Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit

The sort of secret blog of Beans, a.k.a. Jules, a.k.a. "Legs for Miles" a.k.a. "Rackie the Boob Queen." Fine, ok, not the last two. Starting July 2006, sometimes "Mike," aka "fagadoccio," is a co-poster on the blog. The co-poster child, really.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Paula Deen has Grandson/Snack

"Inn't he just so cute? I'm 'onna just put a little buttah right on up on 'is forehead here and dip his diaper in som heavy cream and take a little bite o' that baby. Mmmmm idd'n that just a sinful li'l buttery ole baby up in theah? Mmmm thasss juss delicious!"

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Market Theory of Too Much Time with Parents

I was in Finland for TWO MONTHS with no one but my parents. It didn't seem like such a bad idea: we've always gotten along, and besides, I would be working a bit. All I have to say is, I have all this photographic and anecdotal evidence that at one point, I was a young, happenin' chick with night after night of parties and shows, dance cards and C-cups filled to the brim. Now I'm fairly certain I've aged about 20 years and have become a mustachioed, sweat-panted, shag-bobbed house-dwelling fatass spinster with no friends. I don't even know where my cellphone is.

But here's the most insulting part. You know how most parents treasure nothing more than the company of their coop-flown progeny? This is clearly a market-based phenomenon, in which children, by making themselves in such short supply, increase the demand for their company. I would say that the market here at home has become oversaturated with Yours Truly, and demand has plummeted. It's sort of shocking to be shrugged off by the selfsame people that were trying to feed you soup and hand you cash when you came home from college.

It's quite shocking actually. I'm rather shattered, not personally, but at the economic breakthrough I've discovered. To think that if we all returned home to the bosom of our parents forever (not that this was my intention) they would consequently wish us dead, and that it is simply because we leave that they seem to sit at home frothing with baleful affection.

Well, I'll be moving to the midwest soon and becoming quite scarce, so the market forecast looks good-- someone tell Suze Ormond I'll be worth my weight in diamonds come September!

Making Scott McClellan Look Even Fatter

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Iran's offer "falls short of the conditions set by the Security Council."

I say White House Spokeswoman Dana Perino "is way too hot for her job."

Monday, August 21, 2006

Leaving Finland

Dear Diarrhee,

I am leaving Finland tomorrow morning. Hopefully no terrorists will want to fuck with us. If there's one group no body's gritting their teeth to take down in a glorious political blaze, it's probably the Finns.

Geez, I've learned so much here this vacay! Learned how to bring in a big fish, how to party like the natives, and how to handle 2 months alone in a pine box with one's parents. I feel like I'm at least 50% of how smart I was when I got here. Sigh.

Now we are packing up the house, not to be unblanketed and dedusted until next summer. The downside is, it's hard work. The upside is, we have like 25 beers to get rid of.

See you back home, homies!

PS Could someone please give me directions to the United American States? I believe it was founded by Amerigo Vespucci. I know I leave my house and turn LEFT, but then...I would appreciate directions if someone has them. My address is: My House, Finland, North Europe, Europe, World. Thanks, all!


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Lexinton and/or Concord?

If you sit outside our house in Finland for more than about ten minutes right now, you will hear the ferrous pop of bullets firing from big, long rifles all across the bay.

The duck hunting season began today at Noon. You know what that means: I'm no longer the worst-dressed person in town!

This guy is!

Balls-Out Perdition, Finland-Style

Yesterday I went to my first Finnish house party. It started at 2 pm and ended at around 3 am, when I entered rigor mortis with a Cohiba cuban cigar smoldering in my lap.

I don't know what this picture illustrates, aside from "smoldering" and "terrible breath."

Anyway, I assumed, based on previous European field research, that young people everywhere party the same. Sure, the intoxicants may differ-- in Germany it's beer, in France it's the date-rape drug--but basically, the world over, young people stash the 'rents somewhere, get a couple of bottles of the local poison, put on some music, and peel back the confining layers of civil code until someone's, say, trying to pan-fry a Pop-Tart, pants down.

But in fact this assumption was wrong. This party's host was exceptionally thoughtful and detail-oriented (or, as I like to say during job interviews, "detail-orientated...fuck") but apparently, according to one Finn at the party, it's not exceptional for even "rough" parties to follow this pattern.

- Start by raising the national flag and giving short speech praising the weather and thanking the guests for coming, followed by public introduction of each person ("This is Paivi, Paivi is a traditional tanner from Oulu who enjoys chemical burns, sausage and Kanasta")

- Champagne toast. The American version of this would no doubt involve magnums of Freixenet hoisted in the air and drained directly into faces to the gargled shouts of revelrous intent("Pants-shitting time!" "Let's get hurt!" "Skippity fuck fuck!")
Here, glasses were filled halfway, and they lasted guests at least an hour, as discussion began to simmer on the sun-dappled terrace. SHOCKING, I realize. These people, p.s., were in their early 20's.

Americans in their early 20's

- Dinner. Table for 18. Grilled chicken, ribs, wine, pickled herring, potatoes, brown bread, vegetable skewers. A nice spread. Buffet-style.

- Drinking, dancing. Truthfully I left for about 4 hours to go to a family gathering, but when I came back, people were finishing off ice cream and it was time for sauna.

- Fresh pot of coffee.

- Sauna: women first, then mixed sauna, then men's sauna. The mixed sauna sounded like a trap to me, a trap for a whore to fall into. What woman declines the women's sauna and prefers to sauna with men? Alternately, what man refuses to sauna with the woman and wants only to sauna with other men? Why is there this option? Questions for a later date. No one opted for the mixed sauna at this now officially slut-free party: women went first, came back with a beer in hand, fresh-faced and ready to chit chat while the men went down to steam up. Where am I in all this?

I couldn't figure out whether I was a man or a woman, so I just abstained.

- So the men take 3 times as long as the women in the sauna. This is a well-known thing in Finland. They go in and out a thousand times and drink a lot of beer.

- Fresh pot of coffee for the women. Eventually the women went down to get the men out of the sauna because they were taking too long. The men are drunk and wearing tiny towels and sitting around.

- Everyone gets dressed (that step happens HOURS later at American parties) and we proceed to table again.

- Sauna gives you an appetite. Sausage and salad.

- More coffee. (It's about 1 am) Chocolate cake and cognac.

- Cigars, chocolates, more cognac.

This is where they lost me. I had to crash. Unlike them, I wasn't hopped up on wad-loads of caffeine. Who knows what they did after I left. But I bet it was 700% more civilized than Mike falling asleep in a papoose on my back as I vom in a gutter.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hot damn, I love surveys! These take me back to those first days of widespread internet use, when pizza-faced tweens would mine the web for purity tests to mass e-mail over their AOL accounts. As Big Daddy says, "There 'twaran't a domain name yeh couldn't nab for three bits and a digi-pic of your doodle!" Sigh. Here goes!

1. Historical disaster you'd like to have perished in (e.g. vesuvius)
Well, I suppose it would've been gnarly to be one of Pharoah's henchmen swallowed by the resurgent Red Sea, but that puts me on the wrong side of the good ol' Torah. Let's just go with The Perfect Storm, which satisfies my simultaneous loves of meteorology and swarthy, idiotic drunken fisherman.

2. Who is the celebrity that you secretly believe you would be besties with if you ever met?
Ashley Olsen! I've even dreamt that we knocked into each other on the street and became BFFs. PS I had a great sighting of her at the Cold Stone Creamery on Astor Place.

3. Complete this sentence: When I go to the bodega, I usually leave with __________.
A pint of Ben and Jerry's Vermonty Python, a liter of Coke Zero and the Sunday Times. Maybe I should just donate my manhood to charity.

4. Which Spice Girl are you?
Is there a Pensive Spice? JK! Baby Spice obvs.

5. Which Disney character are you?
I am to Disney movies as hair plugs are to Nic Cage's scalp, i.e., a terrible fit. But when pressed, I'm probably most like the Dick Van Dyke character in "Mary Poppins."

6. T/F: I would vote for Oprah for President
In a second. Can you imagine Stedman wearing that ubiquitous string of First Lady pearls? Priceless!

7. T/F: I would vote for Ben Affleck for President
Um, no.

8. T/F: I would vote for Hugh Grant for Prime Minister of England
Only if Rupert Everett were Council of the Exchequer!

9. How do you feel about clowns/mimes?
I think parents who hire clowns for their child's birthday are actively trying to scar their progeny. Mimes get a bum rap; that steez is hard! If there's a better name then Marcel Marceau [sp], I haven't heard it.

10. Word(s) you are uncomfortable saying (e.g. "peen")
I don't know if there are any. One time I screamed the c-word in a French bistro's sun-dappled backyard during brunch service. By the way, "one time"= 2 weeks ago. I guess I hate the word "fabulous" unless it's said with an affected accent or ironically.

11. When I want to feel special, I wear my ________
charcoal face mask to the Russian baths.

12. Trait you inherited from a crotchety grandparent?
Smoking, which my Grandma Beatrice took up whilst pregnant with my mother, on doctor's orders, to combat nausea. Having since quit, I suppose I've inherited Papa Bernie's penchant for turning the thermostat to 104 degrees in winter. He lived in L.A., for the record.

13. Which one of the people in each of the following pairs would you make out with?

a. Prince Harry v Prince William
Pre-St. Andrew's William, post-Eaton Harry.

b. Cisco Adler v Osama Bin Laden
Truthfully, Osama. Do check out the excerpt from his concubine's memoirs in the current issue of Harper's, where she describes his seduction techniques, which include belittling her ass and dancing to "Rock Lobster".
c. Ruben Studdard v Ronald Reagan (alive)
I loved "Flying Without Wings," but gotta go with Ronnie. What. a. head. of. HAIR.
d. Rachel Ray v Star Jones
Uch, Jules, you're making this hard. Probs Rachel Ray, who presumably has comparatively little scar tissue all over her body.
e. Star Jones v Osama Bin Laden
See above. Call me un-American, but Osama's not Quasimodo, and hell, I'm attracted to power. I'll do it with either of the Google guys right now.
14. If I were given a baby _______ (e.g. horse) , I would name it _______ (e.g. Heroin)
If I were given a baby spider, I would name it Daddy Langbeins.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Do it for me, because I can't

Will someone who IS in America please go see Snakes on a Plane for me? WHAT WOULD I GIVE to be there, opening night, with my Kangol hat backwards on top of my weave.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Fat, Pants-Down Chef

Jaime Oliver, lookin' good. Apparently he's doing a show about how British schoolchildren are fat. Either that or he's wrestling Jiminy Glick in a puddle of corn oil.


Wow, am I an idiot? I was checking the ol' Site Meter for the Bruni Digest, and I noticed that Lang had linked to me from her blog, Dirty Old Prom Queen. "Huh," I thought, "wonder what prompted that."

So I checked it out: Lang had "TAGGED" me! That's when you send someone a questionaire and they answer it on their blog and send it on. I'd always noticed other people answering tags on their blogs. Seemed so fun to have blogger friends! It's almost like its own little community. Sigh. [Cut to me alone in a cardboard box in a hay field with an etch-a-sketch, "blogging."]

Well anyway, then I looked at the date, and it seems Lang had posted this in JANUARY 06.

Clearly this questionnaire is now obsolete, and I will have to create my own.

Mike, Why don'tcha answer this one? And Lang, I'ma send this back to you. I'm also going to attempt to tag Becky Yamamoto. Let's hope it works.


1. Historical disaster you'd like to have perished in (e.g. vesuvius)
2. Who is the celebrity that you secretly believe you would be besties with if you ever met?
3. Complete this sentence: When I go to the bodega, I usually leave with __________.
4. Which Spice Girl are you?
5. Which Disney character are you?
6. T/F: I would vote for Oprah for President
7. T/F: I would vote for Ben Affleck for President
8. T/F: I would vote for Hugh Grant for Prime Minister of England
9. How do you feel about clowns/mimes?
10. Word(s) you are uncomfortable saying (e.g. "peen")
11. When I want to feel special, I wear my ________
12. Trait you inherited from a crotchety grandparent?
13. Which one of the people in each of the following pairs would you make out with?

a. Prince Harry v Prince William
b. Cisco Adler v Osama Bin Laden
c. Ruben Studdard v Ronald Reagan (alive)
d. Rachel Ray v Star Jones
e. Star Jones v Osama Bin Laden

14. If I were given a baby _______ (e.g. horse) , I would name it _______ (e.g. Heroin)

Have fun!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Facing up to Facebook

I loved Friendster, I'll say it right now.

I feared MySpace-- it lacked Friendster's rigid borders. You could make your own template, share music, network. Bands had profiles, comedians had profiles. People had 13,000 friends. It seemed instantly more commercial, less honest. Does a band call "The Amity" from somewhere in the South really want to be friends? To they want to go the Atlantic Center for an "I Gotta Have It" Birthday Cake Remix at Cold Stone Creamery? Do they want to come over and watch "Dude, Where's My Car?" dubbed into French ("Mec, Ou Est Ma Caisse?")? Do they want to sit in the same room and Gchat each other? Well then these are not friends. To them, I am but a digit in their Friend Number.

I resisted Facebook. A third online profile? What am I, some kind of pervert?

I was sick of trying to drum up a reasonable list of favorite movies and music (since when is it that the accepted way of defining ourselves is by what entertains us?), a list that says, "OK, I'll let you in on who I am, but I'm not aggressively trying to impress you." You know, a concise, not-overwhelming list: Airplane, Scent of a Woman, Splash! Along those lines. But when it came to a 3rd profile, I was suddenly sick of trying to reduce myself to a little package that sketched out my parameters sufficiently for the perusing pleasure of anyone from a stranger to an ex. And you know, with all these online things, you're not learning anything about people except how they see themselves. "I am cute and flirty" = I am sad and lonely, and so on.

But the internet is a seductress, so good at the casual wasting of time, and frankly, my sister lured me into Facebook with the promise of access to her online photo albums-- she takes great pictures and Facebook has unlimited photo hosting. So onboard I came.

Dare I say it? I love Facebook! I do! It's sort of, SORT OF, exclusive, in that you have to have a college affiliation to belong. But what that really means is that each online identity really has a person behind it (i.e. no "The Amity's"). And because the network is somewhat limited (compared to MySpace), it's harder to try to use it for self-promotion, so people generally don't.

Its design is clean and runs glitchlessly, unlike Friendster, which was made of Legos, and the photo sharing really is a valuable feature.

I contemplated committing Friendster Suicide-- deleting my account. But I just couldn't. Friendster getting wiped out by MySpace is like Phil Donahue getting mauled by Springer. Phil was creaky. His suits looked cheap. He had no grasp of slang. He looked like he ate canned ham. But I didn't want to see him go down. And I don't want to put a nail in Friendster's coffin, either.

Maybe I'll commit MySpace Suicide. I never even check the fucking thing. But then-- well sometimes it's good for spying on people.

I guess I'm stuck with three online profiles. And two blogs. Maybe I AM a pervert!

Michael Crichton Proves that I am a Communist

Just got back from a short trip to Helsinki. The highlights were:

- Design District. Great clothing (think Taylor500's wardrobe / Brooklyn's Bird boutique, but better made, and shockingly affordable) and interior design stuff, although I have no appreciation for interior design.

My idea of "chic"

- Kiasma modern art museum. They had a new art survey, international. I opened the place and found myself basically alone in the museum (it's a little past prime tourist season at this point). This is good because usually I get 150% distracted by other people's behavior in museums. My pet peeve is men who lecture their wives. I remember once when I was at the Louvre and some older, cologne-soaked asshole was telling his younger female companion that the Raft of the Medusa was people sailing away from Paris on the eve of the French revolution. GOOD ONE. Are you sure it's not Puerto Ricans sailing to Disney World on the eve of the Oscars?

Pinocchio getting a manicure from Dorothy

- I saw a name plaque on an apartment door that said "SUCKSDORFF"!!! That is literally a Swedish family name. I spent 15 minutes yesterday laughing out loud while plugging in given names. Sven Sucksdorff. Bruni, if you need some fresh aliases for your credit cards/reservations, I highly recommend a research trip to Sweden.

But this wasn't what I was posting about (see title.) I want to talk about Michael Crichton.

I don't really read thrillers or anything. I've never read a book by Stephen King, Michael Crichton, or Mary Higgins Whatshertits. I'd rather not be on the edge of my seat, if I can avoid it. I'm sort of clumsy.

But I ran out of reading material and my cousin gave me a book called Timeline, by Michael Crichton.

Critchton! Of Jurassic Park, Sphere, and Congo. Ah, I was in good hands, sure to be entertained, titillated with science, crushed with humanity.

I settled into a comfy chair (a Toyota, in fact-- this was the drive to Helsinki) and got started.

Let me say right off the bat that Timeline is a book of such surpassing bullshit that I got red marks on my forehead from hitting it so much. The part of the brain that feels embarrassment got STRAINED. It's like Sweet Valley High meets the instruction booklet for a Cuisinart.

The plot is that a tech firm named ITC creates the technology to send people, through QUANTUM FOAM, back in time, not to some simplistic sense of time as progressing linearly, but to a parallel world in the "MULTIVERSE" that is identical to the past.

Far more imoressive to me than QUANTUM FOAM is a cat that can use the horn.

Mostly you are made to gloss over the science but to be awed by academic credentials. The evil genius who runs the whole tech company is described like this:

After graduating summa cum laude in physics from Stanford at the age of eighteen, Doniger had gone to Fermilab, near Chicago. He quit after six months, telling the director that "particle physics is for jerkoffs."

I mean come on. So what happens is ITC sends a Yale medieval history professor back in time to the middle ages (don't ask why) and then his sexy young Yale graduate students back in time to fetch the professor. There's a problem there: SEXY YALE GRADUATE STUDENTS???

"I'm in my fifteenth year studying Mongolian underpants from the 13th century."

Also, I have BEEN among grad students studying medieval history in central France, which is exactly where Doniger finds the Yale professor that he sends back in time. I'll tell ya exactly what we DIDN'T do:

The liquid crystal display showed an outline in bright green. Through the transparent display, they could see the ruins of the mill, with the green outline superimposed. This was the latest method for modeling archeological structures...

The computer was fed mapped coordinates from the ruin; using the GPS fixed tripod position, the image that came up on the screen was in exact perspective.

I mean come on. This is what grad students on medieval sites use:

Using a series of identically spaced numbers, the polymer strip allowed the nubile, bikini-clad graduate students to assess the numerical atomic space between two points in units called "inches."

We had some fancy cameras, but we certainly didn't use a fucking liquid crystal mammogram machine to imagine buildings for us.

So what makes it all believable? The throwing around of fancy names.

Edward Johnston, Regius Professor of History at Yale, squinted as the helicopter thumped overhead....

It was become enamored of Edward Johnston. Tanned, with dark eyes and a sardonic manner, he often seemed more like Mephistopheles than a history professor.

Honestly, I didn't even get us into the grad students yet. Chris "eventually graduated fifth in his class. But in the process [of having an affair with an older married professor] he became conservative. Now at twenty-four, he...was reckless only with women."

Barf, right? Maybe I just don't understand. BUT WAIT. Check this out.

Chris goes back in time, through quantum foam, as we know, and his life is saved by a young village boy. Ooops but wait, much like like old professors, Yale grad students, and psysics prodigies, medieval boys turn out to be sexy: The boy's

black hat was thrown away, and golden hair tumbled down over her shoulders. She gave a little bow that turned into a curtsy... "I am called Claire."

...With that, Claire walked boldly up to Chris, put her hand around his neck and looked into his eyes. "I shall count every moment you are gone, and miss you with all my heart," she said softly, her eyes liquid. [I know, you feel your brain slowly retarding. Just wait.]

She brushed her lips lightly across his mouth [keep in mind this is in the presence of a royal medieval court] and stepped back, releasing him reluctantly, fingers trailing away from his neck.

Clearly if he went back in time and met a medieval lady, the lady would probably have a handlebar moustache and 4 brown teeth. And to pick at the lady, well that's rearranging deck chairs on the punctured dingy of this story, whose main device is a smokescreen of complicated scientific jargon ("We compress [a human being] using a lossless fractal agorithm") and fancy academic credentials (Yale should sue).

Crichton, come on now. Timeline was a #1 Bestseller. America LOVED it. I don't understand. As if my love of foie gras and refusal to bathe hadn't already sealed the deal, I guess Michael Crichton finally proved me unamerican.

I think I'll change my name to Brigitta Sucksdorff.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Maybe this is why pandas hate to procreate?

I'm no biologist, but can I propose something to the biologists out there?

Pandas are famously shy-- this is why, then do finally get busy, it makes international headlines. You see, scientists are always putting a male and a female panda together in a cage, cueing "Unchained Melody", and setting up candle-lit tables for two.

But the female panda nevertheless settles into her nest with the latest Dean Koontz thriller while the male panda tries to fashion a deck out of bamboo. They never want to get physical with each other. This is true of pandas in captivity as well as in the wild.

Maybe this is why:


HOLY SHIT. It looks like a UVULA dragged through lint. And LOOK AT THAT FACE! If that doesn't scare you off of procreation, what will?

Friday, August 11, 2006

"Babyface" Bruni

Well this is hilarious:

A preparatory flyer, warning restaurant staff of Frank Bruni's various credit card aka's, as well as his tastes and demeanor.

Bruni must be thrilled that people whose livelihood depends on the accurate identification of him in their restaurants have said that he "looks very young." A toast to your La Mer anti-aging throat cream tonight, Frank!

I wonder what the eagle-eyed maitre d's would be prepared to look for if I were the NYT restaurant critic?

Reservation names:

Lisa B. Skidmark, Esq.
Penelope Danderpants
Ina Kindergarten
Leslie J. Titwhistle
Doctor Maureen O'Blunderfuss
Polly Schitzpackle

Looks like Stockard Channing, dresses like Bea Arthur.

Often accompanied by long train of kazoo-playing gays, as if she were the Pied Piper, and it had been Gay Night in Hamelin.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Why Jules, I certainly do have some compound word-structs waiting for some Germanic intervention!

Crunchcoif: The condition in which many 19-year-old female interns in the city find their highlighted, consistently blow-dried, often tequila-soaked locks. Characterized by dry coarseness with a healthy dose of flyaways that look like tree branches in winter. Expl: "Mandy's crunchcoif could use a day at the beach with a still life's worth of lemons, or else she's gonna start looking like a bronze medal."

Weatherboner: When someone needs the weather to be a certain way, and the forecast calls for it, the anticipatory emotional outpouring can only be described thusly. Most often seen in bridezillas with outdoor ceremonies, learning-disabled schoolchildren who haven't finished their book report on "The Boxcar Children" and need a snow day, and, well, me. Expl: "During the great blizzard of '96, Mike's weatherboner pointed directly upward toward the snow-choked sky."

Shoredouche: This one is in reference to a product I wish some chemical corporation would produce, but hasn't yet. As avid beachcombers, Jules and I have noticed a certain unfortunate hygienic consequence of sea frolicking and sun worshipping: our B.O. resembles neither our everyday end o' workday smell nor the collective stenches that the coast can sometimes exhibit. A proper shoredouche is needed to clear out the fumes and return us to our natural musky equilibrium. No expl. needed, right Jules?

The Japanese Have Way Too Much Time, and Fish

Goddam! I caught another pike tonight, and a big one, too. What to do with all this fish?

Maybe I will do like the Japanese and have a TV show where I see if cats can carry fish bodies of increasing weight. The slow dramatic build in this video is phenomenal. Thanks for the tip, Paul.

Just hearing the announcer guffaw every time a cat trepidatiously paws its way out of the woods toward a 200 lb tuna gets me every time.


You know how the German language has a way of making compounds that express an idea the way nothing else possibly could? E.g. the underused weltschmerz ("world hurt," i.e. when you're sick of everything) or the overused schadenfreude ("damage joy," i.e. the joy you take in others' pain), or the underappreciated hosenauspuff ("pants exhaust," i.e. the hot air that develops inside pants). Fine, I made that up, but I think it's important to note that "exhaust," in German, is literally auspuff.

"His Dockers, replete with that special mid-August hosenauspuff, swelled like the chest of a proud peacock."

Although somehow a lifetime of lager drinking has not given me the ability to speak German, I am going to propose some new, very needed compounds.

Mindspace: I know this sounds like a hippie psychobabble term, but it's logical to me. Like as in, "I've got to get all these Nick Lachey songs out of my mindspace to make room for my address."

Grainpoop: self explanatory. Alt., "ryepoop." Expl: "I'll be about 3 hours, Klaus, I'm in labor with a ryepoop."

Alcofuror: That particular sort of hangover energy, where you wake up on 2 hours of terrible sleep, shaking like Charlton Heston, go for a 10 K and repaint your apartment. Expl: "'Hey Inga, I noticed your Borzoi has cornrows.' -- 'Ah, yes, I braided them in an alcofuror this morning, that is why they are so uneven and smell like barf."

Glamsheister: People that are far, far richer than you but who somehow always foist the cab bill into your ratty lap. You know the type. expl: "I met Greta for drinks yesterday, and she made us split the bill even though she had the Kobe beef testicle caviar and I had a side salad. Total glamsheister."

Spearsnose: My sister claims this is a specific type of nose, where the bridge departs straight from the brow line without dipping concavely inward at all. You'll have to ask her about it. Apparently I have it. expl: "My perfect spearsnose was shattered by a whiffle ball. At least my spearsgut is intact."

Actually, the above compound is pretty mutable. Mandymouth? Aikencockeye? Stallonedrool? Madgearm (after all, "opraharm" was coined long ago.)

"I rode in a jet plane with the top down and ended up with total noltehair!"

Mike, any good ones?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Forwith Melady, 'til a Bad Hair Day!

YIKES!!! I found the worst, nooniest noon fest EVER. (I have no idea how we overlooked this before, Lang.)

Introducing WUTHERING HEIGHTS. Some facts:

- Starring Ralph Feinnes and Juliette Binoche, 1992 (pre-English Patient), as two DEPRESSING ASSHOLES who can't requite their fucking love.

- Juliette Binoche, who is 800% French, plays a born-and-raised Brit, even though she speaks English like there's a Swiffer in her mouth.

- EVERYONE has terrible hair days, every day for 3 generations.

You can sort of get a glimpse here. Ralph Feinnes' banged mullet is soaked in motor oil, and stiff. It sort of looks like someone taped a smoked flounder to his head. It's actually worth queuing the film on your Netflix right after "Ernest Takes a Dump" just to see his nasty hair.

OK, bye, I have to go put on my stovepipe hat and contest a mysterious will at the Old Bailey. Farty tuppence to ya!

Friday, August 04, 2006

I think I need to rename this blog

The collective message of recent posting activity on this blog amounts to "Jules is rugged, Mike's a dandy, and Steve Guttenberg's career slashed-and-burned a path of sheer retardedness through the cultural forest of the 1980s."

As such, you NEED to see this. Inspired by the Rollerdancing video, I trolled YouTube for some more Guttengoods, and found this trailer: Steve Guttenberg gets transformed into Shelley Long's concept of the perfect man, i.e. a homo rat-tail biker Aussi named Lobo. Pay special attention to the douchebaggy monologue and the twinkly synth soundtrack.

Yes, Hello Sweatpants Vendor. I'd Like the Royal Blue Tapers with the Drawstring.

I swear this is the last fish photo (see prior post). But I really wanted to post this, so that everyone could see the NEW BLUE SWEATPANTS I bought from the SWEAT PANT VENDOR at the open market yesterday morning (fact.)

Yes, that is elastic at the ankle. And yes, I bought the matching top.

P.S. This is not a phase. I challenge ANYONE to present me with a SINGLE reason not to wear exclusively sweatsuits throughout grad school.

Am I an Appalachian Dirtbag?

While Mike hunts for salad in his house (He lives at the Atlantic Center Pathmark, a.k.a. "Doodie Aisles"), fish continue stupidly biting the metal lures I tug across the water. I've simply never seen a summer so successful in Pike fishing. I caughta beauty two days ago, and last night again, right after a huge rain fall, when the sea was covered in mist and moonlight.

BUT I'M NOT POSTING ANY PICTURES. Why? Because I've realized that people who take and display trophy photos of their kill are psychos, trashy psychos.

Honestly. How many dead deer does one mustachiod molester really need?

HAHA! These deer killed us! Just kidding, we killed them and then posed their dead bodies hilariously!

I'm done hunting for today. Can I go watch Mulan now, if I wash the blood off my arms first?

Well I said "honey, we did a Loire Valley wine tour last year just the two of us, let's do something with the whole family this year," so Shawn and Jerome Junior both jumped at this whole Cote D'Iviore safari thing, and we just had a blast. Little Trebor still wakes up in the middle of the night screaming and of course Jeff is still peeing blood, but it was a blast!! It was so neat!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Dinner of Late

I've been making salads for dinner on almost every night I eat at home throughout the summer. These aren't darling summer salads the likes of which are dusted onto restaurant plates as frothy warm weather appetizers, and they aren't the ranch dressing-soaked salami-fests scooped into plastic containers at every ubiquitous lunch deli Third Avenue can endure; they are just mine, and just right. I perfected my ideas about the dinner salad this week, and had my friend sarah over to taste the results. Here it is:

Spinach. I've mixed arugula in, but I like the impression, false or true, that uncooked nutrient-rich greenery will counteract the pint of Puerto Rican rum that I'm drinking with dinner.

Red onion, perpetually the most flavorful ingredient that I shed a tear over. Ask Mother Barry about her ingenius dicing trick. Hint: IT'S DICED BEFORE IT'S SLICED.

Grape tomatoes, a summer treat that bursts with flavor and resists the mealiness that its giganto brethren acquire so easily.

The only things I don't put a lemon in are hot dogs and my homemade Ben-Gay.

Cheese, piave in this case. I don't know from cheese, but if it can be grated, cubed, tumbled, folded or otherwise included in a salad without it all dropping to the bottom, it's all good for this recipe.

Shrimp! It's a meat in a salad, but it's not greasy or heavy! If you think crustaceans feel pain, you can sub in some hard-boiled eggs. It's all protein, y'all!

I don't have a big salad bowl, so I throw it into a pot, drizzle some vineagrette and a bit of olive oil over the mess, put the pot cover on and dance for the length of a Harry Belafonte song. Sure, it's not rocket science, but in one pot I make a cool and rejuvenative dinner salad that puts a delectable cap on another workday spent surreptitiously browsing for tail on CraigsList while the boss tries to the nail the Davidston account. Minus the unflattering blocky hips and frizzy chemical-treated hairdo, I'm Rachel Ray with chest hair.

Guttenberg Followup: There is a God

Thanks to Taylor500 for this treasure, which Gawker unearthed with this intro: "This clip right here should be ample proof to any New Yorker that there really is no God."

I have to disagree. To the extent that any ontological debate can pivot on a video of Steve Guttenberg dancing in rollerskates and babyshorts, I have to say that it convinced me of just the opposite: now, I know there's a God.

I.e., This is the best thing I've ever seen.

Definitely Deaf, Certainly Dumb, but TASTELESS?

I was, as per usual, shirking my responsibilities ("Julia, get the fish guts off Papa's dock!") by drifting through some internet rabbit holes, and one of them let to this article about taste sensitivity.

Long story short, about 25% of people are "supertasters," a phrase coined by Yale scientist Dr. Linda Bartoshuk, while 50% make up regular tasters and 25% make up "nontasters" which must be an exaggerated term for subtasters. "Fungiform papillae," which sound like they belong halfway between a mushroom and a vagina, are actually the tiny taste receptors on your tongue, and supertasters have more of them, and they're smaller. Makes sense.

Well, here's the thing. How I have not been put in a mental institution is beyond me, and why I do not listen to everyone by holding a huge horn up to my ear like a Gold Rush grandfather is a matter of pure pride, because there's no doubt that I am both crazy and totally deaf.

But add this to the heap: I think I'm hard of tasting. Or else just stupid.

Today in the car, my mom said "Pheeew! Smells like trash." I hadn't noticed. Then I turned around and noticed the back seat was full of trash. (Nevermind why.)

This happens all the time. She's all "Holy smokes, the Jasmine is overpowering!" and I have no idea what she's referring to. Then she points to a Jasmine bush on the other side of a fjord. She's always sniffing here or there like a fox hound, and she will find the PINCH of cinnamon in a 10-ton vat of dough. There is no doubt that it is a gift, a distinct gift.

Another distinct gift: The Boob Chair!

I think my sister Anne inherited this ability. She is always tasting things more strongly than I. Hors d'oevres that included a potato cake with truffle oil were passed at a party once, and before they left the kitchen, she was nauseated by the truffle waft in the air. "I'm gonna be sick, I can't handle all this truffle," she said. Meanwhile, I, sitting indian-style on a cylinder of pan-seared tuna, perked up: "Oh, sweet! There's food at this party?"

I know that palates develop and can be deliberately trained. I guess there's an upside to being tongue-retarded. When you're frenching a dirty old sailor, it doesn't taste so much like pipe smoke and herring poop.


And Leite points out in his article that supertasters often don't eat enough greens because the bitterness tastes so strong to them. Meanwhile, anyone who knows me well knows that I almost exclusively eat bitter greens. I have always loved them; now I know that it's because they don't aggravate the block of driftwood which is my tongue.

They may be made of dimestore felt, while I am made of many layers of Neutrogena, but inside our faces, I am ANATOMICALLY IDENTICLE to a muppet.

This explains why we always order the same when we eat out!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sloshed in Slurpeeville

I feel proud to associate myself with a cadre of first-class imbibers, the sorts of people who will commiserate with you on the exceptional butteriness of a Cote du Rhone at 9 pm, gaily toast the first Ketel martini of the evening at 11 pm, and eventually suck the last droplets of Captain Morgan's from the proverbial clear plastic teet of the jug whilst tucking themselves into bed at 6 am. In short, being of the particular ilk who sip pastis like we are shtupped with dough but usually need to mainline a tall glass of everclear to settle into the blackout district of Krunkland, we feel comfortable on the roof deck of 230 Fifth Ave., or crashing an NYU party upon hearing that they have 40's of Steel Reserve stacked to the rafters. Expanding, then, upon Ms. Langbein's lovely-if-wallet-shredding list of great places to eat when blacked out, here are some places I've found are lovely when you're 9 sheets to the wind AND you've spent nearly all your money on drinks for that slut at the end of the bar who let you buy her drinks all night and then left with her main gay 5 minutes after last call.

Koronet's: I must first mention this Upper West Side stalwart, as it impressed itself upon the nostalgia nodes of my cortex slice by slice through 4 years of college. Fat wedges of searing hot pizza with a purposefully chewy crust slide down your throat and sop up the 17 gimlets you presumably drank on that Tuesday night. California Pizza Kitchen may have made chichi toppings de regeur, but a plain slice here drips with seductively monotonous pure pizza flavor. $3 and out.

Gowanus Yacht Club: Black out and eat out at the same time? Yes please. Tall cans of our nation's shittiest brews (think 16 oz. Milwaukee's Best cans, Ballantine, etc.) can be enjoyed with bratwurst, kielbasa, and bitty cheeseburgers. Nothing's over $5.

Joe's Shanghai: Tucked into the bowels of a tiny Chinatown street like so much MSG in a moo shi pork pancake, this big room full of fish tanks and communal dining tables is a mecca for soup dumpling lovers. If you can remember where it is even as you forget your address, you've done yourself a service, as 8 plump wads of dough filled with intensely-flavored pork broth and bits of scallion and meat await for $5. Their entrees are also some of the better Chinese food I've sampled in this city chock full of mediocre Szechuan and Hunan take-out.

Remember: As some of us who've worn a nice ass groove into the comfortable recliner that is their long-term relationship might forget (AHEM), enjoying such niceties as delicious and cheap grub at the end of a long lushy New York evening is no substitute for canning the pizza breath and hauling that special someone you locked eyes with at The Cock home for some light downers and a snog. Happy munching, you fat coupled jerks! Happy hunting, you jittery starving singles.

Blacked out at Blue Hill

Frank Bruni visited the Manhattan Blue Hill for this week's review, which was about as fun as reading tax law in a church basement.

I had two of the best meals of my life chez Dan Barber, one at the Blue Hill in Manhattan and one at Stone Barns. This past Father's Day, my sister's godparents took us to Stone Barns, on a blazing hot morning, where I literally had a show-stopping GREEN SALAD. It was called "Everything in the Greenhouse" I think, and I dream about it sometimes-- minty, peppery, lemony, imperceptibly dressed, glossy gorgeous greens. I've never had anything like it.

A little more than a year ago, one of Matt's best friends, also a cook, took us out to dinner at Blue Hill Manhattan as a belated celebration of Matt's graduation from culinary school. Needless to say, we got ripped at the Dove first (one of those amazing nights when the Dove is empty, and you feel like you're in the sateen-lined salon of your own Whartonian manse.)

Our meal at Blue Hill was fun, but kind of shamefully profligate, a little like the time I took a drool-swathed 6-hour nap in a $285 seat at Tristan and Isolde at the Met. I stumbled through the tasting menu at Blue Hill in the blackest of blackouts, as if I were underwater, gurgling air bubbles when I opened my mouth and lugubriously reaching for but never quite successfully tasting these perfect, subtle, sober compositions.

That's the thing: if you're going to be blacked out, you should really eat somewhere with a sharp punch. You need food that can ice-pic its way to you through the wet mattress of your toxic fog, not someplace where you have to hush so you can hear the cricket playing a tiny organic violin on top of your butterbeans. You've also got to keep behavior in mind-- Blue Hill is an intimate, quiet space, not one in which the lifting of a skirt or the hollering of a slur can really glide under the radar.

Best places to eat in a blackout:

Bar Jamon
: Spicy, hammy ham is just what Dr. Jekyll ordered for a nightmare drunk, and you can holler all you want-- you could light your tits on fire and you wouldn't turn heads on a busy night at this packed Spanish ham-hut/bar.

Gilt: I know it sounds crazy in such a rarefied room (the old Le Cirque space at the Palace Hotel) but the crowd drawn to Gilt is wacky-- Japanese brides, corporate groups, Jacob Marlowe socialites (the ones that look like they died years ago and are dragging huge gold chains around), and breasty tarts with older men. The staff is so impeccably tactful, they'll know exactly how to make you feel like you're not being an asshole when you shatter your Nth martini. The courses in the tasting menu are short, bordering on perfunctory, perfect for the fluttering attentions of a dilapidated drunk.

Gilt: secretly great place to show your nancy to a stranger.

Sweetwater/Robin des Bois: If you're not going to remember it, you might as well keep it affordable. And who are we kidding, stay within cab distance of Boat.

Hm, there are lots of other good ones that I'm blanking on. I've been out of the city now for over a month-- I can't remember these places anymore!

I guess the brain damage is permanent! [insert slide whistle and clown honk.]

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I look like Charlize Theron... in "Monster"

While Mike sweats through his designer shirts in New York, I am happy to report that our 75-degree heat wave has broken here in Finland! Yes, today was in the 60's, and cloudy-- perfect for fishing.

My uncle finally taught me the correct method for bringing fish ashore or into your boat (thanks for teaching me this TEN YEARS AGO when I started fishing, Dad). It involves looping your rod around just above the water so that while the rod, which is flexible, absorbs the tension from the fish, the fish is simulteneously becoming fatigued from its struggle. Eventually it gets tired, and then you drag it next to the boat and lunge at it with your bare, and in my case, tiny and feeble, hands.

Anyway, the results:

Fresh from the Blue Collar And Also Lesbian Comedy Tour.

Scaling the pike so it can go in the oven.

Thank goodness my uncle is so smart and crafty. Otherwise it would have been another night of diving into the rocks and coming home empty-handed, being forced to eat hot dogs and not deserving a cocktail. I much prefer coming home with fish, because that means you get fish for dinner, and that you are promptly handed a Victory Martini.

One slight mar on this pretty picture: one of the fish had been mauled by a seal. Still edible, no worries there, but-- we caught the fish right here in our bay. I.e. THERE ARE SEALS IN OUR BAY.

Sort of takes the fun out of skinny dipping at midnight.

The Sizzler: Not just a buffet, a way of life

Americans, visiting foreigners, illegal immigrants, sing it with me! And-a-one, and-a-two:


That's right Jules, your ultra-futuristic Ikea-adorned Finnish glass box may be sparkling in the reflected light of the Baltic, and various flora and fauna may be practically craning their necks to be seen by your benevolent gaze, but is it 90 DEGREES AT 10 AM THERE? DO YOU HAVE HEAT BLISTERS FROM STANDING ON THE SUBWAY PLATFORM 600 FEET BELOW GROUND? DOES YOUR HOME THERMOSTAT NO LONGER SHOW A PARTICULAR NUMBER FOR THE TEMPERATURE, BUT JUST AN ELONGATED "BLEARRGGGH" NEXT TO A TINY PICTURE OF A STICK FIGURE WITH X-OUTS FOR EYES? No? Oh.

Today's weather map. Reds through yellows indicate "hot enough to fry ice cream" and greens indicate "so hot that going commando in metal button fly jeans will ruin your sex life."

How are average Americans to cope with this nationwide "heat attack"? Sure, the homeless and hungry can go to air-conditioned shelters, and the elderly are practically fending off free fans and lemonade with their wheely-baskets full of cherished possessions and loose change. But what about the rest of us poor schwitzing slobs? Here in the city, it requires a bit of good old fashioned ingenuity. How so? Let's go through a typical day on this sweltering granite prison known as Manhattan:

7 am: The alarm chimes. Another blissful night's rest, accomplished through the use of a room air-conditioner. Each morning I wake up and marvel at this little box's ability to keep me sane. I do not share this luxury with my roommate, a "man's man" who sweats tuna melt and 7 up into his sheets every night due to his stubborn refusal to "spend money on unnecessary things." I chuckle softly as I saunter to the shower. "WTF dingus, where's the ingenuity in that?" you ask? Ah ha! In order to afford the energy bill, I deftly forget to sign my rent check, buying precious time until I get paid and can juggle my debts and assets like so many spinning plates on the end of long thin rods made of poverty.

7:45 am: The subway. This one's a doozy. In many ways, this is a "grin and bear it" situation, but can be eased with some forethought. Need a backpack? Heck no, not with all the back sweat that's sure to follow! Ditch the workout gear, iPod, newspaper, water bottle and ditch the heat-trapping nylon! What do I do for fun on the subway? Stare at others, and brazenly examine their flaws while laughing sadistically.

8:15 am: Breakfast time! I go for hot foods on hot days. Why? Because the theory of relativity isn't just about quarks and googolplexes, it's about temperature. If my breakfast is 20 degrees hotter than the atmosphere, then ingesting said hot food will make it seem 20 degrees colder! Barry, you intelligent prick.

Work Time: Heavy lifting isn't just for muscled Latino men, drenched in their own musk and heaving through their tattered wife-beater anymore, no sir. Apparently, tiny little homos are supposed to do heavy lifting at their low-rank jobs now too. Thanks for that stunningly expensive degree, Mom and Dad, b-t-dubs. Anyway, while technically in my job description, the energy required to do such tasks would render my designer shirt, still being paid for Sakajawea coin by Sakajawea coin at the local Barney's, drenched. So instead, I slip the freight elevator man a couple quarters, a wink, and point him in the direction of the piles of astonishingly heavy stone I need him to move ASAP, DAMMIT. After all, it's his job too! He seems appreciative, even playfully jabbing me with the butt end of his switchblade in a mock threat to my life.

5 pm: Gotta hit the gym. Again, sweaty see, sweaty do, but is there any way to temper the stream of sweat on this deliriously hot day? How do I work out with out stinking out? Easy enough, when you stop drinking fluids. What liquid are your pores going to expel if you don't ingest any?! Geen. A delightful byproduct is how well your clothes fit without all that water bloat.

Din-din: Say goodbye to the heavy rib roast, the sodden casserole, the steamy stew, and say hello to popsicles. Who wants to be full during a heat wave? Who wants to grow groggy with red wine reductions as they sit in their vinyl recliner while the anemic overhead fan washes their body with a 4 mph breeze? Fuck it! Keep it simple (water-based), sugary (energy without the weightiness of real nutrition), and frigid.

Bedtime ritual: After an invigorating face wash (hot water, natch! Relativity again!), I pray to my God for a reprieve from the heat. Since I'm of the chosen people, I imagine that if nothing else, he'll knock a couple bucks off the air-con bill, get that train into the station quicker, and throw a couple of popcorn thundershowers along my way to keep me solvent and cool. Not Jewish? Good luck, loser!

Gordon Ramsay, I...I earnestly admire you

I am not much of a fan. Of anything, really. There were admittedly a few years where I insisted we play the Indigo Girls on the cassette player in pottery class, but certainly not in the last fifteen years have I belonged to a fan club, followed a television program religiously, or "wanted to meet" (a la Friendster/My Space line item) anyone that actually exists. I mean, there are tons of people that do great work, and I think they're great. But in this world, there are two types of people: those that will go up to F. Murray Abraham at a party, hand him a champagne flute, yank his ponytail and tell him he's terrific, and those that will carefully study the jet stream of the passed hors d'oevres in order to discern the most propitious location to stand and have all the baby lamb racks and mini blinis pass right under your nose. I am clearly the latter.

But in my primpy, empire-busted, night-capped Eleanor Dashwood way, I do have one sort of small, glowing ember of a fan feeling in my heart. Here in Finland, on Finnish Television (which has the good taste of Joy Behar in a Frederick's of Hollywood), we get this program called Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares.

In this show, he goes into flailing death's door nightmare restaurants and tries to save them-- shaking up the menu, reinspiring the chef, retraining the line, repainting the damn room. He goes into these places with the MF'ing smartest suggestions, and so earnestly tries to pump their chests, administer his famously potty-mouthed mouth-to-mouth, get them to burp up that seawater and breathe again. It's kind of phenomenal what he does to these sad joints, and you can't argue with the sharpness of his insight or the passion behind his effort.

I think what I mean here is, well, I... I won't say I'm a fan, but... well, I kind of think Ramsay's amazing. I enjoy him a great deal.

I may not be his biggest cheerleader but...

I am the TINY mascot BEHIND his biggest cheerleader.