Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Screw Thanksgiving

I'd like to say worse about Thanksgiving right away, but I guess it wouldn't do to title my latest rant, "FUCK THANKSGIVING." Allow me to explain.

I'm a first generation American, and proud of it. My folks came to this country to study and make a better life. Through a lot of hard work they got a good life. My pop worked his ass off, and he died to give me a better life than what he could have had if he had stayed in Korea. A little over 14 years ago, my pop passed away from a protracted battle with Colo-Rectal cancer. I saw that once proud man die by inches. He passed away on 21 November 1996 - a few days before Thanksgiving.

When I was a college freshman in 1985, I had to go to a local hospital for a check up. Simon's Rock of Bard College is a small liberal arts school in the Berkshires, and they didn't have the facilities, so I had to take a van ride to get sorted out. On top of that, I was 16 at the time (don't ask), so driving a van was not in question. An older student named Kevin Hodges drove me there, and his girlfriend drove on the way back. Unfortunately on the way back to campus, there was a serious accident. If I had been sitting 6 inches to the right, my head would have been cleaved in two by the guard rail that impaled the van. I was knocked unconscious and when I came to, I saw that Kevin was knocked out of the van. I later found out that he had been DOA with a big hole in his aorta. That was on Thanksgiving. On top of that, right after I came to, it took about 15 minutes before someone stopped to see if they could help. There's a van impaled on a fucking guard rail, and nobody stopped for 15 minutes. I guarantee you - Thanksgiving has had a whole different meaning for me since then, but even before the accident, Thanksgiving didn't mean shit to me.

As a kid, I lived in lots of different places where there weren't a whole lot of people who looked like me. I assimilated fairly well wherever I lived, however, but holidays like Thanksgiving always pissed me the fuck off. Let me get this right - a group of white people try to escape religious persecution in Europe and head off for the new world. They settle in an area completely ill-equipped to survive and depend upon the kindness of those who lived there. In return, these people raped, pillaged, and decimated these natives. They started a culture of bum-rushing natives off the land they had, but they were kind enough to leave them with tasty smallpox and other treats.

And I'm supposed to celebrate this by eating a fucking turkey, pumpkin pie with marshmallows, cranberry sauce, and shitloads of other stuff that I normally wouldn't eat any other time of the year? I'm supposed to eat like a fucking pig when people are starving around the world? FUCK and NO. Even before I went vegan, I never liked turkey. My mother is a great cook (no matter how much I kid her) but she never liked preparing turkey. I grew up thinking that most people ate turkey during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Now if you like eating turkey throughout the year, that's one thing, but it's pretty goddamn mean spirited to go out of your way to whack a bird and eat it when you normally wouldn't just because it's part of some bullshit tradition. On top of that, it's fucking stupid. I'm not helping celebrate a bunch of hypocrites as part of a cultural tradition almost 4 centuries old that has NO bearing on my life. I don't remember there even being a lot of Koreans on the Mayflower. If Miles Standish was Miles Kim or Miles Chung, then I could see how some might see a connection between Koreans, turkey, and giblet gravy, but nope. Not my fucking ancestors, not my fucking tradition, and don't shove that horseshit down my throat.

After all I've been through, I'm thankful every goddamn day I'm above ground. I'm thankful for my girlfriend Dawn, my friends, my mother, and my pets. I don't need some bullshit holiday to remind me of that.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Hello, I'm Korean and I love Donuts, but WTF?

Recently on The Travel Channel, there was a special on donuts. I was drooling like Homer Simpson. I fucking love donuts, but as I'm still trying to drop some weight, I gotta stay away from donuts.

Then there's also the added problem of some ingredients not being vegan. I'd have to check, but it's a fair assumption to make that unless specified, most confections are made with traditional necrovore-friendly sugar. That is to say sugar bleached through the charred remains of animal bones.


Then I saw this list of Most Unusual Dunkin Donuts from Around the World. The list starts off on a great note with Mojito and Banana Daiquiri flavor donuts, but shit goes downhill real fucking fast. I have a few questions:

1) Who would have thought that Dunkin Donuts had such a stranglehold on the world?
2) Do cops from other countries have their own favorites?
3) Did NOBODY in Dunkin Donuts R&D get the fucking memo that Koreans + donuts = fail?

To back up my last question, I present this evidence:

Yes, that's not only a Garlic Donut, but a Garlic GLAZED Donut.
But that's not the worst part.

This is.

A Kimchee-Filled Donut. Sweet Sonny Chiba, WHAT THE BLESSED FUCK?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Sentiments Exactly, Dude

This was taken from the infamous "Episode III: Backstroke of the West," or "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" translated into Chinese by a bunch of crackheads. English subtitles were done by more crackheads, and some enterprising jackass took out the Chinese language track, and added back in the original English language track. Oh yeah - the also added bogus timecode bars up top to make it look like an official workprint.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Patrick Pogan Is a Moron and Deserves Hard Time

According to this New York Times article, FORMER NYPD rookie cop Patrick Pogan, Jr. testified a line of bullshit about why he cross-checked bicyclist Christopher Long during a Critical Mass roving bicycle advocacy rally on July 25th, 2008. The facts of this case aren't as subject to interpretation as Patrick Pogan Jr's defense would like because THE FACTS were recorded and posted to YouTube.

Allow me to clarify a couple of points here and add some facts that John Eligon, the author of the New York Times article, was either unaware of or decided not to include. The Pogan family has been a part of the NYPD for two generations before Patrick Jr. took a steaming dump on his family name. In fact, his father was not only a highly decorated NYPD cop, but he served on the Joint Terrorism Task Force. Patrick Sr. was recognized by federal law enforcement agencies for his work after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. You'd think that with that sort of legacy, Patrick Jr. would have known what to do. Christ, at the time he fucked up, Patrick Jr. was living with his father.

Patrick Jr. was only on his 11th day on the job (having graduated from the New York Police Academy on or about July 14th, 2008) when he bum rushed Christopher Long. Patrick Jr. was assigned to the Midtown South precinct, an area of New York City that is generally light in bona fide criminal threats. It is generally considered to be a cake walk. Patrick Jr's defense claimed that Mr. Long was on a direct collision course for him and that he was being abusive, screaming, and flipping both middle fingers to the him. Determining the exact extent of his claims isn't going to be too tough because there's video evidence. On top of that, Patrick Jr's partner (or at the least another cop) was standing further into traffic than Junior was, and he didn't flip out and fuck up a cyclist. Gee - maybe he wasn't a FUCKING MORON, Patty boy.

Mr. Eligon paints a rather distorted picture of both Patrick Pogan, Jr. and Christopher Long by presenting completely irrelevant facts about both parties. Yes, Christopher Long struck and killed an elderly pedestrian with his car in North Carolina. Was he driving a car when Patrick jr. beat him out of traffic in 2008? Nope. Was he even riding his bike recklessly? NOPE. Christopher Long also was discharged from the US Army for testing positive for marijuana. Was he stoned when Patty boy smacked him off his bike in 2008? NOPE. But hey, Patty boy was an emergency medical technician who saved the life of a 56 year old man from cardiac arrest. Guess what, Patty boy? THAT WAS YOUR FUCKING JOB. What the fuck - do you want a cookie and a pat on the back for doing your job as an EMT? Should I buy you a drink? Considering what a dumbass he was and how quickly he fucked up his career with the NYPD, I'm surprised he knows which end of a syringe to put in someone.

Mr. Eligon also stated that Patrick Jr. also was an altar boy. Whoop-dee-fucking-doo. Wow. So there was a good chance that he could have been molested. I guess we should give him a cookie for that, right Mr. Eligon? In fact, at NO POINT WHATSOFUCKINGEVER does Mr. Eligon make any mention of the fact that Patrick Pogan Sr. is a legitimate New York Police Hero. How the fuck isn't this relevant? Maybe because people might wonder how could a hero cop have such a dumb fucking kid? He didn't mention that at the time, Christopher Long was a green grocer in New York City's Union Square and had long been regarded as quiet and mild mannered. Yeah, that's not relevant either. Mr. Eligon.

If convicted, Patrick Pogan, Jr. faces up to 4 years in prison. You might think there's no way a former NYPD cop is gonna do that length of time, but then again you might think there's no way even a rookie cop could be that fucking dumb. I hope he not only does time but gets ass raped, shanked, and ass raped some more . Fuck you Patrick Pogan, jr. And Patrick Sr? Fuck you twice for not pulling out and glazing your wife's face instead of giving birth to a disgrace of a cop.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hell Can't Be Painful Enough for Daryl Gates

Back in the mid-90s during my time as a book editor, I was invited to attend a software rollout event at a midtown Manhattan hotel. The software line was Sierra Online, and they were responsible for titles like "Leisure Suit Larry," "King's Quest," and "Gabriel Knight," (I'm old enough to remember Sierra Online from their seminal titles for the Apple II Plus). They had released a series of police thriller games called "Police Quest." In 1995, the first four games were re-released with the dubious cache of a celebrity cop endorsement.

Daryl Gates.

As in "Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl Gates" who guarded the City of Angels literally with an iron grip during the Rodney King riots.

I have no fucking idea why Sierra Online thought it would be a good idea to have one of the biggest, dirtiest, least ethical cops to be the spokeswhore for a computer game. That's like having a fucking Nazi in the Vatican.

Oh wait.

At that software show, I watched a monitor showing off gameplay from a "Police Quest" game, and I felt grossly uneasy. The only way I could describe it was I sincerely felt a disturbance in the Force, and it was standing right behind me. It was Daryl Gates. He explained to me the "pioneering" work he had done with SWAT teams. He thought a double tap wasn't good enough, and he proceeded to poke me in both shoulders and the forehead to demonstrate a "triple tap" to effectively and permanently drop a target with three bullets.

I felt nauseated that he touched me and I was debating bludgeoning him in a room full of witnesses before I pitched him out the window, down a couple floors and into Midtown Manhattan traffic.

But today I read on that Daryl Gates died from bladder cancer. I hope it was fucking painful, and it's appropriate that one of the biggest pricks in law enforcement died from problems with his pecker.

Burn in Hell, Daryl Gates. You have left an indelible stain on any cop around the world. Burn in Hell motherfucker.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Shatner 2.0 Maybe?

I've heard an ugly rumor that there's supposed to be a "T.J. Hooker" movie. I'm not fucking around. I mean if "Rise of the Dragon" is going to be for all intents and purposes a sacrilegious remake/update/reboot of "Enter the Dragon," then why not a fatassed Cannuck gripping onto a car hood for dear life....AGAIN?

For one thing, I doubt that there is a mass production level of vehicular shock suspension short of the military that could support the greatness that is Shatner. By "greatness," I mean "hypnotically morbidly obese ass crack."

While Shatner languishes in cable television Hell with his "edgy" face-to-face interview show, he at least had the smarts not to take part of J.J. Abrams' batter-fried glitter dipped demon cock that is the "Star Trek" reboot. How massive was this clusterfuck of special effects, Wagnerian music, and childhood memory assrape? It was so massive that Harlan Ellison (one of the most iconic figures in the Star Trek firmament and the man who wrote the "City on the Edge of Forever" script) said he'd love to work with J.J. Abrams on a sequel. For those who don't know, Harlan Ellison is an angry old fucker with unimpeachable genre writing history. He's long bristled at the pervasive insistence that he as a writer must use technology more advanced than his MANUAL typewriter. I lost all respect for Harlan Ellison when I heard that, and when I heard that Shatner resisted the lure of being in one more "Star Trek" movie, I gained a little bit more respect for one of the greatest singers of our time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Organic Vegan Tofu Summer Rolls

After whipping up a Thai-inspired noodle dish, I decided to take things a couple steps further and attempt Summer Rolls and not Spring Rolls because I was trying to stay as far away from deep fried as possible. As Dennis Hopper said in a "Saturday Night Live" opening monologue, "There was always one thing I stayed away from - fried food. Laugh now, but that last donut killed Elvis."

To tweak my earlier recipe, work from that, but with the following adjustments. Read through this recipe from beginning to end before starting because some of the later sections overlap.

N.B. All ingredients should be organic. If you can find organic toasted sesame seed oil, I tip my hat to you.

The Sauce
Non-emulsified peanut butter
1 large lemon
3 cloves garlic, minced
grated ginger (to taste)
powdered cayenne pepper
toasted sesame seed oil

Using a tea strainer to catch the seeds, juice the lemon into a large bowl. Discard the seeds, but toss the pulp in. Add three to four liberally heaping spoonfuls of peanut butter along with a few pinches of salt and a few dashes of toasted sesame seed oil. Depending upon how masochistic you are, use a few shakes of chili powder along with the diced garlic cloves and mix well. The sauce should be rather thick. Set aside and prepare your veggies:

3 green onions, diced
1 large carrot, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 fistful of fresh basil w/ stems, minced
1 small fistful of curly parsley, minced
1 slightly larger fistful of cilantro, minced
A few handfuls of roughly chopped up organic raw peanuts, shelled (duh)

After mincing, dicing, and grating up your veggies, mix them together and mix in a couple spoonful of the sauce. It won't mix as well as you'd think, and you will eventually need some more toasted sesame seed oil (you did save some, right?).

N.B. Organic raw peanuts aren't as difficult to find as you would think. They are more expensive, however, and they're smaller than conventional peanuts, but they're tastier and absofuckinglutely worth it in my mind.

If you're feeling artsy-fartsy, you may want to use a few extra big ass basil leaves in between the filling and the rice paper wraps. I was just nervous about fucking up the rice paper wraps having never worked with them before. More on those later.

Tofu,My Brothas & Sistas
1 pound extra firm tofu, drained & diced

Heat up a wok, but do NOT add any oil yet. Using a good sharp kitchen utility knife, slice the block of tofu into about 4 - 5 sheets before cutting into smaller cubes. Toss the tofu into the wok and sear until it begins to stick to the pan (depending upon your wok and how hot it is, this should take a few minutes). Add in a couple spoonfuls of the sauce and add in a few tosses of the toasted sesame seed oil. Mix so that the sauce and oil is evenly distributed. Remove from heat and toss into your veggies. Mix thoroughly. If you have any sauce left, mix that in with a couple shakes of toasted sesame seed oil. You want the mixture to be chunky but not unwieldy.

The Noodles
I used a box of Annie Chung's Pad Thai rice noodles. They don't have to be that particular brand I guess, and from what I saw at Whole Foods, the different Pad Thai rice noodle packages all seemed about the same size.

Start boiling water for the noodles in a deep pot right before you heated up the wok. Once the water reaches a rapid boil, toss in the noodles. Cook for about 5 minutes, then drain teh noodles in a colander before returning to the pot to "shock" cool them down in ice cold water. You may have to drain again and shock the noodles again until they're cool. At that point drain the noodles well, and return to the pot. Cut them up with a pair of scissors. The reason for this is that you want them to be small enough to be spooned onto the rice paper skins. Mix the cut up noodles into your veggies & sauce mixture.

You're pretty much done except for the last part.

The Rice Paper Skins
Finding these wasn't too difficult at Whole Foods. You might also find them easily at a Vietnamese or Thai grocery store.

While they look stiff and mildly flexible, After soaking them, they're easy to use. They don't tear all that easily, so don't be frightened by their filmy nature after soaking them. You'll need a small shallow pan of cool water. Soak the rice paper skins one by one in the pan for a few seconds. Place the wet, filmy skin on your plate, spoon in the noodles & veggies mix, and wrap it up as you would a burrito.

With some practice, you should be able to wrap these up to set aside in a container for another meal or picnic. The mixture should serve about 4 hungry bastards, and you should still have some leftover skins. Keep the leftovers dry in a bag.