Tuesday, April 29, 2008


For my ideal island-wear, I offer up some battle-tested threads, many of which became a man's best friend during my sojourn through Southeast Asia, China, the Balkans, and other parts of Europe last year. Also, I figure that a post is needed ASAP to cover up the 1st pic in the Fuzz's sexytime post, as people looking over my shoulder at work are getting the wrong idea...

1. North Face Hedgehogs - These shoes are awesome! Sturdy enough for hiking over rough terrain (the porcupine-modeled spikes on the sole are great), but casual enough for regular walking, these babies guided me from the volcanic hills of Ko Pha Ngan in Thailand to the cosmopolitanism of London (on an island as well). I was torn between these and some sandals, but then I figured that I could make some killer flip flops (possibly to be worn with socks when it gets cool out at night) out of braided strands of palm fronds.

2. Columbia Nylon Cargo Pants - Another awesome buy for my around-the-world trip. It's lightweight and dries fast in case it rains or you take a dip. The nylon is pretty sturdy, although an exposed wire from the seat frame of a cab in Bulgaria did tear a small hole into it... but that was pretty quickly remedied with a few stitches. As a bonus, you can zip off the legs under the knees, and turn these pants into studly cargo shorts. The vast number of pockets will come in handy as I forage around for supplies, or for carrying a large knife to take down a wild boar.

3. Thai Red Bull Singlet - Originally purchased to not survive an all-night Black Moon party in Thailand (cheapest thing I could find), the singlet became my emergency shirt when I was running out of clothes on my trip. Surprisingly warm for not having sleeves, and with a super-cool Thai Red Bull logo, this would work out very well on my island, though it may lead to funky tan lines on my shoulders. With my sexytime three (to be featured in an upcoming post) around, I need to maintain some sort of stylishness after all.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sexy love

For some reason I thought I would need to put a lot of thought into this one. Then I realized that I don't.

These are my lucky three...

Nicholas Lemons, model. Every time I see that face/body I want to die. I would definitely love him the most on my island – he’s my number one.

Adam Brody. I saw him in LA a few years ago – we made eye contact and I almost threw up. I just want to smoosh his face and laugh at his jokes. Not only would Adam and I be lovahs, we would be BFF.

Ryan Phillippe. Have you seen Cruel Intentions? I would make Ryan be the Sebastian on my island, just to spice things up. Also, I know Ryan’s a good dad and that’s important to me. So if I pop one out - no matter who the baby daddy is - I know Ryan would step it up and be the father of our awkward family.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

They rev my engine.

This was a hard one for me. Do I choose women with additional attributes to looks? Do I base my decision solely on the fact that they are the only women I will sleep with for the rest of my life? There was much nail biting but I narrowed it down to these lovely ladies, in no particular order:

1. Misty May - Professional beach volleyball player. I figured I might need somebody to challenge Whitney and Gabrielle in case of an inter-island volleyball competition. Plus, she lives in the shadow of Kerry Walsh so she's probably constantly trying to prove herself.

2. Kat Von D of L.A. Ink - I love long, dark, wavy hair. And there is no way I'm going to make it the rest of my life without getting more tattoos. She seems fun and sassy, someone that might keep me in line a bit. Most importantly, I bet she'd be a freak in bed; can't have a desert island without that.

3. Kari Byron of Mythbusters - I needed a redhead to keep a bit of variety. She is smart, sexy and very much a science dork. As a child she would often come up with her own (dangerous) experiments and try to use her sister as a test-dummy/guinea pig. So pretty much she's a hot female version of me.

Honorable mention: Rachel Ray - She's Italian and loves to cook. I'm Italian and love to eat. Seems like a match made in heaven but I just couldn't put her in the top three. It saddens my heart (and stomach.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Beer and Hi!

I sort of feel like a lush showing up and immediately talking about beer. I like beer, but like Jobonga, I'm not too particulars about it. (Does that make me a lush?)
  1. Guinness -- I like a beer that is also a meal. (I see you have no food on this island yet.)
  2. Rogue Dead Guy Ale -- Again, with Jobonga on this one. The Dead Guy is a drunk that creeps up on you, but not in a bad way, more like one that creeps up on you and gives you a big hug.
  3. Blue Moon Belgian White -- Yes, a little pedestrian, but it'll be my weekday beer. Ditto DarcyM on the oranges.
  4. Surly Furious -- For special occasions.
  5. PBR -- I imagine part of island life will involve some Swiss Family Robinson-style manual labor--you know, like splitting bamboo for treetop walkways or installing coconut phones. For that, you need a workingman's beer.

Beer Me, Please

Like any good, upstanding Wisconsinite, I like beer. A lot. Whether it's sitting on Papa Bear's porch for 5 hours on a lazy Wednesday afternoon, watching (the 1st place) Chicago Cubs, or a Saturday afternoon at the Terrace, I can usually be found with a beer in my hand, and a smile on my face.

1. Lilly Lake Porter
A northern Wisconsin beer. I only advise having 5 at the most, during one day. Very full and dark. This will get you drunk without you even knowing it.
2. Newcastle
I've probably had more of these than any other beer, except for Coors Light. Several times when I've been out, some random person has overheard what I've ordered, and then complimented me on this selection. It's kind of odd when strange men come up to you and start talking to you about beer.
3. New Glarus Spotted Cow

This is the leisure- in-the-sun beer. (Or the after-sexytime beer.) Perfect for days out at the Terrace, or days with Natalie, Rosario, and Zhang. It was either this, or Blue Moon. Since SC is brewed just outside of Madison, the Cow wins.
4. Capital Brewery Winter Skal
I think I've only had this at the Ivory Room, during the past 2 harsh winters. It almost makes me long for a foot of snow, snow emergencies, and white-out driving conditions.
5. Franziskaner Weis
We drink this out boots. That's how you know it's good.

Mmmm, beer

1. John Smith’s Extra Smooth. - It’s an English style pale ale. It’s a darker beer similar to Newcastle Brown Ale and as the name states it truly is extra smooth. I like this beer so much that I have tried to have it shipped here. There must be some law prohibiting it because you can’t get it to The US. They’ll ship it to Canada, but not to me! I discovered this delicious morsel when I co-led a group of students on a trip to London.

2. Geelong Brewery Sparkling Ale - Australians take their beer very seriously. Most of them are offended if you drink anything but a local brew regularly. I would not have survived my months there if it weren’t for the local brewery and this sparkling ale. At 5.8% abv, it is one of the most potent local beers in Geelong and it actually tastes good; which is more than I can say for most of the other beverages produced there.

3. Franziskaner Dunkel - A dark hefeweissen beer. It’s like the best of both worlds. Light and crisp as any hefeweissen should be with the full-bodied flavor of a dark beer. I introduced this beer to Tommy and Brad last year and they both enjoyed it nearly as much as I do. As an added bonus, the monk on the label is so happy that my spirits lift every time I see his jolly face.

4. Ale Asylum Hopalicious - I love hops and this beer is filled with them. Somehow it isn’t bitter at all. It’s exactly what I want in a beer. They also named it Hopalicious.

5. Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat - I wanted a light and fruity beer. I admit there are better beers than Sunset Wheat for this purpose but it reminds me so much of Fruity Pebbles that I wouldn’t feel bad about having one (or 12) for breakfast.


Beer is good. I am excited about posting this due to my love beer and my desire to have these my island. Here are my top five:

1. Blackbeary Wheat by Long Trail Brewing Co. It is blackberry tastiness in a bottle. It is an anytime beer and a great 6 pack to bring to parties. You will stand out when everyone else is bring coors light, bringing the beer that is too classy to chug.

2. Grand Cru by Allagash. It is 7.5% abv, so it isn't messing around. It is served in a goblet type glass, so you feel respectable. Respectable until you get really drunk because you didn't realize you were drinking beer with such a high alcohol percentage. It brings me back to a time when I drank way too much while trying to lure a young applicant to the md phd program, passing out, her leaving early in the morning, and me not waking up or remembering much of the night before. This nostalgia will help me pass my time on the island.

3. Real Seal Ale from the North Coast Brewing Company. It is delicious. It is my all time favorite beer. I get it at the burger place that Whitney so fondly remembers from his trip.

4. Boddington's Pub Ale. It was originally brewed by Strangeways Brewing company. It is best via draft, poured as a 3/4 pint with a wait and a top off, but, like guiness, can be served in the special can with the widget allowing for the production of the tiny bubbles. It is light, it is refreshing, I would have to have it on my island.

5. Hoegaarden originally produced in the Brouwerij de Kluis by Pierre Celis in Hoegaarden in Flanders. I must have oranges on the island that I can add to this extremely light wheat beer. Otherwise, I am not going.
OR a ginger beer so I can have dark and stormys. I can't really decide. I will also have to be able to bring a dark rum with me if I am going to have this, but I don't know if there will be room on my boat.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Don't forget to pack the red Solo cups.

I like beer but I'm not that into it. I just know the beers on my list taste good. My choices are not very versatile, but I have no regrets.

1. Dogfish Head India Brown Ale. I think it's my favorite.

2. New Glarus Spotted Cow. This is a new one for me and probably the only truly refreshing beer on my list. The bubbles!

3. Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. Intense. A classy way to get drunk fast.

4. Rogue Dead Guy Ale. Also pretty new to me. Tastes like Thursday.

5. I originally had Magic Hat #9 here (Tastes like apricots!) but I am replacing it with Coors Light. I need something to chug, as chugging will play an important role in settling disputes on my island. And I will win. (I own the open cup double beer category.)


I would like my virgin post to be one of gratitude. Thank you all for making my days more entertaining. For those of you that don’t know me, I work 12 hour days as a QC Chemist, often on weekends. I doubt many people know the monotony of 12 hours in a lab...by yourself... on a Saturday. Needless to say the time sometimes seems to pass extremely slowly.

I’ve known Tommy for a long time (since he was knee-high to a duck) so I read his blog pretty regularly. It was a magical day when I decided to check out some of the links on his page and I found both Whitney’s blog and this one. Between the three pages, I was entertained for a solid six hours. I just wanted to thank everybody for bringing a whole lot of sunshine into my otherwise dreadful Saturday.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Beer Me.

David and I were talking about beer tonight on the phone. He's only recently found a bar that will serve him Coors Light by the pitcher out there in the west. Which brought up the fact that some people are anit-Silver Bullet. To which we say, "Fuck You, get on the train". Our top 5 Beers? Coors Light is on those lists. But what about the Desert Island 5? That's a different question, and honestly I thought it would be one that would require some mulling. Not so, this was my easiest list to date. In no particular order, the 5 beers on my island:

1. Spotted Cow: if you've had it, you love it. Sort of light, sort of sweet, sort of creamy, sort of unfiltered, it'll be perfect with that spicy marinated pork I'll be roasting. Hopefully I'll be able to get a keg of it on the island though, since it really is better out of the tap.

2. Coors Light: La Bala de Plata, the Taste of the Rockies. I'll need a refreshing, light beer for all those beach volleyball games. And once we construct a full set of coconut cups, Flip Cup. This is it.

3. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: For those times when you want some hops.

4. Yuengling Porter: Yuengling, America's oldest brewery, is a fixture of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Their Lager is a standard at any bar in the tri-state area, but their porter is the take home treat. Rich and malty with slight chocolaty overtones, I will have it by the fire at night and it will remind me of home.

5. Negra Modelo: Ahhh, a Negra Modelo on the beach, Heidi laying beside me, Gabrielle working on building an oversized sandcastle having finished collecting firewood, and Rihanna hanging out in the palm trees lulling us into snoozledom... I can't wait to get to this island. Corona may be the classic beach beer, but its cousin NM is just so much better. Dark enough to have some complexity, light enough to enjoy on a hot summer's day, and in a funny little bottle. Also, its gold foil wrappers will be instrumental in making the following things: fishing lures, baubles for the girls, and sun reflectors (to start fires).

Monday, April 21, 2008


Working my way up topic-wise...

After some thought, I’ve realized I’m not a huge spice guy. Coming from an Argentine culinary background as my mother-palate, I’m very much in favor of just using a little bit of salt and pepper, and using good ingredients to provide the flavor.

After 2 years of watching the Barnabus cook, this may be a key differentiator between our food preparation techniques, and also that I haven’t really engaged in any serious cookery since college. Still, there are a few spices I'd be happy to have:

1. Red Pepper Flakes: I do love adding this to certain dishes that may be needing some spice, and black pepper just won’t work right. Also, this would go great with the pizza that I would make using my solar oven.

2. Garlic: I don’t know if this is officially a spice, or an herb. In any case, I would list it in both areas because I freaking love garlic. And, there are so many things that it could go on: chicken, lamb, fish, shrimp, mussels, clams. I’m not sure it would work on the wild boar I’d be hunting, but I’d be willing to experiment. Luckily, being the only male on the island, my sexytime 3 will have to put up with what will probably be some monster garlic breath. Of course, they may be won over to the ways of garlic. As a bonus, garlic is also supposed to have many health benefits.

3. Black Pepper: I didn’t include salt because it will be plentiful in the sea all around me. For culinary purposes, I don’t know that I’ll be able to make due without pepper.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm too practical for this conversation

If I only get to sleep with three more men for the rest of my life and they are only good for sex - just line up the three that are best at it. Outside of that, don't care - if they look funny or act funny, as long as they keep it comin', life on the island is good.

However, I don't know who these three men are, or where to start looking (actually, I've been looking for 32 years). So, in their absence, I choose to bring the following to my island:

1. Anderson Cooper. He'll probably argue with me, then we can have hot make up sex.

2. Chris Isaak. Possibly the cheesiest haircut since Elvis and horrible taste in suits, but he'll sing me to sleep or to nap or to work or to play or to foreplay.

3. Derek Hough. Yes, he's too young. Yes, he looks like a Ken doll. But have you seen him dance? Nice hip action.

My count, 3/3/3.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


Finally a topic I can look forward to. Whoever thought of putting this as the next topic is a great person. Wait, I'm pretty sure that was me.

-The Natalie Portman. We've got so much in common already. I have a feeling that
once we get to the island, we won't even want to leave. We're both vegetarians. We nearly share the same birth date (June 8th, 1981, vs. June 9th, 1981). We both have dark hair, eyes. We're both involved with film. We'll both be in New York next year. We both have eclectic musical tastes. And we both have great legs.

-Rosario Dawson. Is of Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Irish descent (among others), so she has island experience. Also, growing up she had aspirations of being a marine biologist, giving her a substantial advantage when it comes to the marine life we should or should not eat. I also think that because her and Natalie are both pretty liberal and educated, they'd get along when I'm with Zhang. My island would be extremely harmonious.

-Zhang Ziyi. Utilizing her amazing athletic skills, she could be used to lure boars out of the jungle. Rosario, Natalie and I would be waiting on the beach with spears and a net. Plus, if you've seen Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, you'd know she's good with swords. This girl can handle her own. She would never be in real danger. I wouldn't let that happen to my little Chinese princess. Plus she could teach us all Chinese in our downtime. Not only would the island experience be very hot, it would also be educational. Which is nice.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


1. John Locke from lost, played by the actor Terry O'Quinn. Not only is he a good looking older man, but the island speaks to him. Now, I don't know what sort of island you are envisioning, but I think one that is sort of spooky just makes things more fun. He knows how to do all sorts of crazy shit. He may BE a little crazy as well, but that just keeps things interesting.

2. Jack Johnson. He knows how to surf, play guitar, and sing. He is a must for my island. Oh, and he is hot. He will be able to conduct sing-a-longs while I organize s'more making. This will keep us happy and full of marshmallowy goodness.

3. We need a good fighter, someone really strong, but is also a caring man, which is a must for sexytime. For this, I pick Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. He has shown his tough fighter side in WWF or whatever he was on, and his soft side in the hit: The Game Plan. Anyone who allows bedazzling of footballs must be a nice guy.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Sexytime Category

This category is for people (or possibly other things, we are a non-discriminating community) you would like to have sexytime with. Your choices should be of the appropriate gender.

My Desert Island 3

This is a big deal. The three girls I would need to have on my island (in no particular order):

1. (As previously mentioned) Gabrielle Reese - She is tall, blonde, and athletic. She will be central to my beach volleyball team. She will snap palm trees between her thighs. She will defend my island in times of war. She will bear my large headed children.

2. Heidi Klum - One of the 5 most beautiful women in the world. She somehow remains smokin' hot even while pregnant with baby Seals and speaking German. That is challenging, and I like it. I would depend on Heidi to bring her sense of humor, her sense of style, and her outrageously long bangs.

3. Rihanna - Umm, the looks, the hair, the body, the music... Please. don't. stop. the. music. Added bonus: she's from The Islands (Barbados) so she may know secret island survival techniques.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Sorry for being late to the party, I've been doing a fair amount of travel recently. I figured I'd start from the beginning, and make my way up. So, without further adieu, here are the three condiments I would bring on the desert island.

1. Texas Pete's Hot Sauce: Not actually all that hot, but very flavorful. I was introduced to this condimentary jem by one of my college freshman suitemates from Fort Myers, Florida, who would take a bottle similar to the one in the picture to the dining hall with him. It goes great on just about any protein-based food that one can think of, and ridiculously well on pizza. So well in fact, that I may have to look into constructing a solar-powered pizza oven for the island.

2. Ginger Mustard: I love mustard, and I love ginger. This is a match made in heaven! Though I've had this particular concoction on chicken and pork only, it is supposed to go great with fish, especially if you make some salmon-burgers. I suspect that there will be a high degree of pescatory consumption, as well as some possible wild board hunting, so seems like a good bet.

3. Thai Fish Sauce: Man I got into this stuff when I was in Southeast Asia! At first, it's too damn salty. Then, it's too damn spicy. A few experimentations later, and there isn't a single dish that it doesn't enhance. I can't think of much, aside from sweets and dairy that the fish sauce wouldn't work for: rice, noodles, all sorts of meat, even eggs. What a miracle. You just might not want to smell it when you're applying it.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Off topic

I agree that Whitney is exhibiting Jack-like qualities. Since Lost is about the only TV show I can discuss in conversation with normal people, I felt the need to elevate the following statement from a comment on fuzzy's post to its very own post.

I want to be our island's Hurley. I'm bad at building things and killing things, I get lost really, really easily, and I attract every insect within 50 miles. You probably don't want to set out on any adventures with me or even park your tent next to mine. So, I don't feel that I'll bring many practical skills to the island, with the possible exceptions of campfire cooking skills and rudimentary sewing. However, I am a cruise director extraordinaire, so I feel I could really contribute by designing the group's golf course, discovering the party mobile in the jungle, and coordinating the volleyball tournaments - both the competition brackets and the betting pools. And organizing the food. I excel at organizing food.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Almost naked

1. Bra
2. Bra
3. Bra

These things are just too big.

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service

It's hard for me to think about this question. There's a lot of stuff in my closet; making me choose is like making a parent pick there favorite child. Except I'm still not sure if I'm going to love my children or not, so this might be harder for me. Also, as others have mentioned, Spring and Fall are great seasons to get dressed in.

1. I've already planned other aspects of my island around a thriving beach volleyball scene (e.g. Gabrielle Reese will be there; see future post) so a solid pair of board shorts will be necessary. Gabrielle will of course be playing in a regulation beach volleyball uniform. I like this pair that I got last summer, but I could probably settle for a pair that I had had to rip off of one of the people who didn't make it through the crash that left me stuck on this island in the first place.

2. My blue MAC Machine shirt. This has become a fixture in my wardrobe since acquiring it at the V.O.A. in Rochester. It's perfect for an afternoon in the sun, is my go to morning-after shirt, has been with me to various exotic locales including California, Portugal, England, the Jersey Shore, Madeline Island, the croquet grounds of Wellsboro PA, Mardis Gras in St. Louis, Wegmans, and has accompanied me on more than a few rows.

3. I've been trying to forgo footwear but I don't think I can do it. I have pretty sturdy feet, but I don't think I'll be able to do the amount of rock climbing I intend to without something to cover my soles. Not boots though, too heavy, and not sandals, not rock climbing worthy, but I think a versatile pair of sneakers. Luckily I have a few of these to choose from. After some consideration I think I would bring my yellow waffle racers. They've got some good traction nubs, are pretty light, and will make me look sexy for Gabrielle. Also, I suspect they will be useful while exploring the coral reef. Maybe even helping me blend into reef life while I am waiting to spear dinner.

For a while I was concerned about my lack of clothes to exercise in. Namely a pair of tighty-whities, or maybe a JL trou, so I could go for a run now and then. Joanna seems to plan on subsisting mostly on her spices and condiments but I expect to be eating a lot of wild boar out there. Spit-roasted, pit roasted, smoke cured, salt cured, barbequed, there're so many options. I'll need to work some of that delicious pork fat off some how. That's where the beach volleyball and rock climbing come in. Maybe I'll even befriend a sea turtle who'll let me use his shell for surfing. Anyway, I've decided I won't be going on any long runs.


First off: Whitney, the intensity you bring to this island! You’ve already become our Jack. Second: I’m totally sneaking in late; I hope I’m not punished for this.

Like Tommy, I’d probably spend most of my time naked. I hate tan lines. But if I had to choose three articles of clothing, I’d go with:

1) My green scarf that everyone hates but me. It could be converted into pretty much anything including: mini hammock, security blanket, dress, awkward swimming suit, or one of those sarong baby carriers in case one of us ladies pops one out.

2) Red bikini. It’s hot and comfortable. And it could also serve as my lady undergarments.

3) Considering all my current island-appropriate shoes have holes in them, my third choice would be my American Apparel Deep V-Neck. I would wear it just like this girl (in Athletic Grey). It’s really soft so it would lure you all into my tent to cuddle with me.

Monday, April 7, 2008

This doesn't exclude grass skirts or coconut bras.

1. My blue and white striped bikini. Superfluous? Perhaps. But I want to look hot on my island. So far I am subsisting on spices and condiments alone, so I am well on my way. This particular bikini is kind of sporty, so it would also function as a light sports bra. And as a uniform for beach volleyball, which I have a feeling will work its way onto my island.

2. A pair of jeans. And not some crappy pair from The Gap. Good for hiking through tall grasses, shimmying up trees, and just generally living in. Also, I learned how to turn them into a flotation device at summer camp. So that might be handy. (It was hard to choose jeans over pj pants but pockets trump flannel.)

3. My hiking boots. It would suck to wear them without socks, though. Nevermind. I'll take my Puma 5000ms. After four years they're pretty tired, though. I want a new pair.

Obviously, this was hard for me to write because there are no sweaters on my list. You caught me at a weak moment. I love my sweaters, but it's April so my love is at low tide.

clothing (II)

I'm expecting to be quite naked on this island of ours. So, get ready people. When things get warm, I have a hard time keeping my clothes on (anyone attending my birthday party can attest to this). Also, I'm going to assume that we're in a tropical environment, and not the Aleutian Islands. This sort of makes my 3 entries less emotional for me. I have more of an attachment to my fall/winter clothing. Anyways, my list:

1. My Watertown: Home of the Beautiful People tshirt. I am not from Watertown, and there are no beautiful people there. No matter. It's gotten a bit snug, but its boldness makes me feel good inside.

2. My blue lo-top Converse All-Stars. I just got these a couple weeks ago, and they've already surpassed my beloved Pumas (the 1st pair) in shoe hierarchy. I would pick my Puma flip-flops, but if we're traipsing through the jungle, or on the run from strange tropical polar bears, I could regret that.

3. My yellow Abercrombie swim trunks. I've had these for a long, long time. They still have a blood stain on them from when I blacked out while going up for a dunk, causing my hands to slip off the rim, turning me in the air, and landing on my chin, leading to 7 stitches and a concussion. The good old days.


It's time to set our conventions. Or at least acknowledge our lack thereof. So far we've been dealing with 3's, but I don't think that has to be the case. Whoever starts the category can specify how many we should be bringing with us. Also, I like having a bunch of open categories at once instead of just one at a time. And titles don't really matter either, just so long as we all do our tagging correctly. Schwenn, I'm looking at you.


Hi, I'm impatient. If I'm breaching blog etiquette by picking a new thing to pack before everyone has decided on their spices and condiments, please tell me to chill out, and I gladly will. I'm just really into outfitting my island, apparently.

So, clothes. Obviously, I would prefer to have more than three items of clothing during my sojourn on my desert island. So, I'm going to assume that one of two things will be true on my island:
  • Either I am a victim of a plane crash or shipwreck and a bunch of the other people will die, leaving a plethora of cast-off clothing I can scavenge for basic nakedness avoidance, or
  • I will be alone on my island and happily run around naked, except for my must-have items.
Given that, my three must-have clothing items:
  1. Chacos. Hands-down, number one, absolutely must-have item. I put these on yesterday and truly don’t understand why they have ever left my feet. Ever. (Well, besides the hundred inches of snow.) I have worn Chacos hiking, swimming, running, strolling, gardening, rock climbing, sashaying in a skirt. They have been on every trip I've taken in the past seven years, and I've worn them in every imaginable situation and venue. They've even been to the actual Chaco. It was a very meta moment for us. They are the most comfortable, adaptable, easily cleanable shoes I have ever owned. I’ve been in love since October of 2001 when my mom mailed me my first pair in Bolivia, and, sad but true, it has been the longest lasting, most deeply committed relationship of my life. I still have the remnants of my Chaco tan burned into my feet from last summer, and I cannot wait to begin this year's stylish skin damage.
  2. Sarong. Another item of clothing that has gone with me on every trip of my life since they were first acquired in 1998, be it a business trip or a camping trip. Serves as a skirt, bathing suit cover-up, towel, blanket, scarf, makeshift umbrella or tent, whatever. Even if my island is sufficiently tropical, I'll probably want something to cover up with now and again.
  3. A good sports bra. I am not a flat-chested woman. Even if I go au natural on my island, I will be extremely uncomfortable doing any form of exercise or vigorous manual labor without a good sports bra. I'm guessing that building my Swiss Family Robinson-style treehouse and tiger traps will require a good amount of manual labor, so the sports bra is a must-have.

Sunday, April 6, 2008


1. Tony Chachere's Season Salt. I realize this might be cheating as it's really a combination of many different spices and is more of a seasoning than a spice. It's still coming with me.

2. Nutmeg. If I can get brandy, cream, milk, and eggs on my island this will be the perfect topper to Aunt Mary's famous egg nog. Otherwise it'll just spice up my coconut milk.

3. Cardamom. Just to keep things interesting...and I don't cook enough to have a useful third option.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Spice up my life. Please.

[When I woke up this morning, my laptop was open next to me and this list was typed up in Notepad. I wrote it last night post-bar. I vaguely remember the internet being down. I left it as I found it.
This list reveals that I am uncertain about the definition of SPICE.]

My spices.

1. Sea salt. I don't have a favorite brand. I guess I need to spend more time with the Barnebeys. I will keep it in a salt grinder, not in one of those tiny dishes with a tiny spoon because those dispensers get dusty and gross. Wait, I think sea salt is a stupid choice if I will be surrounded by (presumably) salted water. Scratch the sea salt. I will harvest it. Is sea water iodized? Am I going to have goiters? Fuck.

1. Fresh garlic. Is this a spice? I know it's spicy. I eat a lot of raw garlic. I don't think I smell weird. I don't think garlic counts. It's a food.

1. Okay, how about cayenne pepper? Actually that would be a bad choice because I already choice RedHot (cayenne pepper sauce) as a condiment and I could probably just reverse engineer that stuff.

1. Cinnamon. This one's a keeper. I will be making pies. Rolling out the dough Boxcar Children style with a glass bottle (of basalamic vinagerette, one of my condiments).

2. Pepper. In a grinder. I like it on fresh greens. Will come in handy if I have to graze on wild grasses.

3. Is Smartfood popcorn powder a spice? I could really go for some of that right now.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

pepper, salt, & seafood

Spices, along with sauces, factor heavily into my style of cooking. I think this is hereditary. Barnebey meals are usually prepared with everybody standing around in the kitchen drinking something and seasoning each other's dishes behind their backs. Sometimes this makes for over-seasoned meals; usually it works out really well. Unless of course you leave Taylor alone for too long, then everything just ends up over-salted. He's really into salt right now, and we're all hoping he grows out of this phase soon.

A note: two of the most used spices in my cabinet are red chili flakes and mustard powder, both of which are easily replaced by my condiments. So they did not make the list.

3 Spices:
1. Whole black peppercorns (and pepper grinder)
Why: just because I'm stuck on a desert island doesn't mean I want to live like I'm back in medieval Europe. I may not have running water, but I damn sure will have pepper at all my meals.

2. Fleur de sel de Guérande
Why: I assume I'm not paying for these spices, so why not go for the best? Hand harvested from the salt marshes of Brittany it has a much higher mineral content than regular table salt, and thus much more flavor. Sort of like eating the ocean.
Why not: I guess it's not the best baking salt. But how much baking is there going to be?

[Update: In view of Jobonga's late night revelations on the superfluity of bringing salt to a island surrounded by salt water I would modify this choice. Sea salt out, coriander in. My harvested sea salt will have some iodine in it, and I'll be eating a lot of seaweed (wrapped around my raw fish) which is rife with iodine. I am not worried about goiters.]

3. Old Bay
Why: I don't use this (blend of) spice(s) all that often, but I have a secret love affair with it on seafood. Crabs doused in Old Bay? Yes. And can you imagine how much seafood is going to be eaten out on this island‽ I can't wait!

Honorable mention:
a. cumin - this would be hard to give up, but I think with my combination of spices and condiments I could whip up a substitute.
b. rosemary & sage - I'll have to grow these instead and count them as two of my herbs.
c. corriander


I am a traditionalist when it comes to spices:
1) Salt
2) Pepper
3) Cinnamon

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I'm passing on the condiments post because I, too, would choose mustard and hot sauce. The toss-up would be between vinegar and honey, though I think I'd go with honey. I found out earlier this year that I use a lot of it. Or, I could hold out for a bees' nest on my island? For the record, I would miss wasabi very, very much.

So, going with the apparent but unspoken Rule of Three, I would bring the following three spices to my desert island:
  1. Ginger. Probably my all-time favorite spice - goes in everything from beverages to spicy dishes to baked goods. Spicy-sweet perfection. The hero of my morning oatmeal. Plus it's a root, so maybe I could get it to grow in Lucia's garden.
  2. Cumin. I think this spice is what makes it OK for me to be a vegetarian (except when I'm, y'know, eating bacon). It makes beans and eggs taste so rich and earthy and warm and wonderful and hearty that I don't crave meat. I am bringing a hen to the island, too, so I have eggs to put my cumin on.
  3. Salt. Boring, I know, and I really don't eat it that much. But, it's versatile and I feel like it would be useful for preserving some of that wild boar meat and fish I'll be killing.
I almost said pepper, but I'll just use my hot sauce instead.


There is a pattern to the condiment choices so far. I wish I was about to share something crazy, but I'm not.

1. RedHot. I'm from the greater Buffalo-Niagara region and it's how hot wings are made. I'm not eating meat right now, but it's tasty on eggs and pizza and most other things.

2. Stone ground mustard. I don't have a brand favorite but I like when it comes in a little round jar. I think those jars would come in handy on the island. I could build a glass hut with mustard mortar.

3. Balsamic vinaigrette. Probably Newman's Own. Not because it's the best, but because I'll want to gaze on his face during hard times. Good on anything RedHot isn't. And it has antiseptic properties. Well, it stings on papercuts at least.

For a while guacamole made the list, but if I eat it with a spoon it's a food, right?

Condiments (IV)

I enjoy many condiments, maybe not as varied as Whitney, but there are a couple that would bring:

1. Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce. This BBQ sauce goes well as a marinade for chicken or some shrimp, but also is the perfect condiment for fries, chicken fingers, etc. As a St. Louis native, I have some experience with the sauce, so check it out, you won't be disappointed.

2. Raye's mustard, specifically the Ginger Brown. The Dundicott hot was also in the running, but I think this one will really compliment my BBQ sauce. I have visited the Raye's mustard factory in Eastport Maine and obviously have a tee shirt. It was really the highlight of the trip, that and the bat that was hanging out in my room. They stone grind their mustard and it never needs to be refrigerated. It is thus the perfect condiment for a desert island, just in case our generator goes out.

3. I guess I too would have to bring a vinaigrette of some sort, I choose a vinaigrette of my own making. It is a honey: balsamic: olive oil concoction with some shallots thrown in for good measure. It goes well with salads and roasted golden beets.


I collect what I like to call elevator suitable conversation topics. These are topics and questions that you could be discussing in an elevator and not have to stop if your boss entered. Condiments is a fabulous one.

On my island I would take:
1) A1 - I may get some flak for this. I stand by it. I can eat it on lots and lots of stuff. including carrots. I anticipate a lot of carrots on my island.

2) Balsamic Vinegar (at least 5 year aged)- in an odd trend, I also choose balsamic, and I am consciously picking the oldest sweetest vinegar, not a vinaigrette. I like plain balsamic vinegar on salad greens (which will likely be plentiful on the island - growing next to the carrots). I haven't tried it, but I expect it will be a delightful marinade for lemur meat.

3) mayonnaise - versatile, tasty - don't ask me how I am going to keep it on a deserted island.