And I Can Cook, Too

Friday, January 26, 2007

July 14, 2006

Concert Etiquette

It was the final night of the Microsoft Worldwide Conference, and the closing event was a private concert by the rock group Train. After a game of twenty questions during which my husband swore six ways from Sunday that there was absolutely no way I was going to be escorted out of this particular event, and meeting and befriending a Microsoft employee who had given me her card and promised to throw her employee badge over the fence should I be barred from entry, I donned my rock clothes and boarded the bus to the concert. Microsoft and rented, fenced, and lined with armed guards the city’s Fanuiel Hall and Government Center districts. And I thought they’d taken the Go-Go’s seriously. We arrived and I entered the venue without incident.

Food and beer trucks surrounded the concert floor; but far more impressive were the generator-operated port-o-potties. Each port-o-venue housed 4 individual stalls, and each stall was paneled with a faux oak finish. Two faux marble sinks came complete with real linen napkins and real human attendants. It was the nicest public restroom I’d ever seen.

My husband and I grabbed clam rolls, chowder, and a couple of beers, and waited for the concert to begin. The lights dimmed, the stage began to vibrate, and then it began: “Meet Virginia” and TRAIN. The crowd went wild!

Then I looked around. The crowd stood still. Perfectly still. Perfectly still and perfectly quiet. There was only one person in this crowd of 10,000 people with their hands in the air, and that person was me. This struck me as slightly odd. “Honey,” I asked my husband, “what’s going on?” (That he could actually hear me proves the oddity of this rock concert scenario). “You are the only person here who isn’t a computer geek” he informed me, pointing to a guy in a three piece suit, his arms crossed over his chest, surveying the band as if he were on guard, “They don’t know how to have fun. All they do is work on computers. That guy hasn’t had a night off in seven years.”

Despite the rather non-concert like surroundings, I was determined to have a great time. For the very first time in my life, I wanted to be in the mosh pit. We carefully wound through the crowd to the front of the stage and discovered that there wasn’t one. Content to simply be close to the band, my husband decided that I should stay right where I was while he went off for a couple more beers. Shortly after he left, I felt a tap on my shoulder. “Excuse me,” said an angry looking blond in a Microsoft shirt, “the next time you’re going to find a place to stand, would you mind going he other way around?” I considered her request: the next time I was in Boston for the Microsoft World Wide Conference, attending the closing night Train concert and trying to get to the front of the stage, would I mind going the other way around? “Okay!” I said. This was clearly not the answer she was going for. Over the music I could hear her huff and chuff, and comment to her companion about rude concert guests. I concluded that she had never actually been to a concert before, and opted to ignore her. My husband returned with our beer, and noticed that there was a man diminutive size standing directly behind us. “”Would you like to stand in front of us?” he offered, much to the dismay of the chuffing blond. Further adding to her ire, my husband and I enjoyed every second of the rest of the concert, hands in the air and all. Finally, as Train was playing their last encore, I felt another tap on my shoulder. “May I at least get my picture?” the same girl asked me, clearly not realizing the true purpose of a rock concert. “Okay!” I said, clearly not realizing what she was actually asking for. Ah, well, at least I was being agreeable.

The concert ended, and my husband and I made our way back to the bus. As we were leaving, we passed by the row of port-o-potties, and I decided to make one last stop. It was at this time that I discovered the only flaw in the potty design. The front door opened in, and the door to the interior stalls opened out. With the glee of having seen a wonderful concert and consumed a couple of beers, I swung the front door open. And promptly slammed it into the door of the person already in the stall trying to get out. “Dammit!” she screamed. “Sorry!” I called out, and the front door opened. Out came my angry blond friend, with a look that said one thing: “You followed me here, you waited for me, and you smashed a port-a-potty door in my face. You bitch.”

I’d never killed someone’s concert rush before (I kind of liked it).

Because I tell everyone this is a food blog here is an excellent recipe:

New England Clam Chowder

½ C Unsalted Butter
1/3 Lb. Bacon, small dice
1 C. Sweet Onion, medium dice
½ C. Celery, medium dice
¾ C. Yukon Gold Potato, medium dice
2 Gloves Garlic, minced
3 C. Shucked Clams (canned clams are great and easy)
2 Qt. Heavy Cream
1 QT Milk, full fat
1 Pt. Clam juice (you can get it in a bottle)
Dash Hot Sauce
S&P To Taste

In a stockpot, render the bacon until it is just crisp. Remove the bacon and drain all but about 1 Tbsp. of the fat. Add the butter and melt. Add the onion and celery and sauté until just beginning to become translucent. NO! You can’t sauté the onion and celery at the same time you’re cooking the bacon! If you try, your bacon will NEVER get crisp! Add the garlic, sauté for one minute. Add the potatoes, clams, ½ the cream, the milk, and the clam juice. Bring to just a simmer. Do not boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, and test the potato for doneness. Taste, and season with hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Everyone likes chowder at a different thickness. If your chowder is too thin, simmer a little more to reduce the liquid and thicken the cream. If your chowder is too thick, add more cream until it is your desired consistency. NO!! For the sake of all things holy!! Don’t even consider mucking with this recipe by adding a roux or some other starch based thickening agent! If you do, you will NEVER EVER be allowed to go to New England! And the Patriots might win another Super Bowl!!


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