the currency of villainy.

30 03 2010

first and foremost i want to thank you all for being sweet and sticking up for me today. you all made my crappy weekend infinitely less stupid. in addition, i am definitely feeling less sick, and we were able to talk the condo roof assessment down to $3750 per unit.  although if you see my insurance adjuster, please tell her to fucking return my calls!  but enough about that.

after getting that mean comment yesterday, i’ve been thinking a lot about what the future holds for me and my identity as a blogger. at this point, i feel exceptionally lucky that i’ve only ever had 2 negative comments in the 6 month life span of my little website. but as my traffic count starts to swell (swell obviously being a  relative term), so does the possibility that people aren’t going to like what i have to say. and the truth is, i’m not that nice. the person who told me i should stick to reviewing PB&Js did so because i completely eviscerated a local restaurant. and i did so unapologetically. i’m blunt and brutal and bitchy. sometimes for comic effect, and sometimes because i’m honest and i don’t care to waste time candy coating things with a protective layer of waffling and neutrality.

unfortunately, with this inability/unwillingness to play nice, i make myself a target for naysayers. as much as there are people in the universe who would shank their own grandma to avoid a conflict, there are other people out there who would shank their own grandma to start a conflict, because picking fights gets them off. the internet is the perfect place to do this because you never have to use your real name, use your real email address, or tell anyone what restaurant you work for when you’re telling someone they’re not qualified to opine about anything higher up the food chain than peanut butter and jelly sandwiches… the internet makes people ballsier and nastier than ever with absolutely no fear of repercussion.

but is it really so bad? if i want my readership to grow, is it time for me start filing off my sharp edges? criticism feels bad right now because i’m not used to it, but a lot of people have gotten very famous being the bad guy. howard stern, rush limbaugh, gargamel, destro… being hated means that people are paying attention. being hated means that people care enough to have formed an opinion. is being merely likable compelling enough to keep people visiting every day? exactly how evil do i have to be to get more people to subscribe to my RSS?

but seriously, i don’t think i’ll be amping up or amping down my level of darkness any time in the near future. i’ll never be polly people pleaser, but i also have a hard time being pointlessly mean spirited. as those cheap shots start rolling in… it will be a challenge to decide how to handle them. it is tempting to join the pissing match, be the villain, especially when being the hero seems like such a fucking snooze (sorry captain america, no thank you). in the meantime, before i start concepting possible furniture layouts for castle grayskull, i think i’ll settle quietly somewhere in the anti-hero category for a while. that way, i can still be fundamentally good, without having to be fundamentally boring or having my purity of spirit make other people uncomfortable (i’m pretty sure people probably make an effort not to swear in front of superman).

full of grace.

7 02 2010

so last night i finally paid grace a visit. it opened a while ago, but i’ve been sort of afraid to go inside. i mean who in portland is cocky enough to open a fine dining (aka high priced) restaurant in a down economy inside a giant converted church? admittedly, it is a pretty impressive renovation, although there’s a faux classiness that smacks of homegoods to me. wine cork napkin holders?! also, the silverware is terrible. my spoon looked more like a tiny shovel, and was completely ineffective in getting the soup from  bowl to mouth (which turned out not to be that much of a problem, but we’ll get there soon).

however, i could forgive the tackiness parading as high class if the food was good. i’d pay $50 for a meal in a burnt out gas station if it was delicious, but it was really crap. the lettuce in my salad had dirt in it. my cauliflower soup was so pureed that it had an unearthly slimy smoothness that i found to be utterly gross. my dessert was microscopic. who knows what kind of carrageenan xanthan gum bullshit was in the earl gray hot chocolate (which tasted like burning tires and old perfume btw) that made it thick and lumpy-gelatinous. and for some reason, everything (no matter how tiny) was served on plates so giant that it was completely impossible for me to eat both my salad and soup simultaneously. the only decent thing we had all night was the wine, and we all went home hungry. boo-urns.

and the entire time, i couldn’t stop thinking about how much my $10 dinner at po’ boys and pickles earlier in the week was so much better. so much better. the sweet potato fries were the best i’d ever had (sorry silly’s- too soggy!), they made me a meatless ruben with incredible fresh bread (and only charged me $3 for it), and the sticky toffee pudding was as good or better than any dessert that i’ve ever had at any restaurant in portland (including the tres leches cake at caiolas). dear po’ boys, please move on to the peninsula, and i will happily buy bigger/stretchier pants.

as much as i want to support all local businesses, if they don’t deliver, they don’t deliver.  food doesn’t taste better if the hostess ignores me, or because they make me taste the wine before they fill the glasses, or if they take away my salad fork just because i’m not having a salad. i don’t care how much you spent on the renovation. just give me something (anything) that tastes good, or me and my $43 aren’t ever coming back.