Κυριακή, Δεκεμβρίου 17, 2006

If I Ever Write a One-Woman-Show...

...The title will be [My name]: The Girl in the Boys' Powder-room.

Or perhaps it should be 'Bois'"

Τρίτη, Νοεμβρίου 07, 2006

Dumb Finale Thing

Just in case you were wondering (Hey, Google-bot) how to do the time signature 3/8+3/4 in Finale and not have it beam all screwy, here's what you do.

Go into the time signature tool, choose composite. In the first box on the top row, type the number 0.75. In the box below it, type the number 2. Now, you're thinking, this is insane, there's no such thing as .75/2 time. And you're right. But strangely, this will make Finale think it's 3/8. Now in the next pair of boxes, type 3 and 4. Say okay.

Then, once you get to the main time signature screen, choose 'more options' and "Different time signature for display" because clearly, if you give a player something with . 75/2 on it, they're going to have a heart attack. So then type in 3, 8, 3, 4 in the boxes and you're good to go.

Incidentally, if you're having trouble with the Finale Tempo Tool, the reason is that it doesn't work. Really. That's what the rep told us. Just use the "Expression" Tool.

Παρασκευή, Νοεμβρίου 03, 2006


Bet you can't buy tinned octopus at your dollar store.

Not that I do.

Double-Mashed Potatoes

My neighborhood has a very high concentration of 99cent stores. There's a huge one, actually, about half a block from my house, but that involves crossing a fairly major road without a stoplight, so I generally just visit the one at the foot of the subway station. (Out here, our subways are above ground.)

Tonight, I was on my way home from the Farmers Market with a cheese pumpkin that I was planning to puree. Except my blender is completely incompetent. So I stopped at the 99c store to buy a potato masher. And lo and behold, they had one, right at the very top of the wall o' kitchen gadgets. So I got the guy to climb up and get one down for me, which after some coaching ("No, to your left. Left. No. The other way. The other way. That one!") he managed.

And then he said, "You only want one?"

Πέμπτη, Νοεμβρίου 02, 2006

Would You Rather...?

You absolutely have to go, right now, check out the Amazon.com reviews of K-Fed's new "album." I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time. Here's my favorite:
I'll be nice.

Relative to a pool of vomit, this album is pretty solid. I'd rather have this album thrown at me at high speeds than a chainsaw. If I was stranded on a desert island, I'd rather have this album than a tumor. If I had to lick something, I'd rather it be this album than, say, a ferret's balls. At my next birthday party, I'd much rather you sing than a man that could make Earth explode with his voice. If I needed a drinking buddy, I'd rather it be you than someone with an uncontrollable bladder that also happens to be a recovering alcoholic whose wife is only giving him one last chance before she kicks him out of the house and takes his kids, that being the final straw before he flips out and murder's my grandfather.
Well played, sir. Well played.

Our runners-up comment on the world-changing nature of this album...
The sheer cacophony that this album exhudes is a declaration of war against all which is good and pure in this world. Skies will rain blood, virgins will be spontaneously defiled, and there will be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The drum machines in this necronomicon of pain are wrought from the realm of Baalzebub himself, their metallic drone bores holes within the eardrums - sweet mercy comes from this.

The unholy union between K-Fed and music television will ensure that this demon seed is poured forth upon the masses, burning them with unescapable torment.

It must be stopped.

...the sheer poetry...
Every once in a while the cosmos align themselves in such perfect orgasmic bliss that their very light is truncated by the heavens into a single work of art ("Art" I say, as if such a mortal word could suffice to describe the ambrosia of the god's!). Every once in a while an artist is able to slit open his chest, rip out his still beating heart, and squirt us with such blindingly powerful sensations that we can only hope our tear ducts have not fully atrophied from the constant barrage of worthless garbage that passes for culture so that we may weep at true beauty when it is trust in front of our eyes!!!

Ladies and gentlemen, that time is now. That work is "Playing with Fire." That man....... is K-Fed!!!

Socrates' once said that the poets were the only true interpreters of God and if he was as wise as they say he is, K-Fed is a poet for the ages. It is impossible to listen to the raw earthy power of "America's Most Hated" or the Dionysian visions of "Dance with a Pimp" and not be touched by the blunt finger of God. And, why yes K-Fed, I would like a little bit of hip-hop with my rock n roll, thank you.

The power of a true artist is in creating something utterly new, but out of the classic and great in a way that makes us think "Why didn't I think of that?" How simple, how obvious, how genius. Hip hop mixed with Rock n Roll? How could no one have thought of this before? That revelation alone rockets K-Fed to the upper echelons of hip-hop.

Nas? Eminem? Rakim? Chuck D? Philistines have called these emcees poets and artists before, but K-Fed has shown they might as well have been writing puns with fecal matter on a broken down barn that no one ever visits anyway since the coal ran out of the mine and there are no jobs anymore. With only one album out, K-Fed has instantly rendered them all irrelevant.

When listening to this album you will experience the same spiritual insight that Rainer Maria Rilke felt whilst staring at the torso of Apollo. Every beat, every sample, every verse rings with this profound insight: "You must change your life."
And the breathtaking lyricism...
This former back-up dancer
Now known as Mr. Spears
Has brought us the worst album
To be released in years

Though he thinks he's Eminem
He's more Vanilla Ice
And after you've heard this one once
You wouldn't hear it twice

Just listen to the lyrics
And see if you agree
These are the worst songs ever "sung"
In all of history

The first single is "Lose Control"
A track that should be tossed
I would suggest this album
Be avoided at all cost

Maybe next year on April 1
(You'll get two for a buck)
Buy `em for an All Fool's joke
and watch your pals upchuck
--Amanda Richards

Τετάρτη, Νοεμβρίου 01, 2006

Hello, Live Bait!

I think this is a friendly gesture much in the same way that fishermen offering worms to trout is.

Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 31, 2006

Monday Bonus Recipe: Gingerbread Pudding

I invented this yesterday out of (sorta) necessity. I had an old, stale, slightly moldy gingerbread lying around, but I felt bad that I had neglected it, and I like gingerbread and didn't want to throw it out entirely, so I revived it and it was delicious.

A loaf of gingerbread, more or less. Stale is completely fine. And if it's just minor mold we're talking about, cut/scrape it off and move on.
Heavy cream. Sorta depends how much bread you end up with.
Milk. The same amount as the cream.
3 eggs.
1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup or ginger maple syrup.

Take the gingerbread and crumble it up into a pyrex dish. I suppose maybe you should grease/flour the dish first. Anyway, unlike a real bread pudding, you want this to be pretty finely crumbled. Crack 3 eggs into a mixing bowl. Estimate how much liquid it's going to take to cover all the crumbs, in addition to the amount of eggs you've already got there. Make up the difference with a 1:1 ratio of heavy cream and whole milk. Add the syrup. More if you want this to be really sweet, less if your more into lightly sweetened things. Beat this mixture thoroughly until the eggs are no longer identifiable in the liquid. Pour it all over the crumbs, cover and refrigerate for 5+ hours, until the crumbs have more or less surrendered. Put it in the oven, and bake it until it's nicely puffed in the middle and a knife comes out cleanish.

This general principle works with any breadlike product you wish to salvage. I tried it with pan de sal (Filipino rolls) and raisins and that was remarkable too. I have some aging cheddar scallion scones I may turn into a savory pudding later this week.

Δευτέρα, Οκτωβρίου 30, 2006

Stuffed Eggplants

Here's what you need:

About a pound of either ground lamb, or even better, lamb sausage
8-10 smallish eggplants. And I mean smallish. No larger than a pear.
3/4 cup quinoa
A lemon
A tomato or two. Flavorful and ripe is better.
Onions. I'd say 3 small ones.
Garlic. 3 cloves or so
Olive oil. Lots.

First, prepare the eggplants. The easy way to do this is to boil them until they're soft, then cut them down the prime meridian, so to speak, and scoop out their innards. But surely, some of you ask, there must be a harder way. There is. Boil the eggplants, cut the top off, and scoop the innards out through the neck. And if you want an even harder way, don't boil them first. Just use a knife and great skill. That was the method I chose yesterday when I was making them. I suggest going one of the easier routes. Whatever you do, save the innards and put them in a shallow baking dish. Douse them thoroughly with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a judicious sprinkling of lemon juice. Throw that in the oven at about 350 and forget about it while you do the rest. (Actually, the innards have nothing to do with the recipe for the eggplant, but they do make an amazing babaganoushlike substance.) So put some olive oil in the pan and add the garlic and let it sizzle for a few minutes. Add the onions, and let them get a little brown. While you're doing this, put the quinoa in a saucepan with a bunch of water and get it boiling. Add the lamb to the onions and let it brown. It will probably be pretty juicy. Drain the juices into an icecube tray and save them for the next time you need broth or boullion. When the quinoa is done, drain it and toss it, along with the oregono and any spices that strike your fancy, in with the lamb. Mush up the tomato(es) and throw them in too. Stuff all this into the eggplant shells. Over the opening I'd put either a) breadcrumbs and butter and parmasan, b) bacon fat or c) thin coating of lard. This will help keep things moist inside. Put the eggplants in the oven and cook them until the stuffing is warm and the eggplant is soft. If you boiled it, this should take very little time. If you didn't, it will take a long time, but that's okay. They're worth the wait. While that's cooking, pull the eggplant innards out of the oven and throw them in the blender or food processor, and blend them until they're smooth-ish. Unless you like a chunkier ganoush. If you're a baba ganoush purist, you should add some parsley, paprika, and tahini at this point. If you're like me and don't particularly care for tahini, just take it out of the blender and use it however you like. It's delicious anyway.

So here's what you should end up with:

How ever many eggplants with which you started, full of lamb and quinoa and goodness.
A couple cups of a baba ganoushlike substance.
About half an icecube tray of lamb boullion.