Dangerspouse Rides Again

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Garage - Track

Feb. 08, 2005 - 1:12 p.m.

Web Glogging


It's been known for a while that those Ultra-White countries (Norway, Sweden, Swisswatchland, etc.) all have overacheiving suicide rates. At first glance this would seem to be counterintuitive. After all, they have Western level standards of education and medicine, they enjoy living standards common to all nations with high GNP's, and there's the Swedish Bikini Team to keep them warm during the 11 month winters.

So what's the problem? Why, in such idyllic surroundings, do the natives feel compelled to produce gloomy impenetrable movies about cheating Death at chess, force their offspring to eat spackle...er, Lutefisk, and off themselves both solo and en masse?

I know the answer.

It's "glogg".

Yesterday NewWifey(tm) took off for an afternoon of shopping and girly shit with one of her buddies while I stayed home and pretended not to be bitter that one of us has a social life. She was out with her friend Anna from Sweden, who naturally wanted to go to IKEA. IKEA, if you've never been there, is basically Sweden without an immigration policy. You go in and there's reindeer, milkmaids, frostbite, gnomes...and furniture. The idea is, you're supposed to be so smitten by all the Aryan stereotypes that you want to make your own home just as, uh, pure. So you load your SUV up with as much bland, assemble-it-yourself furniture as your wallet can bear, and only later realize that pale, geometrically severe wall units do not coordinate well with your country floral print overstuffed sofas.

I have to hand it to NewWifey(tm) though. Although armed to the molars with shiny plastic cards, she drove home with only three floating shelves (which we needed anyway) and an impulse-buy spice rack which I immediately rejected.

Oh, and one "Mystery Bag".

I cringed when I saw that, imagining she'd given in to the Siren's Song o' the North and our house was about to be festooned with Smurf villages and swastika swags.

But no. What she pulled out of that white and blue bag was food. IKEA food.

I'm not sure I would have felt more uneasy if she HAD pulled a swastika out of there. Food? From IKEA?
I envisioned containers of sawdust and artificial flavors, with poorly translated instruction sheets on how to assemble your own Lutefisk.

But actually, what ended up being piled on top of our kitchen counter was a bunch of products FROM Scandinavia. Not produced in-house.

And some of it looked pretty good!

Since Anna (NewWifey(tm)'s shopping cohort) was Swedish, most of the stuff came from that one country. I didn't realize there was any difference between those lands other than the pronunciation of their names, but Anna was adament that the divisions were profound. Apparently the quality of the snow varies from one to the other, and therein lies the basis for each to look down on their neighbor. Seems like as good a reason as any to me.

What we ended up with were two tins of Lumpfish Caviar (one black, one red), an assortment of traditional flatbreads, a half pound of Gravlax, various jars of flavored herring, and a bottle of Glogg mix. All recommended by Anna.

I had heard of Glogg (pronounced "Gloog"), but never actually tried the stuff. From my god-like knowledge of ingestibles I knew that Glugg was the Nordic version of mulled wine, but a hell of a lot more complicated to make. I'm not one to shy from complex preparations, but the Norse saga length recipes I've seen just never seemed worth the effort. (The ones in the link, btw, are a full third the length and tedium that my old Time-Life Scandinavian recipe book offers. This includes not only more spices, but prepping with two types of burnt caramels and THREE liquors: wine, vodka and aquavit (or brandy). I don't know how you'd discern all those nuanced flavors in a 172 proof concoction, but when the view out your front door is an unbroken expanse of snow 51 weeks a year, you probably don't care.)

Anyway, I looked at the instructions on the liter bottle and all it said was "Mix with an equal ammount of red wine until hot but not boiling".

I could handle that.

In order to be a bit more authentic though, I also poured in a few snootfulls each of Svedka Swedish vodka and Calvados (French apple brandy. Hey, it sounded good at the time. And it was. Fuck you.)

While that slowly came to a simmer I prepped everything else. Mostly that just consisted of arranging everything nicely, but I decided to also make some traditional accompaniments for the caviar.

Now, I love caviar.

I can't afford caviar.

Not the real stuff, anyway. The real stuff - Beluga, Osetra, Segruva, etc. - comes from a particular type of fish, the Sturgeon, and costs as much per pound as the US is spending in Iraq per day. I've only tried it on maybe 5 occasions, and only when purchased by others.

I'd seen Lumpfish caviar in stores, but always passed them by even though the price was 1/1000th of their larger cousin's. If I can't have the best, then I won't have anything.

Um...except when it comes to women of course. Bring on the Lumpfish chicks!

NewWifey(tm) had never tried caviar of any stripe. Growing up in the Midwest all fish was suspect to begin with. The idea that their EGGS were edible was so alien that when I first suggested them she thought I had morphed into Jeffrey Dahmer. Fish eggs were bait, not food.

I went full steam ahead with the Lumpfish roe anyway, knowing I could cajole her into trying them like I had with snails, Port, and semen. (Not always at the same meal, mind you.) I set each container in a ramekin of shaved ice and surrounded the plate with the customary toppings: capers, minced red onion, lemon wedges, crumbled hard cooked eggs, etc. I also had a tin of rich butter from France (Beurre D'Isigny) and a crock of Creme Fraiche.

To wash it down:

Iced Svedka vodka. Neat.

It was all very pretty when we got done setting it up. We spread out the courses on our coffee table, banished the animals to the basement, and popped "Babette's Feast" (our favorite foodie flick) in the VCR.

And then went to town, baby. Stockholm town, to be exact.

I'll spare you the minute details of each dish, much as I'd like to bore you with them. But I will say that we were both pleasantly shocked at how much we loved the Lumpfish caviar, especially on warm toast points with a dollop of creme fraiche, and a little onion or capers. And especially especially when chased with iced Svedka vodka! Wowee!

When it was all over, half the 750ml bottle had disappeared.


Now neither of us are particularly new to the drinking arts, and I've expounded before on NewWifey(tm)'s superhuman Irish Steelworker imbibing abilities. So while we definitely listed at odd angles when tottering back and forth to the bathroom, neither one of us was in any danger of an imminent core meltdown. Therefore....

Time for Glogg!

Now remember, there was 2+ liters of liquid on the stove. 750ml of which was pure alcohol.

And it was gooooooood!

My god, why hadn't I visited Sweden before? Who CARES if all their furniture looks like half-finished park benches - they've got Glogg!

We drank the entire batch before the movie ended.

At which point I was blind.

Well, I don't think I was blind. I just didn't have enough strength in both my arms SOBER to lift the 400 pound weights my eyelids had become. The empty mug dropped from my hands and I curled up fully clothed on the recliner, asleep before that mug hit the floor. NewWifey(tm), for all her genetic barding, fared no better and was snoring along with me.

Now mind you, this was a work night for me. Probably not one of my more shining examples of "forward planning". It was probably 8pm when we went comatose, and I had to be up at 1:30.

At 10pm I woke soaked in sweat. I peeled off all my clothes, scattering and squishing stray fish eggs as I plopped back down naked in the recliner.

At 11pm I woke in a COLD sweat.

And you know what that means.

I dunno, I feel kinda odd going on from here. I feel like some college frat guy who still thinks people find stories of his projectile vomitting after hours of excess drinking rivetting.

Nonetheless, imagine if you will the Jackson Pollack canvas I created with red and black fish eggs, silver skinned herring chunks, bright yellow French butterfat, red wine...you get the idea. Unfortunately.

The worst part?

I didn't make it to the toilet.

Not even close. I just lay down on that stupid pile rug and shot stream after putrid stream straight into the vanity.

And didn't care at all.

When I was finally empty I dozed off and on until I heard my Wallace and Gromit clock chiming their alarm at 1:30.

I was filthy, with fish eggs matted into my chest hair and the right side of my face streaked with multicolord goo. But I just. couldn't. bear. to have a jet of water pound into my skull in the shower.

I wiped off as much as I could with a washcloth, threw it out, and got dressed. I had to hope no trooper would pull me over, since 6 hours was probably not enough time to lower my Blood Alcohol Content to anything considered an acceptable driving level outside of Russia.

I left the pool of vomit for NewWifey(tm) to clean up.

Hey...that's why I got married in the first place.

At work, all I wanted to do was die. Seriously. Even at their lowest levels, having headphones strapped to my skull for 7 hours this morning was like having dual pile drivers competing to see which would reach the other side of my brain first.

The drive home was just as bad, as I had to stop 3 times - each after taking a corner too sharply - and dry heave out the passenger door.

It was probably the only time in my life I actually considered suicide, just to make the pain stop.

And that's when I realized why the Swedes, the Danes, the Finns, and all the rest of those otherwise wildly advantaged Snow People kill themselves with predictable regularity:


And I want no more of it, thank you.

At least...not today. Call me next week and see if I've forgotten the pain by then. It's probably a safe bet I will have.

Oh yeah - wanna know what happened when I got home?


NewWifey(tm): "Oooooooh, honey. I am so sorry. I got up a little after you left, and I was so sick. I had to throw up, but...I didn't make it to the toilet! I just opened the bathroom door and immediately began puking all over the floor and walls. I hadn't even turned the light on yet! I'm so sorry. I'll clean it up in a little while when my head stops trying to free itself from my neck."


I patted her hand and told her it was ok, and to take her time cleaning up. Poor thing.

Then I went and took a nap. And now I'm here regailing you with my Frat Boy tail of excess and projectile vomitting.

Aren't you glad you stopped by?

I'll tell you what. Go have a nice mug of Glogg and forget about it.




I still can't sleep from the shakes. So I'll give you a bonus item or two.

First of all, bigpimpinmba asked me to do some sort of Music List questionairre thingy. I declined as rudely as possible, saying in my usual haughty fashion that those things are beneath me. In truth though, I just have no idea how to do all the fancy bullets and fonts and crap that his survey seemed to demand. I would link to that specific entry of his, but I think you should go there and find it yourself. He writes some of the funniest shit I've seen in, um, a few days, and it's worth your while to start reading his current entry and just work your way back until you find the music thing. And then do it up right in your OWN diary, with bullets and fonts and all that other crap you know you love.


How about a "Women are from Venus, Men are from Uranus" joke:

What is "making love"?
Answer: what women do when men are fucking them.


Odd News Story of the Moment

How devoutly/blindly religous do you have to be to let a grown man go down on your infant son? Even after you've noticed the weeping cold sore on his lip?

Here's how: OY VEY!!


Ok I really have to try to get some sleep now, shakes or no shakes.

Maybe a nightcap will calm me down. It's worth a shot.

Or five.



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