Friday, December 21, 2007

Mmmmm... Steak...

I've been remiss in posting lately mainly because I've been having entirely too much fun. While stories will wait for photos, I will say that it's been great to cook for my friends again. Tuesday night Chad, Court & I ("The Third Wemyss") had a fabulous meal of stuffed & bacon-wrapped anaheim peppers, garlic & cheese baked mashed potatoes, steaks with blue cheese butter (recipe below, make it NOW!), a nice Burgandy wine (mmmm... Pinot Noir) and Key Lime Pie for dessert. Normally I wouldn't recommend a meal this fabulous on a school night, but one has to make exceptions for the holidays!

Blue Cheese Butter (from "Grilling" by Eric Treuille, blatantly reprinted without permission:
1/2 lb butter (1 cup), softened
1/2 cup blue cheese (get the good stuff!)
2 tsp pepper

mix all this in a bowl or a blender (lazy bastards!), then plop it on a sheet of aluminum foil. Roll it up & toss in the freezer for 30 min or so to harden. The keep in freezer or move it to the fridge. Cut off slices as necessary. Will keep until it goes bad!
Not a Half-Bad Evening

Start with some good friends, add a generous helping of great food, a dash of good wine and it makes for a great meal. While Clay Pit has changed ownership, the food is still great. Having said that, one would think that 630pm on a Wednesday wouldn't be too late for a "signature" dish. Even without curried mussels, the korma, mirgh masala, tikka masala, tamarind shrimp and vindaloo still made for a great meal.

Next go for a hilarious one-man show of David Sedaris's tale of being an elf in Macy's Santaland, and the only problem is that laughing for an hour+ on a full stomach isn't the most comfortable experience. Finish the night with some good conversation over a beer and life is great!

Monday, December 10, 2007

You Make The Call

We were split down geographic lines on this one. The 3 continental voters said the drawing wasn't racist. The other two of us thought it wasn't exactly filled with Christmas spirit. Then again, maybe one of the Magi was named "Sambo".

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That...

In my continued, though unintentional, quest to display most of the attributes stereotypically accorded to homosexual men (don't hold your breath on me being neat or having sex with men), I watched "The Devil Wears Prada" last night. It was very funny, filled with lots of very attractive women (which soothed my homoegophobia), and Meryl Streep did a great job.

This brings me to an interesting issue. Several years back, Tommy Lee Jones won an Oscar for "The Fugitive" and I think 95% of that win was the screenwriting. This happens a lot, ESPECIALLY with supporting actors. They have a few great lines (delivered well), and the accolades follow. On the bright side, I think it's great that a comedic role (though one played as straight as humanly possible) got a nomination. Too often comedies get screwed over. Borat? NO. Eddie Murphy? No. It's a damn shame.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Clean As A Whistle

When I first arrived in Germany, this was on the inside of every Citibank toilet stall (at least the men's):

Which is fine. It's a fun rhyme, not too preachy, but then a few months back, THIS was put up:

Ok, no german version? So you somehow know those are all expatriate shit stains that have caused you so much emotional pain that you felt the need to get stickers printed with your strident message? This is the kind of pent-up frustration you get here when there's been no invasion of Poland OR France in 60+ years. I'm telling you, it's a powder keg waiting to blow...
If Not Now, Then When?

I have an EXTREMELY secure job and possibilities elsewhere. The company Christmas party was tonight and 99% of attendees will be wearing black, straight from work in professional attire. What does this combination of events require?

A costume, complete with bell-laden bracelets and anklets

Funky, elf-ish shoes from Morocco

A man for whom dignity is not an issue and whose boss is extremely cool with his insane American employee.

I was asked "did you quit your job?" by at least 10 different people tonight. What a great feeling! There's really nothing to compare with the feeling you get when people think you're so crazy you must've pulled a Costanza. Unbelievable.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

More Photos

Over at, I've added photos of the 'dorf, trips to Amsterdam and Brussels with Julie, and photos from Budapest with the fam (pretty much all of them from 2006). Enjoy!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Red, Red Rhine

To celebrate the Bambis (yes, named after THAT Bambi), the German pop culture awards, the Dorf hired out ludicrously large lasers to turn the Rhine river into the world's largest red carpet. Unfortunately, the first night was kiboshed due to an incredibly rare atmospheric disturbance -- the air was too dry. But tonight, it was on (like Donkey Kong).

I'm not sure what the random water jet was, but it was Dorf-tastic!

To be honest, it kind of looks like a lot of the crappy "special" effects from the old "Doctor Who" show on the BBC -- and that generally had a budget of $20-$30 per show.

The rain drop helps the mood a bit, I think. At least you get the redness. Still, it's a pretty crap-tacular red carpet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Let's Take It Offline"

With my involvement (complicity?) with our monster systems conversion project, I go to a lot of meetings. Sorry, a LOT of meetings. And, like any meeting, the amount of time is not proportional to the number of attendees -- it's proportional to the number of attendees SQUARED (a conservative estimate). Invariably, things get taken off topic to someone's particular pet issue ("We need to know an accurate balance for each customer!" or some such BS). This will drag on for 3-4 days before you hear the magic words, "Let's Take This Offline". I ALWAYS smile when I hear this; I now think it's a Pavlovian response, independent of conscious thought.

I like it so much, I've started to use it socially. At a party and someone rambles on about some boring topic? "Let's take it offline." Chatting up an attractive, cool woman you want to get to know better? "Let's take this offline." Credit card rejected & waiter embarassing you in front of others? You got it! "Let's take it offline."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Time to Get Back on the Horse

I hadn't eaten Moroccan food since I returned from Africa and I figured it'd been long enough. Sure I was sick for a week, but it'd been 6 weeks. I was ready. SO, on Saturday I ordered some couscous to go (it seemed prudent) and headed for home. As I got closer to home, I began to panic. What if it was a spice or something else in the food that would trigger a relapse? I decided this was mostly insane and went ahead and ate. No problems, but I will say, eating in the bathroom might've seemed like a good idea, but it sure killed the mood. And my date was VERY underwhelmed.

I was, of course, kidding about the date. She totally understood.
The Worst Part About Mopping Is...

Finishing, seeing the bucket of disgusting water and thinking, "I REALLY shouldn't have claimed the '5 Second Rule' on that potato chip." The best part is thinking, "I guess the next one will be fine!"

Sunday, November 25, 2007

No More Snacking Before Bed

Like most people, my dreams tend to be riffs on what's happening in my life or what's on my mind. Every now and then, my subconscious feels the need to flush out its system and I get a bizarre, out-of-nowhere dream. Like this morning.

Mom, dad & I are watching TV. It's possibly the worst nature show ever, just a camera watching some British (in the dream it was clear to me the thing was from England) carnivore eat various smaller animals. It looked kind of like a cat, but had paws that were good and grasping and holding squirming animals. But there was no blood, just crunching noises. Anyway, at some point we start arguing over exactly what it's eating now. Dad thought it was a mouse, but I said, "no, it's a mole -- you can tell by the feet" (which were dangling from its mouth at the time). Dad said that either way, it was cool (not a typical Dad comment), and I said, "not if it's your bag the parts are dropping onto." At this point it was no longer TV and this thing is in the living room, placidly chowing down, liberally spilling rodent chunks onto my gym bag. As it was time for my workout, I went over, picked up the bag, shook off the parts, and headed out, cursing disgustedly. This is the point I woke up.

I'm thinking this was random mental garbage, but just to be safe, I'm cutting out the midnight snacks for a while.

Friday, November 23, 2007

See. It. Now.

As the 2008 election grows nearer, no movie is more timely than Undercover Brother -- the story of an average black crusader against The Man, trying to save the black former-General Presidential candidate from a career running fried chicken restaurants.

Conspiracy Brother: "You know he does have point about that Colonel. I never trusted the Colonel. Slaves cooked that chicken. Aint no white man know anything about herbs and spices and gibblits."

Smart Brother (when Undercover Brother is faced with eating a white bread sandwich with mayo): "if you're ever forced to eat this mayonnaise, simply press the button on this side of the watch. It delivers a rather liberal spritzing of hot sauce. One blast should be enough to make Caucasian food edible. (but, apparently, not german versions of asian food, or, dear God, mexican food)

If you haven't seen it, logon to Netflix and put it at the top of your queue. Not afraid to confront racial stereotypes, from whites' love for the Fresh Prince to blacks' dream of dating a white girl, it faces them all with a sense of humor. While you're at it, order a Nappy Meal from the General's Fried Chicken. It's dumb, but in a smart way. Who can dislike a movie with a character called White She-Devil?

The Boss: "Hell, no man can resist low-interest loans and non-fat lattes forever. And white women."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Then Why Is The Seat Always Up?

The restroom at my physical therapist's office (I'm fine, don't worry). Note the sign to the right of the toilet.

I'm fairly certain that only guys work in this office, and so it's not surprising that the seat is ALWAYS up on the facility. And if the guys running the show aren't obeying their own sign, then why should I?
Thanksgiving? First Day of Christmas Markets!

Full moon, clear weather -- a perfect night for the Christmas market

Missing out on turkey, dressing, pies, and, worst of all, family & friends sucks. This year the suckitude is lessened by the Christmas markets opening today. Roasted almonds & chestnuts, crepes, waffles, and everyone's favorite: glühwein (pronounced "glue-vine") -- hot, spiced red wine. Mmmmmm...glühwein. Gotta go, the Weihnachtsmarkt calls!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Only Choice for Citigroup's CEO

Citi needs a CEO with the following qualities:
- Strong financial experience across a wide range of products and services
- Strong moral and ethical principles to guide him/her through a difficult period in the company's history
- Ability to stand and fight to preserve the company.

Who does this sound like? In my mind, there's only one person for the job:

Batman. That's right. He's obsessed with the law, wildly successful in both financial and legal arenas AND he has his own car -- no need to give him 5 years of a car & driver service if he fails.

Of course, there will be naysayers. Let's take their points one-by-one:
1. He'll attract a bunch of lunatics that will drive Citi's share price down: Citi just announced it was invading Iraq* in a bid to IMPROVE its share price. I doubt the Joker & Two Face will change that. And the chance of Catwoman showing up at a shareholder's meeting all but guarantees Richard Branson will become an investor.

2. Batman is all wrong. This is a job for Superman! Ummmm, no. Did Superman, or even Clark Kent, ever show financial acumen? His solution will probably be crushing coal into diamonds, and that will DEFINITELY get the SEC to look into Citi's books.

3. He's fictional. Talk about negativity. This is a minor issue for today's go-getter multinational firm: Darth Vader's brother is working at a grocery store, GE hired Dogbert and Halliburton is waiting for Lex Luthor to return from sabbatical. The climate has never been better to overcome the reality-bias of HR departments (ok, so no HR dept. has never been accused of a bias FOR reality).

In short, buy Citi, vote Batman.

* They didn't, but it made you think, "Maybe I should check"
Paganello & Milan -- Finally

Jules and Brendan are going to be soooo disappointed when they see this. Apparently I didn't take many photos at Paganello at all. In fact, I took 0 at the fields. Oops. Anyway, I spent a day in Milan before heading down to Rimini for 5 days of ultimate on the beach and sensible amounts of alcohol (in a cultured, mature setting of a wine tasting, of course). Here's the basic schedule:
Wake up
Complain about how freaking early it is.
Curse loudly at how freaking late we are.
Hastily throw clothes in a bag and run to fields/beach.
Make one of the following comments AT LEAST every 5 minutes: "Bend over and I'll show you" (JT), "I'm not not licking toads" (Brendan), "Step 1: Cut a whole in a box..." (Jules)
Eat a fabulous dinner.
Have a bit of the old courage.
Go out.
Have a nightcap.

Some thoughts. First, Brendan and Jules are the best roommates one can hope for. Well, except for 2 beautiful masseuses. But NJ and Angry Benny're a close second.

Our coach, Simon, is awesome. If you haven't played for him, you should stop slacking and get to it. I learned a lot from him, but I was able to hide it under a constant stream of smartass comments and Simpsons quotes.

Our captain, Martin (partly hidden behind the blonde, Joyce), rules. He will catch anything. Seriously, he's like a hypochondriac in Central Africa. Unbelievable. Also, he puts up with my crap better than I have a right to hope for. I would play for him again in an instant, if he hadn't learned the line "I like your hustle. That's why it was so hard to cut you." from Brendan.

Not to overdo it, but I had my Joe Montana in the '82 NFC Championship Game moment -- it's all on the line, and this is your time. You've worked all season for it, waiting for your chance. The scenario: After saying "bend over and I'll show you" (my second favorite Chevy Chase line*) at the slightest hint of applicability ALL weekend, I had my opening. Steve unwisely said, "Do you have a canned comment ready for everything?" and I replied, not missing a beat, "bend over and I'll show you!" I almost cried, it was so perfect.

As for ultimate, we beat our seed, won a game on ultimate point with TWO game-saving ho blocks in the endzone (I threw the disc away after the first to show we weren't intimidated), but Julie was clearly the MVP. She was solid. Wow. Rock steady rock star.

As for Milan, it kind of sucks. Great cathedral, crap city. Like Cologne, actually. But the cathedral? Best nap spot in Europe. You get up to the roof after a meal of risotto, boar and gelato, and there's no resisting the lure of the horizontal. The warm sun, light breeze and faraway murmur of traffic is like a tryptophan injection. mmmmm.
Chase, to his boss: "We're in a gray area."
Boss: "Ok, well, how gray?"
Chase:"Um, charcoal?"

Monday, November 19, 2007

Citi's Subprime Task Force

'"In addition, a new unit, the sole focus of which will be on
managing the assets related to sub-prime mortgage securities and their
resultant exposures, has been established. This unit will be separate
from the other parts of our capital markets and banking business," Mr.
Rubin said.' From Reuters

And who is this task force?

" If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire... The A-Team."

"The task force is in a garage in suburban Los Angeles welding together a solution to this subprime crisis. The matter should be resolved within the hour. No casualties are expected, though they've purchased several thousand rounds of ammunition and several pounds of plastic explosives. All that's left is to drug BA, get on the plane, and return to New York," said Robert Rubin, Chairman of Citigroup.

*Image copyright

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Belated Prague Photos

The city at night. It's amazingly beautiful, since it somehow escaped bombing in WW2.

A very common sight during our 4 days. Czechs drink more beer than anyone else, and we wanted to fit in. This was a great dark beer from the oldest brewery in Prague. Only 400 or so years under their belts. No Egyptian Brown Ale, but still a decent history

The interior of the Prague cathedral. I love the play of the light on the blah stone.

Due to a variety of factors, I never posted my photos from my trip to Prague with Chad in March. So, check it out! They're at

After 8 months, my enthusiasm for a trip summary is negligible. Suffice it to say, the city is wonderful & we had a great time.

Finally, Oktoberfest Photos

Oktoberfest Beer: The Original Big and Tasty

Looking good with the SCA Frauen

It starts in September, is called "Oktoberfest" & so I thought it appropriate to talk about it in November.

It was a blast. Skip the first Saturday, unless you have a table reservation -- you're not getting into the tents. Sunday we hit a few tents, rode some rides, and had fun. Check out the photos at (most of my other photo albums are there now, too).
The Perfect Christmas Movie!

Checking out coming attractions, I see this:
Dec 25:
Alien vs. Predator: Requiem The warring races square off again, this time in a small town.

Nothing quite says the spirit of Christmas like Alien vs Predator...
Timing is Everything

At a party, it's all about making a good entry. Last night an Italian friend had a dinner party with 8 Italians and me. The party started midway through the crucial Italy-Scotland match, with Italy needing a win in Scotland to advance to the European championships. At 1-1 and in injury time, it looked hopeless. But in walks JT, the Italians score a goal 10 seconds later, and I'm now the talismanic hero of the evening. 30 seconds later and I'm the late jackass, but instead I'm now required to attend all Italy's matches. At least for 10 seconds or so.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ironing Day!

Today is my regularly scheduled ironing day. In other words, I woke up this morning with almost nothing to wear. fortunately, no meetings today, so I could stand to be somewhat wrinkled. That's how much I hate ironing -- I weigh 3 minutes of ironing a shirt versus being caught for the lazy slob I am. On the bright side, it does add a dash of danger to my morning. Sure, it's not the same as being James Bond, but my Double 0 license was revoked earlier this year...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Hooray For Random Holidays!

I guess if you're Catholic, it might not be random, but it is for me. No matter your religious beliefs, having the day off is still nice. These are the only Saints I knew, so here you go.

Monday, October 29, 2007

THE Beautiful Fall Day

This is it! The one day in the fall with sun, changing leaves, and good weather. Fortunately, it was during my post-Morocco sick leave so I wasn't spoiled by the wonderful weather. Now we're back to normal -- 40s and raining.
Does This Mean More or Less Money To Be Laundered?

The bar near me that is a clear front for money laundering was open tonight! Of course, there were no customers, as is usual. Over the last 18 months, this place has kept a strict regimen of closed Sun-Wed and near-empty Thur-Sat (an average of 2 customers at a time). So does a Monday night mean they have more money to launder, or are they trying to fool someone?

Friday, October 26, 2007

What The Hell Do I Do Now?

I'm fairly certain that this is Elaine's least favorite street sign of all time. Seriously, what should I do when I see this? Panic? Get excited? They had these signs every few miles all the way to Marrakech. I tried screaming a little for each one, but that just freaked everyone out. If any of you know, feel free to inform. Or just humorously comment.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Morocco: Day 7 Taroudannt

More photos at Shutterfly
Originally the plan was to go to Taroudannt on Day 2, which is market day there. This didn't happen, but it worked out for the best. On the way home from Marrakech, I met Nadia, a Moroccan woman who was returning from a cousin's wedding. She invited me to spend the day in Taroudannt with her & I went for it.

We met at 930 and took a grands taxi (hint: don't say the "s") -- basically a Mercedes-Benz sedan with a driver & 6 passengers -- 2 in the front and 4 in the back. Fortunately, Nadia is slim & I was able to get enough room to revive feeling to my feet midway through the hourlong trip.

Life in Taroudannt is a bit slower and has muchmore traditional dress than in Morocco or Agadir.

After a quick stop at her parents' house to drop off her bag, we walked around the city, accompanied by her younger sister, Ghizlain (I probably mispelled it, but since I called her by the wrong name for several hours, this is an improvement). This improved conversation a lot -- Nadia speaks French & Arabic, and I don't but Ghizlain speaks some English. Before this, we got by due to my Lonely Planet phrasebook and general good humor.

Taroudannt's walls lend it a cool vibe -- kind of militant and snug, all at once.

But there's plenty of green -- much more than Marrakech or Agadir.

We walked through the town, then headed back for a bite of lunch (for me & Ghizlain, who was mysteriously not fasting) and a nap (for Nadia, who was). Afterward we walked a bit more & then had a homecooked meal -- a quite tasty one, too.

Me, Nadia & Ghizlain

Nadia & Mohammed (her oldest brother) walked me to the grands taxi stand and I headed home. Luckily, I only waited about 5 minutes for a ride -- lucky since I only had less than a minute to spare between getting to my hotel room and the onset of the Sultan's Revenge...

Nadia's family & me at dinner.
I've FINALLY Let It Go

Wow. It has taken wayyyy longer than I thought it would, but I'm finally over it. Not even the slightest bit of backsliding today! It's been a week, but finally "Quimby4" is no longer occupying my thoughts and fingers when I login at work. Normally the first day or so I catch myself typing my previous password, but this time it lasted a week. I blame the demonic african intestinal infection, as I'm sure you all would.

We have to change our passwords every 30 days. Previously, I'd get a message saying "you have 5 days left before you must change your password. Do you want to change it now?" This time the message was "You have 12 days left...". TWELVE DAYS?!? Are you kidding me? That's almost half the life of the password. Stupid Citi security

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Morocco: Day 6 Marrakech

More photos at Shutterfly

My last day in Marrakech was spent with a quick trip to one last palace (Dar Si Said, not easy to find), a great meal, and a bit of shopping.

This is my room at Riad Numero 10. A riad is a former townhome that has been renovated into a Bed and Breakfast. Mine was pretty cool, though fairly standard.

This is the garden at Dar Si Said, a former palace that's now a museum.

This is some of the amazing ceramic work on the interior of Dar Si Said.

The view from the restaurant at lunch. Note the Atlas mountains in the background.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Morocco: Day 5 Marrakech

200 posts! I didn't think I'd make it. Day 5 was my culture day. More photos at Shutterfly.

First I hit the Badi Palace, built between 1578 and 1602, and stripped for the next 12 years. Apparently they didn't think of charging admission (invented by the Presley family, roughly 32 min after finding Elvis dead on the toilet). Now there's not much left but walls & a few scattered tiles. It's still impressive, much like the Colisseum is just a shell of its former glory.

Next up is the Saadian tombs, which contain the remains of the guys who looted the Badi Palace. They had the good sense to give a good sprinkling of superstition to their tombs to prevent the locals (but not the French colonists) from cracking them open and selling tickets to visiting yahoos (like me).

The Bahia palace is a well-preserved home of later rulers. The unbelievable tilework, carving and ceilings are amazing, which was the thought at the time it was built; it was looted the day the owner died. My favorite part is the sublime arabic seamlessly worked into the carvings along the wall. While there's no formal representation of people or animals in Moroccan artwork, the delicate scrolling writing more than makes up for it.

The Museum of Morocco is basically another fabulous home open to the public, with both contemporary and modern crafts and arts on the walls. The home itself is the centerpiece. For the same 5 euro entry fee you get a trip through the former mosque school, too. It's peaceful, though the rooms are tiny -- no more than 60 sq. ft.

Of course, the Koutubia mosque looks good all day & night.

I finished the day with another tasty meal at the main square. Another day in the Red City (because of the walls, not the communist leanings) was done -- though the grills were still running, as I could see from the roof of my hotel.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Watching: Walk The Line

So I finally got around to watching the Johnny Cash biopic. It was pretty good, though not as good as I'd been told. Let's be honest about these movies about famous singers/athletes/celebrities: they're not "Gandhi", they're just movies about some drunk/high singer. At this point, the whole overcoming-addiction-stemming-from-childhood-trauma is great and all, but it's been done. In spite of the story, it's well-done. The acting & directing are good, and it's fun to see Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, etc. as cameos. Speaking of which, just how lucky were the people who saw Johnny Cash, Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis & Roy Orbison in the same concert? That's like the '93 Lollapalooza for my grandparents (though I'd kill to see it, too).

Grade: B-
Losing Weight: The Natural Way

I gotta say, 7 days and 8 lbs later, this whole sickness thing works. I may try to market it:

The natural, healthy* way to lose weight fast! Up to 10 lbs in 1 week! Call now and ask for our botulism special! Forget bikini season -- look great for your date THIS WEEKEND!!!

*except for the whole "getting sick" thing

Monday, October 15, 2007

Reading: The Inheritance of Loss

Kiran Desai's Booker Prize-winning (in 2006) novel has the least likable set of characters I've encountered in a while. The story flits between Biju, an Indian in New York seeking his fortune, and a group living in the house of the judge, a self-loathing racist who won't acknowledge his granddaughter or his cook (Biju's father) though they live in his house.

While the novel reads easily enough, none of the characters drew me in. And the side characters in the novel, be they American, English or Indian, are all one-dimensional caricatures.

Sure, there are themes of alienation, loss, yada yada yada, but I don't think they're worth investing 350 pages, especially since there's not even a semblance of an ending.

Still, if you want it, go to Amazon.

Grade: C+
Dining Marrakech: Place Djemaa El Fnaa

I figured my first night in Marrakech I needed to hit the main square -- plenty of grilled goodies and exotic treats. To start, I filled up my water bottle with fresh OJ and hit the snail soup stand.

Julia made me promise that if I ate a sheep's head, I would get pictures. Here you go:

Rather than deprive myself of the grilled goodies on display, I went with the 1/4 head. Quite a bit of surreptitious hacking later, and I was presented with this:

I had no idea there was so much variety in a sheep's head. Though the flavors were all about the same -- kind of like mutton, though the spice mix they gave was quite tasty. The worst part was the weird thin pieces of cartilage or something at the back of the photo. I prefer not to think about their origin. But the two cooks were proud of me for finishing it:

Next up was the main course -- grilled meats, and plenty of them. I started with the mixed Moroccan salad, which was bland and horrible. Even the feral cats ignored it. The grilled eggplant was extra tasty, though.

Marinated chicken, kefta (spiced ground lamb), lamb chunks, red bell pepper -- all damn fine.

Final verdict? A