Potato Salad

It’s still cold here, but I’m already getting ready for some summertime cookouts in our new (BIG) yard. Bring on the potato salad!

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Is this thing on?

Man, you guys have missed so much this past year!  2013 was great!  Maybe I’ll tell you all about it…in 2014.

Kisses!

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What happens in Atlantic City ends up here for my mom to read.

Breaking news in the “places I never really wanted to go” category- I recently celebrated my first trip to Atlantic City… with a really awful hangover caused by $4 Hurricanes.

Nothing this color will ever make you feel OK.

Nothing this color will ever make you feel OK.

Hold up a sec-I know what you’re thinking!  “What are a bunch of sexy and stylish straight dudes doing drinking froo-froo cocktails in AC in the dead of winter?!”  I’ve got one word for you: Bachelorparty!  That’s right! These conveniently priced concoctions in a souvenir glass were enjoyed post crown-royal-shots-and-beers-in-the-room, but pre-steakhouse-dinner-and-casino-cover-band.  So basically, the price was right while the night was young and we were still on the way up.  At 5 AM the next morning, on the way back down , the Hurricanes picked up some cows and local vegetation and deposited them all in the toilet.

My hangover was ALMOST as bad as this movie.

Now, I don’t gamble, and I hate Vegas, but I was still excited to get drunk and rowdy and mingle with the GTL set that I assumed infiltrated Atlantic City every weekend.  While I was correct about Jersey Beach clientele, I did not realize that AC is just a sadder, lonelier version of Las Vegas.  No worries though!  I still had delusions of grandeur about coming at this weekend head on,  like I was John McClane making my way through Nakatomi Plaza, using $100 chips to slap the glitter off strippers while someone played Standing on Top of the World by Van Halen at full volume.

This did not happen.  But if it did, at least we were prepared.

This is the ACTUAL contents of the  briefcase that the bachelor brought with him.

This is the ACTUAL contents of the briefcase that the bachelor brought with him.  And yes, the wire transfer codes and Belarus shipping container numbers are on the SAME disc!  Good thing it didn’t fall into the wrong hands.

We did enjoy a delicious hamburger, a casino cover band, a girl vomiting in her hand (to protect her new shoes maybe?), too many sequined dresses, fake tans, and ugly personalities, some football, a bar where every bartender looked like a shitty Richard Jenkins impersonator, and a foggy view of the Atlantic.

One more Hurricane, and I was going to marry this girl.

As the weekend came to a close, I stopped in NYC to recoup some of the culture I had lost. First I went and saw a good friend of mine from LA perform with her dance company at a good old-fashioned Modern Dance roundup.  The last performance of the evening even included boobs!  If you’re keeping score, that is 6 more breasts than I saw in Atlantic City.  After that, I met with another friend at a Chelsea gallery and saw a Daniel Buren exhibition.  Buren, is a French abstract minimalist, who works mainly with stripes.  I think much of his work looks like the canvas awnings outside of Cannes boutiques, circa 1960’s.  But these awnings hang on the wall and cost $120,000.  You win, Buren.

I would pay $150,000 for the one on the left if it didn’t clash so much with my IKEA furniture.

Have you been to Atlantic City?  What did you think of it?  Was there a briefcase involved? What places are on your “not going out of my way to visit” list?  Do you gamble?  Do you win often?  What color alcoholic drinks do you stay away from the most?  Could you be swayed to drink them if they were really cheap?  And they included a souvenir glass?  How do you absorb culture after a weekend of binge drinking?  Do you even consider yourself cultured to begin with?

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It’s a major award!

No, not this one…

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This one!

It says “Very Inspiring Blogger Award.”  It’s not so much an actual “award” as it is some  chain mail shenanigans slash blog award.  Bloggers award it to several other bloggers, and within 2 months, they have received over $50 in valuable coupons    And I’m pretty psyched to have received it! I bet you’re wondering how I won this major award. I don’t mind telling you that I was nominated by a collection of one hilarious peer.  I have deemed him a peer for several reasons: he is older than me by a bunch; he is humorous for a living; and the title of his blog, Drinking Tips For Teens is way funnier than anything I have come up with, and also the possible name for a best selling educational text I think I could author.  Thank you, Ross Murray, you Canadian minx you, for giving me the intellectual hand job I needed.  I hope this helps to inspire me to keep shooting blog batter all over the internets for at least a few months.

Now, with this major award comes major responsibility, in the form of 3 rules:

1.  Keep it out of the light. It hates bright light, especially sunlight.  It’ll kill him. (Display the award logo on your blog.)

2. Don’t give it any water, not even to drink. (Link back to the person/s who nominated you.)

3. The most important rule, the rule you can never forget.  No matter how much it cries, no matter how much it begs, never feed it after midnight. (State 7 things about yourself.)

So here are seven things about Providence’s best kept secret, me!

1)  I recently realized that I have let my unemployment begin to define me, and that’s not right! Because it’s not who I am.  I’m fucking awesome! I’m hilarious! I’m super cute! Your mom totally loves me! I’m a great cook, a kinda OK baker, and I can pickle the shit outta anything! You definitely want me at any party/wedding/work dinner/ Bat Mitzvah/ etc. where there is an open bar.  I have sweet hair.  I know about things, like art and pop culture.   So it’s been rough to not get many/any job-related responses.  I have bills.  And a quickly approaching wedding.  It’s resulted in me being a bit sad lately.  And I’m not a sad person.  At all.  I love life.  I love adventures! I love you guys! So my number one fact, which is also a kind of New Year’s resolution, is to stop being so shitty about not working.

2) Trying to understand what I say will make your brain go into overload, thus making you smarter.

3) I very rarely try the same recipe twice.  It’s called cooking with ADD.  Some people work a lifetime to perfect a recipe.  I just wanna try new shit.  Thank you, infinite resources of the web.

4) I have a teenage daughter.  She is awesome in that awkwardly confident middle school way.  We enjoy many of the same nerd-related things, like dressing up as Japanese cartoon characters and non-stop texting about Daleks.

5) I haven’t stopped picking my nose in over a decade.  I used to blame the dry desert air.  But now I live a block from the water in New England.  I think I just need a new excuse.

6) Coconut is definitely one of my favorite flavors.

7) I’m allergic to eggplant.  This has not made too much of a difference in my life.

Whatever you call it, it makes my mouth feel burny.

Next: nominate other bloggers and link to them.

Insane Italian- Imagine a bald, sweaty meatball wearing a soccer jersey and flip-flops.  Now, imagine that meatball being absolutely hilarious like your college roommate.  That is this blog.

Living Simply Gluten Free – I’m not gluten free. I eat everything/anything.  Including 80% of the recipes on this site.  It doesn’t matter if you’re down with the celiacs or not, this site will make you hungry.

This bitch be crazy! And she makes me laugh.

I’ll add more as I think of them.  Do you think you should be included? Let me know.  I’ll totally add you. Have you ever won a major award? What was it for?  Was it actually won, or was it just for participating?  Did you read the blogs I suggested above?  Did you enjoy them?  Do you agree that this is one of my least funny posts?  Did you know that I’m going to Atlantic City this weekend for a bachelor party?  How far do you think I can get with my unemployment check?  Right now I’m thinking 6 hot dogs on the boardwalk,  five 40 oz malt liquor beverages, and 25 minutes at the penny slots.

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Christmas Crookies

Welcome to 2013, ya filthy animals!  I hope your ugly, no good keester’s had an amazing holiday season.  Maybe even better than Kevin McCalliaster?    

Mine was lovely, except for the fact I didn’t get to watch Elf.  Not even once!  It did snow here though, and I got to partake in some of the old fashioned riding-a-sleigh-down-a-hill-and-smashing-your-balls-into-an-ice-boulder, so that was kinda fun, except for the last part.   

Now onto a favorite subject of Cathy (from newspaper funny pages fame) and small children everywhere, dessert. I have been known to bake a bit, but in all my days as a half-assed Betty Crocker, I’ve never tried my hand at a delicious, basic chocolate cake, entirely from scratch (even the frosting). And now I know why.  For starters, when making a 3 layer cake, it helps to have 3 pans that are the same size, not “close enough.”  In addition, my cake stand was actually a piece of cardboard wrapped in foil.  Ingenious? Yes. Practical for frosting purposes?  Kind of, I guess, if you know what you’re doing.  Like most Chinese food, it was delicious once you got past the way it looks.

Good luck funding the marching bands trip to Washington with THIS at the bake sale.

Good luck funding the marching bands trip to Washington with this at the bake sale.

I also got sick.  I’m still sick.  It’s been like 3 fucking weeks.  Seriously, does it ever end?!  The neighbors have told me they hear me coughing all night.  I have put Milton PuffsPlus’ kid through at least one semester of community college.  I had a swollen gland that made me look like a cartoon character with a golf ball stuck in my throat.  I’ve passed it on to most of my family.  I’ve cancelled trips.  I’m currently trying to wean myself off of Dayquil AND Nyquil. (It’s mainly the generic stuff, so it’s not as hardcore.) I also tried out a recipe for some “sickles.”  They’re basically regular dill pickles, but with extra germs.

I kid.  That garlic and vinegar should destroy anything.  I hope.  For your sake.

I kid. That garlic and vinegar should destroy anything. I hope. For your sake.

And I bet you’re all glad to be done with holiday gift shopping.  It wasn’t too difficult for me this year, since my unemployment check doesn’t really cover large purchases.  Pretty much everyone got some kind of pickled produce in a jar.  And I’m happy to say it was all well received, and it didn’t make anyone violently ill.  Or at least they were nice enough not to tell me about it/ blame me for it/ figure out it was me and not bad sushi.

However, while shopping with my teenage daughter at a local thrift store, we we lucky enough to come by this monstrosity/BALLZ OUT GREATEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN AND I KNOW JUST THE PERSON TO GET IT FOR, if only it hadn’t cost $225!

Yes, this is an airbrushed denim vest with sequins that says “Bitch Killerz” and features a very well-endowed African American gentleman with some of his nude lady friends standing in some kind of desert landscape and 9 Black Hawk helicopters.

Yes, this is an airbrushed denim vest with sequins that says “Bitch Killerz” and features a very well-endowed African American gentleman with some of his nude lady friends standing in some kind of desert landscape and 9 Black Hawk helicopters.

On Christmas eve, I also learned a great new carol. From a straw mouse.  Wearing a hat.

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Later on that week, on my very first sober New Years Eve in almost 20 years, I saw a bicycle camel get stuck in traffic and I danced with a troll.

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How were your holidays?  Did Santa Claus/Hanukkah Harry/ Kwanzaa Carl Winslow bring you everything you had hoped for?  How crappy did your holiday baking turn out?  Are you still sick? Did you catch it from me?  What did you do for New Years Eve? Do you regret it? Did you make any resolutions for New Years? Have you broken them already?  Are you excited that your kids finally went back to school after having them home for 2 weeks?  What new ways did they find to hurt themselves while they were home? What is your favorite ornament?  Did you find anything in a store that could possibly be better than a Bitch Killerz vest? How much weight did you gain from eating 7 lbs of ham and a mixing bowl full of mashed potatoes every day?  How many different kinds of dessert did you try in one sitting?   Are you ashamed to be reminded of it after reading this?

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2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,400 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Kimcheeeezy

Today I celebrate the 3 month anniversary of the last time I was employed.  And what better way to celebrate than to make our apartment smell like Koreatown after 2 weeks with no power.  That’s right you guys, I made a huge ass batch of kimchi and let it ferment in the living room!

This may or may not be an actual text I received from the neighbors.

For the uninitiated, kimchi (or at least my version) is a mix of cabbage, daikon, green onion, carrots, ginger, sesame seed, shrimp paste, red pepper, and salt.

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Mix it all together in this big, amazing, German ceramic crock gifted to me by my wonderful lady friend, and let it sit for a few days while bacteria works its magic. (I quickly touched on the science here)

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Actual size Bruce Lee is for height comparison.

Although the actual amounts of produce and spices are able to be modified for anyone’s  personal preferences, please be sure to do the correct social math before diving into this project.

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Amount of local friends – Friends who don’t eat weird smelly vegetables + Your perceived consumption = Total quarts of strange ethnic food you should make at once

I ended up with 7 quart size jars of this stuff.  I was able to give 2 away.  That leaves 5 quarts of kimchi that have left the fridge reminiscent of a Seoul back alley.  And there are only so many ways to eat it.  Plain.  Breakfast style with an egg on it.  Kimchi pancakes.  Kimchi soup.  Have I missed any?

Breakfast of champions in the bathroom Olympics.

The breakfast of champions in the bathroom Olympics often includes a fucked up looking over-easy egg. I only wish I could blame that on Instagram.

Next up, I plan to make a crap-ton of sauerkraut in the crock, where it will sit and ferment for 6 weeks.  In the basement.  What is your favorite smelly food?  How do you air out your apartment after a kitchen misstep?  Do the neighbors complain that you burnt the fish?  Are your neighbors from a different country?  What kind of fun odors sneak out their front door?  Do you think it’s probably as delicious as I do?  Would you be willing to eat weird meat on sticks at 2 AM in a Bangkok back alley like I have?  Was I correct in guessing they were chicken tails?  What is the over under on me finding a full time position before the unemployment checks stop coming in 3 months?  Can I get in on that?

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Thanksgiving Rehash

So it’s been a few weeks since my last post, and I imagine you’ve all been waiting on this shit like it was Chinese Democracy (incidentally, just like Axl, I too got a fucked up haircut.  Why either of us thought we could rock cornrows is beyond me).http://www.thrashhits.com/wpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/axl-rose-cake-meme.jpg

Also, after rereading this post, I realize it contains a few drug references.  But Thanksgiving is easily comparable to smoking pot in high school.  You spend a few hours  with your close social circle, plus a few extra weirdos tossed in, and you do things you know are bad for you. However, Thanksgiving just cuts the tweeds out altogether and goes right into shoving weird combinations of food in your facehole.

After spending almost every day/week/last 3 months leading up to the holiday by myself in my kitchen, all the social interaction on Thanksgiving nearly broke my brain.  There were so many people to talk to, and I was able to drink so many beers without seeming like  a lonely alcoholic, that I just went into overload.  I couldn’t shut up!  It was like I was on some 1980’s Wall Street coke binge.

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During my fat-Oprah sized gabfest, I was able to convince a few folks to help me keep a Scottsdale tradition alive and do a turkey shot with me.  For the uninitiated, a turkey shot is a shot of turkey juice (i.e the drippings from the bottom of the pan after the turkey is finished roasting) either straight or mixed with some vodka. Here’s a picture of one of the 3 shots I gulped down this year:

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Please ignore my nasty cuticles if you can. My fiance cannot. She likes to remind me how gross they are biweekly. (This is twice a week, not twice a month)

I realize this probably sounds disgusting to you.  It may even look disgusting.  But I promise you it’s absolutely delicious!  It tastes like the best soup ever!  Before you scoff, try it.  If you need convincing, call me over and I’ll guilt you into it.  You’ll thank me.  Did any of my desert-dwelling brethren keep the spirit alive this year as well?  Hit me up in the comments and tell me how much you miss me and my gold thong!

After dinner, the extended family sat down to ridiculously inappropriate game of Cards Against Humanity.  Have you played this yet?  It’s like Apples to Apples, but for a frat house.

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After cackling for 2 hours straight like a hyena on poppers, I realized that a tasteless sense of humor is completely genetic.  This would explain why there are entire families that frown on poop jokes, or worse yet, they just never even get why it’s funny!  Imagine going through your whole life not knowing how hilarious a perfectly timed fart or a pun about a pedophile scoutmaster can be?!

Then everyone went to sleep wondering when the gray-haired Wiccan (the pagan, not the Ewok) dude with a ponytail who brought over the honeymead was going to leave.  He was still on the couch.  Where did he even come from!

I realize this is not a pagan dude, but how could I NOT post this picture.

I realize this is not a pagan dude, but how could I NOT post this picture.

How was your Thanksgiving holiday?  Was there any awkward moments with a druncles?  Did you enjoy watching the American football games?  Did your team win?  Did your dinner contain any traditional items from the very first thanksgiving, like maize or smallpox blankets?  Do you have any fun Thanksgiving traditions?  What are they? Do they include traditional hats made from construction paper? Will you be eating pumpkin pie at any other time this year?  What is your favorite way to prepare Thanksgiving leftovers?  Why is there never enough mashed potatoes left over?  Does your dad dislike beets as much as mine does?

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When Is A Door Not A Door?

When it’s El Santo!

I’m sure you were not expecting a luchador.  In fact, you were probably ready for the standard reply (e.g. when it’s ajar) or something hilariously vulgar (e.g. when it’s ajar like a sloppy porn vajay).  Either way, it still serves as a transition:

Ajar.

 Jar.

BAM!

Here are some of the things I’ve put into jars recently…

Habanero Okra

Sriracha Giardiniera

Sweet Pickled Pumpkin

“Lemon Sage Green Dicks”

Now here’s a special one for all you advertising/marketing folks.  Do you think I’ve chosen a good name for this particular creation? Will it sell on the Whole Food Market shelves?  How about at a farmer’s market?  How about a farmer’s market in Williamsburg? The Castro District in SF?  Would you buy it? Why or why not? Discuss in the comments section below.

As a bonus, here’s a picture of an apple pumpkin tart I whipped up with the leftover pumpkin from the pickling project above.  Notice there is a piece missing.  This is because I’m a fatty fatty boombalatty who can’t even wait to take a picture.  I’m comfortable with that fact.  I don’t care if you know that I eat my feelings.  So what if I make a cake for every one of my 700+ Facebook friends that I haven’t seen in months or even several years.  It’s the thought that counts.  Even though I don’t ever tell anyone that I’ve made them a cake.  I just sit in the bathtub, nude, and eat it.  (Before you jump to conclusions, this is for sanitary reasons only. I am not into sploshing just like I am not into cleaning up crumbs or chest frosting.)  (Chest frosting is not an innuendo.)

“Cakes, LGBNAF!”

Are you finished digging out your special Thanksgiving recipes?  What is your specialty/ favorite/most requested item to make for Turkey Day?  Are you thankful no one asks you to make anything and you just get to show up and get drunk?  Do you play football and punch your brother in the nuts before you gorge?  Did you put your CD copy of Alice’s Restaurant Thanksgiving Day Massacree in an easy to find spot last year so you don’t have to rip apart the living room looking for it again?  Can you carve a turkey? Can you carve an ice sculpture? Can you carve radishes into little rosettes to decorate a crutite platter?  Are you psyched for the big game? I’m not.

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Ferment-nation

What does “8=====D” mean?

I was sexting my close friend Tootie the other day, and she said something that really made me think.  “Ziggy,” she said, “There’s a time you got to go and show that you’re growin’ now, and you know about the facts of life.” And you know what? Tootie was right! I realized that suddenly I’m finding out that the facts of life are all about me!  And science!

For instance, when I mix some fresh vegetables with salt and other fun stuff in a jar and let it sit on the counter for a few days, microorganisms show up and make the kitchen smell like ass.  However, that butt smell is slowly turned into funky flavor and in a week I’m eatin’ pickles like a Korean farmer!  I guess I could tell you all about  the process of water evaporation, whereby the essential enzymes and bacteria are formed and create delicious flavors, and to be honest, most of you would find it interesting, but you can google it, same as I did.  This blog is not for recipes and science facts.  It’s purely an outlet for my gangnam style.

Kimchi and turnips fermented in miso stankin’ up the place.

Also, I’m glad this election season is over.  I’m happy to no longer see campaign ads that didn’t tell me what you’re going to do right, only what the other guy was doing wrong.  And regardless of who you voted for, I’m sure most of you feel the same way.  How about some platforms and ideas everyone!  Let’s concentrate on the future, and more importantly, lets find me a job.  As much as I love sitting in the kitchen all day preparing elaborate meals for my amazing fiance and trying to figure out what 80’s jam Upstairs Bobby is listening to by analyzing the beats coming through the ceiling (Hint: It’s almost always Phil Collins or Cory Hart), it’s time to head back into the land of paychecks.

Do you like kimchi or other weird fermented things?  Did you ever try to make them yourself?  Did you know it only basically requires a bowl and some salt?  Do you have a job for me?  Does it pay more than unemployment does?  Did you know I was thinking about volunteering?  Is it still rewarding when I’m not working, or will it be more like research in case things get real bad?  I fixed a broken shelf today too.  That’s a skill, right?

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