Mar 172011

Hello, internet. I acknowledge that you don’t neccessarily know me, but take my word for it: It goes without saying that the GADAMN location I had the pleasure of picking was the GADAMN dinner that everyone enjoyed. I’m a girl. I don’t want to participate in the vomit race. Despite training myself to ingest food that I don’t particularly like for the sake of good manners and values, I don’t go out of my way to eat magnitudes of food that disgusts me. So why am I on the GADAMN team? Sometimes I wonder, but the fact is I’m a very hungry person all the time with very little motivation to cook for myself. Beggers can’t be choosers, but this round, it was my choice. And I chose Red Lobster!!!

One word: Biscuits.

Catch my drift? Not to mention, we’re dealing with large portions here. Sure it’s not the most delectable seafood our vast oceans have to offer, but they’re buttery and they taste good. Also, they’ll push two tables together to host your ridiculously large party. Especially if you’re Catholic on Lent.

There’s very little to say about Red Lobster. My cajun chicken alfredo dinner was yummy yet forgettable. The biscuits and lobster nachos were the best thing I ate that entire week, but really, that goes without saying. So what else is there to say that hasn’t been said? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that’s the way I like it.

But then there was Zardoz.

Woof. There’s a reason I didn’t get to pick the movie too or we’d all be watching Citizen Kane, praising the genius of Orson Welles, complimenting each others’ attire and sending our kindest and most sincere regards to each others’ mothers. It’s a slippery slope of class.

So what is there to say about Zardoz? Well, not much either. There were a few aspects about this film that were so close, SO CLOSE, to being awesome. And when I say a few, I really mean the underwater glass fetal/human aquarium underground pyramid lab seen at 0:47. Granted, the entrance into said pyramid leaves little to the imagination (1:10). Despite my general “meh” reaction to a truly terrible movie that isn’t all that fun to watch, I do have a bone to pick with Zardoz. A really angry bone.

I have opinions. One of my opinions I would like to challenge as an actual fact. The 2nd movement of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony may be the most beautiful music in the world.

It’s like Beethoven knew that one day, people would make epic movies that he could soundtrack in the awesomest way, thus melting my face and exploding my heart every time I see/hear it. An excellent example would be Tarsem’s The Fall. Hell, they even used it for the “best feature” montage at this year’s Oscars. I’m not gonna lie. It gave me the chills and I may have gotten a little choked up (hoping Curdo didn’t notice that one).

Guess who else used my beloved 7th? Why yes, Zardoz. It’s like they understood the full potential of the 2nd movement… and then decided to take a giant shit on it. Unfortunately, I cannot find Youtube footage of this horrific crime, but if you’re really feeling like getting sad and bored, Zardoz is available on instant play on Netflix. Seeing as I have no aid, allow me to describe.

The floating angry head space ship rock that spews guns from the trailer, gliding in the foggy distance to the staccato chants gasps hiccups, of the saddest male choir I’d ever heard, to my beloved 2nd movement. All while the gods of A Capella wept for humanity.

And I cried:

No. No! NO! Stop it! Stop it, please! I beg you! This is sin! This is sin! This is sin! It’s a sin, it’s a sin, it’s a sin! That! Using Ludwig van like that! He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!

And then I cried some more before visiting my cat loving yoga instructor.

Actually, I’m kind of crying now. Quick, let’s all watch the opening credits to The Fall.

Fucking-A. THAT’S how it’s done. Sean Connery, you should be ashamed of yourself.

Feb 212011

Dinner at Red Lobster was awesome.  It reminded me of the first annual Thanksgiving day celebration where the Indians and the Pilgrims got together and feasted on some seriously tasty food.  The biggest difference would be the price of the lobster.  It costs way more nowadays.

The movie that we watched was pretty cool, but it didn’t make any sense.  I’ll have to watch this film again if I want to give it a fair review.  Too much obtuse art and science fiction for this guy’s feeble attention span.  RIYL: Planet of the Apes, El Topo (aka, The Topo – America, England)

Feb 212011

On the long list of bad ideas, driving to Northeast Philadelphia to eat at a seafood restaurant in the dead of winter occupies a place near the middle. The suggestion probably doesn’t cause you to think, “Oh yes! That is the perfect time and place to enjoy fresh seafood!” Then again, the thought isn’t particularly repulsive either. Especially when you consider that the seafood restaurant in question is a branch of America’s most widely advertised seafood chain, Red Lobster. “Oh, that isn’t really a seafood restaurant,” you might think. “That is an Applebee’s, a Ruby Tuesday, a T.G.I. Friday’s with different items on the menu.” And you’d be right. This is about neither fresh nor local, quaint nor upscale. This is the middle of the road. This is the world’s most edible food, ocean edition. This, paradoxically, is God Awful Dinner And Movie Night territory.

These thoughts occupied my mind as I rode seatbelted in the front seat of Mark’s Buick, north on Interstate 95, to Roosevelt Boulevard. As we pulled onto the boulevard, the great red claw of American cuisine came into view. “There she blows,” my colleague Andy astutely observed.

There indeed, Andy. Well said.

When we arrived in the lobby, we were told that we’d have to wait an hour or so to get a table, and that the nine of us would have to split up into two groups. Both prospects were somewhat distressing, but Dan was given a buzzer to alert us when our table was ready, and we got down to waiting. Luckily, there were plenty of people to look at, food to smell, cigarettes to smoke, and friends to talk to. After a little less than an hour, we were seated, all nine of us at one table.

James was seated at the head of the table, and at my request he gave a rousing speech, which elicited more than a few huzzahs from the rest of the table. Menus were distributed, and we got down to work.

Before I tell you what I ordered, I should tell you that I recently received my federal tax return from the IRS. This means that not less than one thousand dollars was recently deposited directly into my checking account. Moreover, I am not a financially prudent man. All my accounting and all my budgeting take place inside my head, and they include neither foresight nor memory. I tend to have money until I no longer have any. I’m a tiny microcosm of the boom-and-bust cycle that’s characterized the American economy for nearly a century, and I am almost always on the bust end.

But not this month. This month, I’m able to treat myself to New York Strip Steak and Rock Lobster Tail.

At 33 dollars and 75 cents, it’s the most expensive entree on Red Lobster’s sizable menu. In the interest of getting my money’s worth, here are a few close-up shots.

All this fancy food deserved a fancy cocktail. Namely, it deserved a Top Shelf Long Island Iced Tea, which includes shots of four different premium liquors.

Now, as meals go, this one was alright. The lobster didn’t really have much flavor, but the butter I dipped it in did. The steak was likewise under-seasoned, almost bland, but I was able to dip it in the pile of creamy, buttery, salty mashed potatoes to give it some more flavor. Also, the steak was perfectly juicy. But I’d have been a little disappointed in the food if I hadn’t been able to use one of Red Lobster’s delicious cheddar biscuits (see below) to mop up the liquid combination of microwaved butter, mashed potatoes, and cow’s blood that covered my plate after I finished the steak and lobster. That was delectable, and I would probably pay another $33.75 to have a whole plate of biscuits and a dish of that improvised sauce. Yes, please.

The dinner, all things considered, was a smashing success. We chatted, we laughed, we ate, we drank. Really, we communed. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’d gone with 52 dollars in my pocket, prepared to spend 52 dollars, and only spent 47. Like I said, I’m not the best with money, but by my calculations I turned a modest profit.

After all that food, though, I was tired. Since I fell asleep during the last 20 minutes of the GADAMN movie, Zardoz, I’ve decided to just copy an article from an Irish newspaper that came out around the time the film was released. It’s pretty informative.

DUBLIN – Actor Sean Connery apparently wandered onto the set of a pornographic film while on holiday in the Irish countryside several months ago, inspiring the filmmakers to switch gears and take advantage of the movie star’s presence by writing a new script. The film, Zardoz, was released last week.

The film’s director, John Boorman, whose other works include the critically lauded Deliverance, said that several scenes that ended up in the movie were actually shot before Mr. Connery knew he was on camera. One early scene, for example, shows Mr. Connery shooting one of the other actors with a revolver while standing inside the mouth of a large, stone idol–the god Zardoz.

“That scene wasn’t scripted,” Mr. Boorman said. “Sean seemed a bit jumpy, and when one of my actors surprised him inside Zardoz’s head, he just turned and shot. The guys wasn’t badly hurt, but he had to wear his arm in a sling for a few weeks. That’s actually how I got Sean to agree to be in the film. I said I wouldn’t press charges if he’d film a few scenes with us.”

Mr. Connery, a Scotsman best known for his portrayal of British secret service agent James Bond in five films of the 1960s, plus one earlier this decade, readily accepted the offer.

“After Sean joined us,” Boorman said, “the script just sort of wrote itself.”

The plot of Zardoz follows Connery’s character Zed as he stumbles into “The Vortex,” where a race of immortals who practice a type of pure democracy try to figure out his intentions and how he got there. In one scene, the immortals – who have a type of telepathic power – show Zed a film of a woman rubbing what appears to be mud on her naked breasts. When Zed does not get an erection, the immortals are concerned and confused.

That scene, too, was unscripted, Mr. Connery has confirmed.

“That scene was actually filmed before I put a bullet in that poor bastard,” Mr. Connery said. “What happened was, I’d been out hunting wild boar with my revolver all morning, and I ended up stumbling across a beautiful woman in the forest. We spent the afternoon making love, really going at it, and by the time John and the crew showed me the film of the mud-woman, I’d pretty much had my fill.”

“I was also on a dangerously high dose of barbituates,” Mr. Connery added.

Mr. Connery also apparently picked his own costume for the film. He said that the short red shorts and shotgun shell shoulder straps that he wears for the bulk of the film are actually part of a traditional hunting costume worn by Scots. As of press time, Scotland’s Ministry of Culture in Edinburgh had not returned calls seeking confirmation of that fact.  

Mr. Connery told reporters Monday that acting in the film had been “a gas,” and that he’d consider making a sequel if Mr. Boorman were up for it. Asked whether he had actually seen the finished film, Mr. Connery responded, “Well, now, that is an interesting question.”

Feb 212011

February’s Gadamn excursion was everything a Gadamn ought to be: Friends, food, drink, a bit o’ the craic, gastro-intestinal misery, totally uncalled-for dessert, a few farts and a truly God Awful Movie if ever there was one: Zardoz. In addition to the usual gang of Curdo, Niquisha, Dreams and yours truly, Old Maahk, we were joined by our friends Jare, Banji, Snitcherz, Danly and Andyofughgodfame.

For the second month in a row, I was a little hesitant about our Gadamn destination. I’m a picky eater. I have a narrow personal menu that I stick to and I rarely stray from it. Suffice to say, sea food is not on that menu. So when Nikittles suggested Red Lobster for our next adventure, I took it in stride without feeling anything one way or t’other about it…at first. Then I found the menu online. And then the buzz about the biscuits started to follow me as I told others about our plans. Soon enough, by the one-week countdown leading up to Red Lobster, I was shuddering with anticipation at the prospect of a big plate of food and an all-out assault on a basket o’ biscuits. “Good God,” thought I, “I NEED FOOD!!!”

When we arrived at the restaurant we found that the joint was packed. I was amazed. Look at all these hungry fatties, methought. What sea has enough lobsters in it, what field enough cattle, what farm enough chickens, what Pillsbury plant enough biscuits, to feed these multitudes, packed in as they were like…sardines in a can? >chortle< My appetite seemed so unvanquishable that I wasn’t sure I could survive the wait. Curdo and I even staged a recon mission to neighboring Applebees, which was just as crowded. But with drinky and a bit of the craic, the wait passed easily enough. When we were finally seated, a full half-hour before we expected, we were pleasantly surprised that the staff had arranged for all nine of us to be seated at one table. The waiter, Quentin, an agreeable chap, smiled widely at the prospect of the tip that would surely flow his way from our buttery hands by evening’s end. The menu at Red Lobster, if you've never been, is rather robust. It took us all, it seemed, a little longer than usual to decide our poisons. I had been hemming and hawing all week on whether or not to order sea food. Like I said, I'm not a sea food person. But not to order sea food at Red Lobster seemed like a cop-out. And when it came time to decide, I chickened out. That is, I settled on the Cajun Chicken Linguini Alfredo! >guffaw< The menu offers two options: Half or Full. I ordered a full platter because it was only a dollar extra, but twice the calories. It was actually…pretty good. Even after a beer and a couple of those outrageous biscuits, I was still eager to sink my mandibles into that plate of pasta, chicken and cheesy goodness. The portion was so big, however, that I needed help from Danly, who good-naturedly broke his vegetarianism to help me finish off the plate. Alas, despite the fact that I was so hungry and that it took two of us to work on my dish, I still wasn’t able to clean it the way Jare cleaned his: spotless, not a drop of blood left over, and only the shell of his “surf” to indicate that any food had ever been there at all. By the end of our time at Red Lobster, the only disagreeable thing I felt was a gut full of dense, but surprisingly decent, food that had yet to be accompanied by our Satanic dessert choice of Entemann’s baked goods, which we acquired at the nearby Wawa. Back at Banji and Curdo’s we hunkered down for ZARDOZ. If you want some idea of what this flick was like, imagine if Star Trek had had a fourth season. I suspect that the filmmakers had all been on staff for the Trek season that never was, and were so bitter that they just went for it – ALL OF IT.

The movie opens with a horde of loin-clothed men running toward a large hovering head-craft which, after decreeing that “the gun is good” and “the penis is evil,” vomits an entire arsenal of rifles onto its worshipers. They are to use the rifles to purge the earth of all that the evil penises have wrought on the world. Sometimes a rifle ISN’T just a rifle. >snort< As for my hypothesis about ZARDOZ possibly having been an unused Star Trek script, I’ve got plenty of data to back me up. One: The skimpy loin cloths. There was way too much skin and hair in this movie, especially hair. Even for the Seventies, I’d say it was pretty unwarranted. Two: There was no plot, no story, no thread. The dialogue was pointless and the “twist,” if you could call it that was really just one of the funniest parts in the movie. But I don’t want to spoil it for you. Three: The sensuality. Well, maybe not the sensuality, but there was definitely a scene where the Superiors or the Elders or the Important People or whatever had to observe 007’s tumescence because their lack of reproduction made bone-times unnecessary in their particular genetic strain…which I guess is close enough. Anyway, it would have been a suitable fix for Captain Kirk.

The great thing about dessert was that I didn’t eat all of it, which I would have done had not so many other eyes been there to witness the spectacle.

All in all, I was pleased with this one. Red Lobster is actually worth it if you’re really famished and you don’t mind a wait. ZARDOZ was the PERFECT movie for Gadamn, seeing as how it is so irredeemably bad. Jare even fell asleep for a while, which is really part of the whole Gadamn experience. But most of all it was the hearty souls who joined us on our quest. Great Gadamn for February!

Next months Gadamn: Unannounced…to some…

Feb 202011

Get Your $40 Sea Cockroaches!

Last night was a very special G.A.D.A.M.N. night. Niquisha, Dreams, Maahk and I were joined by Jare, Banji, Leahg, Don and Dandy making last night the biggest G.A.D.A.M.N. experience ever! Hoates yes!

The choice of eatery was Niquisha’s to make and she chose Red Lobster.

But not just any Red Lobster – the Red Lobster on The Boulevard. You see, we all realized that Red Lobster ISN’T a God Awful establishment – like your typical Hooters or any buffet that prides itself on it’s low prices. Therefore, to make it truly awful, we decided to pick one located in an area that strikes fear into the hearts of normal, true Philadelphians. No, I’m not talking about New Jersey. I’m talking about “The Norfeast” (or “NOR_HEAST,” as the sign on the mall across the street proudly displayed).

The only member upset about Niquisha’s decision was Dreams. Not because he hates North East Philadelphia more than anyone else in the group, but because he had, until recently, spent the majority of his adult life working as a fishmonger (a word I’ve always wanted to use in a sentence – sorry Dreams). Dreams’ taste in seafood is nothing short of a cut above since he’s had it all. One of my greatest pleasures in life is hearing Dreams about fish with someone who thinks they know what they’re talking about. Like the people who think the best sushi in the world comes from the Mexican bodega down the block. It was actually the inclusion of the horrid location that finally won Dreams over. If he would be forced to eat shitty seafood, it would have to be at the shittiest place we could find.

Alas, the only shitty part of the night was the wait, which was a little over an hour, but that wasn’t their fault. We were a party of nine on a Saturday night at a fine eating establishment – what would you expect?

Truly, I’m having a hard time with this post since there was virtually nothing to bitch about…

The Top-Shelf Long Island Iced Teas Jare, Banji and I enjoyed were only a dollar more than the Yingling Lagers that Maahk and I had enjoyed while we were waiting for our table. The Lobster Nachos were incredible and the lobster cheese sauce they came coated in was a perfect complement to the already-cheesy-as-hell biscuits that they just didn’t stop bringing to us. By the time the entrees made it to us, I was totally stuffed on cheesy cheese and cheese soaked bread and cheese and more cheese. First came Leahg’s snow crab legs, then Banji’s Steak-n-Shrimp, then the Spicy Cajun Chicken Alfredos for Niquish and Maahk, Jare’s Steak-and-Lobster, Don’s Angels on Horseback, followed by Dandy and Dream’s shrimp plates. The waitress finally brought my entree over saying, with a big smile, “and the best for last! The Steak and Seafood Oscar!”

Now, I had thought that I had made the right choice in ordering before she had said anything, but that confirmed it. She knew. I knew… and now the whole table knew – I was the man. I was the man who ordered the best food. I was that guy. This guy was that guy.

Yeah. Suck it.

Truthfully the presentation was awful. It looks as though one of the busboys in the back had been sneaking portions of seafood all night until he had gotten sick right on top of my plate, but oh my god, vomit has never tasted so good! What you’re looking at is a medium-rare, 14 oz NY Strip Steak laying atop a bed of mashed potatoes, soaking in a buttery slather of creamy butter slather, complete with shrimp, lobster and string beans. The first bite was an entire dinner in itself, but I managed to fuck it up, royal, and clean my plate.

Wholly satisfied, we paid our ~$260 check and left, stopping by a Wawa in order to procure coffees, a box of Nerds and an Entimen’s Raspberry Danish Twist – the most fucked up, sweetest thing I have ever eaten.

Zardoz: The Terrible

The movie chosen for the night was the 1974 Sean Connery film Zardoz. It was picked simply because of the following picture, which I’m sure that you’ve seen in your travels through this great wasteland that we call: the internet.

You know what? The picture says it all… That’s all I have to say about that movie. Truthfully, nothing happened – at all. It wasn’t even one of those goodbad movies. It was a badbad movie. If you’re curious about it, then i implore you to watch it. It’s something you should see, but it’s something that you won’t enjoy. At all. If, on the other hand, you are not curious, then you should at least watch this fake opening screen for ZARDOZ: THE VIDEO GAME!

Feb 192011

I used to pretend I was a mermaid whenever I went swimming. As a matter of fact, I still do. The only difference now is that I don’t watch The Little Mermaid every single day.

I wonder which cast member I’ll be eating tonight.

I wonder if Ariel would be classified as “Surf n’ Turf”.

Feb 192011

Friends! Gather around!

Tonight is the night! The next location the GADAMNers chose is Red Lobster, but not just any Red Lobster – a Red Lobster on The Boulevard in the North East: where the women sound like broken fire alarms, the men are dumb assholes and the children are far below average.

Tonight Niquisha, Dreams, Maahk and myself will be joined by a very special guest, Jare!

Edit: … by very special guests, Jare, Banji, Don, Dandy and Leahg!

Feb 192011

When I was 19 I learned of Southern Comfort brand ipecac syrup the hard way. I cant recall exactly how many hours I spent vomiting, but after the first one, it kind of doesn’t matter. Some vows are meant to be broken, like “I’m gonna quit smoking” or “This is the year I’m gonna cut back on the internet porn”, but I tell you, I was never going to touch the stuff again. Sure enough, at some point some years on, someone forced me into it in a “one shot, man, its my birthday or something” capacity. Honestly I can’t recall exactly the situation, but I clearly remember that it was the right thing to do.

This brings me to the subject of Red Lobster.  I loved eating seafood as a kid. Naive as I was, I’d always wanted to dine on what I imagined was a glorious roman orgy of shrimp and lobster and other cantankerous crustaceans and mollusks and gilled wonders. I’d gaze upon the building from the back seat of my fathers car as we would drive by it on the way to this or that, likely hundreds of times during my tenure a tax dependent. Soon I grew a bit wiser and realized that my parents were right in keeping me out of there. I learned that Red Lobster is the middle-class equivalent of the rusted-out, broken-down trucks with hand painted signs declaring “crab leg shrimps fish seafood” hulking on the side of the road somewhere in Germantown. I vowed I would never patronize this establishment.

Enter GADAMN. It’s time to take that shot.

Feb 172011

Apparently, the Gadamn Gang didn’t learn its lesson on our last trek through Northeast Philadelphia. Faithful readers might recall that a couple months back we ventured into the Pizzeria Uno, or Chicago Uno Grill or whateverthehell at Franklin Mills Mall and emerged hunting for doughnuts and the Devil (assisted by Chuck Norris). The night and subsequent days did not go well…

WELL, FRIENDS – We’re at it again. This weekend we’ll be heading to Red Lobster… on the Boulevard! You might even say we’ll be…dipping our toes in the water…on a quest for butter, biscuits and marine life hunted and cooked on a MASSIVE scale for fatties like us rotating in and out of Red Lobster franchises all over this broad land. So check in over the next week (or month, depending on the schedules of SOME bloggers) for new posts on our latest gut-obliterating excursion to…the Greater Northeast!