VA, zombies and shopping - oh my!

Nothing brings greater domestic ecstasy than stocking our larder with all the premium bits and pieces needed to create magnificent meals (unless you count the sheer pleasure of cooking and consuming said meals.)

Better Half and I journeyed to Pittsburgh today. The lab vampires gorged themselves upon his blood; the LPN, scrying his medical records, decreed him to be a corporally eroding human; the pharmacist plied his secret vodou conjuring and wrought wicked remedies to thwart Better Half’s progression into a zombie-like condition. They injected us both with a live viral culture. We were dispatched like a couple of winged (zombie?) monkeys, perhaps in the hope that we would rummage around the city and spot a pubescent gingham-clad farm girl and her little dog, Toto, too. It was a predictable day at the VAMC.

I happen to like zombies. The ultimate expression of their undead love is exhibited by the amount of body parts left on the carpet. I once found Better Half’s torso in the dining room. I was moved beyond tears but also irked by the amount of dusty blood on the carpet. Furthermore, the dogs feasted upon his withered internal organs while I was out; rotted human jerky tends to unsettle their little tummies. I was picking up liquid pooh all damn night.

Zombie. Zombified. Zombificaiton. Jumbie. Nzambi. Zonbi. Nzumbe.

The Epic of Gilgamesh of ancient Sumer includes zombies in a most threatening fashion. A vengeful Ishtar cries out:

“Father give me the Bull of Heaven,
So he can kill Gilgamesh in his dwelling.
If you do not give me the Bull of Heaven,
I will knock down the Gates of the Netherworld,
I will smash the doorposts, and leave the door flat down,
And will let the dead go up to eat the living!
And the dead will outnumber the living!”
The little bitch gets her way, I should add. Ishtar is granted the Bull of Heaven and all sorts of odd things happen.

Ishtar is a very impish person. We can thank her for all those charming passages in the bible that pertain to “men shall not lie with men as they do women.” We can also thank her for Romans 1 although really we should thank Christians themselves for changing God’s Word to reflect their own pedantic apprehensions. The early church was distraught over the sexually themed worship in Rome. They put their figurative foot down and became rather abstemious in regard to how and why worship would take place. Verses were changed through the ages to reflect sex alone and separate from Ishtar and temple practices.

No way, Autrice. You are wrong!

Many of my fellow Christians do not question their modern bible nor do they question why things read as they do.

Ishtar = the gay is sin debate.
Bacchus = drinking wine is sin debate.

And so on...

I could go on, but I won’t. It is not my job to educate you, dear Readers. Sheeple need to seek the best grass in the pasture instead of blindly following their shepherd (pastor or priest.) If your shepherd cannot point out the good grass and clover to you (or if he or she is unwilling to) then by all means FIND A NEW PASTOR. Don't stagnate; grow through the Holy Spirit.

I have gone completely off topic with this whole thing. My intention was to share our shopping day at the Strip. Zombies, Ishtar, doctors and flying monkeys were not on the program.

The Strip. Shopping. Lovely day.

Better Half and I started at Penn Mac. We stocked up on spices and other things. The large jug below is olive oil. This is how Italians purchase it. We fill our own bottle, allowing the precious liquid to flow from huge vats. It is light and heavenly. We do not use any other oils. Lazy Italians purchase oil it in tins. Clueless Americans purchase it in tiny bottles tucked onto the supermarket shelf.

We had a delightful lunch at our favorite restaurant, Primanti Brothers. I made the mistake of ordering their famous Colossal Fish sandwich. It is a slab of breaded fish almost as long as my forearm fried and slapped onto thick bread. Cheese and shredded greens are added to that. Tomatoes rest on top. Add another slab of bread. The artery clogger is the French fries pressed between the cheese and the greens. My God, I thought I would die. I can’t open my mouth that wide. I turned the entire affair into finger food and picked out the fries on one half. The second half was neglected with the exception of the fish. I picked that out and nibbled on it. (I did not bring my camera with me today. No fish picture for you.) They have the best food.

We stopped into Penzy spices for some Sate seasoning and ground ginger. They were offering a free jar of minced garlic.

Wholey was next. This place is fabulous. A sushi chef and his stand are the first sight you lay eyes on as you walk through the door. The abundance of the sea sits to the right. Beautiful fish with clear eyes and open mouths lay on beds of shaved ice. Thick slabs of deep red tuna tempt the shopper. A large barrel of Spot was placed prominently today. $1.49 a pound, a decent price. I had the fishmonger pull two juicy fish. They were filleted in record time. Other fish swam in large tanks towards the back of the fish section.

The second part of the store is dedicated to meat. You can find hefty cuts of beef or pork. Rabbit ($4.99 a pound) can be had fresh or frozen. A variety of internal organs are at your fingertips or, if you are at peace with it, you can purchase hocks, feet and other “walkie bits”. The shining glory today were the turkeys suspended above the butcher’s counter.

We went to the Asian market and stocked up on our miso paste and bonito flakes. (6 cups water, 2 tablespoons miso, a dash of bonito flakes = easy soup. Add some green onions and mushrooms for a vegetarian dish. Broil some chicken or pork loin, slick thin and add to the soup for a hearty meal. Thinly slick raw beef and add it to scalding hot soup for a unique adventure – I recommend using quality beef and not whatever was on sale at your local Wal-mart.)

Our final stop was Stan’s Produce. You can always fine the freshest goods at Stan’s. I picked up some Roma tomatoes (my own plants are almost dead), green onions, sweet potatoes and zucchini. I cannot recall if I bought the large garlic at Stan’s or Penn Mac.

Dinnertime has arrived. A steaming hot bowl of soup and some sweet fish await fixing.

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