Jan 13 2011

taco life

A couple of months ago I was driving up to Baltimore after work to visit my friend Cait when she gave me a call.  She told me that she had a surprise for me, and that I should call back after I had made it through the Harbor Tunnel to let her know that I was close.  Despite my pleading, she wouldn’t give me any more information than that about what she had up her sleeve.  So I all but sprinted from the car to her doorstep, only to be greeted by the foul stench of taco meat.  I couldn’t help but laugh as I entered her house.  Hanging from the archway between the living room and the kitchen was a handmade sign in three parts that read “Surprise it’s” and “Taco Night!” followed by “Woo Hoo!”

On Tuesday we had tacos for dinner again.  It was my turn to cook, and I put the meat on the stove and went upstairs to wake up Cait – who had fallen asleep reading her latest book-club book.  Before I did that, however, I had hung a new sign – one that I made – in the archway and I tied a shiny and expensive piece of jewelry to it.  She was in kind of a daze when she came downstairs, so it took her a minute to realize that this sign was different.  Thankfully, it took her less time to say yes.

I was chatting recently with Dabysan and he suggested that it might be time to drop the “my friend” modifier when I refer to Cait.  And he may be right.  He suggested changing it to “girlfriend,” but I had a better idea.  As of last Tuesday my friend Cait is the real future Mrs. Hotrod.  And I couldn’t be happier.


Jul 30 2010

taco night

One of the reasons that CarrieNation is my nemesis is that we both want to win the potluck.  The concept is simple: bring the dish that garners the most raves.  My track record is pretty good – or it was, at least, until Dabysan started bringing her around.  Now it’s a close call.  I’ve got a few slam dunks, but her repertoire is more varied.  She definitely challenges me and pushes me out of my comfort zone – which is good.  I just wish she ended up in second place a little more often.

Until I met CarrieNation, I didn’t realize that anybody else was this petty about bringing food to a gathering of friends.  I was wrong.  And I attribute this common characteristic to us both having the good sense to get the hell out of the flyover states.  She – like me – hails from the Midwest.  And she – like me – is deeply, deeply scornful of what they’ve managed to deep-fry at the local Applebee’s.  The vast swath of this country between the Appalachians and the Sierra Nevadas is where good food goes to die.  We both know this.

A few months ago, I noticed a trend in my Facebook feed.  As if on cue, several people simultaneously posted about something called “Taco Night,” as if tacos were something of significance.  I have no doubt that this caught my eye because I reject the notion that certain foods are inherently more “fun” than others.  Tacos (like pizza) are not fun.  Not only do I not know why anybody would think so, but I don’t know why anybody would want to think so.  Calling attention to the monumental occasion of one’s mediocre dinner only highlights the emptiness of the rest of that person’s life.  When I mentioned this to CarrieNation several days later, she told me that a former housemate had instituted a taco night ritual with her boyfriend in a desperate attempt to resuscitate a failing relationship.  I can’t imagine why that strategy didn’t work.

Not long ago, I noticed a second rash of “Taco Night” posts on Facebook.  By the time it occurred to me to record these posts for posterity, it was too late.  I’ve only seen a couple since.  I had been holding out until I had a longer list, but then I saw the video below.  Gwyneth Paltrow revives my scorn almost as much as does Sandra Lee.  So bon appetit.  And don’t forget to check back from time to time for more taco sadness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LBX5W1hdhQ&feature=player_embedded

S.M. is thinking taco night, aren’t you? – June 16, 2010
T.C.B. is excited for tacos and a 6 pack of boys tonight! – July 18, 2010
J.S. really enjoyed taco Tuesday. – September 14, 2010
S.M. is happy for taco night! Right on for a good dinner. Thanks for the idea P.S.! – September 15, 2010
C.McG.  While adulthood does mean things like hard decisions, responsibility, and taxes, tonight it also means (vegan) tacos for dinner. Not a terrible tradeoff. – October 18, 2010
J.H. is looking forward to tacos for dinner tonight! – October 19, 2010