Month: August 2006 Page 1 of 5

House Update

Hey, we have just discovered issues which will cause us to need a new phone number. I’m sending an e-mail with phone and address info; if for some reason I missed anyone who needs it, please drop me an e-mail or comment.

Ahhh…the joys of Qwest.

Update:

They won’t even hook up the phone until the 5th.

Lee called to have the phone number switched over to the new house and to switch from Adelphia cable to Qwest DSL (looked like a good deal). Turns out they didn’t switch over the phone number, and hooked up DSL to our old address. DSL service is not available at the new place.

Adelphia will hook up the Cable Internet on the 1st. VOIP may be considered at our house soon…

More Update:

Back online! We made it into the house on Thursday. Lee took Friday off (his birthday) to unpack and bask in CLB-ness. Today we went table shopping and picked up a used Southwestern-style table with six chairs…I gloated after I woke up from a two-hour nap. Pictures soon!

CLB

We are now officially Colorado Land Barons (CLB). Woot!

The computers and phone should be going down tonight. Back soon!

NYC Chocolate:

Max Brenner: Chocolate by the Bald Man.

(Via Grow-a-Brain. There’s a whole entry on chocolate for today, full of chocolate links. In fact, there’s a whole category called Unusual Chocolates.)

House Update

Not much posting for the next few days. Closing is 11 a.m. on Wednesday. Moving is Thursday.

Most of Ray’s toys have been packed. When we packed the first box (a couple of weeks ago), she wanted to pack all her toys, right then and there, to make sure they made it to the new house. All was well…until we packed her computer. Father’s daughter 🙂

Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious

For when the cat has got your tongue, there’s no need for dismay

House Update

All is going well…more stuff packed today. Ray’s computer is packed, which means mother and child are now going to bicker over the same system for a few days. Lee gave me the day off, so I drove by the house, went to Poor Richard’s, ate at La Creperie (overrated), walked into a coffee shop just as the thunder boomed and rain dropped from the sky like spray from a punctured water ballon just as the door closd behind me, finished my book and walked back to the city parking garage in the much-lessened rain only to discover they weren’t charging people that day, stared at a movie (Silent Hill*) at approximately the same time Lee was (different location) and decided for some reason not to get it (as did he), read another book (manga), ate Pad Thai, and decided the day would have been much better if I’d taken Lee and Ray with me.

Sometimes that happens; I have to go, have to go wandering, and it takes a few hours to settle down enough to make sense of what it is that I’m trying to accomplish with the wandering, by which time, I can’t have it.

From Hyperballad

i go through this
before you wake up
so i can feel happier
to be safe up here with you

*Unintentional oxymoron.

Book Review: Insatiable

(Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess)
By Gael Greene

As advertised, so delivered.

Gael Greene has been the food writer for New York magazine since its beginning in 1968, back when foodieism wasn’t big, or at least not big in the way it is now. According to the memoirs, she truly is insatiable for both adventures in food and sex*, so much so that it eventually wore me out. It’s a good autobiography, the kind that comes with the sense of time and place, warts (and vanity) and all, and I don’t mean to imply that the author is repetitive or dull. It’s just that I have human appetites for pretty much everything but books. The essence of being both unfulfillable and picky to a nicety seems the same, though, a kind of “I’ll try anything as long as it’s good” mentality.

The writing is fun, if somewhat melodramatic at times; I recognized a lot of foodie-type names, but by the end of the book, I could have cared less who opened which restaurant or who was seen there and how they were treated. I never tired of her gossiping abou the food:

Picasso had to learn how to draw before he did those Cubist tricks. And here I was, scolding a two-star Michelin chef because his vanilla creme was too strongly scented with rose petals and chiding Andre Solmer at Lutece for a vapid creme renversee au caramel. Yet in my brief years as an amateur cook, I had never tackled sweetbreads or cleaned a squid and had failed utterly in m one attempt at trying to duplicate Le Pavillion’s quenelles de brochet. The stink of abused fish had lingered in our kitchen for two days.

A life being lived in the moment, often selfishly. I recommend MFK Fisher more highly (less sex and gossip but more stories), but this was a fun read, and a good way of getting the sense of the New York food scene over almost forty years.

*The first kiss-and-tell cracked me up. I won’t spoil it for you.

Book Review: Brewing Up a Business

(Adventures in Entrepreneurship From the Founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery)
By Sam Calagione

Too bad I don’t like beer. Some people have told me it’s an acquired taste, but other things I’ve eaten and drunk were supposed to be aquired tastes, and I liked them from the get-go. Like coffee. I started out on almost the worst coffee you can imagine, and I still enjoyed it right away. Beer smells weird to me, and I try not to ingest anything that doesn’t smell actively yummy.

This book is the story of Sam Calagione, who went from a punkish childhood to an unconventional college, where he studied English and dreamed of writing the Great American Novel. Naturally enough (at least, the way he explains it), this led to beer. His first restaurant started out with what was essentially a home brewing kit on steroids (brewing something like 30 gallons a batch–not fermenting, just brewing–versus the 6,000-gallon tanks used by “real” microbreweries).

The Dogfish Head motto is “off-centered ale for 0ff-centered people.” Blah, blah, blah, I thought. Then I moved on to research into other microbreweries and realized that he probably wasn’t kidding. I was just taking for granted that all microbreweries were just like Bristol Brewing Company, and that Dogfish Head wasn’t pushing the limit all that much. Errt. I got the buzzer on that one. Most microbreweries are about as inventive as chain restaurants, from what I was finding. It’s the same beer as Coors and whatnot, just “fresher” and with “better ingredients.” Fine, fine. Like I said, I don’t like beer. Maybe it’s like the difference between truckstop coffee and a fine pot of coffee where you’ve cleaned everything yourself, used filtered water and fresh-roasted and -ground beans, etc. But here is the offering listed on the website:

Midas Touch Golden Elixer
Raison D’Etre
Chicory Stout
Immort Ale
Golden Shower Imperial Pilsner
Verdi Verdi Good
Aprihop
Espresso Bock

And the descriptions, in the book, of the ingredients and techniques…well, it’s too bad I don’t like beer. I get the feeling this is the kind of beer Tim Taylor would come up with…lots of mistakes along the road, but done with a good heart and the kind of geekiness that you have to love.

The book is a good read if you like business-type stories or are interested in the brewing process at all. “What happens if you do X?” “At first we weren’t sure about Y, but then we realized…Heee!” That kind of thing. It’s contains a few little gems about learning how to be happy. Not especially deep or anything, but you can’t have a truly good beer story going without a little philosophizing in there.

When I see a corner pizza store with some wrinkled banner hanging lopsided from its awning that reads “Ray’s Pizza: The Best in the Universe,” I think they have no respect for their customers. If they did, they would attribute the quote to somebody. Odds are the quote can be attributed to an egomaniac named Ray. Does anybody really read a sign like that and think, “Well damn, if it’s the best pizza in the entire universe I better hurry up and order because there’s bound to be a spaceship full of little green men flying in from Mars to clog up the take-out counter”?

The book wasn’t engrossing or anything (although it doesn’t deserve to be damned with such faint praise). It just wasn’t the kind of book that demanded your attention so much as presented tidbits for interest, amusement, and edification. I wouldn’t want you wandering into this book thinking it was going to Change Your Life; instead, wander into this book the way you would wander into a brewery itself, saying “Huh…so that’s how they do that” and “Heh.” That’s it. This is a “heh” book.

Quote of the Day

“I am not a snickerdoodle. I am a wimowep.”
— Ray Kenyon

The Piano Has Been Drinking

The piano has been drinking
And the bar stools are all on fire
And all the newspapers were just fooling
And the ash-trays have retired
And I’ve got a feeling that the piano has been drinking
It’s just a hunch
The piano has been drinking and he’s going to lose his lunch
And the piano has been drinking
Not me, not me, The piano has been drinking not me…

(No, I’m not smashed, just listening to a lot of Tom Waits tonight)

Bonus Strangel.

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