Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My dad's a foreigner.  I guess since he came to California in 1955 he's been a foreigner. He has a strong accent, like "fresh off the boat" strong.  When my parents divorced about 7 yrs ago, my dad moved to Spain. He's living with his old girlfriend who he knew when he was 17.  When he visited Switzerland, his homeland, he had developed a tell-tale American twang to his Swiss-German tongue.  When he is in America he has his characteristic Swiss accent. In Spain, he is obviously foreign, as he speaks very little Spanish; just enough to order food and beer and get the check.

I just finished talking to him on Skype.  He makes me laugh. He's spoken English longer than I have, and yet he still is at loss for words.  Daylight Savings Time is "summer time".  A cellphone is a "handy".  H1N1 flu is "pig flu".  I can't remember all his little language flubs, but they are charming.  I think he purposely uses some of them to get more help than most people do.  "Hey dad!, count to 3", we would asks as kids. He'd count off, "one, two, shree" and his 4 kids would giggle away.  He can't pronounce the "THR" sound and we never let him forget it.

Summer sausage, also known as Thuringer, gets pronounced Tour-ing-ga, the German pronunciation.  When I order this at a deli counter, I get the strangest looks. Only recently did I learn that most people say "Thur-in-ger".

Ponder the pronounciation of Rosti (royshti) with geschnitzelisch kalbsfleich (my spelling may be off) or emmenceau du veau zurichcoise (same food, different language. If you can eat veal, it's delicous!) over the Rosti.  My mouth is watering while I'm sure my dad is laughing at me and my American accent when I try to speak German.  Not sure I could eat veal these days as I haven't eaten pork/beef for about 30 years, but I'll double up on the Rosti!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cosmos, in quantity

I volunteered at a high school function on Sunday.  I actually had a great time. I got to bar-tend. I also got to learn how to make Cosmos in large quantities. I think we ended up with 9 gallons.
The recipe is simple:
1 part vodka
1 part cranberry juice
1/2 part triple sec
1/4 part lime juice
Mix. Shake with ice and pour. Best if poured over a lime section, squeezed.

To make in quantity, dump 4-1.75 liter bottles of Vodka in one of those 5 gallon gatorade coolers that high school sports teams use.  Dump in 2-1.75 liter bottles of triple sec.  Measure out 7 liters of cranberry juice. Dump that in. The cranberry juice didn't come in 1.75 liter containers, it came in imperial measurements, thus requiring measurements.  Add 1.75 liters fresh lime juice.  Thankfully Odwalla donated some real good lime juice!

To ensure mixing, siphon off some of the mixture into the largest container that is available, such as an empty cranberry juice container.  When siphoning out the second bit, pour in the first container. Repeat several times, until the mixture looks well combined.  Taste.  Adjust as necessary.

Now add 2 of the 1.75 liter vodka bottles to another, smaller cooler with a spigot.  Add 1 bottle of 1.75liter triple sec.  Add 3.5 liter of cranberry.  Add about 900 ml of lime.  Mix as before. Taste. Adjust amounts to your liking.

Funny, each batch, although made to the same specs, tasted slightly different. To one we added about 500 ml more triple sec. To another a tad more lime.  We kept mixing in smaller and smaller containers until there was no liquor of the critical type remaining.  I believe we finished mixing 7 of those large bottles Vodka, and the ingredients to go with that.

I served white wine, several different red wines, 4 different beers, sparkling water, and shaken cosmos all evening long. I got to take a gallon (I *think* it was a gallon; it was a cranberry juice sized container) of the cosmo mixture home at the end of the night, as it was left over.  I know 7 cases of sparkling water were gone through, many bottles of wine, and beer were also consumed.

I'd say a good time was had by all, especially since the liquor was all open bar, since the cost was covered by the ticket sales. The tip jar apparently made enough to cover the costs of the liquor!

Anyone need 9 gallons of cosmos mixed up?

Monday, March 15, 2010

The box

Yay! I finally got it. So I thanked the guy.  This man is so friggin self-centered, he doesn't even know how to salvage anything.  Here's the messages:
Tsigeyusv: : I received the box. Thank you.
The guy: It's there already? Impressive.
The guy: : I forgot to put yogurt tops in. Only a half dozen anyway, and I'm sure it's not a life-threatening mistake.
Tsigeyusv:: No, not life threatening, yet :) but they would be handy
Tsigeyusv:: unfortunately, the pins opened in transport and were attacking as I opened the box
The guy: noooo!
The guy: : OMG I never anticipated that. It did occur to me that I should have put the small things in a bag...after I sent it.
The guy: I don't do a lot of shipping.
Tsigeyusv: heh, so you've said.   I'm glad to have gotten it... not getting it made me feel very trivial and unimportant
The guy:: I understand. Well, I mean I guess I really don't but intellectually I do. You know. :)
Tsigeyusv:: Well, think about it. A /good/ friend asks you for something.  It doesn't happen.  A request is made again and it doesn't happen. A third and 4th request are made... at which time the "friend" wonders if its worth asking about anyway.  It's just stuff, but it was important to me
The guy: I did say that intellectually I do.
Tsigeyusv:  but you really don't (also stated)
The guy: well, I suppose I did. I guess I should be more careful with verbs that have multiple meanings. :)

Whatever happened to, "I'm sorry it took so long"  or "I didn't mean to trivialize you!"  Whatever. Over the last 4 months I've learned that I need to be with a person who 1) respects me and 2) actually cares about me.