Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New York Times Global Edition

Today, when I logged in to find out if the world had ended, I discovered the NYTimes now lets you switch between the "Global Edition" and the "US Edition". It's like an online personality quiz! Are you an insulated, ignorant American, or a well heeled, well traveled cosmopolitan?

Here's a few of the differences....

1) At the upper right, in the Global Edition they have a scrolling table of top global stories. In the US edition, that space is taken by an opinion column on the Civil War. GE +1

2) In the US edition, the article about Hillary's contact with Iran is down in the lower left, with no picture. In the Global edition, it's front and center, with a picture of Hillary smiling. GE +2

3) In the Global Edition, there is a soccer story on the front page. In the same spot, the US Edition has a bunch of little stories about Fox News, Facebook, and a special election in NY. No points, those are all stupid.

4) Also buried in the short story link for the US Edition is the Khmer Rouge Apology. On the Global page, it's posted more prominently, as it's own piece. GE +1

5) Both have a poll about how you feel about the economy. Fun! Both -1

6) The US Edition has movies reviews, in the same spot the Global Edition has world stocks. This is a toss up for me. I think they're both horribly depressing, because I hate modern pop culture. Both -1

7) The Global Edition has some story about Japan's exports I can find nowhere on the US side. Seriously, why would I care about Japanese exports? It's not like they took over our car industry or anything. GE +1

8) The Global Edition's entire rt lower side is taken up by a huge Cartier ad. The US Edition has a much smaller ad, for The Weekender ie itself. Lame. US -1

So, in conclusion, I now have yet another way for me to stroke my liberal prep school ego and feel much more educated, and therefore more entitled, than I did before. I love being part of the pseudo intellectual elite, itmakes it easier to forgive yourself when you buy paper plates because you hate doing dishes.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cleveland Annual Orchid Show



There are three types of people who go to orchid shows:
1) People who like looking at beautiful things
2) Gardeners
3) Crazy obsessed orchid people who are only there on the last day to try and buy one at close.

Buddy and I hit up Touch for brunch in the morning, which was so so. He loved his omelet. I wasn't a fan of the Touch breakfast sandwich, I think the cream cheese overdid it. But we got to sit in the English Mystery Novel back room, and the coffee was really good that day. So I'll just move on down the menu next time. Then we picked up Doug and trekked out to the Cleveland Botanical Gardens.



Here's a place we all agreed we hadn't been in for at least ten years. I mean, most of us have wandered in the outdoor gardens, but when was the last time you paid to see the inside show? I almost did at Christmas for the tree exhibit, but was scared off by the idea of University Circle Sunday parking. There is nothing scarier than East Side intellectuals in subarus trying to parallel park.



It was crowded, but everyone else had a camera too, so I felt okay wandering around in a starry eyed daze staring at an LCD screen.



They let out a whole truckload of butterflies. Butterflies everywhere. Butterflies are one of those few things it's hard to capture in a picture, which make them special. So imagine little red and black jewels hovering just out of sight the whole time. Now imagine them beating their little wings against the greenhouse glass, desperately trying to get free and away from the ecstatic birds and small children.



We left right around 3pm, to avoid the crazy mob of orchid enthusiasts that usually descends on the show when they're selling off the orchids. The staff was already preparing for it in hushed strategic tones. We instead went to have some coffee and custards at Presti's, and agreed that brunch/museum/coffee is the stereotypical but true perfect Sunday. I should bottle and sell it in different packages, for the aspiring Clevelander. I mean, people make money off of less.



More of my Orchid show photos here. Like, a LOT more.

Karaoke Crossing

Saturday night was the Aries night out, as they like to call it, and we all met up at Casey Jones karaoke night (which I think should be renamed Gracie Jones). Buddy came with me as commentary, because we should be given our own late night show on E! And I made the classic mistake of not knowing what I wanted when the bartender asked me, and blurting out the only thing I could think of with all the pressure. Which was a Long Island ice tea. The first sip immediately swept me back ten years, when Buddy and I were regulars at dyke bars and the Grid. It also brought back the feeling of really being too drunk to keep drinking this, which Long Islands can do to you after half of the first glass. It's an illusion, but it'll make you vomit nonetheless. I spent the rest of the night making all the girls try my drink, to get some company in my nostalgic misery. Once you've thrown up Long Islands, you can never go back, and we have ALL thrown up Long Islands.


Birthday girl Kelly (and Buddy): She is a delicate fucking flower.



Birthday girl Krista: She will crush your delicate fucking flower with the power of Rock. Also, she makes jewelry.


Olivia Neutron Bomb.


Andrew bringing lightning down off the mountain, to reanimate Depeche Mode.


Adam and Krista taking Enter the Sandman, and bringing it to new growly voice heights.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dakkangjung (Spicy Candied Fried Chicken. No, really.)




Every time my mother gets Chinese food, she gets General Tso's chicken. I don't know if this is her favorite, or my dad's favorite, or if it just evolved as the one thing all the kids would eat. But I now hate General Tso's chicken. It's so unnaturally sweet, and it's never crunchy the way it should be.

This recipe, which Jay and I made on Thursday, is like what General Tso's tries to be, but fails. It's sweet, but it's also hot from the ginger and chili pepper. The chicken is actually crunchy. It smells fantastic when you're thickening the sauce.

I've made a few changes from the original recipe, which I found here. First, the recipe calls for double deep frying the chicken. Neither of us really knew what that meant, and it wasn't explained, so we just coated the chicken again with cornstarch and threw it back in the oil. We agreed in the end that this step was unnecessary, and in fact made the chicken too dry. Frying it once will be fine. No really, it will.

Also, it took forever to make, because first you do the chicken, then you do the sauce, and in the end your friends are waiting two hours for dinner. Two nice smelling hours, but next time I'll be doing the sauce and the chicken simultaneously. We just didn't have the proper pots for it that night. The only benefit was that it gave me more time to drink.

Finally, sesame seeds are expensive, so I left them out. Sue me. You won't get much, since I obviously don't even have money for sesame seeds.



Dakkangjung

Ingredients:
- 4 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1 cup sesame seeds
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 2-3 dried chili peppers, crushed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup corn syrup
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce

Cut the chicken breasts into 1 inch chunks. Throw them in a bowl. Add the flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and eggs. Mix it with your hands. No seriously. I know you'll be picking flour off your fingernails for the next thirty minutes, but you need to coat that shit.

Then deep fry. Duh.

While those are frying, start the sauce. Boil one cup of water. Add the ginger to the boiling water. After about five minutes, add the soy, the brown sugar, and the vinegar. Boil it over medium heat for another five minutes. Then add the corn syrup. This can take anywhere from ten minutes to thirty minutes, so you need to watch it. It's done when it starts to take a while to pour from a spoon.

Add the chicken, peanuts, and chili. Mix. Eat. Then count on eating those leftovers tomorrow first thing, because you won't stop thinking about it. And maybe when you buy these ingredients, buy enough for making it twice. Cause you will.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

America's Next Top Model Cycle 12 Recap: Seriously, did the producers tell her to do that?

Open letter to Celia:

Alright, so let me preface this by saying that I did not see the end of last night’s episode. I tried to watch it online this morning, but could only find the first part of the show. So I didn’t get to see your spectacular fuck up that everyone else is talking about today. Luckily, there are plenty of quotes, pictures, and commentary available at my fingertips, so I was able to piece it together pretty well.

The episode started well for you. First you were super cute when you opened the Tyra mail and said “it rhymes!” Adorable and condescending. Love it. You survived a pointless visit by Toccara, some ex-contestant who the producers brought in only to prove that their little competition is legit, and listened to her babble about getting to know you all within the space of two minutes. She was annoying, Aminat’s lisp was annoying, and the whole thing was head bashing. But you withstood it, with no audible complaints. I credit your age and maturity for this.

You braved the idiocy of Benny Ninja, a man that makes me cringe with memories of a certain club in Akron where the meth flowed like water and the conversation routinely included discussions of “bitches” and “that slut whore”, while dressed in day-glo feather boas. He brought in his coke connection, who pretended to be a DJ and “dropped some tracks”. This euro-Hall and Oates team made you all dance to crap they would never ever play in real life (who poses to country music?), and laughed snarkily into their red bull and vodkas. But while SOME people flopped around like dead birds (SONDRA), you vogued like your desperate Kentucky soul, the very honor of the Confederacy, depended on it.

Most impressive was the way you stood the “heat” of a thousand congregated gay men in glitter staring you down at the Mansion. It’s obvious you have an inner drag queen, unlike Allison who was leaking confidence like the sawdust in her ragdoll limbs. You even out-dragged Natalie, who’s had experience with posing (i.e. sleeping with agents), but lacked your arrow shooting, Annie Lennox skills.

When I ran out of YouTube videos to watch, I was confident you had this in the bag. And yes, I’ll admit, I’ve called you mean things in the past, like flat iron face, and Neanderthal. But I knew from the moment I saw your squished up brow, you were going to do well in this thing. Not win it, of course, because Cover Girl doesn’t pick weird looking people, but I expected you to make the final four.

I don’t know if it was the humiliation of being made to dress up like a mother vampire with her Transylvanian brood, or maybe your system is in withdrawal from the fumes of the Post It Note factory where you grew up, but something snapped. I know it’s hard, being the oldest in a village of babies. People like Talia ARE horribly annoying (“I wanna go, it’s too hard! Wait, I wanna stay, this is my dream!), but you are expected to be the sane, professional voice of reason in the house.

You may have dreaming about this since you were fourteen, stripping to your undies while your 30 yr old boyfriend took pictures and told you how very unique looking you were. You may feel entitled to this experience, given how many Sears’s auditions you’ve lost. But remember, when you’re old, nobody gives you the excuse of youth. At 25, you’ve gone past the point of “she’ll learn” and “she’s new and this is hard.” You are used goods. You have to be twice as good and twice as nice in order to compete with the dewey 18 yr olds. You're right, it's not fair, but there it is.

If the judges allow you another chance, it’s going to be a short one. So don’t pull any prima donna shit like this again okay? When a girl says she wants to go home, the proper response from now on is to shut the fuck up and let her send herself home. They always do.

If you go home next episode, like we all suspect will happen, please try to remember that your co-workers at the Post It factory don’t want to hear you bitching about your fifteen minutes of fame for the next ten years. It’s just not classy.

Oh, and on the off chance the producers actually paid you to do this, because Sondra was creating disappointingly little tension in the house and they knew Talia was the new cash cow, well I hope you got paid. And thank god Kortnie's gone, right? She reminded me of a member of Heart.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This is how I feel today. Apocalyptic. Also, maybe I should stop taking pictures while I'm driving.

Wonkette found this blog post over at RedState about how Obama is going to take over the internetz. Here is the funniest quote ever:

"Snarky note number 1: They already took over The Census Bureau, so the
next obvious step is grabbing the technological means to take the census
itself."

Also hilarious is the first comment on said post:

" am blessed myself to have an IT guru as a husband who has built
firewalls for many companies and a couple of government agencies…..I will
personally be fine BUT We The People again CANNOT let this stand!"

Yeah, of course not. How could a true blood Republican ever stand by silently and watch their lines of communications be monitored for no good reason?


Monday, March 23, 2009

Cleveland Sports and Fishing Show

Is that a dead bird in there?

Yesterday, S. and I went to the Beachland Brunch to get a little drunk. We tried to make it to a movie at CFF first, but got there late and opted for a little tipsiness instead. They could do wonders for the Film Festival by holding it somewhere besides Tower City, the most infuriating place to park ever. So we said fuck it and drove to Collinwood. I had something called an Irish breakfast, which was Guinness, whiskey, some other alcohol, I don't remember. It tasted like a whiskey milkshake. S. had the Bloody British. Our waitress was super nice. The food is not always consistent there, but they more than make up for it with the drinks and atmosphere. And this time round, the food was actually pretty good. The fried scrambled eggs were very nice.

With soundtrack provided by Hall and Oates greatest hits, we drove to Berea, to meet up with Colleen and Matt somewhere, ditch our car so we didn't have to pay parking twice, and meander for free around the Sports and Fishing show. Colleen had two free tickets, and the boys tried to convince us to try this elaborate not going to work scheme to get them in for free too, which turned out to be unnecessary because someone just gave S. two free tickets, like, in front of the gate. Which should serve as a sign for the rest of the experience.

I'll just sum it up in pictures here...

Very unhappy camel at the petting zoo. Though I don't really know the standards of camel happiness. Maybe he's thrilled there's an endless supply of water and he's not getting whipped.

Amish crafted guns, taller than S. Very creepy, didn't know the Amish were packing this kind of firepower. Guess they have to protect themselves from the elephants rampaging around western Pennsylvania. I'm very sick of the whole "Amish made means real quality" schtick. I think I trust precisely tuned machines just a tad bit more than I do humans who have to repeat the same inane task 800 times a day. How's that for generational commentary?

Complex animal robots, designed to seduce and destroy. This is your future.


An expensive piece of machinery that from first glance, seems to be a foppish symbol of greed and luxury. But really, think how useful it would be during the Meltdown. You could just bob in the lake, hidden by darkness, watching the city burn. And it would be a great escape vehicle for trying to make it to the salt mines under the lake. Which I think we can all agree is really the place to be during the Apocalypse.

Complex humanoid robots, designed to seduce and destroy.

Demonstration of how to properly field dress a terrorist. Oh, I'm sorry, was that in bad taste?

I love these lights. I'm plotting how to make miniature versions for my house. I am slightly disturbed by fact there's a ballroom at the IX Center. What company says, hey I know the perfect place for our year end event. We'll make everyone drive out to the wasteland by the airport, pay 8 dollars for parking, and dance the night away next to a giant warehouse full of cars and fishing poles. Better yet, I wonder if anyone has ever gotten married at the IX Center.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spinach Feta Pies - For the Days You Need to be Extra Strong



I remember the first day I liked spinach. I was young, but old enough that when my parents took us out to dinner that day, they let me go to the buffet by myself. Even at that point, I was aware that there was a certain way I supposed to act. So I got a salad. But I put something new on there, instead of lettuce. When I got back to the table, my mother let me eat it without saying a word, until I was mostly done eating it. Then she sprung the shocking news. I had just eaten a plate of raw spinach.

And ever since then, I've loved raw spinach. But I hate cooked spinach. I'm that way with a lot of vegetables, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli. I hate the mushy texture of most cooked veggies. Oh, but raw spinach is SO good.

And then there's spinach pies. I've wanted them when I see them on menus. They're surrounded by my favorite things - cheese and bread. They look so crispy and flaky. But on the rare occasions that I budge, the resulting first bite is always disappointing. Mainly the problem is that huge long string of cooked spinach spiraling out of the flaky crust, as if to specifically to ruin my enjoyment.

So when David Leibovitz posted this recipe on his blog, I thought "Hey, if I made this, I could make the spinach as small as I like." It was the same revelation I had when I learned to cook with onions. "I could even freaking puree that shit." And though I didn't quite go that far, I did mince it microscopically small. I changed the original recipe quite a bit, so check out David's cause I'm sure it's way more awesome. But I'm pretty fond of these things. They pretty much rock.



Spinach Feta Pie

Ingredients:

- about 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 cup chopped green onion
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 4 oz crumbled mild feta cheese
- 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch garlic
- whatever the hell else spice you think you'd like
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 stick melted butter
- one large egg
- phyllo sheets (I bought one frozen package, and used half of that, which made 5 pies. God bless you if you can find fresh made phyllo in Cleveland.)

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a small pan, saute the onions in the olive oil, with salt and pepper. Once softened, add the spinach and parsley, and cook until "wilted".

In a medium bowl, mix the greens with the cheeses, and stir in the egg.

Take out your phyllo. Make sure to follow the instructions on the box, that tell you to take out one sheet at a time, and cover the remaining sheets with plastic wrap and then a damp towel.

Brush the sheet with the melted butter. If you prefer, use olive oil. Add another sheet and repeat. I made these with a 2 sheet average.

Take a good tablespoon of the filling, and place it in the center of the sheets. Then fold as you see fit, brushing with butter or oil at the places you fold over. I tried to make triangles, but was an abysmal failure. So we got squares and one large oval looking one.

Brush the tops with butter (this time use butter) and back for about 30 minutes. In my oven, this really meant 40 minutes. You want them to be golden and crispy.

Then eat one and be happy that there are way to enjoy spinach without picking it out of your teeth. These are great for dinner. I suspect they will also be pretty spectacular for lunch. And already we're discussing variations - such as the mushroom extravaganza, and the lamb power pocket.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lost saints


, .

A partial list of churches closing in Cleveland:

St. Francis, Myron Ave (preached to birds, fed wolves)
St Philips and St. James, Bosworth Rd (converted Syria, first bishop of Jerusalem, those both lasted, huh)
St. Adalbert, E. 83rd (chopped down the oak trees, got killed)
St. Hedwig, Madison Ave (Lakewood) (either a duchess, or Queen of Poland)
St. Barbara, Denison Ave (original user of the transporter beam)
St. Hyacinth, Francis Ave (patron saint of drowning)
St. Casimir, Sowinski Ave (pawn of royalty, probably gay, died of tuberculosis)
St. Ignatius of Antioch, Lorain Ave (touched by Jesus as a child, eaten by Roman lions)
St. Cecilia, Kinsman (musician, visit her skull in Italy)
St. James, Detroit Ave (Lakewood) (no idea which James, there's like ten of them)
St. Emeric W. 22nd St (prince killed young by a boar, not sure if he was actually religious at all, but people go to his grave to be healed. Or converted?)
St. Paul, E. 40th St (blinded while traveling alone in desert, had "visions")
St. Peter, E.17th St (first pope, heaven's bouncer)
St. Procop, W. 41st ("hermit with a skull and a girdle of leaves")
St. Wendelin, Columbus Rd (my grade school!) (nicer hermit, with book instead of skull)
Blessed Sacrament, Fulton Rd (not a saint, but still a person, trippy)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

America's Next Top Model Cycle 12 Recap: The Pink Limo of Doom takes the Girls to the Bus of Ill Repute

The children know the story. Their mothers tell it to them when they have broken their cup, kicked the puppy, or fed watercolors to their baby sister. They see the giant pink carriage, the color of medicine, or playground scars. They know it lurks in the alleys of the city, idling, waiting, until the Witch calls for its services, its headlights shining in the evil gloom like a monstrous feline. They shake with fear at the mention of her name.

The Witch was bored. She paced her drawing room, filled with shaky nervousness, longing to cause mischief. What product could she throw to her vacuous minions today? What dreams would shatter to the floor with the teardrops of another young girl? She pawed at her closet, plucking at folds and ticking at buckles. Her eyes narrowed as she pondered the collection of dolls waiting for her, innocently strewn about the townhouse, plumped up on Red Bull and Hot Pockets. What game would they play today?

She pressed a button and summoned The Shadow to her side. The Shadow is a teaser. He brings you close, with promises of candy, and free schwag. He takes a kind, fatherly tone with you. The real danger is in his magical words, barbed words that stick between your knees, words that dig behind your eyes. Nothing in the world makes The Shadow happy but your defeat and humiliation.

The Shadow was feeling unnaturally gleeful, knowing he had so many bad, bad dolls to pick from. He dressed up for the occasion even, as a bouffant covered spider, happily clicking his fangs together. The dolls he dressed in pretty little pink sweaters, the better to see their blood with. And, Oh! He had fun! Back and forth, back and forth, he played the marionettes. Pick up your knees, he said. Walk like a giraffe, he said. Glide like a statue! The little dolls tried and tried, but their minds were weak. All except mercenary Natalie, from the Wasteland. Natalie had fought these spiders before, she understand how to survive. The nerve endings in her feet had been killed off long ago. Her shoulder joints were made of steel ball bearings.

Then the Shadow had a tea party, for all his fashionista monster friends. They came from all over, from the slave auctioneer’s block and the brothels of Seventeen Magazine, to ogle his worked over dolls. The dolls smiled as they walked the planks, smiled into the hungry greedy eyes waiting for them to mature to full ripeness. And Natalie, brave Natalie, she smiled sincerely. “You will not get me,” she shouted silently, “I will escape you!” She had no tears as she watched the banshees eating Thalia’s organs backstage. There is no room for the weak in the Wasteland.

Finally, The Shadow was tired. He handed the dolls over to the Silver Prince. A hostage of the Witch himself, the Silver Prince tried to encourage the dolls. Just try a little harder to smile, he said, be a little prettier, and little more interesting and a little more fun. Pretend you have a different life, one where you are free, and employed! A life full of small talk, life goals, art and music! Be sincere! He tried to inspire them by taking them on a road trip, in the fresh city air. The dolls pleaded with their eyes to passer-bys (rescue me, please!). One doll even gave up her precious daily ration of bread, spitting it into the street for attention. But no one noticed the dolls in the dark of the Big City. Those that maybe did, they knew better than to try and cross the Witch. Hedge funds have folded for less. And Natalie failed, for her eyes could not conceal her concrete heart and steel intentions.

Finally, the dolls were brought in for their daily review by the Witch. Tired, distraught, the dolls quaked in their Old Navy tank tops. The Witch looked them over, piece by piece, seam by seam. Her glowing green eyes stared into their souls and wrestled their squalid dreams. When it was all over, The Ninja was found wanting in entertainment value. And when the dogs were through, all that was left were her feet and the palms of her hands.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Vampires! (not Irish ones)

This is too cool not to share. Thanks CB.

Female 'Vampire' Unearthed in Venice
"An archaeological dig near Venice has unearthed the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick stuck between her jaws -- evidence, experts say, that she was believed to be a vampire"

So, you know, be careful or I'll bury you with my banana bread between your teeth.
But by far, the best quote in the article is this:
"...they saw a fat, dead person, full of blood and with a hole in the shroud, so they would say: 'This guy is alive, he's drinking blood and eating his shroud.'"

I don't know why, but I think "eating his shroud" is HILARIOUS.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pistachio Apricot Pie


This is by far my most requested pie. I've made it for birthdays, random cheer ups, and also solely for the purpose of impressing people. It's not the prettiest pie in the world, but it can be. If you're not lazy like me and actually take the time arrange the apricots so that they come out defined, like egg yolks. But I don't even make my own pie crust. Because if I time it right, I can actually whip out this pie in about ten minutes, get it in the oven, and have it ready in time for Iron Chef. Everyone has different priorities.

So right, back to the part where I never make my own pie crust. I make a fair number of pies. It's my favorite kind of dessert, you know, besides ice cream. I guess I just like my sweets in semi-liquid form. But man, do I hate jello-like savories. Anyway, I know this is a major flaw, on par with dressing up your pets in wedding dresses, or being a Jehovah's Witness. But dough hates me. It never does what I want it to, which is unacceptable because it's like the simplest formula ever. I imagine that someday I will be killed by a large animated plop of dough, suffocated and stuffed into the back of the cabinet with the cake pans.

So I buy frozen pie crust and frozen puff pastry. Believe me, I long for the day I can make my own bread, or make my pie crust out of duck fat. But it's going to take some serious courage and probably a lot more counter space. If you want to make your own crust, cause you're not a loser like me, any simple crust recipe will do.



Pistachio Apricot Pie

- one large egg beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 stick butter melted
- 8 fresh apricots or two cans of canned apricots in lite or no syrup
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- 2 cups unshelled pistachios (or you can substitute 3 large tbsp of pistachio paste for 1 cup, and only ruin your fingernails shelling one cup of nuts)
- 1 tsp vanilla

- 1 frozen pie shell

Preheat oven to 375.

Take one cup of the almonds and one cup of those pistachios (unless you're using the paste) and grind in a food processor until flour like.

Put your pie crust down in the pan, and sprinkle the bottom with the remaining almonds.

Combine the ground nuts, sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg. Mix until well combined.

Halve and peel the apricots, then lay them down in the pan, flat side down, as evenly as possible.

Pour the nut mixture over the apricots. Sprinkle the rest of the whole shelled pistachios over the top of the pie.

Bake for about 55 minutes.


So I made this last night. I also made banana bread. I was baking over at S.'s house and he had no butter, which I had not brought even though I brought everything else I would need. I called Colleen, hoping she could let me borrow some butter. Which by the way, is the wrong turn of phrase here, cause C knows she's not getting the half stick of butter back from me. Anyway, I tried to make the bread before Colleen sent Matt over with the butter. So instead of butter I tried substituting sour cream and a little Crisco for the fat. These things happen when Bridget's been drinking. Bad idea. EW EW EW. The whole loaf tastes like Crisco. It's going in the trash and I'm trying again today. Maybe. I have other stuff to do too, and my taste for banana bread has been a little diminished.

It's a beautiful sunny day, and I'm really enjoying the Ting Tings right now. So fuck cooking this afternoon, I'll just have to make soup during Gossip Girl.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lucky's Cafe - Dinner

When I saw on Cleveland Foodie that Lucky's, the Tremont bastion of brunch, was trying out a dinner, I jumped on it. I'm not entirely sure why. I've only been to Lucky's brunch a couple times, it's not like I'm the most rabid fan of the place. I mean, the brunches are great, but they're usually so busy. I think in my head I was just like "oh, new place! But new place I feel comfortable in!" Like, I know where to park, and I know I can wear jeans without getting weird looks.

Tapenade, grits, ratatouille, and house cured lardon

The call I got on Friday to confirm my reservation said 7pm. Which was weird, cause I thought I made it for 8:30pm. I rushed out of work, picked up S., and we scrammed to Tremont without stopping to buy wine. Which is fine, because it gave me an excuse to drag S. into Lilly Handmade Chocolates next door, which created wine and beer pairings for the dinner. I then proceeded to attain a state of jealousy reserved only for really awesome lighting, directed to the amazing Icarus lamp hanging in the middle of the showroom. If I don't start making my own lights now, before my income catches up with my intentions, I foresee a future of debt.

We picked up a malbec, and one sake aged beer, then headed over. Where I found out that in fact, the reservation was for 8:30pm.

But the staff was really nice, and seated us early. And then let me sit at the table I requested in the back.

S. promptly left as soon as he opened his beer, to buy more beer. Which left me sitting, looking at the amuse bouche above, for ten minutes. Ten long minutes. During which I drank a lot of wine.

Herbed crepes with pulled pork and carmelized onion, served with bacon, brussel sprouts, pecans, and thyme jus

Next we got a basket of hearty baguette, with good salted butter. 1st course was soup or salad. We ended up being one of THOSE couples, that switch their plates around. Is that obnoxious? I don't know. It's more efficient. When I had looked at the menu earlier in the day, I already knew I would get the salad with beets, red onion, and pecans. But it turned out the cauliflower soup with mushroom pate was great. The salad was okay too, but it was really just a good salad. The soup had this wonderful texture when the pate got all mixed in, and it was just smooth and warm and totally yummy. I'm not a cauliflower person, but I might become one.

In fact, the theme of the night was get Bridget to eat vegetables she normally wouldn't. Which means their vegetarian option for the entree, a fricassee of potatoes, zucchini, and peas, was probably incredible. Being meat-eaters, we of course went for the proteins. Because meat eaters don't eat vegetarian stuff, duh. It would be, like, weird.

So we shared the herbed crepes with pulled pork and onion above, and the beef ravioli. The crepes, as you can see, had bacon and brussel sprouts. Brussel sprouts are not my thing. I mean, I hate cooked cabbage, and brussel sprouts are really just miniature cabbages. But these were good, crunchy. S.'s eyes just lit up when he saw brussel sprouts. The things you learn about people during eating. I personally loved the carrot puree with cardamom that came with the very nicely done raviolis.

Then for desert, there was rhubarb crumble and hazelnut torte.

40 layers cashew crepe torte

The torte was beautiful, but I really didn't want to pass him the crumble. It was spicy and not too sweet, and the honey mace ice cream was great. Imagine my thrill, my exultation, when S. tasted it, proclaimed it too nutmeggy (from the mace) and gave it right back. So then I could proceed to eat it, in a slow, tortured manner, until I literally could not swallow another bite or it would be a scene from Monty Python.

The staff, for not being practiced at serving dinner, was wonderful. Our server Eric even tolerated our drunken questioning about 90's weed movies, and solved the problem plaguing S. about the movie with Jon Bon Jovi and Laura Dern. Chef Heather Haviland, besides being awesome in the kitchen, turned out to be the MacGyver of the dining room with her creative lighting solutions. So all in all, it was a pleasant, comfortable, tasty experience.

Heather and Chef Ky-Wai Wong will be doing dinner once a month at Lucky's, the second Saturday of every month. So just remember it's the Saturday after Art Walk (though I wonder if maybe doing it during Art Walk might be better for business?).

And make sure you buy yourself a Chomp Monster from Lilly's for the next morning, when you wake up and seriously regret not buying more candy. And don't let your neighbor talk you into watching Transporter 3 when you get home, because even drunk, it's the worst movie ever.

Dark chocolate, black mission figs, and walnuts


Now, in the background, S. is watching Big Game Fishing The World. Which is basically a show where this old guy takes "international models" on fishing trips. Where he shows them how to hold the rod. Mariah from the Netherlands is trying to pull in a Marlin. "Crank it, crank it Mariah." "Get into a rhythm". "Never use your hands." I personally am very sad right now thinking about that poor beautiful Marlin that got sacrificed for a thinly disguised wank fest on ESPN. And I've got to figure out my poor person menu for the week. Making pie tonight, and baking lots of banana bread tomorrow cause I have, like, eight black bananas in my freezer. Probably pea soup too. If you have any good recipes for the last two, send them my way please.

Friday, March 13, 2009

"Across the street they've nailed the curtains"

So last night I was watching MTV2 music videos. It's a good thing to do every once in a while, cause I find hip hop I might like, or I despair at the state of music, OR I find delightful videos like the following and immediately want to beat my head against the wall in a confused vague guilty way.

I saw the video start, the little info caption come on, and I was all like "Great, now they're stealing the title of Dylan songs."

OH but NO. No, they are COVERING the song.



DELIGHTFUL.

It's like I desperately want to be out of touch with the next generation, and instead their grubby little fingers are trying to pull me into their filth with every passing moment.

S. just noted that the problem with this song is that as he walks away in disgust from it, it sounds like they're playing "We Built This City".

Which I think is My Chemical Romance's special talent, that every single one of their songs sounds like that as you walk away.

Here's the original, in case you just want to hear it.

Suckers: Cramer and Steele

Watching the Cramer/Stewart interview last night, and then reading this piece about Rush Limbaugh versus Michael Steele in Salon, it looks to me that the time has come for Evil to get rid of the dead weight. Cramer was thrown into the hyped up fray by a network that saw the chance to create a scapegoat and get some free publicity. He practically whimpered at his predicament last night. And Steele, though probably not a very nice person and definitely a moron, seemed to have the best intentions for trying to update his party, so it might have had some chance of surviving the next few decades. He's finding out very quickly that if you don't do what the fat man says, you're screwed.

However, the little darts of sympathy I’m guilty of are relieved by the thought that, “hey, you boys wanted to be in the tough guys’ clique.”

You wanted to hang out with the people who built their power on being mean, fanatical sons of bitches, who scared their base into following them. If you’re not capable of being one of the best of them, they were bound to turn on you. There is no room for moderation or intelligent discussion in Limbaugh’s party or on the equally scary cable news networks. Steele, if you thought you were capable of changing the RNC’s archaic hate-riddled path; then you are a na├»ve fool who closed his eyes to the reality of being a figurehead. Cramer, you don’t make friend with robbers. They slit your throat in the middle of the night, unless you get them first. And when they get caught, you go down with them.

When you’re going to fight amongst monsters, you’d better either be one yourself, or be something much bigger. It’s natural selection. You can’t be the kind of bully that cries when he gets slapped in the face. This isn’t the Hallmark channel.

By the way, I highly recommend getting drunk and watching the Daily Show interview. It was the emotional equivalent of watching an Obama campaign speech. Maybe even better, because it didn't have that greasy frosting covering up the rancid meat of the matter.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Things I Want to Remember About My Twenties...



So last night, I was leaving work and I was trying to decide if I was going to go to the Citizen Dick free Cotton Jones performance at Music Saves . I mean, it was on the way home. I get out at 7, the thing was at 8, perfect timing. And CB recently gave me a burned copy of a Cotton Jones cd which was pretty good. Very M.Wardish.

However, I decided not to go because my head was killing me. And then right before work, I got sick and I had to vomit in the work bathroom. Okay, vomiting carrots is better than some things, but a lot worse than others. So, that kind of sealed it. And I'm glad that happened before I left work, because then on the way home, I had to vomit again! And I totally employed this super sweet skill I learned last summer, when I had rampant migraines that made me throw up all the time.

That's right kids. Nobody in the world is better than me now at throwing up into a plastic bag while driving on 480. No swerving. No pulling over. I am the master. I didn't even get anything on my shirt.

I would like to know though why it is that I always have to car vomit when driving over the 480 Valley View bridge. You know, the most dangerous part of the highway? Either my migraine is actually a small suicidal parasite living in my brain, or I'm that repulsed by Garfield Heights. There's an equal chance of both.

Don't worry, I'll stop talking about gross bodily functions and go back to talking about food soon. Oh, and I'm just fine today.

America's Next Top Model Cycle 12: Episode 2, The Changelings Emerge from the Labratory

So. America’s Next Top Model. Last Night.

First, Tyra broke out the extra unnecessary crazy, and gave the girls a giant limo/short bus covered in pink plaid. If I lived in NYC, I would sue for the sheer tastelessness of it. That was followed by a weird segment where she played Super Spy and gave Jay and Miss J their mission through either a phone I don’t recognize or J’s PSP. And it was the Makeover Episode! And we were all very happy. Because it meant someone would cry.

Most of the makeovers were to be expected. Allison, my lovely, got long blonde hair and looked fabulous. Also, she made a name for herself this episode by showing herself to be a well-adjusted social girl, despite the editors’ best efforts. So yay, we like Googlay Eyes.
Kortnie was made into Barbie’s friend Midge, which was the only thing they could do with her spray tan. Celia was given some Sex in the City haircut which only enforces the idea that she is a Cylon. Aminat’s fro was a fake. Just like her personality, it turns out. And also, without her fro, she kinda looks like a frog. Sandra got a golden buzz-cut, which made her look pretty to herself, and reminded me of those weird guys with wheels in Return to Oz. Thalia revealed herself to be Mariah Carey’s lost love child. And then that one girl…Natalie? See, no one was crying yet, so Jay decided to fuck with her a little, and pretend they were going to cut all her hair off. And she cried, and wouldn’t let them, and cried some more. Then Jay said “fake” and “we’re not doing anything to it” and “but if we had wanted to, you should have let us, if you really wanted to be here.” But I say, WTF? They’ve kicked girls off before for not letting their hair get cut off. Girl did not pass the test. She got to go.

The best makeover of the night was Fo’s. They gave her this super cute adorable Audrey Hepburn cut, which worked so well with her freckles and plaid shirt. She looked like a cast member from Gilmore Girls! Or a member of Sleater Kinney! But Fo hated it and said it made her feel like the long lost brother of captain butch dyke. Why are these girls so attached to their hair? I mean, it’s the one thing that grows back. They need to be more concerned with their faces.

There was a small Covergirl challenge, where the CG rep hired the models to kidnap women off the street, and make them up pretty in preparation for their trip to Romania as American sex slaves.

Then the girls got taken to a dark secret back alley, where they trustingly walked out into the shadows like puppies being freighted to a pharmaceutical lab. Nigel Barker pounced on them from a doorway, and said “hold this radioactive lamps close or the demonic spiders will crawl into your eyes!” And Natalie, Wind Tunnel, Celia, and Allison all managed to fend off the nightmares (Allison drawing on her experience as a Joss Whedon extra), but the rest of them failed and I guess we’ll start seeing the effects in a few episodes, when the eggs start to hatch.

The best part of the beginning of the season is that Jay and Nigel and any other coach they bring in, they all get so obviously FED UP with the level of incompetence. In the first cycles, they were all patience and encouragement. Now, 12 cycles later, you can tell Jay just can’t believe some of the crap they’re letting in the door. And Nigel is regretting his decision to tie his entire career in fashion photography to this reality show. But he has kids. So we understand. We forgive you Nigel.

Puerto Rican Mami got sent home, because she took the worst picture I’ve ever seen in Top Model history. Turns out she’s a werewolf, and turns out whenever werewolves take pictures, their true nature comes out. So Tyra had to let her go, cause really, she was danger to the other non-werewolf girls. And she was all like “whatever, I’m way prettier than the rest of these girls here” and I sighed, reflecting on what it must be like to be her in thirty years. Creased with plastic surgery, clinging to an image of her as 18, replaying her two ANTM episodes on the wall of her bedroom while having sex with her super tan, golf playing, adulterating husband. Totes Jealous.

Then I watched Make Me a Super Model and the models got dressed up as candy, and talked about sleeping with each other, and made comments about not getting candy in their secret places, and one judge called the obnoxious model a “tasteless Kate Moss” and super androgynous boy got sent home, and it was great.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hump Day Takes On a New Depth of Crumminess



So I've been trying to actively shift my mood the last few days. Not that anything specifically bad happened. It's just that I just restarted Depo, so I went a few months without a period, and then March hit. Normally, before my adventures with birth control happened, I had a period for like three days tops. And then I was on depo for years with no period. Now, because of the restart, I've been bleeding for like a WEEK and yes I realize that some women do this all the time, but this SUCKS and I want NO PART OF IT. It's like having a leaking open wound. I feel dirty and disconnected and plus there's some sort of sharp shooting migraine behind my eyes? SCREW THIS. Maybe this is actually some sort of bleeding to death internal brain puncture, and it's just all leaking to my vagina because of gravity.

Also, I realize that I'm completely comfortable discussing my period with the internet, a family tradition, but I protest douche and tampon commercials on tv. I think the difference is that I really have a problem with the sugar-dove-springtime freshness coating of the issues. I mean, you want to sell me a tampon? Tell me it will not feel like inserting a stick covered in Mcdonald's paper towels. That'll work.

I've been eating so many fruits and vegetables, and yogurt, and crackers and cheese and fruit popsicles. All in an attempt to lighten my mood by lightening my diet. And I've been listening to happy music, and not drinking, and trying to go outside on my lunch breaks to get fresh non-cubicle air. Seriously, I've eaten like a pound of carrots this morning. I'm morphing into Fiver as we speak.

It's not working.

I decided to only read happy stuff online today, to counteract my natural snarkiness. But I don't even know where to start. Can't read any of the political blogs, and I read all the cooking blogs yesterday. Can't read the newspaper sites, or Salon, or Gawker. In desperation, I googled "sweetness and light", trying to pull up some home crafter with kids who talks about flowers all the time. Instead I got Sweetness & Light, CPAC's 2009 Blogger of the Year. World news from a conservative perspective.

So you know, that's not working all that great either. Plus I ruined that phrase for me forever.

All I want to do today is go home, make French toast, watch two episodes of Lost (cause I missed last week) and then ANTM. The French toast is key here. I like my French toast super eggy and super crispy, so it's pretty much like fried egg toast that I pour syrup over. It has to be real maple syrup, not that weird 2% syrup crap. And I aways pour a little orange juice in with the eggs, vanilla, and heavy cream.
And throw some brown sugar on ham and stick that in the oven. Then maybe I could take these damn carrots and make an ice cream out of them? Carrot ginger ice cream? With salted caramel chips?

So if we could just skip the rest of the day and move on to that please.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

St. Patrick's Day - Where Rich Snotty People Complain about the Death of the Irish Tradition




Alright, so if you can't tell by the name plastered across the top of this blog, I'm of Irish descent. I'm also Polish and Welsh, a mixed stockyard whelp, just like every other "Irish" American. But whatever. If we call Obama black, then call me Irish. Yay for overgeneralized ethnic labels.

Now that it's March, one of the crummiest months of the year, it's time for everyone to start wearing that horrible Kelly green and CVS to break out the terrifying leprechaun pin ups and plastic hats.

You know how you can tell if someone has real Irish blood? They are scared shitless of leprechauns and fairies. All of you who saw Leprechaun before age 10? You're officially adopted Irish. My grandmother had a book of Irish fairy tales and folklore she gave me when I was a child, and I read it voraciously. Which is how I know to stay the fuck away from fairy circles and ruins, and don't talk to women with no feet you see on the road. And don't get drunk near wells. There are a lot of drunks in Irish folklore, and the sober people usually win.

Last year I wrote about how living in Cleveland is just like being Irish. This year, let's talk about assholes who search for the perfect Irish bar.

That's an article about this guy who's searching for his fairytale Irish pub, and he's writing a book about it. Cause there aren't enough of those.

“A good pub is a place devoted to conversation, with drink as the lubricant,” Mr. Barich said one evening last week. “In an American bar, the minute you finish your drink they say, ‘Do you want another?’ You’d never see that in a good pub.”


What else qualifies a "good Irish pub"? According to this guy, the bar must have:

- low key atmosphere
- traditional decor
- "warmth and fraternity"
- a "publican" ie owner who lives above or nearby the bar, leads impromptu singalongs, is "concerned about the welfare of his patrons" and doesn't ask you if you want another beer.

"An early candidate, R. McSorley & Sons, had “a musty dignity that spoke of permanence,” as Mr. Barich writes, and antique bric-a-brac on the walls. But soon after he became a regular the pub was sold and given a slick makeover by new owners, who told Mr. Barich that the old decorations were phony anyway — purchased for nostalgic effect."


I have never understood people's obsession with Old Ireland, and especially the Irish pub. It's like they don't understand that in Old Ireland, just like Old England and Old Europe and everywhere else 200 years ago, people worked 14 hour days digging peat, and bars became popular because they needed the alcohol to make themselves pass out so they could forget their shitty lives. Everyone was dirty, unhealthy, ugly, and uneducated. This Irish "conversation" he so lovingly refers to was the braying of men with middle school degrees trying to be smartasses. And, for the record, pretty much still is.

Also, the Irish being alcoholics is not a good thing. It's a terrible thing to have a husband, father, or mother, who drinks themselves to death because their life sucks so much. It's a bad thing to have a father you never see until he comes home late at night from the pub and beats the shit out of your mum because she says something about needing money to buy food. And then your mother forces the strictest version of Catholicism on you ever, and fills your life with priests and nuns who beat you again, just so you won't turn out like your dad. Then you get older, say 12, and start avoiding going home so you don't see your dad or your crying mom, and you start hanging out at the local pub with a bunch of other kids, scamming pennies from drunkards. Eventually you get a job yourself, and a wife, and you start hanging out at the bar every night trying to forget your dreams of youth and the fact that you don't find your wife attractive (maybe you're gay?) and you don't really believe in all this religious claptrap. And your nose gets horribly red, and your eyes get watery, and you die of heartbreak or liver disease.

See, that's my Irish stereotype.

Of course, the recent Irish aren't as bad as all that, right? They only used the pubs as a center of underground political terrorism designed to keep alive some of the most insidious corrupt political machines of all time. Or they used it as a stage to launch the most annoying kind of punk/Irish crap music imaginable. And now the Irish pub is a kinder, more impotent version of itself, where there's men who still like to talk about nothing, and do even less, and hard wood flooring, and way too many Guiness posters. But people seem to prefer this friendlier version of the pub, since there's 12 thousand of them in Lakewood alone. Now Irish Pub just means "2 dollar carbombs" and "lots of people who drink as much as you." Maybe that's all it ever really meant.

You know what else? There's nothing that irritates me more when I'm drunk than "celtic pop" or fucking U2.

So here's a nice big F U to Mr. Barich. The Irish don't have a tradition of good bars. They just have so many of them, some of them turn out well. Kind of like the Irish.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Steak Sandwich


I don't like when people who eat steak are all like "it's holy steak, and if you put it in a sandwich you are a sub par human with a disgusting non-blood oriented palate." No one has said that to me yet. But I really hope someday they do. Because first I will punch them, then I will tie them to a table, and force feed them this sandwich.

There's nothing special about it. It's a hard roll, with filet mignon cut into strips and pan fried with salt and pepper. Then you melt some provolone on it. Oh, and first you put this spread on it. Which is my new favorite condiment of all time. It transfigures any sandwich it touches. I mean, it's just mustard and mayo and salt. But I may never use any of them separately again.

A really good steak sandwich reminds me of eating at this legendary hole in the wall place my mother took me to in Philadelphia. I can't stand it when you order a philly cheese steak and it comes with an anemic amount of cheese, and covered in peppers and onions. The original philly cheese steak in my life was a foot long roll that was crusty outside and soft inside, stuffed with chopped up greasy steak, and smothered in hot liquid provolone. The three basic food groups. I would insanely happy if I could find anyplace in Cleveland that comes even close.

Barefoot Contessa's Steak Sandwich Spread: 3/4 cup good mayo, 1 tbsp djon mustard, 1 tbsp whole grain mustard, 1/8 tsp salt

Concentration.

Man Made Choir Meets Human Choir.
Human Choir Wins and Machine goes home humiliated.

How to include your vegan friends...



That is my friend Tara. Tara is a wonderful vegan. Meaning she doesn't preach about, hardly talks about, doesn't frown when I eat meat in front of her, and volunteers at a farm animal rescue. So you know she's not being trendy.

I love eating with Tara, because it means I have to eat something healthy, and I have to be creative. And she always makes something so good you wonder if maybe someday you'll be debating the merits of fake sour cream someday.

So Tara came over to Jay's for Thai night last week, and it gave me and Jay a reason to eat some of that not very well known, secret hidden Asian ingredient called tofu. Have you ever heard of it? Supposed to be flavorless, texture-less, and uniformly disliked by carnivores everywhere?

I like tofu fried, and that's about it. But man, do I love fried tofu. I remember in high school, this friend's mom made this awesome fried tofu patty with eggs and scallions. It was crispy, but light and fluffy, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. I still haven't figured out how to make it the way she did, but I also thought ramen only came in 50 cent plastic packages covered in salt.


So Tara brought these marinated tofu steaks she pan fried for us, and then covered in homemade bread crumbs. She marinated them first in Italian seasonings, then covered with barbecue sauce. And it looked and smelled just like meat. It did, however, taste like tofu. But good tofu.

And I made this green curry rice. I have to admit, I wasn't too much of a fan of this rice. It was definitely edible, and I'm posting this because Tara asked for the recipe. But I think it overdid it on the basil, and maybe next time I will leave out the fresh basil, and rely solely on the green curry paste.

Oh, and then we watched Fairy Tale Theater, because I just got the DVD set and I'm making everyone watch it. We watched The Princess and the Pea with Liza Minnelli that night, but Saturday I watched Aladdin, and I think James Earl Jones deserves an Emmy for his portrayal as the crazy psychopathic strangely seductive and likable genie.

Green Curry Rice

Ingredients:
-2-3 cups rice (we used white, but maybe wild would be good with this)
-1 can coconut milk
- 2-3 red bell peppers
-1/2 red onion
-2 tbsp fresh basil (if you REALLY like basil, or, like I'm going to, substitute cilantro)
- 2 tbsp green curry paste
-1-2 tbsp lime juice
- 1 jalapeno diced
- salt and pepper to taste

Cook the rice. Figure this out on your own, Jay has a rice cooker.

Saute the peppers and onions until soft. When done, add the coconut milk, green curry paste, lime, broth, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer until warm.

Then pour over the cooked rice and mix.

The end. But really, you can do whatever here. Add more jalapeno, cilantro, maybe some mango. Your vegan friend will be happy to have something she can eat, and you'll be well on your way to realizing you don't need butter and eggs for everything.

For dessert, I was lazy and just brought some fruit. I mixed up some chili and sugar for dipping, which was awesome with the pineapple. I tried to do that with sugar and ginger too, but I used dried ginger, and it was lackluster. But the chili sugar is now a staple in my kitchen. I made a big bowl of it just to use whenever I feel like running to Dunkin Donuts.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

America's Next Top Model: The Cycle Starts

Ways in which being on America's Next Top Model is like being in Pan's Labyrinth

1. You will meet fantastically made up monsters.
2. Those monsters will make you do scary things you don't think you can.
3. You will eventually be killed by your fantasy.

For this cycle, the mythical Tyra (She of the Three Wigs) dressed up as a broken down goddess, or an extra for Xanadu that didn't get the last production memo. She was escorted onto set by her legion of centurions, and protected herself from the howling assembly of newbie zombies with spears and a moat. She wasn't taking any chances after the unfortunate biting incident of Cycle 11. The zombies screamed and screamed, because no one had told them they were going to be on ANTM, and this was all a big giant surprise. Because they had no warning, several of the zombies proved unable to walk at all. And they were quickly devoured by the other contestants. Which is what happens when you kidnap zombies and don't feed them for three days while they wait in line in their bikinis.

So first the zombies had to imitate goddesses, and it was stupid and they all looked stupid.

Then Tyra, from a distance, told the zombies to find the box with their name on it, and inside she told them was a tasty tasty brain. But it turned out only half the zombies got brains, and instead of brains they were laurel wreaths, and two more zombies died of lead poisoning by chewing on them.

And let's meet the survivors:

Teyona: from New Jersey, her occupation is listed as Loss Prevention Representative, which means the girl works in Collections. She looks like someone pulled her face off, and then put it back on without enough skin. Tyra likes the fact that she has a windblown face, or she's just trying to drive Ms. Jay crazy.

Celia: from Kentucky, she's 25, which is ANCIENT for this show. Also she has a neanderthal brow. She was affectionately nicknamed Flat Iron Face. I predict she's going to do REALLY well in her photos.

Kortnie: is officially disqualified because she has the worst name ever.

Jessica: is a Puerto Rican. But sadly, not The Rican. The Rican was kicked off.

Natalie: is pretty. Whatever. She's a knock off early.

Tahlia: same thing. Except not pretty. Edit: I totally forgot about her burn scars all over her body. I like them. I suspect the judges will not.

Nijah: is sadly not named Ninja. But really, from now on she is.

Aminat: is a vampire with a Fro, which apparently gets cut off in the Makeover, cause she doesn't have it on the website, which makes me sad. Or the Fro was fake all along, which makes me happy. Aminat is 3000 years old and has survived on the blood of virgin evildoers.

Fo: is a soup

Isabella: is a cute little blonde girl who suffers from seizures, and has somehow not taken into account how having lots of flashing photographers in her face might affect that.

Sandra: is the manufactured villain of the season, and is so abrasive, she got into a fight with the Rican during the goddess photo shoot and bit off her arm. Sandra will at some point end up crying about her self-discovery ie that everyone has hated her ever, and then she will make it far further than she needs to because Tyra secretly loves bitches.

London: is a street preacher? Or a girl with no shame who created a good gimmick. God always gets you on. Seriously, she's from Arlington, Texas. I think being a street preacher there means you're a upstanding pillar of the community. She wears those stupid headbands across her forehead, which I HATE.

Allison: I LOVE GOOGLAY EYES. I wish they hadn't shown part of her interview where she said she liked blood, because it means for sure she doesn't win in the end. She's from New Orleans, where she's been living in the attic of a decrepit mansion, feeding off rats and the occasional possum, waiting for the undead to come and possess her. Which means she and Aminat are going to be the bestest of friends.


So then we got a second episode! Where Tyra spouted some nonsense about girls growing up too fast (which ANTM has nothing to do with, of course) and instead of doing a shoot about bovine growth hormone, she has the zombies creepily pose like little sexy girls playing playground games, waiting for that nice strange man who gives them candy. Surrounded by pregnant drinking extras.

Jay Emmanuel shows up in a zombie bite proof suit, and then promptly changes into the 2nd outfit he brought with him once the guard dogs arrive. He has a car follow him with a wardrobe...and guard dogs. A conversation ensues about who we would rather fuck, Jay or Nigel. I go with Jay, because Nigel is kind of a douche.

Then elimination: and it's Villain vs. Seizures. But sadly, Villain wins. I can't believe the producers don't think we'll get enough mileage out of Preacher, but whatever, they keep her around. And Seizures goes home, which surprises me, cause you know, SEIZURES! But whatever, maybe the producers aren't as coldhearted as I am.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Warm as a fevered baby's breath

Today is a glorious spring day. The End. I don't want any of you killjoys saying anything to me. It is now Spring.


Recently my employer, in an attempt to ward off the returning Canadian geese in an eco-friendly way, installed rubber coyotes around the premises. I guess before they were hiring australian sheperd dogs to herd the geese. Wish I had known there was a market for that.


I now want a rubber coyote to perch by my home doorstep.






I wish I could train my cat to pretend she is the head of a pack of these rubber coyotes, and lead pack hunts around the house. I would put them on wheels, and attach them to a harness, that she could then tug along to her hearts content. Though, in reality, I would probably just end up with a panicked cat that eventually jumps off the balconey, sacrificing herself in order to kill her tormenters. Which might be entertaining too, if the rubber coyotes bounce. No, really, I'm kidding. I don't want to to torment my cat. I just want to build her character.

Tonight, I'm going to CSU to watch The Dawn Mitchell sing a bunch of evolution songs, and by evolution songs I mean songs from the Book of Genesis, and by sing I mean take a rib out and create a new humanoid species.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Nothing is Going to Get Done, Ever

From Talking Points Memo (snarked from Daily Kos)

Dem Senator Holds Up Science Nominees to Force Continuation of Cuba Embargo

"Menendez fired a broadside at the Obama administration yesterday for backing a provision buried in the $410 billion spending bill, which must become law by next week in order to keep the government running. The New Jersey senator, a Cuban-American, objects to language in the bill that would allow Cuban-Americans to visit relatives on the island once a year and end limits on the sale of American food and
medicines in Cuba.

Menendez even suggested yesterday that he might oppose the spending bill if
the Cuba provisions were not removed, saying in a floor speech that they "[put]
the omnibus appropriations package in jeopardy, in spite of all the other
tremendously important funding that this bill would provide.''


On top of that, the article then goes on to talk about how this guy is also holding up the confirmations of two of Obama's science administration picks...

"the nominees Menendez has chosen to hold are pivotal presidential allies in the push to regulate carbon emissions -- and Menendez has been admirably outspoken about the need to act on climate change. Was holding up Holdren, a longtime critic of Bush-era science policy, the best way to start a reasoned dialogue on Cuba policy?"


So, even though the majority of Cuban Americans support lifting the ban, and this ban is an outdated and ineffective dinosaur left over from our ill fated attempt to force everyone to play by our rules (oh wait), major changes in government are being stalled by this asshole with a chip on his shoulder who can't even represent his constituents properly?

Maybe he knows Castro is coming for his family....in New Jersey...

Seriously, what could possibly motivate a guy to act like this? It boggles my mind.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hair

I follow a very precise cycle with my hair.

Cycle 1: The Cut
I go to a salon and have it cut as short as possible. I pick a salon with a hip name, like Lipstick and Razorblades, or Crazy Mullet. Sometimes, when I am broke, I go to the Brown Aveda school, and get off on the whole "broke artist" feel. I sit in the chair and tell Kym/Kim/Jennifer/Myrna to cut it like a boy in the back, and with choppy bangs in the front. Depending on the bravery of the stylist, I either end up with a pixie cut, or a Hot Topic circa 1998 "needs gel in the back" look, which I promptly butcher myself when I get home. I consistently tell them "I don't use product", and they insist on putting product in my hair. I then go home and shower, because I can't stand the smell of it.

The next day, everyone tells me how much they like it.

Cycle 2: The Shag
About a month later, my hair has gotten really shaggy. Which means my bangs are perfect, but the back of my head is a little poofy. I have lost that sleek Vulcan look. I start to wear headbands. I still consider it "very indie looking".

Cycle 3: The Home Cut
Three months in, the back of my head resembles the birth of a mullet. My bangs are hanging over my eyes. 12 yr old boys are laughing at my lack of haircut. I beg everyone I know, boyfriend, mother, sister, gay friend, to trim the back of my hair. But no one will. They are afraid of my haircut wrath.

Finally, I get drunk one night, and trim it myself. My hair now looks like more of a Velma bob. I cut my bangs crazy and crooked on purpose, because I am a crazy artistic type. I am, for at least a week, very proud of myself.

Cycle 4: The Pin Up
Now my hair is so long, it has started to poof out at my neck. Because my scalp is all screwed up, and while it is very straight and thin on top, by my nape the hairs get thick and curly. It accentuates my female pattern baldness, and gets greasy and old lady looking.

Because I cannot stand things on or around my neck, I start to bobby pin my hair to my nape. At first it is hard, because there is not much hair. But this becomes easier and easier as the weeks go by. This also marks the beginning of the bobby pin invasion. There are bobby pins everywhere, in my pockets, purses, bathroom counter, bathroom floor, other people's houses, car console, work desk. I seed them this way on purpose, because I never know when one bobby pin will become overused and gapped, no longer tight. That one bobby pin can bring the whole hairdo down. So I must have them everywhere, to maintain control. I also think maybe bobby pins are capable of creating more bobby pins, if you keep them in a dark safe environment.

Other people like this stage a lot. I hear from co-workers every day "hey, did you cut your hair? No? Oh it's so cute pinned up that way!" The effect is VERY indie girl.

Cycle 5: The Pigtail
I know I have reached this phase (about five months in) because I can no longer find any bobby pins in my house. I really like having pigtails, but I feel very juvenile at work, which leads to insecurity in my work performance. I also find myself wearing slippers outside the house, not wearing makeup, drinking more, and being much more gleeful. Pigtails are the ultimate regressor. I briefly consider growing my hair long, but realize that the top of my head looks so emaciated next to the bottom, I will never be able to just wear it down. I buy a few more headbands, but cannot wear them with any regularity, because my head is misshapen and the bands hurt behind my ears.

I eventually admit to myself that a 29 yr old woman cannot wear pigtails everywhere. But this takes at least a month or two. Which is also about the time I run out of little colored rubber bands.

And then REPEAT.