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08 October 2007 @ 06:07 pm
173: There Is No Love Sincerer Than the Love of Food  
So. Hi. Earlier, I, um, made myself sick by eating an entire jar of pickles. It wasn't a small jar, either. I have no idea what I was thinking, and in fact I'm fairly well convinced I wasn't thinking. Just - there was a jar of pickles. About an hour later, the jar was there, but it contained only a small amount of brine and some random floating spices. I spent a few moments theorizing about alien pickle abductions - were they stem-end probing my Vlassics in geosynchronous orbit ? - and then I realized that a) I was going to be sick and b) this was probably not unrelated to the missing pickle mystery.

Let my experience be a lesson to you: pickles only in moderation. Also, for god's sake use a plate. (No, as a matter of fact, I was not raised in a barn, but sometimes I think my parents wished I could be.)

So, in memory of my poor lost pickles - which, oh god, ew - I give you: food-related stories.

The One That Should Be Called 'Management Techniques of the Fifty-First Century.' Although If This Is Actually How They'll Manage Then, Well, Peter Drucker Will Be Horrified. Vitamin A, by basingstoke. Torchwood, gen.

When I bookmarked this, I noted that Torchwood is just about the only fandom I can imagine where a story can have a spanking scene between two grown men and still be gen. Jack Harkness is like some weird sexual anomaly field: nothing sex-related is impossible if he's nearby. And that includes even a totally non-sexual spanking scene.

But what I actually love about this story is - okay, there's two things. First, it's funny. And it will be especially funny to those of you who have ever managed a difficult employee. (Note: this story should not be taken as management advice. Some things can't be done by anyone but Jack Harkness; if you try this, you'll get your ass sued off. But feel free to imagine doing it in your next unpleasant work encounter.)

Second, it's a look at the way Jack Harkness's mind works. Apparently the fifty-first century has highly unusual methods of problem-solving. And they've managed to get thinking outside the box down to an art form. Or maybe that's just something peculiar to Harkness, too. (Does anyone know if there's any fan fiction that depicts life in Jack's fifty-first century aside from cherryice's awesome Leave the Light On? I would love some good stories that explain how he got this way. And I don't mean the, you know, eternity issue, because he was what we might term a highly creative thinker long before that.)

So, what's the food connection? Coffee. Owen apparently can't make it. Or, rather, he can, but you need to be immortal (and brave) to drink it. So I guess he's kind of the Starbucks of the damned.

The One Where You Learn That a Less Known Side Effect of Membership in the Clan MacLeod Is Flexibility in the Kitchen. No, Not That Kind of Flexibility. Although That Probably Comes with the Tartan, Too. The Freshest and the Best, by julad. Highlander, Duncan MacLeod/Methos.

This is part of Julad's shopping series (which is, by the way, thoroughly awesome); Duncan and Methos go grocery shopping. No, really, that's all that happens here, and it's wonderful. I love seeing Methos push Duncan around, even if I think the purchase and eating of eel is - well, not one of the best ideas Methos has had. Way more disgusting than a lot of pickles. (But if you are an eel eater, know that I honor and cherish your differences. And, um, I've been a vegetarian since I was 10, so I wouldn't really know, but isn't that stuff kind of rubbery? It looks like it would be rubbery.)

And I really love this version of the Duncan/Methos relationship - Methos is keeping Duncan young and flexible, which is both ironic (or, you know, the title of a book from the self-help section of the Watcher's Library - Chicken Soup for the Immortal's Soul: Tips on Staying Young from the World's Oldest Man) and totally appropriate, because someone needs to do that. (Look. I love Duncan as much as the next girl, but sometimes he acts like he has a katana up his ass.) In this story, Methos makes the decisions about the really important things - food, sex, saffron - and leaves the unimportant stuff - the Game, beheading, vengeance - for MacLeod to do at some point when it doesn't inconvenience Methos. In short, this is Highlander one of the ways I love it: light, funny, with characters I can honestly believe have lived a long, long time.

Additional bonus: you get TWO recipes for eel! Sort of! I mean, this isn't going to do me much good, but if you've got a lot of eel sitting around (deceased eel, obviously - if you've got a live eel, that's a whole different story) and you can't think what to do with it (which seems to be the likely outcome of having a lot of dead eel), here are some ideas.

The One That, I'm Warning You Right Now, Will Make You Think Impure Thoughts about Desserts. A Little Cheesecake, by kassrachel. The Sentinel, Jim Ellison/Blair Sandburg.

We've all fallen in love with a cheesecake - oh, don't even tell me you haven't; I saw you with that luscious slice of New York style, stroking her creamy sides and licking her off your fork, and don't think I didn't hear you moan - but most of us don't, um, take it quite as far as Jim does in this story. (And, no, seriously, stop thinking about American Pie. Stop it right now. He doesn't take it that far. At least not in this story, and I think it's safe to say I will never rec the story where he does. Although no one should consider that a challenge, please.)

This is a great look at Jim at the beginning of the series: so repressed he cannot be in the same state, or even plane, as an emotion. And it's a great look at how Blair is the perfect fit for that. See, there's a conversation in this that - okay. The first time I read this story, I had to click away in the middle of it because my embarrassment squick warning went off. If you've got an embarrassment squick, you're probably familiar with this. It's like the aura before a migraine; it's this little internal monitor that says, "Warning: this could get embarrassing, and then you will die. Just FYI!" So, you know, I paused in my reading to fortify myself. And then I clicked back.

And the thing is, Blair just manages this conversation like he was talking about chopsticks or something. He is the perfect counterbalance to early canon Jim: he's like a mediator, forcing Jim to get in touch with his emotions. Only Blair's mediation sessions come with blow jobs. (Note for licensed mediators: do not try this in your place of work.)

The One That Should Come with a Warning Reading, "Will Put a Song in Your Head That You Hoped You'd Forgotten." No, Not Celine Dion. Even Worse. But It's Worth It, I Promise. Four Boots, Five Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Feet, by kormantic. Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney McKay/John Sheppard.

Bodyswap, people. Bodyswap. Is there anything better? No, there isn't. And this is an awesome bodyswap, filled with humor and fruit and comparative analysis of asses, so you want to read this RIGHT NOW.

And now every single one of you who hasn't already read this has clicked and is no longer reading this sentence; I can safely assume I'm addressing just those of you who have read it. (Okay, fine. And everybody who doesn't read SGA, and everybody who doesn't read fan fiction at all.) So I can tell you that in this story, Rodney and John learn a lesson that got totally skipped in kindergarten, at least for me, which is: if you start sharing there's just no end to it, and eventually you end up unable to call even your body parts truly your own.

(That would make an awesome lesson, don't you think? My kindergarten was clearly deficient. Although I'm not sure how you prepare small children for the future rigors of bodyswapping. Is there a felt board or a fingerplay for that? Maybe a song with mnemonic hand gestures?)

So, basically, on the Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Fan Fiction chart, this would be: share, but only with people you wouldn't mind having sex with, because we all know where sharing leads. (But another thing I've learned from fan fiction is that everyone wants to have sex with everyone, even tentacles, so, really, I guess this wouldn't change much.)

The food in this one, by the way, sounds genuinely tasty. But remember, kids: keep your alien fruit to yourself unless you want to get laid.

The One You Should Not Read Around Mealtime Unless You Are a Really Adventurous Eater. A Hell of a Dinner, by daegaer. Good Omens, gen.

And here's a story that I had to include because it a) is wonderful and b) features the most revolting dinner you could pay 115 pounds for (um, because I'm too lazy to look it up, does anyone know how to make the pound sign on an American keyboard?), complete with a link to the restaurant where you can go to get your very own expensive and hideous dinner. (BACON. In ICE CREAM. There are absolutely no words for this horror. And I cannot believe our governments are worried about things like drugs and terrorism in a world where people openly and wantonly make sardine sorbet. Priorities, people! Biggest problems first! Solve them with guns if necessary!) This is precisely the sort of food Crowley would fancy. In fact, he probably sat through the entire meal feeling vaguely bitter that he didn't think of it first.

(I also have my suspicions about who did think of it. Has anyone seen Famine since the world didn't end?)

In any case, this story is perhaps the ultimate thing to read when you want to feel better about making yourself sick with pickles. (...Yeah, okay, that's an audience that is limited to just me. Me and my SHAME. But it's also worth reading even if you've never had a pickle in your life.) Because you can read it and think, "Well, at least I didn't pay 115 pounds for those pickles." And also you will be very very grateful that it was just pickles you ate, and not pickle flavored ice cream. (Probably it be a sorbet, actually. Zesty dill pickle sorbet. Okay. Ew. Oh my god, ew. Actually, I - I think I need to go lie down right now.)
 
 
 
Iphiginia Saberhagen: Wombats Rule swiped from MMWDfanofall on October 9th, 2007 01:19 am (UTC)
Drive-by wombat hug.

::hugs::
tried to eat the safe banana: Wombatsthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Yay wombats!

*hugs back*
upon video review, a do-oversociofemme on October 9th, 2007 01:21 am (UTC)
some food related comments (I love this post's theme):

I just wanted to confirm for you: eel is both rubbery and oddly crunchy. You wouldn't think it would be possible, but it manages. Ew.

You're not the only person to eat an entire jar of pickles. You're not even the only one this week. /shame

And also, bacon ice cream? I'd eat it.

tried to eat the safe banana: Foodthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 03:58 am (UTC)
You wouldn't think it would be possible, but it manages.

OMG, crunchy. I - I think I don't want to think about that anymore. But I will heartily second your ew. (Although Best Beloved has just informed me that eel is "not bad." I have an eel traitor in my house!)

You're not the only person to eat an entire jar of pickles. You're not even the only one this week. /shame

Sister! Sister in food shame! Possibly we should start a support group for pickle, um, over-consumers.

And also, bacon ice cream? I'd eat it.

*eyes you warily*

It's actually bacon and egg ice cream. Does this change your opinion at all?
(no subject) - sociofemme on October 9th, 2007 12:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
abbyleeabbylee on October 9th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
You know, I hate your recs because I end up reading stories in fandoms that I NEVER planned on reading. Or is that planned on never reading? Something.
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
*beams*

This is exceedingly happy news! I mean, okay, I suppose I should be commiserating with you, but I am too busy being smug and pleased, because that is precisely what I set out to do. Yay!

*happy dance*
dovildovil on October 9th, 2007 01:24 am (UTC)
Out of all the foods to make yourself sick on you had to choose something vaguely healthy. That's just...disappointing. You might as well go on and out and out junk food binge with tequilla shooters and a nip of nail polish remover for an apertiff if you're going to end up waving goodbye to your stomach contents. You didn't loose out on a thousand and one calories, a sleepless night of stomach cramping, and possible hair loss, you lost out on vitamins.

Pickles. Sigh. *shakes head sadly*
tried to eat the safe banana: Foodthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:04 am (UTC)
You didn't loose out on a thousand and one calories, a sleepless night of stomach cramping, and possible hair loss, you lost out on vitamins.

Pickles are good for you? I thought they were basically crisp, crunchy salt. With, you know, spices. And some dill. But, wow, that just makes the whole pickle orgy and subsequent, um, side effects even more pathetic.

(Also, I am forced to reflect on how rarely I eat anything that has the potential to cause hair loss. I am BORING.)
(no subject) - dovil on October 9th, 2007 04:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
the world's most huggable supervillainzabira on October 9th, 2007 01:35 am (UTC)
this is going to sound crazy-cakes, but you could not have posted this at a better time for me if you had FUNDED A STUDY. though you don't know it, i desperately needed a pick-me-up right this minute, and your posts ALWAYS make me happy. so, thank you!
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:27 am (UTC)
Yay! And, no, I totally understand what you mean. Sometimes, fandom synchronicity works in your favor. It's always a glorious thing when it does.

So, I hope these stories work for you. (And, also, I hope things improve enough that you don't need pick-me-ups soon. Because I am beyond delighted to have provided one when you needed it, but wouldn't it be better not to need it?)
astolatastolat on October 9th, 2007 01:39 am (UTC)
Hey -- just checking, have you gotten my couple of emails? Just want to make sure they haven't been spam-filter-eaten somewhere! One went to gmail and one to livejournal addresses. :)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:29 am (UTC)
*facepalm*

Yup, I got them, and I should totally have emailed you to let you know. Sorry! But I have a draft to you sitting in Gmail, and when coherence takes me for more than ten minutes running, I will get it out to you. (In other words, I'm about to crash right now, but tomorrow morning, whether I can type complete sentences or not.)
(no subject) - astolat on October 9th, 2007 04:47 am (UTC) (Expand)
Imaginary Researcher: Dubious but intrigued - oollahhannahrorlove on October 9th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
That restaurant sounds pretty cool, actually - it doesn't seem like they're mixing sweet and savory all that much, which is pretty much my only food squick. The lack of vegetarian dishes, that's another matter.

Japan's made wasabi ice cream. Not quite dill pickle sorbet, but close enough.
tried to eat the safe banana: Foodthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:34 am (UTC)
Well, see, it's all kind of abstract to me, since I've been a vegetarian for so long. (And the really foodie places do their level best never to have a vegetarian option. Vegetarians are anathema to 99% of the world's great chefs.) But something deep within me says that bacon and ice cream never, ever belong together: bacon is just not a dessert product. And, also, I've never had a sardine - when I ate meat, I was extremely dubious of those things and how they smelled - but I'm pretty sure that they are not enhanced by being put in a sorbet. Although probably if you liked sardines, you'd like the sorbet, too.

Japan's made wasabi ice cream. Not quite dill pickle sorbet, but close enough.

...You know, wasabi ice cream actually sounds kind of good. Hmmm. Insanity is clearly overtaking me. Possibly now is when I should start to worry?
(no subject) - hannahrorlove on October 9th, 2007 06:32 am (UTC) (Expand)
bitter_crimson on October 9th, 2007 01:57 am (UTC)
A Torchwood rec and an SGA rec in the same post! Glee! *flounces off to read*
KRIM: brains?bitter_crimson on October 9th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Also, £ = ALT+0163 (on the numpad)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
Kass: Blairkassrachel on October 9th, 2007 01:59 am (UTC)
Oh, man, I am so pleased that you like that old Sentinel story! :-) I can see how it would skirt close to triggering an embarrassment squick, but I'm glad it manages to not quite push you over that edge.

Blair really does have a hell of a mediation technique here, doesn't he? *g* Jim's so repressed, but Blair's so persuasive. Man, I miss those two sometimes.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:42 am (UTC)
That story is totally one of my TS happy places. <3!

I can see how it would skirt close to triggering an embarrassment squick, but I'm glad it manages to not quite push you over that edge.

I still have that moment of embarrassment aura, but fortunately I can remind myself that the embarrassment isn't coming and keep on reading.

Man, I miss those two sometimes.

*wistful sigh*

Oh, me too. I mean, I can always go back and re-read the stories, and there are new ones still coming out, but - it was my first TV fandom! My first non-canon fandom! Whenever I think of Jim and Blair, I get all nostalgic.
the cold genius: cranky pip is crankyangevin2 on October 9th, 2007 02:11 am (UTC)
Zesty dill pickle sorbet

Okay, those are four words I never really needed to read in that order...
tried to eat the safe banana: Fish tonguethefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:43 am (UTC)
Yeah. I completely sympathize. After I wrote them, I had to back away from the computer and fix my mind on pure, clean thoughts. (Challenging, but possible.)
Karen: Arenamontanusodditycollector on October 9th, 2007 02:12 am (UTC)
See, I am reading this during dinner. So at the second recs I look down, somewhat bemusedly, because on my plate is *drum roll* eel! Dead eel, I'll specify. Dead, barbequed eel wrapped in seaweed and rice, so's it doesn't get lonely, I suppose.

Um. It's really good, and not scary at all! :D
tried to eat the safe banana: Foodthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:45 am (UTC)
*eyes you*

I have been informed by sociofemme that eel is both crunchy and rubbery. But Best Beloved is, I have just learned, a closet eel eater. And now you tell me eel is tasty. (BARBEQUED eel. Eep.)

I must meditate on these conflicting reports.
(no subject) - odditycollector on October 9th, 2007 05:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vito_excalibur on October 9th, 2007 05:56 am (UTC) (Expand)
Annieout_there on October 9th, 2007 02:50 am (UTC)
But what I actually love about this story is - okay, there's two things. First, it's funny. And it will be especially funny to those of you who have ever managed a difficult employee. (Note: this story should not be taken as management advice. Some things can't be done by anyone but Jack Harkness; if you try this, you'll get your ass sued off. But feel free to imagine doing it in your next unpleasant work encounter.)

*crazy hearts you* That was hilarious and so wrong. And yet, of course, somethign that would make total sense to *Jack*.

Also, I'm kind of hungry (and have a day off), so for once, I'm checking out almost all of your recs.
tried to eat the safe banana: Calamity Physicsthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:46 am (UTC)
And yet, of course, somethign that would make total sense to *Jack*.

It really would. Few people would follow that train of thought, but I totally believe Jack would. He's our special immortal weirdo!

Also, I'm kind of hungry (and have a day off), so for once, I'm checking out almost all of your recs.

Yay! Hope you like the stories.
(Deleted comment)
tried to eat the safe banana: Musicthefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
Re: what song?
*stares at you*

I decided long ago
Never to walk in anyone's shadow
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I'll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my DIG-NIT-EEEEE

Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me

Learning to love yourself
Is the greatest love of all

...I seriously do not know any more of the lyrics. Nor do I want to. BUT THAT IS ENOUGH TO DO PERMANENT DAMAGE TO MY BRAIN.

And, thanks to you, I now have that doubly stuck in my head. I'm going to go to bed and dream about it, dang it. Curse you and your evil song-inflicting ways!

*shakes fist*
(Deleted comment)
_medley_: joy by becky_h_medley_ on October 9th, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
You are awesome. I hadn't read any of those and I loved them all. I thought I had read everything daegaer had ever written, but somehow I'd missed this one. Bodyswap's not usually my thing, but that was fantastic, and now I have a huge craving for Highlander, which I've never even seen. And for cheesecake. In short, you totally win. *g*
tried to eat the safe banana: Smilethefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)
I am exceedingly triumphant. Five stories you hadn't read! Sudden cravings for cheesecake and Highlander! I have accomplished my goals today, oh yes I have.

\o/
Admission to the Burning Ruins — 10¢: Flash Gordon Rocketlaughingacademy on October 9th, 2007 03:24 am (UTC)
Just yesterday — literally — I was wondering, How can I have never read any McShep bodyswap fic? It seems like such a no-brainer. And behold, the universe has answered!

Oh, and in re: “Apparently the fifty-first century has highly unusual methods of problem-solving...Does anyone know if there's any fan fiction that depicts life in Jack's fifty-first century...? I would love some good stories that explain how he got this way,” there’s “Sex Addiction: An Argument from Aetiology,” by halotolerant, which is set during Jack’s Time Agent Academy days.
Greeking the Textlipsum on October 9th, 2007 04:37 am (UTC)
Ha! I thought of halotolerant's story, too! Let's see if I delicioused any other pre-canon Jack stories... *rummages*

troyswann: Scylla and Charybdis Five Variations on an Inspiration: Jack Harkness - "It happens sometimes; there’s a bit of a jolt and suddenly the woman next to you is a guy you’ve never seen before." Very much a time-travel story, but also it's about oppression and surveillance and missing memories.

...That's all I could find.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 05:37 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lipsum on October 13th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on October 9th, 2007 05:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)