1 Bird Investigates: The Impossible Task of Writing About My Trip to Omaha

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Greetings from the Omaha airport!

Alright, my plane is boarding in 25 minutes and my laptop dies in 20, so I'm going to make this short and sweet: T.G.I. Hagman, bitchez!

As of 3:07 (CENTRAL TIME) on June 24, 2011, Larry Hagman is...
alive! And buying half-priced Texas CWS garb, I'm sure.
Poor Texas. Expert noodlers; not so good at baseball. Christopher. Anyway! Thanks for reading and we'll see you right back here Monday morning for 1 Bird Investigates: OMAHA! Have a great weekend.


Tulane Chris' Four Loko Roast!

So… I have a confession to make. Remember several months ago, when Meg and I did our infamous Bum Wine tasting and talked a lot of tall shit about Four Loko, the formerly caffeinated, sugar-and-booze tallboy the kids are so into these days? Well… I may or may not (but definitely HAVE) had a change of heart. I kept taking little sips of other people’s Four Lokos (Fours Loko? Fours Lokos?) so that I could “make sure it was as bad as I remembered.” And what do you know? Just like the D.A.R.E. officer said, sips turned into gulps, and one what-the-hell purchase of the new Green Apple xXx flavor turned into a three-a-week habit. I use them as meal-replacement shakes, like in a crash diet. The results are interesting.

Anyway, you know how you can use soda as the base for a marinade on a roast? The sugar gives the meat that sweet flavor a lot of people like, and the phosphoric acid tenderizes it. So if you can cook meat in soda and in wine, why not in their unholy foster child? So, for 2Birds1Blog’s first, and likely last,


may I present: Porc au quatre loko.

You will need:

A pork roast

A can of Four Loko (I used the Lemon-Lime flavor because the old recipe books I got the soda-marinade idea from recommend Sprite for pork)

A crock pot or other slow cooker (You can do it in the oven but I didn’t want to fuss with “exact temperatures” and so forth)

Some spices n’ shit. I chose from my spice cabinet by smelling the spice, smelling the Four Loko, smelling the spice again, and putting in the spices that didn’t especially clash.
I used paprika, garlic powder, mustard, a little cayenne, curry powder, coarse ground black pepper, and a hearty dose of Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning – the extra spicy kind, which is my default seasoning. I like to throw in a lot of spices, but you could get by with garlic, pepper, and salt. I also threw in some MSG, which you may remember us investigating a while ago. I’m already playing fast and loose with my health and God’s creation, so I might as well go all in.

A pat of butter, more or less for luck

A small glass


Place the roast in the crock pot. This first step is crucial. Pour yourself a small glass of Four Loko to drink as you cook, then pour the rest in around the roast.
Add the spices and stir it all up, coating the roast. If you like it peppery, add the pepper last so the grains are more likely to stick to the roast. Let it sit in the fridge overnight; ideally make the marinade in the early evening then flop the roast over before bed. In the morning, flop the roast again and turn the crock pot on low. Let it cook for several hours: it will get tough, then fall-apart tender.


The most alarming part of all this, so far, is that the Four Loko’s notoriously vivid color leached into the fat on the roast, dyeing the meat a distressing green. This mostly passed after a few hours of roasting. The resulting roast is actually pretty good. It kept some of the sweetness, but most of the Four Loko flavor boiled away, although there is a not completely pleasant aftertaste. It is very tender. I should have used much more pepper and some more Tony’s, but overall it’s not a bad dinner. I may try a darker flavor on a beef roast later, and will keep you posted.


Three Exciting Pieces of News:

- Piggybacking off of Chris' bucket list post from yesterday, I'm happy to report that I got to cross something off of my own bucket list the other day. I didn't stand in a cranberry bog or have sex in a hot tub (which I've seriously reconsidered since you guys pointed out the "Vagina on Fire" factor that I in no way took into account. I was going to amend it to sex in a bath tub, but then I saw the bath tub rape scene in The Moderns and decided that it looks too uncomfortable. And not just because of the whole forced entry thing, but also because it's like, ACK, small spaces. Nermal! So I guess my goal now is to discuss fiscal responsibility in a warm body of water with a member of the opposite sex while respecting each other's opinions, emotional boundaries, and personal space. Which, frankly, feels excitingly attainable!), but I did see Hall and Oates on Monday night. LIVE. In concert. I KNOW.

How was it? Oh, I don't know. How's breathing? How's walking into the Sistine Chapel and looking up? How's knowing the power of true love? Trying to put it into words won't do it any justiceyou just have to
experience it. That being said, I will say the following:

1.) I know my parents were the ones who actually purchased the tickets, but I'm going to take full credit for the majesty of this Rowland family excursion. When I saw Hall and Oates on Wolftrap's summer schedule, I immediately changed the homepage on both of my parents' laptops to the ticket order site and tiled their desktop with the following to remind them of old priority one:

This was especially funny to me because my mom had no idea how how to change any of it back to her defaults, so we were playing for keeps for a while there. Was it obnoxious? Yes. Was it effective? Yes. So, you're welcome, rest of the family.

2.) Becca and 
I got drunk and took a sloppy picture with "Wolfy" the Wolftrap mascot, which is now on their Facebook page. I've done a lot of things in my life, but I think that's what I'm most proud of. 

3.) H&O 
sound just as tight, if not tighter now than they did then. And normally I'd be horrified by seeing "tight" that many times in a sentence, but in this case I'm just aroused.

4.) Daryl Hall looks a whole hell of a lot like Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star these days, and againaroused.

5.) Being part of a 4,000 person amphitheater clapping along to "Private Eyes" kind of makes me understand the draw of megachurches.

6.) I bought a H&O t-shirt and I would just like to say that American Apparel's ladies tee sizing is wildly inaccurate. I got a large, walked all the way back to my seat, held it up, saw that it covered approximately one-tenth of my left shoulder and was then faced with the conundrum of do I waste 30 of my precious dollars or do I physically get up again? And oh, what a Sophie's Choice it was. I asked my dad to go back and do it for me because that feels like something a dad should do and he said no, which was as surprising as it was upsetting. (He also said no when I offered to wash his car for $10 the other day because apparently he doesn't trust me with it. I can't decide what's more depressing: the fact that my dad doesn't trust me to properly wash his car despite the fact that I'm a 26-year-old woman and not a 12-year-old neighborhood hooligan, or the fact that I genuinely needed that $10.) In the end I walked all the way back to the merch table and was like, "UM, EXCUSE ME MA'AMMY TITTIES DON'T FIT INTO THIS SHIRT" and got a more reasonably sized unisex one. In retrospect, I think I made the right choice.

5.) H&O's sax player. I mean, my God. We were in the balcony and I just had my iphone so I couldn't zoom in and get a good picture, but I wish you could have seen him. He was a "sturdy" gentleman in a blueberry blue three-piece suit with long, luxurious blond locks that ended just above his asshole. If I ever have to get really, really bad news, I want him to deliver it to me and then dive directly into a sax rendition of Jefferson Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now". I feel like I could handle literally anything after that, including but not limited to the world running out of lovers. And corporation games.

6.) I'm 99% sure I met my soulmate. I didn't so much "meet" him as gawk at him from afar, but either way, I'm glad he's in my life now. I don't really know how to say this gracefully, so I'm just going to say it: he was an incredibly large black gentleman with a gangbangery blue bandanna tied around his head who really aggressively wanted to hear "Sara Smile". He was standing in the back of the balcony one section over from mine and let me tell you something: that man likes him some Hall and Oates. And I get it.
Oh how do I get it. He was rocking the fuck out the entire time. Just gettin' down with it. At one point I looked back and he was doing the like, lean back, I'm-pretending-to-turn-my-steering-wheel-back-and-forth dance move normally reserved for The Rap Videos and the like. But you know what? Paired with "I Can't Go For That", it just made sense. I liked his innovation. I also liked that he wasn't afraid to let Daryl Hall and John Oates know exactly what he wanted to hear at any given moment from half a football field away. Overall I've just never been so close to walking up to a total stranger in public and offering to have intercourse with them in a courtesy tent. And I've been to Preakness.

7.) There is no human being I am more jealous of than H&O's tambourine player. He wore a jaunty little vest and stood directly behind Hall with a tambourine in each hand and his only task of the night was to
jam. And jam he did! I had this moment of clarity somewhere in the middle of the concert when I realized that the happiest I think I could ever humanly be is the following: on stage at a Hall and Oates concert wearing a big 'ole pair of espadrilles, cut-off daisy duke shorts, Confederate flag bikini top, aviator sunglasses, lighted incense sticking out of my high pony tail, a tambourine in each hand, just fucking feeling it for an hour and a half every night 'til death do us part. That is my heaven. I'm not saying it for LOLZ, I'm not saying it to be ironic; it's just truly the happiest I can imagine myself. Do I find it upsetting that the happiest I can imagine myself involves semi-racist swimwear, Hall and Oates, and a thick cloud of sandalwood? No. No, I do not. Frankly, I think it's pretty par for the course. My name is Meghan Rowland and I approve this fantasy.

- The next exciting piece of news is that we're having our first out-of-state District reader meetup this Thursday night in Omaha, Nebraska! Because I'm going to Omaha, Nebraska! In a few hours! My sister is going for business and she emailed me a few weeks ago being like, "Wanna go to Nebraska with me? We can go to the American Legion and get tacos and drink $5 pitchers of margaritas with grizzled Midwestern veterans and you can make it a solo 2b1b Investigates." And I said madam, you had me at American Legion and tacos. So, if you're in the greater Omaha, Nebraska area this Thursday night, my sister and I will be at Mr. Toad's in the Old Market at 10pm. And I know 10 is kind of late for a "school night", but we're going to see a College World Series game beforehand and I'm psyched. Not just because I like baseball, mind you, but also because I'm excited to see a collegiate sporting event when school isn't in session. My dad's company has a box at the Naval Academy stadium, so our family goes to a lot of Navy lacrosse and football games and I can't enjoy a single one because I'm too stressed out by the concept of handling a full course load
and playing a sport. I drive my sister crazy because I spend the entire game leaning over and being like, "...So do you think they do their work before the game or after?" I'm sure it's just the result of having an incredibly time consuming major, but it seriously stresses me the fuck out. I thought I was going to shit my pants at my first home Navy football game because the entire school has to march out onto the field and stay to watch the game. I was like, "WHATTHEY HAVE TO?! LIKE HAVE HAVE TO? IT'S SUNDAY! WHAT IF THEY HAVE TO WRITE A PAPER? WHAT IF THEY HAVE TOO MUCH SCHOOL WORK AND JUST CAN'T DO IT? THIS IS TWO SOLID HOURS THEY COULD BE WORKING!!!1" (Speaking of Navy lacrosse games, we were at a game a few months ago and my dad's colleague brought his daughter and her teammates who play lacrosse for American. I was like, "Oh, cool, I went to American." And they were like, "Oh, what year?" "2007. What about you guys?" "2014." WHAT??? 2014?!!?!?!? That is a class of flying cars and robot butlers and beach houses on the moon and it took everything in my power not to be like, "PSHH 2014? What's the use of getting a college degree at that pointwe'll all be dead by then anyway.") 

(Also, they asked me if I played a sport at American and I swear to God I responded, "Um, no, I was more involved in the literary magazine and that kind of...scene". They slowly nodded their heads at me and immediately went back to talking to Becca about Bucknell. ALRIGHT LISTEN YOU PRISSY LITTLE SHITS: a.) AmLit was the tits and I make no apologies for it, b.) YES, WE, AS A STUDENT ORGANIZATION, HAD EMOTIONS. And we chose to channel those emotions through poetry, prose, art, photography, and design and yeah, maybe I also listened to a fair bit of The Smiths at the time, but I played sports in high school so back off, butter; and c.) you can't legally drink until like 2045, and I could make a fort in my apartment out of boxes of wine right now if I wanted to and there's nothing Johnny Law could do about it, so what's up?)

Now I don't remember what I was originally talking about. OH! Yes. Reader meetup. You should come. Because obviously from the above story, I'm super fun. Again, Mr. Toad's, 10pm. We'll be the east coasters with the metric ton of free 2b1b stickers.
Email me if you have any questions!

- My third and final exciting piece of news is that I recently found out that there's a difference between base jumping and freebasing. And guess what? It's a biggie.

On that note, I will be in Nebraska until Friday night if you need me. GO HUSKERS!


Chris' Bucket List

I decided to write a bucket list. I was kind of superstitious about doing it, because it somehow just seems like bad luck or tempting fate:

Man: I need to do these things before I die.

Zeus, king of the gods: The Gods will not be ordered.

Eris, goddess of discord: I don’t see how you’re going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with the colitis you’re about to start having.

Atropos, who determines the length of men’s lives: You should… hurry.

Aphrodite, goddess of love: You’re not going to bed a supermodel, I’ll tell you that now. I might get you someone from the Lane Bryant catalog if you leave a good offering, but that’s the best I can do.

Poseidon, god of the seas: You can’t cross the Atlantic in your own sailboat. I say this not as God of the Seas, but as someone who can see that you sunburn easily, have terrible astigmatism, and regularly gets lost on the way to the mailbox.

See what I mean? But then, two things happened: I did some cool things that it would have been fun to cross off my bucket list had I made one, and I got desperate for blog topics. So here we are. I’ll leave off the items that have to do with “personal growth and fulfillment,” since presumably, you don’t want to read about how I want to, just once, be in good shape and good health and “really feel at home in my body.” It would undoubtedly be funny, but not on purpose. Onward:

To Do:

Hit someone in the face with a pie, and be hit in the face with a pie: This is a symptom of my having watched too much TV as a child, especially I Love Lucy. Whenever the writers didn’t know how to wrap everything up in the two minutes remaining, everyone had a good old-fashioned pie fight and laughed and made up. It just seems so reasonable and so fun, and you get to eat the debris!

Reveal the identity of the real killer: Another TV neurosis. The two TV shows I have the clearest childhood memories of, excluding the reruns I lived on, are The Golden Girls and Murder, She Wrote. They had predictable results: Blanche Devereaux taught me how to act around men, and Jessica Fletcher made me yearn to unmask the murderer. I knew Murder, She Wrote was fiction but I didn’t know the premise was fictional, too. I just assumed that at some point in most people’s lives, they would be stranded in a castle during a terrible storm, a duke would be stabbed to death with an antique halberd, and before the police arrived one of the guests would call everyone into the library and explain how, through careful observation and deduction, they had learned who the murderer was. I don’t know why I thought I would be the one to figure it out, since I’m not observant at all and have the attention span of a fruit fly with a drinking problem, but there it was. I especially liked when Jessica said, “The butler couldn’t possibly have known where the keys were kept. But you could.” When other kids were playing cowboys and Indians, I played “assemble the suspects and reveal the terrible secrets the blackmailer had learned.” My poor, patient parents.

Publish a book: Check! Buy The Misanthrope’s Guide to Life September 18th!!!!!1!

Watch the Eurovision Song Contest: It’s everything I love. Bad music, nations competing, and broad stereotypes. For those of you who haven’t uncovered this joy, what happens is this: every European country who wants to, plus occasionally some countries on the fringes like Morocco, Israel, Lebanon, and the Caucasian countries, each choose an artist and song to compete at the big televised contest in spring. The songs are insanely kitschy: recently Latvia entered a pirate anthem called “Wolves of the Sea.” Each country “votes,” and since you can’t vote for your own country there’s a lot of weird political bickering: Greece and Cyprus always vote for each other and never for Turkey, Germany regularly throws Israel some “Did we mention we’re sorry?” points, and Eastern Europe either votes for Russia or not depending on how tense things are at the time. Greece almost boycotted Finland in 2006 over the Finns’ allegedly Satanic entry – which won. Remember the Celtic music craze of the 90s? Ireland kept sending one red-haired woman to sing about faeries and the morning mists, and regularly won. Italy stopped playing because it never won. Do you see how cool this is!? It’s like a macroscopic high school theatre department, if all the theatre kids had spent most of the last century fighting wars of extermination against each other. For some completely inexplicable reason, this delight is not broadcast in the United States, so sometimes I’m going to go to Europe in April, get a hotel room, and go nuts.

Visit every continent: It just seems like something you should do, doesn’t it? Also every state.

Learn to drive a standard transmission: I actually learned to drive in a standard, but then sort of… drove the truck into a ditch. I’ve never driven a stick since. I don’t really think I need to know, but it’s one of those “well, but what if… a man should know….” things.

Be able to pass the French Foreign Legion fitness test: I don’t want to join the French Foreign Legion – can you really imagine me in an equatorial outpost in one of France’s allegedly independent colonies, shouldering my rifle as I gaze up at the Tricolor and whisper “Pour la France…” Also, according to rumor they check your underwear for cleanliness and if there are “blemishes” they make you lick them clean. All that said… what if? What if I just totally, totally fuck up and need a new life, likerightnow? Also, I want it to be my decision not to be in the French Foreign Legion, not “Monsieur has too much of le paunch.” It’s pretty intense – I don’t have the exact requirements to hand, but it’s a lot of running and lifting and… motion. I figure I can build up to that level over three or four years, do it once, then rest on those laurels forever.

Swim with seals: Dolphins are too humanlike and whales are too large. I imagine swimming with seals is like being around a pack of aquatic puppies. Plus, I wanted to have something on this list that someone might conceivably take me to do for my birthday.

Learn to play the musical saw: I don’t need to explain why this would be cool, do I? The musical saw.
So, there it is: my plan for a happy life, given to you all free of charge. I may expand it into a book called Ah, Hell, You Might As Well. Think of it as Eat, Pray, Love for people who think Eat, Pray, Love sucks.
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