Vernon MacDooble Likes Slusho

Something New Where It’s Least Expected

Posted by deliciousmacdoob on Sep 24

Another meal review by Vernon MacDooble

This past weekend as I strolled into Garbanzos, I knew immediately that this meal would be different. I’ve always regarded Garbanzos as more of a hidden treasure, frequented by smatterings of loyal locals and not the mad cacophony of Main Street hotspots. But tonight it was downright bustling, every table filled and a long line of Muttering Myrtles winding out into the concourse. I, of course, was escorted to my usual window side table, and beckoned the fair haired hostess close to inquire as to what all the hullabaloo was about. She wiped the sweet sweat from her brow and informed me that it was the Chef’s Special that had the diners in a tizzy. Without delay I ordered the same, and sat back sipping a fine Merlot while my belly rumbled with curiosity.

The first course caught me off guard. A rice salad, surely not Garbanzos typical fare. Apparently nothing worth this fuss, I frowned under my impeccable mustache. Curiosity and my trust in Chef Nakamura got the best of me, and I took a bite. As I chewed, my mind drifted to the African plains during the wet season. I fancied myself a great lumbering hippopotamus, happily slopping through the thick muddy banks of my favorite watering hole. What’s that floating up ahead in the murk? Why, it’s rice, by golly! Thankfully I have these water chestnuts and artichoke hearts to add to it. I scoop the salad into my obscenely large mouth, munching away while cool mud oozes between my hoofs. Delightful.

I waited with bated breath for the mysterious main course to be revealed, nearly ready to kick the elderly madam behind me in the face just to get a peek at hers. Right on cue, the wee silly waiter brought it forth. Chilled poached salmon steak alongside chilled asparagus in mustard vinaigrette. Two chilled foods in one meal seemed peculiar, but I welcomed it on such a hot summer’s eve. As I sampled the salmon (cooked to perfection, I must add), I observed the tastes I’d expected as they washed across my palette. Onion, lemon, peppercorn, white wine. And something else. Something… inscrutable. Now you must understand, for a culinary connoisseur such as myself, someone who has traveled the world delighting in every flavor man can offer—to taste something new is quite remarkable indeed. It was as if I tasted the food not just with my tongue buds but with my very soul. A feeling of great strength washed over me, as though I could take a boulder into my fist and squeeze it into a pebble. My fork became a scepter, raised high as I envisioned myself conquering the Nordic empire and laying waste to any filthy peasant who stood in my path. Glorious.

I called Chef Nakamura to my side, clapped him upon the back, and demanded an explanation. I quickly realized my mistake, as Nakamura is a somewhat long-winded fellow. The recipe, he blabbered, was sent to him by his brother, a fellow chef working in Tokyo, where it had been gaining favor in some of Japan’s most well-renowned restaurants. It contained the finest ingredients money can buy, from fresh bay leaves imported by a company called Fotopoulos Herb Gardens in Crete, to something the Japanese call “kaitei no mitsu”, or “Seabed’s Nectar”, shipped in dry ice by a company out of Honshu called Tagruato. I feigned interest in the chef’s incessant prattle, distracted by the unveiling of desert. A chilled strawberry white wine soup, the highlight of the meal. I felt like I could destroy the cosmos using only the patch of flesh where my pinkie toe used to live.

I had not entered Garbanzos that night intending on reviewing the meal. I simply aimed at taking pleasure in a cozy bite at one of my very favorite haunts. But sometimes we discover something new where we least expect it. I wouldn’t call the Special delicious, or even tasty. But I would call it an experience. A culinary experience whose shadow has yet to leave my mind, and has left me craving more.
The unfiction thread...

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Unfiction Thread...

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An Alternate Translation

Lasher in unfiction disputes the earlier translation of the last ingredient. Instead of "Ocean-bottom crab - one", it should be:

Bottom of the Sea Nectar/Honey
Sounds like Slusho.

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New Images 6 and 6_b Added To and a Translation



Translation compliments of hinoai over in unfiction:

Everybody, thank you for viewing! I'll introduce this week's delicious recipe. Please make sure to keep this one cold!

*Skinless chicken breast - 2, cut in halves
*Soumen (a kind of japanese noodle) - 10 oz.
*Watercress - 1/2 cup cut into small strips
*Turnip - 1/2 cup, thinly sliced
*Shiitake (japanese mushrooms) - 1/2 cup
*Chicken stock - 1/3 cup
*Sake (japanese rice wine) - 2 tbsp.
*Sugar - 1/2 tsp.
*Ocean-bottom crab - one

In a small saucepan, stir together 1/3 cup water, chicken stock, sake, and sugar. Chill it until it becomes cold. Grill the chicken breast on both sides for about 8 minutes, and then chill. Boil the noodles for about 3 minutes, and then run under cold water until chilled. Mix the watercress, turnips, and mushrooms into the soumen. Slice the chicken thinly and arrange on top of the soumen mix. Just before you serve, put the crab in the sauce and pour over the noodles generously.

Go go Oishii ("delicious") Chef!
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Poll: MySpace or the highway?

Just curious, but how many of you would continue to follow this movie online if JJ Abrams came out and said that the only atypical online marketing from this point forward will be on the MySpace pages of the cast, and that the sole purpose of those MySpace pages is character development?

Poll: MySpace or the highway?

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Cloverfield / 1-18-08 Trend, No Respect Version

What you don't know is I'm something of a former forum rat. In fact, I spent most of the last 7 years cutting my teeth as a poster in a forum. So, naturally, I still notice forums, AND, I notice still that forums don't get the respect they deserve. Case in point, Unfiction, and the simple fact that despite all the blogs and zines out there tracking JJ Abrams Untitled Project, Unfiction stands head and shoulders above the rest for both unearthing and unmasking the latest. With that understood, I notice Alexa's Traffic Details for Unfiction track up right in line with the July buzz created by the 1-18-08 trailer's premier, but by the end of August have crept back down to their pre-Cloverfield levels.

So props to Unfiction for proving that forums DO, do some things better than anyone else. And boo hiss to JJ Abrams and Co. for giving "viral" marketing campaigns a bad rep. You guys really are sucking at it.

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New Cloverfield Trailer - 1-18-08 Field Reporter Teaser Trailer

Update/Edit: While the jury is still technically out, most are labeling the trailer a fake. Read the deliberations here.

Edit 10/4/07: The above is most likely a (was fun) fake. If you're looking for the real trailer, here it is:

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Cloverfield / 1-18-08 Fun Today

Here are the other two images currently being discussed over at unfiction.

and for what it's worth, a little something I just found on photobucket.

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Unfiction Thread

Click on image...

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I received a reply from with the following attachments:

Subject: DSC-00465.jpg DSC-00466.jpg DSC-00467.jpg

The attachments didn't show despite my various attempts to display them. Then I googled them and it turns out they're a virus. So, beware.

And JJ Abrams & Co., you guys suck for allowing some hacker to secure an email address your fans assumed they could trust.

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The Monster On MySpace

A semi-quick synopsis of the 1-18-08 goings-on for those of you just joining the fun.

Showing before Transformers back in July was this trailer. Some of the people who saw it tried looking it up on the internets. They found the 1-18-08 website, the working title of "Cloverfield" and not much else. At the same time there happened to be an Alternate Reality Game (or ARG) underway, which, to some, appeared connected to the trailer. I mention the suspect ARG without naming it (because it was unrelated) because the perceived association attracted the ARG community, and more or less defined the online viral marketing of the movie as a game to be played, solved, ...won. This all took place back in July. Since then, websites have been updated, posters released and JJ Abrams himself said of the movie 7/26/2007:

I want a monster movie, I've wanted one for so long. I was in Japan with my son and all he wanted to do is go to toy stores. And we saw all these Godzilla toys, and I thought, we need our own monster, and not King Kong, King Kong's adorable. I wanted something that was just insane and intense.
Fast-forward to today and you haven't missed much. The marketing campaign has taken on a schizophrenic quality. The teaser (or fiction) sites remain, but suffer from neglect. There's the trailer itself, and lastly, "Slusho!" One of the characters was spotted wearing a Slusho t-shirt in the trailer which lead to the discovery of the site. The debate about whether the site was related was put to rest when attendees at JJ Abrams' appearance at Comic-Con received Slusho t-shirts in their gift bags. Since then, rumor has it that Slusho's "deep sea" "secret ingredient" is connected to the monster. While I count Slusho as a teaser site, technically it could fall into the character development sites category as well.

The second personality of the online campaign, and the favorite based on frequency of updates, is the "real-time" "in character" MySpace accounts for the human stars of the film, as well as at least one other site recently discovered featuring a banal video message from one character to another. The characters, while living in the here and now, remain unaware of what's to come January 18, 2008. To illustrate this point, here is the email I recently sent to one of them:

from: Ed Edd Eddy (that's me)
subject: FYI, on 1/18/08 you and most of your friends are probably going to die.
text: Just thought you'd like to know.
When these sites were first discovered the consensus was they were for character development, with the aim of eliciting concern from the audience for the human's fates. There's also the possibility that these characters might give us clues as to the back-story behind the looming monstrous events. Their universe, while shared with ours, does treat Slusho as an actual drink, so there's really no telling what other fictional to us but real to them bits of reality might show through on their MySpace accounts. They really are the best place to look and watch for clues.

To recap: A bunch of giant monster movie loving nerds and geeks are being forced to delve into MySpace (ick!), and the consistently bland and/or ineffectual nattering of the Hollywood hotties hired to play the food chain in a movie about a monster. Or to put it another way, what's proving to be the principal wing of the online marketing campaign is geared to appeal to the MySpace crowd, yet the main demographic following the online marketing campaign finds MySpace nauseating and the people who inhabit it either airheads or perverts.

Someone, somewhere, thought, Wouldn't it be innovative to develop our characters online before the movie is even released! And yes, it's a great idea. The only problem is, the only kinds of monsters with MySpace pages are the kind staring on To Catch a Predator. So, good idea, but I'm sorry to say--wrong movie for it. The people that are interested in 1-18-08 are interested in the monster, and the people that are interested in MySpace are interested in Gossip Girl. Oops.

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1-18-08 Roar Sounds Like a Bull Elephant Seal

1-18-08 Roar

Elephant Seal

Unfortunately, I can't find a better audio. Anyone?

Update: Finally hit on the right key words, and, ...I take it back. Here's a better clip.

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1-18-08 News

What can I say. You could do worse than to check Cloverfield Clues for the latest 1-18-08 News.

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1-18-08-truth.blogspot ("Truth") and ("News")

I added Truth to the echo chamber last week. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the setup here, the echo chamber is a blogroll of all the 1-18-08 blogs and forums that have added to the Cloverfield conversation, as well as a combined feed of both their posts and comments to their posts. See the middle sidebar. While the bar isn't high for inclusion in the echo chamber (I look to it for the latest, not necessarily the greatest), I do have some standards.

The first low that caused me to remove a blog from the echo chamber was reached by News who discovered that fake news presented as breaking news worked like a charm to drive up traffic. They found their niche, ...and I found them lacking.

A second, new low was reached yesterday, as a thoughtful emailer alerted me to Truth's plagiarism of Cloverfield Clues.

So Truth joins News as the only two blogs to be removed for the echo chamber for fraudulence and malfeasance. But it gets worse. As I noted when I added Truth to the echo chamber, he only linked to one other 1-18-08 blog, and that blog was News. Given the blog Truth reads and chooses to plagiarize is Cloverfield Clues and not News, it becomes pretty clear that a third low has been reached. Truth is nothing more than a sockpuppet of News. That is to say the liars behind News and the plagiarists behind Truth are one in the same.

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Passive Agressive Theory Gets Another Boost

Via Cloverfield Clues.

Project Cloverfield notes that the speculation is the bladder infection might tie in with the passive agressive sewer trail pitch, but the idea that she posted a video to her boyfriend complete with the bladder infection bit reminds me instead of the subject line of this unfiction post.

Here's the unfiction thread.

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Is There a Marketing Campaign?

Another Look at the Cloverfield - 1-18-08 - Slusho Trend

As you can see, there are two notable peaks. The first is the trailer's release with Transformers and the second is JJ Abrams appearance at Comic-Con (which coincided with a few other notable events). After that, it's been all downhill. I'd describe the current trend as tracking the path of a rubber ball that's lost its bounce, and is settling into a lazy, aimless roll.

Looking at it, I wistfully imagine the people behind the marketing of 1-18-08 are tracking similar indicators and will make some effort to invigorate the buzz before it falls completely off the radar. But then my thoughts return to earth and I can't help but surmise that, based on the chart above, there simply is no marketing campaign--viral or not--afoot. Put simply, marketing campaigns track up to a crescendo, not down to a whimper. For example, compare the tracking of other upcoming releases.


Aliens vs. Predator

While none of this is definitive nor exact, and it's true that there's still plenty of time to market 1-18-08, I do feel obligated to point out that the bulk of the marketing for this movie--and therefore the campaign--to date, has been done by people like me on blogs and in forums like this. Is that the definition of "Viral Marketing"? Maybe. But if that's the case, how very disappointing, both for the public, but primarily for the opportunists and enthusiasts such as myself. To be brutally honest, while I thought the trailer rocked, and I’m definitely a fan of the concept, the idea of catching the wave of interest generated by 1-18-08 and taking it for a ride, was and is the main impetus behind this blog... and now that wave has dwindled to little more than a ripple (see first graph, looks like the cross-section of a wave). While I'm paddling back out in the hopes of catching another ride, a bunch of the people who rode that initial wave with me have moved on. So whichever way you slice it, there's really no escaping the fact that someone could be doing a better job of it.

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Rumor About a New 1-18-08 Trailer Showing Before Resident Evil: Extinction

That's 9.21.07

I'm of two schools of thought on this one. The first being we went through this with Stardust, and the second being Stardust, like Transformers, like 1-18-08, was a Paramount production whereas Resident Evil is from Sony Pictures. But I really don't know how the business of "trailer" space works, so it's possible and even likely that it's a lot more complicated than the individual studios simply hording or even entirely owning the lead-ins to their feature presentations. So, I'll perk up at the early reviews (read: screenings) of Resident Evil, but I'm certainly not on the edge of my seat until then.

p.s. 11.16.07

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Why No One Comments On My Posts? Thanks For Not Commenting On My Posts.

There are times when I wonder why nearly no one comments on my posts (my pet theory is I'm too intimidating). It sure would be nice to get a little encouragement now and then. But this post isn't about why so few comment on my posts. Rather, it's about those times when I'm secretly glad I get so few comments. Like when I read comments like these, I think, I'm grateful those people aren't taking the time to comment on my posts.

So possible commenters to my blog posts, know that while I sometimes wish you'd have something to say, the fact that you don't say anything does have an upside. Namely, I get to keep imagining that my readership, unlike that of those other blogs, is intelligent, mature, insightful, thoughtful and informed.

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1-18-08 Preempts 9/11!

Well, not really. In fact, today (September 11, 2007), is probably the one and only day between (last) July and January 18, 2008 when you can pretty much guarantee no official news on the 1-18-08/Cloverfield story will be released. But then again, imagine the bang for the buck (read: uproar) a fresh scene of NYC destruction would garner Cloverfield if released on this very special day... Alas, my money is on even monster movies observing this day of political correctness.

It does, however, make one wonder if the looming 9/11 anniversary has been playing a tempering role in the viral marketing campaign thus far, and now that 9/11 is here today (and gone tomorrow), might the real shock and awe phase of the campaign be just around the corner?

Wishful thinking, I know. I'm bored.

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All 4 Good Quality Cloverfield/1-18-08 Posters

I was able to find better (best yet/largest file size) quality versions of the Monstrous and Furious posters. So instead of a Monstrous poster up to the Furious and Terrifying specs I already had, now I'll be looking for a Terrifying poster that's on par with Monstrous and Furious. Of course, all are still some degree smaller than the 1-18-08 poster. Nevertheless, the above find seemed like as good an occasion as any to post the set anew.

Click on the image for the large version.

Edit: Upon further inspection, I have reason to suspect the Monstrous and Furious versions above are fan made. Apologies.

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Anon Says:

I've heard through a close source to this project that it will end up being a giant, black turtle, with a long tail that looks like a centipede, with a mouth on it.

Also, this monster is supposed to be so big that it can cause title waves with its tail. That's all I know.

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A Few More Echos To The Cloverfield Echo Chamber

Did a lackadaisical review of all the 1-18-08/Cloverfield blogs I could find and found 3 worth adding to the echo chamber (middle sidebar). Welcome Dave's Movie Corner (label "Cloverfield"), 1-18-08-Truth and

Dave's blog is a good one. Simple, honest, consistent. A genuinely interesting and interested observer.

1-18-08-truth is putting in the work. Strangely, while I don't think he's associated, he only links to one other 1-18-08 blog, and that blog is the contemptible 1-18-08news. So, I'm not sure what that's about, and yes, if Truth turns out to be a lackey, I'll cut the links. appears to be experimenting with the traffic potential. Or, I seem to recall reading him talking about it elsewhere a while back. Nevertheless, he too is as good as another set of eyeballs regardless his true motives, and hey, who am I to criticize.

As always, while monetary gain is a great motivator, we (I) caution all 1-18-08 fans from confusing ".com" or "advertising" with authority. That, and link to my god damn blog already. Honestly, I'm on the verge of dumping this url and starting from scratch simply to get google to recognize I even exist. Ugh!

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Anonymous Cloverfield Leak Homonymously[sic] Exposed

Dave of Dave's Movie Corner received an interesting comment in response to his post on the "Wreck" rumor. Goes something like this:

Dave: Over at CHUD they have an interesting theory; the new title is a plant by Abrams to find out who has been leaking information at Bad Robot.

Blue guy: Did some asking tonight on set.,.. it's not "Wreck", it's "Rec." as in Record, the little icon word you'll see on a camcorder type of deal. However, "Rec." is NOT the true title (as you suspected).

Also found out that "Monstrous" was to be the real title but the poster leak pissed off JJ, hence the name change.
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Dear Cloverfield/1-18-08 Bloggers

With unfiction, imdb, etc. about, another 1-18-08/Cloverfield forum would be a bit redundant. So, I don't have high hopes or anything. Nevertheless, a (non-commercial)host and the code to tie our blogs into it and each other, exists. It gets technical, but easily handled.

So, Bloggers (and blog readers), what do you think. Time yet to get past competing with one another and instead combine our efforts/individual strengths/communities via a shared forum?

Think about it. I figure 4 or more bloggers and/or a couple dozen reader will make it worth while. Questions, comments, suggestions...

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The Case Against "Wreck"

1. Bloddy Disgusting reports, "I can pretty much guarantee that by us reporting this, it will either be denied or changed - again." Translated: The Untitled JJ Abrams Project will not be titled "Wreck"... period. As for it having ever been titled "Wreck" (or "Monstrous" for that matter), I can say categorically that because I say the movie will be titled "The Adversary", it will not be titled The Adversary. That's an exclusive by the way. Expect to read it on /film, ropeofsilicon, canmag, etc...

2. Paramount secures domains for its commonly named movies using the following formula: is already taken and remains available for anyone to purchase/secure.

3. It stands to reason that if you're going to go to all the trouble of creating a brand-new original monster, you'd do the effort justice and give it a brand-new original name. In other words, a string of characters that returns zero results when plugged into google.

4. For the sake of argument I could go on, but I could also have stopped halfway through #1.

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Last time it went down it came back with a roar. That was nice, I guess, but what I really want it to come back with is a name.

Update: It's back up, which suggests it was just a glitch, or that this update went a bit smoother than the last.

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1-18-08 Flickr Pool/Slide Show Is Working

Have a look and see instructions for contributing to the pool below.

How To:
1. Get a Flickr Account.
2. Join 1.18.08.
3. Save images from around the web to your computer (right click on them and select "Save Picture As...").
4. Upload images to your Flickr account.
5. Describe your photo, and assign attribution in the form of a link: <a href="urlofsource">url of source</a>
6. Click on tab: Organize. Select: All your photos.
7. Click on tab: Groups. Select: 1.18.08. Drag your uploaded images (at the bottom) into the pool.

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A Clean Version of the Monstrous Poster?

Hard to tell, but from the looks of it Double-sided One Sheet has found one.

Update: Filmdiva shares her source for the image.

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Tired of Waiting, Fans Take Matters Into Their Own Hands and Give The Untitled JJ Abrams Project (aka 1-18-08, Cloverfield) a Title!

If you've been following this story as intently as I have, you're in possession of enough information (wrong or right) to title the Untitled JJ Abrams Project yourself. So, based on what you've read and seen, give it some thought and give it a name. Post your suggestion as a comment here, and if I get enough, I'll select a bunch for a poll, or something.

My Submission: "The Adversary"

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