Sunday, December 30, 2007

Todd "Tastic" Collins

I ♥ Todd Collins. A 106 passer rating is pretty -tastic. tastictacular.

Say what you will about Joe Gibbs being too old for the game, not
understanding contemporary schemes, etc., but he's led the 'skins to
the playoffs twice in four seasons, which is twice as many times as
the skins went to the playoffs in the 11 years he was not the 'skins
head coach and he's done it with fairly mediocre talent. The man knows
how to motivate players and when things are going well, the 'skins are
fun to watch.

And finally, can anyone stop Chris Cooley? Anyone? ... Hello? Didn't think so.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

my top cinco songs of two thousand seven

i don't really have the attention span to do more than a top 5. and i'm far too lazy to write about 5 whole albums. my biases: i have a predilection for power pop and hip-hop with r&b/soul inspired production. i also have a soft spot for music that might somehow (really, in any way) be related to rivers cuomo (this is related to my love of power pop). whatever. my list:

5. hold it in - jukebox the ghost. jump into the water and see for yourself/take a deep breath and hold it in hold it in. ben folds five meets queen. hand claps, piano, and falsetto vocal interjections. support your local indie rock.

4. sweetness and tenderness - the rentals. yes, i realize that this song was originally recorded by the rentals in 1994. but they re-recorded it. yes, this year. jerk. and this version is arguably better than the original. the rentals give you viola, beautiful harmonies, dreamy atmospherics, and sincerity. and what do they ask for in return? they deserve your everlasting soul, but all they want is you to enjoy their goddamn music, you lilac. go listen.

3. the coolest - lupe fiasco. really, i wanted to put fiasco's "just might be OK" on here, but that was clearly on an album that was released in earth's previous orbit around the sun. clearly. that said, i'm going to say that "just might be OK" is pretty fucking awesome. i mean, the production is badass--horns, bitchin' soulful vocals, and airplanes overhead. and how often does cornel west get name dropped in a song? well, once it would seem. oh, yeah, and the coolest is pretty good too.

2. lady snowblood - olmecha supreme. as seen on my mog: lady snowblood kicks off with what might be called a moment of pure, unadulterated rock'n'roll, transitions into some rhyme-spittin' goodness, and ends on a high note. you can rock out to this tune. you can bounce to this tune. you can skank to this tune. you can sing along to this tune. there's beat boxing, wailing guitars, rhyme-spitting, fluting, and primal screams. olmecha should be the future of pop music.

1. lover in the snow - rivers cuomo. see biases stated above. and so what if it was recorded in 1997. it was released in 2007 on alone: the home recordings of rivers cuomo . it's arguably the best weezer song that weezer never got around to recording. i quote myself: "there aren't any spine-tingling solos. there isn't even a bass line. This is stripped down weez (it is a home demo after all): rivers' emotive vocals supported by a jumpy strumming pattern, hand-claps, and a hi-hat. and it's got a melody that just begs you to sing along." ...just listen to the goddamn song, OK?

"Poppa's got a brand-new bag... of fish!" -- The Tick

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

2 Amys

I've said it before, possibly not in cyberspace, but in the real, physical world: pizza is all about the crust. The rest is easy. Truly easy. Crush some tomatoes, add some salt. Shazam! Sauce! Most toppings are sourced from outside. Really dedicated chefs will make their own sausage, or cheese, or roast their own red peppers, etc. But most just go buy the toppings. Really, how hard is it to get good cheese or pepperoni? It just takes some taste-testing. But I defy you to find a great pizzeria that doesn't make their own dough. The dough has to be tailored to the oven. If the dough is too wet, it will take too long to cook and you might have a burnt outside and a gummy interior. If it's too dry it'll turn crackery. The point being, if you can make a great crust, the rest should come easy.

2 Amys has a delicious crust. If they sold just the crust, I would buy it. The cornicione is perfect. 5/5. 100% good. Puffy, soft, chewy, and salty. I would describe it as meaty in some bread-like way. This crust is rolling in umami. Umami. That's the word of the day. Take that crust and put on some quality ingredients and you've got one hell of a pizza. photos for you:


Street vendors are known mostly for hawking greasy comestibles for low, low prices. A serving of chicken and rice from the local halal cart might run you four to five dollars and will last for couple of lunches at least. But then, you just might die of salmonella poisoning. Well, for those of you lucky enough to find yourself by the Ballston stop on the DC metro Orange line on a workday between the hours of 8am and 4pm, I have a foolproof answer to your stomach's lunchtime grumbles: Pupatella Neapolitan Food Cart.

I dropped by Pupatella on a frigid, snowy day last week to see if the rumors of quality pizza pie-ing were true, which clearly, based on the tone of this post, they are. Pupatella is run by a former employee of 2 Amys, who, along with her boyfriend (who learned the pizza-making craft in Naples), opened up a fire engine red food mobile. The pizzas are cooked at 650ºF in what looks like either a small gas or electric oven with a couple ceramic tiles on trays. I ordered a margherita extra (sauce, buffalo mozz, basil, cherry tomatoes, all topped with a drizzle of olive oil), which baked for a about two minutes. The results:

Even at 650ºF, the crust was very good--crisp yet pliant, with a nice char. The cornicione, sadly, was lacking in the oven springiness department. However, that's about the only negative comment I have for this pizza. It is magnificent. The sauce had a light sweetness, the buffalo mozzarella was creamy and salty with a slight tang, and the basil packed a punch, which was impressive considering the season. I was all set to give it top honors for the best pizza I've had in DC.

Then I went to 2 Amys.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

complete idiot's guide to being an idiot. ¡gold, i tells ya!

so there i am, stomach grumbling, waiting two times eternity in the checkout line of the local Super Giant supermarket (it's just so super! i can't take it...), trying to avert my eyes from the lowest common denominator weekly magazines crowding the racks, when i see it: the complete idiot's guide to psychic awareness. guess what i'm thinking. oh, that's right, if you read the book, you don't have to. i have a photo, but no card reader where i am right now. feel free to click here for proof of its existence.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Mia's Pizzas

Decent lookin' pizza based on the photo. Mia's itself is a nice enough place to eat with its hardwood floors and high ceiling. In better weather patrons can take advantage of outdoor seating. And located directly center at the back of the dining area is a georgous woodburning oven (if only i'd actually photographed it), with a yellow-tile epidermis. Sadly, the pizza I had that came out of that oven was just on the soft side of done. While the quality of the ingredients were high (the fresh mozzerella and basil were especially good), the sauce was almost non-existent (perhaps evaporating in the oven's high heat?), leaving the crust, which seemed to be a sourdough, too prominent a roll. It was further marred by a dusting of cornmeal on the bottom. Over all, I give it a B-: not bad if you live in Bethesda, but certainly not worth going out of your way for.
Mia's Pizzas
4926 Cordell Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20815

Saturday, November 10, 2007


condition seems to have improved somewhat since yesterday. i'm not in perpetual discomfort in the chestal area, just when i breathe in real deep like.
one more show to run and then i'm a free man. until tuesday, when i'm hanging lights. and possibly next week if i get another lighting gig.
and i ate a flan today. coconutty.

Friday, November 09, 2007

bubble bubble

so about 5 minutes after i woke up this morning, i got some chest pains a-goin'. i figure, it's probably no big deal. i've had minor blips of chest pains since i was like, 14. they'd last for like 90 seconds, really just kind of a combination of an acute and dull pain when i'd breath in. it kind of felt like a bubble expanding in my chest putting pressure on my chest cavity. so, i think wait a couple minutes and it will go away. 20 minutes later it's still there. so off to the emergency room i go. an ekg, chest x-ray, blood test, and a nap later, and the results are in: i do not appear to have a heart disease. the doctors also think they can rule out a blood clot in my lungs (which apparently are large according to the... uh, x-rayist? x-ray taker? x-rayer?). my diagnosis is nondescript chest pain. the theory is that it's some kind of muscle strain or pull or something. i'm not sure i buy into that, but considering everything else came back negative, i've got nothing else to go on either. note: plan your emergency room visits early in the morning. i got there a little before 9am and there was no wait. when i left at 11:30am, the place was packed.
and can i ask what the deal is with the facebook add-ons? am i the only one who's put off by the fact that these widgets like the zombie biting and the super wall or fun wall or super happy fantastic wall--whatever the fuck it's called--and so forth are made by unnamed third parties who want access to the information on my profile? i'm just saying, if i'm going to let them know who i am, i want to know who they are.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

photoshop without the photo

results of part of the calendar assignment for my graphic design class. if i was motivated more, i'd fix some things, but i can live with it as it is.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ride that Percentage like a Wave. A Wave of Concern.

According to the Population Resource Center the average voter turnout for presidential elections between 1960 and 2000 dropped from around 60% to somewhere in the 45-50% range while turnout for mid-term congressional elections seems to pretty consistently fall below 50%.

Here's my question: Why are we pretending that our "democracy" is a legitmate government? Our national officials represent the will of less than half of the eligible voters. The people in office right now are there because roughly 1/4 to 2/5ths of the voting population put a check next to their name on the ballot. That is hardly a majority. And this in a country with a "majority rules" motto. Choosing not to vote means something regardless of whether it represents apathy, disenfranchisement, or a statement against our political system. A no-vote should not be ignored as it is currently.

It's perturbing to think that our president felt he had some kind of mandate because he won with 51% of the vote in '04. The 2004 presidential election had only a 60% voter turnout, meaning that roughly only 30% of eligible voters actually voted for him. 30% gave Bush the thumbs up. This means that 70% of United States voters did not endorse him and yet he is still our representative.

It's fucked, I say. Totally fucked.

* * *

A shout out to Sanity Clause. Something to try to keep in mind this election season (or year... or two-and-a-half years as it seems to have become):

The Bully's Pulpit - Divide and Conquer

First, a caveat: ALL generalizations are flawed.

Having said that, I can unequivocally state that there are two kinds of people: People who divide things into two groups and those who don't. Too many of us are too sure that there are only two sides to every debate, just as there are two sides to a coin. Heads/Tails; Right/Left; Liberal/Conservative; White/Black; Male/Female. Why, if my opinion is Right, must yours be Wrong? continue reading...

Now Presenting...


Monday, October 29, 2007


i hope gibbs can pull his act together after the pathetic showing yesterday. the word of the day is "german." the patriots were robots on the field moving like clockwork.
and props to the patriots' offensive line. those guys are solid. their offense works because of them. if jason campbell had five nice and quiet seconds to sit in the pocket and see his options, the skins would score a lot more points.
comments stolen from the Boston Herald's blog by John Tomase:

… check out the game log for the Colts in their 31-7 victory over the Panthers today. Unlike the Patriots, who converted a pair of fourth downs and were still throwing 30-yard passes in the fourth quarter of their 52-7 victory over the Redskins, the Colts took a different approach.

On their final possession, which began with 9:40 remaining, backup quarterback Jim Sorgi threw a 9-yard pass to Reggie Wayne. Indy than ran on 10 straight plays before Sorgi threw an incompletion on fourth and 12 from the Carolina 25.

In fact, of the Colts' 16 plays in the fourth quarter, 13 were runs.

It's an interesting juxtaposition, to say the least. Then again, maybe it isn't. To quote an e-mail from a bottom-line Patriots fan: "So the Colts have class and we have none. What's your point?"

and Belichick on running up the score
NBC also had some exclusive quotes from Belichick on the subject on Friday.

"I've been coaching too long," Belichick said. "I remember being on that side. When I was coaching defense it was my job to keep the score down, not theirs. When you're playing defense it's your job to stop them. It's not (the offense's) job to not score. It's like I tell the offense, what the (bleep) do you think I send you guys out there for? To punt? We have a punt team for that. That's not your job. Your job is to go out there and score points. If you come off the field and you haven't scored points you haven't done your job."


Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Trove of Bill Watterson's Early and Rare Work

"There's a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back, you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.” -- Steven Wright

The pizza-making got off to a surprisingly good start on tuesday. After a 4-hour journey into the suburban strip mall jungle, I returned to civility with a large block of granite that I plopped into the oven and began heating not long after I made sure it wouldn't break the oven rack.

The dough this time around comprised King Arthur bread flour, tap water, Fleischmann's fresh yeast, and table salt. Using bread flour made the dough much easier to work with as it has a higher gluten content, which keeps it from tearing. I also lucked out when mixing it all up and ended up with a dough that wasn't too wet or too dry. It was as close to perfect as I've made yet. While the end resultant was a crust that was perhaps a bit too thick for the diameter of the pizza, it was both crisp and chewy. No charring though. Still, I was baking these pizzas in 10 minutes rather than 20, which was probably largely due to the thicker and more dense baking stone holding its heat as well as an oven door that actually closed.

The finished product:
Check out the hole structure:

Sadly, no charring:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dawn Raids

There were a number of police raids yesterday in Aotearoa (New Zealand), ostensibly looking for weapons and trying to weed out a terrorist plot of some sort. One of the places that was raided was the community house where I was a caretaker. It apparently has been under surveillance for the past year, which means New Zealand authorities have some kind of dirt on me frying tofu in the kitchen and dumping compost out the back. 17 people in total were arrested around the country, most being held on weapons charges of some sort.

While I can't speak for the other places that were raided, the idea that they might find some kind of weapons cache at 128 is completely ludicrous. I mean, that all the cops came away with were bags of clothes and some documents seems to discredit them. Yes, anarchists hang out at the house--a group of people who would like to see government abolished--but from my experience there, they're all non-violent activists. I don't think the NZ government is really in any danger. The thought that these people are going to terrorize New Zealand in some way is farcical. If anything, the raids support the anarchists' arguments about hierarchies, government, and abuse of power.

In the end it seems like a Bush Administration ploy to cultivate a politics of fear. If New Zealanders buy into it, it will just result in further abuses of power.

Contrary to what Western governments would like us to believe, terrorism isn't the great political issue of our time, it's intolerance of different value systems and cultures.

You can watch a bunch of news clips about the bullshit that's going on here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

i expectorate better

i'm not entirely sure what the latest typography assignment was supposed to imbue in the young, impressionable minds of my classmates other than if you organize letters in a certain way, you can make a picture resembling a face. the kids in my typography class seemed to like the image i made of a collection of characters (century gothic bold--point sizes vary) depicting a face vomiting other characters. the kids like the puke. it reminds them of halloweens of yore, their kid sisters' birthday parties, apple pie, and fields of corn.

when my prof. saw my preliminary sketch, she asked, "what is that?"

lady, if you can't tell it's a face coiled in on itself while disgorging the subject of your class back at you, than i can't help you.

contempt is probably too strong a word to use at this point, but frustration certainly applies on occasion.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

take a gog at my mog...

... and learn why i like the washington social club and see if you might like them too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


the candy-coated lure of the shiny hi-def idiot box is truly remarkable. two hours of Undeclared on DVD (all hail Judd Apatow) and an hour of the Daily Show makes for a quality evening of entertainment. i'm tricking myself into thinking that if i'm selective enough about my viewing that my brain won't become slothful.

today i woke up at 7:30 to go to a class that the teacher bailed on midway through due to some kind of reception that she was required to attend and only just found out about. there was no lecture. just lab time, which meant half the class got down to the business of inking their projects--business which could have been accomplished in the comfort of my own home--and the other half texted on their sidekicks or surfed the net. MK ain't no VC (apparently the "K" actually is for "Learning").

and bless these men:

mr. poise, I presume:

this man is my age. he gets knocked over by angry, muscly men for a living. he also throws oblongs at people. well done, sir. an extra serving of lard to you and your humpbacked, oswegan poodle.

Friday, September 14, 2007

America's Team

it just seems fitting that the team that was caught spying on its
fellow league members is the Patriots. it's like some twisted,
third-rate metaphor for the Bush Administration. the Patriots are seen
around the NFL as cocksure and smug, not unlike how people see the US
these days, and now they're also corrupt, also not unlike the US government
(or any government, really). maybe Belichick's been taking notes from Robert

anyway, the Pats can go eat a bag.

also, apologies, for being a poor correspondent of late. i've had less
free time. should get better at it again soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

new face

so i figured i'd alter the look of the blog (duh). initially i just did it to stave off boredom, but i realized that there were some template options that would actually make for a decent upgrade. the photos now are presented without the ugly border and the white background should also make photo display a little more aesthetically pleasing. i'm not dead set on the color scheme, but it probably won't change for a while. i got busy with classes and theater tech.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

who is like a music blog?

i am like a music blog.

mogging is the new blogging.

check out my mog-y mcmog here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

we've got crabs!

a few more photos have been posted on flickr in the last few days. i'm running out of the good ones, i think. click the above image to get to the rest.

Monday, August 27, 2007


interesting statistics in this article about US incomes in 2005 . needless to say, the rich got richer. some choice quotes:
Americans earned a smaller average income in 2005 than in 2000, the fifth consecutive year that they had to make ends meet with less money than at the peak of the last economic expansion, new government data shows.

People with incomes of more than a million dollars also received 62 percent of the savings from the reduced tax rates on long-term capital gains and dividends that President Bush signed into law in 2003, according to a separate analysis by Citizens for Tax Justice, a group that points out policies that it says favor the rich.

The group's calculations showed that 28 percent of the investment tax cut savings went to just 11,433 of the 134 million taxpayers, those who made $10 million or more, saving them almost $1.9 million each. Over all, this small number of wealthy Americans saved $21.7 billion in taxes on their investment income as a result of the tax-cut law.

The nearly 90 percent of Americans who make less than $100,000 a year saved on average $318 each on their investments. They collected 5.3 percent of the total savings from reduced tax rates on investment income.

i mean, of course, people who earned less saved less. that's no surprise. but the fact that what (roughly) 133.895 million people saved on average on an individual basis equaled 0.00017% of what, on average, the richest 11,433 people saved individually seems ludicrious. but then, that's capitalism.
thanks to the achenblog for the tip.

from slice @ seriouseats

who thought this was a good idea?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

last little life

saw the rentals tonight. fan-fucking-tastic show. they crammed in nearly all my favorites, including Getting By off of 7 More Minutes and a great weezer b-side (i just threw out the love of my dreams). matt sharp pin-balled around stage doing what looked like some kind of modern dance exercises. sara radle, rachel haden, and lauren chipman's vocals were tight. they've cemented their place as my new (old) favorite band. hear some stuff.

and: signed up for graphic design I and typography I at the school of art + design at montgomery college. classes start on the 5th. should be swell.

also: looks like i have a gig doing a hang and focus for a show at the roundhouse theatre.

too: superbad is freakin' hysterical. incredibly misogynistic, vulgar, and just generally offensive. but hysterical.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007


so i was able to do some flybys on eight (8) pizzerias in my 9-1/2 days. sadly, i wasn't able to nab photos of the last three as my camera battery went kaput. but in no particular order, here they are:

Di Fara (Midwood, Brooklyn):

still seems to be suffering from uneven oven treatment. it got all medieval on one half and left the other half blond. while the toppings were solid--the Dominator, as he's known, still serves up the best pepperoni i can recall eating--the crust was actually a bit bland. maybe could've used a bit more salt? or maybe that's the down side of the gas oven--no smokey goodness. also: no basil? wtf? it is the height of basil season is it not? we did get a healthy hand-cut sprinkling of fresh oregano on our pie, but i hardly need point out that oregano is not greater-than-or-equal-to basil. still worth the two hour wait i think. i mean, it's no longer just the pizza you go for at Di Fara, but the experience and watching the completely unorganized clump of disgruntled and hungry customers bumming around the counter waiting to order whilst Dom is painstakingly making each pizza by his lonesome. 1 out of 1 Kyles approve.

Nick's (Forrest Hills, Queens):

significantly better than my one previous visit from last year when the crust was dry and cracker-like. this time around i was pleasantly surprised by a nicely charred crust with some moisture intact in the puffy edge. and look at it! a work of beauty. it tastes as good as it looks. thanks to Em for suggesting and accompanying me there. who knew Queens boardered Europe? not i.

Franny's (Flatbush, Brooklyn):

sorry. no upskirt. don't know what happened there. sparsely topped, but you wouldn't know it from the x-treme flavor x-plosion (tm) when biting into it. great smokiness from the oven, a beautifully crisp, yet pliant uber-thin crust, and good company made for an excellent meal.

Isabella's Oven (Grand St., LES, Manhattan):

my first meal back in the states after a year in New Zealand and i'm lucky enough to convince Sarah to have it at Isabella's. a great addition to NYC pizza, if a little pricey. $26 for a DOC Margherita, if I recall correctly. the inside seems kind of like a hole-in-the-wall, cramped, run of-the-mill pizzeria, until you notice that there's a guy working a wood-fired brick oven in an open kitchen--open as in, i could've stuck my hand in the oven as i walked past it on my way to their garden seating out the back. the down side to this is that the interior feels like a furnace, which is probably going to be great for winter, but in the summer heat, it just makes you wilt. Sarah and i split the substantial garden salad and the pizza arrived just before we were able to finish it. a crust with good hole structure, a healthy dose of sauce and the buffalo mozz had a light but noticeable tang.

Grimaldi's (Fulton St., under the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn):

consistently one of my favorite spots. Amie, Jason, and i had a lovely stroll across the Brooklyn bridge prior to grabbing a table before the dinner-time rush was in effect. i overheard the guy working the oven say that he bakes about 500 pizzas a day. the edge crust on Grimaldi's pies is a little on the flat side to be perfect, but i would say it's still consistently the best pizza in the city, and considering the quantity of pizza being made, that's pretty impressive and i can understand how some of those pies might come out under or over-done. the place is a factory, but one with delicious results.

also visited but not shown:

Angelo's (Broadway b/t 53rd & 54th): great pizza in midtown? who knew? certainly as good as any of the Patsy's around the city, and almost as good as the pie I had a Nick's (the owners of both restaurants are somehow related... in-laws maybe). good hole structure with a springy crust and a nice charring pattern underneath--you'll just have to take my word for it.

Joe's (near-ish Bleeker & 6th Ave): a pretty good corner slice, doesn't hold a candle to the city's best though. bland, dry crust kills the thrill for me a little bit.

Graziella's (Vanderbilt Ave, Fort Greene/Clinton Hill, Brooklyn): where's the sauce? otherwise not bad. rooftop dinning space is always closed when i drop by, which is a bummer.

it smells a little like heavily fried food... or is that home?

so i'm back in maryland where shopping malls frolick uninhibited through the grassy knolls and meandering highways of suburbia. it is also where i'll be spending the next few months. turns out montogomery college did get my application, so perhaps i will be taking classes after all. i spent the morning sanding down joint compound that my dad filled pin-holes with in my sister's old room. all those backstreet boys posters came down.
new york was a blast. it was great to see people. sorry i wasn't able to meet up with everyone. hopefully i'll be back in the city in the next few weeks. didn't make it to all the pizzerias i wanted to either. never got to the bronx or staten island (which really requires a car, i think). some more photos are TK.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

the big banana

stepping out of the earsplitting screeches and echoing foot patter of the union square subway station and into the garbage odor that wafts through manhattan's streets reminds me of why i left new york to begin with. the sense that every mundane action is a grand event reminds me of why i stayed here for two years. sleeping on the subway, waiting in line, buying corn chips at a bodega--they somehow mean something more because they're being done in new york. it's not the glamour. new york is hardly glamorous. it's grungy and loud and in the summer it's damp from humidity. but new york is the nexus. the city itself is an urban legend.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

rainbow bright

made it up to auckland in one piece. though it seems i should've given my backpacks some swimming lessons before i got on the bus. they apparently sat in a puddle for most the ride and came out pretty well soaked through. the ride up was actually alright for an 11 hour bus ride. parts of new zealand really remind me of utah and montana--expansive, vibrant sky; lush pastures along an oscillating landscape; cows... TK in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

intestinal feet

so what does one do when one is essentially unemployed, left to their own devices--no TV, no computer to call their own, no yo-yo? well, if you're me you try and rouse yourself at a reasonable hour, which seems to fall somewhere between 8:30 and 10, eat a breakfast of homemade muesli, if my intestines aren't still about to rupture from whatever feast i had the night before, and then do one of the following enjoyable activities:

-read a book
-collect money for Women's Refuge while staring out at the Wellington harbor on a beautiful saturday morning
-go for a three-hour bike ride around the southern coast of the city
-bake: bread, wheat-free, vegan chocolate chip cookies, or pizza (see below)
-watch knocked up

being mostly unemployed isn't as bad as it sounds...

Monday, July 23, 2007


do i really need to write anything? i made this:

for the sake of something... here's the oven:

Sunday, July 15, 2007


dumpster diving is something i've yet to really do... at least successfully, but i've learned from some enterprising anarchists that you can really get a ton of great stuff out of the rubbish--like fire wood, cherries, and a trash bag full of bagels.

live well! eat well! save money!

good article, even with the bible references:
The Tao of Dumpster Diving

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

3 in 4 out

the pinnacle, so far, of my oven work at Pomodoro:

Got 3 pizzas into the oven last night. Needed help with the 4th. Still working on the technique with the peel. Came dangerously closed to burning a pizza too. Batting .750 ain't bad though.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

sonic infantry

yeah, so saw olmecha supreme at their single release show. gotta love their shiznit. snowblood.mp3 (right click to save as, i guess). i also recommend checking out their myspace page for a couple other tracks, especially thieves of saddness.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Pizza, pizza number 9...

Made pizza again on Wednesday. Middling results. The crust consistently turned out a little undercooked--just kind of wet and gummy in some areas--or overcooked and crackery. I imagine that has something to do with the oven and how I'm making the dough. On the bright side, it was the easiest dough to stretch that I've made yet. There was virtually no pull back at all, which was awesome. It seems I just may need to mix and knead the dough for a longer period. I did get to eat some good pepperoni on pizza for the first time since my last meal at Lombardi's before leaving New York.

Thanks to Brendan and his flatmates for the use of their kitchen and being my guinea pigs.


Photos from the homestead:

South Face

Front Hallway

Yellow Room



Empty House Next Door

Scopa: Don't Drink the Pizza

It's just bland. There's not much else to say, but I'll drag it out for a couple more sentences. They do some fancy pizza tossing, sure. But that doesn't help the lack of sauce. I should've known walking in that it wasn't going to be very good. They had a Tuesday lunch special: a margherita for $6. Pizzas at a discount are generally not in the set of good pizzas.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

do you want a bag?

so sometimes when people buy the useless crap i hawk at the gift shop i work at, i'll ask them if they want a bag and they'll respond, "Aw, nah. Save the planet." surely, if you wanted to save the planet you wouldn't buy the worthless crap that's made largely of processed oil. Consumers can be idiots.

Monday, July 02, 2007

i'm returning to the motherland on august 8th. that's assuming homeland security lets me in. so, sarah, if i haven't arrived by then, i'll probably be isolated and chained up in a damp, concrete box somewhere in gitmo. make sure you call my parents.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

that's the way society crumbles

"Meanwhile, Victoria Beckham is set to make a splash on U.S. television three days later when NBC airs a one-hour special titled "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America" on July 16." --

I just vomited a little in my mouth... and then I snarfed it out my nose.

* * *

Joel Achenbach's article from this week's Outlook section:
Here's who we need in Washington: Socrates. The Greek fella. We need him not because of what he knew, but because of what he knew he didn't know, which was pretty much everything. He was one of the all-time great doubters. [continue reading]

Friday, June 29, 2007


OK. So Transformers didn't suck. It was actually, um, good. Sure it didn't make a lot of sense, but what it lacked in brains it made up for in charisma and huge fucking robots that blow shit up and transform into cars. It could've used a little more of the original transforming sound effect, and I was bothered by the fact that two out of three black characters were clowns. The dialogue wasn't totally asinine... well, until the end. Optimus Prime sounded awesome, probably because it was the same voice actor, Peter Cullen, as in the original show. Cullen gets around, by the way. He voiced on a bajillion of everyone's favorite cartoons: Scooby Doo, GoBots, Voltron, GI Joe, Rainbow Brite, Smurfs, Snorks, Heathcliff, Ducktales, Chip'N'Dale Rescue Rangers, Dino-Riders, and Gummi Bears, among others. Also, remember Orson Welles? Large rotund guy? Deep focus? Changed film forever when he made Citizen Kane? Yeah. He voiced Unicron in the original Transformers movie.

Monday, June 25, 2007

the burning

So i've now had a couple of brief lessons on the pizza oven at Pizza Pomodoro. Getting the pizza onto the pala (or pizza peel) is a finesse job requiring short quick back and forth movements. it also requires speed. As i learned the sauce can soak through the thin base pretty quickly making it prone to tearing. putting it in the oven is relatively easy. It's like pulling the tablecloth out from under the place setting, just without the expensive wine glasses shattering and getting glass shards in your eye and having to use tweezers to pull the little splinters of stem out of your cornea and then blinding your right side permanently because you're not a trained tweezing professional, or trained at tweezing at all, and so out of inexperience didn't pay much mind to the itch that slowly built in your right triceps which then peaked as you brought your hand to your ocular lens making your arm spasm awkwardly and your tweezers jab into your iris, not once, but twice. Thankfully, you managed to dig out the shard on the second spasm. So, problem solved. You can go back to your party tricks. Just as long as they don't require any depth perception. The point being, that getting the pizza in the oven is a bit like a party trick, but easier and less impressive. Then there's the turning of the pizza, which is also comparatively easy (when compared to getting it on to the pala, or, say, verbally explaining to how to tie ones shoes). There's a different pala to use. It's kind of a 6 or 8 inch disk on the end of a long pole. Just slide it under the center of the pizza, flip it up on a slight incline keeping an edge on the oven floor, and pull it toward you. The pizza should turn 180 degrees so that the side that was facing the fire is turned away from it. I haven't quite figured out exactly when to turn the pizza. I just know you don't do it until the crust is cooked enough that it's rigid. Trying to turn an uncooked crust is just asking to tear a hole in it. Another thing I learned: the embers keep the floor of the oven hot, while the flames help cook the top of the pie. Claudio explained this to me after he'd pulled the pizza I'd ordered out of the oven and the crust was perfectly cooked, but the cheese hadn't melted.

A couple shots of the 2nd ever pizza I cooked in a real pizza oven (from 11 June):

Yeah, it was just a practice. So only sauce and mozz, and by the time I took the photos, the cheese had congealed. But pretty good for my second attempt.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"Why are you trying to destroy us?"

Rise of the Silver Surfer actually may be the greatest film since Pearl Harbor. Take from that statement what you will. It wasn't as bad as Stephen Hunter would have you believe ("'Silver Surfer' is drearier than corn dying in the Iowa sun, slower than molasses in Antarctica. Sentient humans should stay away; all others may enter confident that their IQs are already in the Chernobyl-fried range and will not be affected, except for downward."), but there are certain things it was hard to get around: the ludicrous amount of make up that Jessica Alba was buried in and the fact that she could have been replaced with a shapely brick without anyone noticing; the god awful dialogue between the FF and Dr. Doom while flying at high velocities 10,000 feet in the open air; the lack of chemistry between any of the actors; the relatively pointless power transferring effect the Surfer had on the Human Torch; the objectification of women and the treatment of them as complete idiots, and using that as a source of amusement; &c. On the bright side, the Silver Surfer looked cool, and the witty banter and arguing among the FF kinda worked sometimes. Well done, there. The film-goer in me is thoroughly disappointed and maybe a little bit disgusted. The fanboy in me is satiated.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Living at 128 has it's advantages and its disadvantages. One of the
hardships that i must suffer as a caretaker at 128 is the lack of
heating. Outside a water bottle, a fire on the hearth, or the
occasional cup of tea--which the house silently protests with its
drafty, and often broken or non-existent, windows--the best source of
heating is three or four layers of clothes or my sleeping bag. It's
the kind of cold that inspires revolutionaries to face their
insecurities regarding anarchist chic fashion (black on black with
black patches hand sewn on) and walk around wrapped in their bedding.
One would think that any stray particles radiating heat meandering
about the house's ether would eventually, due to the laws of physics,
rise and accumulate, huddled like a small band of overboard sailors in
frigid seas, in my loft, which is the highest point in the house. But
no. My bedtime reading is too often marred by the sight of my own
breath obscuring the page.

It's a rugged life here on the fringe. Not for the faint of heart or
those without slippers.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

if you close your eyes they can't see you.

"His 12 'commitments' include promises to end illegal immigration, decrease abortions, cut taxes, prepare for terrorist attacks and increase access to health care... [to] 'keep America on offense' in the war on terror and separately vows to 'ensure that every community in America is prepared' for the possibility of an attack or a natural disaster... He also promises access to a quality education, a legal system with 'strict constructionist' judges, fiscal discipline and careful spending." article about Giuliani's campaign promises.

No more illegal immigration. You know what that means: open borders! Possibly the end of the nation-state! That's what I call progressive. It would make the anarchists very happy. And every community will be safe from crazy fuckers and acts of God. Will that be like how we were prepared for nuclear Armageddon by being told to duck and cover? Or a bio-chemical attack with duct tape and plastic sheeting? Or maybe we can be prepared by preemption and carpet bomb more poor countries...

Monday, June 11, 2007

gah! gaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

According to the Hostess website, Christopher Sell invented the "fried Twinkie" at the Chip Shop, his restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. It was described by the New York Times in this way: "Something magical occurs when the pastry hits the hot oil. The creamy white vegetable shortening filling liquefies, impregnating the sponge cake with its luscious vanilla flavor. . . The cake itself softens and warms, nearly melting, contrasting with the crisp, deep-fried crust in a buttery and suave way. The shop adds its own ruby-hued berry sauce, which provides a bit of tart sophistication." - wikipedia

Sunday, June 10, 2007

"'Spring Awakening,' a buoyant rock musical based on Frank Wedekind's 1891 German play of the same title, won [the Tony] for best new musical," according to the

Emily: i heard
i love that it's a buoyant rock musical based on a dark dark german expressionist play
me: i'm flabbergasted.
completely at a loss.
unless you're doing a parody, i just don't understand how it could possibly be a buoyant rock musical.
buoyant is not in spring awakening.
there's no buoyancy.
it's about sinking.
that's what it's about.
it's about drowning in your natural environment.


get your war on #65.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

take a leak on my genius

using nothing but my two hands, various tools and hardware, scraps of
guttering and piping, and my innate ingenuity, i did a particularly
shoddy yet fairly functional job of replacing a gutter the other day.
the old one had a giant piece missing out of it as if a large acid
dispensing reptilian had expectorated on it, and therefore wasn't so
much a gutter as a hole.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

The future is made of ceramic Muslims who won't degrade

"In the end, only Muslims themselves can defeat the violent radicals," Romney says. "But we must work with them."

Well, then. OK. If you say so, Mitt. But if only the Muslims can defeat the violent radicals, why do we need to increase our troop count by 100,000? Also, coal and oil are soooooo 20th century. How about this ceramic battery thingamajig? or maybe some sweet photovoltaic cells?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sometimes I am a fuck up. It doesn't happen regularly, at least, I don't think it does. I suppose those around me can be the judge. But last night at the pizzeria, while being the sole kitchen hand at the pizzeria for what seemed like four or five eternities while Claudio was out delivering pizzas, I managed to make a mess of just about every activity I did, with the exception of dishwashing. Did Massimo yell at me? Thankfully, no. He did seem quite agitated though that I could not complete even simple tasks like placing boxed pizzas on the counter without accidentally juggling them awkwardly like one who has never used his hands before or perhaps has no hands or even maybe no arms. Was I a bit panicky? I was. There were too many phone calls for me to handle competently in that there was more than one. Did I cry under the pressure? I did not. Though I very much wanted to do so. I also just wanted to curl into a ball and perhaps roll away, somewhere far off where people were not upset at me for asking them repeat themselves. Massimo is very particular about how things are organized in his kitchen, which I can appreciate. Phone orders for delivery should be placed next to the register so they can be rung up. Phone orders for pick up should be placed on the counter in front of him so he can take care of them. It seems simple enough. Though I still somehow ended up with three or four green order slips in my hand at once searching for the right buttons on the register, frantic, wild-eyed and cursing myself under my breath for every wrong button pushed.

Luckily I get a chance to redeem myself this evening.

Monday, May 28, 2007

sometimes i find myself blogging about the inanities of my everyday life, such as i was yesterday, and i want to apologize to you, my tiny flock of readers. not so much because the post is self-involved and comprises useless information for most of you, but rather because the writing isn't very good. it just sometimes seems to lack any verve, humor, or even a hint of interest on my own part in what i'm writing about. it may best be described perhaps as gormless. in the future i'll try to put in more of an effort.

Wolfowitz on being fired: "I think it tells us more about the media than about the bank and I'll leave it at that," he told the British Broadcasting Corp. "People were reacting to a whole string of inaccurate statements and by the time we got to anything approximating accuracy the passions were around the bend... I accept the fact that by the time we got around to that, emotions here were so overheated that I don't think I could have accomplished what I wanted to accomplish for the people I really care about."

I also blame the media. It's a shame that such an upstanding citizen--nay! a good samaritan!--such as Paul Wolfowitz would have his name sullied by such a nefarious group of gossip slingers. Mr. Wolfowitz, I weep tears of sympathy. All you wanted to do was help the poor of the world and the thanks you get is the vitriol of... well, everyone. You did manage to lift your significant other out of the bonds of poverty. A noble deed. Only 3 billion people to go. Maybe now that you find yourself with some spare time, and your S.O. has some extra cash to spare, you can haul yourselves out of the mud you've been dragged through and truly express your love and goodwill toward the disadvantaged of the world. Or maybe you can't.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

spy vs. concerned citizens

so the government has been spying on my friends. it was reported this weekend that Solid Energy, a government run coal mining company, contracted Thompson & Clark, a security/private investigation company to investigate the Save Happy Valley Coalition. Thompson & Clark in turn paid at least one person to infiltrate and report back on the SHVC. it was also reported that Thompson & Clark paid at least one other person to spy on Peace Action Wellington and the Wellington Animal Rights Network. PAW has weekly meetings where I live.

the bad thing about this is that plans for protests, etc. may have been compromised. the good thing is that it makes Solid Energy look like a bunch of weasels and makes the SHVC look like a group of Jesuses by camprison. also we now know that we were being spied on and who the spies are.

saturday evening i worked my second shift at pizza pomodoro. and this probably isn't particularly exciting for anyone but me, but i was able to answer some phone calls and started to familiarize myself with the register. i also had a good chat with Claudio, an italian working there as a kitchen hand. he's also there on a working-holiday visa. i'm hoping to get him and Massimo the pizzaiolo to join in the sunday soccer games.

speaking of which, sunday brought a pretty good game of soccer. there seems to be a bit of a tradition of heading over to Ronnie's house afterward for a drink and some homecookin'. Ronnie is Chilean. He and his wife, who's from Larchmont, NY, both play with the NSO here. Chitto, also is Chilean and is currently staying at 128, and I hop a ride with Vladav, a Serb with refined taste and also a car.

i banked my first assist during the game. it was a solid bit of play--cutting through the midfield, i somehow managed to slip by three or four guys before slotting the ball to my teammate for an easy shot in front of the goal. it was the lone bright spot in terms of my play. the rest of my game was plagued with passes gone astray. beautiful day though. windless, sunny, and warm.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

pizzaiolo in the making

sunday i had what was by far my most successful pizza making experience. i was invited to a friend's place with the purpose of making pizza for a handful of select people. the oven was sufficient. it went up to "high," which is some undetermined temperature after 250 degrees C. It also had a fan bake. getting all of my pizza making things over there was a pain in the ass. 6 balls of dough, a pizza peel, baking stone, olive oil, salt, half a bag of flour, and 2 1/2 lbs of canned tomatoes don't fit into a regular back pack. I had to pack it into my hiking bag for the bike trip over. wearing stuff like that messes with my equilibrium, though i somehow managed to not fall over.

sadly, i only have a couple of photos as proof of the scrumtrulescent results. i actually successfully got six pizzas in and out of the oven with minimum calzone-ing. the alpha pie was a pizza bread--no sauce or cheese. just dough, olive oil, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper. the results were pretty fucking great, if i may say so myself. second up was your basic margherita, also a success. the next three pizzas were a free for all in terms of toppings. i left it up to the guests to bring their own and we ended up with tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers, and even some spinach. basil and garlic were the most popular toppings of the evening. we ended the evening on a half marinara/half margherita pie. yum.

of course, it wasn't a perfect outting. the cornicione of the first few pies was a bit undercooked and gummy. also the fresh mozzarella (kapiti brand) that i'd purchased was tasteless. so we had to go out and get some aged.

all in all, i'd give me and my pizzas an overall score of B-, which is good. A B- is good pizza.

in other pizza news, i apparently have been hired by pizza pomodoro (so far the only pizza place i've found in wellington worth going to) to be a bit of a kitchen hand. i'm not making pizzas or anything. mostly i'm a dishwasher, but i may move up to working the register (yeah, i know big whoop). actually, some pizza-making lessons look like a possibility. also i get free pizza out of it. so this evening i worked three hours and it looks like it'll turn into a pretty regular saturday evening gig.