Honest, Abe is Still Alive

Growing up, I never much cared for fish. Unless it came out of a box with a picture of a fisherman in a yellow raincoat and was smothered in tartar sauce. Fish sticks may be the chicken nuggets of the sea, but when you’re a kid there’s nothing better. Fortunately, I grew up and my tastes evolved.*

*Although, just a week or two ago, Tara and I did make fish sticks. Our excuse was that the kids were with us and it would be a quick and cheap dinner, but really we both just wanted fish sticks. Even as adults, they’re still pretty good.

Tilapia is delicious! (Courtesy of africanonlineexpo.com)

Aside from that, my tastes did evolve. I’m quite fond of fish nowadays – especially salmon (pretty much a requirement to obtain your residency card in the Pacific Northwest), but also white fish like halibut and cod. And tilapia. Which is, not coincidentally, what Tara and I ended up making for dinner last night. We had purchased a bag of frozen filets from WinCo, and I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a food snob so I don’t usually go for frozen fish, but we were shopping at night and they were closing down the seafood case. Neither of us had ever made tilapia before, and we decided to try it two different ways; hers was sautéed with butter, seasoning, and a sprig of fresh rosemary, while mine was baked with a citrus sauce that included lemon juice, dill, basil, and capers . Both were excellent – actually, the whole meal was superb; we also had sautéed garlicky green beans, rice pilaf, and beer bread. And we enjoyed the process of cooking together in the kitchen, as cramped as it is. We rock, if I do say so myself!

And I’m proud to say, the kids loved the meal, too. When I was their age I wouldn’t go near fish unless it was breaded or swimming in a pond or played by Abe Vigoda. Kudos to Rusty and Audrey for their less discriminatory palates (although somebody please explain to me why they don’t like Sloppy Joes).

So, yeah. We’ll have to make fish more often.

Speaking of AbeVigoda, can you believe that – unlike Nipsey Russell – he is still alive?! I figured ol’ Abe had expired ten or twenty years ago, but nope, he’s still going strong at 91. Apparently there have been several false reports of his death over the years, including a story in People Magazine back in 1982 that referred to him as “the late” Abe Vigoda, and an erroneous 1987 news report that made the same mistake. In fact, there’s a website that is updated daily with one simple status message: whether Abe Vigoda is dead or alive. I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried. Seriously, check it out:


God, that’s funny. I think.

Phil Fish, Barney Miller
Here’s another real good Fish. (Courtesy of dwshare.com)

Abe has often made fun of his presumed death over the years, even posing for a picture in a coffin one time. It’s that kind of self-deprecating humor that makes me appreciate the man. Plus, Barney Miller was one of my favorite 70s sitcoms. I love me some Abe Vigoda.

I’m not normally the matchmaker type, but I would love it if Abe Vigoda and Betty White hooked up. They would make the perfect Hollywood power couple: they’re the same age, both single, and have even worked together. Plus, they would make some really cute babies!

Go on, Abe. Ask her out.

In other news, I’ve decided that I need to write incendiary blog posts more often. My “Mitt Romney sucks and so does Dave Matthews” post got quite a number of hits, and received more comments than any other over the past couple of months. Naturally, I want to keep that momentum going, so I’m thinking of ending every new post with a few wry observations on divisive, hot button topics. Like, for instance:

  1. Let’s face it, the War on Drugs has failed. It’s led to massive prison overcrowding, a surge in violence and corruption by drug cartels in foreign countries, and an increase in the incidence of drug abuse. By decriminalizing drugs we take away the power from organized crime syndicates, free up prison space, and can channel some of the money we’d save into treatment programs for addicts. Plus, potato chip sales would skyrocket thanks to all those people developing a case of “the munchies!”
  2. People who are in favor of offshore oil drilling can’t see the forest for the trees (environmental pun intended). They’d sacrifice the environment and put people in harm’s way for one year’s worth of oil. Our reserves comprise but a tiny fraction of the world’s crude oil supplies, nowhere near enough to free us from relying on foreign imports. Let’s invest in clean, green technology and more efficient transportation technologies instead, . (Just as long as they’re not Smart cars. Those things are stupid).
  3. If Flo Rida, 2 Chainz, Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Ca$h Out, Wiz Khalifa and Pitbull were on a giant Suck Tour together and their bus went over the side of a cliff, my only regret would be that Chris Brown wasn’t behind the wheel.

Wow, I kinda like the “new” me, expressing my views so freely. The possibilities are endless. I haven’t even touched Walmart or Todd Akin yet, for cyring out loud!

But before I go, tell me which of Abe Vigoda’s roles is your favorite: Sal Tessio in The Godfather, Det. Phil Fish on Barney Miller, or Chief of the Waponis in Joe Versus The Volcano?

21 thoughts on “Honest, Abe is Still Alive

  1. If Flo Rida, 2 Chainz, Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Ca$h Out, Wiz Khalifa and Pitbull were on a giant Suck Tour together and their bus went over the side of a cliff, my only regret would be that Chris Brown wasn’t behind the wheel.

    I legitimately snorted out loud at that. Glad to see you haven’t lost your touch. 😉

    I actually do not like fish. At all. (although I will eat shrimp at a hibachi place, and some sushi) Sadly, I won’t get my resident card in the Northwest because Salmon? Um, no.


    1. Wait a second. You eat sushi sometimes but don’t like fish? Wow, lol. For most people it’s opposite. I know folks who love fish but wrinkle their noses at sushi all the time.

      You’re still welcome to visit the Northwest, anyway. 🙂


      1. Strange, right? I won’t ever eat a full meal of sushi – but I’ll share it if Shawn’s having some. But yeah, as far as fish itself goes? Not happening, lol.

        And thanks, I think I will. 🙂


  2. Mmmmmm. I love tilapia. It’s my favorite fish. I’m convinced that even people who don’t like fish would like it if they gave it a fair shake… it’s so light and mild, it becomes a pedestal to show off whatever you put on it. Put something yummily flavorful on it, and you have a home run!


    1. That’s exactly what’s so great about tilapia (and why so many chefs love cooking with light fish like that) – it gives you a chance to be really creative with flavors. Home run, indeed! How do you like to prepare yours?


      1. Actually, I have several recipes and could always use a few more for tilapia. But I suppose the way I make it most often is to “bread” it in parmesan cheese (seasoned with a pinch each of salt and black & cayenne pepper) and quickly fry it golden. Mostly just because it’s so dang easy (and fast). My favorite way to have it (NOT make it myself) is to go to Bonefish Grill, order the grilled tilapia, and then go “off-menu” and ask if I can still get the lime-tomato-garlic sauce they used to offer as a “standard” sauce. So far, they always say yes, and I’m always ecstatic with the result. 🙂


  3. I have to agree with Sara Beth, I do not like fish. OMG…anything that comes out of the sea I can’t touch. When I lived in Florida, my father would catch fish almost every week and my mother would prepare it fresh, but I still couldn’t eat it. And living in Japan was a challenge because that’s practically ALL they eat. OMG…sushi? Ewwwwwwwwwwww!

    LOVE Abe Vigoda! God, wasn’t Barney Miller the best? Such a great character actor!

    ” but I would love it if Abe Vigoda and Betty White hooked up.”

    Faaaaaaabulous idea! That’s another actor I love…Betty White!


  4. I cannot believe that Abe Vigoda site. I think it’s fabulously funny … until the day the status changes. (In other words, I feel your ambivalence.) As for his best role? Sal Tessio. Absolutely.

    1) I agree.
    2) I’ll go you one step more controversial: I think our entire economy needs to be retooled to emphasize sustainability and superior quality, instead of growth and planned obsolescence. We have to stop figuratively (and literally) strip mining our resources. We can’t compete with nations who are willing to allow a large percentage of their population to live as near-slaves while they manufacture widgets. We should be making a profit on what we can do that others can’t or won’t. We should be investing in green technology for ourselves AND in preparation for the day our competitors (who are killing us) figure out that they can’t live as if it’s the early 19th century. We should have fewer retail shops and more repair shops. (A toaster should last more than a year.) We should also be selling the best educations available in the world. (We aren’t there yet, but we could be.)
    3) I don’t care.

    That was fun. I think I’ll just come be honest at your place, and keep my blog as much on-topic as possible. 🙂


  5. This was pretty funny! I gotta tell you something. A few years ago I was in a group called “The Dead Pool”. Yeah…that’s right…I was. Anyway, you would write a list of 10-15 people you thought were gonna die during the year. You scored points based on their age to 100 and so if someone were 32 years old…you would get 68 points. I never did win but everybody in the group would have Abe Vigoda on their list and he ALWAYS disappointed by still being among the living. Go ABE!!!

    I loved him in Barney Miller but I especially liked him as Grandpa in Look Who’s Talking. He was just too endearing.

    Chris Brown? How about Wyclef?


    1. I forgot all about Abe’s role in Look Who’s Talking! I almost want to watch the movie again just to see him.

      I’ve heard of those Dead Pools before. Morbid, but also right up my alley. My money’s on Whitney Houston this year. I have a strange feeling she isn’t going to make it…


  6. In Florida we are absolutely terrified of off shore drilling. One spill like Louisiana would ruin everything and they lie and tell us the rigs will withstand hurricane force winds. What a lie. Now China will put up rigs in Cuba which has fearsome repercussions as well. I thought the post would be about honest Abe Lincoln. Actually he was quite a Machiavellian SOB. The Emancipation Proclamation declared the slaves free in the states “in rebellion”(secession) but not in the 4 border states so they would not secede. In addition he was pressured into issuing the emancipation order by Seward and other cabinet members not for humanitarian reasons but to dissuade England from supporting the south over the moral issue of slavery. England had freed all slaves throughout the empire in 1820 I think. It would also give the north the moral high ground. He had over 3,000 people arrested as possible CSA spies and held in prison without due process for duration of war. When Gen. John C. Fremont ( republican nominee for president 1856) neutralized Missouri and freed the slaves , Lincoln ended the general’s commission and Fremont was exiled to Staten Island. This was because it appeared Fremont might win the nomination over Lincoln for 1860 election.


    1. Interesting…and historically eye-opening. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody bash Lincoln before; he’s considered the “ultimate President” by most. Thanks for the feedback, Carl. And fight to keep those offshore oil rigs away from your state!


  7. Oops, sorry for drooling on your blog, Mark. You were mentioning Pacific Northwest seafood and I couldn’t help it. Best seafood I ever had! And I’ve eaten squid in Korea!


  8. I loved Barney Miller! I had almost completely forgotten about this sitcom. Of course I loved him in Joe vs the Volcano too! Slowly but surely getting settled in new place – haven’t forgotten. Rant away, but don’t forget some of your audience is Canadian so some of us may not understand your references to American politicians.


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