Friday, August 29, 2008

Mr. Fuji and the Skeleton

Monday, August 25, 2008

a new sandwich and a new name for my balls (unrelated)

  • Get a couple little French bread loaves like they make bánh mì with
  • Get some of those frozen potstickers and fry up exactly nine of them more or less according to the instructions on the package
  • In the meantime get a little bowl or cup out to make this sauce in:
    • some garlic chili paste (like in the little bowls with the little spoons in Vietnamese restaurants)
    • some soy sauce
    • some rice vinegar
    • some barbecue sauce
    • some brown sugar
  • Wash off four big leaves of romaine lettuce
  • Cut open the bread and stick two lettuce leaves in each baguette, the opposite way from each other for optimal crunch distribution.
  • Plop four and a half potstickers in between the lettuces and pour some sauce in there. Think meatball sub.
The lettuce will act as kind of a waterproof layer to keep the sauce from dribbling all over, as long as you keep your angles in mind as you eat. The crispy crust of the bread gives way to its soft innards, slowly soaking in lettuce juice and delicious sweet and spicy sauce which has escaped its romaine dungeon, giving way as you bite through the crunchy lettuce layer, followed finally by the soft and comforting surrender of the potstickers inside. This is not just a sandwich, it is an experience.

My balls will now be known as "the boys of summer." Please update your blackberries and cellular phones. And, in case you were wondering, the answer is yes, my love for you will still be strong after they are gone.

100 can be a lot of things, but today it is the number of days I haven't smoked

1. The number of days Rome wasn't built in.

2. The number of birds in a bush that are equal in worth to a bird in hand.

3. It is company, too.

4. How many stomachs a cow has.

5. It's five!

6. ...then the devil is 6

...and god is seven, or


8. How many men were out in the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

9. The number of stitches saved by a stitch in time.


11. How many time zones there are were in the Soviet Union.

12. Come on, you really need me to tell you one for twelve? How about this: it is the lowest number that is evenly divisible by two, three, and four.

13. I heard it's tattoed on Glenn Danzig's neck.

14. How many gold medals Michael Phelps has. Ever heard of that guy?

15. Jim Edmonds' restaurant.

16. My favorite beat on my little brother's old keyboard was called "16 beat." It went like this:

S |--------o-------|--------o-------|
B |o-----o---------|o---o-----------|

Also, the number of dollars that go with a bottle of wine in a song penned by the very same brother.

17. Sorry, Kip, that really is all the older she is.

18. A song that's kind of hilarious if you listen to it while reading the lyrics in Comic Sans.


20. How many questions you get to ask in the game called twenty questions.

21. Used to play it at recess. Other places it's called "tip-in." Remember?

22. The caliber of the first gun I ever shot. At a milk carton. I missed.

23. The number of flavors in Dr. Pepper. Is that what Jim Carrey was talking about?

24. What Chingo Bling and Kiotti are rollin' on.

25. My first birthday where I started getting depressed instead of excited.

26. My second birthday where I started getting depressed instead of excited.

27. The age at which all those famous singers died.

28. It seems like a lot of girls I know get real bitchy and unreasonable every 28 days or so. What is the deal with that?

29. What I'm rollin' on.

30. How many years the Thirty Years' War lasted.

31. This is my age in years.

32. I can't believe I'm gonna be this old next year.

33. How old Jesus was when he got crucified. Also, by amazing coincidence, the year he was crucified.

34. Sometimes when I buy pants I buy them with a 34 inch waist.

35. Used to drive it all the time between Minneapolis and Des Moines.

36. If spoken twice, with 24 in between, then only if she's 5'3".

37. How many feet tall the Green Monster is.

38. Small Change got rained on with his own.

39. In the year of '39 assembled here the volunteers, in the days when lands were few.

40. The age at which my mom decided to start youthening rather than aging. I think I'll do that too.

41. Put an 11 in front of it and it's the address of my first house, on Madrid Drive, in Akron, Ohio.

42. Isn't there some book where this is featured prominently?

43. In the year of '43 Albert Hoffman took what I gotta imagine was a really fuckin' weird bicycle ride.

44. This great baseball number will always belong to Hank Aaron. No, wait, Willie McCovey. No, hold on, Reggie Jackson.

45. How fast to spin'em if you got'em.



48. Number of hours in which this movie and this movie were made.


50. How many ways there are to leave your lover.

51. The Area where all those aliens and shit are.

52. Wanna play 52 pickup? Let's talk.



55. To get from St. Louis to Chicago and back.

56. The number of consecutive games in which Joe Dimaggio got at least one base hit.

57. How many channels there are, but nothin's on.

58. The poem of that number.

59. The street on whose bridge Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel felt groovy. (Looks like some of those fans are feelin' pretty damned groovy themselves).

60. There are this many seconds in a minute. There are this many minutes in an hour. There are this many hours in two and a half days.

61. Now the fifth daughter on the twelfth night
Told the first father that things weren't right
My complexion she said is much too white
He said come here and step into the light he says hmm you're right
Let me tell the second mother this has been done
But the second mother was with the seventh son
And they were both out on Highway 61.

62. One more home run than Roger Maris hit in 1961, without steroids or HGH or all that.

63. That's how many chromosomes a mule has.

64. Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?

65. At three score and five
I'm very much alive
I still got the jive to survive with the heroes and villains.

66. It is a route you may have heard of. Also Sergio Mendez and Brazil I think may have something to do with it?

67. Our nation had a summer of love this year, as I understand it. I wasn't born yet.

68. In Lincoln Park the dark was turning.

69. How the past Bill and Ted knew the future Bill and Ted were themselves.

70. A concept that is apparently so confusing to the French that they have to call it "sixty-ten."

71. Fragmente einer Chronologie des Zufalls.

72. How many names they say God has. (I'm still gonna stick with "God," though.)

73. How many men sailed up from the San Francisco bay on that ol' Mystery Ship.

74. How many episodes of Jeopardy! that Ken Jennings dude was on.

75. If you are over 75 years old, you can just forget about being a senator in Canada.

76. Well that was the year I was born.

77. The branches of faith number 77, so some say. I am not a terrorist.

78. Those old records would have to spin this many times a minute. What a pain in the ass. Plus they were so easy to break.


80. (see below)

81. (see above)

82. times three, is how many toothpicks fell on the floor.

83. How many kids died of the flu last flu season.

84. There is a town called this in Pennsylvania. For real.

85. Man, and I hardly know one of them.

86. It is a number, but it is also a verb.

87. Fourscore and seven years ago... (and then there is the matter of this, as well...)

88. Number of millimeters in the name of a production company I am proud to have worked with.


90. How far, in feet, you gotta run to get from a base to a next base in the game of baseball.

91. If you take one each of a penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, and a half dollar, you got yourself 91 cents. If you take the squares of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, and add them together, you got 91. Coincidence?

92. The number Peter Greenaway is obsessed with.

93. How old Strom Thurmond was the last time he was elected to the senate. He was the oldest senator before he died. Man, it's like that title is cursed or something.

94. How many floors there are in the John Hancock Center (that huge building in Chicago with the two big white sticks coming off the top).

95. '95, '95, let's hear it for the class of '95...


97. How many pitches Don Larsen threw in his perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

98. The number of degrees specified by the name of the boy band called 98 Degrees.

99. How many problems I got but a bitch ain't one, oder wie vielen Luftballons.

99.9 The number of degrees Suzanne Vega thinks could be normal but isn't quite.

100. The number of days I haven't smoked.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Eating is the new Smoking

Example: breakfast.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


1. A sandwich with Nori, Salami, Fish (tilapia most likely), and Wheat germ, often served at internet cafes which have hired me to name their sandwiches.

2. The status, vis-à-vis workplace decency, of my new favorite comedy porno site.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I thought I was a man...

...but it turns out I'm just another internet user having a cute-gasm to the video of the baby otter.

...more sandwiches for an "internet cafe"

  • the LOL: Lettuce, Onion, & Liverwurst
  • the IMHO: Iam's dog food, Mayo, Hot dogs (sliced), & Oriole (flayed, roasted)
  • the ROTFL: Rye bread with Onion, Tomato, Feta cheese, and Lamb (the kind in gyros)
  • the ROTFLMAO: Same as above, but also with Meatballs, Avocados, and Orange slices (the candy, not the fruit)
  • the <3: an open face sandwich with a single slice of baloney (it has less than three component parts; I love it)
  • the LOL CAT: like a LOL, but also with Cheese (smart money's on Cheddar), Ancho chilis, and Trout (smoked)
  • the OMG: Olde style mixed with Mayo, spread over a Gyro that you got ANY DAMNED DAY BUT WEDNESDAY WHEN YOU REALLY WANTED ONE BUT THE KABOB HOUSE WAS CLOSED
  • the "Hotmail": microwaved bread that you wrote on with ketchup
  • the... the... uh...

Wait, this is stupid.

Good bye.

Who will pay me to name sandwiches? b/w Fuck the alphabet.

You may have heard of the BLT. You may even have heard of the BLAST (BLT but also with avocado and sprouts). But have you heard of:

  • The ABC (avocado, bacon, & cilantro)
  • The ABCDEFG (avocado, bacon, cilantro, dill pickle slice, eggs (hardboiled & sliced thin), feta, and gouda)
  • The ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOP (all the above plus horseradish, italian dressing (just a dash), jalapeño (fresh; sliced), KC masterpiece bbq sauce, lettuce, mustard, nutmeg (not too much now), olives (black; sliced), & pastrami.
  • The ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ (...quince (I have never seen it in real life), radishes, salami, tomatos, ugli fruit, velveeta, wasabi, xanthan gum, yams (baked & sliced wafer-thin), and zest of one lemon)

In a fit of bravado last night I denied belief in the alphabet. I was trying to make a joke. It wasn't funny. But then it sparked a discussion about how the alphabet is one of the longest arbitrary atemporal ordered series we got. Like tell me, dear reader, why in the fuck is F after E? Seems to me you gotta write an F on the way to writing an E anyhow. Also why don't they just go ahead and put U after Q, I mean, that's just where it's gonna end up anyhow. It's a scam. Who is benefitting from the widespread acceptance of this arbitrary system? What are they hiding?

Billy had to go to the bathroom really bad. He raised his hand and asked his teacher if he could go. She said ok, but first you must recite the alphabet. Billy rattled it off ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOQRSTUVWXYZ. Teacher says but where's the P? Billy says it is running down my leg, now, because you made me fucking recite this bullshit-ass arbitrary atemporal series, and it took so long that now I pissed in my pants.

Everybody laughed at him.

  • The XTC: it is a Cross between Tacos and Cookies
  • The TNT: a No-doz between two Tortillas
  • The TLC: too soon, man, too soon
  • ABC, BBD, & the East Coast Family: a soup and sandwich lunch with an ABC (see above) and a soup made out of Bud, Bud Dry, and an entire school of young Maine cod.
  • The ESPN: Escarole, Spinach, Portabellas, and Nixon (just a sliver)
  • The Plan B: Pickles, Lettuce, & Avocados on Naan Bread
  • The SPCA: baby Seal filets, Porcupine steak, Cat meat, and an Awfully cute freshly drowned puppy that you could only get by beating up its mother, on her birthday.
  • The SUBWAYFOOTLONGSPICYITALIANONWHITETOASTE- DWITHPROVOLONEANDTHEWORKSTODRESS: this one has a misleading name; it's just baloney on rye, maybe dipped in some mustard if you got it.

Gotta go. Hungry.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

I found it!

It is often said that somewhere spread throughout the three discs of the Clash's Sandinista! is one good album. Well, I am here to tell you I found that album. It is...

(before reading on, please hit the play button)


The whole damn thing! Here, I made you a playlist for it.

The Spanish Civil War

When I was a kid I loved Metallica, and they had a song called "For Whom the Bell Tolls" that every single kid metal band since then has played. I swear to god. You got a little brother or cousin in a metal band? Ask them. They played it.

Anyhow, I heard there was a book by that title and so I read it. I found it BORING, but I was probably too young. That experience saved me a lot of time, since I was also into Iron Maiden, and they are famous for having songs named after great literary works but having nothing to do with those literary works:

  • Stranger in a Strange Land
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
  • Murders in the Rue Morgue
  • Phantom of the Opera (it was too a book)
  • Revelations (do bible chapters count?)
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Heaven Can Wait (ok, that's a movie, but still)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (ok, I made that one up, but still)
  • Only the Good Die Young (do Billy Joel songs count?)
When I was an even younger kid I had been to the Alcazar in Toledo and was pretty moved by it. I must admit that I still don't really know much about the Spanish civil war, but I do know this giant half-crushed building made me feel something. There was a story, I don't even know if it went with this building or some other one, but there was a story of a besieged building, and of a tired general finally surrendering with only two words-- "no más." That really stuck with me.

A while back I had this list of embarassing confessions that started out with me not getting what was so great about the Clash. Well, that caused a small outcry with some of my friends, and soon I had a lot of advice on what to listen to and why. I had mix CDs and playlists and documentaries and books, and I decided it was my duty to give the Clash another try.

It didn't work.

Until one day I was tinkering around on the piano, and my wandering made-up melody suddenly seemed like it had to go a certain way-- a certain AWESOME way that must be from the awesomest song ever, what the hell was it from?

It must have sounded kinda like this:

I had to ask around and see what it was I was stealing, because I know the feeling of making something up and I know the feeling of stealing something you didn't even know you knew, and I knew this must be a little turn of musical phrase I had heard somewhere.

Lo and behold:

* * *

I've never read another Hemingway novel. I still listen to Metallica and Iron Maiden from time to time. I dream of going back to Spain. I love the Clash.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Minnesota who?

Minnesota Fats.


The pool player?


I'm kinda famous?


Big dude? Really good at pool?


I mean, come on, ask a guy if he knows the name of ANY pool player at all, and he's gonna say Minnesota Fats.

Oh, THAT Minnesota Fats.







Well, I'd best be takin' off.


Knock Knock

Who's there?

Harry Houdini.

Holy fuck! I thought you were dead! Hey grandma, come here, guess who's here, it's motherfucking Harry fucking Houdini!!!

Oh, but not the famous one.


[grandma cries too]

Knock Knock

Who's there?


Dini who?

Uh, dude, I think you mean Houdini. Are you, like, dyslexic or something?


No place, like home

I moved a lot as a kid. Rather than write a confusing paragraph, let me summarize with an unordered list.

  • Born in Akron Ohio.
  • Moved to Madrid, Spain in 3rd grade.
  • Moved back to the Akron area (Bath, OH: childhood home of Jeffrey Dahmer!) after a year and a half.
  • Moved to suburban Chicago for half a year or so in fifth grade.
  • Back to Akron.
  • Moved to Des Moines, IA in 9th grade.
  • Moved to suburban Minneapolis, MN (pretty close to Prince's house) in 11th grade.
  • Off to school in Galesburg IL.
  • To St. Louis in 1999.

Moving a lot as a kid has its developmental perks. You learn how to get attention, you learn how to make friends pretty quick, you maybe learn how much people everywhere are the same and so you rise above most parochial attitudes, you learn that place never matters as much as people, you learn that people talk funny in different places, but that you will also talk funny if you live there even a few months, you learn to cut ties when you need to, you learn to re-invent yourself when you have to, you learn to get by without friends when you got none, which probably means you got pretty good at something like music or writing or drawing.

Sometimes I feel like moving a lot made me have some superpowers as compared to people who didn't: I can interact with people without a lifetime of personal history weighing us down, I can bridge social gaps that are invisible to me as an outsider, I can meet and understand people outside their cultural context, I can see what makes people great cut across place in ways that are hard to understand for those with firmer roots in their home soil.

Moving a lot as a kid also has some downsides. You develop a certain rhythm to your grasp of things-- every so often it feels like time to let go, even if it isn't. You sometimes have a hard time forming attachments. You often feel like an imposter. You start to have too many sports teams you consider "your team." You have a lot of trouble mattering to people the way the people they grew up with matter to them. You just don't seem to have clout. You sometimes envy people's sense of place. You are often cast in a role in which you have disrupted a garden of eden. There isn't a long enough time to live somewhere other than since birth to avoid a sort of mark, a mark which is generally ignored but often becomes important in times of crisis, when you are "put back in your place" of not-here.

Moving a lot has given me confused ideas of rootedness. Any claim I make to be "from" is usually based on fleeting memories and mythology. "From" just isn't a thing that I have the way more rooted people do. I swear to god sometimes this makes me feel like a ghost. As though wherever I might try to grow them, my ghostly roots would pass through the soil anyhow. I cannot move back X spaces and be "back home."

In a year or so I will have lived in St. Louis the longest I've ever lived somewhere. There was a time when I was convinced that living somewhere long enough would turn it into that kind of home I envied in people. Now I don't think that is true. But I don't mind too bad, because I have an idea of home that has worked for me since I was in high school, and it was cross-stitched against a white background, and in a frame, and hanging in the downstairs bathroom at some house or other, and it actually looked better than this one, but this was the only one I could find on the internet:

Friday, August 08, 2008

Two (2) things on this Friday morning

1.) I was gonna post a video of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire," but I actually didn't really like the video. Doesn't do the song too much justice. How about instead you just go find it on youtube but then turn down your brightness on your monitor all the way and just, like, imaginate.

1.5) Have you noticed that if you want to hear a song you can always find it on youtube? And half the time there will be kind of a Ken Burns panning shot of a low-res image of the album cover?


  • I am in love.
  • It is with the "unordered list" html tag.
  • Seriously. I love it.
  • This is not some clever metaphor. I am in love with an html tag.

2.5) My inner Dr. Phil tells me I seem to have a crush on unattainability.

2.75) My inner Popeye just punched my inner Dr. Phil. I have a headache. I have to go now.

Figure 12: I yam what I yam, and though I yam suffering
the Slings and Arrowes of outragious Fortune, I yam gonna take Armes and Leaves of fyne Spinache against a Sea of troubles

Thursday, August 07, 2008

We're coming through. How do you do.

One or more of the following statements might be described as true or false.

  • The hardest thing to learn is restraint.
  • The hardest things to restrain are the learned.
  • The most learned restrain what is hardest.
  • The learned make hard that which is restrained.
  • The most restrained make hard that which is learned.
  • The restrained learn to harden.

(Hint: they are all true)

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Behind the scenes on the Shitty Food for Shitty People set

Figure 12a: Salsiccias

Figure 12b: Brino holdin' it down while I look for a spice or herb of some kind

Figure 12c: Salsiccias

Figure 12d: God damnit, who let Rachel Ray in here?!?!

Figure 12e: Wait, what? Noooooooooo!

Figure 12f: [ . . . ]

Figure 12g: Salsiccias

Potato skins with sour cream

  • Your roommate ordered some potato skins and a sandwich
  • He's not as hungry as he thought
  • Squeeze the sour cream out of that funny little tube with two square ends but not along the same dimension. (Who invented that thing, man, M.C. fuckin' Escher?)
  • Damn, I didn't know this place made such bomb-ass potato skins. Daammmnnn. Thanks.

A parable

There was this turtle who played on a wiffleball team. It was fun. It was good times with these wiffleball players. They were the turtle's friends. They were also friends of this iguana who the turtle loved for a while. Later the turtle did not love the iguana, and they split up. Now some of them wiffleballers gettin' married and the turtle is pissed because he's not fucking invited because the iguana will be there jesus christ when will it have been long enough for the turtle to get to see his old friends do stuff like get married or go on action vacations----we interrupt this broadcast to bring you this live transcript of the turtle's wedding toast----

Figure 12: The turtle's wedding toast

I'll be there in spirit, if not in the flesh,
so drink lots of spirits and grab you some flesh.
I'm wishin' you the very best,
just had to get this off my chest:
This world draws some mysterious lines
that just fuckin' piss a turtle the fuck off sometimes.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Here is a way to make delicious salsiccias (they are like bratwurst but I guess more Italian) while paying attention to other, more pressing matters

Figure 12: An Italian chef who is saying "Howsa you momma? Hey, I hope-a she not so pixelated as me-ah"

  • either be out of charcoal, or have it be way too hot to bbq, or have a game on you want to not miss, or otherwise make it so a long unattended boil is the only type of cooking you are willing to do
  • boil them in beer mixed with water mixed with a ton of salt and also whatever other nice spices seem like they might be good, like some cayenne pepper or some curry powder or stuff like that
  • it will smell bad and people will make fun of you
  • after it boils let it simmer really low for a really long time, with a lid on most of the way, through at least the final four innings of a baseball game, and preferably through a heartbreaking near-comeback after a soul-thrashing though not entirely unexpected late-inning bullpen meltdown. The stress of the game, along with the time steaming away in the pot and the brining effect of the salt, will do things to the sausages. They will not be the same.
  • it won't smell as bad after a while. In fact, it will smell like pot roast. This is how you will know.
  • when the game is over and it seems like they are totally all cooked, take them out and fry them in some olive oil real quick. Just to scald the skin up, not to cook them anymore; they are already cooked, see.
  • now make a sauce by deglazing the fryin' pan with some rice vinegar, some bbq sauce, some Sriricha sauce, and some of the beer "stock." Reduce that shit down a little and drizzle it over the sausages.
  • put them in some buns "cowboy toasted" over the range. Use some mustard if you want, but that sauce is pretty good by itself.