Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hey wow!
I'm having a great morning because my computer is mysteriously picking up wireless interenet today! I took advantage of it to join a polaroid self portrait group on flickr--normally flickr crashes my browser on dial up but with the mysterious wireless it worked just fine! I also took advantage of it to listen to the new songs from Year Zero posted to the Nine Inch Nails myspace and I gotta tell ya...they're great. I am especially a fan of "My Violent Heart" which had me bouncing in my captain Kirk chair. I can't wait till it comes out...just a couple weeks left! woohoo.
So, other than inadvertently stealing the internet, I've been supa busy with catering n'at. We picked up a last minute job at CMU that turned into two last minute jobs at CMU, in addition to the gallery opening that we had booked the proper two weeks in advance. Today I will be making the spinach feta puffs, and then going in to work for a meeting, and then making the cheese and fruit trays and the greek tray, and then hopefully getting the salads ready for tomorrow's catering, and then probably heading over to the gallery with Jilly. Whew! Tomorrow I've got my breakfast shift, getting that catering ready, then a show at the Garfield Artworks with the Impossible Shapes. They are on Secretly Canadian and this is supposedly a big deal. They sound like whiney straight boys to me, but maybe there is something special in there that I will catch in live performance. I hope so. Saturday is the conference, and then Saturday night is a LUPEC party at Kelly's where in the very pregnant Pink Squirrel and the very pregnant Black Monday will be attending. That will be funny. AFTER the LUPEC party will be the show at the Pub. SHeesh! Then Sunday is brunch and a catering meeting. I don't know how I'm gonna get it all done, but I will. I always do.
In the midst of all this busy-ness I've developed a strange obsession with chili dogs. This is so out of character that I can't really even talk about it. But yesterday I actually bought myself a package of Nathans and some bakery rolls and mustard. I already had chili and onions in the fridge. What I really should do is take advantage of the hotdog obsession to try to determine what the best veggie dog on the market is, because our current dog (the lightlife tofu pup) will soon be unavailable. So I gotta check out the competition.
In other news, it appears that the answer to the super secret question is YES. It's not all worked out and definite yes, but it seems that it's going to work. My life will be very different after June...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Did you put money on whether or not we would actually go to Costco? I'm glad I didn't, because I was convinced it was really going to happen this time and of course it didn't. Which ended up being fine....I got the rest of my inbox cleaned out and vacuumed the living room and did some dishes and walked to WholeFoods for supplies. I was out of Champion Chicks eggs, and I just can't bring myself to buy any other eggs any more. They really are so much better. All big and brown and not uniform and unclassified. I love it.
Friday morning I woke up with a headache and that put me into a cranky mood, so I hustled through breakfast and then headed home around 1:30pm. (I wanted to hang around till the other HBICs came back from a shopping trip because there were some guys putting lots of holes in our ceiling for work the apartment upstairs, and I thought it was a good idea to have someone keeping an eye on them. They were nice enough, but if something went horribly awry it could get ugly, what with it being lunch time and all)
Anyways, I came home and took a nap and then when rebby got off work we headed to Lot 17 for salads. I was in the chicken mood, so I got the highly recommended Lot 17 with chicken. Delish. Magic Hat #9 also delish. It was horrifying in there at 7pm on a Friday night though....I just really don't get how people think it's alright to stand right in front of the door with a sloshing pint of beer and not move when someone is trying to get in. Stupid Americans. The dining room was perfectly cozy, though.
So then we ventured out to Belvederes for the strange rock show. I was hesitant but it was free, and I was sort of in the mood to see some rock. Plus, I hadn't seen Fangs of the Panda in a long time and I wanted to check out Ludlow. The other two acts were of no interest to me but there was no way to know what the lineup would be so we got there at about 9:45 hoping for the best (according to the flyer, the show started at 9pm) Well, as you might guess, no one had really even begun setting up yet. The ever patient Vulture had already left to go get the PA (I don't know why he doesn't just ALWAYS bring his PA---I know I've never seen Fangs play a show where he didn't have to run home to get something or other) and everyone was tense and edgy.
Telecorps was sort of leisurely setting up, apparently pissed off that they were being asked to play first. Fangs was originally supposed to play second, but had somehow been bumped to last. I was not amused. I chatted with some folks for a while and drank some wolavers organic brown, but I was feeling a little like bailing. Then as a peace offering to a really frazzled Vulture, Fangs was changed from last to third, which gave me a little hope. Telecorps finally finished setting up and I headed into the front bar. No need really to be in the same room with that noise.
Had some more beers, chatted some more, and then Ludlow started and I got a wind and figured I could stick it out.
Oh goodness! Ludlow blew my mind. The one two punch of Dan and Jeff is one of my favorite things about Pittsburgh music EVER, and they really deliver. Chris is a solid and exciting drummer and they all three trade off vocals. I was getting shivers down my spine and grinning from ear to ear and bopping up and down. Just pure, drunken, sloppy musical happiness! I got a CD. I can't wait to listen to it.
Fangs were completely awesome as well despite the fact that one of the PA speakers blew halfway into their second song. No big deal, they got it switched out in about 3 minutes and all was rock. Seriously, Vulture deserves a fucking MEDAL for that show last night. Pittsburgh is lucky to have him around.
The minute Fangs were done (after collecting smiles and high fives and hugs and a CD!) we beat it out of there. I'm exhausted after about 4 hours of sleep, and possibly still slightly drunk. The perfect state of mind for a BABY SHOWER, no?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm still here...chugging along, trying to keep on ploughing through. I'ts been a wild ride for the past week, and I am OFFICIALLY READY FOR MARCH TO BE OVER. Sorry, still a week or so to go.
Actually, this upcoming week is actually fruition week so hopefully I will be able to enjoy the fruits of my labors for the preceeding month. (that's what fruition means, don'tchaknow!) Today I think we are REALLY going to check out the new Costco--this trip has been postponed three times for one reason or another, but I think today is really going to work. I'm psyched. I've got a list of things I personally want to look for for the kitchen. At the top of the list are a couple nice knives and another smallish stockpot. It's the simple pleasures, really. Saturday is the baby shower, and I am looking forward to seeing "grandma Helen" for the first time in YEARS! I can't even guess how many years...could be as many as 15. Wow. I have been warned that she looks like a little old lady but....she has every right to.
After the shower comes the show at earthstone with nicole reynolds, about whom I think I've raved in these pages before. She is a tiny lesbian bob dylan. Who lives on an organic goat farm and flirts with german farm girls. I *heart* her so much! Also looking forward to hearing Madeline for the first time, and of course the locals. It will be such a nice chill show in a nice chill space.
Sunday I am going to have a super secret meeting. I cannot tell you what this meeting is about, but I am equal parts excited and terrified. It could lead to a MAJOR STEP. Eek. I think I'm ready...just need to get rid of a whole lot more clutter. Perhaps I've said too much.
Sunday night...John Waters. Yep! Though I have personally seen him careening around P-Town on his bike with a bottle of champagne in the flower basket on the front and a weaving and bobbing Gus Van Sant by his side...I am still excited to hear him give a lecture at CMU. 7pm, only $3. What a steal!
Monday we go to the restaurant expo, local edition. The restaurant expo is sort of laughable for us as we don't serve alcohol or pre packaged fried cheese, but it's fun to stumble around and look at things and taste stuff. Though I have to say that being out of the high fructose corn syrup game will make my trip a lot less fun. Still, it's always nice to drool over POS systems and maybe I can pick up some chef pants or something.
Thursday we have an actual GALLERY SHOW to, it's been a long time! I'm psyched. Friday Anita Fix and Bambam plays with Impossible Shapes at Garfart. We might also play before that at the gallery in Braddock, but I still havent heard any details. Hmm. Saturday rebby and I are going to a local food conference where I will get to listen to organic farmers and local chefs talk about local food economies and sustainability and all that jazz. I wish I could be in two places at once so I could also hear this guy speak, but unfortunately he is doing his thing at the same time as the famers and I don't want to miss them. I ordered his book though, cuz it looks really interesting to me. I'm always sort of keeping my eye open for diet schemes that seem to make sense. Most of them don't really make sense to me, but eating lots of whole foods does. So we'll see. I'll report back. I also just really like the looks of the guy's face and he seems sincere and not like a huckster.
SO that's going forward. I realize that I have not talked about anything I've actually DONE in March, like seeing Gito Gito Hustler and the Hi Watt Hex, or seeing Michael Pollan speak at the Carnegie, or going to the Visitors Bureau Mixer at the super pimpy bed and breakfast on the north side, or Lidias, or Irish Brunch, or the show. Hmm. Maybe later.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

For some reason, I am having a really difficult time getting myself organized this year. I wonder if it has to do with spending new year's day sitting on rebby's couch in my pajamas watching movies? I just feel like I am constantly trying to catch up.
March is flying past me at breakneck speed, and I am clutching on to my datebook for dear life. It's chock full of stuff (however, I realized to my horror this morning that it doesn't actually have everything I need to do this month written down---I need to catch up on that too!) and I am very liable to forgetting if I don't look at the physical evidence every day.
OH CRAP! Speaking of forgetting---I forgot to return the movies to Blockbuster that were due yesterday. I never even got around to watching The Ciderhouse Rules. Dammit.
Anyway, today is one of those chockfull days....I have to get myself off to work in a minute for breakfast shift, wherein I will also be training the new kitchen chick who seems totally rocking and awesome. She actually has PRIOR VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT EXPERIENCE. Swoon. Hopefully somewhere in there I can do a round of slip tallies as well...I am woefully behind. Just behind to the begining of March, but we've had some really big days in March which means a really big pile of slip tallies. Argh.
After that I am going to rush home and return those damn movies, then try to get some laundry in and some dishes washed, and then Jilly is going to come and pick me up and we are going to go to the new Costco to check it out. We'll also have a little admin meeting hopefully over frosty beverages. Maybe somewhere in the waterfront we will be able to sit outside with frosty beverages as it is supposed to be 69 degrees today! Then, after that, back home to throw some more laundry in, maybe do some dishes, and then back to the restaurant for a 7pm meeting with our vegan cake baker. That should be fun. We are planning an all vegan wedding reception and they want hella pastries.
Hopefully sometime in the next couple days I can manage to see J*(of course, I need to email her first!) and then the whirlwind weekend is upon me....possibly a dinner at Lidias where Lidia will talk about using all the meat parts( that is a very unglamourous way of saying what she is going to be talking about, but that's basically what it is) and then Saturday I will be locked in the kitchen peeling potatoes, and then Sunday is the Irish brunch. AND THEN after the Irish brunch I have a show at Belvederes. Holy Crap. Monday I will collapse in a heap. Seriously.
I'll leave you with this final note....I seriously love Trent Reznor. I don't care what anybody says. I know it's not HIP or COOL but I am totally sucked in to this new Year Zero thing(sorry, I don't have time to make links this morning) And the songs I've heard from the new album so far are fantastic. And the video is hot.
I just love him. Of course, I do like to pretend that he still looks like he did in 1992, but otherwise....heart heart heart.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

So-o-o--o-o: Cleveland. More specifically, Ohio City. This is the neighborhood right across the bridge from downtown on the West side. It's extremely ethnically diverse, and just slightly hip without being annoying like Coventry. I LOVE it. In fact, I love it so much that I want to move there. Not immediately or anything, but the next time. Before I retire to my tire house in Taos. (that is one of the most sonically lovely sentences ever, isn't it? retire to my tire house in Taos. Ohh.)
Anyway, our main purpose in visiting Ohio City was to go to the West Side Market. This link is to a whole slew of Flickr photo sets of the market, because I think that is the best way to really tell you about it. If you want to know the history and stuff you can look here. We arrived in the early afternoon and found a nice street parking spot(oh Cleveland you get like 2 hours for a quarter on the meters. AND the meters take nickels and dimes. Love.) almost right in front. We entered the arcade entrance off of 25th street, and immediately I was overwhelmed. It's HUGE, and literally produce stands as far as the eye can see. Tons of people milling around, the vendors calling out specials and handing you samples. Of course, in Cleveland in February you aren't going to get much local, but there were some people selling organic stuff, and a couple vendors who had local banners and seem to be very invested in the local food game. We walked the whole length of the produce arcade, and then cut through into the main building. WOW. We happened to pick the door that led right into the smelly fish market, but beyond that was a falafel stand. And beyond that was the meat and bakery and cheese and coffee and spice and dairy and pierogie and pasta wonderland that is the heart of the market. I thought I was going to cry. There are over 120 vendors currently in the market, and I swear you could do all your food shopping there quite happily. I guess you might want to go elsewhere for grains, since I didnt really see any of that, but's all there. The first thing that caught my eye was a REAL APPLE FRITTER, the thing that I was desperately searching for last summer and never found. I guess it's an Ohio thing, because there were several vendors who had em. I did end up getting one, but not from the first vendor. We wandered a bit and were finally stopped by a meat stand with super thick smoked pork chops and canadian bacon and chorizo sausage. All processed by the people who were there selling it. I don't know when they have time to do it, actually, considering how the market is open every day...maybe there is a whole team of them. Anyway, we got a bunch of meat and then kept on going. I ended up getting some more meat later, in the form of corned beef, and some super incredibly delicious homemade saurkraut. This is the real german style deal, almost reddish and not as sour tasting as the stuff you get in the can. It's a whole different animal. Rebby got some smoked paprika and habenero powder for her arsenal, and we got a loaf of german rye bread. I managed to pass by the cheese and the coffee because I knew I still had a bunch at home, but it was hard. Also hard to pass by were the pierogies and homemade pastas, and all the little fancy decorated cakes and pastries. I did get my apple fritter though, and man oh's almost enough to make me want to move to Cleveland on its own!
We went back into the produce section with the intent of shopping this time, and we did a good job. Avocados, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, bananas, mangoes, blood oranges, raspberries, temple oranges...and more stuff. Like I said, none of it was particularly local or organic, but the chance to interact with the people who are selling you your food is a blessing too.
We finished up where we started, and set out to find the Great Lakes Brewing Company for lunch. I wasn't sure exactly where it was--just that it was pretty close--so we got in the car and drove around the block. Only to find that it was literally right behind where we were parked initially! Ha ha. This provided us with not only amusement but the chance to see an adorable little green cottage with a rose trellis in the front for sale on the side street one over from the brewery. Yes, we were dreaming about moving that instant. We drove all the way around the block and ended up parking back on 25th street. Ha ha. Walking around the block, we passed the cleveland film society offices. No kidding, they are right next door to the restaurant. It was a weird sort of karma moment, like "here's where you can shop, and here's where you can live, and here's where you can work." Ohio City was definitely developing a crush on us.
We got seated right away in the atrium room at the restaurant in the midst of a very diverse crowd of lunchers. The other thing about Ohio City is that it is a very gay friendly part of town, in addition to/despite/because of being ethnically diverse(I'm not sure how that equation goes, really. have to do more research) We got some delicious porters (my old standby Edmond Fitzgerald, and rebby got one that was a pub exclusive. super dark but I can't remember the name) and then I got a bratwurst and pierogie platter and she got an irish stew. They came with delicious whole grain fresh baked bread, and it was all super yummy. The menu talked alot about their dedication to local farmers and sustainable and environmental practices, and it made everything taste even better. I was so in love.
We finished our meals and then walked around the square just a little bit before getting back in the truck to hit the thrift stores. I was very excited to see the Flying Fig restaurant(that link does not take you to the restaurant's homepage because the intro has really loud porn-style music...but if you turn your speakers down first you should check out the menu!) It's a tiny little spot that I have read about countless times. Women chefs turning out fantastic food on a small scale...that is insipiring to me.
So, we got back to the truck and found the thrift store pretty was a place we had been to way back when we had our first vacation weekend in Ohio City. It seems to have gone downhill in a big way, but I did get a couple nice scarves and a pair of denim overall which I have been jonesin for. The day was starting to get a little blustery, but we decided to drive out Lorain Ave to try to find some of the other thrift stores. Who knows what happened (Cleveland is a grid city but I am not sure where the east and west numbers start....and also, the addresses I had did not have east and west indicated) but eventually we found ourselves on the way to Coventry. I have to say, at this point I feel about Coventry exactly how I feel about Walnut Street in used to be WAY cooler than it is. It is becoming very yuppified and very big box-i-fied and losing most of it's grungy appeal. Record Revolution still has graffitti on the wall from Stiv Bators, though...and there's always Tommy's and Big Fun, the giant crammed from floor to ceiling kitchy toy store. I did get a few things there(which I can't disclose at this time) but we didn't go to Tommy's since we were still full from lunch. All in all Coventry was sort of a disappointment. It's probably better at night.
Sadly, since we were still full, we didnt stop at Cooper'stown. Sadder still, I was being a dork and misread the directions and we ended up driving all the way to Erie on the way home, turning the 2 hour trip into 4 hours. Still---a fantastic day. And a new daydream!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I don't believe it!
I've just moved this to the top of my netflix queue. Ah, Rex. You take my breath away, baby.
New Hairdo!

It's awfully "cute". I'm not sure how I feel about that. The nice gal who cleaned it up for me at supercuts kept telling me how "cute" it is and the more she said it the less I liked it. But, I'm gonna give it a little time. We'll see.

Once again I don't really have time to go into detail about Cleveland....I will though, I promise. This morning I had some of the chorizo we got at the market with scrambled eggs from champion chicks, amish sharp cheddar, and the most amazingly delicious tortillas I got from Whole Foods. Oh wow. They are flour, water, baking powder and salt. They are organic and made in New Mexico. Probably expensive(I can't remember) but the taste is so good I don't even care. It immediately took me back. All I need to do is get some of that bueno green chile from Reyna's and I will feel like I'm back in Albuquerque!