Thursday, November 10, 2005

Carne Empanada

I got a comment from my good buddy The Czar about yesterday's "Gruel" post.


Hey maybe instead of steak. I can send you over my recipe for Carne
Empanada! LOL That would make your stomach feel great!Take care brotha!


This requires a little explanation.

The Czar and I have been friends since college. We both joined CWU the same year (Fall '95). I lived in Kamola Hall, one of the "study dorms", and one of the oldest buildings on campus. Kamola's claim to fame was Lola, a ghost who has haunted Kamola since she committed suicide during WWI. The Czar lived in Hitchcock Hall, one of the six "Bassetties" dorms. Hitchcock's claim to fame was that everyone referred to it as a "three-story tall (Hitch)****". I don't make these up, folks. I tell it like it is. [Note: It has come to my attention that The Czar lived in Meisner Hall. Unfortunately, there are no fun jokes about Meisner Hall's name.]

Anyway, that first year, there was a "Mr. Kamola" contest in my dorm, with the winner going to the Mr. Central competition. I ended up winning, by some odd fluke, or maybe there was a wormhole that twisted the fabric of space and changed the laws of physics long enough to squeeze out the victory. Anyway, I won.

On to Mr. Central. There were three parts to the competition: costume (it was close to Halloween), sports outfit, and talent. For the costume, I came out as The Diet Coke Guy. I borrowed a length of pipe and a hard hat from my Dad's company and came out in some Levi overalls. I got a decent reaction from the crowd for that one. For the sports outfit, I borrowed some of my Dad's golf equipment and came out as a golfer (cleats and all!). The talent? I did a dramatic reading of "Stairway to Heaven". Because I'm a geek.

Why do I tell you all this? Because The Czar was Mr. Hitchcock. [That would be Mr. Meisner.]

This chance meeting was the beginning of a great (albeit slightly bizarre at times) friendship.

Sophomore year of college. The Czar became an LGA (a dorm adviser). I became an IPA (a student advisor for Japanese exchange students from Asia University who came over on the Asia University America Program). LGAs and IPAs had to work together, and while I was IPAing away over in Kamola, The Czar was slinging LGA duties for The Man over in Sparks Hall (another of the Bassetties). We talked a bit, because I would go over to Sparks to chat up Captain Chrome, the Sparks IPA.

Junior year rolls around. I was assigned IPA duties to Davies Hall (yet another Bassettie). The dorm boss was none other than the one, the only, The Panamanian Dynamo, The Czar!

So we worked together over the course of the year to plan dorm events and help the Japanese students and regular students get along well. One of these events was an International Food Day. The AUAP students cooked up some Japanese food, and The Czar cooked up some Carne Empanada. (I did actually come around to connecting the title with the story!)

I think Carne Empanada is Spanish for "This meat is going to rip you a new one." I could be wrong, though...have to check with The Czar for confirmation.

From what I remember, Carne Empanada is slices of beef coated in spices and then fried up in oil. Good times. My mistake was eating a plateful of the stuff. It was so good, I just couldn't stop. The Czar laughed at me as I ate. "You will pay for your foolishness, young Paduwan."

I laughed back. "I've got a cast-iron stomach. I don't know what you're talking about. I'll be..."

I broke off. A slight grimace. "I'"

BUUURRRRP. The Czar grins.

"I'll..." Grimace. "" Grunt. "...ffffff..."

Sheer panic runs across my face like every single competitor in the Boston Marathon.

"Oh Lord. I'm screwed."

I sprinted out of The Czar's room and headed straight for the bathroom. I didn't leave the bathroom for the next week.

When I emerged from my ordeal, The Czar was there to smirk at me. "I told you, man, you were being foolish. But did you listen? Nooooooooooooo."

TO. THIS. DAY. He refuses to let me forget.

Senior year, I went to Shimane University for a year, while The Czar calmly ran things back at Central. When I came back, we roomed together for a bit, and The Czar introduced me to the wonderful world of...The Rock. (Back during the second heyday of the WWF.)

Currently The Czar is teaching at a high school somewhere west of the Cascades. I am here in Muroran. But we still curse the moment we met each, I mean, we still keep in touch and reminisce about the good times.

To The Czar, I say, "Salud!" And I'm waiting for that plate of Carne Empanada. That which does not kill you only serves to make you stronger.


Blogger PeacefulWarrior said...

Hey Dustin,

Well I have never know myself to be "THE Czar" but who am I to argue? As for Carne Empanada it means breaded meat, in case your wondering :) although your definition comes close. Ok and as a correction to the story I was Mr. Meisner, although hitchcock was pretty cool the brick yard all looked the same anyways. Tkae care brotha!


Friday, November 11, 2005 3:11:00 PM  

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