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Jun 15, 2004

My Advice Column for June 15, 2004

I been changin’ over to mesquite coals lately, over from my usual propane…Dang, this action gives my grill a whole huge new flavor! It’s kind of more of a hassle, you know, since mesquite is like dusty black burned-up wood that you have to deal with and light and stuff, but the flavor payoff is huge. I want to ask all the people who cook on grills this summer to fill their starter chimneys with mesquite charcoal instead of those crappy-drawers briquettes or propane. You’ll thank me, and you’ll send me an email.

Oh, and stop asking me questions about things that happen in the Achewood cartoon strip. That is not advice. That has nothing to do with the service I am trying to offer here. And no more suicide/relationship stuff! (I mean it this time!)


Listen to the theme to Ray's Place, by Milwaukee Youth Children's Choir, aka MC Frontalot

I like the wheels on your Escalade (pictured 11/4/2003). What did you consider when choosing your wheels? I'm looking at some Lorinsers for my car but I'm having a pretty hard time justifying $1,500 per corner when the OEM wheels look sick anyway. Would you spend $6k on wheels for a new car with perfectly good wheels, or would you put the money into other upgrades?
-Your Friendly Neighborhood Speed Demon

Dear Demon,

Thank you, that is a very good question. On my Escalade I got some hella slimy Tanichi Kaiji-Series alloys, and I got a special in-dash console which I can use to control whether or not the rims keep spinning after I roll to a stop. The switch on the little control pad is made outta this slick red anodized aluminum, which is bored to reduce weight.

Anyhow, as far as your question goes, I had Lorinser trick out this fine black CL I kept last year. None of those Toys-R-Us roof wings or anything, but a lot of internal stuff and, yes, some mother-of-tasty wheels. If you ask a lot of guys they will tell you not to spend loot on wheels, but it’s kind of like having a diamond stud through the side of your glans: you know it’s there, and that it’s awesome. If you’re also in a CL then I’d advise you to drop for the RS-6 models, but if you’re more in the SL scene then take that bitch to Maximum Prom a la the LM-6 style. If we’re just talkin’ SLK here, then I’ll see you at the Hello Kitty outlet with your five year-old girlfriend, except I won’t be there. Nasty Tymezz

My husband keeps buying salmon (steaks and fillets) and every time we make them, they always suck. I usually grill them and have tried many combinations of seasonings. I would like to give up, but I like to please my man in this area. Can you help with a good recipe?
Crazy about Ray, Minneapolis

Dear Crazy,

Man, the problem probably ain’t with the recipe, it’s probably with the fish. My research shows that 99% of the salmon folks buy and feed me is crappy and old, and is from a bad store like Safeway or Albertson’s. Some people would buy salmon at the gas station if you let them. Jesus.

Anyhow, you are in Minneapolis, which is very far from all of the oceans (for instance, it is over 500 miles from the Pacific alone). It will be harder for you to get good salmon, but since it is a big city I bet you have some of those fancy gourmet stores, like where they have an olive bar and $8 bottles of Belgian beer, etc. That’s where you got to go for fish. Do not buy salmon at places that have it already wrapped up in plastic in a little foam tray because that means it is already terrible. It should have a little orange sticker on it that says TERRIBLE! with a big check mark next to it.

Anyhow, for good salmon recipes, here is my recipe: grill it, salt it and pepper it! That is all good salmon needs. I mean, maybe marinate it in a rosemary/garlic infused olive oil and serve it over fresh fava bean risotto, but definitely not anything more than that. That is all it should need. Maybe a sprinkling of fresh chives. That’s it. That is all. Truffle oil. That about wraps it up. Glass of wine. Tie this one to the hood, it’s done. Put it on the roof. Hi.

It's pretty clear from the recipes to be found at achewood.com that you and the rest of the boys appreciate good food, and especially good meat. So how much are you guys into meat alternatives? If you need some good ways to cook tofu I can point you to some excellent recipes.
-C, Internet

Dear C,

Why would we want meat alternatives if there is already meat? Seriously, I’ve tried this tofu business a hundred different ways from Sunday and it’s always just soft and with no flavor except for whatever you wipe on it. If food ain’t no good, then don’t eat it! Don’t like it just because it ain’t animal! If you want to eat non-meat protein hunks then eat those fried mozzarella sticks, those are awesome. I really don’t get this tofu thing. Have you had Emperor Flavor Pork? You would not want to eat plant poop if you had tried Emperor Flavor Pork.

Is there a preferred method of quitting [smoking] that you endorse?

Dear Gaijin,

The method I used—that of flushing each cigarette one-by-one down the toilet, and shooting a pistol off each time—has worked pretty well. By creating a ceremony out of it I made it kind of a “life event,” and gunfire makes it seem extremely official. Every time I get a little hankerin’ for a smoke these days I just reach into my pocket and shoot my pistol straight into the air. I also think about the future.

One thing I thought of afterward was to put the pack of cigarettes under a tiny US flag. You can use the flag of your nation if you like this idea.

Ray, do you have a recipe for a really good coconut cream pie? I've never been able to find one; in fact, it's almost impossible to find a place that even makes it anymore. The only places that had good coconut cream pie were the little diners run by old Chinese couples, and since most of those diners have closed, it's like the recipe vanished with them. Is the coconut cream pie some sort of Chinese Diner trade secret, or something?
Tomas, Saskatchewan

Dear Tomas,

If you try to make a pie at home, you get disgusted by how much fat is in pie recipes and you end up making some janky old pie with less butter and cream than it said to use, and the end result is that your pie is janky (I mentioned this). Usually I will finish a meal with a citrus sorbet and a crisp shot of pussy-flavored vodka from Japan (oh man, have you tried this stuff? It is INSANE!!!).

Okay, I figure myself to be a pretty fine lady and I'm dealing with a pretty fine problem to match (you dig that?) I'm a junior in college and all year I've been super-close in the friend spectrum with a senior-guy. We're both drama majors, and we always wound up playing opposite each other in the romances - however, nothing flew as far as all that goes in the quote unquote real world.

Now he's headed off for bigger and better things (read: New York), and I'm stuck back at school. We're keeping in touch and all that good jazz, but here's my query - do I let him know how I feel or take the fact that we've been close for so long with no action as a sign that he doesn't feel the same way?
Pleasantly Puzzled, in a small state.

Dear Puzzled,

I feel like I have answered this same letter a thousand times. Basically, when I go over all the answers I have given to similar letters, all I can say is that you should just do what you want and not ask a cat. If you like this guy then do something about it, don’t send email to a cat. What the hell kind of solution is it to send email to a cat? What if George Bush had to make a huge decision about welfare, and he emailed me instead? I’d be all, “dude, you got to take care of some people in this world, don’t be a bad man!” but then he wouldn’t listen to me. He’d probably have the CIA put a poisoned tomato slice in my Boudin’s sandwich. Believe me, I’ve talked with Lyle about a lot of stuff the government does, covert operations and such, and it ain’t at ALL what the framers had in mind.

The advice in your columns is almost always very informative and/or amusing. I'm 24 and I'm graduating from college this June. I don't have any specific questions for you, but I was wondering if you could offer any general life advice for someone at the place I'm at in life.

Take care, and I hope you get some decent questions this week,
T, Santa Cruz, CA

Dear Travis,

Try not to drive too fast, man. Life is precious and should not be ruined with a driving accident.

My dog is a licker. He likes to get right up in my face and lay a couple cold ones on me. I appreciate his affection, but the other day I looked out the window and caught him eating his own poo. Now I can't help but feel I'm getting a dose of fecal fellatio every time he puckers up. What is a loving dog owner to do?
Bad Taste In Mouth, CA

Dear BTIM,

A little while back I talked about this idea a bit (dogs constantly eating ‘dooks) and a lot of people have asked me advice about dogs constantly eating their own ‘dooks (‘dukes? hard to say). Anyhow, I did some science on this one and it turns out that after a dog eats some po-po matter, only a tiny residual amount remains in his mouth. The residue is similar to the amount of fly feces you would touch on basically any surface in the world, so you’re not losing out on this deal. I guess a dog's mouth is just basically like a surface.

I have a problem with one of my two cats that I need your help with. Here's the story: We have two boy cats named Smokey and Hobbes. They've been happy cats for the five years we've had them. Recently, we got a new puppy (a Westie) and Hobbes stone-cold hates him (tail all-bushed out, all hissing and stuff). The weird thing is that we used to have a beagle (who passed away a year ago) that Hobbes loved - they would sleep together in a big pile and clean each other. Smokey likes the new puppy but Hobbes tries to kill him any time he comes near. Any tips on how to get Hobbes over this pissy behavior and back to his dog-loving (or at least dog tolerating) self?
Jason in MN

Dear Jason,

This situation is kind of like the middle east. One of the players is motherboard-designed to hate one of the other players, and that ain’t gonna change at all ever, so you got to get rid of one of the dudes or just live with the strife. I know this is like pickin’ a booger out of your nose that fortune-cookie says “HEY JASON! LIFE WILL BE HARD! HAHAHA AHHHAHA HAHAHA IT’S TRUE” but such is life. Your animals are incompatible.

Confidential to Rosie: I am not a good person to ask about that kind of stuff.

* A Gentle Reminder (“Disclaimer”): This is advice from a cartoon cat, and should not be taken seriously. We are not responsible for anything you do based on what Ray says, or otherwise. Do not commit suicide or otherwise interrupt the lives of others. Continue on with your life as though you had never read this column. Erase your browser history. Not for readers under 18 years of age.