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.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

dropped some photos on my flickr site.

almost got run over yesterday by a moving van. it was backing up straight into traffic as i was biking past. still have all my faculties though.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

W.: a D-grade Nazi.

can someone tell me why Bob Barker's retirement from the Price is Right is a homepage news on the and do we really need a photo of a teary-eyed, mylar confetti-dusted Bob? by contrast the has a photo of Putin and an accompanying article about his comparing the US foreign policy (and apparently NATO) to the Third Reich. while i see his point (the use of bigotry and fear to mobilize a nation, imperialism, delusions of grandeur (or even just delusions) by the commander-in-chief, etc.),  it seems somewhat unfitting. the Third Reich was much more competent and effective than our current administration... too bad they had their gooey innards replaced with evil.