Thursday, December 30, 2010

Blizzard Gifts from the Sunset Strip

Thanks to the blizzard in the Northeast, my flight back to New York was canceled. My visit with the folksters was extended by four days.

Thanks to the many bugs flying around and the chill of the season, I got sick. The kind of sick where your teeth hurt and all of you aches and the GD pills aren't ever going to kick in.

My mother teased me as I lay in bed encouraging me to call my friends and complain about being sick and stuck at home.

I couldn't even do that.

What I was able to do was watch TV on the internet. Sometimes the same episode over and over again. I would drop off the sleep, wake up having lost my place, unable to remember the ending and try again.

Thanks to Netflix for enabling this.

Thanks to KL, who told me that she has been watching, I watched the whole season of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."

I watched the show when it came out. I remember being totally entranced and heartbroken when it was canceled.

On viewing, years later, it's breath-taking.

The first time around I was struck by Amanda Peet's turn as Jordan McDeere. She's smart, brave, impossible and so so winning.

This time around, I am besotted with Matt Albie. It's love. Matthew Perry was so good. Wow. So So Good. How could I possibly have not noticed just how dreamy he was?

I might buy the DVD boxed set and keep my TV on the Studio 60 channel for a while.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kinda rhymes with the word oven

Rhyming is like matching your clothes.

It creates order, structure and cohesion. Kinda brings everything together.

One must take care when rhyming to show restraint. An inflexible insistence on rhyming everything will turn something charming into something stilted or ridiculous.

I am not a big fan of matching but I am a sucker for rhyme in lyrics, even (and sometimes especially) when excessive or ridiculous. I am not a stickler for a formal and proper rhyme, a near rhyme will suit. Assonance may be "getting the rhyme wrong" but I like it all the same.

While not a matter of life and death, sometimes finding the right one can cause a headache of Guy Music proportions.

When you are ready to bang your head against a piano, spare your cranium and get thee to a rhyming dictionary. A simple Google search will no doubt lead you to one or many very nice ones.

The rhyming site that I was first introduced to by DF is RhymeZone.

There is also

The following kinda rhymes are brought to you by RhymeZone, Rhymer, and the filter of my brain.

Oven kinda rhymes with: lovin', coven, shovin', shruggin', huggin', tuggin', muggin', wom-un, pluggin', sullen, sudden, sloven, roughen, dudgeon, clubbin', runnin', stunnin', run in.

I am trying to convince myself that apron, arson, tungsten, and blowgun are also kinda rhymes for oven. There is such potential in each of these words. Alas, wanting a thing to be true, does not automatically make it so.

He toils before the oven
and polishes his blowgun
feeling sad and sullen
contemplating arson
Hmmmm. It doesn't quite gel.

Excuse me, while I find a piano to bang my head on.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Links for funny

I understand that posting these links is a waste of time when you are spending entire work days at the office on and Hyperbole and a Half.

But it's Christmas Eve. My family and I have just had snack time which means that we don't have to interact again for a few hours until dinnertime.

So I will share with you:

If Old People Ran the Internet

And two from Hyperbole and a Half

The one about Kenny Loggins and Xmas.

And the one about Moving with Dogs.

Via this bit on santa which is probably only funny to mean people like me.

And this one from Savage Chickens for the New Year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Be Who You Are

Tonight's drinks will be had in the honor of Republican Senators: Scott Brown [MA], Richard Burr [NC], Susan Collins [ME], John Ensign [NV], Mark Kirk [IL], Lisa Murkowski [AK], Olympia Snowe [ME] and George Voinovich [OH] for voting to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish, Eat Fish, Go Fish

I have been reading Paul Greenberg's book "Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food."

It's an easy and interesting read even if you have read Mark Kurlansky's very excellent book "Cod," which is also an easy and interesting read.

Mark Kurlansky focuses on the impact of one fish, the Cod, on human history and then on our impact on its viability as a species. The publishing industry apparently refers to this kind of book as a microhistory.

"Four Fish" takes a look at Salmon, Sea Bass, Cod, and Tuna. These fish that we know and love are presented as case studies to suggest that there is something wrong with the health of our oceans, something wrong with how we relate to the ocean.

These fish that we love to eat are not doing so well. The news is not good for delicious fish.

I fear that we as a species do not scale well. The more of us there are - doing the things that we humans like to do - the tougher it gets for everything else that lives to do the things that they like to do. It's hard to say whether any species actually scales well. In any given situation perhaps a living thing takes advantage of its opportunities up to the point where there is push back to keep it in check. And for now, fish are not pushing back, they are disappearing. We are eating them out of the ocean.

How do we know that we are the cause? Because when we stop catching and eating them for long periods of time, at least some types of fish increase their numbers again.

What can we do. We are hungry. Even when we are stomachs are full and we are not physically hungry, our appetites are insatiable. We crave in our heads, our hearts, our souls. We not only demonstrate this in our personal actions and decisions but also collectively in our social groups, social structures, jobs, markets, companies, kingdoms, social, political and legal entities, the technologies that we invent to help us feed that appetite faster and more efficiently for more of us.

We are so hungry.

When I finished reading "Cod," I wanted nothing so desperately as a Filet 'o Fish sandwich from McDonalds. I waited two whole week after finishing the book before I broke down and got one. I am craving one now as I type this.

Reading "Four Fish" I want nothing more than to try bluefin tuna carapaccio. Maybe get sushi.

Just this once. I am one person. How bad could it be? Just this once.

I went to dinner with AM and some friends to this delightful sushi place, one of whom was a gorgeous, tall, very dour girl who asked the waitress if they served sustainable fish. The waitress was doubtful. GTVD Girl had a card with her that she handed to the waitress listing endangered fish. Unsure of the eco-quotient of the fish at the establishment, she ordered a piece of land animal while the rest of us heartily tucked into platters of sushi delights.

I mock her but I also admire her fortitude.

We were just three people, that one time. How bad could it be? Just this once.

And I love a fish taco. I had a delicious one today at Cabrito. Amazing.

Dan Barber (who is amazing) has given this questions some thought as well. His conclusion has been that is it bad, that the answer is to accept no less than sustainable sources for fish as food. Unlike the GTVD girl, he does so with passion and love for flavor and food and joy. He is the Epicurean to her Puritan but the end point is shared.

I wish he had named the fish he fell in love with.

Near as I can tell, Paul Greenberg seems to think that Tilapia, Barramundi, and the Pangasius fishes are the way to go - from a farmed fish point of view.

I suspect that Dan Barber is talking about another fish altogether. Perhaps I will have to save my pennies and visit his restaurant and find out for myself.

In the meantime, back to the book about four fish.

Perhaps I will get lessons on being very dour about the fate of our oceans. Practice my culinary Puritanism. Or find a sustainable fish and fall in love.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sound off, one, two

I was discussing the question of gays in the military with my father. I thought that it was odd that there were people who had been discharged from the military who would re-enlist if they eliminated the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. The whole, how could you forgive a club that wouldn't have you as a member.

My father didn't think it was so strange.

As the discussion went on, my father said, "Well, the most famous gay in the military was Julius Caesar."


I do not know if this is true but if it is certainly worthy of a t-shirt:

Can I be sued by someone who died in 44 BC?


I meet so many people in New York who are passionately pursuing their dreams and love what they do. They kind of have to. They are here living with five roommates in the outskirts of the boroughs and making peanuts or working for free while holding down crazy odd jobs or painful day jobs.

I always feel strange in comparison. Because I am here but I am merely making a living. It is a gaping chasm between these people and me. We are different species.

There is nothing wrong with making a living. Pretty much everything that is alive is in the business of making a living. When you talk to microbiologists that takes up and lot of their attention, how these tiny critters are making a living. Ecologically, metabolically, microenvironmentally, in combination with a host.

That being said, when you spend enough time doing what you do not like and do not want, it can loom very large in your field of vision and make it difficult to remember what it is that you do like and want. If you have a very short term memory, as I do.

Which is merely to say that the first day back at the office after a week off is unfun.

But sometimes someone will provide you with a nice distraction and introduce you to a new song or two.