Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Multistate Bar Exam

This will be my one and only post on the bar exam, I promise. Next time, Dr. Pepper.

Anyway, one day of the bar exam is a 200-question multiple choice test called the Multistate Bar Exam ("MBE" for short). It's published by the people who do the ACT, who do not realize that the bar examiners who write the test are crazy.

On the back of the MBE booklets, they have a sample question to show you how to answer correctly-

What is the capital of the United States?
a) Los Angeles, CA
b) New York, NY
c) Washington, DC
d) Dallas, TX

This is clearly written by the ACT people. The correct answer is "c," which anyone who watches television knows. But, in fact, the real answers to the above question as written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners would be:

a) New York, NY, because it is the largest city on the East Coast
b) Baltimore, MD, because it has a large African-American population
c) Arlington, VA, because the Pentagon is located there
d) Lebanon, KS, because it is at the geographic center of the United States

Notice something about these answers? They are all stupendously wrong. However, Arlington, VA is probably the least wrong, so "c" would be the correct answer. Unless, of course, enough test takers answered "b," so then both answers would get credit.

All right, that's out of my system.

Whose Cuisine Will Reign Supreme?

So, as per the point of this blog, I am drinking a DDP right now. It is a substitution for a cookie from the cafeteria for a few reasons. And, since I love contests, I will place them in contest:
  • DIETDP = calorie free; cookies = 17 hours I don't have the time to spend at the gym (DDP 1, Cookie, 0)
  • DDP DOES make the world taste better; cookies do too (ooo...a toss up, points stay the same)
OK, not a big competition; they are even. Oh wait, what is that? My waistline expanding from a cookie? Well, then, cookie, you are bumped out of first place and DDP reigns supreme. For today. I like cookies (in relative moderation) too much to really bump them out.

Oh, right. The real reason I didn't buy a cookie today was that it is meat day in the cafeteria and the cookies are parve and GROSS (ish, I have been known to eat them on occasion). And more expensive, therefore, not worth the calories.

Mmmmm...unhealthy food....

An Update from The Pedant Amoung Other Things

Well, yesterday I did my most feared thing ever, spend a day with nothing to blog about. You see, I have a relatively boring job, which would allow me time to blog. Yesterday morning I racked my brain. I wanted to talk about my dinner the night before, but it was uninteresting. The pilates class on Monday night was interesting but not worthy of a post (although I do enjoy time with Stoner and C-Berts). There was a girl who cried. I wanted to laugh during class. Haha. But even she was not worth my time. (Go figure, I love making fun of people who cry in public over trivial matters!) So I opted to wait until after lunch.

That was a big mistake, 'cause then my boring job has turned un-boring and now is fast paced. That will probably end by tomorrow morning. And I'll be here FOREVER today so I may post again to make up for the lack of it.


An update from The Pedant:

In our phone conversation last night he said that the hotel he is staying at has a vending machine, complete with Dr. Pepper. And yesterday he consumed one. And was happy.


Monday, February 26, 2007


If I wanted to, I may blog about the delicious cafeteria cookie I just consumed, or my overpriced midday (well, it's earlier than usual but it's slushy outside and I wanted to get some be3fore the cafeteria closes) coffee, which I should add is WEAK, which I don't enjoy, but instead, I will have a long run-on sentence about what I'm not blogging about.

I will blog about the fact that The Pedant may not blog over the next few days. Dear Reader, do not worry, he's fine, but he's off to take an exam where he will have to wear fancy clothes and have his soul sucked diligently out of his body for two days. And then, I hope as much as you do, that he will post with the same pedantic fashion and abnormally high levels of humor.

So if you see him, do wish him luck!

Go get 'em, tiger!

Feelin' Hot Hot Hot

On Friday night, I was at The Pedant's ancestral home for dinner. (Well, I was there all weekend.) His mother made a spicy Chinese-themed ritual dinner, with hot and sour soup, ma-po tofu, beef and broccoli (fake beef for me!), etc., wit the requisite ritual foods as well. During the course of the meal, the members of the dinner party got to talking about spicy foods. Fast forward to last night, while "stranded" (over-dramatization) in a train station in The Headquarters of the Arsenal of Democracy, I enjoyed a fast-food dinner of Indian food. It was good and spicy, just the way I like it. Which got me thinking again about the value of spicy food.

Now, I LOVE spicy food. Mexican, Guatemalan, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, etc. (I can't say I love Cajun or Creole spicy foods since I tend to not like okra and I don't eat seafood and haven't eaten much of it.) At the ritual dinner on Friday, we had talked about spicy food being acculturated--kids egging each other on "ooo...I bet you can't eat [food x] with this much hot sauce...," or how in warmer climates people tend to have spicier cuisine because it helps them sweat (which cools them down). Spicy food also helps with digestion. And just plain tastes good.

Now, I come from a very good pale people (Eastern Europe ain't so warm!) and although my cultural food is relatively bland (salt and pepper kuggel anyone?) or sweet (mmm...rugulach and babka...); it may be very tasty (and salty!) but not spicy.

I attribute my love for spicy to my parents who LOVE spicy food too. In fact, I didn't always love stuff so hot; as a kid my mother had to buy me mild salsa for taco night. Now, I buy medium salsa (over hot) mostly because I like a lot of it, and hot will become overwhelming. And I am not a hot sauce lover. My uncle from Guatemala and his children (who are half-Latin American, half-Shtetl) and my aunt (full shtetl, but married to a Guatemalan and actually looks Guatemalan) LOVE hot sauce and try lots of them, from the moderately mild to the OHMYGODMYMOUTHISBURNING hot. I like when food is spicy, but still has a taste.

Many of my friends, however, don't like spicy foods. The Pedant and I have found a restaurant tray, I ate it all that we both enjoy that has very good and very spicy Indian food. I went there with my friends for my birthday last spring and when they brought out the medium-spicy appetizerloveingly, while they all ordered more mango lassies to cool their burning mouths. Wimps.

So although my pale, pale people don't generally eat spicy foods, I do. And love it. Mmm...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Double Feature

Last night Sherbs and I had a "date night" of going to Subway (yay veggie patty sandwiches) and renting two films from Blockbuster. We had a theme: we saw My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Superman Returns.

Surprisingly, the former was the better film, and not just because Eddie Izzard was in it. Let me demonstrate with a pro- and con- comparison of the two films.

Pro: Realistically depicts what happens when a wallflower seventeen-year-old gets super powers.
Con: Steals the "meteorite" cliche from Meteor Man.
Pro: Uma Thurman.
Con: Luke Owen's "real" love interest (a cliche stolen from Old School) the pretty but relatively untalented actress from the Scary Movie series.

Pro: Interesting story about Superman returning to find the love of his life living with another man.
Con: Coupled with a really uninteresting story where Superman saves the world. Also, a zillion flight and establishing shots that took way too long.
Pro: Kevin Spacey is very good as Lex Luthor.
Con: Lex Luthor's plot is a combination of the dumbest parts of the Lex Luthor plots from Superman and Superman IV.
Con: Parker Posey?!? And Taj from National Lampoon's Van Wilder?
Con: Need to know something about Superman already to watch the film, or at least to enjoy some of the references.
Con: Kryptonite only seems to hurt Superman as much as the plot requires.
Con: Did I mention that this movie seems interminable?

Quod est demonstratum.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Non-Alcoholic Drink and Dr. Pepper - NO GOOD

I was at a major chain fast food establishment today, and they had Dr. Pepper. But to mix it up a bit, I made my beverage 2/3 Dr. Pepper and 1/3 lemonade.

BAD IDEA. It did not taste good at all.

I should remember that lemonade out of a soda machine bears very little resemblance to actual lemon juice, sugar, and water. Also, I don't think lemon and the 23 flavors of Dr. Pepper are complementary.

In related news: why is Lemonade Tycoon still $15? It wasn't that great when it came out three years ago.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ancient Websites That Haunt My Dreams

This is tangentially relevant, because lobster was used in the chocolate battle of Iron Chef that Sherbs posted about "oh so long ago" (like two days, but ten posts ago - we're getting to be Instapundit or something). The lobster was vinegared and on some veggies in a white chocolate sauce, and other than the plating, it looked and sounded really yucky. Bobby Flay, whom my sister would kidnap and marry if he wasn't A) not Jewish and B) already married, did not make that dish, and that is why he won.

Anyway, these days, more than occasionally, the web music video "Lobster Sticks to Magnet" gets stuck in my head while I'm on the subway. I am way more ashamed of that than "All Your Base Are Belong to Us" (remember being in college in 2000 and showing this to EVERYONE in the dorm? If not, click the link and gaze upon this work, and despair) as the latter is actually kind of catchy, whereas a pseudo-metal song claiming that rabbits are ferrous is not.

The only way I can get either out of my head is to sing Daler Mehndi's "Tunak Tunak Tun" to myself. I gotta get more exposure to bhangra.
Last night, Stoner, C-Berts, Peppy and I went to a Pilates class. I have become quite enamored with pilates classes over the past 8 months or so, mostly because, similar to Yoga, it's fake exercise with many benefits. (Unlike yoga, there is no silly chanting or silly "find yourself/thank yourself/let go of worldly possessions/obsessions" bullshit. I kind of like my attachment to the Internet and celebrity gossip, thank you.)

Now, I have been doing Pilates about once a week since June, with a month or so hiatus. But, man-o-man, last night was difficult. And a little more yoga than we all wanted.

So, to counter-act the push ups we had to do (what are we, soldiers? NO!), we went out for sushi. Now, there's a treat. A late dinner with some wasabi and making fun of push-ups. And, to quote one of my new favorite movies, "Wasabi makes everything better."

It could not, unfortunately, stop the mild aching in my abs and arms. I bet DDP could.

DDP For You And Me

For my "at work" second breakfast, I am having a home-made scone (part of the family surplus that gets fobbed off on me to fob off on my co-workers) and Diet Dr. Pepper. I feel much better about my place in the world.

I do not believe that "sconetastic" is a word, but I will use it anyway.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Iron Chef with Dr. Pepper?

In two weeks, Iron Chef will have a competition pairing chefs with "mixologists," who make mixed drinks.

Despite the clear lack of Sandra Lee in the competition (and, honestly, good riddance), I am hoping the secret ingredient is Dr. Pepper.

Bouncing off the WALLS!

I love caffeine. I in fact love it so much I find a need for it. All the time. Like, I get snippy in the mornings with my roommates if I haven't had any, I get sluggish around 4 and I generally enjoy the taste. (That being said I'm not a crazy person. My father can't make it past 10 AM on Yom Kippur, and after about 3, we stop talking to him. I'm not that bad.)

I also love the taste of strong coffee. (Attributed to my father who makes coffee strong enough to wake the living dead. Actually.) I am drinking a cup of strong bodega coffee right now! Yay!

This ties into the Dr. Pepper theme because I also love DP and caffeinated soda. I have heard rumors that DP and DDP have double the caffeine of most sodas, making it my soda of choice during finals time. According to this "reliable" source (thanks, Google!), it does not. Oh, how I've been fooled! Granted it's still 5 MG less than another favorite of mine, Diet Coke, it's still a sad day in Sherbs Land. I'll still drink my DDP, and think it has more caffeine.

In Mixed Drink news, this sounds GOOD, and appropriate to the blog.

Dr. Pepper DOES Make the World Taste Better

Although we have had some good discussions about food recently (and plenty of them...which probably no one with the exception of the writers and Annie read), I would like to bring it back to the original point of this blog:

Dr. Pepper.

(Ok, Ok, the real point was to decide about mixing alcohol with DP, but whatever.)

I had the joy of consuming a bottle of DDP last night with dinner. It was delicious. And I rented a movie from the library, one which I thought would be fair, turned out to be excellent. I owe this not to the fantastic actresses in the movie or the heart warming story (well, relatively), but to the DDP.

And with all of our talking about asparagus, I decided to by a fresh bundle in the supermarket yesterday. This is exciting, because we have determined I love asparagus. However, it was sad because apparently, veggies are expensive. I do, however, intend to cook half the bushel in a vinaigrette and eat it with pasta for lunch tomorrow. If you work with me, watch out. My pee will REEK! Mwahaha!

Breakfast "Burritos"

I had a "quesadilla" for breakfast today (as well as some bran muffins). It was a flour tortilla with a mix of edam and cheddar inside.

It got me to thinking about the breakfast burrito made by the deli across from my workplace. It's basically scrambled eggs with pico de gallo mixed in laid on top of American cheese slices in a tortilla shell. I think I could do better, but I've just been lazy.

Sherbs and I, when we cook breakfast together, often make frittata. But I think the burrito concept has merit, too. I'd add some more onion (both green and white), veggie crumbles, and mushrooms. Also better cheese.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

On the subject of chevre...

With regards to Sherbs's prior post on goat cheese, I open the floor to discussion:

Which do you like better, real chevre or that spread stuff they sell with all the flavors in it?

As a lover of both soft cheeses and Herr's Hot Cheese Curls, I'm torn.

Actual Food

While The Pedant has chosen to enlighten you with his off-the-beaten-track links and articles, I, on the other hand, will actually post about food.

I had lunch with my parents today. We went to a small Italian place near my place of business. It was nice. My dad had a salad chicken thing ("I don't want to go anywhere for a salad. I eat salad everyday." Later... "Oh! This dish has salad!"), my mom and I had a "roasted seasonal vegetables with pannini and roasted goat cheese."

It had some of the best elements of Italian food:
  • Cheese, and lots of it
  • Vegetables (especially asparagus and eggplant)
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
I did think there could have been more garlic, and it missed one of my most favorite veggies, MUSHROOMS. Mmmm.... There is nothing in this world better than mushrooms. And more protein. As a vegetarian, I often lack protein at restaurants. So, in like 30 minutes for my coffee run, I will get a snack as well. Since now I'm a bit hungry.

So, all in all:
Free lunch: good.
Goat cheese: very, very good.

Marry Through Contests!

One of the many punitive reality television shows in Japan had a man subsist wholly through entering contests in magazines.

In America, we are soon reaching that level of potential self-sufficiency. Given that stationer Papyrus is raffling off a wedding ring and tabloid newspaper The New York Post has a contest for a wedding dress (albeit one from Filene's), all you need is to find a contest for a caterer, a clergyman, and a venue and you're set.

Next innovation: baby showers and funerals through contests!

I Thought it was About America's National Pastimes In Japan, But No, It's Ethnography

Sherbs has, knowing that I have some minor interest in Japanese society and culture, sent me an article from the New York times about a guy who came to Japan to preserve their folktales. My interest is piqued, as it seems he took down some ghost stories. I've liked Japanese ghost stories since I started collecting Narumi Kakinouchi comics about embittered little vampire girls.

Of course, I must apologize to Sherbs for initially thinking that she sent me an article about the Matsuzaka beer controversy. Because, as we all know, Sherbs loves both baseball and beer with a passion.

Testing the E-mail Blog System

Still love cheese; this post is to determine whether or not I can post from my e-mail.  Because, like a complete moron, I made my Blogger account separate from my gmail account, and never the twain shall meet.  Note to others: do not do this.

Cheese, Soup, and the Dogs of War

Okay, okay, I lied about the dogs of war. Can we cry havoc anyway? I think it's like primal scream therapy. And for the record, the discussion of domestication is my favorite Lileks riff on a dog picture.

After reading Sherbs's recollection of the fondue at La Bonne Soupe in Manhattan (I don't remember if we ordered a double portion or just got a really big pot, but it was more cheesy than the "dangerously cheesy" that Cheetos are advertised as being), I have to add that I love soft cheese on baguette. Really, it could be any soft cheese - I prefer Camembert, if given the choice, but brie will totally work. Or blue cheese.

Also, I've been thinking of late about Sherbs's and my most recent attempt at soup. We did a Japanese-inspired thing with udon, a whole bunch of veggies we got at JAS mart (including lotus root, which needs to be chopped finely or thinly), and some pareve chicken broth, which was all right, but I think a vegetable broth would do better next time.

Honestly, for Udon Soup version 2.0, we should start with my father's favorite soup starter, a mirepoix (one of the things he picked up from our family's obsession with Iron Chef), add some veggie stock, and then put in a lot of mushrooms to get an earthy flavor. Then we put in the lotus root and the udon.

Fun with the Fifties!

The Pedant sent me this link. It's about dogs from the fifties getting dressed up.

I love dogs. EFStoner and I often look at dogs on the street and oooo and aaaah the way some people might do over babies, cars, or expensive clothing. I had a dog, Tova, who was the best dog. And Bug, my sister (not her real name, but from a nick name), and I often tortured her (Tova's opinion, my sister and I thought it was cute) by dressing her up and putting nail polish on her toes. One Halloween we even put gel in her fur so that it would get spikey and scary. Those kids were totally scared of her when they trick-or-treated at our house. And by scared I mean not at all scared. 'Cause she was super cute and non-threatening. She in fact was held very tightly so she wouldn't eat the candy.

But those dogs are cute. Very cute.

What Would Cheeses Do?

I LOVE cheese. And that's probably an understatement. Really, I love cheese. (Well, I am still me, and I am still "fussy." (Or "picky," depending on who you ask.) I don't like Gouda, or cheddar (unless it's mixed in, I can't eat it plain), or really smelly cheeses, or American cheese, or brie.)

I do love all things cheesy. A few months ago, The Pedant and I had fondue. Now, that's a good meal: bread and melted cheese and long sticks. YUM!

I even broke a rule today for the love of cheese. I work in a library and shouldn't eat at my desk (people can see me). I got home late last night and didn't have milk for cereal or the time to eat it anyway, so I bought a bagel and cream cheese. Now, that's food too! There is nothing better in this world than scallion cream cheese on a bagel. (Can you tell now I'm from NY?) It was totally worth breaking a rule for--it was so delicious.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Fuzzy Foods...GROSS!

While The Pedant just posted about his lunch, including Okra, veggie crumbles, ramen noodles and corn, I would like it known that I dislike okra. I'm not sure why. I don't dislike it in the way that I dislike other veggies (as you will soon learn, I am "picky," according to The Pedant, I'm "fussy." I don't like tomatoes, cucumbers, most peppers (with the exception of a Dr. Pepper), beets, jicama, etc.), but the fuzzy taste is just too much for me.

While in this post I lauded my love of asparagus, I forgot to mention the phyllo-dough, feta and asparagus wrap then baked in an oven. Mmmmmm...cheese....

You will soon love my love for cheese. And I promise to get to my update on Iron Chef chocolate. Yum!

Today's Lunch - It's Got Okra!

Lunch today:
  1. one packet kosher instant ramen, prepared my usual way - smash in bag, pour into bowl for microwaving;
  2. four whole frozen okra, added to bowl of ramen
  3. handful of frozen corn, added to bowl
  4. handful of veggie crumbles, added to bowl
  5. add water
  6. microwave for maybe five minutes, starting at 3:30 and then just smacking the "add 30 seconds" button until it looks like it's sufficiently boiling
  7. stir in ramen sauce packet
It was tasty.

Ode to Asparagus

Well, I don't fully disagree with The Pedant always, but often enough, I must say that I did watch the same Iron Chef episode (we were actually in the same room) and did see Morimoto kick Symon's tushy (although Symon put up a relatively good fight, but not good enough), I didn't care about the lemon-lime soda and rum mixture as much as my co-blogger. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the fact that they used asparagus.

I love asparagus. I think not only does it taste good, but it makes your pee smell afterwords. Any food that can do that is a food I'll eat! (Except beets. While they do turn your pee red, I think they taste weird.) Asparagus can taste very good with some things. I especially like it with pasta and olive oil with other veggies and cheese. Or, I find it tasty when roasted in the oven with onions and mushrooms, lots of garlic and a vinaigrette. Yum.

So in conclusion, asparagus good, iron chef good, cooking with lemon-lime soda, ok, Dr. Pepper and Rum...NO!

NEXT POST: The Iron Chef about chocolate and my love for that food....mmmmm

Counterpoint: I and the Cap'n Make it Happen

As a first note, Sherbs clearly overlooks the taste possibilities of spiced dark rum and Dr. Pepper (say a Meyer's or a Captain Morgan). Since Dr. Pepper was first brewed as a patent medicine in 1885, adding some more spices to the twenty-three flavors, plus alcohol, is a recipe for making the world taste drunker.

Second, Sherbs and I watched the Morimoto v. Symon episode of Iron Chef America. The secret ingredient: asparagus. And do you know what Morimoto, the culinary genius who reads the judges better than any other Iron Chef I know, put his chocolate-dipped asparagus in? Rum.

Why is this important? Because, before dipping the asparagus in chocolate, Morimoto pressure cooked them with star anise and "a popular lemon-lime soda" whose name was blurred but the can design was distinctive. Morimoto, having at best a tenuous command of English, was probably not aware that he should be cooking with 7-Up.

Which brings us back to rum. Like 7-Up, Americans know that we can cook with Dr. Pepper. Ergo, since Sprite and asparagus make a delicious chocolate-covered dessert in rum, Dr. Pepper and rum absolutely have to mix well as a non-asparagus non-dessert beverage.

And if you think there are holes in my logic, I'm going to tell you that Socrates, one of the greatest logicians of all time, would agree with me, because he mixed hemlock with Dr. Pepper to make tragic state-mandated suicide taste better. It may not be true, or even plausible, but it is compelling.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

A Secondary Introduction

Well, since the Pedant was at the computer first, I was pushed off until a bit later to come up with a first blog post. While I do agree that we should keep you informed on the concoctions we come up with for alcohol and Dr. Pepper (or in my case, Diet Dr. Pepper, since I prefer Diet Sodas personally--why drink calories when I could eat more dark chocolate!?), I disagree with some of the Pedant's choices.

I think the only good choice is VODKA. I personally think it would be the best choice. Mostly because it's the simplest.

Another update will come from either The Pedant or myself tomorrow after tonight's IRON CHEF episode.

A New Blog Begins!

Welcome to "Mixed Drinks With Dr. Pepper," our new venture into blogging.

While much of this blog will have nothing to do with Dr. Pepper, it's only fair to begin with a list of alcohols that I think will probably work in Dr. Pepper in some combination:
  • Vodka
  • Amaretto
  • Rum
  • Johnny Walker Red
  • Red Wine
  • Kahlua
That's all for the moment.