Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sorry, the update is probably not happening. You're used to that by now, right?
If you want to know about something in particular you can ask me.
My nasal congestion (you should imagine the hispanic bee from the nasonex commercial saying that) makes it difficult for me to sit at the computer. I'm just full of excuses! (and snot)
Anyway, instead of a full on update I am going to share the happy news: LOVE AND ROCKETS are reuniting for Coachella! Now, there is no way I am going to GO to Coachella--especially since I'm planning a trip to Sweden in May. BUT, the fact that Love and Rockets is reuniting for Coachella fills me with joy. Cuz remember what happened when Bauhaus reunited for Coachella? OOOOH! That's right superfriends--let's just assume there is a weekend trip to Cleveland in my future. (or possibly Millvale, but more likely Cleveland.)
I'll have to get some new boots......
It's my day off, and I'm celebrating by going to the Strip to stock up on yummy Guatamalan coffee. It's only 16 degrees outside, so it's probably a dumb idea to go walking around, but I feel the need. Later I'll come home, do laundry, dishes, cleaning, email, and finish writing the darned blog update. Oh. I'll also make black bean soup, I think. Check back later.
For now, enjoy this awesome industrial video. This is Die Krupps performing "To The Hilt"---in a public toilet, with some old guys and a goth chick and the devil. It's great, trust me.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Wow, dogs, I am so behind! Sorry bout that. I think the weather lately has just turned me into a snuggler more than anything else. Don't feel much like sitting upright if I don't have to. Yeah. Anyway, let me just play catch up a little bit, cuz there are some fine and fancy things I've done in the past two weeks that you should know about! Here goes:
Went with Jilly to see King Corn. It was pretty much exactly as I expected it to be, but there was a sort of tug at the heartstrings under/back story that I wasn't expecting. I highly recommend it if you can see it. The factoid that really got me was that something like 70% of the antibiotics used in America are used in our cattle. Does that scare you? I hope so. It does me.
After the movie we walked down the block to check out Seviche, one of a crop of new restaurants downtown. We lucked into seats at the kitchen bar, and we lucked into sitting right where the chef was working. He hooked us up with a delicious tasting menu, which included (let's see what I can remember) a three item seviche tasting including salmon with berries and vodka(the other two fishes were tuna and hamachi, but I can't remember the preparations. they were good though) also a pork empanada, a salad with asparagus wrapped in serano ham, a pork shank, and a flight of housemade ice creams. It was all yummy and the place is nice---it's a weird shape which kind of bothered me. I'm glad we sat at the bar so I could just focus on the cooks. If I was sitting in the dining room I think I might be weirded out. Anyhoo, I had my first ever Pisco Sour. I liked it very much.
So then a couple days later it was my birthday! It was also MLK day, so lots of people had the day off from their jobs. As is typical, lots of people come to the restaurant when they have Mondays off, so I worked the line pretty much steadily with Amy (who was also celebrating her birthday!) until about 2pm. Woo! It was a rush.
After work I chilled a bit and then rebby and I went to Casbah. I ordered a glass of sparkling shiraz and let me just say that it was one of my favorite things about the evening. Also a favorite was the fact that the dining room was all booked so we sat on the heated patio---all by ourselves for most of the evening. That was really nice.
We started with a roasted beet and goat cheese salad--you know that's one of my faves. I also ordered the flatbread trio which came with hummus, baba, and butternut squash hummus. It was good, but a little much. Next time one starter only. The bread basket was very yum, and I managed to finish off all the spreads even though I knew it was probably not a good idea. Oh well. Entree wise, I made a less than wise choice. I picked Alaskan Salmon with spinach rice, blood oranges and olives. Sounds good on paper, and it was GOOD, but really not the thing to order in the middle of January. Especially on a Monday night, if Anthony Bourdain is to be believed. I don't exactly REGRET it, but I would definitely choose something else if given a do over.
Like for example the lamb shank with lamb bacon, fig conserve and white beans that rebby got. Holy moly was that ever fabulous. I was reluctant to order an expensive lamb dish as I was still a little lamb curious and not fully lambisexual. Well now my friends, I have been converted. Dang. Bring it on. So good. I got several bites from her plate because she is a good girlfriend, and because there was so much lamb to be had.
We took a break and then had dessert, where I really triumphed. I got a chevre cheesecake with fig conserve, local honey, and pine nut brittle. The crust of the cheesecake was a sort of brown sugar shortbread cookie. It was absolutely divine. Rebby's chocolate raspberry bread pudding was great, and would probably have wowed me more were it not for the cheesecake. Seriously, I was like that dog in the one cartoon who gets a bone and flies up to heaven. Yum.
We got home and pretty much collapsed. We were exhausted from deliciousness.
Thus ends part one of the report. Part two will include thrifting and more movies.
And my pizza laboratory.

Monday, January 28, 2008


I just learned that Barak Obama is a beet hater. Even so, I think I will vote for him.

Concise update on the previous 10 or so days soon, I promise. Now, time to go out and enjoy some unseasonably warm weather!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Well, ok, maybe not "science." But I'm sure the polling was done in a scientific manner. I am just so excited by the fact that the findings were unanimous.

Don't Send In The Clowns

via CardhouseRobot.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oh my goodness.
We went to see this tonight.
I broke out in sobs at least 9 times during the course of this 2 hour film.
The last time was during the end credits when there was a clip of one of Jimmy's fireside chats where he talked about keeping your thermostat at 55 at night and 65 during the day. I remember that sweater.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I've been generally lucky as far as disasters in the kitchen. Or maybe I'm just really good at blocking out unplesant memories. There was the infamous avocado soup disaster, but for the most part even if things don't turn out the way I planned, I can manage to do some kind of salvage job. I've had a couple of blender mishaps, and I pretty regularly spew frosting or cake batter all over courtesy of my old electric mixer, but I'm usually pretty tidy. Which is why this morning's incident really threw me for a loop. I was warming up some honey in the microwave to make oatmeal bread. I've warmed honey in the microwave many times before--it's a delicate operation, to be sure, but one I thought I had mastered. I don't know if I set the timer a touch too long, or if the honey-air ratio was off, or what. But I heard a loud POP and opened the door to a honey cascade. And honey stalactites (they are the hanging down ones, right?. I managed to coax the required 1/4 cup out of the remains of the poor bear (he had not actually exploded, thankfully) and took the tray out and ran some hot water over it. And closed the door, to think about it later. Ugh.
It really wasn't that bad a deal in the end--a hot dishcloth took care of it. But it was a really super surprising (and humbling) start to my day.
In other news, the oatmeal bread is on it's 2nd rise. I just finished a delicious breakfast of one of the last chunks of molasses-buttermilk bread with amish butter, melted farmer's goat cheese, and tart apple. Yummers. I got the curtains for the den yesterday and they are extremely lovely. Rebby hung then right away while I watched Friends and drank a beer and suffered unexplained back pain. The light coming through the curtains this morning, all diffuse-y from the plastic covered windows underneath, was gorgeous. It made me REALLY want to simplify that room. I think I want to paint it the color of the pumpkin candles I have scattered around (an xmas present from my brother a year ago) I also really want to get a simpler sofa and some kind of closed door cabinetry to contain all of our CDs and DVDs and VHSs. Their abundance makes for a very fussy looking living space. Like I always say--there's plenty of time for all that. It's just nice to have something of a plan.
Today I have an afternoon band practice (we'll see how that goes) and I have plans to journey up to the Village of Eastside to get some cilantro for my butternut squash chili, and some scallions for the ale bread recipe madorange just sent to me, and also to visit Staples where hopefully they will have a Year at a Glance wall calendar. I think that is the only way I am going to be able to stay organized this year. We're getting catering inquiries fast and furious these days and I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed. We need to strike a balance between taking as much business as we can handle and, well, not taking more than we can handle. I want to be able to see it all graphically.
This evening I have a date with my favorite blue eyed boy, who apparently can sit in the big kid highchairs at Whole Foods now. Aunt Shirley is so proud! Hopefully I can score a date with his mom soon too. And Aunt Daisy. I'm not knocking the "in bed by 10pm every night" lifestyle, but I do want to balance it out a bit with some sociability. Wish me luck.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pagemas 2008
Yesterday's Pagemas celebrations were decidely low-key, but excellent. I went in to work and plowed through the things I had to do listening to The Mothership. Good lord, as skeptical as I was when I first heard about this thing, I have come to love it utterly. It's an excellent collection, first of all, but the packaging is what really gets me. Every time. I can also really hear some of the remastering stuff even through crappy speakers. It's so good.
Our afternoon meeting was cancelled so I left early (which means at my actual scheduled time, rather than the one or two hours later I usually leave) and walked to TJs to get some supplies for the Pagemas Private Fondue Party. First I stopped at CVS and indulged in a box of 625 cotton swobs. I've been using up this box of really shitty cotton swobs I got at Family Dollar for probably a year, and I've really been missing a satisfying ear swob for a while. I know you're not supposed to do it, but it's not the only thing I do that I'm not supposed to. (heh.) Anyway, my life will be so much sweeter now that I can swob with abandon. After CVS I treked to Fashion Bug to check out their 70% off sale. I gotta say, despite the sort of crappy standard of most fashion bug merchandise, they have a panty line that I really like. And they were buy 3, get 3 free again, so I stocked up on panties. (sorry J*)**
I also got two pairs of pants---one pair of black jeans that were on DEEP DISCOUNT, and one pair of fashionable jeans that were not on as deep a discount as I thought, but I really really liked them. And the last time I really, really liked a pair of jeans was about 4 years ago, so I thought I should make hay while the sun shines, as it were. Plus, they came with a belt that if it isn't real leather is at least real leather like, and is brown. I don't have a brown belt. So, that's it for the justification on spending a chunk of change on jeans. (I'm not going to tell you how much of a chunk, but I feel pretty safe in saying that i'ts less than some people spend on jeans regularly)
It's also less than I went on to spend at TJs for fondue party supplies. I went a little over the top, I suppose, but it was Jimmy's birthday and he deserved a special party this year more than ever, I think. So I got asparagus spears, and chicken sausages, and shrimp, and baby potatoes and pearl onions for the cheese fondue, and then peppermint marshmallows and dried cherries and bananas for the chocolate fondue. As well as some fancy coffee grown by an all woman coffee cooperative. Got home and got crackin. Unfortunately, the cheese fondue did not turn out quite as superbly as it did on New Year's Day...I feel a little bummed about it, but it was still delicious. Just stringy. I boiled the potatoes and onions, and baked the shrimp in garlic, butter, and white wine with a little jerk seasoning sprinkled in. OMG. So good. I heated up the sausages in the oven and cut everything into bite sized pieces, and then I started drinking Jack. I actually was in such a good mood that I thoroughly enjoyed the jack on ice, with sparkly little star shaped ice cubes in a green cut glass goblet. I am definitely off to a roaring start on my resolution to enjoy more Jack Daniels in the new year. I loved it, and what a pleasant drunk it was! I felt all warm and cozy and happy, and though I could tell that I was sort of stumbly and maybe a little mush mouthed, I didn't feel sloppy at all. I felt ALERT. For that reason perhaps it is a dangerous drunk and I should confine it to my own home. That's fine. Rebby had to run an errand to pick up some gay art from a friend, so I had about an hour to myself with Jimmy and Jack. Sigh.
What a nice night all around. Our grand plans to celebrate in true "Dazed and Confused" style were sidetracked by the fact that we got up so damn early, but that's fine. I'm sure the crops will still grow.
Speaking of crops, some guys came today and weed whacked the side lot. That filled me with a mild panic---I fear that means the city is fixin to sell the lot. To someone else. That would suck with a serious suckiness, so we are going to contact the office again today and try to put in our bid. Wish us luck.
Yesterday I found out that there is sewing machine studio/workshop just down the block from me. Apparently I can take sewing machine classes there! I am so jazzed. I'll be a curtain and pillow making fool by the summertime, for sure!
Today I was going through some old cooking magazines cutting out recipes I might actually use someday in order to recycle the bulk of them, when I came across a Viking ad that featured, no lie, the kitchen of my dreams. The walls are the perfect shade of orange, and the floor is the exact tile I want. The refrigerator and oven are cobalt blue! I don't aspire to actually get cobalt blue Viking appliances, but the color scheme is PERFECT and I immediately taped it to the wall. For reference.
Time to go punch down my bread dough. Have a lovely Thursday!

**not to say that J* isn't in favor of me getting new undergarments, but rather she really, really dislikes the word p**ty.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


My friend J*, the best pal a girl could ever have, sent me a tube of posters from her high school years the other day. Some of them are meant for others, but for me is the most spectacular BIG Jimmy Page poster. It is almost, but not quite, the photo above--in the poster he's playing the doubleneck. Rock. I just hung it over the sewing machine, which I vow to learn to use this year. Jimmy will inspire me.
Thanks J*! I will be sending you a private thank you as well. You rock so much!
Speaking of Jimmy, tomorrow is his 64th. I've got less than half a fifth of Jack left, but it should be enough. Still can't drink it on the rocks, let alone straight out of the bottle with my head thrown back in utter abandon, but I've been enjoying it in coffee pretty regularly. Tomorrow I think I'll get a bottle of ginger ale for the occasion. We'll be watching the DVD set and I'll be listening to Mothership over and over at work. I think we'll have a fondue supper as well, just to indulge in sins of the flesh. Jimmy would like it, I'm sure.
So, on Sunday I went with rebby and jilly and bloody P to see Sweeney Todd. Good golly, there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS MOVIE. The closest I could possibly come to a complaint is the somewhat thin reedy singing voice of the Joanna actress, but to be fair those notes are really high. Otherwise, I was alternately grinning maniacally, or weeping with joy, or shrieking in pleasure the whole time. It is gorgeous, the singing is fantastic, everyone looks smokin hot, and there is tons of cartoony blood. I think it might be the gothest movie EVA, replacing Edward Scissorhands. (helena bonham carter is a much hotter goth than winona ever could be)
I can't wait to own it on DVD and watch it every halloween. I also can't wait to be Mrs Lovett for Halloween, aka Jeffy and Lisa's wedding party. Hee!
The curtains are hung in the culture room after much plastering and patching and going to Home Depot for toggle bolts. Apparently someone at some point hung a way too heavy curtain rod up there, causing the wall to crumble and be subsequently shoddily patched. Unfortunately, that's the kind of thing you really can't tell until you are trying to hang a new curtain rod. Rebby is a great handyman, and looks smokin hot standing on a ladder wearing her toolbelt. As if you didn't know. ;) Anyway, the room is now very dark and quiet looking. I am well pleased. Eventually we will get a swag to hang across the top of the curtain bar and it will be even more dramatic. Then we will strip the fireplace, paint the walls, get endtables, and rebby will finish the coffeetable she is building. And then, we will relax.
Still waiting on the curtains for the den. We need to seriously rethink that room all together, I think. It's so cluttered. Updates to follow.
The Aphix boys came over last night to watch some Einsteurzende Neubauten videos. We didn't make it all the way through the second one, but it was very inspiring. I really want to make a slight departure from drums and start banging on random pieces of metal a little bit. More theater in 2008! That's just one of my mottos.
It seems to be nearing 67 degrees today. I am not amused, but I am prepared to go with the flow. I've got to get out in it in a little bit and I hope to take advantage of the balmy temps by walking. We'll see how that goes. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, January 06, 2008


96% Mike Gravel
95% Dennis Kucinich
82% John Edwards
79% Chris Dodd
78% Barack Obama
76% Joe Biden
73% Hillary Clinton
70% Bill Richardson
32% Rudy Giuliani
28% Ron Paul
23% John McCain
17% Mitt Romney
16% Mike Huckabee
15% Tom Tancredo
8% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz
Happy New Year!
We're having a luxurious weekend off here at the Mayflower Manse. Yesterday we slept in, had coffee and omelets and watched some political shows, and then went back to bed. Heh. Crawled back out around 2:30pm to get a jump on the day--visited Construction Junction to get a desk (which was sadly gone by the time we arrived, but rebby got some legs for the coffee table she is building) and recycle the cardboard from rebby's job. There was a corner storage unit for $15 bucks we talked about getting, but by the time we went back for it someone else had jumped on it. The $85 saurkraut crock is still there....and still $85. Too rich for my blood. I also saw a box of the PERFECT tiles for the kitchen floor...of course, one box won't get me very far. And tiling the kitchen floor is pretty far down the list of home improvements. But someday.
We hit the Co-op for lemons to start a batch of limoncello (inspired by Chris Fennimore!) and then to the brewery for some conviviality and beer. I think I've mentioned before how much I love it there. I'm not really one to hang out in bars much these days, but I love to stand around the brewery for half an hour or so and chat with the "bartender" and the brewer, and the other folks who are standing around enjoying a little beer too. We ended up with a growler of the Black Strap Stout for a change.
Got home and found a package from Santa Fe---a print of my new favorite Georgia O'Keefe painting! It's called Mountains and Lake, and the colors are so incredibly beautiful. Thanks J and W! It will take the place of honor in the downstairs bathroom once I get a nice frame for it. We also got the curtains for the front room yesterday, so we'll be hanging those today. Today will be all about home improvement.
Anyways, back to the domestic bliss. Rebby shaved the lemons for the limoncello (into the cupboard for a month and a half!) while I got dinner ready. I roasted a chicken in the clay pot with potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic, lemon and rosemary. Yum! That chicken was insanely juicy. Like, come on. I also heated some green beans from the freezer and made a dill aioli for them, and then I made buttermilk biscuits. Oh yeah---2008 is all about the baking. In fact, I have some bread rising right this very second. Turns out my stainless steel table is the PERFECT height for kneading! I kneaded happily for 20 minutes this morning, having only had one cup of coffee! My arms are tired, but man, what a good time. I am definitely going to be baking like the wind this year.
After dinner rebby watched the rest of The Panic In Needle Park (after she fell asleep watching it Friday night) while I digested in the front room reading the co-op newspaper. Turns out there are all sorts of cool things going on at the co-op on tuesday nights...the night I work. Oh well. We put away leftovers and washed dishes and then played a couple rounds of backgammon. Wow, we are seriously hooked on this game. Back when I was a wee thing I had a very pimpy leather bound travel backgammon board with felt and marble checkers. I had completely forgotten how to play until midway through the first bout, and then it all came back. It's very exciting to play with someone who has the same sort of devious criminal mind I do. Heh.
After that, believe it or not, we got in bed and watched the end of the Steelers game. It was really sad and disappointing---so close and yet so far. Sigh. I was hoping to watch some of Saturday night Live but after the game I was ready to pass out. That's the kind of exciting Saturday nights I am into these days.
Today is all about the bread, and the curtains, and putting away laundry, and maybe a little thrifting. Hopefully later we'll go see Sweeney Todd. And definitely start planning for the first soup party!
So, I should say a little about New Year's Day. Or even New Year's Eve. NYE after cooking all day for the storm, we got ready and headed over to the South Side to Ibiza for dinner. The hostess basically laughed at us for trying to get a table without a reservation on new year's eve, but then something amazing happened....our waiter from a couple years ago at Mallorca, whom I've just determined has the incredible name of Seraphim Rodrigues, came running past and said "I'll get them a table." Turns out he is the GM of Ibiza now, and he not only got us a cafe table right next to the open kitchen, but he personally kept checking on us all night long, refilling our bread basket and making sure we were happy. Now, I don't imagine he could possibly remember us, but I still felt so SPECIAL. He's excellent. The place was understandably busy, but we got pretty good service considering. We had excellent sangria, an arugula salad with goat cheese and hazelnuts, delicious fried artichoke hearts with balsamic reduction, chorizo with espinaca, scallops in garlic wine sauce, and seared tuna with wasabi. Oh damn. The bread and hummus was also fantastic, and even though my back was to the kitchen it was fun to turn around once in a while and check out what they were doing. I can't wait to go back on a more relaxed night. After dinner we sped home, had a glass of scotch and a glass of brandy, and promptly passed out. At 10:30pm. Ha!
Happy new year.
New Year's Day I got up early to get the food ready---people were coming over at 2pm. I made Roasted Pork with homemade saurkraut in sweet and sour mustard sauce; vegan hoppin john with collards and cornbread; balsamic roasted carrots; butternut squash with apples; Italian Sausage and Lentils; and Swiss Fondue. Rebby did the mashed potatoes. It was really fun to spend all morning cooking up a storm. Rebby put on the Vibes on Velvet record I got from the Benford Shanleys for Christmas, and then people started showing up. We had a full house, including Jeffy, Lisa and Bill who had been here for Thanksgiving---they brought a new friend named Jack who was an absolute joy and provided Mimosas! Jim and Marissa, Mike C, who brought a beautiful housewarming painting, Whiskey Daisy, Olivia, Leah and Jessie(? I think) Tony and Allona, The Benford was a great time. Everyone feasted and then some of us retired to the front room for booze and talking and some of us retired to the middle room for coffee and talking and Foreigner and the evening pleasantly degenerated into a Zep fest. Good times.
My battery is about to run out so I better stop here. More later!