Thursday, December 31, 2009
It's Jesus' birthday!! And a blue moon to boot. Needless to say, he has made himself known via the Jesus Banana (or is this merely Apple's newest product?).
I don't care what Steve Jobs and Gizmodo think. I believe that it's truly a miracle of biblical and Chiquita proportions. Careful with the peeling, though. Jesus has a wicked slapstick sense of humor.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
afterwards, when I am not alive,
look here, look for me here
between the stones and the ocean,
in the light storming
in the foam.
Look here, look for me here,
for here is where I shall come, saying nothing,
no voice, no mouth, pure,
here I shall be again the movement
of the water, of
its wild heart,
here I shall be both lost and found --
here I shall be perhaps both stone and silence.
-- "Yo volveré" by Pablo Neruda
Rest in peace, Oscar. Your gentleness and easy smile will be missed in this world. Hasta luego, mi amigo.
Yes, I really do feel that bad. The coughing has kept a steady pace, my fever comes and goes--along with the headache, and now I'm developing a stuffy nose. Seriously, I need some powerful medicine.
Until then, though, I'll amuse myself with the image of Nicole vivisecting her makeup artist. Poor thing.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
I'll let Rachel Maddow give you the rundown:
Saturday, December 19, 2009
A recent study published in my favorite magazine Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research shows that whiskey will tend to give drinkers a worse hangover than pure, mountain spring vodka goodness. After last night's holiday party, I can verify this research. My Grey Goose and soda more than stood up to the throngs of Manhattan drinkers around me. Today, they are suffering while I have finished my portrait of Margaret Thatcher, built two homes for the poor, delivered hot meals to 250 people and took a few Polaroids for my collection. In short, vodka rules.
Friday, December 18, 2009
It came to me today that I should share the wealth of ridiculous photos on Yelp with my IT&S readers. I thought I would call them Yelp Douchbags, but Yelptard works better for me. It's one word, two syllables, and has a better chance of offending the developmentally disabled community.
Anywho, for Yelptard #1, I give you Hunter. He had several photos that would qualify, but this one seems to take the cake. Enjoy.
Move over Moon River, now there's Titan Lake. I feel simultaneously smaller in the universe but more excited by its vast strangeness when I see these kinds of photos. What we don't know so completely outstrips what we do, and that, my friends, makes this stuff so interesting. Any time someone attempts to offer a grand unifying theory of the hows and whys of the world, think about this moon, orbiting Saturn, with its lake of liquid hydrocarbons. Then ask them to fit this little puzzle piece into dogma.
Until then, sit back, look up and enjoy the greatest show off Earth.
This image shows the first flash of sunlight reflected off a lake on Saturn's moon Titan. The glint off a mirror-like surface is known as a specular reflection. This kind of glint was detected by the visual and infrared mapping spectrometer (VIMS) on NASA's Cassini spacecraft on July 8, 2009. It confirmed the presence of liquid in the moon's northern hemisphere, where lakes are more numerous and larger than those in the southern hemisphere. Scientists using VIMS had confirmed the presence of liquid in Ontario Lacus, the largest lake in the southern hemisphere, in 2008.
The northern hemisphere was shrouded in darkness for nearly 15 years, but the sun began to illuminate the area again as it approached its spring equinox in August 2009. VIMS was able to detect the glint as the viewing geometry changed. Titan's hazy atmosphere also scatters and absorbs many wavelengths of light, including most of the visible light spectrum. But the VIMS instrument enabled scientists to look for the glint in infrared wavelengths that were able to penetrate through the moon's atmosphere. This image was created using wavelengths of light in the 5 micron range.
By comparing the new image to radar and near-infrared light images acquired from 2006 to 2008, Cassini scientists were able to correlate the reflection to the southern shoreline of a Titan lake called Kraken Mare. The sprawling Kraken Mare covers about 400,000 square kilometers (150,000 square miles). The reflection appeared to come from a part of the lake around 71 degrees north latitude and 337 degrees west latitude.
It was taken on Cassini's 59th flyby of Titan on July 8, 2009, at a distance of about 200,000 kilometers (120,000 miles). The image resolution was about 100 kilometers (60 miles) per pixel. Image processing was done at the German Aerospace Center in Berlin and the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Despite the prevalence of skinny-legged jeans and Lycra, we all secretly miss the swaddling comfort of footie pajamas and the form-flattering fit of a sauna suit. Just admit it. The Bundler combines both of these elements of haute couture in a mixture of primary colors and a washing machine-safe terry cloth/acrylic blend. Throw in a sassy rope belt and you will have the one piece of clothing that you'll never want to take off.
Unfortunately, the Bundler isn't available any more. Some things are truly ahead of their time: BetaMax, the DeLorean, Friendster, and Hillary Clinton. Nevertheless, the pull of nostalgia and missed opportunities is strong, and this will cause us no end of suffering. We'll have to settle for our Slankets (and something dull from Banana Republic to wear to the party) and pine away for the sleepwear of yesteryear. I just hope my Snuggie can absorb all my tears.
Monday, December 14, 2009
For me, the choice is simple. I dislike helping people anyway and this just gives me one more reason not to do so. Besides, the interminable ringing of the Salvation Army bells makes me insane. If I can bring a moment's peace to the world by withholding my three dollar bills, then color me there.
On a more serious note, I simply cannot and will not knowingly support any organization that is anti-gay. Hate me to my face. That's fine. But don't couch your hatred and ignorance and bigotry in "good works" and try to make me and my people feel guilty for not supporting your attempts to subjugate and rob us of our civil rights. Everything you do, Salvation Warriors, is tainted by this. So take your "love the sinner but hate the sin" matra and shove that in your bucket. You're not getting a dime from me.
Derealization is an alteration in the perception or experience of the external world so that it seems strange or unreal. Other symptoms include feeling as though one’s environment is lacking in spontaneity, emotional coloring and depth. Individuals who suffer from derealization may complain that what they see lacks vividness and emotional coloring. Emotional response to visual recognition of loved ones may be significantly reduced. Feelings of déjà vu or jamais vu are common. Familiar places may look alien, bizarre, and surreal. The world as perceived by the individual may feel like it is going through a dolly zoom effect. Such perceptual abnormalities may also extend to the senses of hearing, taste, and smell.
Or it's just the Hanger One Kaffir Lime vodka Jenna forced me to drink during the Hannukah Ham Party.
Or maybe I just find everyone annoying today.
Or perhaps it's both.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
But. Then there's vodka and all things vodka related. When I read about this particular project, I thought to myself, "Maybe I AM a DIY kind of person." After all, I know how to buy vodka and I know how to make ice. (Psst, it's called Iced Tea and Sarcasm for a reason) Add to that, an empty milk carton (I can buy milk too) and some random flowers (they sell those, right?), and you've got yourself the basic materials for a frozen block of vodka icy deliciousness.
So, you can either read the whole thing on WikiHow, or you can follow this shorthand method:
1. Buy vodka. It's your choice, but please don't buy something cheap and gross. This bottle will be stuck in this block of ice like Excalibur and will represent your vodka tastes for years to come. Choose wisely. I suggest Grey Goose or Hanger One.
2. Clean out a 1/2 gallon milk carton.
3. Put the vodka bottle in the carton and fill with twice boiled water. This will make the ice clearer.
4. Carefully pick up the carton--don't jostle it or add any additional air bubbles which will interfere with the clarity of your ice.
5. Add any accoutrements you may want to your ice: flowers, gummy bears, toy soldiers, or condoms. Wedge them between the bottle and the side of the milk carton so they stay in place.
6. Place the bottle and carton in the freezer. Make sure it's flat and the bottle can stand upright. Freeze overnight at least.
7. Remove the ice/bottle from the carton--carefully! You can run it under cool water to loosen it from the milk carton. Cracking may occur. Don't cry. It's fine. Then you can shape the ice if you want. Make it more rounded, etc. I like to add Babylonian cuneiform shapes, but that's just how I roll.
8. Place the frozen bottle on a serving tray and wrap in a nice cloth napkin. This will make it easier to serve the delicious, chilly, syrupy vodka.
9. Return to the freezer when not in use. You can reuse this bottle many many times. Just keep filling it with your favorite vodka.
10. Invite me over for a vodka tasting party and have plenty of snacks. I tend to get the munchies when I drink.
Thanks for reading and best of luck to you in your DIY adventures!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Rand got on Open Table and discovered that Frances, the much anticipated new restaurant in the Castro that we had both read about, had a 10 PM reservation available. I dropped my trusty frosting spoon and shouted, "Book it!!!" I waited for confirmation before wiping the cream cheese deliciousness from my formerly frowning mouth; there's no excuse for wasting napkins. Finally, after a few agonizing seconds, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief and return the frosting to its hallowed spot in the pantry. We were in.
We arrived a few minutes before 10 and were greeted by a friendly host. He recognized my name and handed us a drink/wine list and also pointed out the curiously framed white board they use to list daily specials. We stepped to the side and checked out the wine list and the decor. Frances is small but cozy. We were both taken with the light fixtures over the counter seating. Very nice.
While we were waiting, a server came up to us with a couple of the restaurant's Market Shots. They consisted of huckleberry, white wine, kaffir lime and honey. They were really tasty and normally just $3. Ours were on the house. Thanks Frances!!
After about 10-15 minutes we were seated (a table was available earlier, but the host told us it was a cramped space, so we opted to wait a little longer). Seating at Frances is very cozy, almost European. They have chosen to utilize as much of the space as possible with many two-tops placed close together. Be prepared to meet your neighbors.
After swapping life stories with our new dinner neighbors, we began to peruse the menu. Since it was late, they were out of the beef dish (which was a little disappointing), but there was much more on the menu to try out. We decided to start with some squash frites, applewood smoked bacon beignets, and albondigas with salsa verde. The squash frites were great and the beignets were bacony and fluffy. I was a little disappointed in the albondigas, but I think that was mostly because the flavors didn't mesh with the other two dishes. Next, we had the gnocchi with duck confit. By far, this was my favorite dish of the evening and I can't recommend it enough. At the end of the night, I told the owner/chef that I wanted to bathe in the gnocchi because it was so delicious (I'm not sure exactly who it was but I really appreciated her walking around the dining room and talking to us). For an entree, we chose to share the cod dish. It was perfectly cooked and the flavors were spot on. Cod can be a little bland, but this was far from typical cod. The flavors were balanced and rich. I would have loved to try the beef dish, but this was a great second choice.
Add to this a carafe of the house wine (at $1 an ounce) and then we wrapped up the night with the Valrhona chocolate ganache tart with McEvoy Olive Oil ice cream and some Blue Bottle coffee (which was $4 and served in a Chemex carafe--easily 3 cups of coffee).
All in all, I loved it. We spent around $92 for two people, and I thought it was totally worth it. Thanks to the Frances staff for a terrific late night dinner (and I hope we didn't keep you there too long after closing!).
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
As for me, I'm off to scour the hardware stores in the city. This has to be somewhere!!
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Thank you, Senator.
This poor woman was confronted by an eerily happy, smiling mob of fashion-hating Syracuse students protesting her questionable use of corduroy. Why can't we just get along, people? When will we learn to accept people for their differences and "live and let live"? Why must we be so judgmental? So filled with hate? So "HAPPY" to attack people who've clearly done nothing to us?
It must stop! Students of the world, leave this poor woman and her cohorts alone. (Imagine that I'm like Chris Crocker right now.) Let her carry her signs and wear her purple hoodie and unflattering brown skirt. Let her preach her message of hatred and intolerance. Let her wear those shoes!! Oh, hell, who am I kidding? Those SHOES!!! I can picture them now. Get them off, call a priest, we need an exorcism now! It's too much. In fact, those shoes are definitely a sin. Sorry brown corduroy skirt lady, but I cannot accept your particular lifestyle choice.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
First, whenever I hear about Dockers, I think of a movie quote where someone says that no one gets laid wearing Dockers. I'm sure that's not true. Undoubtedly, there is the lucky odd duck out there wearing Dockers who happens to stumble into an unsuspecting female with low self-esteem. Score!
Second, the news item I read which alerted me to this ad campaign tried to link it to research on the decreasing testosterone levels in men worldwide. Will Dockers be soaking their pants in testosterone? Will I have to fight off the ladies and the bears when I stroll around SF wearing them? One should be so lucky. By the way, does the aging population have anything to do with the decrease? Just a guess.
Third, even without a torso and head this model looks hot. And that's what I like in advertisements: attractive models. Now, what are they selling again?
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
This is my nomination for the most amazing thing I've seen today. And, well, since I'm the ultimate judge for what I think is amazing, I guess this slab of pink Himalayan salt wins.
Look, I like food as much as the next person. No, I'm not a foodie but I know several. And, I was initially excited by this product. It looks cool and I can imagine the "ohhs" and "ahhs" as I pull it out to cook a delicious piece of Coho salmon. Oh, yeah, I'm cooking on a rock. Eat that, Le Creuset.
But, despite its magical antimicrobial powers and the description that says it's easy to clean, I'm self-aware enough to realize that I would probably slip up, put the damn thing in the dish washer, and find out an hour later that I had basically flushed $40 down the drain.
3. Elephant-like creature that also seems a little alien and kind of scares me.
These are available at DWR.com for only $39 each in case you're still shopping for my Xmas gift.