Monday, December 26, 2005


There are few things that I'm good at in this world and most of them wouldn't get me payed one red, commie cent. However, if they did pay, I'm pretty sure that I could make a living off of writing friendster testimonials. See below.

Smarmie walks like giraffe, which is to say she walks tall. She's the only italian-speaking, bass-playing, Dawson's Creek-loving friend I have. I wouldn't trade that in for a pack of lies. I mean, that would be a really bad trade.

Brian is the kind of guy who would steal a large flat rock and make it into a coffee table. He's also the kind of guy who would then turn that coffee table into a nuclear submarine, complete with a pirate captain and pirate crew. The pirate nuclear sub, made out of rock, would then wreak havoc on the seven seas raping and pillaging and generally being a nuissance. Not only that, but it would bring all it's booty back to Brian. Brian is resourceful like that.

Beware, Claire. You should stop eating your hair lest you get attacked by a bare bear. You might try and run away, but you won't be able to run fast enough because all the hair in your stomach is weighing you down. Plus, bears are really fast. And the bare bear will kill you, Claire, because of this. But if you do eat your hair, at least you'll die with flair, because flair is an innate quality of Claire. Then the bare bear will drag Claire back to her lair (the bare bear's lair, not Claire's) and feed Claire to her bare bear cubs because the bare bear cares for her bare bear cubs. It's a sad affair that Claire might die at the paws of the bare bear and her bare bear cubs. All of this could be avoided if Claire heed my warning. Beware, there may be a bare bear around who needs your hair. So don't eat your hair, Claire. You should wear your hair. Wear your hair on your head not in your stomach. So, please Claire, swear that you'll beware and not eat your hair lest there's bare bear.

There's one word that describes Diego and that word is "stoned." But seriously, Diego has more charisma than Bill Clinton, and fewer sexual harassment charges. If you meet him, you'll like him. And you'll likely want to sleep with him. At least, while at Vassar, every man, woman, and child on campus wanted to sleep with him. And they probably still do.

If Erin were a part of insect anatomy, she'd be the bee's knees. I mean, the thorax is pretty cool and all, but its no knees.

Carl was once impaled by a really sharp stick. In the head. But you know what? He didn't cry. Because Carl is manly. I think we've all learned something here.

Bridget is a person one might describe as being perpetually like a bat out of hell--shrieking and aflame. I, however,am not one of those people. She may be--quite literally--the firstcold-blooded human alive, matching the air temperature with her body temperature, much to her detriment in the winter, when one can often see her broiling herself in the oven to keep warm. In the summer months, her body temperature can range from the mid-to-low eightes up to one hundred and two degrees Fahrenheit. Though the humidity can make her feel like she's well over one hundred and twenty degrees. During these months, she likes riding horses backwards whilst yodeling and eating waffles that are slathered with mayonnaise. Inexcusable behavior in most places, but completely reasonable and, in fact, encouraged in Scotland. Spring and Autumn are a wash--the air temperature off-set by the massive amounts of warm pie she consumes.

And a couple from the indomitable cat, Mr. Gussypants Finknottle:

I will fit you into a box, Bridget. And you'll like it. Why? Because boxes are fun. They are always new and exciting even when they're old and worn. And sometimes, if you're very lucky you'll find a box wherein no one can see you and then you can do things in privacy, even though you're in public. It seems this testimonial is more about me than you. But, I think in this case it's okay, because I am important and you are not. And why do I have this clear advantage? Because I am a cute, loveable, and furry cat and you are not. Your friend (until your inevitable demise by my iron paws of doom), Mr. Gussypants

Claire, my little nymph, after many months you have finally welcomed me into your bed. You have accepted my love and I have shed on you and your belongings. Is there nothing more beautiful than such an exchange? We will have a beautiful future together with many a feline-human hybrid child. And we shall name them Pookie, Horace, Lefty, Biff, Gogo, and Porky (the inevitable fat one), and they shall prance and attack Smackymouse, and hide in the-magic-box-where-no-one-can-see-them, all except for Porky, who will be too fat-and-lazy and sleep, not for the recommended 16 hours a day, but for 18, and who shall expand like unto a weather balloon until we are forced to put him on diet food, which he will eat unhappily until he is of reasonable dimensions. We have a bright future ahead of us Claire, all thanks to cocaine and peeps.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

You didn't tag me, but I'm doing it anyway, bitches!

7 songs I'm digging now (fuck eclecticism--long live pop):

Please Let that Be You (The Rentals) - Utopian moog driven pop with blissful female backing vocals and sweet, hopeful chorus.

Asthenia (Blink-182) - Blink-182? The fuck? A song by a band I never thought I would ever like. Yet, the album that this is on is pretty effing good. Power-punk with a good dose of emo and a dash of extra verve. I am also partial to the first track on it, Feeling This, but I've listened it out.

Lightworks (Che Fu) - Upbeat, soulful pop from New Zealand's #1 hip-hop/R&B performer.

My Head is in the Sun (The Rentals) - A melancholy acoustic feast off the Rental's 2nd album, Seven More Minutes. Co-written by everyone's favorite nutcase, Rivers Cuomo. More tension releasing female backing vocals.

Revelations (Santana) - Buried in a cheesey '80s latin-pop album is this instrumental gem. It's all build. Crescendo rock's roots.

The Effects (Kontrast)
- An asian hip-hop duo from New York. Hits hard, rocks harder.

Gone (Kanye West) - Best hip-hop song ever? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's the only one I wish I'd written myself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

On a happier note...

Megan Perry

It seems somewhat crass write a blog entry about this, but, frankly, I don't really know what else to do at this point. Megan Perry, a friend from college, died on Saturday. Most of you (my imaginary audience) who read this blog probably didn't know her. If you're curious about what happened, go here. For those of you who did know her and are finding out from this blog about her passing, I apologize that this is the mode in which the information is being delivered.

I will remember Megan Perry as one of the most upbeat, tireless, creative people I've ever met. Her curiosty knew no bounds. She was a kid at heart and her childlike enthusiasm and sense of wonder was balanced with a incredibly wide knowledge base of practical information--which she put to good use--and her penchant for using the word "fuck" a lot. While we drifted apart since her graduation, Megan (I may be the only person she was friends with who didn't call her Meg) had a pretty big affect on my college life. She was one of the first people I met at Vassar. During the drama BSC at freshman orientation, she stood out among the BPs as one of most friendly and quirky. We spent countless hours (literally, countless--it all became kind of a blur after that first week of 50... or 60?) in the Shiva together building and painting, skills I improved upon under her tuteladge. She's one of the major reasons I was so involved with theater at Vassar, making it interesting and fun. For me, it was never the same after she graudated. Together we dismantled door alarms and endangered our lives with the genie; we built a bar, a house, and put a prison together; we had late-night movie sessions--Tank Girl being the most memorable--with the rest of the theater crew; I watched and laughed hysterically as she, Erin, and Maria cringed in pain while snorting various possible cocaine-substitutes at late-night rehearsals for Hurlyburly; we unintentionally traded catchphrases--"with the woo" and "full of dumb"; we climbed the fire escape on Rocky; ate at the Acrop; hung out outside Cushing in the freezing cold during wee hours of the morning talking shit about student theater while she and Gabe chainsmoked; we ran at each other full tilt for big hugs. We had too many adventures and mishaps to recount or remember and that was all in a relatively short period.

While I remain stoic in the face of the ridiculousness (because that's what it is--ridiculous--and unjust) that is her death, I do miss her. To any of her family or other friends who might stumble upon this rambling, I realize what I've written is completely insufficient in summerizing the importance of Megan in this world--not just to us, but to her community, and to all of the other communities to which she's given her time and effort. I suppose it's some clue, though, that she affected me so greatly, and I wasn't nearly her closest friend; I can't even imagine the affect she's had on so many others. While many of our experiences and interactions with her may have been different, if there's one thing we probably all realize it's this--a great hug is gone.

Meg pictures:

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Brand X

This past week I re-read some comics I'd managed to slip away with during my internship at Marvel. Marvel Boy is full of wild, fucked-up, incoherent ideas courtesy of the chemical mixing-bowl that is Grant Morrison's brain. The Hex Corporation, one of those ideas, is a living corporation. In the comic it's a sentient organism that's concerned only with its own survival. What Morrison's really doing though, is taking capitalism and looking at it from a birds-eye view. For what is a corporation but a multicellular organism striving for its own survival? Corporations satisfy all of the requirements of our basic definition of life: they have metabolism, growth, reproduction, and reaction to stimuli/adaptation to environmental changes. It's food is money, which it ingests and expells in efforts to generate more money (through any number of actions--marketing initiatives, product development, providing services). A successful corporation will often grow both financially and physically at a steady rate. A new corporation may rise from an expelled cell (read: employee), who has taken with him knowledge of the original corporation's structure and strategies. He reproduces the original corporation, but may steer it in new directions and implement new ideas. And finally, corporations adapt to a changing environment--the new needs of its clientele, new technologies, etc.--by incorporating those technologies, restructuring the organization of its personel, or taking any number of other actions.

Corporations aren't the life-draining, empty caverns of despair they're often portrayed as. They are life--you could even consider them a new mutation in the development of human life, which is pretty scary, I guess. They are us.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Thursday, December 01, 2005

and yet still...

there is no snow. it is december. i feel like i'm living in portland (oregon, not maine). not that i'm complaining.

in other news, Rumsfeld apparently is a bigger asshole than we originally thought, which is to say, galactic. Rumsfeld is a galactic asshole.

and because i have nothing else to add to the conversation, i just vomited on my keyboard and now i'm typing on my keyboard through my vomit, which has chunks of half-digested ground turkey and barbeque sauce mixed with hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride, the combination of which is currently dissolving the skin at the ends of my fingertips.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving Bonus!

Thanksgiving in list form:

1. Watched some Thanksgiving football. Booooooooooo Cowboys!
2. Greeted arriving family by staying planted in front of TV set (this was due to a cat the size of Nebraska taking sleeping on my femurs... and laziness).
2-1/2. Change of plans in terms of those in attendence: Cousin Becky sick, scratched; Bobo, apparently was slated to come, but no one told me. She arrives with giant metal walking stick, which I don't recall seeing before. She looks good, but frail. She says I look very different with a beard and is delighted to see Nebraska sized cat.
3. Discussed issue of dying trees in my Uncle's neighborhood. Apparently some idiots planted trees on top of wire and burlap. The tree roots can't grow through it and they will die. Community is to vote on what to do about it (replant trees? let them die? somethings else?)
4. Ate turkey and things. Tonight's spread was less impressive than previous Thanksgivings, but no less delicious. I also managed to not eat so much as to make myself nauseated as at previous two Thanksgivings. Only fruit salad and barfday cake (in honor of my sister) for dessert. This was disappointing. No pie. What? No pie? No. No pie. Surely you jest! No. I don't. No chocolate either. Only fruit salad and barfday cake, and if you wanted, leftover asparagus from the dinner.
5. Laughing at my sister's bizarre decision making--for example, purchasing of sound system, including subwoofers 5,000,000,000,000,000 times bigger than an elephant, for her car before finishing the payments on her car. Her car now generates earthquakes and reverses time.
6. Gift giving and receiving. My sister received a bottle of beer and money, I think.
7. Blogging. Everyone is gone now. So I blog. For you, my adoring, invisible, imaginary audience.

Monday, November 21, 2005

by popular demand...

...and by "popular demand" I mean no one's request, here's some crap I've designed over the past long while...

random crap for this website:

Friday, November 11, 2005

LaVar, you know the way to a man's heart...

The Washington Post reports:

"[LaVar Arrington] addressed the [Redskin's] defense Saturday during a team meeting, thanking teammates for their support and urging them to remember their original passion for the game, when they played without compensation [in college]. He told them to forget individual gain, and disregard whether he would be starting. 'It's not about me,' Arrington said he told the players. 'It's about this team.'"

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

my photo's ate my homework

Click on the images for larger versions


Salt Flats

Arches--Delicate Arch

Zion--Emerald Pools (lower)

Zion--Angel's Landing

Bryce Canyon


Monday, November 07, 2005

It's a girl!

I have a new sister and her name is Suzanne. I guess it's kind of a miraculous conception in that my Mom was never pregnant with her. Someone was though, and my brother married that woman's offspring. I gave a toast that seemed relatively well received, and those of you who remember prom (junior and or senior) have an idea of what I may or may not have done on the dance floor during the Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now). Pre-wedding pictures are TK.

Utah was rad. Read Ducore's blog for the lowdown. Here are some pictures for your pansy asses:
Zion NP

Salt Flats (covered in an inch of water)

More TK.

Friday, October 14, 2005

An Almost Office-Free Week: Home / Pizza / =w= / Michigan


Last Friday I hit up the Chassid-run "Chinatown" bus for a ride down to my hometown: the suburban wasteland that is Silver Spring, MD (how I love it so). While home I spent some quality family time with just about everyone in my immediate and close-extended family. In preparation for my brother's wedding I went suit, shirt, tie, and belt shopping with my dad. It was probably the least painful shopping experience I've had with another person, which is expecially surprising considering what we bought was fancy and I tend to be kind of an ass about that stuff. I also managed to grab some camping supplies for Utah, and a couple of other sundries thanks to the brilliance of department stores and their acres of affordable clothing.

2 Amys

Sunday evening my family met up with Jacob and his fiance in DC to indulge in some D.O.C. pizza at 2 Amys, which apparently has been getting some rave reviews from DC area food critics. I was fairly impressed. It was classic, neapolitan style--yet-to-be sliced, dinner-plate-sized, with a paper-thin crust. We got a little experimental and tried the Santa Brigida (sauce, cheese, cherry tomatoes, arugula) and the Norcia (sauce, cheese, salami, roasted peppers, grana [a type of cheese]) along side two of our standbys, a Margherita with pepperoni and a Margherita with peppers and onions. (Yes, I realize that some of these pizzas fail to follow my rules regarding toppings. In my defence, I always say that even bad pizza can taste good and sometimes even faux-pizza can taste good too.) The crust could perhaps have been made a little crisper on the bottom. As it was it didn't stand a chance of holding up the weight of the toppings, and we had cheese, salami, and peppers sliding every which way off of the pizza. The other major drawback was a dearth of sauce (though it would have made the whole ordeal of trying to pick up a slice that much more difficult). The ingredients themselves were fresh and delicious, with the pepperoni being slightly on the sweet side, and the arugula wilting somewhat from the pizza's heat so as to adhere better to the cheese underneath it--a nice little trick. All four pizza's edge-crusts were light and puffy with a sweet, butteriness to balance out the sea salt that the D.O.C. rating requires. Overall I was quite pleased with the spread placed before us. And they have root beer! Go forth and eat good pizza DC-Metro-area dwellers!

=w=/foo fighters

Monday evening I attended what looks like will probably be my last Weezer concert of the year. After arriving late (shock horror) due mainly to my poor planning and to an enjoyable dinner with Ben and Anna, Ducore and I failed in our attempt to sneak onto the floor of the show. My jury-rigged tickets didn't quite match up with the format of the Patriot Center's tickets. Well, we still caught a good 70 minutes-or-so of Weezer's set, which included a cover of Song 2, an audience member joining the band to play acoustic guitar on Undone, and two of my favorite concert tunes: Why Bother? and Surf Wax America. It was a bummer to be stuck in seats as the energy level is never as high as it is on the floor, but they put on a pretty good show. My eardrums were then ruptured by the Foo Fighters and Dave Grohl's fits of screaming. Monkeywrench was good.


Wednesday through earlier this evening was spent in Ann Arbor, MI. Traveling to and from there was pretty awful between cancelled planes and our ride to the airport getting in a accident, but other wise it a was fairly good time. A few of my co-workers and I got a nice little tour of one of Edwards Brother's printing and binding facilities as well as a rundown of their process from when they receive finalized files from us to when they ship a book out. It was pretty interesting. I gained a new appreciation for their sales rep. Thursday night we all went out to drink and play pool at a local establishment. It seemed that everyone except for myself--boyscout that I am--got drizzunk. Well, Claire Vlach popped by later in the evening, and she was also sober. Claire seems to be doing well, by the way, and by all accounts (her's, I mean) is enjoying the urban planning program at Michigan. Please see her link in the sidebar.

Che Fu

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Yes, Ben, There is a God... and His Name is Mark Moss-Gibbs

The formerly sorry, good-for-nothing, over-paid, primadonna, 'Skins are 3-o. They're making up for all their pathetic 4th quarter losses of the past decade. Is Joe Gibbs a genius or just a good luck charm? I don't know. The fact remains that we are still atop the NFC East after a quarter of the season has been played out. The last time this happened we went to the Superbowl. I don't forsee that happening this season, but it finally looks like a distinct possibility before Gibbs' second tenure is over.

Also, 'Skins fans at the bar I was in broke into a chorus of "Hail to the Redskins" after we scored that field goal in OT. It was too weird, yet heartwarming. "Hail to the Redskins/hail victory" indeed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Curse of the Braves

The Atlanta Braves can't help but win the NL East every year. They've won it for 14 straight years now. As a point of comparison, the Yankees have only ever won the AL East 14 times in the club's history (though they've won 26 World Series), the Baltimore Orioles haven't won the division in eight years, and the Washington Senators/Nationals have only existed one season in the past 30 years. The Braves have only won one World Series title and haven't won a pennant in six years despite their division titles, but I would still consider them to be the best organization in the past two decades of baseball.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I'm only as big an idiot as the other guy

So the last two days at work were taking care of bullshit computer problems. Today I spent the morning fixing Microsoft Outlook. I cannot do anything at work without this POS program. For some reason, beginning this morning, it would freeze everytime I tried to do anything other than scroll through emails--and even doing that was dicey. I ignored Erin's advice to call those fuckers in IT, who know about as much about fixing this shit as I do. I just went to the Microsoft and Office update web pages and downloaded all the security patches and the like from the past year-and-half. It took all morning and about eight reboots to get everything working again, but by noon-thirty I at least had Outlook running in safe mode. My guess as to what caused the problem? Probably the 6500 emails in my inbox and the 7500 emails in my sent box. I'm a hoarder when it comes to useless information like when our last at getting together for a happy hour was or what the gutter margin is in a book that was printed 5 months ago. Plus I'm lazy and don't like sorting things into folders.

Then yesterday I spent a goodly amount of time force-quitting and re-opening Quark, as it froze every time I tried to open a new Quark document. Thankfully, we'll be getting InDesign installed sometime in November. So, ideally, I can forget all the crap I learned about Quark and tranfer everything I know about Acrobat, Photoshop, and Illustrator and apply it to another sweet-like-Santana-Moss Adobe program.

On a more sparkley, small-children-eating-ice-cream-on-a-summer-afternoon note, I had a meeting last night with my friend Tera about putting together a comic book sometime over the next year. We concluded that, yes, it is something we'd like to do. Then today I actually had a story idea. I'll hold off on revealing it until it is either (a) given the stamp of approval by Tera, (b) wholly rejected by Tera, (c) modified into something related, but different, or (d) am forced to reveal it via some mild form of torture, like being forced to snort habañero chili pepper, or roll around in pig vomit.

Also, Kanye West (or Roc-a-fella) took down the album from his website. Now I have to buy it. It was bound to happen at some point. There are still a few tracks up at the myspace site though.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Some of you may have noticed that I haven't been blogging very often. I've gone from two or three entries a week, to once a week, to once every 10 to 14 days. What's going on? Am I depressed? Have I lost interest in life? Are cow udders just like those hippity-hop balls you used to bounce around on when you were naught but a wee lad until one day you ran into your younger sibling and knocked her off the porch and she cracked her head wide open on the brick sidewalk below and you got a stern talking to even though it was an accident and you now hate your younger sibling for bringing such mental anguish on you when you were only four-years-old even though your younger sibling is dead because her brains spilled out of her head and were then run over by a speeding car, only the bouncy ball is attached to the cow instead of bouncing freely like an uncaged bonobo? The answer to the middle two questions, is no. I'm just busy at work. I haven't had time to muse on important things in this world, like pizza and how big a cubit is.

is good. Go and see it, motherfuckers.

'Skins rule! I can't remember the last time I was so excited about a sports related event as when I jumped up and down clapping my hands and then raising my arms in triumph after Santana Moss caught that second touchdown early Tuesday morning. The Tuna can go eat himself.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I just finished watching the four final episodes of the brilliant yet shortlived (that's just typical) television show Wonderfalls. It follows the rollercoaster life of Jaye, a philosophy major from Brown, who, completely lacking direction after graduation (sound familiar to anyone?), ends up living in a trailer park and working at a gift shop at Niagara Falls. I'm only being semi-sarcastic when I write "rollercoaster life," because while she's driving her promising life into the ground, inanimate object with faces--mostly animal faces--start talking to her. Thinking that maybe if she listens to them, they may stop, she starts doing what they tell her to. Misadventures ensue resulting in, among other things, existential crises, smuggling a Canadian across the US-Canada border, stealing endagered species, and romance.

As some of you who have talked with me recently about movies know, I love romantic comedies (it's a recent revelation). While I may appear to be emotionally stunted (or dead) on the outside, my gooey innards are collectively a hopeless romantic. The romance in Wonderfalls is the kind that Yasmin dislikes so much--it's so perfect, that after bearing witness to it, it makes you feel empty because you know that your romance and love will never be as true and fulfilling as it is for these fictional characters. I love that stuff though. (Does that make me gay?) Watching it always makes me want to see more afterwards. Maybe it's because that while I watch it, I project myself onto the characters and am happy like I imagine they are--that in some way I love Jaye just as Eric does and I love Eric just as Jaye does (that really would make me gay, wouldn't it...)--and I just want to recapture that feeling. Or, I suppose it could just be my repressed self getting it's ya-ya's out through a third party. Or, as Ducore would say, it may be some third thing (or, really, any other numbered thing). Any way you look at it though, I have an urge to watch more people fall in love in ever more clever, endearing, and quirky ways. And I'm comfortable with that.

Sorry if this posts scares anyone. The night brings out the truth.

Monday, September 05, 2005

West on the South

Before I get into this, I think it's only fair to mention that I really haven't been paying much attention at all to the situation in New Orleans. I'm only aware of the generalities of it through newspaper headlines, Joel Achenbach's blog, and the contents of a smattering of newpaper articles from the Washington Post. That said, I think the way our government has handled the situation is just pathetic. And I don't just mean the Bush administration. I mean every level of government. Considering the scale of the catastrophe that occurred in New Orleans, the fact that it took essentially three days for any relief from our government to arrive leaves me with no confidence in our government to achieve anything competently. That is a complete failure. In an opinion article, Eugene Robinson points out that "an administration that tells us a terrorist strike is inevitable should have had in place a plan for evacuating a major American city." Apparently New Orleans was a catastrophe waiting to happen that should have already been planned for anyway.

On a slightly more lighthearted note, for those of you who missed Kanye West's rant about race and the situation in New Orleans on NBC the other day, you can find a transcript of it here. Incoherent as he may be, the man is right when he's right. Also, if you hit up his website, you can stream the entirety of his new album. I very much enjoy it.

* * *

Those going to the Weezer/Foo Fighters show, I'm working on a way to "procure" general admission tickets to replace our ones for seats. E-mail me for details.

Also, I saw the Washington Social Club in concert for the 2nd time on Friday. They're a DC based band and are playing a couple of shows in the DC area in the coming weeks. They play highly danceable rock music for the masses. They've got a couple of Vassar grads in the band--one of whom is a very cute blond bass player, who is worth going to see even if you don't like dancing or rocking out.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

whassup, homie?

For those of you frothing at the mouth (or other orafice) for another ho-hum blog post from yours truly, froth no longer!

A momentus occassion has occurred here in good ol' Crown Heights--we finally have our third roommate installed and she is Sarah Thomas. I look forward to re-attaching myself to her hip. As she noted this evening, sometime in these surrounding days, will be or have been our five year anniversary of heathen friendship. So far our Brooklyn exploits have brought us to the wonderful world of pizza (twice in two nights!) and cleaning up kitty crap and watery vomit out of a cat carrier. These among other things. Catsby hates the box. But she had her powers of immunity upped with a booster shot of something. I don't recall exactly what it was, but it was very expensive.

In other news, I got a ticket or two to go see Weezer and the Foo Fighters in Fairfax, VA on October 10th. So, it looks like I'll be taking a little extended weekend from the 8th to the 11th.

Other stuff has happened in the past couple of weeks, but that's the fun stuff. At least for me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Pizza-Fest '05

This past weekend I went on a self-guided pizza tour with my dad and my cousin as part of my dad's birthday visit to New York. We hit up three pizza joints--Di Fara, Joe's, and Patsy's--as well as Cones, everyone's favorite gellateria. What follows is a review of the pizza eating extraveganza.

After meeting up at the 7th Ave Q train stop, my dad, Jeremy, and I took the subway down to Avenue J.
Around 12:30 we arrived at Di Fara, where Domenico DeMarco was already hard at work making pizza. Lucky for us the line was only a couple of people long, so the wait for our slices was maybe fifteen minutes (a far cry from the hour I spent waiting the last time). I downed a slice of regular and a slice of pepperoni with an IBC root beer while my dad and Jeremy each took on a slice of regular and pepperoni, respectively. While the crust was so thin that it practically disintigrated under the weight of the combination of cheeses, and the pizza was so hot from the oven, it was difficult to keep the cheese from sliding off of the slices, the flavor was outstanding--their pepperoni is still the best I've ever had. The three cheeses--buffalo mozzarella, fior di latte (regular mozzarella made from cow's milk, which according to Italian regulations cannot be called mozzarella), and parmesean--were all freshly sliced and grated onto the pizza as it was being made.

From there we made an attempt to patronize Una Pizza Napoletana, but it was closed. So we hit up our backup--Joe's Pizza, which is the quintessential New York slice--big and greasy,
with a crispy thin crust. As always, though, the edge crust was very dry. It seems that in order to cook the underside to perfection, the edge suffers.

After Joe's we took a break from our pizza consumption for a trip to Cones where we relaxed at a table in the air conditioning savoring our chosen sorbet or gelatto flavors. (I recommend the dulce de leche gelatto and the blackberry sorbet.)

Our last stop, after a bit of confusion as to its location, was the original Patsy's on 118th and 1st. We split a pizza with basil.
Apparently at this Patsy's (the original, established in 1933), the fresh mozzarella is an extra three bucks. We settled for the aged (what gives pizza its yellow-ish color), which was nice and evenly distributed. The crust, like that at Di Fara, was incredibly thin and nicely charred, but the grease soaked through leaving it a little on the limp side. All in all though, not bad. Though the pizza's I've had at the Patsy's on University and 11th are better. They always use fresh mozzarella, and instead of baking the basil on the pizza, they use uncooked leaves, which are more potent.

A poll taken at the end declared Di Fara the best pizza of the day--incredibly flavorful, with it's fresh ingredients. And, of course, the experience of watching DeMarco making the pies is unlike any other. It's pizza with character.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

For the benefit of Yasmin...

... more cat pictures! Yaaaaaaaaay!

...I took Catsby to the vet today. Apparently he's a she, which is to say the vet who originally examined her, didn't do a stellar job (though his respiratory problem seems to be gone). She may have ringworm though, which is bad because ringworm is contageous... on the bright side, that would explain why she's losing hair from her ears and tail. Also on the bright side, she tested negative for FIV and feline leukemia.... And! she's void of earmites! Hooray!

This is my life now.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ricky Williams is Flipper.

RunningbackRicky Williams is returning to the Miami Dolphins. According to the Washington Post, he issued an apology to his teammates. What did they have to say in reply? Defensive tackle Larry Chester did what we all would do in that situation and compared himself to God: "He owed us an apology.... He did that. If God can forgive me every day for the things I've done and will possibly do, then how could I possibly hold a grudge or have any animosity toward him as far as his decisions?"

Larry's motto? "If God can do it, so can I."

Monday, July 25, 2005

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Friday, July 22, 2005

Kitty on my foot and I want to touch it.

Today I got a kitten.

Timmy--Yasmin's friend's cousin (I think he's a cousin)--found three kittens crawling out of a shoebox on a neighbor's doorstep. This was one of them. He has a bit of a resperatory infection and an eye infection. He's only one month old and can pretty much fit in the palm of your hand.

So far the names I'm considering are Cation (a positively charged ion) and Cataracts. I'm looking pretty exclusively at names with "cat" in them, as I'm probably going to end up just calling him Cat anyway. Suggestions?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Irrational hatred of everything

Sometimes in the morning, I hate you. I also hate brushing my teeth; I hate figuring out what shirt to wear; I hate everything. However, what I hate most of all are the fucking commuters that ride the train with me. When I get to the train station, oftentimes the platform is virtually empty, with the exception of a handful of bleary eyed, quiet travelers staring into the void of the train tunnel. Then, as soon as we can see that red speck of light, that beacon of hope off in the distance that is the illuminated number on the front of a 4 or 5 train, the goddamn 2 train screeches to a halt on the other side of the platform, opens its doors, and floods the concrete dock with people transferring, pushing themselves to the edge of the platform in front of me just in time for them to claim a prime spot to enter the wooshing-open doors of my Manhattan-bound express. I am then forced to stand for the next half hour holding onto a pole that no doubt was most recently touched by the guy who doesn't wash his hands after taking his morning dump or the lady who compulsively rubs her conjunctivitis-infected eye.

Fucking assholes.

I hate you all. . . sometimes in the morning.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Di Fara Pizza, slower than a turtle

On Saturday I finally checked off the last of the famed New York pizzerias on my list. Pizza at Di Fara is hand crafted under the rule of Dominick DeMarco (or Dom as he's known by the regulars), who, himself, is an authentic slice of Italy. Watching him make pizza is a riveting, zen-like experience. Each pizza is painstakingly constructed solely by Dom (and has been for over 40 years), from the tossing of the dough, the swirling of the sauce, and the grating and spreading of three cheeses, to the final addition of olive oil and pepperoni (or whatever your topping of preference happens to be). He nicely rounds it all off by bare-handing the pizzas out of the oven. And he does all of this at the speed of a three-toed sloth. Waits up to two hours long are apparently not an unusual occurence.

Marty, Tera, Dave Hersch, and I split a half plain/half pepperoni pie. The pizza itself was quite good, though not the best I've had since my tour of New York pizzerias began. The pepperoni, though, may be the best I've ever had--sliced thick and with a mild kick to it. The pizza's faults were a too-heavy cheese-to-sauce ratio and an uneven crust. However, what it lacked in flavor (which I'd like to stress is not a lot) it made up for in its artful creation.

As a bonus they had bottles of IBC root beer stocked in the fridge.

Of all the famed pizzerias in the city only Patsy's on 118th and Di Fara sell individual slices. If I had to choose one place to go out of my way to get a slice (and believe me they are both well out of my way), it would be Di Fara, as you'll always get a fresh slice... because Dom makes 'em so slowly.

As for a whole fresh pie? It depends on the day. Totonno's is the most consistent pizza in the city. The crust is always perfectly baked and the sauce-to-cheese ratio that barely fluctuates. However it lacks the robustness of flavor that you'll find in a pizza from Patsy's or Grimaldi's. Meanwhile, Una Pizza Napoeltana is the place to go if you want authentic Neopolitan pizza, though Pepperoncino's and No. 28 are a very close second and third, respectively. Franny's is the only place worth visiting for organic pizza. And you can't beat the value of a pizza from La Villa (as long as you hold off on their D.O.C. pizza, with its imported ingredients and subsequent ballooned price), which also makes an incredible pie. Any given day, any one of these fine establishments could slice up the best pizza in the city. I just hope I'm there to eat some of it when it's served...

My visit to Di Fara by no means signals the end of my pizza outings or my posting pizza reviews on this blog. There will always be new pizzerias to visit and old ones to re-visit. If anyone's interested in dropping by the city for a pie, let me know. I'd be happy to join you.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Hot Dog! Pizza, Pizza.

I'm a little behind, but here's a weekend re-cap with a little commentary and history thrown in...

If indigestion and nausea are symptons of a good weekend, then I had a great time these last few days.

Friday, I finally got to hang out with Brendan for the first time in ages. We hit up a Venezuelan arepa place for dinner. Arepa's are kind of a hot pocket/pita thing made of cornmeal and then filled with, well, any number of delicious mixtures of meats and veggies. We then topped it off with a healthy dose of live music courtesy of Casey Holford and Chris Maher at the Sidewalk Cafe. Yasmin and her friend Abby were already there when we arrived, and Craig and Cecilia dropped by a little while later.

Chris Fuckin' Maher is a kid I went to college with. He's apparently well known in some circles for his involvement in the musical movement called anti-folk, which is kind of folk music with a punk bent. I'm a fan. It's kind of weird sharing music you know and like to your friends. I always find myself kind of nervous about it. I mean, what if they hate it? They are are judging you. Like recently, I made a mix cd for my cousin who runs a record company. Whenever we talk about music inevitably, at some point, Weezer gets mentioned. (For god's sake, how could I not?) My cousin, who I don't think has really paid much attention to pop music in the past 15 to 20 years has no idea who they are, nor does he know anything about hip-hop. His record company deals largely with jazz, classical, and world music, though he has signed some more mainstream stuff like Wilco and the Magnetic Fields. Needless to say, he's a smart guy who has strong opinions about nearly everything (he's quite fond of superlatives). So, I made him a little sampler of Weezer, hip-hop (Talib Kweli, Blackalicious, Madvillain, Kanye, and Che Fu) and (because he actually brought them up) Green Day. Hopefully he'll like at least some of it. If not, well, we'll probably talk about music a little less often.

... but I digress

Saturday Emiko arrived back from Vermont earlier than expected, which is to say she arrived home on Friday, shuffling around my plans somewhat. We ended up strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge with Liz, Kevin (Liz's fiance), and Foxy Berger and hitting up Grimaldi's for pizza. Patsy Grimaldi, the proprietor of said pizzeria, is a relative of the same Patsy of Patsy's Pizza fame (which itself was established in Harlem in the late '20s, I believe) and, according to the lovely placemats, from the age of 10 was working the tables and making the pizza there. At some point he established Grimaldi's, which has been vying for the title of best pizza in New York ever since. I've read some reviews that have called it the best. I've also read some that say while it's truly fantastic, they undercook the crust when it's crowded, which is often. The latter was the case in our visit. Despite the flaccid crust, the pizza was top quality--fresh cheese and sauce and some lovely pepperoni. Plus they serve root beer. Post pizza we headed over to Jacques Torres Chocolate Haven, which is just a couple of blocks away, for a hit of cocoa and caramel. For those more inclined for some relief from the heat, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is just down the street from Grimaldi's.

Sunday brought more of the same, only different. Everyone minus Foxy headed down to Coney Island for more adventure with pizza. We patronized the original Totonno's pizza parlor, where we split a half plain, half garlic pizza. I keep forgetting that basil is an extra on their pizzas. Even sans the basil, though, Totonno's is still exceptional. Their crust is always perfectly crisp, their sauce tangy, and their mozzerella fresh. And they too serve root beer, which neither of the Totonno's in Manhattan does. Other highlights of the day (in reverse chronological order, just because...) included the most horrifying display of a wet t-shirted woman I've ever seen. As I said at the time, the nipples were the size of dinner plates--you could've eaten a sirloin off of them; eating hot dogs from the original Nathan's; riding the Coney Island's famous Cyclone rollercoaster; watching a freakshow; and visiting a museum that had a penny peepshow of an elephant being electrocuted. The last on that list is the winner of the "Most Disturbing Thing Seen at Coney Island on a Sunday in July" award, though the rollercoaster made me more nauseated.

And to bring us up to date, the New York Philharmonic played a free concert last night. I was there. Where were you?

Saturday, July 02, 2005

CC: Celf-Conscious

Disclaimer: I started writing this blog before Ducore wrote his self-blog analysis. I realize the structure of this entry is pretty much the same as his. What can I say? I'm a hack.

So, I've been reading other people's blogs (the one's listed in the sidebar and some others) and I can't help but compare my own their's. I find that the most compelling of these blogs contain basically three things (a) interesting subjects (b) analysis of those interesting subjects (c) humor. Looking back on my own writing, I can see the a fairly large portion of it is just a recapping of events without much analysis of those events. I am a lazy blog writer. While this may be fine for those of you who are just interested in reading about my minor triumphs and failures, it irks me. I don't like to consider myself a passive thinker (which is a contradiction), but apparently I am, or at least appear to be most of the time. I think in general, I'm actually a reactionary thinker. My mind stays dormant until I've been posed a question or problem to solve. I don't normally come up with the questions myself.

Perhaps part of this problem I have with this blog is that I'm just trying to cram too many events into one entry and I'm not willing to spend enough time on each event individually in order to give them the amount of consideration it would take to make the event actually read as something interesting instead of just as a statement of fact. In the future, I'll try and stick to fewer topics and try and put a little more effort into making them more compelling reads.

On another subject, I'll be in Maryland from Sunday evening through Tuesday evening. That's a fact.

Monday, June 27, 2005


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is a good book. It is the only book I've read since moving to New York that has made me miss my subway stop. The author starts a lot of sentences with "and," which elementary school teachers would have you believe is a bad thing, but apparently it makes for rather compelling reading. It's part murder mystery, part family drama, and part adventure. The fact that it's told from the perspective of an autistic kid only makes it more fascinating.

I'm also reading Ender's Shadow, which is a pretty good book. Though, it rehashes a little bit too much of Ender's Game, and is slightly less believable, which for a sci-fi book might normally be considered a good thing, but I'm talking about contextual verisimilitude here. Even within the construct of the narrative, it's hard to believe a 4- year-old has the capability to reason at the level that Bean, the main character, does. Of course, other characters in the story also have a hard time believing it. Whatever. It's still a fun read.

The 3rd thing I'm reading now is Flight, vol. 2 which is an anthology put out by Image Comics. It's the most impressive collection of short comics stories I've come across. There's no denying the quality is uneven--which will happen when you have 20-30 different creators working in one volume--but even the less impressive work is still pretty top notch alternative (by which I mean not superhero) comics. And it looks like it will be published regularly. So, bonus!

Last on my list of reviews is Batman Begins. I've seen it twice now and had some time to think on it. My initial reaction of it being just as good as the first Tim Burton Batman still stands. Christopher Nolan managed to hold the same dark tone as the Burton movies with none of the cartoonishness. I appreciate his respect for the original material as well. The cast put in solid performances all around (yes, even the much talked about and maligned Katie Holmes, who did about as much as I thought she could given her character).

I do have a number of bones to pick with the film though. The way that the fight scenes were filmed I felt was too confusing--the edits were too quick and the shots were too close up--which made it frustrating to watch, as it was difficult to follow the action. Bruce Wayne's dad was too perfect a person. He was depicted as having no flaws. He was a caring father, a loving husband, a doctor, who continued to work despite his billion dollar plus worth, and a philanthropist. And that's it. And he road the subway amongst the plebes with his family to the opera, despite his immense wealth. He had no vices. What a bastard. They also crammed in too many villains (though their connection was well orchestrated), and as a result wasted potentially good characters in Falcone, the mob boss, and in the Scarecrow who both ended up as just pawns.

Of course, the movie also had the coolest scene of all the Batman films, when Batman takes out a bunch of hired guns at the shipyards. It almost all happens off-camera and it is spectacular. I give it a B+... ***1/2... 8.5/10... yet, still, both thumbs up...

Friday, June 17, 2005

Job-y McJob Part II

Yesterday I was promoted. I'm an associate now. Hoo-ha! The job's basically the same, but my ancillary responsibilities will be a little different. Plus I get to boss around some invisible monkeys. They're doing all my typing from now on.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Job-y McJob: Part I

So, I was offerred a job at Random House in their children's books division. The job title was print production associate, which sounds a lot like the job I have now. After a second, awkward and generally unpleasant interview session I decided the job wasn't for me and they decided I wasn't right for the job. What did I learn from the experience? Well, jobs with the same title and description are not necessarily the same or even very similar; people and environment matter a lot; and money, no matter how much I don't want to matter, actually does. I'm sure there are other life lessons here, but frankly I'd rather not think about the whole thing any more.

In other news, I went to the Yankees game last night and watched Mike Mussina pitch a beautiful complete game and shutout from the Time-Warner suite (thanks to my cousins). I hate the Yankees, but I love Mussina. And it warmed my heart to hear the crowd yelling "Moose" at him.

I also got a sneak peak at the upcoming live Wilco album, which is really quite good. They rock a lot harder live--their energy is far more apparent than on their albums.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Shit meets Fan, Spoon-ing it up, and what it was made into...

Yes, things are coming to a head here. I can't really say anything specific yet, but come Monday, it seems, new information will come to light and there'll be some major decision-making to be had.

In other news, I've contracted the plague... and by plague, I mean a cold. Also, I saw Spoon play at Webster Hall. Spoon is good. The girl in front of us who could not contain her joy was probably more entertaining though. Her joy manifested itself in the form of convulsions of waddling, clapping, and lots of wrist movement. It was pretty spastic and clearly involuntary. Cheek does a good impression. For the billions of people on this planet who missed it, I pity you.

Also, Weezer's playing a show on Long Island in July. Tickets go on sale on 6/11. They're about $30 a pop. Their new album still is mostly a piece of shite, but I'm still going. I'm planning on buying a couple tickets, but can't afford a mass purchase at this point. It's an arena show, so tickets hopefully won't sell out as quickly as the Roseland shows. In my past experiences, their arena shows are their best.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Revenge of the Sith

Last night I attended the 7pm digital projection screening of Revenge of the Sith at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan. It's one of the few large and somewhat ornate movie houses left in the country. (Of course, it was knocked down and rebuilt in the 60's, so it's not the same as it was in its splendiferious original form, but it's got a very nice lobby and a very big screen.) If you haven't seen the movie and are planning to, you probably don't want to read the rest of this post.

As a summer blockbuster, the movie was alright. It has some sweet lightsaber duels, amazing special effects, and beautiful cinematography. As a Star Wars fan, though, it only left me angry. The script was atrocious. Lucas does not have a tin ear for dialogue. He is deaf. He couldn't possibly have any idea what his characters are saying. If he did, he would have demanded someone rewrite his screenplay. So the characters remained flat and the romance dialogue laughable. The editing was awkward at times too. Perhaps the worst offense was the contradictions inherent in Yoda's character, who we all remember from the first trilogy as being a zen master of sorts. He was the ultimate representation of mind over matter (as evidenced when he levitates the X-Wing in Empire). Now he's been reduced to a super-bouncey-ball with a 'tude. Vader is now Frankenstein's monster and 3PO and R2 are props. With the exception of Ian McDiarmid and Ewan McGregor, the acting in this movie is also pathetic. Padme might as well have been played by a piece of toast. It would have been just as believable a performance. Though, to her credit she was given the worst collection of lines I can recall hearing coming from a single character.

On the bright side, at least I understand why Anakin turned to the dark side. His motivation is almost believable, even if Christiensen's performance is not. The last exchange between him and Obi-wan was almost as stirring as Luke's and Vader's from Empire... until it was ruined with a the trite line, "Noooooooooo!" added to the script. As if we didn't know that Anakin/Vader was in anguish already.

Perhaps it was unrealistic to hope for a movie that redeemed the previous two pieces of schlock, but it didn't seem unfair.

The world seems intent on destroying my childhood and adolescence. First Weezer, and now George Lucas. Soon I'm sure I'll discover that pizza is actually a species of funghi that is now endangered due to my over-consumption of its deliciousness. I'll only have myself to blame for that one.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Brunettes

This past weekend I went to two (!) concerts. Both of them featured the Brunettes prominently in the line-up, in that they were in the line-up. This is the band that opened up for the Shins a few weeks back. They're a boy-girl band from New Zealand with a glockenspiel, wind section, and castinets (there's also a slide guitar in there somewhere). I think they may be my new favorite band, though their recordings suffer from lo-fi production, which doesn't really compliment their complex instrumentation. Their live show however, is phenomenal. Not only do they play great music, but their constantly switching between instruments results in a pretty manic performance. At one point, the female vocalist was singing, playing the keyboards with her left hand and the glockenspiel with her right. How hot is that? I heart them. Sadly, though, they have returned to Auckland perhaps never to be seen on the east coast again. Hope is alive, however. Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley was at their fairwell show on Monday (they'd just finished a tour opening for Rilo Kiley), which means she is a fan and perhaps will ask them to be touring mates again. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Public Nuisance

The way the weather's been all week, you'd think we were in Scotland or something. It's been in the low 50's and rainy. It's fucking May for Pete's sake. Where's the warm? As for the rain, all of you fuckers with umbrellas need to go buy raincoats. If I have to dodge out of the way of one more goddamn umbrella, I swear I'm going to flip my shit and kill all of you with the bluntest object I can find. In a crowded city, these contraptions with their pointy rods sticking out every which way, are about as safe as plutonium in the hands of a two-year-old. Granted, I'm one of the few lucky enough (that's sarcasm) to be eye-level with just about every umbrella held aloft in this city, and therefore one of the few consistently trying to avoid being maimed or blinded by them, but I still don't see why others can't show a little more courtesy. Especially given the fact that the skyscrapers create wind tunnels, destroying umbrellas left and right, you'd think that most people surely would tire of fighting with these things and just suck it up and buy a coat with a hood. But no--they insist on endangering the health of those of us who's heads peak in the five-foot-eleven to six-foot-three range.

You're all a bunch of bastards.

In other news, I had the best hot chocolate ever today. As I told Sheena, if God were a drink, he would be this one. At $4, it's still almost a bargain. Thank you City Bakery (18th St. between 5th and 6th).

Friday, May 20, 2005

my posts

So, I re-read my last post and, jesus!, is it awful. This summary of events business leads to a pile of trash in terms of writing. In the future I'll try focusing my efforts elsewhere, like calling my writing trash, pizza, and comic books. Speaking of which, I learned recently that Ziff-Davis, the well respected publisher of Computer Gaming World, PC Magazine, and our very own Sheena Mohan's CIO Insight, published G.I. Joe comics. For some examples go here, here, and here. Apparently soldiers in the 50's were happy-go-lucky guys with broad smiles and babies, who liked nothing better than to kick Koreans in the head.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I hate =w= fans and other statements

So last week brought both a new Weezer album and two Weezer concerts. The concerts were both totally rad. At the first one, Sarah, Corinne, and I worked our way up to about two or three people away from the front--only 15 feet away from both Rivers and Scott! There was a fair amount of shoving and squeezing, but it was so worth it. Even the jackass who kept leaning on my neck and resting his elbow on my head couldn't bring the evening down. The second evening was more relaxed. Smarmie, Marty, Tera, and I watched from about midway back (which at the Roseland is still pretty damn close). Rivers was more into it and their set was generally more lively. My Name is Jonas and the Good Life were the highlights of both evenings for me.

Weezer fans though, have taken a turn for the worse. While there were still some clearly, old school, bookish, nerdy types, there were a huge number of obnoxious frat-boys. These guys hurled obscenities at the opener, Ringside, who were really a pretty decent dance-rock outfit. They hardly deserved the You suck!'s and the Get the fuck off the stage!'s that they received. The guys standing next to us smoked a ton of pot smoking before the show--so much so that one of them passed out and had to be carried off. What the hell happened to the quirky, D&D playing, comic book reading, four-eyed kids? A polo shirt with a popped collar is not becoming of a Weezer fan and neither is passing out before a show due to too much pot.

The weekend brought my parents to town for my cousin's graduation. It was good to see my parents (if you're reading this, mom and dad, that's a true statement). We had milkshakes and talked about life in general (speaking of which, regarding my job, there may be news about it in early June... I have a meeting). Then in the evening there was a dinner celebration in honor of my cousin's graduation from business school. Most of the extended family was there. The food was solid. I ate the monkfish (the most disgusting sea creature ever).

Sunday brought more family time with a brunch at my other cousin's place. We discussed the Chinatown buses run by the chassids, Utah, and college. I then bought futbol socks. The afternoon was spent watching a Light at the Piazza, a show at the Lincoln Center. I recommend it to all of those who like musicals and those who love a great cohesive design. In the evening I met up with Liz, Foxy, and Claire for a Sushi dinner on the lower east side. Claire and I then headed down to Park Slope for a preview of her and Sheena's new apartment, which looks like will be a great place for them. There's an actual kitchen. I look forward to many a meal there.

Those living in New York and love their fish'n'chips should hit up the Chip Shop on 5th Ave and 6th St. They also serve the classic deep fried Mars bars (as well as slightly less traditional fried peanut butter cups and snickers bars) As a bonus it's just across the street from the Superhero Supply Store (the McSweeney's/826 NYC Brooklyn homebase). Props to Liz for suggesting meeting there.

There were a few hours of futbol on Saturday and Tuesday. I played mostly like an epileptic (sorry Sarah, it's the best description I could come up with).

Then today after work I went to a Palgrave happy hour where I, along with a select few other Palgravians, downed an Irish Car Bomb.

Also, Revenge of the Sith comes out tomorrow at midnight. Cursory reviews make it sound promising. I am cautiously optimistic. Brendan if you're reading this, you will have final say as to whether I will go and see it or not. If it gets your okay, I will go. Keep in mind, if you okay it and it sucks monkey balls, I will be very angry at you.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

one more for old time's sake

Chris Ballew
Lead vocals and guitbass from the Presidents of the USA--his site has a wide variety of stuff from pop rock to very experimental.

The Elected

More stuff from bands with members including Daniel Brummel. This is more introspective, down-tempo, electro-folk type stuff. Kwality.

Chris Maher

A former schoolmate of mine and one of the founders of the anti-folk movement. Acoustic guitar goodness.

Friday, May 06, 2005

mixed nuts

the stypod
Stylus Magazine's free download page. Updated regularly generally with a theme. See the side bar of music blogs for a metric shit ton of music sites (lots of free downloads).

A blogger page. Posts "six-packs" of music. Linked from the stypod's list of music blogs.

Daniel Brummel
Down-tempo; piano; pub music. Former bassist in Ozma, current member of Yes Dear.

I heard Weezer's new album this morning. I'll give you a quick run down of my thoughts. It's a step up in songwriting and musicianship from Maladroit (which isn't saying much). It lacks the immediacy and energy of their first two albums. Some of the lyrics are pretty generic (specifically Beverly Hills, We are All on Drugs, My Best Friend, and well... most of the album). Rivers pretty much stays in the same vocal range as the Green album and Maladroit, and much of the album also is the same intesity, tempo, and volume. Almost all of the songs have the catchy melody and sing-a-long chorus that we've come to expect from them. Overall, I think it's a pretty decent pop album, but only a mediocre Weezer album. The highlights for me include Hold Me, Peace, and Perfect Situation. Look for it in stores on May 10th. They were streaming the whole album on their myspace site (which is how I listened to it), but last I checked that site was down.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Because I can't talk for more than two minutes without mentioning this goddamn band, here is where you can find some wicked weezer demos and b-sides:
You have to click on media, then audio, then mp3 (this page isn't exactly legal, but it appears to be sanctioned by the band, as it's linked from the offical site).

I love the kitchen tapes: Thief You've Taken All that was Me, Paperface, and Lets Sew Our Pants Together are vintage blue album style tracks.

Later highlights include Lover in the Snow, Wanda (originally slated to be on the Angus soundtrack, but later replaced with You Gave Your Love to Me Softly), and the Songs from the Black Hole, which was a concept album scraped in favor of Pinkerton.

bon appetit.

three more.

Imperial Teen
A boy-girl band with penchant for making amazing a-sides.

Matt Sharp
Dreamy acoustic-ness from Weezer's original bassist.

Mindless Self-Indulgence

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Music week!

This week I'll be posting as many links as I can to awesome music.

Lyrics Born--some west coast hip-hop for your pleasure. Funky.

The Brunettes--New Zealand pop-rock. They opened for the Shins on their recent US tour. They are way awesome. Just click on a song title.

Spoon. Just listen.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Beer Pong

On Saturday I played beer pong for the first time. It's an odd game. Ostensibly, the goal is to get drunk. However, winning means you drink less. I find this system of playing counterintuative, but that's how the game goes.

Regardless, I lost my first and only game. To be fair, we were winning by three cups and then my teammate Ducore was punched in the mouth. It threw off our zen. So he was bleeding and I was green (metaphorically speaking). Given those circumstances I think the outcome was inevitable. But in the end we did only lose by one cup and that was after the opposing team canceled our potential winning throw by sinking a return shot.

All in all it was a good party. At least as far as parties go, it was probably one of the more enjoyable I can remember attending. It's probably safe to say, though, that Parker cannot (remember attending).

A lot of other stuff went on this weekend, but it's late and I don't feel like writing about it.

Anyway, happy Passover.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Giant Roaches Eat My Dirty Socks

We've got a bug infestation. Our roach motels are full. There are no vacancies. As a result, we have a number of nomad roaches bumming around our kitchen at night. I do not fear roaches. As long as they don't infiltrate our food supplies, I think I can live in relative harmony with them. We seem to have come to some understanding. They can hang out in our dirty dishes while the lights are off, but they must be out of sight while the lights are on. Hanging out in our clean dishes is a no-no. Running around our countertops is verboten. In fact, they are not allowed anywhere that is visible if it is also clean. They are also not allowed to be out in groups of more than five at a time. These rules may seem a little fascist, but considering the alternative for them--being bludgeoned to death with a large blunt object--it's very reasonable.

More to the point, and by that I mean "on a completely different subject," I think Superman might be gay. This, frankly, would not surprise me. While I'm sure there are plenty of heterosexual men who love running around in a bright blue unitard, red cape, and with their underwear on the outside of their pants (or rather, legs of their unitard), it takes a certain kind of man to do it with such panache. And that kind of man is (probably) gay.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Welcome Home

This weekend brought soccer, symphony, and Smarmie, who made her triumphant return from Hawai'i in high fashion... well, looking for high fashion.


Friday evening I met up with Liz and Smarmie for a pizza (what else would you expect?) dinner at John's Pizzeria in midtown. When the waiter asked what we'd like to drink, Smarmie ordered two pizzas. When the waiter finally understood that we didn't not want our pizzas liquified, but rather, round, and sliced in triangular shaped pieces, our he went on his merry. The pizza itself was pretty decent. Their crust could've used a extra charring. It lacked the body to withstand the weight of a plain cheese pizza, let alone a pizza with tomato and bell peppers.

Post-meal, we parted ways. Smarmie and Liz, I believe, went on a fruitless journey to CBGB's, while I had a very fruitful trek up to the Lincoln Center for a concert by the New York Symphony courtesy of my Aunt Ginger. While I'm no connoisseur of classical music, I especially enjoyed the drama of the first piece and the last movement of the second piece. There was a quiet-loud structure that reminded me a little of the Pixies and Weezer's first two albums.

Saturday we three and Emiko met up at H&M. After a relatively quick shopping trip (45 minutes?) We had an excellent meal at Japanese restaurant on 55th. Emiko ordered enough food to feed all the starving children in Africa. I bet her the price of her meal that she couldn't finish it. She got a free meal. I, however, at least enjoyed mine. To top it off we stopped off at the Teuscher store on 50th. Tastey, tastey chocolate was consumed. Emiko still did not boot. Smarmie was then carried off to Larchmont and Emiko, Liz, and I went back to Brooklyn to watch the Incredibles but watched Bend it Like Beckham instead.

Sunday was all about kicking round objects. The afternoon brought three hours of soccer. The last game I played in was populated mostly by West Indians. Play was only marred by a couple of unforgiving players barging into an area of sunbathers. A shouting match ensued, but no blood was drawn. In the evening I headed over to Williamsburg to play kickball with my co-worker and about a billion driz-unk hipsters. Play was only marred by a couple of pseudo-hippies banging on bongos in the middle of the field.

All in all, this entry is a lot less interesting than I thought it would be. For your sake, next time I'll try and include more lies and innuendo.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Baby steps...

Other portions of the Democrats' agenda targeted their progressive base. With the domestic partners bill, they gave unmarried partners, including gay couples, the right to make health decisions for each other. And they expanded the state's definition of hate crime laws to include crimes motivated by the victim's sexual orientation.

Go Maryland State Legislature! Maybe twenty years from now gays will have the same marriage rights as, uh... straights?

Also, if you haven't heard Ratatat's song Seventeen Years, please go forth now and discover its brilliance.

Spamalot! this evening.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Michelob Ultra

For those of you that ride the New York subways, you may have noticed the Michelob posters plastering the subway cars squishy innards. They depict sexy people doing strenuous leisure activities like mountain biking, tae bo, and swimming (the person in this one is doing the ever challenging butterfly stroke, replete with racers goggles and swim cap in what looks like a lake). Imposed in front of the person doing the activity is a close up of this person, skin coated in a sexy sheen of sweat (presumably after completing their workout), muscles ever so slightly flexed, and dramatically lit. The catch phrase is "This is your beer." The beer is Michelob Ultra, which has a low-carbohydrate content.

Now sex has been used as a device to sell beer (and everything else) for years, as have sports (watch any football game). If you make a product look sexy, people apparently will buy more of it. However, these ads seem to imply that drinking goes along with mountain biking, swimming in lakes, or tae bo. That the people who do these activities drink on a regular basis and possibly have alcohol surging through them while working out. The ad makes it look like an energy drink. They really seem like a cheap trick to make people who are already neurotic about their weight to believe that they too can be a sexy, athletic adventurer if they would only drink this beer.

This whole 'low-carb' fad drives me nuts. Large corporations are capitalizing on our nation's ignorance. (Independent businesses are too. What the hell is a 'low-carb' bagel made out of?) America, drinking 'low-carb' beer will not increase your sex appeal. Eating sugar free candy and avoiding bread isn't the solution to your body-image problems. Try eating a balanced diet (which implies not gorging yourself at every meal), exersizing regularly, and getting a decent night of sleep every once in a while. In conclusion, I am naturally thin and underweight, and it's unfair for me to complain about other people's weight problems, but for godsake, don't get suckered into living an unhealthy life by people trying to make a buck. Use some common sense and get off your ass and run around every once in a while.

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I live with sneaky, sneaky ninjas. They somehow managed to pull off a surprise girthday party for me despite my keen awareness of my surroundings. By 'keen' I mean 'dull.' I am in fact oblivious. I never suspected...

If you're interested, there are pictures of the event posted in the New York photo album, which you can get to through a link a couple of blog posts below. Let me know if the link or password don't work. I can't say I'll be able to fix it, but who knows...

I'd like to apologize to the people who aren't represented in the photos. I tried to get a decent picture of everyone in attendance, but sometimes what looks good on a 1-1/2" x 1" lcd screen doesn't translate well to a 17" computer monitor. It's the fault of the photographer. You're all beautiful people.

Also, I'd like to especially thank Emiko and Lawry for throwing the shindig and Davida for keeping me occupied with delicious German/Austrian/Hungarian cuisine (Cafe Steinhof in Park Slope) and chocolatey goodness (at the Chocolate Room in Park Slope only a block away from Peperoncino's), and not letting slip that there was a surprise in the waiting. Good job.

And finally, thank you Brendan for cleaning my room. You're a great friend and a better maid.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What happened to Weezer?

Here's a stream of the new Weezer single, Beverly Hills:

Windows Media Player here, RealPlayer here

Judge for yourself.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


password: *********

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Weekend Update: Uisce Beatha (pronounced Ish-Kay Ba-Ha)

So Friday was Palgrave Macmillan's Production Department's first ever (as far as I know) Fancypants Day. On this day the production department dressed to the nines (or eight-and-a-halfs) in the spirit of fun and bonding. Red and black appear to be the new plaid. Despite the distraction of my co-workers' swanky attire, I managed to crank out seven purchase orders and send them all off to our printer. Following the end of the work day a few of us went out for some drinks and more further bonding. Whiskey was consumed of the Glenfiddich and Glenlivet varieties. Further bonding was had over sushi with Emiko and Yasmin.

Saturday brought some fútbol action. I had a couple of decent passes, scored a goal, but made no particularly memorable plays. In the evening I ran lights and sound for Elana Fishbein's comedy troupe, Abearable. It turned out to be a good show with a fairly responsive crowd. Post-show, I headed home to get some work done on wedding invitation designs. Things are moving along in that department, but slowly. I'm finally getting to a point in my art nouveau idea where I'm relatively pleased with how it looks. It's taken me a fair amount longer to come up with something I liked than I expected.

Today I took a jaunt up to Vassar for some quality time with Sarah. It was really great. There were cameo appearances by Jacob Moses, Kat Oliver, and Emily Fishbaine. We wandered around campus and the golf course, which was much more pleasant than wandering around the busy streets of New York City. Being surrounded by grass and trees instead of slabs of concrete and frenzied people was necessary for my mental health. Dinner was consumed at the Beech Tree, and included for some their melted brie appitizer and New Zealand lamb. It was scrumtrulescent.

Oh, I also scored a weezer ticket for the 5/12 show on eBay Saturday morning. Joy. I will bring an extra pair of socks with the expectation that the first pair will get rocked off.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Existential Dilemma in the Publishing World.

What follows is an email exchange between some of the production crew (Y = Yasmin, K = Ken, W = Will (me)). The initial email is a company wide announcement. The exchange has some slight edits for the sake of continuity, though some of this may seem kind of incoherent to those not involved in the original exchange.

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 11:27 AM

Subject: Free Book Day at Holt

Henry Holt's last free book day at 18th Street will take place this , in the Robert Frost Conference Room. As we will be moving to the Flatiron in a few weeks, we'll have a huge selection of books available. We'd like to invite you to stop by any time from 1pm to 5pm and take a look. See you there!

Y: Woo hoo, good books that we actually want to read!

W: One can only hope.

Y: So formal, again. I love it. Or is it “one loves it”?

K: "one can only hope" isn't formal, it's sarcastic. Now "Only in dreams" that's formal.

W: Formal is also formal, or is that 'meta'?

K: Po-po? [as in post-postmodern]

W: No, I'm pretty sure it's just solely po.

K: Meta-po perhaps?

W: Self-reference is often a trait of postmodernism. I'm not sure "meta-po" really makes much sense as a term, though it could be a postmodern term, as it lacks clear definition, yet clearly has some meaning within the context of this discussion; its very existence is questionable, yet here it is, and is therefore contradictory. It is self-referential and satirical, "meta" having been tacked on to "po" to draw attention to the self-reference often found in "postmodernism" and unequivocally displaying its ridiculousness as a self-referential term that encompasses self-reference.

K: Oh okay, you old crummudgeon. Po-meta. Happy now?

Y: Larry, gear down. That shiksa book described all jewish men as thinking they were channeling jon stewart but really channeling larry david. Vindication! Po-megranate.

K: As for Meta-Po, are you trying to argue that the absurd has no meaning?

W: No, I'm saying that which is meaningless is absurd.

K: What else is absurd? Do these things have meaning?

Y: I think everything, especially things that are meaningful, have the potential to be absurd.

K: Hmmm, doesn't everything and anything have the POTENTIAL to be everything and everything?

Y: Maybe if you’re a moral relativist…

K: How dare you! Actually, I don't think my "morals" should come under discussion today…maybe over copious amounts of beers… but not until then… So yasmin thinks that the meaningful is especially prone to the absurd, while will says that the meaningless is always absurd.

Y: I think exposing the way we attach meaning to things reveals the absurdity inherent to the human condition.

W: The meaningless is absurd by definition. Go look it up. And I agree with Yasmin here, we've just kind of revealed how we're waiting for Godot.

K: I AM NOT waiting for anything, I'm shredding shit everyday and while it all might be meaningless… it's not in the here and now, because I effect things… my actions have reactions… maybe after I turn back into dust and my synapsyes stop firing it won't have any meaning…though I doubt that, because memory is real, but until then… I'm keepin' it real. And Meta-Po WILL raise it's ugly head one of these days… be warned! And could either of you define the human condition for me?

W: The human condition is what you make of it. If you can somehow manage to make meta-po a useful term, I will give you a pat on the back.

K: And a dollar?

W: If your lucky.

K: Well, gimmie a pat and a dollar, cause Meta-Po has inspired a great hour or so of email conversation… that's pretty fuckin' useful.

W: I'll give you a dollar for that.