooooooooooome! I rode it perfectly & it brought me almost to the shore. So fun! My next ride did not go as smoothly. It was a really big wave & I ended up being in the breaking part of the wave which succeeded in ripping the board string from the bracelet of my wrist, getting a metric ton of water up my nose & pulling my bathing suit down--top AND bottom. Nice. But I think major crisis was averted--we got the board back & fixed it, & I don't think anyone saw my naked body. And if they did, whatever, it was my birthday....suit. Wah-wuuuuuuuuuh! :)

Following our beach extravaganza, we changed in the parking lot (scandalous!) & I was forced to wear a blindfold (actually a green satin sleep mask, haha) to a secret destination...which ended up being home, where my parents & a few friends were waiting with the (now flaming) cake Derrick made for me, a bottle of champagne & a pretty orchid from Mom & Dad! What a fun surprise :) Also, very glad that we don't have to eat that entire cake, whew!

So, yeah. Yay birthdays! Yay boogy boarding!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Things've been busy on my end as of late. This Saturday we had our big four-way birthday party in combination with our even bigger housewarming party, so in addition to my going back to work we were both super busy getting our house ready & preparing for the parties. Also, I'm crazy sore. But the point is I apologize for the lack of activity on here & I hope to be posting something sorta new on here in the next day or two, tops.
Til then, kids!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

New Thing #5--Mehndi!

New Thing #5—Mehndi!
I’ve always wanted to get a henna “tattoo,” but never really had the opportunity to get one.
As you’ve probably guessed, a few weeks ago (I only have one more backlogged “thing” left, then we’ll get to more current issues that hopefully don't start with that phrase!) I finally had the chance to get one!

I went to the restaurant India with my friend Shannon & it was a dinner of excitement. Not only was the food delicious--as always-- & the sangria plentiful, they had belly dancers & an artist doing free mehndi. We totally took advantage of the opportunity. The lovely henna artist (who was also a painter & a doula, I believe) did an Om on Shannon & a lotus on my wrist. I only managed to remember to take one photo, so here it is at the end of the night, mid-flake. Also, it's upside-down. Over the next day or so the orange color intensified to a sort of burnt sienna, if you will. You know you will!


I really loved it! It was beautiful, I got lots of compliments on it & I loved the placement. We can now put a “check” near mehndi. Yay!

Additionally, when I got home I looked up lotuses on Wikipedia & in my reading learned that “Padma” means “lotus” & there is a Hindu goddess called “Lakshmi” who is the goddess of many things that lotuses represent, such as wisdom, fertility, & beauty. Also, Lakshmi is often depicted standing on a pink lotus. Padma Lakshmi’s parents must have had an intense lotus love, oui?

Til next time!

Monday, August 9, 2010

new Thing #4--Determined Seagull

New Thing #4--Determined Seagull

D & I sometimes drive down to the beach for a pre-sunset stroll. It’s so relaxing, nice & cool out, plus it’s also a little less crowded at that time. And we don’t have to pay to park, so how can you not like that?

A few weeks ago (seems like all of these entries start with that, huh? ;) ) we seemed to be there during seagull dinnertime. The tide was going out, & tons of seagulls were on the shore watching the waves & presumably waiting for something to swim close to shore. Just as we were talking about the major influx of seagulls on the beach, we noticed a GIANT seagull in the water, swimming to the shore, but backwards. Like butt to the beach. It’s head was down sorta in the water & upon further inspection we saw that the hugest seagull known to man was pulling a large,live, creepy skate fish out of the ocean!


I’ve never seen anything like it; it was crazy! It took the gull a good 3-4 minutes of fighting against the waves, the current & the fish until it got to land. The gull dragged the struggling fish onto the sand, where it flopped a few times until the seagull administered a precise & somewhat brutal beak peck & killed it. Holy moly!!

It was kind of sad seeing the fish struggling, but as Mufasa says, “It’s the ciiiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiiiiife.” It was actually really, well, cool, to see the seagull in full-on hunt mode. That‘s rare around here. Usually Rhode Island seagulls are eating McDonald‘s french fries in a parking lot, or are lurking around beach go-ers, hoping for Cheet-O‘s or a crust of sandwich. And to see the seagull swimming with such force & determination was something I’ve never really seen before. And that killing blow--whoa!

Dinner was served.

In looking up seagulls, I found that some seagulls live off of whales. As whales surface the gulls peck out some blubber. WHAT!? They also engage in kleptoparasitism, which is stealing another beings’ food. Now that we know that fancy term we can stretch the meaning a bit to impress our friends the next time a gull takes off with our bag of chips at the beach! As long as seagulls don’t start pecking at my blubber as a means of survival, me & seagulls, we cool.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Thing #3--Life & Times of a Glass Tabletop

New Thing #3--Life & Times of a Glass Tabletop

So, a few weeks ago Derrick & I were sitting outside having dinner on our cute little patio on our quite-new outdoor table. We’d only had the pleasure of eating outside a handful of times & this was only our second or third time enjoying our time outside alone.

We had very little food-food (isn’t it funny how sometimes it seems like all you have is canola oil, half a rotted onion, frozen fruit & stale sugar cones?) in the house & we didn’t want to spend money on food or even really feel like going out, so I scrounged around & threw together a dinner of whole wheat spaghetti with tomato & chick pea sauce, a little bread that I found in the freezer & a kinda random salad. You know how triumphant you feel after managing to slap together a meal when you thought you didn’t really have anything to eat? Yeah, I was feelin’ it.

So anyway, we go outside with our plates & get all settled. D was scheduled to have some friends over for a game in about an hour, so we relished the time we had outside together. We’re both chomping on our salad (I even sliced up the THREE kalamata olives we had left, C’MON!), chatting & catching up on the happenings of the day when--
*BAM*
--what the shit was that?!? There was a huge explosion-like sound. We both immediately looked up at the sky, looking for the tree that fell on our house or the shotgun round that was fired in the air or the plane that crashed in our front yard, & then we both looked down, feeling the tinkling of glass on our legs. And then noticed the spaghetti and broken dishes and lettuce on our feet.

We were both frozen in time--I still had my fork in my hand on the way to my mouth--staring at our laps & the ground.

“What the hell just happened?!?” I stifled a laugh of disbelief as D yelled out something a bit more vulgar for the first of many times that evening.

This is what happened:
Awwwesooooooooooome.

So, as Lucy yowled from the window (aw, nervous for her human parents!) D canceled the game (he was also bleeding) & we went to work cleaning up this horrible mess. To add insult to injury, Derrick hadn’t even had a bite of pasta yet so he was extra pissed, if that is even possible. The whole thing was just completely & utterly ridiculous.

Hours later, after we cleaned up & went out to pickup a pizza & ice cream (farewell, healthy dinner) I did some research & found that tempered glass table tops are not covered under warranty or guaranteed because extreme temperature fluctuations, inclusions in the glass during the manufacturing process, slight chips & a host of other things can cause the glass to shatter. Of course there’s no warning on tempered glass table when you buy them. Crazy that they still sell them, right? Oh, business. So yeah. It’s totally not unheard of & upon venting to people on good ol’ Facebook & D talking to people at work, we now know that this has happened to a bunch of other people, too…though not while they were sitting at the table, eating dinner.
Know what else we know now, too?

Never, ever buy a table with a tempered glass table top, unless you want things to get real, real fast.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just to clarify a little.
While The Goal is to seek out new things, some of my posts will just be my thoughts, reactions, & the story of new experiences that I may randomly happen to have, not ones that I necessarily choose to do with this blog in mind. I failed to mention it in my very first post, but another reason I wanted to do this blog is to sort of remain present & go back to really experiencing things, letting them sink in, realizing why they're so awesome (or horrible) & all that. For me, writing about them is a good way to do so.
Also, I fear that I may end up having a lot of new food posts, because that's where I tend to be most daring. Chubby girl ova heah!
Obviously, stepping out of my comfort zone is one of the points of this whole thing, so never fear. They won't all be food (thank God, I can't deal with more Chelada-type incidents), although they definitely won't be all bungee jumping, shark riding & moose dueling.

New Things #1 & #2: Adventures in Clamville

New Things #1 & #2: Adventures in Clamville (Coincidentally Keeping with the Clam Theme)

So, on Father’s Day we went to my parents’ to hang with my Dad for awhile. We knew we’d be staying for dinner & I also wanted to get Dad a bottle o’ wine, so we stopped by the liquor store. On the way there, Derrick mentioned that we should get my brother Marc a farewell forty, as he was leaving again for tour the next day.

We ran into the store just as a torrential downpour was starting, which is always fun, isn’t it? We chose some wine & wandered over to the fridge case to grab a beer for Marc. And that’s when I saw it--Chelada!

I had heard about the wonder that is prepared michelada awhile ago, yet had never seen it available to buy. For those not in the know (ha! as if my brief research makes me an expert on the subject), a michelada is beer mixed with tomato juice, lime juice…& clam juice. They’re popular in Mexico & Latin America. Now, one can imagine that perhaps a freshly mixed michelada might be ok, if you’re into that sorta thing. But these michelada specialties are canned, made with Clamato & come in two lovely varieties--Bud or Bud Lite. And they’re just called Chelada, ‘cuz it’s snappier. Or something. Like I said, clearly an expert.
Marc needed to have one (don’t worry, we actually got him something good, too).

When the time came & Marc’s initial horror waned a bit, I finally got him to try it with the understanding that I would also try it…after him. His expression of disgust, swearing & coughing was not a good review. Upon my first sip, my assumption was correct: Chelada is totally repulsive.

I’m not a fan of tomato juice (which is strange, considering my love for tomatoes & all products made of the fruit) & I am not a fan of Budweiser. The first taste of Chelada is gross on it’s own. Your taste buds are flooded with the overwhelming flavor of tinny, vaguely fishy tomato. The concoction is also a little bit spicy & citrusy, finishing with a splash of crappy beer “taste.” You swallow & think the worst is over & that you will never have to taste such horror again. But wait! About 4 seconds after you swallow the swill that is Chelada, your taste buds come back to life & hit you with another round of nast. I think I’ve blocked it out a bit, but it was somehow even worse than the first time. Spicier. Budweiserier. More tomatoey, limier, & WAY clammier. I think I may have thrown up in my mouth a little.

After bonding through our shared taste of the beverage served in hell, we locked eyes & shared a sibling moment--Dad needed to try this. But, as fate would have it, Mom got to it first! What’s funny is that she said exactly what I said above, as did Marc. It’s bad, it goes away, & then it comes back even worse! A few minutes later, the four (D wouldn’t budge & take even the tiniest of sips…probably a smart thing) of us got my Dad to try it.

His feeling on Chelada? After his sip & the accompanying exclamations & expressions of horror, he gently placed the can on a pile of flaming wood & returned the hellish drink from whence it came.

What did I learn from this taste test? Keep clam juice the heck away from beverages! Seriously, dudes, c'mon.

------------------------------------------

Before the whole Chelada incident we popped in to D’s grandparents’ for their Father’s Day shindig. Perhaps as a glimpse into the future, his Grammy made not only stuffies (made with mashed potato, how strange!) but also a giant pot of steamers. Upon the unveiling of the steamers, all women (& Derrick) evacuated the area, allowing the men-folk their time with clarified butter & the alien-like shellfish.
Steamers are clams that have been steamed open to reveal the fleshy nugget nestled inside, much like steamed mussels. Within the last few years I have developed a love for mussels. In fact, I could go for some now. But steamers? I don’t know…

I’ve had clams, obviously--I’m not that bad of a Rhode Islander. But most clams I’ve had have been in clam cake or chowder form, with the occasional fried clam thrown in for good measure. Usually the clams are cut fairly small in cakes or chowder (& fried clams are basically crispy batter with a hint of clam in the middle. no big deal) but on the occasion of getting a “big” piece of clam I’ve always found them to be chewy & sometimes gritty. Thus, despite not having much opportunity to eat a steamer without ordering an entire plate, I’ve just avoided them, assuming they’d be a big gummy turn off.

As an aside, I remember going clamming a few times as a kid with my Dad, Grandpa & one of my aunt‘s husbands. The help I provided mainly involved getting “peed on” by clams, playing in the sand, splashing in the water & probably annoying my Dad. But I went, & afterwards we’d go back to my grandparents’ house where the dudes would cook up their bounty & sit around the tiny kitchen table, wiggling the steamers at me & Grandma. Enticing! We’d eventually get grossed out & go sit outside on the swing, wondering how the heck they can eat those icky things.
So, anyway. I had just recently come up with my plan to do this blog & the steamers were eyeballing me through the walls. “C’mon Niiickiiii, you know you want to trrry oooooneeee. Do it in the spirit of your new prooojeeecttttt. Trrry iiiit, you’ll liiiiike iiiiiit.”

Ugh. Fine.

I waited a little to let the dudes get their fill. I wandered over to the table & gave the steamers the fuzzy eyeball. I grabbed one, & with the instruction from Uncle Tim to “take off the sweater,” I dipped my steamer in TJ’s bowl of butter (wow! haha) & threw in in my mouth.
Wow. Actually, it wasn’t bad at all! Slightly sweet & surprisingly tender. Ooh, I wanted another one. What was going on?? This time, it was suggested that I “rinse” the clam off in the “juice” from the steaming process, which is funny because clam juice does not look like it is capable of cleaning anything in the slightest.

Mmm, gray, gritty, fishy juice.

But I took off the little guy’s sweater (this time retaining more of the clam), gave it a bath in the cleansing clam broth, dipped it in some butter & tada! Still totally delicious.
Now, if only I hadn’t waited so long. As I swallowed my second steamer, the last few were falling into the bowls of the others. There’s always next time, & now that I’m in the know, watch out, men! For I am Nicole, & I will take your clams!