Oh my gosh, I can die happy now.
I took off work yesterday and headed 30 miles south to the orange
county fair. I've been to the fair probably over 10 times. and this was
definitely the best one ever. quite possibly in the entire history of
before we even got in the gates some nice old couple gave the 4 of us 2
free tickets, so we got in for half price, a fantastic way to start a
fantastic evening. i was sure it was my good karma from bringing 3
people who had never been to the fair.
we got in, took some pictures in front of retarded grape signs and
headed off to eat some australian battered potatoes... the thing about
the fair is that it changes enough to be interesting, but everything is
always the same. and even though i hadn't been for an entire year i
knew exactly where the potato shack was. the potatos are basically why
i go every year, they've been a favorite of mine since before i
realized that deep frying is the best method of cooking ever. and i got
to share my potatos.
on our way to the potatos we passed by a curious sign though. it was
the kind they have in department stores with a metal frame that holds a
small poster sized piece of cardboard advertising sales, or in the case
of robinsons-may it holds the picture of the store manager. this sign
however, and the 5 others we saw, informed us that if we wanted to come
back friday we could meet the great Arnold, governor of this lovely
state. I of course made my usual 10 second tirade about how he should
be fixing the budget and letting kids go to college instead of hanging
out and eating potatos. and then quickly forgot about him because there
was only one man on my mind, and boy is he a man.
I am more in love with Alton Brown now than I was 24 hrs ago. If only
he wasn't married.
We passed by the stage that Alton was going to be at when we got there
at like 3:30-4:00, there was some band singing oldies songs, i thought
there were suspiciously a lot of people there for that show. but i
never would have guessed they were waiting for Alton. Then we ate our
potatos, looked through the children's room and came back out to see
mobs of people around the stage 50 minutes before his scheduled time of
5:30. So i let my friends go have fun, and i set out to find myself a
vantage point. no amount of $1 rides (before 6 on thurs) or corndogs
was going to make up for me not being able to see alton. and after
unsuccessfully looking for an actual seat (you'd think one person would
be able to squeeze in somewhere) i found the best spot ever. it took a
little while, and a little squeezing in where someone a few inches
taller wouldn't have dared. but i managed to make my way to the corner
of the stage behind a little old lady who was shorter than me, and some
35ish lady who was definitely legal midget status, although she was
porportioned like a regular person. Then half way though the show the
little old lady had enough, and i got her spot at the stage!! i was so
ready to die happy.
So, after standing in my cramped bit of space for 45 mins, Alton comes
out, and everyone forgets their troubles. Or at least i do. He comes
out and takes a video of the whole crowd cheering with his camera phone
and tells us all that in a week we should be on his website. Isn't he
cute! oh yeah, you know how on tv he's always wearing a hawaiian shirt,
or a bowling shirt to match his retro kitchen accessories. he wasn't.
he was wearing a white shirt and a kilt. the boy was wearing a skirt.
and i have to say that at one point he was close enough that i could
have looked up his kilt, but i managed to stop myself. apparently it's
something called a utilikilt www.utilikilts.com. and they're popular
with a certain crowd. When asked why he was wearing a kilt he said,
"Because I have great legs," and indeed he does for someone who turns
So he starts off with like a monologue, about him coming to the fair,
and last year's fair (apparently he was here last year and i just
didn't know) and he's being cute and charming, self-depricatingly funny
and generally someone i definitley want to know, and have children
with... and i was in heaven. then he starts making fun of people in the
audience, they ugly stuffed dog on the floor, the guy with the mohawk,
the lady with the fringy parasol. i totally puffed out my chest,
because i found the perfect use for my "talk nerdy to me shirt" (not
that i really needed help, because the t-shirt for being so dumb fits
me awfully well). but alas, he didn't notice me. but my friends made me
feel better when i told them this later by saying, it was because he
thought i was cute that he didn't make fun of me, and you don't make
fun of people when you're staring at their chest. (unless you're the
lady we passed who was wearing the hat that said "got tits," and yes
then he started "cooking" there wasn't anything special. in fact, i
wasn't really impressed at all. he had to use grapes, because the fair
was grape themed. he did make a grape smoothie with frozen grapes,
muscat wine and mint that i might try. but grape gazpacho, that's just
retarded no matter if the man i love is making it or not.
he got some kid volunteer to help him make the crust for his no-bake
grape cobbler. it didn't look horrible, but it didn't look great. and
this fat nerdy kid who wore a fanny pack with hand sanitizer dangling
from the outside that alton made fun of was just in heaven. it was
cute. then he picked some cute, very orange county type 35ish lady to
help stir/melt some butter and brown sugar. he let her drink some of
the grape smoothie, out of his glass! that's practically like kissing
him! or so they say in carls jr commercials. anyway, she poured her
mixture on top of his thing. then she held the pan while alton scraped
out the last bits. and he called her a "limber vixen." that's like my
fantasy. me and alton cooking together, he scrapes out the pan, he
calls me a "limber vixen" and then we really go test out how limber i
am. if i was on stage with him, i probably would have just melted.
dropped the hot pan on my foot and had to go to the hospital where
alton would come visit me and then we'd get married.
his live show was even more fun than his tv show. for lots of reasons
i'm sure. it was also a bit more raw. he made a lot of drinking jokes
and was just a bit less polished and family friendly, nothing actually
dirty though. there were kids. in fact one group had a sign that read
"alton, you could out cook bobby flay in your sleep" he took the sign
as a souvenir, then made a joke about if anyone had a sign for him that
said that about a "mr. lagasse"
after his demo he had a Q&A. and there were Alton freaks like there are
comic book/sci fi freaks. it was awesome. 2 of the nerdiest possibly
guys were there asking very technical questions regarding one aspect of
one show. unfortunately they weren't so attractive (the way you'd
imagine), and meeting them would not have made a good alton substitute.
anyway, like a good fan, i was carring his book around, hoping he would
sign it. but apparently everyone else was too. the autograph line
started in the back, and i was in the front. people were actually
standing in the line while the show was happening. if i wanted to stand
there for 3 hrs i probably could have had my book signed. but i wasn't
that crazy, i'd already wif he comes back next year, i'll know to stand
in the line first, since i've already seen him up close. he comes out
with a baking book in october. that is the most exciting news i've
heard since i learned he'd be at the fair.
so after his thing was over i gave up on the autograph line and went to
see the zebra, i didn't believe there was a zebra, but there was, and
it wasn't just a painted stripey horse, it was a real zebra. the
saddest zebra i'd ever seen, stuck in a cage in the petting zoo.
petting zoos are for farm animals, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens... even
alpacas, but not zebras. it was cool to see a zebra, but he made me
sad. then i got a fried twinkie to try to east my sorrows, because a
budwiser (fair sponsor) just wasn't going to cut it. and it was good.
the first fried twinkie i've had. it was VERY lightly battered, and had
a little strawberry jelly on top. it stopped tasting like a twinkie and
was more like a donut. the filling was all melty, and much better than
the room temperature cream filling.
after this we went back, and the alton line hadn't gotten any shorter.
so we got up close took a picture "with" him when he turned around and
went on our way. i was able to drown my sorrows in a blue icee, because
in southern california we're civilized and have lots of blue food to
Last night I dreamed of Alton. we were at the fair, at the same stage,
but i was standing on the aisle in the back row. and he does that
celebrity running thing where he's jogging by touching hands with
everyone on the aisles. so he does that all the way down. and stops at
me, and since i'm at the end he just starts talking to me and he's
smart and charming and funny.... He's wearing his usual hawaiian shirt
and pants. and that's pretty much the dream. I'm just giddy to be
talking to him. ahhhhh.....
i realize now that i should have waited in the autograph line. i could
have gotten him to sign my ass and then have it tattoed on. then i
could be a care bear on one cheek and a cabbage patch kid on the other.
i'm still giddy. i was *this* close to Alton. yea! it was the best
thing ever. like if zack were to get a swimming pool full of cane sugar
dr. pepper while everyone else in the world had a glass full of mr.