Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Viva la polo shirt

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/15/world/americas/15castro.html?ex=1350100800&en=627953228e5dae24&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

Okay, so the fact that Castro is "alive" is old news (since, as you know, I post every article about his public "appearances" on my blog) but this article, describing his latest public outing in Santa Clara, has a little something extra:

The audience in Santa Clara included Cuba’s vice president, Carlos Lage, dressed in a red polo shirt decorated with a Che logo, and Venezuela’s foreign minister, Nicol├ís Maduro.

Why is this excerpt even remotely interesting? Because my dear friend Suraj and I have had a running joke that we should market Che polo shirts. This joke, by the by, has been repeated ad nauseum by yours truly, even when not funny anymore, whenever any mention of Che t-shirts comes up, which is (not surprisingly) often when you travel in Latin America/frequent hostels/associate with Gatorade hippies.

So, the idea is, instead of having a little polo player or alligator or whatever embroidered on the breast of the polo shirt, we'd have a little version of that iconic picture of Che. See below, since it's highly possible that you've never seen this image before*:



Well, looks like the communists beat us to our genius marketing scheme. As they tend to do. And they have officially killed our clever joke, now that it's become a reality, thanks to Carlos Lage. Dang enterprising Cubans!

Now Suraj and I need to revise our idea and come up with some other obnoxious, yuppie market we can exploit by putting Che's pictures on its products. Perhaps we can start a line of Che cookware sold at Williams Sonoma? Or Che bedclothes available exclusively at Pottery Barn? Then again, patrons of those places might fall outside of our target age demographic. How can we best take advantage of the total and dumbfounding lack of irony among the current Che tee shirt-wearing set? This is a puzzler.

Please post any and all marketing ideas here. Viva la revoluci├│n.





*If you live on Mars.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Latent cooking skillz

I just ate a lot of frosting, from a can, and the concentrated sugar/lard mixture that's now rapidly pooling in my arteries has stirred my creativity and inspired me to blog. About food.

The most useful thing I've learned this school year so far is not, as one might think, some dumb legal thing, but something far, far more valuable -- I've learned how to make pancakes. And macaroni and cheese. And several varieties of cookie. Okay, to be accurate, I already "knew" how to do all of this stuff -- that is, I knew how to read from the back of a box. Sort of. I mean, okay, I actually did know how to bake cookies, but I am listing it here as a newfound skill because it adds to my point that I am rapidly becoming really domestic. Seriously domestic. Future husband, take note -- I make BLUEBERRY PANCAKES. That's right. Pancakes. With blueberries. Please see photographic proof below:



Elise and I have been honing our mutual domesticity since moving in together. Part of this stems from the weird, marriage-like relationship we've fallen into, in which somehow, against my will, I have been designated the husband and Elise has designated herself the wife. This is something we need to work out between us, so I won't get into it here. Our marital issues are not for public airing.

So, some of you may be thinking, "Wait, Steph, just because you can open a box of Bisquick and pour some milk into it doesn't make you a cook. Any idiot can do that." And my answer to you people is, Yes, but can any idiot add blueberries? NO. That takes true cooking creativity. That takes zazz.

Also, let us not forget that this summer, the two members of Club Stariella whipped up a lavish feast (with absurdly expensive pine nuts! we must never overlook those pine nuts!) for a bunch of people, and NOTHING came out of a box. Except the pasta. But come on. Making your own pasta is for yuppies. And Italians, I guess.

And did I mention that my gastronomic skills are not limited to the realm of food? That's right, I make drinks too. Look below for a picture of the sangria that Elise and I created for our party at the beginning of the school year. Tell me you don't want to slurp some of that down right now. TELL ME TO MY FACE.



Anyway I hope this post didn't come off as "braggy," what with all the pictures and the bragging, but I think it's important. Back in the olden days, I probably would have been judged harshly on the basis of my ability to make ye olde mac 'n cheese. I bet if you made crappy food back then, you got married off to the village cross-eyed guy. And wasn't poor butter churning grounds for being burnt at the stake as a witch? The point is, culinary finesse is important. Always has been. That's why I am polishing my domestic skills.

Eat your heart out, Donna Reid.