Thursday, April 22, 2004 at 21:36:42 (EDT)

When I was young
And now, the Mr Bones Comparison Gallery ...

10 months

31 months

Eh, it's not much of a difference, right? See some more photos of Kitten Bones vs. New Improved Bones.

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Thursday, April 22, 2004 at 11:33:56 (EDT)

I can be killed
As some of you know, I graduated with a Master's Degree in Creative Writing: Poetry from venerable Ohio University (home of the Daylight Saving Time Riots!). Ever vigilant of my health, KC send me this sobering article: Poets Die Young.

Yikes, it's maybe a good thing I don't write it much anymore. Who knew that with every iamb I was taking my life in my hand. Here's the breakdown of writerly life expectancy:

Poets 62
Playwrights 63
Novelists 66
Nonfiction 68

MRK is a playwright, so it comforts me to know he won't be around much longer than me. Everybody else, you've been warned! Put down that word processor and pick up that stogie and rotgut. You'll live longer.

Speaking of stogies, what the hell is going on at Arlene Grocery tomorrow night? They're having their annual film festival, but Joe Jackson is playing the show. Yeah, that Joe Jackson. Playing a room roughly the same size as the room Motico played last week.

Well, get this. Joe Jackson is a big opponent of the city's smoking ban, and appears to have signed on to this event because it is heavily sponsored by the Nat Sherman tobacco company. What this means to us is that, for one night only, people will be legally allowed to smoke at Arlene Grocery.

Let's take a moment to let this all sink in.

Joe Jackson. Smoking allowed. Arlene Grocery. Friday.

That joint is gonna be so packed. I feel like I'll wanna walk by, but it's gonna be a miserably gridlocked affair, it's obvious. Plus it bugs me that all one needs to rescind the smoking ban is dump a bunch of money for a "tobacco promotion event," a loophole put in place by Bloomberg to aid his pals from Cigar Aficionado. Hypocrisy is the new Black.

As if this show won't already be hopelessly crowded, the attention-seeking personalities of the Suicide Girls will be on hand for some kind of "fashion show" as well. Oh yeah, and it's all FREE. This combination of factors may very well lead to New York's first Adult-Contempo/Pasties'n'Cigarettes Riot. Bloggers, bring your digital cameras!

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Wednesday, April 21, 2004 at 12:27:46 (EDT)

Can't breathe til I suck you dry
So we've had a couple days of nice weather and what happens? The mosquitos return. I have bites all over my hands already, and that's just from moving the sprinkler around the back yard.

Which leads me to my list of Summer Grievances, the things that I forget about during the cold weather when I pine for warmth:

Mosquitos - The boarded-up house next door holds many pockets of standing water, which ensures a healthy supply of these West-Nile-carrying bloodsuckers all summer long.

Mulberries - They're inedible, they're sticky, they attract bugs and they rain down on us for the first month of summer from the tree next door.

Bamboo - (Actually Japanese Knotwood) Cultivated by the house's former owner, this exotic spreads everywhere and is near-impossible to control, you just gotta keep weeding it out

Sweltering, all-consuming heat - Working from home becomes torturous (last summer my computer went haywire because it overheated). At least we have access to the basement where it is cool although it smells funny.

Bored neighborhood kids on the stoop - Often hanging out when I am going to or returning from the bar, this nightly gauntlet is usually benign, but has been known to escalate into unpleasantness or worse, but that's pretty rare; mostly they just think we're goofballs.

But summer is more good than bad. This year I'm either getting a decent grill or a smoker so I can actually barbecue, as opposed to the more rudimentary stuff one can make on an $8 grill. If I decide to do it on the cheap, I might just build my own smoker out of a cardboard box (thanks Abby). Hey, smoke keeps bugs away, right?

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004 at 01:28:06 (EDT)

I would not feel so alone
Dude. Hey. 420.

Heh heh.

Also it's Hitler's birthday. Kind of downer, I know.


420 is not actually police code for marijuana offenses (except for possibly in Hamilton, NJ, which is a lovely town otherwise). Here's the apparent source of the significance:

According to Steven Hager, editor of High Times, the term 420 originated at San Rafael High School, in 1971, among a group of about a dozen pot-smoking wiseacres who called themselves the Waldos, who are now pushing 50. The term was shorthand for the time of day the group would meet, at the campus statue of Louis Pasteur, to smoke pot. Intent on developing their own discreet language, they made 420 code for a time to get high, and its use spread among members of an entire generation. While our teens feel that they know something we don't, you can let them in on the fact that it was your generation that came up with the numbers.

A quote from one of the Waldos in the High Times article states, "We did discover we could talk about getting high in front of our parents without them knowing by using the phrase 420." Fortunately, your teenagers will not have that same option.

This could also be bullshit too, like those guys who took credit for making all those crop circles. We all know who's really responsible.

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Monday, April 19, 2004 at 18:45:01 (EDT)

The green, green grass of Bones
It was a busy weekend for everybody it seems. Who else went to the Brooklyn Museum events? I know Josh B did, cuz I saw him and his fellow Rated Rookiers. It was pretty cool, the museum looks great (I don't even mind the metal-glass thing they put on the front to make it all Jetsons-like). But what was really sweet was the weather. It felt like a perfect summer night. We may get that tonight, but it seems too cloudy. Eh, enough with the weather!

MRK found ways of blocking all the possible exits from our back yard (for a 19 pound cat), so now Mr Bones is allowed to roam, grazing-style. And graze he does. He is chewing up the grass as fast as I can grow it, but he hasn't ralphed yet, so I guess he's just gumming it. My newest photo essay helps explain why I take so many pictures of Mr Bones, when I have two cats of my own to shoot: he just sticks out like a sore thumb wherever he goes. Below is my latest work, after Ballet mécanique.

Showcasing Mr Bones' versatility

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Monday, April 19, 2004 at 10:01:32 (EDT)

You got served
Blog people are people who tend to get carried away. Case in point, an article in the Times, rating the best cheesecake in town, somehow led to several bloggers (and their non-blogger associates) to show up at Corie's lovely apartment with nearly as many cheesecakes as people in order to hold our own judging. Did anyone who attended the event have a moment when you looked around and thought, "What the hell are we doing here? Judging cheesecake? Are we insane?" Well, I did too.

But it was fun. I was sporting a nice hangover from my night out before (my band had performed and why weren't you there?), so the prospect of downing 11 varieties of cheese-related pastry sounded less than ideal. But once we got going, I got better; after all, the food was good, if unwavering. I never knew cheesecake, even in its plain form, could vary so much from one bakery to the next. Almost all were actually pretty good (I do admit I skipped the Veniero's 'Low Carb' version, but the buzz wasn't promising), and many were excellent. After the lively discussion about tax code (?) dried up Corie made up a rough ballot to figure out a winner. We decided to vote for our top three favorites, which I now realize sort of invalidates the ranking we applied to the results. So I think of them all as basically equal (although it was pleasing that the cake I brought got the most votes, as though I had baked it or something). There winners, in no particular order:

  • Paris Bakery
  • Cake Man Raven
  • Michael's Ginger Lemon Cheesecake (Michael's a guy, not a bakery, he actually baked the thing himself!)

I was happy the Cake Man made it to the winner's circle. This Fort Greene baker has been around for years, but has only recently been receiving the attention he deserves, as more people find out about his kick-ass desserts. His specialty is red velvet cake, which Abby partook of on her birthday and offers a brief, mildly hysterical review. It's good stuff, and his surreal cake designs might almost make weddings actually tolerable. Not only that, but the guy can do ice sculpture! What?! He's starting to sound like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

I never had his cheesecake before Saturday, so I had no idea if it would be any good. Lucky for us it turned out to be as good as everything else he makes. But although his cake and the other two were top-voted, let's not forget some of the other really good entries like the (regular) Veniero's, Sweet Melissa's, Monteleone's, Eileen's. These were all double-plus-good. I may just be sentimental, since it'll probably be months before I want a slice of cheesecake again.

Thanks to Corie for hosting the event, and congratulations on purchasing a folding bike (even if it's still a little unclear how it's supposed to fold up). It was great to meet Irving (who made several tenuous visits to the Cheesecake Room), as well as the bloggers Doug, Dahl, Sam, Tien, Joe, Linus, José, and the unfortunate few who do not, as of yet, have blogs to call their own.

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Week of April 18-24, 2004

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