Sunday, March 30, 2008





Saturday, March 29, 2008

Huddled Masses

OMG - Kansas is gonna go all the way! This time of year makes me so nostalgic for my college basketball days. I had student tickets with my friends D. & L. We would go wicked early and sit in the student bleachers, reading the paper, playing cards or, very rarely, doing homework. The games were like a potent magic for the crowd.

From Springsteen to Jayhawk games, I'm realizing that what gets me going is that amazing shared experience. Once I saw U2. I've never been much of a fan, so I wasn't all that pumped about it. The show was good, but on the way out of this huge arena, almost everyone was still singing the refrain of the last song. It gave me goosebumps. Something about 10,000 people singing in unison makes it seem like we're all friends. As a genius Bruce fan said, "On the floor we've all got each other's backs. There's nothing good in this world that we can't do together."

The flip side of the crowd mentality is rioting, which is just terrifying. I've seen that a few times. When I was in Nairobi by myself I heard a big commotion as I was leaving a building. I asked someone what was happening and she replied, "They caught him!" When I rounded the corner, I saw a man being dragged down a city street, bloody and beaten, while throngs of people gave chase, screaming and throwing things at him. I thought I was going to to throw up. I beat a hasty retreat back to the place I was staying and burst into tears, frustrated by my own inability to stop the horror I had seen.

Wow - I've really taken a turn from the feel-good basketball post I had thought I'd write. You do that to me, Lone Reader, you little trickster. It's all jumbled up in my great gourd and writing to you helps me sort it out. Sigh...thanks. You're the best, man.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bacon Hawk

I. Yes, there is a band called 'Bacon Hawk'. This is their picture. I gotta respect the name, if not the hair. (UPDATE - this is a picture of the band Stryper. See the REAL Bacon Hawk here.)

II. Music (w/ no bacon)

I LOVE GumDrop, stereogum’s super treasure trove of a newsletter! It’s absolutely super cool and delish…try it! You’ll like it!

I like 'LCD Soundsystem', but I really like their song ‘Big Ideas’ from the ‘21’ soundtrack. Sadly, it’s currently only available as a whole album purchase on iTunes, and the rest of the tracks ain’t worth it.

Next up for live tunes…wait a minute…nothing until the Breeders at the end of May?! That can’t be right! Help me, Lone Reader! I wanted to go see Bon Iver at the Turf or F*ck Buttons at Triple Rock, but a) they’re on the same night and b) I have the kids that weekend. Maybe God wants me to stay home and watch Disney Channel? Nah. So…what’s coming up that looks good?

And am I the only person disappointed in the “Rock the Garden” line up at the Walker? Wow. I like a lot of those people, but I’m not sure the name fits…maybe “Laid Back Tunes in the Garden”? And $30 a ticket seems like robbery for groups that have all been here recently for about $15 a pop.

III. Basketball (w/ a little bacon)

I’m readying for my basketball party tomorrow night – there’ll be about 12 people over to scream for the Jayhawks as they advance to the elite 8. (and they totally will!) We’re having lots of lovely treats and much beer. No BLT-inis, though…it’s too much work to make that tomato water for a crowd. I’m making a pitcher of pomegranate/lime cocktails, which should be yummy. There will, of course, be bacon. I’m thinking not so much bacon desserts, but dates with manchego cheese wrapped in bacon and maybe the ultimate in MN white food – Tater Tots – wrapped in bacon as well. (Did you know that Minnesota has the highest rate of Tater Tot consumption per capita in the U.S.? You did? Well good for you, smartypants!)

Should I just set out a bowl of bacon? We’ll see. (I need to get back to the Triple Rock for their free bacon Wednesdays…that was fun and tasty.)

Happy happy, people!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jellybeans, Twizzlers and Peeps, oh my!

Somebody come over here and take all this damn candy outta here. It's worse than Halloween around this house.

When we first moved into this house, my kids were 2 and 5. We were so excited to live in a great neighborhood with lots of kids and an active block of neighbors. That first Easter we were invited across the street for a party with all the neighborhood kids. It even featured a visit from the real Easter Bunny! A day or two before the party, both kids had suspicious looking bumps on their faces. Then they each ran a fever; what could it be? That's right -- chicken pox. They had both been immunized, but I guess my daughter got a bad batch because she had pox everywhere. My son only had about three. So the day of the party, my two young 'uns were in the living room and started yelling, "There he is! There he is!"

The teen dressed in a mangy rented bunny suit was making his appearance across the street. My kids started beating on the windows with their faces smashed against the glass, yelling "Easter bunny! Easter bunny!" It was like we were in a TB ward in the 40s.

I close with a quote from one of my favorite bands in high school: "When I go out I have to wear a bunny mask to hide my fear." (It seemed like such a good song at the time...)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Music, basketball and musings

1. Mike Doughty
Hmmm…well you know I love me some Mike Doughty. And don’t get me wrong, it was good. It just wasn’t great. He’s a fab writer with an amazing voice – the band was good, but the antics were a little much. I thought the sausage dance and the multiple introductions of the band really broke the momentum, especially given the size and groove-ability of the crowd. It seemed a little bit amateur or contrived, especially given the amount of touring he’s done of late. But you know I still love Mike Doughty, man. He can sing nonsense words and I’ll always be there to listen. He’s got more bacon than the pan can handle.

2. Basketball!
Rock Chalk Jayhawk, KU! I predicted Georgetown would fall and dang if I wasn’t right. The path is clearing for the mighty ‘Hawks to go to the Final Four. My kids are sooo sick of basketball, but hey, it’s better for them than watching “Big Brother” or some kind of guano like that…

3. Easter
Easter is a funny holiday for Unitarians – what do we really talk about? Yesterday’s service was super tasty. With love, faith and most importantly action, we can all begin again. My life in the past two years is truly a witness to this. The second act of my story started with tumult and heartache, but is now all sweetness and bacon. You can’t ask for much more than that.

4. Deep thoughts that are so true
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. Albert Camus

We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
e.e. cummings

Happy Monday morn, Dear Reader! You look amazing!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Strikes, Spares, Shmenges

Yeah, I finally broke into the 70s at bowling - I won the first game with a score of 72. Sure it was bumper ball and I kept coughing while my kids were up to throw them off their game, but hey, a win's a win, man.

I officially suck at bowling. I know this because when I first moved to the Twin Cities I was convinced to join a bowling league. I really needed friends and here were some video production groovies who didn't seem to care that I sucked. Our team was called "The Faerie Queens." We were the worst in the league. We got beat by a group that was officially visually impaired and played with some kind of beeping ball. We had a gal on our team who had a gigantic "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues" kind of thumb and she would periodically get the ball stuck on her hand. When the league term ended, the woman who handed out awards told us we would've won for "Most Improved" except we never really improved.

Today I took my kids bowling. There was no one there except a group of about dozen guys in their 60s practicing at the other end. We used the bumpers. My son, who had never been bowling before, was so proud when, about 8 minutes after rolling the ball, it finally knocked down a pin. My daughter was a pro, and kept switching between right and left hands. She was also the master of the "Z-shot" hitting both bumpers with some speed.

And I will say that when searching for a photo for this post, I came upon this delight. I am not related to this child in any way. I am sure he is no longer a child, but is currently serving time in Leavenworth, having been driven to a life of crime if only to score some more stylin' threads and get a better agent.

In the spirit of the best bowling movie of all time: Tanqueray and Tab and keep 'em comin'...

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Dude! How excited am I?! The Breeders are coming! The Breeders are coming!

Who's the coolest music chica of all time? Patti Smith? Okay, after her. Chrissie Hynde? Okay sure, but early stuff, not late 80s. Karen O? Brett Anderson? Tina Weymouth? Beth Ditto? C'mon now! You know it's Kim Deal!

At one point I posted a comment under the name "CoolAsKimDeal" and some one thought Kim was my real name. I didn't have the heart /desire to correct him, so he called me Kimmy for two months. My friend Michelle, who has actually hung with Kim Deal and taught her how to play Tetris back in the day, has assured me that I am indeed Cool as Kim Deal. I think she was just sayin' that 'cause I paid for her beer.

Anyway, I digress...The Breeders are coming! May 30th at First Ave. I'm excited! My sis is excited! (She's cool as Kelley Deal, who might actually be cooler than Kim Deal.) It's gonna be a super grrly time, man!

See you there!

Bacon Peeps!

Combining the best of my favorite foodstuffs – the bacon-wrapped Peep. Yum.

(Don’t bother trying to make bacon curls and then fit them around the Peep – they’ll break. Just drape beautiful scarves of freshly cooked bacon around the Peep of your choice.) Now how to get the red wine and/or Tab involved…

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Just Wanna Have Some Kicks

Okay, here’s the problem with me and the internet…I’m thinking about concerts I’ve seen, trying to think of Top 5 kinda thing, and I think, "When was that Dead Kenedys concert?" So I Google and what d’ya know? Now I’m off on a bizarre tangent, reading about Mortal Micronotz (whom I loved) and Get Smart! (whom I really, really loved) and reminded of all the sneaking into Off the Wall Hall in Lawrence, Kansas, and then realizing at some point that you didn’t have to sneak in, because nobody cared that you were 15.

Thank you Al Gore, for inventing the source of endless distraction, enjoyment and information. Without you, beloved internet, I’d still be calling my friend Andi in the middle of the night saying, “Remember that one video, with sailor guys at some kind of dance hall? and it was a fast song, and maybe a bit rockabilly? Remember? WHAT WAS THAT SONG?” (“Stand By” Roman Holliday)

Sigh…good times, man.

While on your Google romp you might find that someone else is all nostalgic and old and has a blog and the next thing you know you’re reading about some dude’s trip to Costco yesterday like you care. Because you kinda do. Because he was there when that crazy music-lovin’ kid was born, that same punk that lives inside your 40-year-old shell and periodically peeks out. He’s witness, man, to the fact that we were there and it was good.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Vengeful Elimination

I had a dear friend and her two young 'uns over for dinner tonight. We had such fun. Her children are younger than mine, so I got to experience the pre-K enthusiasm and the sweetness of a wee bambino. My two were, of course, over the moon to be the big kids in the room. Oh the hamminess I've seen.

When moms gather, talk turns to toilet habits. I don't know why. I do know why. At any rate, we discussed the way in which certain children (who shall remain nameless) seemed to do quite well in, shall we say, toilet habits, until they were at home. Then all hell or bladders broke loose. "I knew it wasn't personal," I said, "but it sure felt that was like vengeful elimination." "Wow," said she. "That's got to be the name of your next blog."

Nah. That'll be the name of the band I front when I'm in my 70s. We'll blow the roof off the nursing home, man.

Gie her a Haggis!

Great chieftain o the puddin'-race!

From our chums at Archie McFee...gummy haggis. Wow. The chewiness of a classic gummy candy with the visual appeal of entrails...what's not to love?

Bruce Report

Well, it was phenomenal. Man, that is truly a case of having to see the man and the band LIVE to really get it. For my long-time readers (and you know who you are) yes, it was better than Sharon Jones at First Ave. Highlights:
- The opener was Night, and I got to hear Backstreets which was great and Jungleland which was both great and interminable. I thought they sounded super tight and even better than the November show. Tremendous energy and a tweaked setlist from last time, which was fab.

- Right on the GA rail with a perfect view. Yeah, I took a few pics, only to discover in the morning that they were mainly short videos. Okay, so I’m not 100% up to speed with my new cell phone.

- Timed my Red Bull high better this time…

- Free beers from the group next to us

Coulda lived without:
- Didn’t get into the pit, but got right up to the rail, which was phenomenal, so no complaints from me.

- Oh yeah, complaints from me: pit people get to come and go freely, and have a special bathroom, while GA has to fight the length of the floor there and back. Bring your astronaut underpants, man. Also hearing the words, “She’s practically a dwarf” while pointing at me. Nuh-uh, dude! I’m 5’ 3”!

- I think the love from the audience was a little less than last time, maybe because the November show was sold out, and it was the first in awhile. At least around me, the crowd seemed a little younger. and drunker. and more into Born to Run and Dancing in the Dark than anything else. (pikers)

- Wish we had gotten Omaha’s big encore, but hey, we got two shows so that’s okay.

A great time was had by all, man. Super, really super.

In non-Bruce news: Kansas is the #1 Seed in the Midwest! (but if you cared at all, you knew that) and my beloved Mike Doughty is this weekend! I'm hoping to go with my sister who's been wicked sick for the past week. Thankfully, I think she's on the mend now. I hope she gets better in time for some Golden Delicious at First Ave, otherwise I'll be rollin' solo. But hey, if I'm by myself big whoop! It's Mike Doughty!! So much to be happy about, people.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Just a super quick post for now, Dear Reader -- today is Springsteen! I'm going to attempt to get in the pit, which is no small time commitment. (Line up at 3:00 for an 8:00 show!) Wish me luck! And two fast facts:

1. You know I love live music if I'm willing to miss a) the Big 12 Final today and b) the selection show. GO JAYHAWKS! (Yes, I love Kansas basketball...sigh.)

2. The slammin' silver minivan is now mine, all mine. I made the last payment! YAY!

Ciao Bello/a!

Friday, March 14, 2008

It’s the weekend, people!

Tonight: a little jazz and the 55408 show at Intermedia Arts. The exhibition is curated by the phenomenal Sergio Vucci, with tunes and karaoke provided by Mike Hoyt of Norae Shanty fame. Should be fabulous!

Saturday: Dunno…probably hangin’ out, upgrading my system (scary!) and working. That’s an okay combo. What wine goes best with bacon and Peeps? Anyone? Anyone?

Sunday: Teaching in the morning, then Bruce Springsteen the rest of the day!! (I’ll not be mocked by the likes of you, Lone Reader!) I was never a fan before I went his concert at Xcel in November. It was staggering, amazing and all other wonderful words. Now, I can’t wait until Sunday! Am I going to get into the pit this time? Stay tuned…

Lastly, if this isn't a sign of the apocalypse, I don't know what is.

Happy Pi Day and have a great Bruce weekend, sugar pie!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mary Ann Likes the Mary Jane

1. Hey! You know what? After 50 years on that island you’d be looking for some relief too. AP story

2. In other not-news, last night I went to hear Stan Bann’s Big Band at O’Gara’s. They were good, as always, and I ran into somebody I thought I might know. “Do I know you?” he said. “I was thinking the same thing.” “Oh yeah…I think we had a date.” We caught up a little and had a laugh about the internet dating thing. ("Is he havin' a laff?!")

This is now the second time this month that I’ve run into someone I had a single date with and then we sort of recognized each other. It’s very weird. I suppose it’s better than in high school, where your dating missteps have the locker next to yours. It’s still kinda jarring. (Note to all internet daters out there: don’t leave the house looking less than your best – you WILL see someone you know.)

3. Re. Eliot Spitzer: Dude! $4,300?! I am in the wrong line of work. (relax, it’s a joke…)

Happy warm up and hug it out, people!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pimp'd my Mixer!

Yesterday I taught an art class, spent 2 hours at the pediatrician's office, downloaded some some new tunes, sewed the head back on a stuffed rabbit and, oh yeah, pimped my KitchenAid!

Thanks to FlameKA, my mixin' has new style.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Can't We All Just Get Along?

From Archie McPhee, proud purveyor of bacon-related things, and the always informative Mr. Baconpants comes this: Mr. Bacon and Mr. Tofu are fighting it out. May the tastier protein win. (I'm Switzerland on this one.)

Joke o' the day from my sis

Q. What are the two sexiest animals on a farm?

A. Brown chicken, brown cow.

(Sing to the archetypal porn music: mao chicka, mao mao.)

Nah. It doesn't really work in writing.

Bacon Funny

Stolen from a Facebook page - Thanks, Erica!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Drop It Like It's Hot - it's a school dance

1. Maybe you’re asking yourself, “What’s it like at a 4th – 6th grade dance?” “Is it all I dream it to be?” or even “Is it magical?” Well, I went to my daughter’s school last night and I have the answers: loud, no and no. But wait a minute – maybe you’d enjoy hearing Jonas Brothers music blasted at ear-shattering decibels in a gym, while the DJ screams things like “4th grade - make some NOISE!!” Parents were sitting at the back, and the poor younger sibs were relegated to the “other” gym to either play board games or play with the assorted balls available. And BTW, when you’ve got a tired, sulky 1st grader sitting at one of the tables, it doesn’t help to have a Nerf football drilled right past your head. I look up and it’s a dad who’s decided it would be funny to play catch with his son over the heads of the wusses at the game tables. Nice. I was immediately transported back to fifth grade, thus I was going to tremble, cry and get the teacher, but then I realized I was actually grown up. I stuck him with my shiv while yelling, “That’s from all the kids with glasses, you bastard!”

2. I’m having a super groovin’ dance party in April. I’m not going to serve BLT-inis (too much work for that many people) but I am going to get out my disco ball. When Sister Fun closed in downtown Mpls, I bought their disco ball. I then had to carry it 8 blocks to my car. Three facts: a) it was wicked heavy, b) with my shorty T-Rex arms, I thought I was going to drop it any second, c) many people saw it as a conversation starter and tried to chat me up. The moral of that anecdote is that if you’re looking to be macked on, carry around a giant disco ball.

Happy weekend, home skillet!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Bacon Vodka BLT-ini!

Okay, people! I did it! The BLT-ini was consumed!

The recipe:
Three weeks ahead of time: start bacon vodka. A day or two in advance, make tomato water. (See previous posts for both.) Freeze a few grape tomatoes while you're at it. Keep both nasty looking liquids very cold. To Mix: Shake equal parts tomato water and bacon vodka with ice cubes and a pinch of celery seed in a cocktail shaker. Strain into martini glasses. Garnish with lettuce spear, frozen grape tomato and a bacon curl.

The details:
Some BLT-inis (yes, there are now many varieties) employ tomato juice. Yeah. I can't really get my head wrapped around the texture of tomato juice, so I went with tomato water instead. A lovely, light mixer.

Bacon curls are HARD to make! They kept breaking. I got one beauty, but for the most part I couldn't get the long Not Martha curls...more like little c-clamps made from bacon. Oh well. They still tasted good and we got to eat the mistakes. And the lettuce and tomato were pure genius...crunchy, frozen, booze-y genius.

The bacon vodka smells pretty gross, and despite filtering it twice through coffee filters, it still had tiny bits of bacon fat in it. (Ewww.) BTW, it takes quite awhile to strain...leave yourself time. I made one for me and one for Drummer Guy (TM). There was a definite sense of dread -- it really looked like urine with garnish. We had to dare each other to take a drink. And you know what? IT WAS GOOD! The tomato water was exquisite. I'm not much of a drinker (despite what you may have heard. or witnessed) so I would like a little more mixer than vodka, but it was very good. Tasty! We both finished them. And, may I say, there was quite a kick upon completion. YUM!

Me: Delish, summer-y and refreshing
Drummer Guy (TM): Five stars, good for sipping (not slurping) and really tastes like a BLT

A Tale of Two Bacon Vodkas

Let's compare, shall we? On top, McAuliflower's Bacon Vodka. Beneath, my meaty moonshine.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The saga of the BLT-ini!

This is it people!

It started with a bacon vodka post on BrowniePoints by the effervescent McAuliflower. Yes, I followed her directions to the letter and made a concoction that looked like a formaldehyde experiment gone bad. Then, while checking my beloved blog addiction, Not Martha, I found Megan’s work making both bacon curls and bacon straws…seemed perfect!

I mentioned my experiment at work and the suggestion of BLT-inis came up. My boss suggested “tomahto water” as the mixer. (He’s British.) So I made a disgusting looking concoction that has been in my fridge for two days, looking for all the world like either a jar of brine or my latest collection for the urologist. (See's neither Fluff nor an excretion, I promise.)

Tonight is the night. Can you feel the magic? Two nasty liquids will combine with an endive spear, a pinch of celery seed and a bacon curl to make the ultimate bacon-y goodness. (Should I add a frozen grape tomato or is that gilding the lily?) I’ll be reviewing and reporting the recipe specs soon…yum! (or yum?)

Missing Laptop

Hey - my boss's laptop has gone missing in London. If you have it, could you please return it? Thanks!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Beautiful American Babies

Well, there’s high drama all around today. Sickness is leveling the strong, friends have kicked out spouses and yes, I have a hair appointment. A dear friend’s wife is very ill, but she’s out of the hospital and resting at home now. Major sickness makes me think of a TRUE STORY from my African adventures:

I. Tanya and I were in Tanzania. We had been together for a few weeks. I had finally acclimated to the slowness of East African life, and she had come up to speed after months in West Africa. It was weird – I had totally lost any sense of hunger and pretty much stopped eating, but I attributed it to the heat and didn’t think about it. We were merrily clicking along when boom…sickness hit. It started in the middle of the night with many, many trips to the bathroom. Ugh…shouldn’t have eaten that fruit on the train. Clearly something bad was taking over. But wait, I was also sweaty. and hot. and shaking. Moaning, I climbed back in bed, only to make the trek to the communal outhouse again in 15 minutes. I took Pepto and Tylenol and prayed for a coma. By the time morning came, I woke Tanya up and weakly said, “I’m so sick.” She took my temp and said, “We’ve got to get you to the doctor.” I knew it was serious, because when we got in a cab, neither of us asked how much the trip would cost.

When I got to the doctor, the check in person handed me a matchbox and pointed to a door. “Go back in there and leave a specimen in this box.” After some clarification, I did as told. I was then told to go to the lab. The lab was a room with a dude wearing a white coat and a rusty spigot sticking out of the wall. I watched as he filled a bucket with water and washed his hands in it. He turned to me and said, “You have malaria, but to be sure we need blood.” No. I most definitely did not have malaria. I had been taking the damn mefloquine since the plane ride from Amsterdam. It made me dizzy and nauseous and I hated it but I took it. I coated myself in Deet everyday. No damn way did I have malaria.

Before I left the States, I had debated bringing needles with me – it seemed somehow, I don’t know, arrogant or privileged. (Which of course it is.) The rich traveler carries a safety net that no one around her has. All of that was pushed from my mind when I said, “I have needles.” As I dragged them out of my pack he smiled and said, “Yes of course, you are ready…you are an American!” I anemically acknowledged the truth and offered up my arm. As he deftly slid the needle in he said in a low voice, “You know, you and I would make some beautiful American babies.”

II. Later I was told I had amoebic dysentery and malaria. The check in person grabbed three giant jars of pills and I panicked as he rapid fire announced, “Take three of these two times a day, take one of these at night, take two of these three times a day.” As he was talking he reached in the jar pulling out handfuls of pills and skillfully twisting them in sheets of paper. I was trying to write down which to take when, and he exasperatedly repeated the whole thing.

When I got home, I went to the U of M’s infectious diseases department and had all kinds of tests. I still had dysentery, and would end up taking Flaggyl for a month to get rid of it, but the malaria was gone. The doctor asked what treatment I had taken. I said, “I have no idea. I took fistfuls of pills that came wrapped like saltwater taffy…and I’m so grateful.”

Monday, March 3, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ira Glass!

BLT-ini: Tomato Water and Random Things

Tomato Water
Hey, guess what? It takes a lot of tomatoes to make tomato water. Here’s a lovely picture of the effort. It’s about 10 Roma and two big beefsteak organic tomatoes. You purée them in a food processor with a pinch of salt, then strain them overnight in cheesecloth (if you're a fancy pants) or coffee filters, if you is a common sorta folk. I know, it’s sacrilege to make tomato water with nasty out-of-season tomatoes…what can I do? The BLT-ini experiment demands tomato water. Here’s what I’m putting in the drink: tomato water, bacon vodka, endive leaf. Maybe a frozen cherry tomato or a bacon curl on the rim…we’ll see.

Random Carp
5 Word Movie Review?
Michael Clayton – good, not great.

Fave Coen Bro?

Best Girl Scout Cookie?
Samoas, aka Caramel deLites*

Favorite One Hit Wonder?
Groove is In The Heart by Deee-Lite*

*Coincidence? I think not.

Have a deeliteful week!