Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Loafing through hells and flogged through paradises.......

I swear, I haven't heard this in probably 15 years or so, but I still can belt out every single word at the top of my lungs.

This is how the rest of my lovely day went....I did manage to record the new roxie song old skool style onto my Sansa, so now I have my own private copy. Roxie said it's a "rough mix" but I think it sounds great. I listened to it a bunch of times while waiting for the bus to get to Squill.
Finally got there, met up with Black Monday at the cage and had a new East End Brewing Snow Melt draft which was GOOD GOOD GOOD! My favorite yet from the EEB. Also had some hot cheese balls which I don't really want to talk about. They were nice in the moment, but have since turned on me.
It was there in the bar that I was presented with a burned copy of the above, with some bonus Lotte Lenya tunes. Her version of "Whiskey Bar" is priceless.
After a couple hours of dishing (neither of us made talking point lists and consequently we forgot to dish a bunch of things we had planned on dishing!) I went to get the bus go to church. I ended up getting to the "Eastside" early, so I wandered a bit and went into the chi chi Goodwill. There was a funny guy in there who seemed to be familiar with the woman working....he kept a humorous running commentary the whole time I was in there, including this amazing bit of comedy involving a dried gourd. There was a nice painted gourd for sale, and he picked it up over his head and said to her "What did I just do?" She looked at him for a minute and then said "Raise the Gourd?" "That's right....."raise the gourd!!!!" It was really funny in person. Say it out loud to yourself.
Finally it was a reasonable time to go to church, so I made my way over there. It was kind of sparsely attended, but still nice. We had a candlelight sing of Silent Night that was particularly nice. I felt refreshed.
I had a very pleasant walk in the chilly evening air to the Market District, where I cashed in the change in the bottom of my purse to get the rest of the baking ingredients. Woo! I am so ready to turn out mini alcohol sodden fruitcakes! And they are going to be good too....none of those freaky neon cherries in my fruit cake! Tomorrow will be all about the chopping.
Sansa Loves Me!

here's what he played for me while I was waiting for the bus:

Desire--Gene Loves Jezebel
I Remember You--Skid Row
Delivering the Goods---Judas Priest

he's such a flirt, that Sansa! hee hee.

Today is an absolutely gorgeous day! So far I've had rum cake and coffee for breakfast, and attended the roxie radio party (complete with a holiday gift of an awesome new roxie song!) bundled up and went to the strip in the chilly sunshine, spent a bunch of money on dried fruit for the HOLIDAY SOUTHERN COMFORT SOAKED NEW ORLEANS STYLE FRUITCAKES!
more or less finished my xmas shopping, got a gift membership to Slow Foods USA from my sissy (SHE ROCKS SO MUCH!!!!!) ate some leftover delicious tuna and asparagus casserole for lunch, and now it looks like I might be able to catch the new roxie song again on the repeat! Woohoo! I'm going to try out Sansa's voice record feature---we'll see how it goes. It's like the old skool taping your favorite song off the radio!
Soon I'll be heading to Squill to meet up with Black Monday for a little holiday cheer, and then I'll head to the Market District to get the rest of the holiday baking ingredients. I'm hoping to get to Taize tonight....I haven't been in ages and someone reminded me about it yesterday so now I've got it on my mind.
Looks like it's gonna be a pretty fab day all around. Yay!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Meet my new friend, Sansa!
Santa brought him early because santa's little helper couldn't stand to wait another minute to give him to me. He is currently holding a little less than 300 songs...with room for-oh my god-1700 more. Ha! Time to hit the dollar section at the exchange for sure! Anyway, Sansa has barely left my side since I unwrapped him. He is very attractive with his shiny black case and his cool blue light up dial and big picture screen which will show the album art of whatever song is playing (provided my computer could tell Sansa what it looked like when he transferred the music) Sansa can also play VIDEOS and show PICTURES and play FM RADIO. Last night I was able to listen to Dee Snider's house of hair on Sansa while I cleaned up the kitchen after my dinner shift. I have decided that I am just not an "earbud" kinda girl though. I tried to use them all last evening and it just drove me crazy. So it is back to the sony in ear-phones. Much more stable and comfortable for me. Before we go on another trip we need to get some kind of adapter for Sansa to play in the truck. I seem to remember that they make things now so your mp3 player can transmit over a radio station? I gotta look into those, if it isn't actually science fiction.
So, besides making the acquaintance of my new best friend Sansa, I had a seriously killer weekend. Thursday we got the tree all put up, drinking some seriously delicious eggnog with brandy, then watching the Office and Scrubs before passing out. The tree looks great with the colored blinky lights...I'll have to take a picture to show you. It is all covered with aliens and lizards and martini accessories. Friday I worked breakfast and then bolted home because it was a stressful morning full of administrative nightmares. I managed to get them straightened out(sorry to be cagey, but it's payroll stuff that I just can't get into again) but I was reminded why I am super happy to be mostly off the corporate grid. The little interactions I have to have with corporate America in the course of my counterculture restaurant job only serve to reinforce the fact that the money was not worth the stress. Pure and simple.
Anyway, rebby came over and we had early christmas. She enjoyed her gift just as much as I am enjoying Sansa(I can't tell you what I got her, but if you are curious you can send me an email and I will probably answer you!) and then we had a disco nap before going out to Planet Claire.
Ahhhhh........I just can not say enough good things about this place! As soon as we walked in the door (and rebby was suitably overcome with the opulent loveliness of the place) the bartender gave us a huge smile and the friends of DJ girls let us know where the request slips were and we ordered up a couple of giant beers. I had a giant organic oatmeal stout. Rebby had a yeungling. We paid for the beers and the cover and made our way up to the loft. Wow. It was just as gorgeous as I remembered it, with the added bonus of some kind of party going on so there were little snacks everywhere. Chocolate covered dried cherries, serious local organic goatcheese on whole wheat toasts, a beautiful cheese and fruit board on the mantle piece, and a couple of steam tables with little eggrolls, little chicken sticks, amazing stuffed mushroom caps, and balsamic roasted onion bruschetta. It seems like they were set up from the Karma on 8th staff party, but one of the owners quickly made the rounds and invited everyone to try the food. The eggrolls and chicken skewers were nothing special, but the other stuff was definitely home made and delicious. DJ Imperium came around and started the video screens which were playing a loop of alternative and new wave videos, and then he went and took his post on his DJ balcony with the red velvet curtain and bronze cherubs. I really can't imagine a more perfect setting for a gothly leaning DJ. It took a while for me to get into the dance groove (in fact, it took all the way through the giant beer and halfway into my first giant vodka tonic) which had to do with the fact that I needed to get my second wind, and also the fact that the videos were so fascinating that I couldn't stop. But, eventually the magic happened where he played "No Big Deal" by Love and Rockets and I was up. I danced to a couple more things, and then I put my requests in. OH! I forgot to mention the hot as blazes gothic bellydance chick, didn't I? She also made it equal parts harder and easier to dance...easier because she was up there having a great time to Siouxie's "Cities in Dust", and harder because....well, don't you just want to sit and dreamily watch a beautiful goth chick floating around the room to Siouxie? It was a toss up.
The crowning definitive moment came when I was just starting into my second giant vodka tonic, and DJ Imperium played my first request...."Desire" by Gene Loves Jezebel, and the goth bellydance chick and her friends and the other dancers all got up and we had a lovely time while the video screen went from Peter Murphy to Echo and the Bunnymen. He also played my request for "Pale Shelter" from Tears for Fears and "Ha Ha I'm Drowning(In Your Love)" by Teardrop Explodes. I spent the rest of the evening alternately relaxing on the giant overstuffed couches watching Sisters of Mercy videos and getting up and working it out to awesome tunes. I can't wait to take all my friends to this place! It really is awfully close to my idea of heaven. I can't wait to go for dinner too!
Saturday we had a lazy morning, and then we went to Kazansky's for breakfast and then to the co-op for some spices. While there we ran into Laura who reminded me about the Winterfest that evening where Styles for Modern Living and Telefonics were playing, so we made plans to go. We finished our shopping and then stopped at rebby's house, and then continued on to the farm.
I was kind of bummed that the farm had lots of vegetables for sale.....all from california(except for the onions...they were from Peru) I managed to get a local acorn squash, but everything else seemed to have been trucked in from elsewhere. Bummer. I did get some local Amish cheese and butter and eggs, and egg noodles. And really nice thick cut bacon. We decided to go to John McGinnis to check out the meat....and we were not disappointed. We got some smoked pork chops and ground beef, and I got the most beautiful bottle of fizzy spring water from scotland. (it really was just as much about the bottle as about the water for me--it's just gorgeous!) I did not go crazy buying salty licorice even though they had several varieties I've never had. It's just nice to know they are there. We started planning out dinner on the drive out...smoked porch chops with roasted raspberry chipotle sauce (which rebby got at the farm), the brussels sprouts of the gods, and smashed taters. Which reminded rebby that we needed milk, so we decided to stop at McGinnis SISTERS (on the way back from McGinnis dads) for milk and so I could get some Amish chicken, which I had managed to talk myself out of at the dads. I got my chicken and some cream and she got her milk in a glass bottle and some green mountain coffee. It was a great foodie day....but I still have that lingering sadness about the vegetables. Couldn't someone have local kale or something for me to buy? I am so going to have to get a community garden plot next year. This is ridiculous.
We went to her place and made our fabulous dinner, and then we got ready to go to the co-op party. Which for me meant building up the mental defenses, as putting myself in a co-op situation is always a little bit traumatic. I survived though...managed to hide out from most of the people I was not keen on talking to. I did have to suffer through some heinous hippie disorganization, but the music was worth it. Until the end, when an old metalhead I used to know who has apparently turned into a crotchety old man came running up and made the band stop because it was too loud. Argh. We decided that it was Telefonic's spinal tap moment. Still, it was all kind of awkward and weird.
Sunday was a super chill day, and then I worked the dinner shift last night. It was an easy enough shift, but I managed to get myself worked up about some things. There needs to be some more consistency in the goings on of the kitchen, I think. I had a nice zen time listening to Sansa and making salsa. And I managed to sleep in to 8am this morning! Woohoo! Now I have to get myself roused to go do some christmas shopping. Pray for me, please.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Teardrop Explodes




Throbbing Gristle


Joy Division


The Slits


Gang Of Four


Public Image Ltd.


Cabaret Voltaire


The Fall


The Pop Group


Which Post Punk band are you?
created with

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Party report:

we had the best spread by far....india garden came in second. everyone else had one or two things...some of which were pretty good, but nothing special. our assortment was dazzling!
prive does indeed have beds on which to lounge. it is indeed ultrafancy, but really, not so impressive. the dj for the party, who the people of pittsburgh(or some subset thereof)voted #1 in the city, was pretty LAME. the three olives dirty martini, which was in fact free instead of $1, was also pretty lame. I think it had as much to do with the three olives and their juice as the vodka, though. the penn dark was much better.
we got second place for "best place to not eat meat" (after Zenith Tea Room, who was conspicuously absent from the party) and we got third place for best coffeehouse, after The Beehive and Crazy Mocha(I missed those plaques being awarded so I'm not sure if they were there or not.)
All in all, I have to say it was not an awesome party. It's always great to watch people enjoy our food though. It's also always great to hang out with Jilly and Sarah, so in that respect it was a good time.
My house still smells of pakora grease....I wish I had left the window open while I was gone (as it is still an apocolyptic 50 something degrees outside!)
A couple things:

1)I got to attend the roxie radio party this morning. Roxie played "Youth Gone Wild". ha.

2)visited the north hills record exchange(I guess it's really just called The Exchange now) where I got the following items from the dollar bin:
--Bob Mould/self titled
--Izzy Stradlin and the Ju Ju Hounds/also self titled

I can't believe the guys who work there don't just laugh in my face.

3)going to a fancy party tonight for the City Paper Best Of at Prive. This club (excuse me, ultralounge) apparently features "beds". I will report back after several $1 three olives cocktails.

4)it's 53 degrees at 3pm on december 13th. In PITTSBURGH. I have the windows open because I was frying pakoras for the fancy party. It's hard to get the holiday spirit with this freakish weather.

I thought I had five but that's all I can think of for now. I've got to go brush my teeth.
You Are Guinness
You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Greetings from my house of tragi-comedy!

This week has been an exercise in how funny it can be when things go horribly awry.
First of all, the light in my kitchen started acting funny a couple months there is a wire loose, so you have to jiggle the switch to get it to stay lit. Whatevs, right? I just dealt with it. Then, about two weeks ago, it blew out completely. I didn't feel like dealing with it, or calling the landlord to deal with it, so I moved a lovely orange IKEA paper lamp in there. It's very cozy, not so great for cooking at night, but nice. The living room light does fine at illuminating the counter, so it's no real big deal. Then, the tiny halogen bulb in my desk lamp burned out. That sucked, because I don't like to turn on the overhead light for early morning computering if rebby is still asleep, but I also didn't have a spare bulb, so I dealt with turning on the overhead for a couple of days. Then, the overhead bedroom light burnt out, and that was the final straw. So, under the sink I go to dig out the lightbulbs, and then into the storage corner I go to dig out the ladder. I changed the kitchen bulb, and in the process of getting the globe off, it cracked. Dammit. Seriously, I wasn't a huge fan of that fixture to begin with, and given the wire problem I need a whole new fixture anyway. But still. Dammit. So now I have a very clinical overhead light or a soft and glowy orange paper light in my kitchen. Both have their applications.
I moved into the bedroom and changed that bulb, and left that fixture off too, mostly because I did not want to have my arms over my head for the extended period it would take to screw it back on. Plus, I'm diggin the brightness.
So, all's good (except the desk lamp, which is going to require a trip to home depot, I think) right? Well yes, in the world of lighting----but apparently in the process of digging the bulbs out from under the sink I dislodged the connector ring on the drain pipe. I found this out when I heard a loud "Whoosh!" while starting to wash the dishes that had been soaking for a couple of days. Ugh. Nothing like a bunch of paper bags and miscellaneous stuff (twine! four balls of it! vacuum cleaner bags from a vacuum I no longer own! etc!) damped with three day old dishwater. Not to mention the POOL of water that I had to soak up with my kitchen towels. Bleck. It did force me to clean out the whole under sink area and get rid of a lot of crap I don't know why I was hanging on to (I kept the twine, but not the bags) so that was good.
Today's tragi-comedy moment came when I returned home from the indian grocery to discover what looked like a pancake laying next to my refrigerator. I had about a minute of cognitive dissonance, and then finally realized that it was a pool of sweetened condensed milk. Meaning, somewhere in the bowels of my refrigerator was an upturned can of sweetened condensed milk, slowly oozing everywhere. Yep, it's true. I managed to dig the can out, but I haven't gone in with the heavy duty cleaning impliments yet. This is a whole other level of "bleck".
Despite willfully ignoring the oozing milk, I am feeling very virtuous right now as I not only put in some laundry, but also ate the mother of all hippiefied dinners. Brown rice and lentils with roasted broccoli and carrots and lemon tahini sauce. Yes, it was all organic and shit. But let me tell you good. Simple, yes, but so good. I also drank two full glasses of water. I am such a good girl. Earlier today I had sourdough toast with butter and nutritional yeast, coffee, yogurt with bananas, and two samosas from Kholis. I am wallowing in virtue, n'est-ce pas?
I think the biggest effect of reading The Omnivore's Dilemma ( I guess I haven't really mentioned that I am reading it, but astute readers will have seen it in my sidebar) besides my pathological fear and resentment of corn, is that I can't think about eating meat without seeing it in terms of corn and petroleum. As grass fed beef seems to be impossible to get around here (I guess I haven't hunted too carefully, but I certainly haven't seen any proudly labeled grass fed) I think I will be eating a lot less meat. I think that's okay. I also REALLY don't want to eat any corn fed salmon. Can you even imagine such a thing?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Nothing wrong with a little bias towards goth.....

Psychedelic Furs - India
Bauhaus - Lagartija Nick
Echo & The Bunnymen - Crocodiles
Killing Joke - Wardance
Southern Death Cult - Moya

[Hour Three]

New Model Army - Vengeance
The Damned - Smash It Up
The Smiths - Girl Afraid
The Cramps - Goo Goo Muck
The B-52's - Lava
Gang Of Four - Damaged Goods
Au Pairs - The Set Up
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Phenomena
Siouxsie & The Banshees - Voodoo Dolly
The Cure - The Figurehead
Joy Division - Heart And Soul
My Bloody Valentine - Soon
Bjork - Army Of Me

[Hour Four]

Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again
Duran Duran - Planet Earth
Human League - Don't You Want Me
New Order - Temptation [RS]
INXS - Suicide Blonde
Jesus & Mary Chain - Reverence [RA]
Curve - Fait Accompli
Garbage - Push It
James - Laid [RS]
Jeff Buckley - Last Goodbye
The Cure - Just Like Heaven [RS]
Sisters Of Mercy - Black Planet [RS]

This is the set list from friday night...the part of it that we heard. Whiskey Daisy and I got up at the begining of hour four and aside from taking a little break during the Curve and Garbage songs (I love it when people play them back to back!) we were pretty much groovin. Only, you can't so much dance to Jeff Buckley.
So-who's coming next week?

Saturday was a blur. I must have still been slightly drunk when I made that post, because I only got about 3 hours of sleep and then I went in to help the new guy on his first breakfast shift. It was pretty busy, and there was lots of stuff that needed to be done, so instead of sitting at the bar drinking coffee and jumping up to answer questions, I was a powerhouse. Ended up being there till about 2:30 cranking through some brunch prep, then I came home and fell into bed. I read a little bit more about factory farming but my eyes were heavy so I just crashed.
Got a call about 4:30 from rebby asking if I wanted to go to Piper's Pub with her visiting family for dinner....uh, yeah. So I worked on waking myself up, and then they came to get me around 7pm. My fears about getting a table at that hour on saturday night turned out to be would have been an hour wait. So we ended up going to the Pittsburgh Steak Company where I had.....salmon. Ha! I had been dreaming of salmon all day and I just couldn't fight the feelin. It was SO good. We had a nice dinner and then headed down to the Record Exchange for a little late night shopping. I ended up getting a couple movies on the cheap...including The Addiction and Longtime Companion. I just watched that one this morning and got myself all worked up again. Fuckin AIDS, man. Between AIDS and the factory farming stuff I am walking around slightly enraged all the time these days. Blissful ignorance has it's place, but sometimes I just need to get myself engaged. This seems to be one of those times.
Anyway, we stopped back at the house to pick up the truck and watch a couple mystery science theater shorts, then headed to the Pub. Miraculously, the Bumps were just taking the stage when we got in the door....that was a relief. I don't think I would have survived too much sitting around waiting time. As it was...I could not survive standing up. I grabbed a table and became the stationary coat drop spot. The Bumps played a great set....I definitely enjoy them more when I am up and moving and in the fray, but they were playing their hearts out last night. I got to chat with some friends and I had a beer bought for me, which is always nice. Then the Telefonics took the stage, and I really wished I had more energy. Their set was fantastic. Watching Gina is always so inspiring. I did make my way down front when they played their cover of the Viragos song "I Tried"---that was sweet. I went back to my table and then I started to get a little weepy....I think it was equal parts being exhausted and the heavy emotional stuff of the weekend. By the time the Working Poor got into their set I was biting my lip and trying to hold back the tears. I was successful until about half way through...and then when Mike and Sara came to talk to me about the new wave cabaret I had to try to pull myself together. I was moderately successful, but Sara asked me what was wrong and then I kinda lost it. I really didn't want to unload on anyone but she was really sweet about it. There are only a couple times a year when I feel the least bit sad about how things might have been, and this is one of those times. So seeing the Working Poor just kinda kicked it over the edge. When they were done I went up to hug Alan and I really only meant to congratulate him on a good show, but I ended up breaking into tears. It sucked. I ran to the bathroom to try to pull myself together and unfortunately ran into two people I know, which didn't help. But, I got it together, and had some nice conversations with John and Gina and some other people, and then it was finally time to get my ass home and into bed. Sleep helped, that's for sure.
Today should hold some cleaning and some shopping and hopefully some sorting out of the new wave cabaret stuff. It's gonna be an awesome show! I have yet to get a promise of INXS but it's not too late. I'm sure it will happen.....

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Which Depeche Mode album are you?

Music for the Masses
Many people will consider you to be Depeche Mode's greatest album. You broke out big in America after this record in a big way
Take The Quiz Now!Quizzes by
Last night, I got to dance in a beautiful room to Black Planet by Sisters of Mercy.
I sipped on three delicious brandy alexanders and chatted with some awesome people I should really hang out with more, and flirted a tiny bit with the gorgeous gothy dj boy, (it was hard to flirt much with him because of the way the place is set up--he is across an expanse of empty space on his own little balcony, framed exquisitely by a giant window with red velvet curtains and two extremely baroque bronze cherubs)
and got to watch a little bit of Pee Wee's Playhouse on the TV monitors over the (non-functioning) upstairs bar. It was the dj boy's birthday, and when I went down to get my third drink one of the restaurant owners was bringing him a piece of carrot cake with a candle. That was sweet.
The crowd--not very impressive. There were several people who were "dressed up" to be at an alternative dance night, but they weren't dancing. There were a couple of young ladies who danced a couple of times, but mostly it was just me and Whiskey Daisy up there. And even we didn't get up there until 1am when the gorgeous dj boy played "Never Let Me Down Again."
I DEFINITELY want to go back. I want to go back with people who dance. The dj boy posts his set lists on his myspace page so when he does that I will include some hilights here to entice you. Maybe you will want to come alternative dancing with me next time?
Apparently, he is one of the djs for ceremony as well. Woohoo!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Support World AIDS Day