Saturday, April 24 2004
A couple days ago I heard part of Wayne Lapierre's appearance before the National Press Club. For those who don't know, Lapierre is a big-shot in the National Rifle Association. He talks with the blindered righteousness of other well-spoken white males who view the world as a starkly dichromatic place. (To my ear he sounds a lot like the similarly-infuriating John Bunnell.) Today as I walked in the woods I could hear the monotonous shooting of a distant gun fanatic firing holes in a hapless tree. I wondered if the widespread availability of Viagra had taken any of the wind out of the sails of the National Rifle Association.
I don't know how it happened, but I'm rather fond of sushi. Back when I was living with Bathtubgirl (who used to be a sushi waitress) I ate it regularly. The later, when John was my housemate, I continued to eat it fairly often. But since I began living with Gretchen, my sushi consumption has plunged. Not only does she not eat fish, but she absolutely hates the taste of seaweed. Though it's possible to make sushi that contains neither fish nor seaweed, it just so happens that Gretchen can't stand any of the primary vegetables that end up in vegetarian sushi: avocado and cucumber. She just doesn't like sushi. Not only that, she doesn't really like Japanese food in general: when it's not sushi, she finds the noodles overcooked and the tofu too goopy. But for some reason tonight she wanted to dine at a Japanese place in Uptown Kingston called Kyoto Sushi. She'd deluded herself into thinking she'd be able to find something she'd be able to eat on the menu. She knew she liked rice and tofu and figured she could work something out. Mostly, though, I think she just wanted to see me eat sushi.
So we went. I ordered two rolls (spicy yellowtail and eel) and put each piece away with respectable dollops of wasabi. The wasabi was strong, and as usual I suffered from the icepickesque pain in the back of my head. It's amazing how addictive this pain can be. When it's happening it's pure torture, but when it's over I just want to do it again. Gretchen tried some of my wasabi (since she'd never had it before) and remarked on its purity of flavor. It's like a shot of topshelf vodka compared to the cooking-sherry-grade horseradish that, say, Jews eat at a seder.
As expected, Gretchen's tofu was too goopy. It had also been deep-fried, which was just another count in its indictment. Gretchen also ordered a sort spinach appetizer that was served like sushi, but she found it too stringy to enjoy. Last but not least, she didn't especially like the chilled sake I ordered.
Througout our meal, Gretchen kept noting that the conversation at a neighboring table had drifted back to the recurring subject of how awful vegetarians are. She heard them complaining at one point about some vegetarians who had invited them to Thanksgiving dinner, gone out of their way to cook a real turkey, but then hadn't given them the leftovers. Oh, the indignity! Gretchen was tempted to make a smart remark as we were leaving, but I pleaded for her not to. In retrospect I should have encouraged her. There will be a next time, I'm sure.
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