Hot Lunch returns

The first thing I saw when we hit the playground this morning was this:

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Yes, Hot Lunch is back despite urgings to call it “Fun Lunch” by less innocent members of the school community. Fun Lunch is good, if you care about such things as lunch. Hot Lunch is something utterly different.

It’s Hot Fun Lunch today because it’s also Sports Day. When the kids finish sack-racing and tug-of-warring and something called the shoe relay, they get to have hot pizza instead of resorting to whatever desperate mix of randomness parents like my mother put in their lunch bags. Although Fun Lunch represents a minor shakedown for money that could arguably have been spent on liquor, it gives parents a break from packing lunches and breaks up the monotony for the kids.

Hot Lunch is something utterly different.

Hot Lunch is something utterly different.

I started mentioning this to the kids this morning and was immediately shut down by our mother, who said the information was strictly need-to-know. She then put an oven mitt on my head.

Surrounded by Cuisinart swag

Surrounded by Cuisinart swag. Look how excited I am.

It was a Cuisinart oven mitt, a second generation of the failed Puppet Mitt with Silicone Grip I complained about last week, which had arrived via FedEx with a lovely note encouraging us to enjoy it along with another mitt, a silicone hot mat, a potholder, and a dish towel, all sent by Best Brands, Cuisinart’s manufacturer of said items.

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Truth be told, my parents were one hundred percent more slightly more excited than I at the arrival of free Cuisinart swag. I hadn’t written my letter to Cuisinart with any ulterior intentions of getting free stuff, you see. I was just being a jerk that day and wrote a horrible letter thinking that it would be promptly round-filed.

One good aspect of that horrible letter (aside from the kitchen freebies) was that my mum announced the end of Dry Weekdays. She said obviously I was under a great deal of stress and that she would therefore relent, otherwise I’d end up badgering everyone we’d ever bought something from and being even more of a nuisance than I was already. Booyah!

A neighborhood mirage

Just to illustrate the mismatch between my stated aim of achieving drunken oblivion by the earliest hour possible daily and our family’s ongoing attempts at normal domesticity, today we went for a neighborhood stroll. The goal? Not to eventuate at a pub, but to snap pictures of every single flower we encountered.

We did this INSTEAD of staying inside and getting hammered.

This was rabidly wholesome, if anyone’s asking.

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As you may have gathered, this was a freaking long walk. Enough to make a drunken bear desperate. And then…

THEN, my fellow inebriates…

We came upon this:

It was a wine tree.

It was a wine tree.

Beribboned and festive, there the wine tree stood. My friends, I do not know how this tree managed to sprout wine bottles. Suffice to say it was a miracle. We approached tentatively.

It was beautiful.

It was beautiful.

Just as magically, near the wine tree there was a wine bush.

Just as magically, near the wine tree there was a wine bush.

And a wine hedge.

And a wine hedge.

I was overwhelmed. This was a vision of religious proportions, people. Was it an illusion?

It was. Those bottles were empty—every single one of them. The neighbors had strung them for the 50th birthday party of “M,” whoever that might be. But where are the contents?

“Why don’t we know these neighbors?” I asked my dad. “Why are you guys so antisocial?”

We need to get to know neighbors like these. Then we could wish “M” a happy birthday. AND find out what’s happened to the contents of the bottles.

 

 

 

BEAR FLAG DARK RED BLEND—Freaky label for a freaky day

My Fellow Inebriates,

The head-lice notice came home from school AGAIN today. This time a kid in Miss V’s class has bugs, so my dad spent 15 minutes this evening combing through both girls’ hair to make sure LBHQ hadn’t been infested.

Despite her habit of bestowing hugs upon and sharing hats with every friend she has, P was relaxed during the inspection. V was freaking, though. Every few weeks one classmate or another has been positive for lice, and V is a natural pessimist, so she was probably thinking her number had come up.

Phew. No lice.

And that’s how the kids felt. Read this (from HealthLinkBC) and you’ll get a sense of how I felt.

Anything that can’t be washed (i.e., Blankets, coats, headwear, stuffed toys [italics mine]) can be treated by: placing in a closed plastic bag for 10 days or putting in a hot dryer for 20 minutes or putting in the freezer for 48 hours or ironing it.

OMFG!!!!

The choices, again:

  • Asphyxiation
  • Cooking/suffocation with motion sickness as a side bonus
  • Cryonic stasis (beside meat, probably)
  • Flattening and hot-branding

I repeat, OMFG, people. I need a drink stat. And the kids need to shave their heads. But FIRST I NEED A DRINK.

BEAR FLAG DARK RED BLEND to the rescue. Christine left this $13 bottle of unpretentious California vino when she visited last week, along with a sweater I’ve been using as a blanket. You should never really share sweaters if you’re concerned about lice, but we had no idea we’d be on Yellow Alert about lice, and I don’t think Christine meant to leave her sweater, especially since she could have predicted that I’d fetishize it. She did mean to leave the wine, because Christine is wonderful and genuinely cares about my alcohol supply.

bear flag wine

BEAR FLAG DARK RED BLEND bills itself as a “big, bold blend” of dark varietals (Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet, Petit Verdot, and Tempranillo—a veritable Heinz-57 mixture). Compare the “DARK RED” with BEAR FLAG’s three other products (SMOOTH RED, SOFT WHITE, and BRIGHT WHITE) and you can see this outfit is all about sloshing as much into the vat as possible and seeing what comes out. Slap a hideous label on it and voila! Low expectations.

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Promised tasting notes include chocolate, coffee, and blueberries accompanied by low tannins—an easy-drinker you could stuff under your arm and take to a casual barbeque. Let’s pour it.

Yes, it is a dark red wine, but not to the point of opacity. If anything it’s ruby-garnet and very agreeable to contemplate as it opens up. First aromas: earth, tobacco, stone fruit, and a slight 28-day wine kit–like backnote. First sips are pleasant, although I beg to differ with BEAR FLAG’s own marketing copy on boldness. This is a medium-bodied, fruit-forward wine with some sharp notes that mosh a little roughly with the rest of their tasting-note compadres.

BEAR FLAG reminds me a lot of Granny (my dead Granny, that is) because she probably would have liked it. Granny wasn’t an asshole about wine the way my parents are; she didn’t require a jammy explosion, and she probably would have enjoyed BEAR FLAG for what it is: an uncomplicated and totally drinkable blend. And if Granny hadn’t been too nice to say so, perhaps she would have told my parents off for being wine dickheads. Perhaps she would have told them they need to actually know something about wine to diss it credibly. And then she and I would have taken the bottle outside and downed it while she had a smoke.

bear flag artWhich is to say, I like BEAR FLAG. It’s not my favorite $13 wine, nor is it the most interesting wine in its price range. But it has a wacky, freaky label, especially if you like weird art, and—for you solid food fans—it probably would go pretty well with, um, what’s a solid food you would barbeque? How about a hamburger? I bet solid-food eaters would love BEAR FLAG with a hamburger. But they’d probably be freaked out when they opened the freezer to take the meat out and there was this frozen alcoholic bear beside it staring at them accusingly.

Luckily that won’t happen because the kids don’t have lice. This time.