Wednesday, March 26, 2008

don't have a cow, man

c4ts, sugarpockets, avert your eyes: this post focuses on pork. well, david chang, who specializes in making pork-related korean-esque dishes. in the interest of full disclosure, i've been to momofuku noodle bar and i think the pork buns are fantastic. it's fine if chang isn't trying to make authentically korean dishes or whatever and that's not what annoys me. people fall all over themselves praising the noodle dishes, while i find them to be...lacking. what can i say? there is a korean word that describes the taste, which can only be translated to, uh, "meaty." there is nothing offsetting the overwhelming pork-y flavor and the noodles lack the nuance and balance that i think a good meat-based dish should have. i haven't tried his ssam bar because, well, it's pretty impossible to get a seat there.

anyway, chang's a skilled chef and he has some innovative ideas on how to run a restaurant, but holy cow is he overrated. in his new yorker profile last week, he came off somewhere between earnest/likeable and psychotic/self-important. i'm sure he's some of both, as most people are.

apparently he's a james beard award finalist? and proving that bloggers know nothing, listen to this ignoramus's opinion on who should win:

Steve Plotnicki, Opinionated About Dining: “Chang: I'm torn between him and Dufresne, but Chang's Bo Ssäm, which could be the single greatest casual dish ever invented by an American chef, tips it in his favor”

hey moron, korean people have been eating the dish for years and it's offered by many other korean restaurants. chang didn't "invent" it, he just made it that much pork-ier.

while we're on the subject, frank bruni managed to make it out to park slope to try out moim, a korean restaurant. he wrote a fairly glowing review, but the menu made me pause: what kind of self-respecting korean restaurant charges for banchan? $4 for kongnamul! my mom would weep. not to mention, what are these "korean desserts" they serve?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I like this picture, not just because of all the cuteness, but mainly because an elephant took it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

you're outta touch

sometimes the new york times just makes me laugh/cringe with inane sections like this (no, not just sunday styles). because, y'know, we all were looking for advice on how to bequeath our vast sums of wealth so that our heirs don't turn out like brandon davis or hey! maybe i should consider moving my seven figure investment account into a hedge fund! oh gosh, there is always the question of whether my second home should provide respite or additional income. mo' money mo' problems, indeed.

anyway, this headline caught my eye. holy shit, dudes! i live in new york! my job is tied to wall street! the sky is falling! who knew "each Wall Street job supports three workers in other sectors?" dig a little deeper, however, and you'll find where the times's concerns really lie:

Last month, Shai Shustik, a broker with Manhattan Residential, was helping a 27-year-old client find a $700,000 one-bedroom apartment on the East Side of Manhattan. But then the client suddenly put her search on hold. Her father, a banker, said he had lost too much money in the stock market to buy such an apartment for her.

Until two weeks ago, Mr. Shustik was also working with a Credit Suisse banker who wanted to spend up to $1.6 million for a one-bedroom apartment in the West Village or TriBeCa neighborhoods of Manhattan. The banker abruptly stopped his apartment search because he was too concerned about the stock market and his future bonus potential.

what?! fuck you, new york times. seriously.

anyway, here is my promised rant on bear stearns, which seems more legitimate now that jp morgan has decided to up its bid to $10/share. at least at $2/share the fed could claim with a somewhat straight face that this was not a taxpayer-financed bailout of one of the most unsympathetic firms on wall street. after all, it wasn't so long ago that bear stearns refused to bail out long term capital management. so now the fed is rescuing one of the instigators of the mortgage backed security meltdown with my, no, our tax dollars. these renegades who decided that they were above regulations are now begging the government for a handout and so here we are. okay, i get it, what was the fed supposed to do, merely watch while the banking system fell one by one? i'm not naive: of course the big players have a direct line to the government while the vast majority of law-abiding taxpayers don't. i get it. it's just completely demoralizing to see it so vividly in play.

anyway, back to our regular programming...

Raining McCain

Are you like me? Sometimes, do you think, man, I've reached the end of the internet? There's nothing left in the vast, oblong hollows of these tubes to amuse me. I had that feeling earlier today, as I avoided reading some reply brief that made its way onto my desk. But then I learned about this guy, who I really want to meet now. Maybe I could fly to Idaho and we could get brunch. And maybe this other guy could join us. And, maybe, just maybe, we could talk about how fucking killer the video above is, especially because no one told the old lady she's not supposed to where clothes the same color as the blue screen.

just askin'

i keep seeing ads for this book on the subway, which made me think, what if honeyb morrison were related to nobel laureate toni morrison? well, both are nytimes best-selling authors...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Duke Fan Stan

So, my boy Nick's brother, Peter, has put out his newest anti-Duke screed (above), and true to his nature, it's clever, it's catchy, and it's homophobic. Although there's some self-awareness here--really, why are hordes of Carolina and Maryland fans so consumed with Duke rage that they boost the ratings for games in which Duke plays unrelated opponents, thus ensuring that Duke's absurd broadcast dominance continues and little old me, out in the godless Bay Area can watch 15 to 20 games a year, no problem? Anyway, I know I'm just a "douchebag faggot who never got laid in college" as one Carolina fan put it to me at a sports bar a couple of years ago, but I support my team, and I support all ACC teams when they're not playing my team, and I think gays are people too, and I like a lot of mainstream hip hop, but I give none of its homophobic luminaries a free pass. On the eve of the tournament, can I say this: Go Carolina, go Miami, and go Duke.

letting the anger subside

i've been very, very angry over the bear stearns deal (seriously, i've been seething over it and even had some sort of a nightmare about it) and thought about blogging to release all that energy, but you know what, i'm just gonna post the photo above instead.


Friday, March 14, 2008

don't stand so close to me

some of my fellow subway riders i see as "commuter friends," y'know, they hold the door open for you, they let you sit down before them, they read the post within your sightlines...

there are "commuter foes," of course, they hold the door open for others, they listen to their music too loudly so all you hear are tinny drumbeats, they magically fold the times into those nice rectangles...

then there are those who somehow find their way next to me. the other day, a woman sat down and started furiously brushing her hair. i mean, c'mon. i don't know where you've been or if you have headlice! granted, she was well-dressed and clean cut looking-ish, but in a city of bedbugs, you just never know.

this morning a woman sat down next to me and started to apply nail polish! people, this is not your house. it's a very confined space with limited oxygen. i finally had to ask her to stop, breaking that sacred fourth wall between me and every other commuter.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

things that are older than c4ts

not eliot spitzer's "kristen"!

happy birthday, dude! (don't ask - i googled "birthday" and that image showed up. seriously. try it).

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

res ipsa loquitur

yes, these are real covers.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Grace and Disgrace

Last night The Wire brought its Sophoclesian narrative to a bittersweet end. It's not my intention to spoil the show for those who aren't yet caught up (so easy on the links, cowboy), but I will say this: with the final season-ending montage, the super-narrative came clearly into focus. While the show has always luxuriated in its panoply of finely wrought characters, its chief concern has never been the individual, but the insitutions that are at the heart of a broken system--and how those institutions betray the individuals they're meant to serve. The show's beloved characters--Omar, Bunk, Clay Davis, to name only three--either operate within or are crushed by the systemic institutions (the drug trade, the police department, the political machine) that define them, and as they try to game the system itself, reform it, act outside of it, ultimately, they find they can never escape its reach.

Fittingly, at the end of last night's show, we find out if honey-tongued, Obama-esque, young Mayor Carcetti wins the prize he's so long coveted--the Maryland state house--or if he gets the comeuppance he (may or may not) deserve. When we first meet Carcetti in season three, he is the embodiment of two qualities, cunning and idealism, in equal measure, but as his star rises, his cunning manages to vanquish his idealism. In a wonderful moment in this season, he comes home to watch himself on TV and announces word of his latest, foul-stenched political compromise to his pretty, passive wife. In that moment she finally comes to see him for what he has become: her face contorts into a picture of disgust, but Carcetti is oblivious. His own visage dances and speechifies before him on the television...

This post was intended merely to be a thank you to David Simon (pictured), Ed Burns, Richard Price, Dennis Lehane, and George Pelecanos, The Wire brain-trust, for that moment and all the others I will miss, but with today's news that yet another zealous, young reformer--equal parts cunning and idealism--a man who had renewed my hope in the future of American politics, has disgraced himself and his party (which, let's face it, ain't easy), has forfeited any chance for higher office, has fed us lies about virtue and the rule of law, was caught in--of all things--a federal wiretap investigation, not unlike the one that may or may not have brought down Marlo Stanfield (see, no spoilers), I know all those sad, dark Wirey moments abound. The show may be over, but the show goes on.

Thank you, David Simon, for giving me some hope, despite all the stench, all the ugliness; and fuck you, Eliot Spitzer, for making me believe you were cut from a different cloth.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

burning questions answered

the times today poignantly asks, "what makes people give?"

answer: certainly not that photo.

and this mystifying quote: In addition to established figures like Colin Firth and Helen Mirren, Oxfam is affiliated with Scarlett Johansson, who has visited South Asia (where the organization promotes girls’ education) and is scheduled to go to Mali. Cruz notes that while “trendy young people” are attracted to the star of “Match Point” and “Lost in Translation,” Johansson had “great credibility with an older audience because she’s such a great actress.”

since when?

Friday, March 7, 2008

your party will self-destruct in 5...4...

during this interminable primary season(...s?) the democrats continue to wring their hands over which candidate will be able to withstand the republican attack machine. oh, i am not underestimating the republicans' formidable power and organization. nonetheless, there was so much hope among the democrats: the strength of the main dem candidates (yes c4ts, including edwards), the questionable viability of all of the republican frontrunners, not to mention the sad state of the bush presidency. how can the democrats possibly do wrong? but you know, it turns out that all the republicans had to do was to sit back and watch bc, surprise, the dems can't get themselves together to save their lives.

if i'm getting this straight, michigan and florida first decided to move their primaries to january in violation of party rules. the DNC stripped michigan and florida of their delegates as a result. the candidates also promised that they wouldn't campaign in either state. clinton won in both states, with obama not even appearing on the michigan primary ballot (unbeknownst to me. i kind of magically tuned all of this noise out before).

all through the primaries the clinton campaign grumbled about how they will eventually seat those hard-fought - not really - delegates. i kind of ignored this and this asinine statement from clinton herself. once a lawyer, always a lawyer. i've noticed this instinct to parse everything to death in myself, even at this very early stage in my career.

anyway, now the obama and clinton campaigns are at war over what to do about said michigan and florida delegates. the head of the DNC is flip-flopping himself. seat the michigan/florida delegates in accordance with their january vote? hold new primaries? spend even MORE money?

i kind of want everyone involved in this fiasco to all get on a really big bus, then drive themselves off a cliff. this is maddening.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


So, another season of Runway comes to an end, and again I'm left confused. I claim no sense of what passes for fashion-forward or how to distinguish the avant-garde from the costumey absurd, but I know what I know, and as everyone lavishes praise on wunderkind Christian and his supposed preternatural gifts and his penchant for a word that I was under the impression had been popularized by Tyra Banks years ago, I am left only with this thought: when did Puss-in-Boots become fierce? Oh, yeah. Never.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Majoring in Miracles? Maybe Try Theatre Tech Instead

The space between one's thumb and one's forefinger.

Such was Mike Huckabee's characterization of how close he got to becoming president. In his own words: "I don't think [my parents] could've ever imagined that that better life would have included running for president and getting this close to getting there." Look, I know the guy ran miles beyond expectation, never had any money in his coffers, and generally equipped himself well on the late-night comedy show circuit, but when you lose the delegate count 1260 to 270, isn't that, like, a blood bath? Not even Stretch Armstrong's anatomically capable of expresing that margin. Shit, even Romney has more delegates and he retired to his chateau weeks ago. Anyway, Huckabee may be stupider than our current President. I thought this should be noted for posterity.

maybe someone's gonna save me

oh sweet nostalgia, please tell me this is true.

finally, the realization of my greatest fantasy...and c4ts' nightmare.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

i've been wondering this very thing

the nostagiathon continues. i think this might be a sign that the times has one too many blogs...

but huh? what is the conclusion here: I think that Alex might just be ready to take a chance. I can picture him stepping into the voting booth, closing the curtain behind him, taking a deep breath and then for the first time in his life putting his hand up to the Democratic Party lever. He’d touch it tentatively, trying to get comfortable. Take his hand off. Put it back. He’d grasp the lever firmly. Squeeze it. And as he was about to pull, we FADE OUT.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Macy Gray Takes Break from Bar Mitzvah Circuit

Remember that scene in The Usual Suspects when Kevin Spacey tells Joe Mantegna that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist? I'm beginning to think Karl Rove took that to heart when he dropped out of electoral politics, at least publicly, to secretly control whatever's left of's mindgrapes. There's no other explanation for this latest celebration of two of the most alienating institutions known to "values voters," Hollywood and fascism--in the name of all things Obama.

I don't care if Obama brings these guys onto the stump with him, but if he doesn't denounce and reject that weirdo Black-Eyed Peas guy and his "kung-fu inspired dancing," I have no choice but to write in Putin.

The Vengabus Is Coming

Having no answer to why Lyndsey looks sad in the picture below, I post merely to provide an example of a phenomenon noted earlier: Check out Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones doing a fantastic white boy lip curl thing while dancing. Also, obvs, this picture has double value to the blog because of the unstoppable Urkelness of it all. When will the idiots who greenlight these kinds of movies give Stephan Urquelle his own vehicle?