Sunday, December 20, 2009
Some parts of your life are okay. It is hard to get a fix on what the sum total is sometimes, because everything is always changing in different ways, with weird, different velocities.
My tuna life is always alright, although I do not like it when it comes up in the other parts of my life, the ones that are always falling apart at different and interesting velocities.
But tuna is always fairly consistent, even past it's prime, like, uh, something that compares well with it.
Most of my life is lived in my head, and, honestly, not much goes on there either. Some of you, perhaps almost old enough to be me, may have once lived this way. Probably during your teens, before your real-life started happening.
VAL2E 1ZSWG 09:53 best by Aug 20 2009
Tuna sandwich, the usual. I had some of those peppers from the dollar store, some horseradish (thanks, Dave!) and uh, some of those vidalia onions in a jar my mom got me about ten years ago. Good sandwich...good sandwich.
Oh, so whatever, right. I live in my apartment most of the time. I have lived here for over 18 years, and it's a studio. Can you imagine? The tales these walls could tell!
That is all, Dear Readers, please enjoy the baby until next time.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Can #...what, 7? More than halfway through the adventure. VAL2E 1ZSWG 09:46 best by AUG 20 2009.
More than halfway through this adventure, and so what? This tuna isn't bad. It's delicious! So what that my heiny never came back from it's once healthy glean. So what that one of my backsides is always full of ache, and that I'm reminded with every step I take that my time is coming to an end. Yes, just like this tuna blog, which is finite, so am I. That makes this tuna blog a metaphor for life, doesn't it. And that, my friends, makes it literarily valid. It makes my butt something too, literarily, but I don't know what. The point is, that it is not the tuna's fault, although it would be great if it was because that would be better.
Wait, let us talk about tuna with no transition. I had a sandwich and it was good. I had the same thing I had before, because I'm not even trying anymore. Although everything around me is telling me to stop living in hope, the dollar stores around where I live have had a huge influx of jarred jalapenos and banana peppers and chilies. And that, my friends is what is keeping me going. Even if I have only a little heel of bread to put it on. Remember, my friends, what came before that last little heel of bread, a whole loaf of bread.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Can #6: VAL2E 1ZSWG 09:49 best buy AUG 20 2009
This goes out, at first, to the great Dave Kress, who long ago taught me that horse radish was the fun way to spice up your tuna sandwich. This goes out to people all over the world who have taught me all kinds of things...Mary P. Groman, who taught me how to brush my teeth. Chris Turano, who taught me how to wash my eyeglasses. My mom, who, among other things, taught me to zip up my jeans and pull the pockets out before putting them in the dryer. Marie Kane-Seitz, who taught me how to dance, all side-to-side. And Trace, who taught me the Yucky Gum Song.
This was a tuna sandwich with horseradish and some sweet banana peppers. It also had a little salt and pepper, some bread and some lettuce. I used to be a defender of iceberg lettuce, then someone sat me down and told me the benefits of romaine, and now that's where you can find me, on Romaine Street.
Let's get to the books, because that's what prompted this entry anyway. Last night, several nights ago (time gets bent in a blog) the book lady and I were going through her books. We were looking at them, and thank goodness she was here, because I will tell you, and please don't tell her, that I was, at that point, going through a slight bout of disappointment. After the Brautigan was uncovered and filled my house with refreshing pancake smellin' breezes, I started to anticipate great things...a vein of Vonnegut, a block of Bukowski, a gaggle of Garcia-Marquez, a cache of Carver (pushing it?), a rain of Richard Ford! (I'm done).
But there weren't none. Although, I remember them clearly.
I've seen her shelves, throughout a big chunk of my life. I know the binder-colors and patterns by heart. I've envied them, mostly because she just used to always get great, great gifts from all sorts of people, until the whole chicken-thing happened to her.
And I was thinking. Hmm. Maybe she's lost stuff in some metaphorical fires as well. Maybe it's not just me. And then, I remembered some of her fires, and where those books went, including an oft debated volume of Rilke.
But here's the difference between me and her. She moves on. Those that might know, may agree that she is the most moving-onest person there ever was. Her past, literally, does not exist. While I have been sitting up in a teeny apartment trying to find a way back to my past so I could hang on to something, she has been having new experience after new experience after new experience. New, new, new, new, new, new, new, new, new. While I just keep getting older and older. I haven't had an experience in ten or twenty years. Not one.
Anyway, the sandwich. It was kind of dry. I do not eat mayonnaise and most of you know the reason. It is a tribute.
She is out there, ridding herself of the baggage...the baggage, dear readers.
While I am up here, alone, massaging my own butt.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Last week I was a water skier, trying to catch up to the boat. And that's hard!
This week so far, it seems I might be riding on the boat again. Oh, Dear Readers, the BOAT!
Let's review, last week, mostly, I was missing deadlines at my new job. My internet connection broke (I work online), my bike chain broke, and one of my classes for next semester got canceled. Oh, and let's not forget the earbuds!
This weekend, the biggest thing in ten years or so happened to me. I acquired a whole 'nother human being's book collection. A good one. A goldmine of books.
See, many years ago, I lost all of my books and my records and cds in a metaphorical fire. And nothing in my life has made me sadder. The metaphorical fire: no biggie. But the books and the records, they were part of who I am. (Like that's so great). If you came into my apartment, you would get to know me pretty well, by looking at my book and record (and cd) shelves. But for the last ten years, people who have come into my apartment go: "Wow, you have a lot of books."
And I have to go, "No, no, no, those are only the books I wasn't able to sell. I have not, in general, read them, and they are not representative of me."
It's a weird way to start an evening.
Anyway, I'm taking my leftover books out of my shelves, and I'm putting these other books into them. You can see the shelf up above, with the first batch of the new books in, on the top shelf. And slowly, I am feeling more and more like myself.
The earbud thing went away as quickly as it came. The Walgreen's took back the weirdo earbuds without any question whatsoever. I even begged them to look. "Please, look at the weirdness," I begged, but to no avail. I bought two of the old kind of earbuds I used to have. Two sets of earbuds: ten bucks.
Bikechain still remains unfixed. But Lee Chae tells me that even a whole new chain is not very much money. That is good news to the ears.
Today, they replaced that class I lost.
In a little while, I am going to eat can #5. I am going to make a batch of greens, and then I am going to dump can #5 on top of it, mixed with some salt, peppers, and jalapenos. Obviously, I will let you know how things turn out.
Oh, if it helps, today I went running for the first time in, like, a week, and I think I pulled my heiny.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Can #4VAL2F 1ZSNG 09:59 (might be 1ZSWG, it is hard to say, there is blurring).
best by Aug 20 2009 Also dented, somewhat crumpled even, at the bottom.
I live like the Boy in the Bubble. This building, and the people in it, keep me safe, do stuff for me, save my life day after day.
Lee and the Lady Chae, they give me a recipe for tuna casserole that has cheese in it. Beautiful readers, did your tuna casserole have cheese in it? Mine did not. It did have peas, which I did not like. Neither, back then, did I like tuna casserole. Team Chae's recipe gives you a choice, one cup of grated cheddar cheese or two cups of grated cheddar cheese. Which would you, dear readers, choose? They also give me a chain tool to fix my broken bike. So far I have not been able to fix the bike, or return the chain tool. They don't ask, when will you return it? They ask if everything's okay.
Last night my life was spiraling down, and out of control, readers. And then I thought I'd better take a break with tuna casserole, think about my mom for awhile. But I had no, what do you call it, glass square dish that goes in the oven? Well, my neighbors Chris and Q (not from Star Trek) and Jonathan Archer (not from Star Trek either) and his Significant Other, well, they both got kids, and they put them to bed around, I don't know, 7 or 8? Whenever I need something from them. And I get afraid to knock on their doors 'round about that time. But, man, I need that thing, whatever it's called...got to get my life back together, eat tuna casserole, think about my mom: Mom the Great.
So I text them, and I email them, which I can only do, on both counts, because of them. That's right, both my phone and my internet connection are testaments to their never-ending generosity. Next thing I know: I hear pots and pans a-rattlin' across the hall. When I got over there, there was Lady Chris all over the floor, glass whatever they're called, all over the place...
"I hope this is good enough," she says.
"Is it big enough?" she says.
"Is it glassy enough?" she says.
"I know we have a glassier one somewhere," she says. "Please, give me just another moment, and I'll find it."
"No, no," I say, a tear in my eye, "this one is just the right amount of glassy, and it's size cannot be bettered."
And that, dearest readers, is how I come to eat the tuna casserole, which I pulled out of the oven with the brand new oven mit you can see obscuring my face above (a gift, I might add, from those same neighbors). A tuna noodle casserole made, yes, from some questionable tuna, but whose cheese could not have been tastier, and whose size could not be bettered.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Coming home from the Little Dragon show, right when he was thinking: boy, I sure am good at riding this bike. In fact, I'm ripping up the road! his bike chain got jammed between the littlest sprocket and the frame. He will admit, now, that he was not so good to the bike that night. In fact, he will admit, he was kind of mean to it.
The bike acquiesced to his meanness, and the chain, somehow, hopped back on, and he was able to ride home, although he could no longer tear up the road.
The next day, on his way to the library and the bank, his bike chain was a skip-and-slip-fest, until finally, just before the bank, it broke and fell off.
Later, his earbuds broke.
He works online, you know. He has a new job, all online. He had his first deadline Sunday, and wouldn't you know it, the free internet connection he's been using for four years (at least! he and Joel figured it out) it locked up. The two specific places, both of them lock up, on the same day, on the day of the deadlines. It would be funnier if it just happened to be, as well, November 2nd. But you know I cannot lie to you.
He bought some new earbuds, but it is difficult to describe the weird and terrible thing they have, where the length of the wire to the one ear, is five or six inches longer than the wire to the other ear. It is crazy: my head is symmetrical.
His class for next semester was canceled.
Coming back from the grocery store, his bag broke. He was going to blow off some steam after his angry, angry day. He was coming home with egg noodles to make Lois's famous tuna noodle casserole.
Then he remembered, he needed the internet to get to the recipe.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
PLEASE DO NOT LET RAY HALLIDAY SNOW YOU!
He's got his ways of getting things done.
And, he just got paid!
Please strap yourselves in for an ALL-TUNA WEEKEND!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
He is broke and has seventy students. That's seventy papers to grade. Actually, they don't all hand them in.
But he's okay, folks. He's feeling okay. He had some soup. But he can't buy no bread, and he can't buy no lettuce or noodles or whatnot...
But he'll be back, you'll see...
...back on top...
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Can #3: best by Aug 20 2009. VAL2E 1ZSWG 09:56 (I should mention that this can is slightly dented, probably by the original owners)
Sometimes, you have to improvise and go with what you have in the house. Pickings have been kind of slim lately. Then, someone named Lee made a comment and all of a sudden an idea came to me (like a bolt of tuna-lightning) and I was off and running.
I love Warren Zevon and I am, and never have been, afraid to admit it. His chili recipe can be found here: http://www.cookingwithjule.com/Warren_Zevon_Chile_Recipe.htm . It has changed my chili life. Mostly through one tiny sentence in the recipe, "Put in plenty of cumin and keep putting it in. Believe it." Can't you just hear him saying: "Believe it." I have never looked back.
So, because these are some of the great ingredients I have in the house, today I am going to attempt a "Zevon-chili-spiced" (tuna) fish burrito, made with mozzarella cheese ('cause that's the kind of cheese he has).
My buddy, James Kirk, and I have been comparing weight-loss notes. He lost 25 pounds because he quit drinking for 4 months! One of the reasons I have weight is drinking, and eating late at night. But also because sometimes I will own flour tortillas, cheese and a microwave.
Anyway, 1 or 2 big flour tortillas
some mozzarella cheese
a can of tuna, spiced like warren zevon's chili...that's with new mexico chilis, a little cayenne, cumin, garlic salt, black pepper and a little oregano. I also put in some of those great red jalapenos from last week.
Take the tuna mix, spread it on the tortilla on a plate, put some cheese on top of the tuna and heat it up in the microwave (you heard me).
Take it out and top it with, like actual fish tacos, a little tartar sauce, some hot sauce (God bless, Tapatio) and, also like fish tacos, a little shredded cabbage. Believe it.
He says: "It's delicious!"
What an Excitable Boy!
It has been reported that just a little while ago, Ray Halliday cut his finger on one of the, so-called, tuna cans. Reports confirm that he is able to stand, and miraculously, we have heard that he still plans on going for a run, and that he still plans on going through with eating can #3 later today.
(You know, this is just the kind of real-life drama, that keeps me tun(a)ing in)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Let me first say that I am okay. I repeat: Okay.
Yesterday, after having Can #2, it was reported that Ray Halliday was feeling somewhat tired, worn down, and in the middle of the afternoon. He said he thought he might need a nap, which is not unusual for him. Still, after having that sandwich, it was a point of concern. Halliday said that it was most likely due to some new job stress, and also the fact that he was forced to take an early retirement from love. Not to worry, somehow he rallied, and the nap was skipped.
Today, he was seen running through the panhandle. He would like to thank all the tunablog fans, especially the elementary school kids, who have been lining up along his route to cheer him on. Also: more good news, two more pounds down since last month. And, according to his doctor: blood pressure is way down....way down, People...
Also, that early report of pain and tingling in his hands had a very logical explanation and it had nothing to do with Chicken of the Sea.
In other words, he's okay. Thanks for all the cards and letters.
Next week: How will a wicked-busy schedule affect eating tuna fish? Tune in!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Can #2....the stamp on this can is too blurry to read the tuna i.d. # or the best by date...(who would give such a reckless gift?)
Obviously, time is not on my side, and with each day that goes by, the danger becomes more and more real. (Yuh, that's why we keep reading). Once again, abandoned by spotters, Ray Halliday goes it alone. This time, he makes a simple, simple tuna sandwich with nothing but some hot peppers and vidalia onion-stuff his mom got him to provide a buffer between him and the dangerous fish. (He really is going out there for his public).
Although we cannot tell what the future brings for him, I will say this, he seems to be very happy at the moment, being full of sandwich, with, as far as we can tell, nothing going wrong on his insides...
Wait...is his ear hurting a little bit?...No...no, we think it's nothing...
Certainly, we will keep you informed as things progress....
Friday, October 16, 2009
Ray Halliday was seen, and this picture is the proof, last night 10/15/09, in good health, not complaining, eating Chinese food, drinking beer, chuckling at times, and listening to some very nice clarinet music.
He was still having some tingling and aching in his hands, but it did not deter his good, good time.
He might've even connected up with a job. A JOB! Let the Chicken of the Sea people know!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
As I write you this I have finished the first can of Questionable Tuna. Sadly, there were no spotters available, so if, perhaps, I were to lose all feeling in my legs, or experience sudden blindness, I would be completely on my own. I wasn't thinking, America, and I will try and always have a spotter with me in the future. Although, awkwardly enough, because of the great risk I am taking, I will never be able to offer the spotter a bite of the same thing I am eating, even though it might look delicious, and they might beg me.
Before you start asking, I heated the tuna in the microwave and it was delicious, spicy and sweet all at the same time. The tuna came out of the can as if it was perfectly okay, all white, solid and albacorey. Just to review, it's white bun, tuna all soaked in NC BBQ sauce, topped with BBQ slaw. That's what you're seeing in the picture.
How does it compare to pulled pork? That is a question I do not feel like answering. Let's just say that the NC BBQ tuna sandwich is a good sandwich.
As for my health, it's only been a few minutes, and except for a tiny amount of pain/tingling in my fingers I feel alright. Full, and ready to face my empty day. My heart rate is up, but I am sure that is just fear, after all, I have just crossed over some mysterious border that I am sure there is no returning from.
I will contact you tomorrow and let you know how I am doing. If you do not hear from me, please contact the Chicken of the Sea people, and tell them my story.
Can One: Best By Aug 20 2009 VAL2E 1ZSWG 10:26
If you’ve lived in the Bay Area for any amount of time, you know that the only place to get a good NC-BBQ’d pulled pork sandwich is either at my apartment or some potluck that I happen to be attending.
Obviously, I can’t tell you how I prepare and pull my own pork. But it doesn’t matter here, because we’re going to substitute the Questionable Tuna for the pork.
I make a delicious NC BBQ sauce, and here, minus the secrets, is my recipe:
2 cups Cider Vinegar
3 tablespoons Ketchup
2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
4 teaspoons Coarse Salt
1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce or other hot sauce
1 to teaspoons Hot Red Pepper Flakes, or more to taste
1 to teaspoons Black Pepper
The trick is to take the meat, soak/douse, uh, marinate it in the sauce. Put the meat on the cheapest whitest bun you can get your hands on, and then top it off with some NC BBQ slaw. Here’s my recipe, minus the secrets, for the BBQ slaw:
4 c. cabbage, chopped fine
3 Tbsp sugar
1/3 c. Heinz catsup
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, or to taste
dash (or more) Cayenne
Chop cabbage. Mix other ingredients until dissolved. Add to cabbage--mix well. Cover and refrigerate. Keeps practically forever.
I've got to go take a shower and buy some buns. I'll be back in a bit to EAT IT! I'm nervous, obviously, but I believe that things are going to be okay...
Can you heat tuna in a microwave? Or should I eat it cold?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Ray Halliday is a 46 year old male. He weighs, like, 190, but he's recently lost 8 pounds. He's also taking 12.5 (approx.) of Hydrochlorothiazid for high(ish) blood pressure. The pills are 25 mg and you have to cut them in half with a razor. It's ridiculous. The pills explode into dust and you end up licking up the powder that is left, hoping you've taken the right amount. Here he is getting ready for a run of a little more than 5 miles. He does this almost every day but he has to wear special shoes. He says his little ipod shuffle is what keeps him going. He enjoys listening to music and things like This American Life. Today he plans on listening to some Vic Chesnutt, Elvis Costello, John Lennon, They Might Be Giants, The Cars, and some podcasts from The Moth. He kind of drinks too much, not crazy, but often by himself. He eats too much, and it's mostly out of boredom. He recently went to the doctors after an 11 year absence, and except for the high blood pressure thing, he is diabetes and restless-leg syndrome free. He should be in good shape to eat some tuna.
My name is Ray Halliday.
Recently, I was given (gifted) twelve cans of (from the label) the best tuna: Chicken of the Sea, SOLID WHITE TUNA, Albacore in Water. This tuna, although, I'm sure, delicious, is slightly past it's best by date of August 2009.
This blog will be a testament to my endeavor to eat these twelve cans of tuna.
Good luck to me.