Showing posts from April, 2005


In the interest of full disclosure, here are some movies that are currently playing that I would like to see:

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Funny Ha Ha
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Holy Girl

Any insight on the above would be appreciated.


I'd really like to visit some folks I know in the Tokyo office someday. In Japan they do things like force companies to battle for business via rock-scissors-paper. And I hear the sushi there is pretty good, too.

Interesting for nerds is the RoShamBo programming contest, which I remember blogging about before in a preivous incarnation of 34. Interesting for non-nerds (well, both "interesting" and "non-nerds" might be overstatements) is rock-paper-scissors-spock-lizard.


Nutella on matzoh: this is a good thing. Better still is if you have some fresh peanut butter (get Bazinni if you could find it) and shmear that on top, too.

I associate Nutella with Italy, but according to the label, Nutella in America is produced in New Jersey. It's mainly peanut oil with various degrees of hydrogenation, complementing the peanut butter on a deeper level. I'd like to try Italian Nutella. There's something satisfying in purchasing something that's traveled several thousands of miles, and eating it. Every thousand miles traveled by the Nutella atones for a mile that I do not run to burn the calories; the act of grocery shopping becomes the purchase of indulgences, for every sense of the word.

(I am rereading White Noise now, because enough people have asked me what my favourite book is recently and I think that's it, but I want to be sure. It's fantastic, and the best scenes involve the deconstruction of the modern supermarket.)

Upon my return to …

q frqnce

One of the things I often do is pretend to speak French; here's an attempt by Scotter, who is vacationing with his wife in Paris, to type French. I have no qualms about posting his private mail on the 'net because Scotter refuses to read anyone's blog, ever.

<zell; zeùve ,qde it to <frqnce; qnd this keyboqrd is qwerty; not the usuql azerty; so things qre q little strqnge: <<<<<<iù, not going to try to trqnslqte; iù, just going to count on you being s,qrt: I took q zonderful pictureof ,e qnd so,e po,ple,ousses for Jeffy: See you soon: Love you qll: Iùll tell you one thing; the <<<<<< is zhen I hold dozn the shift key: Peqce out:

Apple Pot Roast

I'm on Passover cooking duty this weekend. Normally we do something random the first night and go up to my cousins' in Inwood on the second night, but we're having a bunch of people over tonight and I'm obviously doing the cooking. The matzoh balls, which I've never made before (I'm forgoing the mix, natch), are an experiment for later today, but I took care of the soup and the pot roast yesterday. The soup isn't anything interesting, but the pot roast seems to have come out okay.

one brisket, as large as you'd like it, though it really should fit in a pot
an appropriate amount of apple cider; this depends both on the size of the brisket and size of the pot
one apple
a few whole bay leaves
ground pepper and salt

Roughly chop up the onion and garlic, and add them to the pot with a thin layer of the apple cider (or apple juice, for the gauche). Start that cooking on a medium flame. (Trim the fat off the brisket if you'd like. I didn…

Raison d’être

Improbably, the New Yorker seems to be doing away with the standard back page fare and instead using it to host a weekly version of their annual cartoon catpion contest. My goal, of course, is to win this contest at least once before they realize that holding a weekly contest is a strange idea.

My entry was Well, you were right--it got me past the co-op board. I plan on submitting this caption every week until it wins. Much like American Idol contestants play to their base by singing cheesy crap, I'm playing to the base of New Yorker readers, who find anything having to do with co-op boards hilarious.

Nolan Ryan was #34, too

A reader from Allston (or Watertown or one of those places deep in Red Sox Nation) writes:

I noticed that 34 has yet to adopt a stance on David Ortiz (ed.: #34 on the Red Sox). I think it important that you do so at once!

With Nomar Garciaparra serving as an example of what happens when you disappoint Red Sox fans, I will make a sincere effort to adopt a stance on David Ortiz at once.

Ortiz was foolish not to leverage his Big Papí credentials in the race to become the next Pope; perhaps if the Cardinal Law of Boston hadn't fallen so far from grace he would have been able to lobby for Ortiz more effectively. Ortiz, for all his struggles against lefty pitching, was never a member of the Hitler Youth.

In terms of his outlook for the current baseball season–well, he's on Ryan's fantasy baseball team, so I can't in good conscience hope that he repeats his numbers from last year. I don't have any Red Sox players, actually.

I do have a lot of Florida Marlins, though, and as I&…

David Brooks: Tool.

Another gem from David Brooks, on the consequences of the Supreme Court having "invented a right to abortion":

Liberals lost touch with working-class Americans because they never had to have a conversation about values with those voters; they could just rely on the courts to impose their views.

Putting aside all that he has to say about abortion in that column, what's with the implication that Liberals and working-class Americans are two disjoint groups? And that Liberals necessarily share different values? Working-class does not equal Conservative, regardless of what David Brooks, in his myriad tours around the heartland, concludes.

In which I support malls

Coney Island's been in the news lately–lots of scuttlebutt about a big real estate developer buying up the little shacks and stands along the main amusement stretch, with the intention of razing them and putting up a mall (and, apparently, a water park, beach be damned).

I have no special affinity for big real estate developers, and I think it's impossible to like a company that names itself Thor, but at the same time I don't feel too bad for the people running Yet Another Gyro stand who would be forced out by the new development. I can't imagine that an entire mall wouldn't lead to more jobs in the neighborhood than food stands, and moreover it might provide something that Coney Island has lacked since its inception–a year-long economic life.

Keyspan park is lovely, and the home games for the season sell out on opening day. But it was built as a hasty compromise between the Guiliani administration and the Mets to ensure that Guiliani could get what he really wanted:…

There are movies a-blog!

I went to see Melinda and Melinda with Vivian the other evening. (Kung Fu Hustle was threatened, but plans changed at the last minute.)

I've avoided most of Woody Allen's recent movies (Mighty Aphrodite being the last one I can remember watching and enjoying), but Melinda and Melinda was pleasantly entertaining, only partly stemming from my enthusiasm of postmodern storytelling techniques. Will Ferrell did a surprisingly good job at capturing the essence of the Woody Allen role in Woody Allen movie–he's not going to pass for a short New York Jew anytime soon, but the comedic mannerisms are there, and at this point it's probably less distracting watching Will Ferrell play Amanda Peet's husband than a 85 year old Woody Allen.

Subway fragmentation

Two new(?) examples of the MTA's inability to produce a house advert with proper grammar were posted right next to each other on the D train yesterday:

Please give to charity. Just not on the subway.

Please take your things. Or we will.

The second poster depicted a robotic bomb squad thingamajoober being remote-controlled towards a menacing shopping bag left unattended on a platform. The copy is quite obnoxious, when you get past the sentence fragments and think about it.

What people do.

Sitting on my list of things to blog about and not budging is the trip Adam and I made to see the Deadwood shuttle at Grand Central station last month (or maybe two months ago now; I'm a miserable blogger). It was another jumpin' Saturday night, and Adam had his mom's Cadillac, so we figured we'd drive in to the city, park by Grand Central, and pay our $2 admission to ride in a subway oddity. It's cheaper than the Cyclone, and despite the recent spate of subway breakdowns, probably safer.

It was approximately 10:34pm when we got down to the shuttle platform though, and the Deadwood car was long out of commission, sitting dark and idle on one of the side tracks. We did get a good look inside, and it was much as we expected, to our enormous satisfaction.

As we were leaving the station I received a call on the nerd-phone from Sarahs (which was odd because I was still underground, but there you go), who was quite upset because Ryan had gone missing. Always up for advent…

Farfalle with Broccoli Rabe

I made farfalle (or bowties [or varnishkas]) with broccoli rabe and other good stuff for Adam and myself tonight, because I am the best roommate there can be. For those striving for culinary, if not moral, superiority in your roommate-relationship, or marriage, or whatever fine mess you've gotten yourself into, here's the recipe:

one box of farfalle
one bunch brocolli rabe
one green onion
a few cloves of garlic
two plum tomatoes (or other tomatoes, but produce in New York is often sad, and plum tomatoes are usually the only decent ones)
a jigga of white wine
some olive oil
romano cheese of the I-have-just-grated-this-myself variety
bread or whatever
one bottle of barleywine

Cook the farfalle, which is something you could handle without any further instruction. Meanwhile, sauteé the chopped onions, and after a few minutes add some thinly slices cloves of garlic. Rinse off the broccoli rabe, chop off the very bottom of the stems, and then chop the stems in half so that you have one leafy h…

Better than watching I (Heart) Huckabees on DVD again

I saw Sin City (thank goodness Google has movie metareviews now; I was afraid I might have to get some information from a non-Google source...) last week, which was the first movie I'd seen in a long time. I don't have a particular affection for the work of Frank Miller, other than owning an unread copy of one of his Batman graphic novels, purchased to round out the comics (erm, graphic novels) section of a bookshelf overloaded with Calvin & Hobbes. People at work were talking about it, though, and I have a tolerance for on-screen violence, so what the hey?

The standard disclaimer being that I don't like reviewing things in general, I'll just say that it was much as I expected, which is fine: I liked the dark atmospheric effects, the stories held together enough to move the action along, and overall, it didn't suck. There's a very good chance that anyone who still reads 34 would be completely disgusted by the movie, so I'm not going recommend it or anyth…

Oh, the Blogs You Will Read!

Since I'm much, much too lazy to figure out Blogger's templating system just yet and do things like add links (or adverts!) on the side, here's some transitory linkage.

On the off chance that you didn't get to 34 in the first place via links on either Free-Floating Hostility or Sevilla: The Blog by Rich and Adele, there they are.

In the category of blogs by people I don't know, I check the RSS feed for Gothamist periodically, and it's updated quite often, occasionally with interesting stuff about New York (or at least Brooklyn and Manhattan, which is New York, natch). Cooking for Engineers is something I've mentioned before, but I've not ceased to be impressed with how they use HTML tables to lay out their recipes. To pull out another random one, Drunken Blog is great for lengthy (usually Macintosh-themed) technology writing. And McSweeney's is reliable source of writing that is funny.

While not bloggish,'s Flash-based gamecasts are the bes…


In case you haven't noticed, the 34 archives are now fully baked and back online in the proper order. It was a tireless effort, and then I got a little tired (not to mention colicky), but it's up this morning at

Note that, the old URL, takes you right back here. If nothing else, that should confuse the Spambots, who honestly won't know what to make of the ramshackle new cyberhut with a protected comments section that I've built for myself over at Blogger.

This will hopefully be the last post for a while that would be categorized in the Site News section, had I sections in the new blog.


I've brought up a server running a much-mangled archive of the old incarnation of 34. I stupidly overwrote the somewhat-out-of-date-but-not-mangled archive that I had with a completely-up-to-date-but-dates-be-fucked copy from the Spec server, so every post is jumbled together with the same date. While I don't particularly believe in time, it does come in handy every once in a while, especially when you want to arrange things chronologically. I'm going to look into finding an older backup with proper dates and try to just graft on the missing articles, but that might take a while.

In the meantime, if you're dying to find that mango salmon recipe or read one of Banana's movie reviews from back before she sold out (to herself), you can drudge through the mess at

Rabbit, rabbit.

Many bands ask themselves "Have we a cellist?" and are forced to answer "No, we have no cellist." and cease to rock. matt pond PA cleverly dodged that morass by... employing a cellist in their band. It's probably fair to characterize their music as cello rock, not that that's a bad thing. I'm a fan of their "The Nature of Maps" and somewhat less of their "The Green Fury". They put on a show last weekend at North Sixth up in Williamsburg, where the ninja and hipster aesthetics collide in a cosmic game of rock-scissors-paper: Converse sneakers beat trucker hat, shuriken beats trucker hat, shuriken beats Converse sneakers. Why anyone continues to play trucker hat is beyond me, and as always, going to Williamsburg packing shuriken is a good move.

Also notable in the music kingdom is the new Kathleen Edwards album. Adam, who really gets a kick out of being mentioned in 34, turned me on to her when her first record came out, and the new alb…