Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Remiss Redux

Again I've been remiss. I started a post last week titled "White Bread: Not Just for Serial Rapists and Holocaust Deniers Anymore," but I got sidetracked and couldn't find time to write it. The basic gist of it was, Have you noticed how people (at least in NYC) have developed this knee-jerk revulsion to white bread? The other morning I was making a sandwich for work, and I pulled out some white bread, peanut butter, and jelly. (I'm from the South, give me a break.) My girlfriend (who, to be fair, is a chef) said, "White bread? You really eat white bread?" in the tone of voice that you might use to question the seriousness of someone who just said, "You know, when you think about it, that Hermann Goering had some OK ideas" or "Let's see what's on Lifetime."

Another time I was buying the ingredients to make a baked, brown-sugar-and-dijon-mustard-rubbed bologna. I bought a whole bologna: The lowest of the cold cuts but, and I stand by this, damn good when it's baked after being coated in a brown sugar and dijon mustard paste. And then I was buying bread. I went for white bread of course (bologna should be served on nothing other), and my friend Alexis says, "You know, you should get some wheat bread, too—people [I was baking the bologna for a picnic] aren't going to eat white bread."

"Why the hell not?" I say. "People can eat some goddamned white bread for once, it won't kill them." And, I'm pleased to say, they did (eat it, I mean, not get killed) and they enjoyed it, by gum—but probably only because I refused to kow-tow to the nefarious and all-consuming wheat bread lobby which has so ensnared the hearts and minds of Joes Lunchpail and College alike.

So I guess that wasn't really the gist; That was more or less the whole post I had plotted out, though perhaps with a little less anti-wheat bread invective. I mean, it's hot out. It's hard to be vitriolic when it's so hot.

Finally: Here's a treat for those of you who've slogged all the way through this post: A Men's Health video story about my friend Michael's pig roast that I helped out with back on May 31. The text of the article is pretty bare-bones and how-to (though still good, if you want to learn how to run a pig roast), but the video really captures it. I'm in it a couple of times, too: I'm wearing a white T-shirt, white apron, and a brown bandanna tied around my forehead. Oh, and I have a mustache, for any readers of this blog who might not know me in physical person (hope springs eternal).

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Running, Part 2 (Slaton Family Edition)

Like my brother, my friend from high school Willie, and I did in 2000, my other brother Sam and my sister Carrie just ran the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Sam and Carrie are both studying in Cannes right now and—after urging from my dad—took the train down to Pamplona a couple of days ago to run.

This morning I got a call from my brother Jacob, with whom I ran in 2000.

"Dude," he said. "I think I found a picture of Sam on this San Fermin [the official name of the Running of the Bulls festival] website."

I went to the website, checked it out and, sure enough, there's Sam, a terrified-looking face in the crowd. We weren't entirely sure it was Sam, but later on my dad found another picture that proved it. If you want to see the pictures (unfortunately the pics are in some sort of flash loop, and I can't pull them out for posting here), do the following:

Go here and click on the far-right image of the second row of pictures from the top. That's Sam at the top center of the picture, just to the right of the guy with his back to the camera, wearing a white shirt that looks like it has bloody gore-marks on it. Sam is wearing a red bandanna and sash, and has a rolled newspaper in his right hand (yeah, I know, like everyone else in the picture, but still).

Also go here and click on the far-right picture of the top row for the incontrovertible evidence: That's Sam's face, looking hilariously terrified, in the bottom-right of the picture. I remember that face. I made it back in 2000. One thing that people don't tell you about the Running of the Bulls: It's not fun. I mean, it is before, and it is after, but while you're in the middle of it you're just like Oh shit what in god's name have I gotten myself into, and trying not to get killed.

No pictures of Carrie running are as yet extant. Apparently the locals frown on women running, but hopefully she did it anyway. And for those of you perhaps worried for my brother and sister, worry not: This morning my dad got a quick email from them. The email read:
From: Samuel Slaton
Date: Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 9:58 AM
Subject: pops
To: Dave Slaton

we made it! at an expensive internet cafe right now, so i will let you know more when we get back to cannes. french keyboards are terrible. we love you!
scram and carrie
Well done Sam and Carrie.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Friday was the Fourth of July

Today's the Fourth of July
Another June has gone by
And when they light up our town
I just think, "What a waste of gunpowder and sky"
—Aimee Mann
I don't really feel that way, save for the another June has gone by part. It always saddens me, how much I look forward to summer—the redemption I ascribe to it—and then how fast it goes, never seeming to be used to its fullest. But that, I suppose, is the nature of things.

It's hot and real muggy today, same as yesterday. My Fourth turned out great. I had folks over to my house for burgers, which at first made me anxious but in the end turned out really well. I think everyone was pleased with the burgers and had a good, relaxed time.

We walked over to the water at 8:40pm, and the air felt charged—not just with the thunderstorm that was threatening all day and never really made good on its threat, but charged, too, with the sights, sounds, and smells of a Brooklyn Fourth: hipster girls in their skimpy finery and stroller-pushing, multi-child Mexican families streaming west to the water along the Williamsburg streets; charcoal briquettes on the grill; and the intermittent sizzle, scream, and pop of illegal—and procured where?—small-bore fireworks, always only ever half-seen, if at all.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fox News Outdoes Itself

Yesterday, on the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends, while discussing a so-called "hit piece" of June 28, 2008, in The New York Times ("Fox News Finds Its Rivals Closing In," about Fox News' competitors catching up to it in ratings), the co-anchors, Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade, showed digitally altered pictures (without giving anyone the heads-up that they were altered) of the Times article's reporter, Jacques Steinberg, and his editor, Steven Reddicliffe.

Here are the pictures they showed on air, next to the original photo from which each was drawn:

For those playing along at home, that's three (in recent weeks): the "terrorist fist bump," Obama's "babymama," and now this.