28 February 2006

di and i are heading to san francisco in a little over a week. we can't wait. she has a week off for spring break and i'm taking vacation, so we can take our time out there and relax. di's never been to california... while i've been there twice, but not in the past five or six years. our hotel is in downtown san francisco, on the edge of a neighborhood called the tenderloin district. at first i thought that sounded like some kind of gentrified, bohemian yuppie-ish neighborhood, like the meatpacking district in new york. it turns out it's been called that since the 1800s because the cops who walked that beat were paid bonuses. with the extra dough, they could afford tenderloin steaks. so apparently it's a homeless and drug infested slum. yeah.
i'm not too worried, though. our hotel is in a fairly nice part of town and i've been told we'll be quite alright where we're staying.
once we're settled, we plan to do a few things:
- visit alcatraz
- ride a cable car
- take a wine country tour
- visit the city lights bookstore
- visit fisherman's wharf
- shop (this is dionne's "raison de voyager")
- visit berkley and sausalito
- take a tour of the anchor brewery
that last one is really my idea. shocker. i'm excited about checking this place out:


24 February 2006

hey all my great joel's pub readers... go and take the cool person test. it only takes a little while. keagan, i know you'll do well on it.


23 February 2006

about a year ago or so, the daily show had footage of this dude with CRAZY huge arms coming out of jail in handcuffs. it was insane. i couldn't believe what i was seeing. well, it turns out this is a real bodybuilder...

check out this interview: The Most Hated Man in Bodybuilding."

i sort of consider myself a bit of a food and drink snob. di and i like to eat at good restaurants (notice i DIDN'T say expensive) and we like good libations. i'm partial to microbrewed beer (or better yet, homebrewed) and she likes riesling and kir royales and mimosas. and yes, we both drink the occasional liquor... i especially like 100% de agave tequilas. but WHAT ON EARTH are people putting back these days? Not to sound like a cranky old man, but some of these cocktails are scary. Accoridng to drinksmixer.com, the highest rated drink on teh site is the Tucker Death Mix:
750 ml Everclear, 32 oz. gatorade, 2 cans red bull, mix in jug and serve. seriously people, gatorade has NO business anywhere near a cocktail, highball or any setting that doesn't involve a whistle and referee. i think there needs to be some kind of rule when offered a drink like this... WWBD? for What Would Bogey Do?
and if you don't know who Bogey is, go rent "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" and get back to us.


22 February 2006

best. athlete nickname. ever.

ask any real hockey fan... fighting is a great part of the game. i don't care what the pantywaists in the NHL offices think, hockey fights are great. check out hockeyfights.com for other anti-social misfit sportsfans like myself.


14 February 2006

here's a great blog about soccer/football/futol/fussball/calcio/etc. written by an american, so it focuses quite a bit on the U.S. national team (go beasley!).


13 February 2006

i read this rolling stone story on sam brownback, a truly despicable republican senator from kansas. basically, he's involved in a covert group called "the fellowship" that basically acts as a right-wing christian illumanati. the use "cells" as the basic unit. four men who swear allegiance to each other and promise not to bother themselves with the niceties of democracy.
growing up in america, you're taught a few things about democracy and our values.... we have to permit free speech, we must respect other peoles' right to dissent. we must respect the rights of others no matter what their views. but as i get older, and i witness the utter insanity of the right wing fascists in this country, the more i realize that those of use who want universal health care, an end to racism, and end to theocracy, an end to empire-building and endless war, and end to religious hypocrisy... we CAN'T EVER really live with these people in the kind of nation we want. i say fuck plurality. fuck getting along with these people. fuck respecting their views. i don't respect their views and i don't "respect their right to say it" (i hate that phrase!). i don't respect their right to live in a country that could be fair and just WITHOUT them here! we must must must stop these people from instituting a neo-fascist theocracy in america. unfortunately, most panty-waist liberals and Democrat wimps won't confront the problem head-on.

so "dick" cheney accidentally (or idiotically, to call a spade a spade) shoots his millionare lawyer crony-boy while hunting on the ranch of a fellow halliburton crook and republican scion who just happens to be quoted in all the papers and on TV that the incident is no big deal. and notice how long it took them to, uh, report the incident to police. is there really no end to the absurdity of these two bush terms?


12 February 2006

keagan got di a purse while he was over in the middle east. it's bright gold with very bright beadwork and these dangly things all over it. it looks good. but the best part of it would have to be the tag... apparently the purse was made in china... it says "MANUFACTURING IN CHINA" in big bold letters. my favorite part would have to be the write-up, though. i can't decide whether it's just bad translation or some sort of beatnik acid trip poetry.
this is EXACTLY how it's written...

"Ming Luo embroadier of the bead Series pursues the tasty to large female and character of a outstanding contribution. The original design did win fine the work to emerge well Ming Luo of bead light treasure spirit with elegant qualities. The high-quality behind is meticulous and respect-work with to persist beautifully. Persist, however not proud complacence. Ming Luo precious companion in anticipation."

I almost want to send Ming Luo a letter suggesting a more english-friendly tag, but i'm not sure if the postman would be able to get my letter to Ming Luo's address, which is, i'm not kidding, listed as the following:
ADDRESS: The north road in liber ation in Guang zhou city god hundred million skin has a layer.

well, we're waiting for the big blizzard. they're forecasting snow for early this morning, though none has fallen yet. you know you're in trouble when the lady on the weather channel says something like "notice the tight bands of low pressure air on this storm front. this one's gonna be really bad." i actually like snow, so i don't mind the weather, but unfortunately, we had to cancel plans to go snow-tubing with a group of friends somewhere up in the mountains on sunday. damn.

keagan got back from his hajj to mecca recently. it was a great trip, he said. apparently, they were featured on the front page of a saudi newspaper, then taken to qatar and given tours of al jazeera and introduced to dignataries. while he was there, he was cool enough to pick up a few gifts for di and i. he got me a soccer jersey for the saudi arabian national team. it's bright green with a curious mountain design in white on the left front side. very cool. he also go dionne an arabic tea set, which she loves. she now has tea sets from china, saudi arabia and thailand.
keagan also got me a keffiyah, it's a black-and-white checkered cotton scarf that's commonly seen in the middle east and especially palestine. it's my little way of expressing a little solidarity with the palestinians, who are routinely brutalized by the racist, colonialist cartel of israel and the u.s. that's not to say that israeli and u.s. people are all bad, but these two governments have orchestrated a 50-year program of land theft and apartheid. hopefully the resistance will continue and not allow the hilltop youth and the likud zealots and the goons of the IDF and their evangelical christian pimps in the u.s. to win. so don't believe what the u.s. media tells you. the only solution in israel proper, the west bank and gaza is for a single nation made up of arabs AND jews.


07 February 2006

i really want to check out this book: "National Pastime: How Americans Play Baseball and the Rest of the World Plays Soccer."

jay and i have really got da brewery up and runnin!
we brewed again last weekend. two weekends ago we brewed up a witbier, a belgian-style white ale (similar to hoegaarden, a brand available virtually everywhere now). we used bitter orange peel and coriander to spice it up a bit and white labs WLP400 belgian yeast strain. this past weekend, we finally racked the beer over to secondary so that it can condition nicely and maybe ferment down a few more points. but then we also went to the store (the hoppy brewer supply co. in seekonk!) and got ourselves a bunch more ingredients.
we end up brewing a clone of a belgian beer called st. sebastiaan ale. it should turn out a brown/amber strong ale with a nice belgian spiciness. here are the two belgian babes in the fermentation room (aka jay's basement).


05 February 2006

di has a whole collection of more than 200 wedding photos that she put up on-line here. enjoy.


04 February 2006

one of the first websites i ever checked out back in the day was Hyperreal, a sort of on-line rave collective. the site seems to have pretty much not progressed one bit. geez. you'd think they could keep up with the times, ya know, being high-tech ravers and all that. the other site i used to check out in the early days was "streetsound," but sadly that one is loooong gone. it was cool, though. had old-school message boards for music, art, fashion, etc.

get your cold, dead hands off my drink, sissy boy!


02 February 2006

sorry about the problems with the "comments" function. di told me yesterday that she was unable to post comments under the posts, so i changed a setting in blogger and now it appears to be fixed. if you try to post a comment, but it doesn't show up, please e-mail so that i know there's a problem.

this is some radical shit... and it written by, get this, the former chief of the seattle police department.

the last few weeks have just been a one endless punch to the head for anyone to the left of general pinochet. coincidentally, while the democrats show just how weak they are in resisting king george, bush himself comes out and delivers his most mean-spirited and partisan state of the union speech yet.


01 February 2006

comments please!
one thing i really like is feedback on the blog. so if you have suggestions, please please please post them in the comments section or e-mail them to me (i finally put up my inbox address at the left hand side). i've been thinking about trying to design some type of logo for the site or changing some of the colors/fonts/etc. and i may try to re-do some of the photos i put up along the right hand sidebar, they just look all, as we ravers would say, "cracked out."

di and i joined a gym last week. we're now dues-paying members of Health-Trax, East Providence. woo. i've already been in a handful of times to work out, and i'm really impressed with the place. very, very clean. well-maintained and top-of-the line equipment, friendly staff, clean locker room and showers, etc. today i had my appointment with a personal trainer. She really didn't tell me a lot of stuff i didn't already know, but she did take my body fat and hydration measurements. well, i've got way too much body fat and not nearly enough water in me. shocker. fortunately, my six months or so of working out with andy (who moved to portland with his wife and daughter last year) has really paid off. he taught me a shitload about how to get a good circuit training regimen down and how to use the weights properly (and even some good nutritional advice)... so basically the personal trainer told me today that I seemed to have a pretty good grasp of the fundamentals and was ready to dive right in. cool. she wants me to do an absolute assload (yes, that is a real word!) of cardio... like 45 min. of it 3-5 days a week. fine, but you just don't look as cool on the elliptical trainer as you do pumping iron in front of a mirror-wall.

a few years ago for his birthday i got keagan a great book on cocktails and mixology, "Esquire Drinks: An Opinionated & Irreverent Guide to Drinking" . of course, he later converted to a certain teetotaling religion and no longer needed this excellent book. so i "re-gifted" it to myself. sorry, keagan.
anyway... the book has a very old-school approach to cocktails - they should be nicely balanced and not too sweet (obviously, the writer flat out HATES all of the corny pseudo-cocktails that people consider trendy nowadays (ahem, sour apple martinis). anyway, the book basically considers the "old fashioned" to be the pinnacle of good taste and wise imbibing.

The old fashioned
place 1 sugar cube in bottom of tumbler
wet sugar with 2-3 dashes of angostura bitters
add a splash of water or club soda
crush the sugar with spoon
rotate glass to coat inside of glass
add 1 ice cube
add 2 1/2 oz. rye whiskey
add twist of lemon

- i REALLY want to try this one. the only problem is i'm always too nervous to order one when out at bars. i just wonder if bartenders these days know how to make them....

i'd also like to try a "sazerac," a legendary new orleans cocktail that's similar to the old fashioned but involves bourbon and peychaud's bitters, a bitter that's native to louisiana.


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