Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Several years ago, we formulated the theory that men are such bullshitters and are so fucking lazy that they're doing pretty well if they manage to accomplish 7% of the shit they say they're going to do. 7% is the typical high water mark, although if you're really on and do something like land a date with some girl you've been stalking, you can reach the promised land of 10%. Then, there are sad-sack kids like this one guy we used to know who was lucky if he could operate at the 3% level.

Anyway, this week I think we've made our 7% mark, and and we got there on Sunday, bloody Sunday. You see, about a week ago, I found these really cool sets of sushi plates. After buying them, though, I was like "Well, guess these are never getting used." ETP and BOETP (Bride of ETP; she currently has no online presence so she's stuck with that moniker until she does; not to trivialize her in any way, unless of course if we're talking wedding dresses) also picked one of these bad boy sets up, and I was like, goddamn it, now I'm hungry for sushi. This degenerated into us deciding that we finally needed to get our shit together and just try making our own sushi.

Yeah, I know. Not only are we notoriously bad for not just not following through on plans but not even making plans in the first place, now we're bullshitting about something that, if done improperly, can get us sick or killed. You know, raw meat and all. Regardless, here we are, running around the mall, making plans for what needs to be bought to make this happen.

It didn't help that we came up with this idea well into Saturday evening, but by the end of the night we at least had a book and a rice steamer. Since it was late, we punted on the "finding raw fish" thing and decided to try again on Sunday. We did, however, bust out man's most useless invention, the phonebook, to check out places to go buy fresh fish on Sunday. Oh, and we ended up going out for sushi. Silly gaijin.

Sunday could not have gone more poorly (well, almost), mostly because we're idiots. You see, the phonebook listed plenty of places to buy fish, and we're like, hey, we're making sushi, so the best places to buy sushi-grade fish have gotta be Asian markets, right? Yeah, well, we go halfway across town to this place with a bunch of Asian shops, including a couple of grocery stores. The two that we hit did not give good vibes. I'm sure this is just how it is at fish markets, but there's whole fish sitting on ice in the open air, which I'm just not used to. They might as well just throw it on the floor as far as I'm concerned. Regardless, we did manage to get most of our basic supplies - rice, sushi vinegar, nori, wasabi, low-sodium soy sauce, bamboo rolling mat. Everything except, well, fish.

While we're in the Asian market phase of our little misadventure, it starts snowing. A lot. God's revenge for my complaints about Colorado never getting snow anymore, as well as his revenge for us being so impudent as to make plans and try to follow through, was coming to fruition. We managed to survive, however, and finally ended up hitting a couple of regular grocery stores (read: lame white people; because, in addition to all looking alike, Asians have irregular grocery stores) to look for fish. We didn't have much hope of finding anything, but it was all we were left with late on Sunday while being buried in snow.

We're sitting there at Albertson's, looking at the fish selections. There's color-added salmon and not-too-bad looking tuna and... That's as good as it got. Finally, I'm like, we need to research this some more. We were anxious to give this a shot, but not really anxious to pick up some kind of bacteria or parasite and die. The decision to "fuck it" (not literally) was then made, and instead we'd be getting hot dogs and buns to make coneys. Which, as I understand, could still qualify as a Japanese feast.

I was worried at this point, because I knew that if we didn't get our shit together that night, this sushi thing was never going to happen. Much like our "efforts" to start playing tennis on a regular basis, if we didn't get into some kind of groove I knew the sushi thing was going to fall into the 93% bucket. Fortunately, we came across some crab meat, which was the last necessary ingredient for California rolls, save cucumber and avocado, which were readily available. Sushi, in some form or another, was back on.

Here's a couple of quick shopping tips. If you're going to pick up a bag of frozen shrimp, look at the fucking price tag first. The black man's lobster is fucking expensive. Also, Albertson's does not carry wooden rice cooling tubs, mainly because you decided to go look for them. If you forgo looking for them, they're on aisle 12, right across from the feminine hygiene products.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention one of the big reasons as to why we were such fucking morons. I mean, from the standpoint of this story. You see, we're at Cost Plus as well as Albertson's, and we notice that virtually ALL of the shit we risked our lives for in the ice and snow is available at these places close to home. Granted, no place other than the Asian market had the low-sodium Kikkoman dispenser, but I'm sorry, it really was not worth all that bullshit just for that green-topped fucker.

As a random side note, probably the worst idea of the day was when ETP suggested going back to the Asian market while wearing a "Looking for an Asian girlfriend" t-shirt. I may as well just get it over with and head back there with an "If I see one more naked Asian I'm going to throw up" t-shirt, because the end result will be the same. Namely, me getting run out of town.

Anyway, let's try and restore some linearity here to yet another badly fractured and poorly written entry that, coincidentally, no one but those involved will give a shit about.

Finally, finally, finally, we get back home with all our loot, ready and rearin' to go. We bust out the rice steamer and fire it up. We lay out the bamboo and nori. We start mixing the vinegar with salt and sugar, which will be added to the rice for stickiness. We're slicing and dicing. It's actually happening.

As we were shopping during the day, we came across "sushi vinegar" and "rice vinegar," not sure what the difference was. Instead of, I dunno, reading labels, we just got the sushi kind, since we figured we couldn't go wrong with that. Well, that was a fine call, but only after mixing the vinegar with salt and sugar did we notice that sushi vinegar ALREADY HAS salt and sugar.

No matter, we're still doing it. And four California rolls later, each of more or less decreasing mangled-ness (including my trillian-style inside out, patent pending), things were a marginal success.

So, what'd we learn today? Or, Sunday? Well, we're morons. It's not like we didn't know that, but hey, it doesn't hurt to be reminded every now and then. Wait, yes it does. Furthermore, we learned to not bother with real crab, and skip straight to the imitation stuff. You see, many sushi restaurants use imitation crab in their rolls. Which is fine, because it tastes good. Real crab, however, or at least the crab we got, was total ass. Finally, we learned that you really can do anything just so long as you set your mind to it. And if I ever get this "after-school-special" ever again with a statement I make, I'm going to be making some imitation crab meat.

We did do one smart thing, of course, and that was not rushing into buying raw fish of questionable repute. No, that intestinal fest has been re-scheduled for Superbowl Sunday. Tentatively.

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