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.