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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Job for Mike!

The other day I came accross this in one of my readings about 18th century Paris:

"Snippets from the most popular [pamphlets] would be compiled in semi-clandestine nouvelles a la main that supplied their elite subscribers with inside political news and gossip (these were a development from the earlier chasseurs de nouvelles, men employed by wealthy individuals to keep them up to date with the news....)"

CHASSEURS DE NOUVELLES??? Mike, as if your love of talc and irony hadn't spelled it out already, I think we can now safely confirm that you were born 250 years too late. You should be living in an era when you can be an aristocrat's hired mangossip.

As a poor substitute, you can just continue calling me when you see Haley Joel Osment at the Whole Foods, etc.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Head-over-wheels in love

I never thought I'd be a biker. I'm not particularly locomotive. Uncomfortable at more than pedestrian speeds, utterly panicked by roller coasters and self-soiling on mopeds or motorbikes, I used to gasp at the sight of New York bikers. Part in awe and part in old-lady disgust ("the nerve!") I would watch them zip around delivery trucks, brave the West Side highway, cut around traffic like scissors clipping paper dolls. They were a different species of human, tougher and dumber.

But Chicago presents a different set of conditions for the cyclist. Streets are wider. Bike paths cover the city from North Side to South. The land is so flat that I found myself distractedly annoyed by having to walk along it, when I could be rolling on something. My apartment is a 13 minute walk from campus, but the idea of a 3 minute ride (= ten extra minutes of doing nothing at home!) bothered me like a pop-up ad whenever I left the house.

So I bought a bike. I purposefully concealed this from my family. They would no doubt have argued against it or given me long lectures on road prudence and basic Newtonian theory. But like the Egyptian chick finding moses in a picnic basket (Sorry, been a while since I read Mother Goose), I knew it had to be mine the second I saw it. I paid the previous owner of this red-brown Schwinn Cruiser a reasonable ransom and took off with the bike, which I rechristened Cherry Cola, to the surprising realization that I was positively FILLED with an unreasonable elation, a high. It would have been appropriate if Falcor's theme from the "Neverending Story" had blazed from the sky. I flew down the street, past the Museum of Science and Industry into the nature sanctuary behind it, around the big pond, and then over to the University campus and back home, feeling like a mythical combination of a grade-schooler and an eagle (a greaglooler.)

I'm still not going to be one of those sickos that slices around garbage trucks and zips down the highway. I clocked my ride to campus this morning at 8 min, which means I am only going SLIGHTLY faster than my walking speed. But who's counting? As Santa said in the Old Testament, "Texas is for lovers." I think Cherry Cola and I are in our own happy Texas.

Now maybe it's time to do some schoolwork, huh? Iron out my reference literature...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Oprah's nagging rasputin

Who is this new slack-jawed sidekick of Oprah's? Dr. Robin Smith? I've seen her on a couple of times. This woman makes Dr.Phil look like a..well, a real doctor. Yo, where's that girl Nupur from Spellbound? 'Cause Dr. Robin Smith needs "logorrhea" spelled out for her, hard. Her sentences are 900 minutes long. Even Oprah's guest (abandoned by her husband) who is having her brain extracted and laid out before her in 5th grade psychobabble seems totally and completely bored.

I just caught her say "...the struggle of love that you surround yourself with..."

She reminds me of that type of friend that you go to when you just need to let it all out, but she reverses the flow and fills you with more empty pro-woman fist-pumping than Glorias Gaynor and Steinem combined. SHUT UP AND LISTEN.

"The 'Marriage' part refers to the inequal contract of hatred between man and woman. 'Lies' refers mostly to my doctorate degree."

The Last Grain of Fantasia

Recognized world genius Sarah "Hundo" T. discovered the most amazing website I've ever seen. It was just hiding in the folds of the internet for so long, one little grain of sand at the extreme edge of a conceptual universe, waiting to be plumbed by an innocent, roving hand.

Jesus, I have to leave the house.

Nerd-Sun Courrier

Dear The Economist,

Nobody likes a dork. OK? You need to give people a break. No, listen, I'm interested in synthetic biology, and I'm willing to have you catch me up on 40 years of DNA synthesis, computer technology, and the "mere pottering" that you call today's science of genetic engineering, but then you follow right up with the death of tolerance in the Netherlands, and this was all sheer moments after catching me up on the amoebal splits and mergers of the European baby food market. I'm just saying: can't we have a countdown or two? A Quick Tips box? A Hot/Not chart? You'd be surprised how one measley monthly feature called "Guy Without His Shirt" makes the serious business of Cosmopolitan (e.g. "How to Hose Down a Horn Dog") more palatable. I like the use of charts and graphs but come on, Economist, don't make me feel like I'm enduring the Quantitative portion of the SAT's. Boring grey and blue boxes stacked up like dry toast to express private equity investment as percent of GDP by country? Why not simply put a picture of a slutty woman shrugging, with the words "Private Equity Investment????" in block text over her crotch? Today's reader's need-- nay, expect-- visuals, not the black-and-white squiggly symbols back-to-back on every page of your dork report.

Don't be prideful, Economist. Listen to the wisdom. Time to tits up your journal a bit if you want to stay in the game. And THEN we'll all be willing to sit around a little more patiently and listen to why Felipe Calderon's Mexican presidential campaign is destabilized by blah blah blah percent acronym fact blah blah Other Country yamma yamma yamma peril.

RATE THIS BEEFCAKE!!! Then learn about whether the US Virgin Islands are sufficiently prepared for a terrorist attack. Bonus: 101 SEX TRICKS TO LEARN BEFORE YOU DIE!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Live Blogging the Food Network: Unwrapped

Feh. Sometimes it's interesting. It's distracting knowing that Mark Summers is looking out over his fake diner set and wanting to right all the angles. The informational segments are so short, you don't really get into much. He just visited the NYC Barbecue block party and the consensus was that it was full of barbecue. Washinton's white horse, no?


Live Blogging the Food Network: Alton Brown

Alton is spazzing about vanilla. I don't think there's a better verb for what Alton does than spazz, except maybe 3-D spazz: he spazzes in every dimension. He attacks a thing with science, with sketch comedy, with fact, with lore. He's the fixed, terrier-like obsession of Jeffrey Steingarten with the incontrovertible knowledge of Harold McGee. Don't get distracted by the gimmickry-- we can all learn from Alton Brown, that spiky, gosling-haired goof. He takes nothing in a recipe for granted, seems to reexamine the basics of everything. He heated the cream for his creme brulee just now in a plug-in hot-kettle!

Right now he's doing a sketch where he's sitting in a limo between a fake movie executive and an oversize fake vanilla bean that looks like a black man's testicle.

Got to love this wacktard. Oh now he's using a power drill to core pears and screaming at the pear to die. Crazy bastard.

Live Blogging the Food Network: Rachel Ray

Back to back episodes, right at mealtime.

(Dumping pre-shredded carrots into a salad) "I got these nice fresh veggies already prepped. It's one way of letting the supermarket do the work for ya!...Yum!" It makes me feel like she's going to make me line up in table groups and go to gym class. If she made noodle necklaces one day, I wouldn't be entirely surprised.

Her commercial food product use makes it less incongruous when the Network cuts to a commercial for Arbor Mist Orchard Fruits-flavored Chardonnay.

Live Blogging the Food Network: Rachel Ray

OK, alright. It's easy to beat up on someone who's had a ton of success. The idea of a 30-minute meal? Doable. Easy. Digestible. Smart. So let's see this show through eyes that are not, at least initially, filled with scorn.

Pros: The concept. ... The kitche-- the kitchen's ok. In today's episode she's making Mac n' Cheese and sauteed chicken thighs. What's wrong with that? Mothers everywhere coud make that for their little ones, I guess.

Cons: I can't say exactly what it is that's so terrifying. Is it that she's so fucking perky it feels like she wants to stab you in the eyes? Is it the cutesy nicknames for everything (EVOO, GB, etc.)? Is it the apish giggle used to dull the afterpain of inane comments ("I love these li'l squirt bottles! [apish giggle]")? Is it the food itself, basically blameless but never very appealing? Hm.

I don't know what to say. She's just trying to be wholesome and helpful, right?


Live Blogging the Food Network: Sandra Lee

I'm sorry, let's use the full title: "Semi-Homemade with Sandra Lee"

I'm not going to go nuts on this woman, because let's not beat a horse that clearly died halfway through the title of her show, but I will say this:

She's making spicy red braised short ribs in a HEAD TO TOE BRIGHT WHITE JUICY COUTURE SWEATSUIT with a Mommy camel toe that recalls the rippling white canvas of a regatta-bound sail.

"I pulled this out of a box!"

Live Blogging the Food Network: Ina Garten

The Food Network is a lot like Holland: Mostly boring, self-consciously bourgois, but with some undeniably valuable cultural contributions. Actually, some of the Food Network celebrities are pretty odious-- that Flay, yikes, what an angry edge that man has, and let's not speak of Rachel Ray's one-woman crusade to retard American home cooks.

But Ina Garten is a goddess. If I could be any FN personality, it would be Ms. Garten-- always smirking a bit, entertaining the local gays, nipping at the sherry. If the world of "domestic doyennes" (cringe) were a highschool, Garten would be the effortlessly hot, pot-smoking writer and Martha Stewart would be the psycho valedictorian who secretly wants the school to blow up. Paula Deen would be everyone's learning-disabled best friend.

What a beauty.

Garten's food never cuts corners, or pretends to change the world. It's just classy and full of good stuff. She makes me want a certain type of classiness I thought I could live without, a wealthy Hamptonsiness that she makes benevolent, not snooty.

Case in point: her monikier as a cook/fine foods purveyor? The Barefoot Contessa.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I will sit on your green felt limbs, and crush them

You may recall a few posts ago, that I was "tagged" by Lang Fisher with a questionnaire. I wrote a new questionnaire of my own and sent it to a few people. Mike answered. One of the people I sent my silly questionnaire to was Justin Purnell, the Kermit to my Miss Piggy. I run around shouting blandishments from my throat and trying to sit on him, while he says very dry things and tries to survive the sheer power of my love.

Well, I tagged Justin, and then-- recinded! I was tired of having my pink, woolen Piggy heart crushed.

But I am retagging him now. Justin? Are ya home? Miss you!

P.S. This is the show he hosts at UCB. It's always free and funny. Why not go? I can't think of a reason. Unless you're DEAD.

Someone get this guy a Gatorade!