Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
tom has made doughnuts. they are delicious.
i made bread, which is not quite as delicious, but partners well with butter.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
relief when it was finally over, but now sometimes all I want is to
return. I'm afraid if I don't, the three months I spent there in
overfed discomfort will quickly evaporate from my memory, and the
experience will become like some patched together story telephoned
from a friend of a friend.
In reality—the present—the experience of New Orleans actually is
someone else's. It belongs to friends. While my own little realm of
existence somehow still involves gypsy jazz bands, it is devoid of
morning meetings (which I am shockingly nostalgic about), beignets,
oddball nicknames (or one ball nicknames), mushroom trailers, colored
bricks, and a million other idiosyncrasies that I'd apparently grown
to appreciate. Oddly, even though I was crammed into what was probably
originally a three bedroom house with a rotating cast of 16 or 17
other people, sleeping in an unenclosed room on modified bunk bed, and constantly switching
jobs, I kind of felt at home.
That said, if there's one thing I've learned in the past 26-plus years
of consciousness it's this: life is transience.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
seven leaked tracks makes for a pretty good sampling of the upcoming weezer album, which following a theme, is eponymous and in reddish hues. the shiny button of those tracks is "the greatest man that ever lived (variations on a shaker hymn)." grammatical error aside, it's a track that can't quite make up its mind over weather it wants to be an epic piece of rock history or a novel bit of pastiche. in a little more than 6 minutes, the song runs a gauntlet of styles from hip-hop to choral to hair metal, with others dotting the audioscape. lyrically it appears some parts are tongue-in-cheek hyperbole, while others are honest expressions. sometimes its hard to tell the difference.
it seems rivers cuomo is suffering from michael jackson syndrome and makes a point of appearing put upon and responding to fans and critics by making outlandish statements (a la mj's scream and unbreakable) about his sonic prowess. if he'd just written a good pop song and left his personal beef with his fans and critics out of it, we could all just get on enjoying this musical patchwork blanket. instead i'm left wondering whether rivers is really "tearing up the place" or we actually "love" what he's doing, because while certainly the song is ambitious, catchy, and displays a knack for pop music writing, it isn't innovative—there are no knew sounds here—and lacks the empathy that weezer's best stuff evokes in the listener. so the song ends up a false proclamation.
6 out of 9
Friday, May 09, 2008
sometimes flowers aren't enough, ya know.
it seems that i may have my first bit of temporary employment with what looks like will be some lame-o financial company. i will detail it later after it begins, but probably not particularly thoroughly as i feel that would lead readership to drop from what is already a pretty lowly number. the consolation is that i know i will not have to work for a heinous financial company longer than a couple of months. and hopefully by the time its over, i will have enough greenbacks to exchange for a computer that i can then use to service mankind for good and not villainy or mediocrity... or some other antithetical noun.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
in the past two years i've gone from pizza rich (scrooge-mcduck-swimming-in-a-tower-of-pizza rich) in brooklyn to pizza lower-middle class in new zealand up to pizza middle-class in the dc-metro area, and back down to pizza poor in new orleans. and now i'm in pizza portland, that as yet largely unexplored region in our nation's upper west side.
my search for pizza glory is not unlike an olympic athlete's search for the gold medallion. it requires dedication, high standards, and traveling great distances. however, unlike the upcoming summer games, there are no human rights controversies surrounding pizza (unless you count people being subjected to undercooked pies made with inferior ingredients as a human rights violation). there are however wheat controversies. the price of grain is up and so follows the prices of a slice. Di Fara back in brooklyn is now infamously charging $4 a slice. According to slice.seriouseats.com, the price jumped a whole dollar in one day from $3 on Feb. 5th to the cuatro on the 6th. judging by the waits at two portland pizza purveyors, the price hike hasn't appeared to slow pizza fans from chowing down on their favorite pies.
so far in two weeks of portlanding, i've found two quality contenders for pizza gold in Ken's Artisan Pizza and Apizza Scholls (Apizza, as i learned recently, is pronounced A-beetz). the former being a neapolitan-styled spin-off of the popular Ken's Artisan Bakery and the latter being a new haven inspired thin-crust slinger. both of these places provide nicely charred thin crusts, fresh basil, and root beer, but that is where the similarities end.
the first thing you notice when walking into Ken's, besides the hordes of people waiting up to two hours (as we unfortunately found out) for a table, is the magnificent looking wood-burning oven. shortly after that is disgruntled-looking pizzaiolos stretching, spreading, and sprinkling dough, sauce, and cheese at a clipped pace. the pizza's coming out of the oven are beautiful 13-inch specimens dotted with charring, the edges nicely puffed, and spots of creamy mozzerella on a bright orange-red water bed of tomato sauce. i tried their margherita and pepperoni-style sausage pie. the first was perfectly cooked, though under-sauced, a problem that seemed prevalent on all their pizzas. the uber-thin crust held up well though. and the sauce, when its flavor peeked out over the cheese, crust, and basil, had some zing—spice!—and tang saddled up next to some sweetness. the crust, while beautiful to look at, and that hard-to-find crisp-yet-pliant balance, was a little bland. the sausage pie displayed many of the same qualities but with the added smokiness and spice that one would expect from pepperoni. arbitrary scoring: 8 giant pandas out of 11.
Scholls' dishes out the 18-inchers normally, but i was able to get a 14" special (for the same price). the margherita with half pepperoni and extra basil burned the hell out of my mouth (in the classic pizza way, right behind the top front teeth) on the first bite. always a good sign: a seriously burned mouth often means a hot oven--not that i recommend others using this method as a test, but it yields results. luckily the tongue and its trusty sidekick, the nose, were intact. the sauce-cheese balance was spot on, with the sauce containing a bitterness not uncommon from canning, while the cheese seemed to be a blend of fresh and aged mozz. a well done crust allowed for a satisfying crunch that gave way to a pleasant chewiness. arbitrary scoring: a pair of short pants, a striped sock, and an american apparel t-shirt on a fully-clothed hipster.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
first impressions are good. there are home gardens spilling over onto sidewalks everywhere with blooming tulips and fat rosemary bushes. streets are lined with cherry blossom trees, which are now liberally distributing their pink petals all over the city. businesses have a habit of being small and locally owned, including a glut of chocolatiers. and there are a number of second run movie houses dotting the landscape.
i'll soon send an email out with my address, &c.
for now, please enjoy this photo by Ryan McGinley (via ffffound.com):