Sunday, November 30, 2008

Today's guest: Holly

This is a conversation I had with Holly today about our thanksgivings. Mine was in suburban New York and hers was in Zambia. (ed note: we do realize the gross unfairness of this day's abundance and the starving pop in africa. we're not able to make any restitution at this time.)

me: so we went there first and then to the winnie's in chinatown for a few more drinks
Holly: NO WAY
me: before the gang gang dance/ marnie stern show at santos
and almost mentioned it
me: wut?
Holly: it came out of NOWHERE
me: wow
i talked about you to jessica last night
Holly: yeah..i was like, "crazy, why did i think of that place?"
me: because i was telling her that i wanted to go to africa
but it was too expensive
1:11 PM Holly: weird!!
me: and she said that she might be able to get me cheap tix through columbia
the school that she is currently enrolled in
Holly: ?!?!?!
me: i can't remember the details because i got wasted
Holly: oh awesome
find out
me: but i'll ask her again when she gets back from equis tonight
yes we're telepathically connected
1:12 PM actually it's not that weird that i mentioned you because i've been talking about africa a lot lately
Holly: ok
me: but it is weird that you were thinking about winnies and i was there
Holly: yes
me: playing porn photo compare

are there karoke bars in africa?
Holly: dude
yes there is ONE place
me: hahha
Holly: indians and chinese go there
it's hilarious
also a tacky restaurant
me: sweet

Holly: it's called the dolphin

me: tonight i'm planning to do
hopefully my hot water will come back on and i'll be able to take a shower
1:24 PM Holly: i forgot that the standard of living in new york is actually equivalent to africa

me: when do you come back? are you even going to visit?
Holly: dude
Holly: i have a permanent free room with maids and a vegetable garden and a cook to make whatever i ask for

1:35 PM me: did you have thanksgiving there?
i mean
i know it's an american tradition
do you have expat friends?
Holly: dude
1:36 PM there was a giant dinner on this girls' huge verandah
very fancy
me: oh good
Holly: zambians were there too
food sucked
then last night
me: hahhah
what was on the menu, femme fat al?
Holly: my new friend, jemeh had a southern soul food thanksgiving
she's black but american but all her friends are black zambian
to share an american tradition with them
her food was AMAZING
corn bread stuffing
1:37 PM what did you do?
1:38 PM me: corn bread stuffing is my fave
i used to make it every year, a recipe from paul prudhomme
that includes giblets
gizzards and hearts and livers, oh my!
what else?
1:39 PM Holly: i was like, "she's a super smart overachiever/perfectionist, she's african-american, she's overweight....fuck YEAH i'm going to her thanksgiving!!!"
me: turkey?
Holly: and i was right
i ate it even though it probably had all those things in it
there was a power outage so i couldn't see what i was eating, anyway
1:40 PM me: mashed potatoes?
Holly: yes
oh and if you have access to the commissary
me: greens?
Holly: this special place at US Embassy where they sell imported american items
you can get Crisco
and she got it
otherwise, the pies wouldn't have been american enough for me
1:41 PM me: what kind of pie?
Holly: she came through all the way, it was incredible
apple and pumpkin
she also got libby's from the commissary
me: so you went to two thanksgiving dinners?
i'm confused
your friend jemeh and the dinner on the huge verandah?
Holly: yes
1:42 PM one thurs night and one last night
me: oh awesome
Holly: jemeh had the one last night
me: that's the way to do it
Holly: yes
me: i kind of did two
on thursday, i went up to westchester where my roommate's parents live
1:43 PM after spending the morning whipping 12 sweet potatoes with maple syrup, heavy cream and pecans
Holly: how was that?
me: i have a blister on my finger from peeling the potatoes
Holly: haha
me: i should have only made half as much
Holly: i made an apple pie and mass amount of potatoes, as well
1:44 PM me: i still have a lot of it left. i'll mail it to you
Holly: yeah i did the same
idiot roommate left them out overnight because he's middle eastern, so they went bad
me: i always forget that people can't eat a full regular sized serving of anything on thanksgiving because there's so much that everyone wants to try
that's vaguely racist
Holly: yeah
me: but i'm not sure
Holly: i know, but i am racist
africa does that to someone
trust me
1:45 PM me: anyway, jess's mom had made twice too much of everything, too. she had a 29 lb turkey!
Holly: haha sounds like my mom
me: some creamed spinach with mushrooms
two stuffings
a jello mold with fruit in it
a whole boat of cut up fruit
1:46 PM and then three different pies
plus brownies
Holly: two stuffings is key
me: i was in pain by the end
the jello mold was interesting. my gramma used to always make ambrosia
Holly: dude, most of the zambians were avoiding the pie in favor of the disgusting ice cream you have to buy here (or none at all)
they just don't know
in pain haaa
1:47 PM me: how can ice cream be disgusting?
Holly: trust me
because there are power outages so it's grainy and artificial tasting to begin with
then it melts and refreezes
in the stores
that's how
1:48 PM me: the next day, i took some of my whipped sweet potatoes over to my friend carla's house where her roomie and another friend were turning their leftover turkey into a delicious toritilla soup
with fresh corn and topped with avocado and cheese
1:49 PM Holly: wow
me: so yummy
Holly: i miss mexican
me: hahhah
Holly: waaaaaaa
me: sorry
Holly: there are avocados coming out of my ears
1:50 PM me: well if you can get an american thanksgiving, can't you get a taco?
Holly: no mexican, no sour cream on the entire continent
ohhh no good cheese
the imported cheese that is okay is like equivalent in value to blood diamonds
1:51 PM me: hahhah
i'm posting this on fattractive
Holly: hahah ok
1:52 PM there are mangoes falling from the trees
i believe i will buy one along a dirt road walking to the library in the morning
500 kwacha
which is just a few cents
me: woah
how much usd do you think you spend there in a week?
Holly: depends
i mean, i eat for free, man
1:53 PM cook and all

Friday, November 28, 2008

this has nothing to do with food

and i'm stealing it from aaron's blog. but it's just so incredible on so many levels that i have to share it with you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My favorite time of year!

First of all, WTF there's a website called Bacon Today!

and Jesus Christ this is not something I want to eat:



My work environment back when I was an editor at lexis nexis in charlottesville was a lot like that show the office. My work friend erin would send around an email on the dot of noon with the subject line lunchies alerting everyone that it was time to grab our coats and hit the downtown mall to pick up eats. Its strange and sad and somewhat scary that I can't remember what I had for lunch for two whole years of my life only five years ago. Its not like there were a lot of options or that any of the restaurants were at all remarkable. Except of course the one I worked at parttime to pay off my credit card debt so I could move to new york. How how na├»ve I was then to think that I would live on cash alone from that point forward. But back to the point. I honestly can't recall lunch. I remember making dinner with dave and going to golden corral on friday date nights. I remember this one restauraznt that looked like a boat and sold all you can eat sushi. I remember going to red lobster only semi ironically to celebrate getting employed. I remember a chili cook off at the office and the farmers market on the weekends. But lunch just draws a blank. Not the lunchtime companions of course. Louis fierro with his doughnut gut and frat not charm. Ophelia disgruntled from stifled photog ambition. Eleanor with your blond hair and your constant bitching about Barry and your boss. Phoebe. I can't remember lunch with you. What comes to mind is your spotless apartment and drinking martinis with you at bang and walking around downtown slightly stalking your ex boyfriend while you were again depressed. Visiting your friend at the flower shop. 

More text tests

I've been writing a story with my phone recently and now I have taken the time to figure out how to post to my blog with my phone. Drunk blogging here I come!

I want a man who writes songs about me. How I Jill him slowly by carving my name into his flesh like arrows in a heart on a tree.

We drove over kentiky and like me the grass grew blue. Dusk fell heavily but not from the sky. From within it seemed to me the night encroached. The night the night we had never feared the night. And as we drove we aimed for the heart of it. My face forward but my eyes down then quick blinks to my right where he sat. He hadn't forgiven me yet.

The dream seems solid like you could knock it with a thud like you could run against it and bruise yourself.

This is a test

And this is me if I don't start taking my health seriously.

Monday, November 17, 2008

having a b.L.A.s.t

I landed at LAX on Wednesday night around 10 pm. Nikki and I decided I wouldn't rent a car after all on a phone call while I was in San Jose (the most boringest town in America. Other places I've been that were boring got saved by at least a sprinkle of charm.) So, she was waiting for me in baggage claim looking really pretty and relaxed with her bouncy brown hair hanging long on her back. We grabbed my bag and hopped in her car and screamed and laughed and then promptly got lost leaving the airport. N said, "oh no! we're in South Central!" but luckily I had my magical gps tracker on my phone and eventually we made it to a 50s style IHOP where I had a buttery patty melt with onion rings. N had planned to take me on a culinary tour of los angeles and apologized that my first meal was at a national chain but i reassured her that IHOP is one of my favorite places on the planet and that I'd be craving that familiar trough of four flavored syrups for ages which was true. I'd already had my signature harvest grain 'n nut combo at an IHOP in Dallas with my mom last weekend but the beauty of IHOP is that it never loses its charm no matter how many times you visit. I used to stop at the IHOP in Waco almost every time I made a late night drive from Austin to Dallas or vice versa my first year of college. I also spent a lot of time there "doing homework" with Tana and my freshman year roommates. O Nostalgia!

So then we went back to her place in Highland Park where her two new kittens welcomed us with a fresh present in the litter box. Those little scamps! The next morning, N's first student of the day called in a raincheck so she was free to take me to breakfast at this place called Auntie Em's where I ordered the Bacon Lettuce Avocado Sprouts Tomato (b.l.a.s.t.--hence, the clever title of this post) on a delish focaccia. Our waiter was one of the guys from White Lion (Lion Mountain?) or some such band that was featured in L.A. Record that week. He's cute but not the brightest diamond. N asked him to join the bill she was putting together for one of the lit mags at Cal ARTS. After we ate, N dropped me off at the train and I participated in L.A.'s mass transit for the first time and I braved big scary downtown all by myself. I got off at union station and perused Olvera Street first (where I very nearly bought a tiny guitar for $9.95, then some crazy mexican candies like this coconut tamarindo tostada looking thing, and a tee shirt with a couple of dia day los muertos senorita skeletons that said "cheesmosas para siempre"). Next stop for this tourist was the Chinese-American museum (snore) then this old hotel that is now an Italian museum (bigger snore) then I walked across the Santa Ana Fwy (a.k.a 101 -- N tells me that everything in l.a. is referred to by the numbers) down across the Los Angeles Mall where a bunch of homeless people were hanging out. One of the dudes shouted: "cute dress!" which is probs one of the nicest catcalls I've gotten. Or, I thought, maybe I'm just getting old and not sexually desirable any more (see the time four years ago when a guy shouted at me "I love Chinese food!") but then later in the day I was told multiple times: "nice legs!" which I still prefer over "hey baby."

While perusing the local weekly paper, I discovered that every first Thursday in L.A. they do this downtown art walk thing where you can take a look at a bunch of the galleries. The paper mentioned the website address but not the route of the walk and my phone wasn't showing the map online correctly (thanks a lot modern age and the death of print media!). So, I walked over to the MOCA Geffen and asked them if they were a part of the art walk. The two at the front desk said that they were participating but weren't open for free until after 5pm which they were every Thursday (so I didn't really see how they were participating) and they didn't even have a map of the route. They were, however, able to point me in the right direction to get started about 6 blocks away and then told me if I didn't want to walk that there was a shuttle. I didn't really understand why I would want to take a shuttle on a walk but whatever. I walked through the Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo and browsed the gift shops which were pretty different from the junk you can get in New York's Chinatown and made me wonder if New York also has a hood to buy Japanese shit. N has a really cool curtain in her doorway to the kitchen that she said was called a Nori ...although I thought that was the word for seaweed. I picked up a milk tea boba (bubble) and then continued on my journey over 3rd street into the Toy District where I passed literally 8 headshop wholesalers (8!!!) and one store that stocked exclusively teddy bears. I found this combo to be very hilarious. And, there was a store that only sold neon signs. One of the signs said "tacos" and had an image of a blinking taco. I really wanted to buy it.

The art walk was pretty meh. I liked the first place I went to first. Then I jumped on the train to be back at N's by 7:30 when she said she'd be home so we could go to dinner with the homos who live next door to her. She took us to this Armenian place where I ordered giant falafel.

Friday, we went to Larkin's in Eagle Rock with Paul, one of the 'mos from the night before where I tried to get something healthy and still ended up with fried chicken all over my salad. savory crunchy fried chicken. We shared a couple of enormous mac and cheese balls made with three cheeses. I need to devise the recipe so I can attempt to replicate in my fry daddy (note to self: get a new cord for your fry daddy). And then we shared a heavenly cinnamony slice of pumpkin pie. I love autumn! I love everything pumpkin flavored! I love L.A.! Then N took me to Santa Monica where we rode the Ferris wheel, played some skee ball, played around in the photo booth (Nikki, please send me a scan of those pics sooooon!), walked along the beach, inspected the mussels growing underneath the boardwalk, got some ice cream (this is a recurring theme in my trip), and laughed and laughed and laughed. My friend from high school Alison who is now living in Cyprus Hill invited us to a pre-Thanksgiving potluck dinner party she was hosting serendipitously that evening so me and N headed back to her house to make some food and get showered. P lent us a box of couscous came with us. The party was full of artists and yummy foods, but I was dumb and ate my left over falafel before we went to the party so I wasn't hungry enough to sample what everyone had brought. And, while I was waiting in line, this guy named Gordon "cutsied" in front of me and started making me nervous. A says he's the biggest womanizer she's ever met. N said she saw him corner every single girl at the party and that I was being a trooper by talking to him for as long as I did. I was just trying to be nice, until he got right up into my ear and I had to walk away from him. Coincidentally, N and P had just met Gordon and Al right before I got to L.A. at some art thing that Gordon did at another gallery called Scene Space. A had some juicy goss about this other girl we knew in high school, Ashley, who had taken me to my first straight edge christian punk rock show. well, now that I think about it, that was probably the only straight edge christian punk rock show I've attended. Apparently, Alison tried to reconnect with Ashley when she was in Dallas a few years ago and Ashley seemed reluctant which slightly peeved Alison. but then when Alison met up with Ashley she realized that the reluctance was due to Ashley just having had a nose and boob job that same weekend.

N then took me to a house party in Echo Park that was kind of scary to drive to. It was a pretty typical party that you'd see in Austin or Brooklyn where a few bands were playing electric guitars in the dark and everyone was drinking a 40. The difference was that the party was in a beautiful four story house with spiral staircases and floor to ceiling windows at the top of a hill with a view of the whole glittering city. We were there because Miko Miko were going to play but they weren't playing yet so we just wandered around the house and were sad that the kids that lived there had trashed the place. One of the guys who lived there whose name I can't remember told us that an eccentric architect had built it and abandoned it and that only two people were supposed to be living there but that 7 or 8 people actually lived there. We were in his bedroom which was originally the dining room sitting on his hard ass bed when he told us that it used to be basically a crack den and that people just came there to do drugs but that now it was mostly just drinking that happened there. we told him that we thought the house was beautiful and that he had great windows in his room and that it was a shame that he had covered them with foil and heavy camo curtains. He said that in the morning his room was like heaven when the whole room fills with light. He added that he believed something had died underneath his room or in the wall and it smelled really strongly. That was when we left. The guy chased N when we walked out of the house to get her contact information. (This is the second winner we met in one night...something makes me think my love life wouldn't really improve too much if I lived in L.A. after all.)

Saturday, we grabbed a coffee and a pastry at a cafe near N and P's houses and jumped on the train to meet P's boyfriend Daniel and ride to the protest to the passing of Prop 8 happening in the plaza in front of city hall. Ricky Lake was there! I cried when one of the speakers talked about how her parents were lesbians but were parents first. Then there was an announcement that there was a lost 12 year old boy named Ivan Diaz at the event who with long dark hair was wearing a blue and white striped shirt, khaki shorts, and was...deaf and mute. We were sad at first but then started laughing because this description very neatly fit Paul. Then, even later, I realized how hilarious and sad it is to have a gay pep rally to talk about what great parents gays make while interspersing announcements about a lost child. We marched around the square, then we met up with three more gays for lunch in Chinatown at a Vietnamese/Thai place called Viet Cafe. Service was awful and the food wasn't anything to write home about, but the company was enjoyable. We laughed and laughed. N felt bad that we had veered so far from the culinary adventure she had planned (she wanted us to go to Phillips but it was too crowded) but we all agreed that my vacation was going pretty well regardless. That evening we went to LACMA where the Machine Project was performing a one day take over of the museum with musical acts and experimental art work throughout the five building campus that was all interactive and totally awesome and the way that museums should all try every once in a while. For dinner, we went to Cha Cha Cha where Nikki really didn't want to give me the rest of her plantain even though she couldn't fit it in her stomach. I had a seafood pasta thing while very vocally coveting Paul's veg paella. It's my own fault. While we were in the car trying to figure out where to go, I imagined pasta in my head although I didn't say it out loud because I wanted the natives to figure out where we should go to dinner. It just happened to be on the menu though Cha Cha Cha is like a spanish restaurant. The Secret kept happening to me that whole day. Like, earlier when we were walking to the train, I was trying to think of one word but thought Capri Sun instead. And then, lo, a Capri Sun pouch appeared in the gutter! How often does that happen, I ask you? Also, I had a couple of intense deja vu moments that I can't remember right now. be continued because I have a cold and I'm tired.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

malice, tx

At LGA on Wednesday afternoon (totally hungover from the totally fucking awesome election result party that aaron threw at a sports bar he rented in our neighborhood), I got a phone call my mom who told me she'd pick me up from DFW when I landed later that day. I told her she didn't have to do that because I was renting a car. She repeated that she could pick me up and I repeated that I had a rental car so I would see her at 5pm. I hung up on her because these kinds of arguments shouldn't be engaged in while security is checking your boarding pass and i.d. So, I landed at DFW, grabbed my suitcase and jumped on the shuttle to the rental car pavilion which was like 20 minutes away. I waited for another 20 for them to come up with a car (they didn't actually have any compacts at 4 when I had booked one, so they ended up giving me a cute saturn vue --I should charge for product placement in these blog posts--that subsequently everyone in tx that has seen it has envied. this part is only notable because i actually despise myself for unnecessarily driving such a large vehicle even though i didn't really have a choice). Anyway, when I was about 10 minutes from my mom's house, I noticed that I'd missed a few calls. I check my voicemail, and the crazy lady is at baggage claim looking for me without a clue of what airline I was flying or the exact time of arrival. So I had to sit and wait for another hour on the curb in front of her house while she drove back. Luckily, I stopped at Boston Market for a quick and delicious side item meal of chopped salad, sweet potatoes, a fruit cup and a piece of cornbread. the salad was suprisingly gigantic but the fruit cup was full of rotten grapes.

When she got home, I told her I'd take her to dinner because although she is infuriating, she is cute for wanting to see me sooner. we went to a korean restaurant she likes a lot that's known for their soy bean cake (a.k.a. tofu) and had some bulgoki (beef rib eye) and basically another side item meal but this time the side items were kimchi, bean sprouts, turnips, and some other random weirdness that I don't know the names for.

then thursday i went to my favorite coffeeshop from my childhood, cafe brazil near mockingbird lane, where I scarfed a veg omellette and three cups of coffee while partaking in a little wifi action and getting some prep work done before our event that night. it took me longer than ideal, so that by the time i jumped back into the vue to head back to dfw to pick up courtney, her plane had already landed. she said it would land at 11:20! it was 11:10! what's up with that? then we drove downtown to her hotel and then into westend to get some tex mex at this chain looking place r.j. courtney got fajitas and (yes i ate again only an hour after breakfast) i had the fish tacos. when you first walk in, they have a dessert showcase with this taco sundae that i decided i was going to eat after lunch but then failed to do so (see above two meals in a row). then we went to the dallas aquarium where we were producing the 4th dinner event in a series. the passed hors devours were not as good as the ones we had at norm's book party at columbia last monday where we had coconut shrimp and pretty cream cheese puff topped cucumber slices. p.s., courtney loves shrimp. she's had something with shrimp in it just about every time we've gone out to eat over the past couple of weeks. dinner at the aquarium was a huge round of steak with a side of new potatoes and a veg medley stir fry. they brought dessert out way too early, but the exterior of the building was pretty cool, so i'd rank this venue as #2 out of 4 so far.

i'm on my way to san jose on a 6 a.m. flight tomorrow which means i have to leave the house at 4 which means i have to wake up at 3 or 3:30 which means i will maybe just not go to sleep at all or go to sleep at like 8 pm tonight which isn't that hard to do in snoozerific dallas, tx. i've been waking up at a pretty regular hour, 8 or 9 a.m. both friday and saturday. I laid around a little longer than that this morning but only because today's the only day i didn't have solid plans. on friday, i hung out with my best friend since we were 12, sabrina, and watched her pack up her apartment because she was moving this weekend. i discovered she voted for mccain and almost started crying. we had an awkward dinner at this vietnamese place (that should have been called Pho Sho) where me and her bf will were not allowed to talk about politics. then i went to the restaurant where my brother works fish city (yes this is an actual place). and then he, me, and his wife rachel and another coworker of theirs went to this enormous sports bar pub called fox and hound. rachel told me that if they had a son, they really liked the name jack. they also wanted to incorporate my father's name russell into the name. but then they realized that jack russell probably wouldn't be a good name at all. saturday i went to my aunt adena's house in mesquite where i stopped to get gas ($1.99/gallon!!!) and an iced soy latte from the drive tru window at java ranch (hahha). everything in tx has a drive thru window. i banked at a window, i got beer, i got married. adena took me to this "artist" flea market festival thing in a high school nearby where a bunch of crafty people were selling macrame and that kind of shit. there were some really funny beaded animal key chains that i unfortunately fell prey to and bought like four, you know with christmas right around the corner and all. one's a shrimp, another's a rooster, the third is a crab, and the last is an elephant. the shrimp is obviously the funniest one, but i suffered buyers remorse the second I handed that woman my 20 dollar bill. then we went back to adena's house and my other aunt ceca came over with her husband, their kid emily, and her boyfriend andrew who follows emily around like a puppy. she likes to tweeze his eyebrows, which isn't that weird. it's just weird that everyone knows it and that she did it in front of the whole fam. i forgot to mention that adena fed me a bowl of yankee pot roast when ceca arrived and then fed me again when ceca left, this time a garantuan steak with a sweet potato and peas. at this point, i've had beef multiple times a day, three days in a row. i am actually eating beef right now as i type this that my mom stir fried into some rice and cucumber kimchi with bean sprouts. it's really good and not something i would ever make at home. then i will probably have a second dinner with sabrina when i go to meet her tonight in her new apartment that i conveniently wasn't able to help her move into.

at breakfast this morning at ihop, my mom told me this fascinating story about her mother's previous men before her father. while this is the most interesting story i have to tell all week, i am now fatigued by this blog.