Friday, June 30, 2006

For The Love Of Peet's

As I am leaving behind my work at the country's largest specialty fashion retailer for a position with the standard-bearer for fine coffee and tea (If you thought "Starbucks," leave this blog immediately. Friends don't let friends drink bad coffee. Especially at those prices.), I feel compelled to leave behind a few observations as well:

  1. At the end of the day, it's still just a pair of jeans, kids. You can call it denim. You can weave it from the left, weave it from the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight. But it's jeans. Really. And we're all still the fourth grader whose parents made us buy the ugly ones from Sears. That's what we're trying to work through when we're adults with the critical choices of acid wash, sand blasting and distressed cuffs on our hands.
  2. Clothing that comes from the lingerie department is underwear/sleepwear. Only your bathroom mirror, your mother and the person to whom you're currently attached need to see these items. I don't care if you bought it with your discount. I don't care if you're "wearing the brand." If you're wearing pajamas in my office, you're coming to work in your underwear. It's just that simple.
  3. Some men like pleats on the front of their khaki pants. It's a sickness, but it's what they've chosen for themselves. And while I'll give you that it's an unspeakable horror, can we all agree that it's not an infraction that's greater than or equal to committing genocide in the Third World? Let's just love the sinner but hate the sin on this one, alright? The war crimes tribunal in The Hague thanks you.

If any of my Gappy McGappertons are reading this, you know that leaving my peoples is like wearing pleats. Unthinkable. Even on the craziest day ... and heaven knows there were more than we'd imagine ... I worked with the smartest, most talented, most committed and just plain funny as hell people. It's been a pleasure beyond measure.

But I have to admit: I'm craving me some coffee.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Thirteen Minutes

That's all it took before I spit Diet Dr. Pepper out of my nose. Thirteen minutes into "National Treasure," the bastard love child of "Amazing Race" and "DaVinci Code," and I'm snorting soda through my mucus membranes.

Where to start?

Perhaps the Wild Hanlons' patriarch's mullet? The way the camera glanced across the fat boy jumping into the water only to lavish its attention on the busty blondes? The fact that the African American brothers are from the Brown family?

Oh, yes. There it is. We have a starting place, my lovelies.

The Browns. Is it me, or are the casting directors of these shows getting a little feisty in their tacit racism? First there was the Black Family on last season's "Amazing Race," who happened to be ... uh ... black. And now the Browns who are ... uh ... not Asian. Or white. Or ... well, you get the point. You have to wonder where you find families with names that describe their race.

Coming next season on "Survivor": the Rices face off against the Crackers.

Anyhoo. There's racing around. There's ignorant yocals. There's clues where "Stillwater Washington" equals "Lake George." It's stupid. And I have to stop now so I can watch the rest of it. Pity me.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Perfect Hard Boiled Egg

Bedeviled by dark rings around your hard boiled eggs? Do you fear judgement from your epicurian cohorts? Fear no more, friends. Fear no more.

Put a dozen eggs in a regular sauce pan and cover them with cold water with about an inch of water above the eggs. Put the uncovered pan on your stove over high heat until the water starts to boil. Starts to boil ... not boils like a big pot of pasta boil and not boil like there's only a couple of air bubbles on the bottom of the pan. Think of something in between those two things. Like Al Gore.

Now here's the trick: Water started boiling? Good. Take the pan off the heat completely, cover it and let it sit for exactly 13 minutes. No more heat. No lifting the lid to peek. (They're eggs in hot water. What are you expecting to see?) At the end of the 13 minutes, drain the hot water and *immediately* run cold water over the eggs. Add some ice if you're feeling gourmet. Anything to get the heat out of the eggs pronto.

And you'll have a hard boiled egg Martha Stewart would pat you on the back for. Of course she should ... it's her recipe in the first place. Well, okay. Probably some poor, harried staff member's recipe. But she's got all the muscle in that operation, so don't challenge her when she's patting you on the back. Just smile and say, "I couldn't have done it without you, Martha." She likes that kind of thing.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Attend the Tale of Jersey Boys

Listen, people. I'm the first person to say that Broadway is where art and commerce collide. Well, okay. Probably the second person. Cameron McIntosh, the bazillionaire behind "Cats" and "Phantom," probably mumbles it in his sleep now and then.

And this collision on the Great White Way often happens head-first with results that look like those scary films they showed you in drivers ed to convince you not to drink on prom night.

But "Jersey Boys" just won the Tony award for best musical. "Jersey Boys." Seriously. Let's take a page from the Pulitzers and not give something out for a year if this is what it's coming to.

Because call me crazy, but it's enough to ask us to fork over $125 for orchestra seats because 18 years ago Cameron thought a few flash bulbs and a "falling" chandelier sounded like a grand night out. Now we have to pay that kind of money to see a Four Seasons sing along. And the industry salutes it with the best marketing plaudit it can provide.

Instead of "Winner! Best Musical!" during their inevitable national tour, they should be required to say, "Winner! Best Musical. We're really, really sorry!"

And this coming from the man who once paid over $400 to see Harvey Fierstein in a housecoat in "Hairspray." So you know I'm serious about this.

And don't get me started on Patti LuPone being robbed of best actress ... and "Sweeney Todd" being jilted by the "Pajama Game."

Commerce killed art. Yet again. And I'll be back for the fall season, full of hope and promise ... and a $125 burning a hole in my pocket.

Dying Is Easy. Comedy Is Hard.

Okay. I know what you're thinking: "What's up with the blog name, Kenneth?" And I shall tell you.

Everything's temporary, kids. Take it from a dyed-in-the-wool drama queen ... there's always another act waiting in the wings.

Just between us, we're alone. So suck it up and be a mensch. No matter how bad it seems, it'll be over at some point. Because all bleeding stops eventually.

Speaking of eventuallies ... we always knew it was just a matter of time before I cracked and had to blog. I promise no themes but this: I'm bitter, jaded, cynical, romantic, funny and crass with an opinion on practically everything if you want to hear it or not.

If you're more in the "or not" column, don't be book-markin' this little way station. If you're remotely inclined, kick your feet up.

At the very least, I promise no mind-numbing chronicle of my daily activities. Just a lot of crankiness in the form of urbane observations on pop culture, food, theater, dogs, and men. Let's not forget the men.

Rock on, playas.