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1/2 There are moments made for mish mash. And those moments tend to involve alcohol impaired judgment. Pacifico, it turns out, is great for what it is: drunk food. Unfortunately, it almost became puke food after swilling mint juleps and bourbon slushes for five hours straight. Despite the burgoo and derby pie consumed earlier, I still needed a little padding of the stomach lining.

Beer and a carnitas quesadilla did more harm than good. The cheese and grease backfired and I was only able to eat one of my four stuffed tortilla wedges. It wasn't half bad, I just wasn't primed for eating. But I was happy the next day to have hefty leftovers as hangover food.

Pacifico * 269  Pacific St., Brooklyn, NY

Asian Persuasion

Mcasian_chicken_salad I'm not sure that I'm loving it. I'm always willing and able to taste test a new fast food salad. And I'm a sucker for anything Asian. But, as I'm sure you know these "Asian" salads (Wendy's has had one for a while, though I've only tried it once) are eerily sweet and crunchy concoctions formerly known as Oriental. I think mandarin oranges means Oriental, right?

I rarely eat at McDonald's, and I find the menu baffling. If you don't want a value meal, you're mildly screwed. I hate soda, so I like to order a cheeseburger and fries a la carte, which is no easy feat but doable. The salads, however, aren't listed anywhere on the menu. I know they have four choices because I've looked online like a freak. The only hint that they sell even salads is the one color ad touting the Asian salad, Dasani water combo with a free exercise DVD. Nowhere can you see how much the salad costs by itself or what other options are available, and that's fundamentally irritating.

The chicken comes glazed with a sweet and sour orange sauce, so you already have a tangy, sugary component. If you use the entire packet of Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger dressing, you're in for a zingy not-so-pleasant surprise. I could barely slog through the chunks of white iceberg because my tongue was being zapped with citric jolts, and I only used about ? of the packet.

The edamame were a nice touch. I did like the slivered almonds, and prefer them to Wendy's crispy noodles (oh, I just checked-Wendy's has almonds and noodles-no wonder it's higher fat). Wendy's also wins out for using fresher greens and offering a slightly larger portion. Granted, salads aren't necessarily intended as hearty fare, but I don't want to be starving a few hours later, either. I might actually give it another go when I'm feeling particularly cheap and calorie conscious, but I'll by hyper diligent about portioning that damn dressing.

Oh, have you seen McDonald's i-am-asian section? It's not hideous and patronizing like it used to be. Now it's just kind of fun (yes, I find this kind of promotional crap fun) and informational. 365Black and LoMcximo, I'm not so sure about.

Nine Lives

Catimage Lately when I get up in the morning, The Gray Cat is sitting on the temporarily gray (we still have the winter slipcover on—summer is turquoise) couch upstairs, which is good because it means he’s agile enough to get up the stairs. For a while he didn’t come up unless he was carried. I think the Gray Cat is 15, pretty old for cat, (I just realized my Portland cat, Li’l Smokey, is 11 now, which is crazy because she was like three when I moved to NYC. Er, I suppose that makes me eight years older, as well. My mom hasn’t mentioned her recently, which I hope doesn’t mean that she’s no longer with us, so to speak) and diabetic and I have this fear that I’m going to find him one day keeled over in the closet or sprawled out stiff on the sofa. I mean, he seems lively enough, but it crosses my mind. I was glad to find him awake this morning.

As I headed to the subway, my eye was caught by a make shift sign and a candle shrine on the metal fence of the apartment around the corner. I was hoping it wasn’t what I suspected it was. I totally started bawling (well, tearing up) when I saw the cat memorial for Angelica, the friendly little gray kitty who (I think) lived in the building with the wrought iron fence. I say I think because I never saw anyone feeding her or letting her in, but she had a collar (that I swear read Angelica, despite the R.I.P. sign saying Anjelica. The herb or Ms. Huston?) and wasn’t out in the middle of winter. She was almost always somewhere on our corner, behind a bush, lying on the sidewalk, hiding under a car, and would follow you around and roll around on her back until you pet her. She was one of the selling points of our apartment I was struck by how quiet and quaint the neighborhood was (never mind the BQE), tame enough to foster a resident outdoor cat. Plus, I liked the idea of living on Henry St.

When we first moved in I thought she was an outgoing stray. The pre-gentrifiers in our building (we were the first to move into the remodeled, likely-doubled-rent first floor apartment. Eventually, the upper three units were upgraded and re-inhabited with respectable folks) would leave paper plates with cat food in our yard for her. This stopped once our building filled up with fussier tenants, the kinds who worry about attracting rats and having junky overgrown patches of weeds in front. Once we felt bad for the cat because it was cold and it seemed like she wanted to come inside, so we brought her in and she totally freaked out and hid under the bed and hissed at Caesar, the only cat we had at the time. When I first saw the sign in the distance with her photo on it, I was hoping it was just a missing poster and that maybe someone else had simply smuggled Angelica into their apartment. No such luck, she probably used up her nine lives many times over.

I don’t know why a dead cat makes me so sad. It’s a fact of life. Now that I think about it, as a kid our cats came and went. One got hit by a car, one who knows, another was creepily found lifeless on the sidewalk on Halloween. Some wandered off never to be seen again, some mysteriously vanished, likely at the hands of parents who carted them off to the pound. Not a lot of sentimentality in my family. It bothers me more as an adult than it did as a youngster.

On my way out the door this morning, I debated whether or not I needed my camera in my bag, and took it out because it was too heavy (no, I don’t have a miniscule sleek model, and certainly no camera phone). Besides, I’m too self-conscious to snap photos in public half the time. But I kind of wish I’d had it to capture the cat shrine. Maybe after work, if I don’t feel too weird about it.

Would spray painting rest in peace my nigga Anjelica be a wholly  inappropriate response?

Sundays & Sundaes

Sundays suck, they've always sucked, and the older I get the more they seem to suck. There's just something dreary about a Sunday. As a kid, I remember them being gray and rainy and the tv shows were bad, no cartoons, all current events, sports or depressing fare like Grizzly Adams (the wistful folky theme song; the premise, a man on the run for crime he didn't commit; the era, 1970s masquerading as 1850s —so downtrodden and dirty). Obviously, this was pre cable tv or internet. I read in bed a lot during the afternoon. Now, I have other distractions, but there's still something dread-filled about a Sunday. I don't understand the whole "having a case of the Mondays" (what a poignant phrase) because by Monday you're already in the thick of it. Sunday you have a whole day to dwell on the awfulness of the impending week. Saturday I wake up no problem, but Sunday I often lay in bed well past noon, not really tired, but reluctant to get up because it means the weekend's end is drawing near and it's too much to bear. Melodrama aside, it's true. Motivation is tough even though it tends to be sunny in NYC. (Sometimes music helps—I'm very keen on the Envelopes today)

Redhookhuarache Today was balmy enough, and it was the opening weekend for the soccer and food stand extravaganza in Red Hook. I mean, it's only about a 12-minute walk from my apt. and it's not like you can get a decent taco anywhere in BoCoCa (oh, yes I did). After one massive huarache, I was done. I could've squeezed in an arepa, but didn't want to go overboard as I'm known to do.

The word huarache is amusing to me because if you recall huaraches, the sandals, were popular somewhere in the '80s. And my dad who had like zero accent (he would occasionally put the emphasis on the wrong syllable, but that's about it) would pronounce huarache with an insane amount of precision and Spanish flair. You know, like when newscasters speak standard English and then call Chile chee-lay. Every time my dad would theatrically say hurache, my sister and I would bust a gut and try and find ways to work the word into conversations just to get him to say it again.

Redhookmango Instead of going the more meat and corn route, I went wild and bought a baggie of fruit, which is very unlike myself because I rarely eat fruit. Nature's candy (what a crock) just doesn't do it for me, I have to force myself to eat it (I bought a bag of tangerines yesterday with the notion that I'll bring them to work as healthy snacks, but I see that lasting about one day). But I love the Mexican style of preparing mangos, which is actually very Thai right down serving the slices in a plastic baggie with disposable fork (dispensing beverages this same way, but with a straw, seems very precarious, however. See random person's photo for example). They sprinkle the fruit with salt, chile powder and lime juice (actually the Red Hook vendor used bottled lemon juice, but same idea) and you get that crazy salty/sweet/spicy effect. It's almost like you're not even eating fruit, which is a plus in my book.

So, my Sunday afternoon was tolerable but now it's starting to get dark out and night time means Monday is mere hours away and that's a hideous thought. At least I have some leftovers from yesterday's Sripraphai excursion to look forward to later. It's not a good thing when food is the only exciting part of your day (my cat is the same way. Do you think pets get their owners' personalities? Like Caesar, James's cat, is kind of prickly, keeps to himself and is not one for idle chit chat. The cat won't meow to save his life. Sukey, my cat, is talkative and constantly meowing and complaining and is obsessed with eating. In fact, she's starting to get a feline gut)…or life, for that matter.