Fondue

The word fondue likely strikes terror in the heart of the common man. A man of my generation does not cross a fondue pot often or at all. So it was with great trepidation that I attended a fondue restaurant last night to wish Kim a fond farewell on her move to Wisconsin. I will say this: its damn tiring eating fondue. You have to be the goddamn chef, and there’s rules about how long to leave whatever in the pot, and you can’t put this on the grill because it would wreck it (the grill), and meanwhile you sitting over a boiling stove that’s built into your table. Meanwhile you’re expected to dip apples in cajun cheese, and oranges in chocolate. I mean, don’t get me wrong here, the meat was awesome. Ostrich filet mignon, wild turkey, shrimp, ahi tuna. All very good.

In other news, Tony Hawk 4 is goddamn awesome. I can’t adequately express how fun the game is, and I suck at it. Casperson told me that Dan can do tricks that last 5 minutes or something, which is quite an achievement since mine only go for 3 seconds max. I’ve done some sweet stuff though, like grinding a rail, jumping on a storefront’s awning, then onto a goddamned telephone wire where I grind across the street until I land on the top of a brick wall where continue to grind until I reach the end. Whew, that was something. I think I picked up 15,000 points for that little gem. Anyways, Tony may become a lost cause on November 18th, cause Metroid Prime is dropping and I’m buying it.

The carpet cleaning went well on Monday night. The major stains are not gone, but they are slightly lessened. We have invoked a “no shoes on the carpet” rule in the house, as apparently we happened to live on the “easiest-to-stain” capret in America, if not the world. The whole deal cost about $33.04, so it didn’t break the bank, which is good.

–whazz on

2 thoughts on “Fondue

  1. hey pleb,
    Stop playing your goofy skateboarding game and stuffing your maw with fondue and read trama plate, you pussy.

  2. Empty victory for a hollow man
    How Norm Coleman sold his soul for a Senate seat.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    By Garrison Keillor

    Norm Coleman won Minnesota because he was well-financed and well-packaged.
    Norm is a slick retail campaigner, the grabbiest and touchingest and feelingest politician in Minnesota history, a hugger and baby-kisser, and he’s a genuine boomer candidate who reinvents himself at will. The guy
    is a Brooklyn boy who became a left-wing student radical at Hofstra University with hair down to his shoulders, organized antiwar marches, said vile things about Richard Nixon, etc. Then he came west, went to law school, changed his look, went to work in the attorney general’s office in Minnesota. Was elected mayor of St. Paul as a moderate Democrat, then swung comfortably over to the Republican side. There was no dazzling light on the road to Damascus, no soul-searching: Norm switched parties as you’d change sport coats.

    Norm is glib. I once organized a dinner at the Minnesota Club to celebrate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday and Norm came, at the suggestion of his office, and spoke, at some length and with quite some fervor, about how
    much Fitzgerald means to all of us in St. Paul, and it was soon clear to anyone who has ever graded 9th grade book reports that the mayor had never read Fitzgerald. Nonetheless, he spoke at great length, with great feeling.
    Last month, when Bush came to sprinkle water on his campaign, Norm introduced him by saying, “God bless America is a prayer, and I believe that this man is God’s answer to that prayer.” Same guy.

    (Jesse Ventura, of course, wouldn’t have been caught dead blathering at an F. Scott Fitzgerald dinner about how proud we are of the Great Whoever-He-Was and his vision and his dream blah-blah-blah, and that was the refreshing thing about Jesse. The sort of unctuous hooey that comes naturally and easily to Norm Coleman Jesse would be ashamed to utter in public. Give the man his due. He spoke English. He didn’t open his mouth and emit soap bubbles. He was no suck up. He had more dignity than to kiss the president’s shoe.)

    Norm got a free ride from the press. St. Paul is a small town and anybody who hangs around the St. Paul Grill knows about Norm’s habits. Everyone knows that his family situation is, shall we say, very interesting, but
    nobody bothered to ask about it, least of all the religious people in the Republican Party. They made their peace with hypocrisy long ago. So this false knight made his way as an all-purpose feel-good candidate, standing for vaguely Republican values, supporting the president.

    He was 9 points down to Wellstone when the senator’s plane went down. But the tide was swinging toward the president in those last 10 days. And Norm rode the tide. Mondale took a little while to get a campaign going. And Norm finessed Wellstone’s death beautifully. The Democrats stood up in raw grief and yelled and shook their fists and offended people. Norm played his violin. He sorrowed well in public, he was expertly nuanced. The mostly negative campaign he ran against Wellstone was forgotten immediately. He backpedalled in the one debate, cruised home a victor. It was a dreadful low moment for the Minnesota voters. To choose Coleman over Walter Mondale is one of those dumb low-rent mistakes, like going to a great steakhouse and ordering the tuna sandwich. But I don’t envy someone who’s sold his soul.
    He’s condemned to a life of small arrangements. There will be no passion, no joy, no heroism, for him. He is a hollow man. The next six years are not going to be kind to Norm.

    A WEEK LATER…

    Minnesota’s shame

    Republicans don’t like my criticism? Too bad. They have to answer for Norm Coleman’s campaign, which exploited 9/11 in a way that was truly evil.

    By Garrison Keillor

    Nov. 13, 2002 | The hoots and cackles of Republicans reacting to my screed against Norman Coleman, the ex-radical, former Democratic, now compassionate conservative senator-elect from Minnesota, was all to be expected, given the state of the Republican Party today. Its entire ideology, top to bottom, is We-are-not-Democrats, We-are-the-unClinton, and if it can elect an empty suit like Coleman, on a campaign as cheap and cynical and unpatriotic as what he waged right up to the moment Paul Wellstone’s plane hit the ground, then Republicans are perfectly content. They are Republicans first and Americans second.

    The old GOP of fiscal responsibility and principled conservatism and bedrock Main Street values is gone, my dear, and something cynical has taken its place. Thus the use of Iraq as an election ploy, openly, brazenly, from the president and Karl Rove all the way down to Norman Coleman, who came within an inch of accusing Wellstone of being an agent of al-Qaida. To do that one day and then, two days later, to feign grief and claim the dead Wellstone’s mantle and carry on his “passion and commitment” is simply too much for a decent person to stomach.

    It goes beyond the ordinary roughhouse of politics. To accept it and grin and shake the son of a bitch’s hand is to ignore what cannot be ignored if you want your grandchildren to grow up in a country like the one that nurtured and inspired you. I would rather go down to defeat with the Democrats I know than go oiling around with opportunists of Coleman’s stripe, and you can take that to the bank.

    I’ve run into plenty of Coleman supporters since the election and they see me and smirk and turn away and that’s par for the course. I know those people. To my own shame, I know them. I’m ashamed of Minnesota for electing this cheap fraud, and I’m ashamed of myself for sitting on my hands, tending to my hoop-stitching, confident that Wellstone would win and that Coleman would wind up with an undersecretaryship in the Commerce Department. Instead, he will sit in the highest council in the land, and move in powerful circles, and enjoy the perks of his office, which includes all the sycophancy and bootlicking a person could ever hope for. So he can do with one old St. Paulite standing up and saying, “Shame. Repent. The End is Near.”

    The Republican exploitation of 9/11 for political gain is the sort of foulness that turns young people against the whole business, and for good reason. All sorts of people went
    down in the World Trade Center, execs and secretaries and bond traders and also the dishwashers in Windows on the World and secretaries and cleaning ladies. Think of all those portraits of the victims that ran daily week after week in the Times that we read, read tearfully, saw ourselves in those lives, and the wave of patriotic tenderness that followed was genuine and included us all. For a cynic like Norman Coleman to hitch his trailer to that tragedy is evil — call it by the right name. To exploit 9/11 and the deaths of those innocent people on that beautiful day in Manhattan — to appropriate that day and infer so clearly that there is a Republican and a Democratic side to it, is offensive to our national memory and obscenely evil, and it was rewarded by the voters of Minnesota.

    Ordinarily, there should be a period of good feeling after an election, of relief, or relaxation, when we join hands and become one people again, but Norman Coleman doesn’t deserve any Democrat’s hand. We had come together as one people already — the precious gift of 9/11 — and he used that as a campaign ploy against us, suggesting that Democrats are unpatriotic, and he is not to be forgiven for it. I personally don’t believe he had anything to do with the crash of Paul’s plane. Plenty of people suspect he did. I don’t. But I do think he is a cynical politician who should make himself scarce for the next few years until people start to forget his campaign.

    Lord, America does love a winner. When you’re riding high, people can’t do enough for you, and when you fall down low, they don’t want to be around to see. I know something about that — every performer does — and you quickly recognize your false friends, the people who clutch your hand and grab your elbow and give you a gigantic smile and tell you how much they love your work but they get the name of the show wrong, or the day of the week, or they mispronounce your name, and you see them clear for the phonies they are. Norman Coleman is that very person, the false knight upon the road, and he always has been and always will be. Paul Wellstone was a real person who led an authentic life. The contrast couldn’t be clearer.  
    All you had to do was look at Coleman’s face, that weird smile, the pleading eyes, the anger in the forehead. Or see how poorly his L.A. wife played the part of Mrs. Coleman, posing for pictures with him, standing apart, stiff, angry. Or listen to his artful dodging on the stump, his mastery of that old Republican dance, of employing some Everyguy gestures in the drive to make the world safe for the privileged. What a contrivance this guy is.

    Paul Wellstone identified passionately with people at the bottom, people in trouble, people in the rough. He was an old-fashioned Democrat who felt more at home with the rank and file than with the rich and famous. (Bill Clinton, examine your conscience.) He loved stories and of course people on the edge tend to have better stories than the rich, whose stories are mostly about décor and amenities.

    Paul walked the walk. He was a wonder. Everyone who ever met him knew that he lived a whole life and that he and Sheila were crazy about each other. To be in love with one person for 38 years is nothing you can fake: Even the casual passerby can see it. To die at 58, having lived so well and so truthfully, is enviable, compared to the longevity of a man who invents his own life in order to achieve the desired effect and advance himself. To gain the whole world and lose your own soul is not a course that Scripture recommends. You can do it so long as God doesn’t notice, but God has a way of returning and straightening these things out. Sinner beware.

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