Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pairing 80’s songs with Thai & Japanese food? Am I crazy?

We have all heard of wine pairing — where you pair a wine and a dish that go well together. It is not only delicious, but a fun experience. But, I have never heard of anyone doing song and food pairing. Too bad, it would be a fun novelty at a restaurant. I came upon this idea while sitting at a Thai cafe in Ojai. They were playing 80’s hits one after the other. I was thinking that it would be really funny if you ordered a dish, and the waiter came out with the dish with an accompanying song. The minute he/she emerged from the kitchen, the lights would dim, and the song would play.

Imagine that you ordered extra spicy green curry shrimp and all of a sudden the waiter comes out and you hear “Some Like it Hot” on the sound system. Or, what if you ordered angel wings (wings stuffed with glass noodles) and you hear the song, “Broken Wings”. It would be quite an experience. I had another idea of joke and food pairing where you pair a dry joke with a dry wine, or a dirty joke with Mississippi mud cake.

Another fun idea I had was to have novelty cakes. For acupuncturists cake shaped like an arm with needles in it which would be the candles. For notaries, a cake shaped like a notary seal that was leaking chocolate ink. But, imagine an Indian restaurant that had a rick-shaw cake. My take on this one is that the rick-shaw has an accident, crashes into the dish, and then the customer gets a phone call that sounds like it is from India.

Waiter: “We have a phone call for you about your rick-shaw… I think it is from overseas, you better take it!”
(Static on phone line — weird foreign sounding ring tone)
Call Center Guy: (nasal tone of voice with thick Indian accent) “Hello, Mr. Smith. We regret to inform you that your rick-shaw has met with a terrible accident. You will still be receiving it, but it crashed into a ditch, and the driver was slightly injured.”

The next thing you see is a guy dressed in a tan Indian style rick-shaw outfit with Hindu markings on his forehead who has a noticeable injury on his arms and face. The guy speaks very little English, but says, “Your rick-shaw is here sir” Then, the waiter brings out a rick-shaw cake that fell into a chocolate ditch. The cake is big enough for 6-8 people, and you have to decide who gets to eat the steering wheel! What fun!

Here is my list of 80’s songs and accompanying food. If you own a small cafe, you could have a ton of fun with these ideas!

“Whip it” could be paired with meringue, or deserts with lots of whipped cream.

“Like a Virgin” — Asian food is not high in olive oil, but if it were Asian-Italian fusion, you could pair Like a Virgin with extra virgin olive oil, or a dish that has a lot of it.

“Eye of the Tiger” could be paired with Tiger shrimp. Every time someone ordered that dish, the minute the waiter came out with the finished product, they could play Eye of the Tiger.

“Another one bites the dust” could be paired with a dessert that had been showered with chocolate dust.

“King for a Day” would go well with King Salmon. But, I adapted the song, “Wild Thing”, just in case someone orders “Wild King” Salmon from Whole Foods. The guy at the counter didn’t call it King Salmon… He called it “Wild King.”

“Bang a Gong” could be paired with Tom Yung Goong (spicy shrimp soup)

“Some Like it Hot” would be excellent with Thai or Indian food — almost any dish if ordered extra hot!

“Walking on Sunshine” — perfect if you order eggs sunny side up.

“Like a Virgin” is a great song if someone orders a Margarita with no alcohol.

“Broken Wings” could be paired with Thai chicken wings stuffed with glass noodles (Angel Wings)

“Sweet Dreams are Made of This” would be excellent with any dessert.

“Under Pressure” is perfect for anything cooked in a pressure cooker.

“Turning Japanese” by the Vapors would be good if you have only a handful of Sashimi items on the menu.

“Like a Surgeon” is a good song if you are carving a roast.

“Panama” would be good if you were serving some Central American dishes.

“Rock Lobster” by the B 52’s would be good with some good tail.

“Electric Avenue” might be good if you serve jellyfish (or if your cell phone is out of battery)

“Man-eater” would be a great song at any restaurant that serves humans.

“Purple Rain” might be good if you served ice cream in a raspberry sauce that you dripped on at the table.

“Rock the Casbah” would be perfect if you had only one Moroccan dish on the menu and someone ordered it.

“Raspberry Beret” — great with after dinner berries.

“Na Na Hey Hey”, by Bananarama would be good with Thai Rad Na noodles.

“Doctor Doctor” would not be played when the food arrives. But, if someone reacts poorly to a dish that was too spicy, then this song would come in handy.

“Don’t Worry Be Happy” is a great song to play if the bill is higher than the clients anticipated, or if they argue about the bill.

Gatorade Tea on a Warm Phoenix Afternoon’s Hike

I love Phoenix and travel there regularly. I find that Arizona has a mystical energy to it that picks me up. My acupuncture swears that it helps my heart and lung meridians. My astrologer (who lives with us) thinks it is a magical state as well. But, she says that the energy of Phoenix is related to the sun and Summer! She is right! She said, I should go during the Summer. I always avoided Arizona during the Summer for obvious reasons. 110 degree weather? Who wants that, especially when you are hiking! But, hotels are cheap, and I needed to recharge myself, so I got in my trusty Toyota and went to the hotel that I had booked.

I stayed at the Hampton for $79.
A bargain for a Hilton hotel. Very nice staff and comfortable building. The heat didn’t bother me for some reason. I spent the early part of the afternoon in my easy chair meditating. When I go on trips, I will typically meditate for four or more non-consecutive hours. I need to get in touch with my spiritual side, and that is hard when I am working 10 hour days at home. I stocked up on Gatorade. Then, I drove to the hills near Fountain Hills and did my 90 minute hike in the cactuses that I am so fond of.

Hiking close to nightfall
I had chosen my dates based on cooler weather. It had rained a bit and the weather would be under 100 the first day and not that bad on subsequent days. I hiked on the second day. It was only 103 in the late afternoon. I hiked around and enjoyed it tremendously. But, the sun was setting. My shadows were getting longer and longer. My shadow got to be 30 feet long. I started to panic. How much longer to the end of the loop? Finally it ended with 20 minutes to spare. I’ll be more careful next time. It gets dark on a cloudy night.

May I have some milk and sugar for my Gatorade tea?
The following day, I did some work from the hotel. I wanted to save time, so I hiked near the zoo. They have a circular trail that is 11 minute per loop. It’s right across the hill from the beautiful botanical garden which I am so fond of. The hike the previous day, I had Gatorade relatively recently purchased from the store. But, this day, I had day old Gatorade. It had been sitting in the trunk collecting heat. The Gatorade was boiling on this 107 degree day. It tasted like I was having Gatorade tea! I called my assistant and asked if she could bring milk and sugar for my Gatorade tea. For some reason the heat didn’t bother me, but I couldn’t stand hot Gatorade. I learned my lesson. I will always go to the store to get chilled drinks from now on whenever I hike in the Summer. Luckily, during my 90 minute hike, the temperature dropped to 101, and my Gatorade became warm and more pleasant to drink.

I learned my lesson
This was my first trip to Phoenix in the Summer. I have been a few times in the late Spring, but never before in August. I did okay for my first Summer trip to Phoenix. I learned a few valuable lessons. Next time I will be prepared!

Shutdown in a schizophrenia-istan: a travel nightmare

Picture yourself traveling to a country where the leaders all have multiple personalities and keep arguing with themselves. What if that country were to have a shut-down while you were traveling there.

Let’s say you were going to visit National Park of the Craters. I’m remembering a wonderful travel location I read about in the islands of Indonesia where there are craters with lakes in them. Each lake has a different color of water in them. You are scheduled to go on Tuesday, but on Monday the government decides to shut down. They’re arguing with themselves again.

But, this time, Frank has the opposite opinion that he had last week, and Moe who was adamant about raising the debt ceiling decided to call in sick today. Goodness. So, these freaks shut down the government, and now you are stuck. You can’t visit National Park of the Craters if the government shuts it down. So, what do you do?

Is it possible to break the law and go in a park when it is shut down? Yosemite allowed guests in while they were shut down. You just were discouraged from parking for extended periods of time.

What if whatever authorities were there, were not watching you that much? Could you sneak in a park and enjoy yourself? Would they throw you in jail? If you could get someone to drive you in, then it would be harder to catch you. If the authorities are short-staffed, how will they catch you on a hiking trail?

On the other hand, if you are alone in the wilderness, there would be nobody to help if you if you got into trouble, or worse — if you ran out of water. You could get eaten by a bear, die of frostbite, or break a leg.

The State of Arizona is my hero, because they opened the Grand Canyon and paid the $100,000 a day cost of keeping it open. I bet they collect that much in fees daily too, because there are thousands of visitors each paying $25 per vehicle which adds up to $100K very quickly. They took over, when the government fell on its face!

Is it worth it to risk breaking the law to enjoy God’s gifts? Is it worth it to risk the other dangers of travel to a National Park during a shut-down? And will Frank and Moe ever get professional help so they can make up their minds about anything? Tune in next time and find out!