Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Payback's A Bitch, Isn't It, Lars Ulrich?

Even though he's a famous douchebag, and because of his station in life as a "famous douchebag" it would be customary to put up a picture, I fucking hate Lars Ulrich, so no picture for Lars. Just on his name alone, you'd expect to see a guy who looks like he could kick Thor, Norse God of Thunder, square in the nutsack. The sad thing is that he looks like a cross between an angry dwarf and an oatmeal cookie.

According to this recent CNN.com article, Lars Ulrich has tinnitus a common auditory condition that can result in hearing a phantom high pitched tone. It's apparently very common, especially in sell-out, over-the-hill heavy metal rock band drummers.

The article states that for the 35 years he's been playing, he never used to use ear protection.

Boo. Fucking. Hoo.

And then the article goes on to say that he now uses earplugs while performing. I guess we should give li'l Lars a cookie and a gold star! Yay for Lars!

And apparently in the article, Lars Ulrich is concerned about "young people" with their new-fangled iPods. Where was Lars' concern when Metallica sold out big time to make a "Guitar Hero" video game? And this is the same benevolent Lars who whined like a greedy little bitch about kids illegally downloading Metallica songs via now-irrelevant file sharing service Napster and other similarly nefarious services?

Fuck you, Lars. Oh I forgot, you're hard of hearing now. FUCK YOU, LARS.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Great. No US Release for "Hachi: A Dog's Tale"

I first heard about Hachiko, an Akita dog, via Japanprobe.com I generally dislike Japanprobe now, because I find them to be biased, irresponsible, and a big group of pompous douchebags. Kind of like Fox News.

Hachiko was owned by Hidesaburo Ueno, an agricultural professor at the University of Tokyo in the 1920s. Hachiko would see his buddy off at the front porch, and every day, Hachiko would be waiting at nearby Shibuya Station for the good professor. Hachiko knew which train his buddy would be on and when to wait for him.

Unfortunately one day in May, 1925, Professor Ueno died of a massive stroke in the middle of class. Nobody told Hachiko.

People that saw Hachiko and the good professor at Shibuya Station would bring Hachiko food while he waited.


Hachiko died waiting for Professor Ueno.

In 1987, Hachiko's story was made into a movie called "Hachiko Monogatari." If this sounds familiar to my fellow geeks, it should. Hachiko's story was the inspiration for the "Jurassic Bark" episode of Matt Groening's science ficiton cartoon series "Futurama."

On August 8th, 2009, "Hachiko: A Dog's Story" was released in Japan. It was directed by Lasse Hallstrom and starred Richard Gere, Joan Allen, and Jason Alexander.

In addition to directing virtually every ABBA music video, Mr. Hallstrom directed critically acclaimed films like "My Life As A Dog," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape," "The Cider House Rules," and "Chocolat."

You'd think that with that sort of cast and director, and that the story was Americanized and shot in Rhode Island, that a US theatrical release would be a no-brainer. Film geeks would go on to presume that because this is a tearjearker with great talent behind it, that it would be a Winter release and thus a sure bet for Golden Globe and Oscar nomination.


Apparently some group of retarded assclowns calling themselves Consolidated Pictures Group had secured the rights to distribute this in the US. Unfortunately, they claimed they didn't have the time or money to properly publicize this movie, and they sold the distribution rights to Sony. The upshot of this is that while it has seen theatrical release in virtually every other fucking corner of the world, the closest the US is gonna get is waiting until January, schlepping out to a Wal-Mart, and picking up the DVD. Anybody who doesn't want to go to Wal-Mart will have to wait a bit longer than that.

No, I'm not kidding.

I was seriously looking forward to seeing this in the theater. I was looking forward to this more than seeing "Avatar," motherfuckers. So now I have to wait until after Wal-Mart's exclusivity retail deal on this ends before I can find it on Amazon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ummm... Ken, Is There Something You Need To Tell Us?

One of my new favorite sites is ToplessRobot. As a playa-hatin' geek, I love their sense of humor even if I don't agree with them all the time. Some of the shit they find is pretty damned funny and pretty damned scary.

Like this:

The abomination you're seeing there is "Palm Beach Sugar Daddy Ken" As in Barbie's boyfriendbeard, Ken.

No, this wasn't a "you've gotta be fuckin' kidding me" joke like you might suspect from this ToplessRobot article, but it is very real and apparently very collectible as evidenced by this Entertainment Earth product page.

I'm cool with whatever Mattel wants to do with Barbie & Ken, but i I ever hear about a "South Beach Rough Trade Action Ken" or a "Las Vegas Glory Hole Barbie," I'm gonna vomit a little in my mouth.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Note to Mssrs. Seagal, Chan, Jagger, Stallone, West et. al - FUCK OFF.

It doesn't take a Jedi Master to trick someone into buying shit they don't need. Sad to say, but celebrity endorsements or celebrity driven products do well enough and then hopefully plummet like the stars that wanted/needed their third rate shit to sell.

Here are a few examples:

Steven Seagal: This once proud and imposing action star has been reduced to a reality show that's been mired in legal issues even before it airs. He may be a bona fide martial arts master, but he is also a black belt in douchebag.

Dude - "Asian Experience?" Shouldn't that be "Long Island/Staten Island Guido Wannabe Experience?"

Jackie Chan: I used to like his movies, but then it became apparent to me that while Jackie Chan may not be a mean-spirited cunt (see above), he has taken so many shots to the head to actually believe that he's a great singer. He also needs to be beaten into a permanent state of retardation just for agreeing to star in "The Kung Fu Kid," a remake of "The Karate Kid." He went from international action star to international house bitch. He's also selling his own line of instant green tea If you go to that Amazon.com link, the funniest bit isn't Jackie Chan selling green tea - it's the "Customers Who Bought This Also Bought" section. Instant chicken soup, green tea, sweat bands, gummi bears, cheddar cheese soy crisps, beef jerky, and toilet paper. Man, if that's not a pothead's shopping list, I don't know what is.

Kanye West: I never liked this douchebag, but when he lost his shit on MTV recently (and if you need a link for that, please do us all a favor and die in a fire), I was forced to look back on this floating loaf. Where the fuck would he have been without Daft Punk's "Harder Better Faster Stronger?" I thought Sean Combs was the worst talentless bitch who kept biting off of other artists, but I was wrong. Oh yeah, Kanye West has his own travel agency.

The Rolling Stones: These rock & roll legends need to go back to roots, and by that I mean composting themselves. When is the last time you remember a NEW Rolling Stones track hit the airwaves instead of being used to hawk Kahlua, greeting cards, and other sundry bullshit?

Don't worry, I'll wait for your answer.

But apparently The Rolling Stones weren't rich enough, so they decided to hawk their own fucking wine. They're not as greedy as The Beatles, and I for one would love to have Mark David Chapman given early release to whack Paul and Ringo. Fuck those greedy cunts.

Sylvester Stallone: The cast list for his new movie "The Expendables" reads like a who's who of action star legends - real and film: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, Randy "The Natural" Couture, Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueria, and shitloads of cameos. The plot isn't really going to matter. There will be better plots in Arlington, but Stallone is milking his once good name for more flicks and more HGH. The ironic thing is that he has his own line of sports nutrition supplements, "InStone." Yeah, I'm gonna buy supplements from a guy who freely admits to using Human Growth Hormone. He even had 'high protein pudding" in different flavors presumably selected to appeal to people who eat pudding. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have anything to do with Sylvester Stallone's high protein banana cream pudding.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stank Like Shatner

This is taking licensing a wee bit too far.

Usually Star Trek geeks (myself included) are sticklers for detail and authenticity, but there's no way in Hell I'd want my b.o. to remind people of the rutting Canadian man beast known as Shatner.

I found this lovely little gem on Entertainment Earth.

This is going to set a dangerous precedent for licensed goods. Do we really need to see the possibility of a "There's Something About Mary" hair gel?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Vegan Ginger Prawn Stir Fry

My gf and I had just finished off Summer Streets NYC '09, and afterward we went to May Wah Healthy Vegetarian in Chinatown. It's a little bodega sized vegetarian oasis, and they have a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan groceries. Most of their selections are mock meats, and so far I've been very pleasantly surprised by the quality and price. We got a bag with mock chicken slices (dehydrated), mock beef chunks (dehydrated), vegetarian grilled eel, and vegetarian prawns - all for $16.00. With rice and veggies, that's a week of dinners for us. Last night we had the vegetarian grilled eel over leftover rice, and that was damned tasty. Tonight, I tried something more inventive. Keep in mind that I don't have all that much experience with Asian cuisine or at least stir fry dishes. I wanted it to come off as close to conventional stuff as possible.

3 cups Forbidden Rice
6 garlic cloves
1 package vegetarian prawns
1 green bell pepper
1 purple onion
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 can bamboo shoots
soy sauce
miso paste
red pepper flakes

While the rice is cooking, dice up the bell pepper and onion. Set that aside in a bowl. Mince the garlic. Mix about 1/3rd the minced garlic in with the rice as it's cooking. Put the rest of the minced garlic in a small bowl. Cut up the vegetarian prawns. I did them in thirds, but I probably should have cut them smaller. Heat up a wok. Pour in some extra virgin olive oil and the minced garlic. Spoon in some miso paste. Stir it up a bit and pour in some soy sauce. While that's heating up, grate some ginger into the wok. Throw in a pinch or two of red pepper flakes. Toss in the prawns, and coat them with sauce. Then toss in the veggies. You may need to pour in a little bit more oil. Evenly distribute the prawns, sauce, and veggies. Next toss in the water chestnuts and the bamboo shoots with the water in the cans. This will help cut down on the saltiness. Stir everything up, and let the sauce reduce for about 10 minutes or so.

Serve over rice.

Serves 4

Friday, August 21, 2009

Asshole Litmus Test

A friend of mine on an abolitionist animal rights forum recently encountered a bunch of assholes on Facebook because they posted 35 reasons for going vegetarian. It was disheartening to my friend, and I said that vegetarianism was one of those volatile issues that will polarize people and reveal your true friends from detritus filling your life.

I called it an Asshole Litmus Test, and I thought to expand upon that concept. As a fierce individual, I have a lot of shit I believe in and a lot of shit I simply won't budge on. I remember trying to date some friend of a friend, and unbeknown to me, that chick went to an old friend of mine and asked what kind of person I was. They responded, "There are two kinds of people. Those that don't know him, and those that would take a bullet for him. You have to figure out which one you are." I nearly cried on the spot when he told me this.

The maturity of your friends will be partially measured in what or how far they are willing to accept you in spite of what they don't agree with. However, you may grossly overestimate your friends, and while it may be disillusioning to see a friend revealed to be a real bunghole.

This is a work in progress. This helps me to determine if I should not return their calls, ignore them, or slap them so hard they hit the pavement. This list is in no particular order of importance. Just what came to mind.

Can I take them in a fair fight?
Can I take them in an unfair fight? (i.e. armed, unethical strikes, etc)
Are there police around? (Public disturbances are subject to being served a summons)
Do I need to associate with them directly?
Do I need to associate with them through friends, family, and/or loved ones?
Do they owe me anything?
Do I owe them anything?
Are they diametrically opposed to what I believe in?
Are they assholes about it?
Are they inebriated?
Are they in need of medical assistance not caused by self-destructive conditions (over-eating, inebriation, etc)?
Can I distract them with pornography, shiny objects, and/or flatulence?
Can I ignore them?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

May Robert Novak's Infernal Torment Be Epic

As recent visitors to my little corner of the blogverse have seen, I am a vegan. I love to cook, and I have a deep abiding respect and awe for nature's majestic beauty. This does not mean that I am incapable of hatred.

For as long as I have lived in Bethesda, I have had to endure a smarmy group of Washingtonian gasbag pundits known as "The McLaughlin Group," a roundtable discussion of hot button topics in the news from columnists inside the Capital Beltway. The group is led by John McLaughlin, a Jesuit who left his order to become a speech writer and advisor to US President Richard M. Nixon. He also supported the Vietnam War. There were many McLaughlin Group alums I'd love to see tortured in extremely criminal and pornographic ways. Charles Krauthammer, Carl Rowan, and Republican homunculus Pat Buchanan should all be assraped for a very long time, but Robert Novak? Whoo boy, where to begin?

I don't care if he died after brain cancer. Whoopee-fucking-doo for him. Boo hoo for his family. He was speeding in his Corvette when he ran over an 86-year old pedestrian. He tried his damnedest to get away, but a civic-minded bicyclist prevented him from getting away until the cops came. He outed Valerie Plame, a CIA deep cover operative after her husband, a US Ambassador, bitched about Bush Administration policy. His dirty tricks back in the 1972 US Presidential election cost George McGovern the election, and it gave us more Nixon, more Vietnam, and oh yeah - WATERGATE.

According to Dante Alighieri's The Divine Comedy, the lowest part of Hell, the 9th Circle is reserved for traitors to their family, their country, their guests, and to God in that order. I hope that Robert Novak enjoys eternity in the 9th Circle of Hell. He fucking well deserves it.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Osu, Zombie Sensei!

I almost wish I could understand what was going on, but I'm not screwing with art.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vegan Organic Ginger Lemon Pancakes

I got the idea for this from my girlfriend's reaction to part of this recipe. She really liked the coating on the fried tofu, and I thought it had been a long time since I had pancakes, so I thought to cobble something together.

1/2 cup organic cornmeal
1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour
1/2 cup organic all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup organic sucanat
1 cup organic vanilla soy yoghurt
Juice & pulp from 1 large organic lemon
Organic ginger (to taste)
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Grate some ginger in (not a lot - maybe 1/2 tbsp at the least), and add the lemon juice & pulp. Mix in the yoghurt and a little oil.

Add some oil to a non-stick frying pan. I know, it sounds redundant, but I rarely trust non-stick pans when it comes to pancakes, and the oil makes the pancakes crispier. Heat up the frying pan and add some batter. You'll more than likely have to spread the batter out in the pan. Flip the pancake with a spatula once the edges get crispy and bubbles start to appear.

This recipe makes 4 big ass "You better do some friggin' road time to burn these off" size pancakes. Serve with vegan soy butter and syrup.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cheap Organic Sprouts (in a week)

My gf and I love getting a wee plastic tub of fresh sprouts from the grocery store, but the cost can be kind of bad. Nutritionally, there's more in a small bin of sprouts than a big ass bowl of salad. I've seen sprouting kits online, and after a bit of trial and error, it's rather easy to go from this

to this

in about a week.

This is all you're gonna need:
1.5 tbsps of organic seed mixture
4" square of organic cheesecloth
1 stout rubber band (I found the kind used to bunch up celery works best)
1 20 oz mason jar.

Getting good organic sprouting seeds doesn't require boocoo money. In fact, even if you do this often enough, you'll get really good sprouts for a fraction of what they'd cost in hoity toity health food stores. Just go to amazon.com and type in "Organic sprouting seeds." Wheatgrasskits has a great selection as well.

Put the seeds in the mason jar. Cover with the cheesecloth. Secure it tightly with the rubber band. The cheesecloth should be taut, or else this isn't gonna work. Soak the seeds for the first night (about halfway will be good). Drain the seeds in the kitchen sink, and fill with water. Drain again slowly and leave the jar tilted slightly (resting against something like the wall) or in the sink. You don't want the seeds to completely rest against the cheesecloth. It's there to provide a permeable barrier for oxygen and water. If the cheesecloth is obscured completely, the sprouts will go bad or won't grow at all. You'll need to keep it somewhere dark or out of direct sunlight for about the first 3 - 4 days. Every day, you'll need to fill the mason jar with water, and drain carefully a few times a day. This allows the seeds to evenly get air and water.

After about 2 days, you should notice that the seeds have begun to sprout. After about 4 days, you should see the sprouts grow considerably, and you may see some leaves. After about 4 - 5 days, keep the jar of sprouts on the windowsill (but still tilted). You'll still need to fill the jar with water and drain the seeds. After about a week's time, you have a jar full of super duper tasty sprouts.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Vegan Ginger Lemon Crusted Tofu with Forbidden Rice & Veggies

This was dinner tonight. It wasn't as hard to make as you'd think, and while I'd love to provide more accurate details, I played it by ear.

For the batter:
Organic corn meal (fine grain)
1 Organic Lemon
Organic Ginger
3 Cloves of Organic Garlic
Organic Agave Syrup
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Habanero based hot sauce (to taste)
Red Pepper flakes

Organic Tofu

3 cups organic rice
1.5 tbsps vegetable soup mix

Few Cloves of Organic Garlic
1 Organic Green Bell Pepper
1 Organic Purple Onion
A pinch of sea salt
Soy Sauce to taste

Drain the tofu and slice into 6 equal pieces. Lay them carefully in a towel & wrap a couple times to absorb the water.

Put the vegetable soup mix in with the rice before cooking. Depending upon the soup mix, it may clump, so whisk together with an egg beater. Start the rice in a cooker.

Juice the lemon into a mason jar using a tea strainer to catch the pulp & the seeds. Throw out the seeds, and add the juice & pulp to a bowl. Grate a fair amount of ginger root into the bowl. Add the corn meal (I used about 3 tbsps) and oil. Mix in a few drops of really good hot sauce & a pinch of red pepper flakes. Dice the garlic and add in along with the agave syrup. Use the syrup sparingly. You want the batter slightly sweet - not cloyingly so. The same could (and should) be said about the hot sauce. You want a little heat - not hellfire.

While the tofu is drying out, dice a few small cloves of garlic & set aside in a small bowl. Dice the green bell pepper & the onion. Fry up the diced garlic in a flat pan along with some olive oil. Toss in the diced bell pepper & onion. Fry the veggies lightly & add in a wee bit of salt and soy sauce. Transfer the veggies to a bowl, and add more oil to the pan for the tofu.

Unwrap the tofu. Dip each piece in the batter and fry until both sides are nicely browned. You may have to add more batter to the tofu as it will not stick like conventional egg-based batter.

Serve with the veggies over rice.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Coolest Restaurant Ever

Having worked in multimedia nightlife event promotion (a fact I'm not entirely proud of), I know that while popularity may be fleeting, there are a shitload of restaurants and clubs that thrive on gimmicks, chicanery, and bullshit in general.

The Demachi location of Gyoza no Osho in Kyoto, Japan is the real deal. From the article in The Mainichi Daily News (via Tokyomango), Gyoza no Osho is a fast food chain serving up pot sticker dumplings, noodles, rice, and other traditional budget-friendly fare. The Demachi location is close to Kyoto University and Doshisha University, and as you can imagine, hungry students are plentful. Sadahiro Inoue, the manager at the Demachi location, has hung up a sign for the past 27 years promising free meals to those who promise to wash dishes for 30 minutes after eating.

Holy Shit.

He keeps in touch with many of his former dishwashers and thinks of them as family - much as an elderly couple took care of him and his wife when they were young, struggling newlyweds. He hopes that they go on to do good deeds for others. Stuff like this makes me still believe in altruism.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Horror Fiction Now in Two-Ply!

I look high and low for stuff that will amuse me and sometimes I find shit that just stops me dead in my friggin' tracks. As much as I would try to resist making inappropriate comments, I remember that old adage, "To thine own bastard be true." So here we go kids. Strap your helmets on, because it's gonna be a bumpy ride, bitches

I've never been one for the trend in movies to assrape a piece from one culture and "adapt" it to fit a different market. It's happened notably in modern horror movies with Japan & the US (e.g. "The Grudge," "The Ring," "The Steaming Crock of Shit"). It's happened in cartoons, and usually those efforts have failed miserably. Still, this doesn't hurt a huge collector's niche market that will eagerly swallow any tripe that's translated, subbed, or fansubbed. Borders Books has sections devoted to anime and manga.

I say this to prepare you for this lovely little nugget.

Let's look at a few points in this article, shall we?
1) "Drop," set in a public restroom, takes up about three feet (90 centimeters) of a roll and can be read in just a few minutes, according to the manufacturer." Given the horror motif, I think "Splatter" would have been a better title. It's more familiar a term to horror, and in the john, what's worse - something that drops or something that splatters?

2) The company promotes the toilet paper, which will sell for 210 yen ($2.20) a roll, as "a horror experience in the toilet." You could get a horror experience in the toilet after a sack of sliders from White Castle. Then again, the former Senator Larry Craig has his own horror experience in the toilet.

3)Toilets in Japan were traditionally tucked away in a dark corner of the house due to religious beliefs. For example, "Holy Shit, Jiri, what the fuck did you eat, you nasty bastard? Light a match!"

4)Parents would tease children that a hairy hand might pull them down into the dark pool below. If your kid is pinching loaves that look like hairy hands, then your kid needs to go to a gastroenterologist toot fucking sweet.

How long do you think it will take some douchebag Hollywood producer (I know, I know - I'm being redundant) to option "Drop" for a movie? And then a musical? And then a movie based on the musical based on the movie based on a fucking roll of toilet paper?

And if this is from the author of "The Ring," does this make "Drop" a "Ring" piece?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Becoming Self-Aware

In deference to protect the delicate sensibilities of some, I am changing the identities of certain people in this essay.

I was walking with a buddy yesterday, and we were talking how one of my friend's co-workers (hereafter to be referred to as "Penn")is painfully Caucasian to the point of being targeted with every "white boy" joke in the book. Penn looks kind of like Andrew Daly of MADtv, and that doesn't exactly help him out to further any arguments that he is anything but an ofay honky. My friend has a pretentious cunt of a boss (hereafter to be referred to as "REMF") who is also painfully Caucasian and aside from being a less intelligent than a corn-studded loaf of shit, REMF deserves every "white boy joke in the book. REMF truly is a "cracka-ass-cracka."

The difference between Penn and REMF is that as far as I can tell, Penn became self-aware whereas REMF wouldn't know an original though if it teabagged him. I share some degree of sympathy with Penn aside from the fact that he has a good and twisted sense of humor and as far as I've interacted with him, he's been fun to chat with. While I may appear to be just an average Korean, I am not the motherfucker who does your dry cleaning, who sells you your groceries, or who delivers your takeout orders.

I like country music. Not country pop bullshit, but Hank Williams sr, Johnny Cash, Randy Travis, and Dwight Yoakam. I love to cook and bake Italian food. I have TWO liberal arts degrees. I love tequila. I could go on to describe any number of other things I enjoy that aren't stereotypically viewed as "Asian" or "Korean," but that's less important as the fact that at some early point in my life, I took a look at not only what Koreans were like, but how the people around me (i.e. white people) saw me. I didn't want to be their Charlie Chan or even their Jackie Chan.

It's important to keep an open mind about what the world has to offer. There's a lot of fun to be had, and as a warning, if you don't keep an open mind, you're by default setting yourself up to be marginalized by people like REMF and other morons. I'm assuming Penn had that same sort of self-realization and tried to cultivate his own little world of stuff that brings him joy & fulfillment or at least offers him respite from the bullshit that can piss you off.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pain is Weakness Leaving the Body

As things were winding down to AIDS Walk New York this Sunday, I wanted to make sure I was up to snuff physically. I'm a fanatical inline skater, and Ive skated AIDS Walk New York 8 out of the 9 times I've done it. Here's the link to my donation page in case you can donate. Every now and then Mother Nature looks like she's gonna give New York the finger with rain, but she's been pretty good so far.

I just checked the weather report, and it still looks like rain. What are ya gonna do, eh? So I have to walk. That sucks. It sucks even more because one of the reasons I skate AIDS Walk New York is to blaze through the 10K route in order to help at the last checkpoint where all the refreshments are. There are at least 5 freight trucks there loaded with food, snacks, water, & supplies. That's a lot of stuff, but then again, there was something like 50,000 people at AIDS Walk New York last year. I like to start early and help out as long as I can.

I'm in fairly good shape, and while I've been training like a madman for this, I could always train harder. I'm not going to be in any shape to bust out a triathalon anytime soon, but I'd like to aim for that as opposed to ending up like a big fat slob. I've been going to the AIDS Walk New York office headquarters to volunteer as much time as I could lately. There were loads of envelopes to stuff, label, and mail out as well as prep work on a massive scale. They can always use more volunteers, and I was good to go. A little over a week ago, I must have blown out my right knee on the way to the office. As I was skating at the time, the adrenaline and endorphins must have masked the pain up until I was walking. Blessed Buddha it hurt. The weird thing was that it hurt walking and especially going up and down stairs, but it didn't hurt while skating.

A few days ago, I put some Phiten Titanium tape above and below my right kneecap.

That made it easier to cut down on the ibuprofen, and I have more flexibility, but it royally sucks to be immobile. Essentially Phiten products act as a heat sink regulating energy ionically. I've been wearing a Phiten necklace for years, and it allows me to train longer & harder with less pain and shortened recovery time.

It still sucks that my girlfriend and I will have to walk, but we're still going to bust our humps and volunteer as long as we can. I still have faith that Mother Nature will shine down on us.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Vegan Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad

After getting the packaged buckwheat noodle salad sold in plastic bins at Whole Foods & Health Nuts, I thought to try my kung fu. This is more or less raw & organic.

1 8oz package of organic buckwheat soba noodles
1 1/3rd cups organic Arame seaweed
2 organic carrots
4 organic scallions
1/3rd (or so) organic purple onion
1/2 a bunch of organic parsley
1/2 cup organic TVP (textured vegetable protein)
1 1/2 tbsps organic chia seed
Organic ginger
Organic sesame oil
Seasoned rice vinegar

Crush the arame seaweed and soak in fresh cold water for about 20 min. While that's soaking, finely dice the scallions, parsley, & onion. Combine in a large bowl. Grate the carrots and toss that in as well.

The seaweed should have doubled in volume. Drain, but save the water in a separate bowl. Toss the rehydrated seaweed in the bowl of chopped veggies. Use the seaweed water to rehydrate the TVP. That should take about another 20 - 30 min. Grate some ginger into the veggies, and add the seasoned rice vinegar and sesame oil to taste. There should be very little water left over from rehydrating the TVP. Use that and a wee bit more water to rehydrate the chia seeds. Start boiling water for the noodles.

Once the water is boiling, reduce heat a wee bit and cook the noodles on medium - high for about 6 min. Drain in a fine mesh colander and wash with cold water a couple times. Add the noodles to the veggies and toss. You may need to add some more oil, vinegar, and salt to taste.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Note to Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi: Va Fa'n Culo

As far as politicians who shouldn't open their mouths too much, it's hard to beat Gov. George Bush. I categorically refuse to think of him as "President," because the motherfucker stole the Oval Office. Governor of Texas was the last legal office he held.

But even good ol' Dubya wasn't nearly as much of a jackass as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. This aberration of a public official has a LONG history of saying and doing things in public that even a Ku Klux Klansman wouldn't say in Harlem. This guy is more of an embarrassment to Italians than all the guido motherfuckers in Long Island.

Seeing this little nugget of joy on CNN.com really brightened my day. To be sure, divorce is a tragedy no matter how you look at it. When you're a 72-year old vulgar politician, and you're seen going to an 18-year old girl's birthday party, your wife isn't gonna be too happy. For a hypocritical bastard like Berlusconi, the tragedy isn't nearly enough. If it's ok for him to act like a pig and make obscene gestures behind a Spanish Foreign Minster (intimating that he was a cuckold), then it's ok for the Italian and International press to rake his his ass over the coals. Hey Prime Minister Berslusconi - Payback is a bitch, you asshole.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

May The Force Be Wit Ye (But Nae Wit The Sassenach)

Now you may be wondering if the title is a puerile attempt at humor, and you'd bloody well be right. I've no love for George Lucas, or more precisely, I've no love for what the fat fuck continues to do to his movies. I love "Star Wars," but goddamnit, Han shot first.

There. I've said it. I promise I won't go too much more into why I'd be happier than a pig in shit if George Lucas were to choke on a Krispy Kreme.

Still it never fails to amaze me to consider the depth and range of the impact of "Star Wars." Like this little nugget. Stunning, isn't it? If this religious movement ever gains momentum, I'd sure as Hell love to put a Jedi Master in the octagon with Pope Benedict XVI.

And on that happy note, I leave you with this other nugget I found online:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Woody, Lay Off the Pipe, Dude

Lord help me I love zombies. It's incredibly difficult to make a shitty zombie movie, but then again George Romero has made practically nothing BUT shitty zombie movies.

Yeah, I said it, and I'll take any motherfucker who takes exception to the octagon.

I'm enjoying the fact that Hollywood seems to be making more zombie movies. I read that there's going to be a movie based on the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I shit thee not. Reading this recent story on CNN.com, I thought less of the movie "Zombieland," and more of Woody's recreational drug use.

I doubt any victim of paparazzi would have second thoughts of bitch slapping them, but Woody's excuse for his behavior leads me to believe that he needs to lay off the pipe. Seriously dude, you're not doing a blessed fucking thing for either hemp as a viable alternative to conventional resources or to the "Zombieland" production. Are you fucking kidding me? He was soooo good a method actor that he was "in character" while he was with his daughter in an airport? What the buggery Hell made him think that paparazzi were zombies and NOT flight attendants?

Woody needs an intervention or he needs to go on a pot bender so deep that his eyelids will reek of bongwater. It's getting incredibly hard to accept him as a serious actor without the benefit of Funyuns and White Castle.

Friday, April 10, 2009

PeTA Protests The Pet Shop Boys, Captain Beefheart is Nervous

Now I love the good work that the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals does. I don't agree with all of their work or some of their tactics, but you have to expect to have differences with any organization. The bottom line is that for the better part, they do great work, and co-founder Ingrid Newkirk's book Making Kind Choices (ISBN 0-312-32993-8) is as broad and inspirational as it is applicable to virtually every facet of life. That book is noteworthy also for its non-judgmental tone. Never once did I get the sense that unless I go "cold turkey" off all animal products, I am as heinous an individual as Michael Vick. Every little step counts, and it's not as hard to go vegan as some might think.

But like I said, I've had problems and differences of opinion with PeTA. I'll go into some of them later, but for now, I have to seriously question what the HELL they're thinking when they protest Neil Tennant & Chris Lowe, aka "The Pet Shop Boys." For those of you who are too friggin' young to remember, The Pet Shop Boys are a 20 years old pop music group with some incredibly catchy yet vapid hit songs. They had hits like "West End Girls," and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"(with Dusty Springfield) as well as covers of classics like "Always on My Mind."

According to the CNN.com article, PeTA wanted to draw attention to inhumane conditions breeders keep their animals in before they sell them to pet stores. The assumption that can easily be made from this article is twofold: 1) All pet stores get their animals from disreputable breeders, and 2) The pet stores themselves don't take good care of their animals. This is a gross disservice to good pet stores and pet supply stores.

On top of that, what the buggery fuck was PeTA thinking of protesting a 20 YEAR OLD pop music group? Where the Hell was PeTA in 1984 when The Pet Shop Boys released their first album? Were pet breeders that much better back then and were the conditions in pet stores that much better than now, or is this more than slightly fucked up that an animal rights organization would bitch at a music group that's about as relevant as Betamax, New Coke, and HD-DVD? If the last Pet Shop Boys track you remember hearing was their debut hit "West End Girls," AND NOTHING ELSE SINCE, then their relevance is right up there with Laura Brannigan. They could have bitched at a nutty bastard like Captain Beefheart about his name, or they could have bitched at Francis Ford Coppola for actually killing a fucking cow during the filming of "Apocalypse Now," but I can't seem to find anything archived on any news site about Coppola's Viet Nam War epic.

PeTA needs to stop devoting energy to pointless, laughable protests and focus more on winning the hearts and minds of those who can actually change, or else they'll continue to freely give ammunition to those who yearn for the opportunity to deride the good work PeTA does.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stuff I'll Always Watch

Going through the many choices of crap on digital TV to clog up my optic nerves, I thought I'd take a moment to reflect upon some of my favorite stuff to watch. This list is in no particular order, but each one is dear to my craven little heart.

1) Nazis, Neo-Nazis, & Assorted Knuckle-Dragging Thugs: There seems to be a surfeit of documentaries & speculative shows on that perverted Austrian midget and his legions of jackbooted thugs. While it can get tiring to see the same shit about the Waffen SS, or Eichmann, every now and then there will be something different like the extent of Hitler's drug addictions. Then again I can never get tired of seeing what troglodytes racists can be no matter if they're Klansmen or Aryan Supremacists.

2) Goodfellas (but only on Lifetime): Ah, the Holy Trinity of mob movie goodness - DeNiro, Pesci, and Scorcese. How can you lose? From any number of points, "Goodfellas" is a masterpiece, and it would be criminal to see it in anything less than letterboxed and uninterrupted. I have the special edition DVD with commentary by the real Henry Hill and the Federal Agent that arrested him. What the hell this magnum opus is doing on Lifetime is beyond me. Seriously - How the blessed fuck is seeing "Now go shine my fuckin' shoes" empowering to women? Bad enough that you have to watch something like this in anything less than the original film aspect ratio, but to have all the profanity and violence neutered? Why not show it on some holy roller channel? It's like a big road accident in slow motion - with commercial breaks. You have to watch the bodies go splat. And no matter how many times the same travesty is on TV, you have to watch to see the cinematic equivalent when a nearsighted mohel (on crank) performs a bris. And let me ask one more time - how is "Goodfellas" a chick flick?

3) Discovery Health Channel's (& The Learning Channel's) Freakshow: Yeah, I said it - freakshow. I mean no disrespect to people who are genuinely trying to make a better life out of what shitty cards fate had handed to them, but when Discovery Health Channel has a special called "Trash Can of Skin," you're forced to watch out of morbid curiosity. That particular gem was about an English lady who had rapidly lost a massive amount of weight after stomach reduction surgery. Unfortunately here skin was so distended, all elasticity has gone and thus a wide tract of skin had to be removed in a groundbreaking surgical procedure. The leftover skin filled up a trash can (thus the title). You think that's bad, you should see "Half Man, Half Tree." And before you think I'm being particularly morbid, which are you more inclined to watch, "Valerie's Circumferential Body Lift Odyssey," or "Trash Can of Skin?" I thought so. What's worse is that Discovery Health Channel made "Trash Can of Skin" more appealing to wider audiences by making it part of its "Medical Incredibles" series with an equally touchy feely title.

4) The Godfather Epic: It's a little known fact that there's a shitload of footage that even the most devoted fans haven't seen, like Don Vito Corleone going with his sons to visit his old consigliere Genco at his death bed. Or seeing a young Hyman Rothstein start work with Vito Corleone, or even little bits like seeing more wedded bliss between Carlo and Connie or seeing Anthony showing an interest in his father's work only to be harshly rebuked by his mother Kay. Now you may wonder why this footage hasn't seen a proper restoration and home video release. It kinda sorta did a long time ago as "The Godfather Epic." The first two movies (there wasn't much cut out of the 3rd) were re-edited chronologically to start with young Vito Antonio Andolini and end off with Don Michael Corleone at the end of "Godfather, Part II." It was shown on NBC a long time ago, and while legitimate copies of "The Godfather Epic" have disappeared, it's sometimes on Bravo once in a blue moon. Actually, I kind of suspect that being the greedy fucker that he is, Francis Ford Coppola is holding out for participation in a grand restoration of "The Godfather Epic" until Paramount throws him a shitload of dough. Some people will say that the movies are fine the way they are, but having read the original novel by Mario Puzo, I want to see something closer to what Mr. Puzo wrote instead of Coppola's interpretation.

5) Godzilla, Gamera, Ultraman, and other Kaiju Goodness: Maybe it's having grown up watching "Kaiju" (giant monster) movies & shows, but good lord, I love watching cheesy giant rubbery monster movies. OK, I doubt if there is a giant rubbery monster movie that isn't cheesy, but as far as I'm concerned, the cheesier, the better, and keep the property damage cranked up high.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Is Football Messed Up, or Is It Just Me?

I'm not ashamed to say that I'm a Washington Redskins fan. I haven't always followed pro football, and I lost interest about the same time as when Coach Joe Gibbs left the team the first time in the late '90s. Coincidentally they really stank right about the same time, but there was something wonderful about them.

I guess you had to be there.

Unfortunately, pro football has become even more of a behemoth, and if it seems like the bone-jarring plays have become a lot more painful, they have. According to this report on CNN, The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy did a comprehensive study based on brain tissue samples (posthumously, I hope) from NFL veterans. Michael Vick is ineligible for this study as he has no fucking brain (nor does he have a soul).

The results from this study are redefining the level of long-term impact of a concussion. Severe damage has a name - Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Depression, sleep disorders, mental fatigue and worse have plagued players long after their retirement.

This is utterly tragic, and it surely points to a gross lack of player protection. In essence, The NFL is not looking out for its players in the best way possible. While this is sad, as an ardent MMA fan, I have serious questions about "legitimate" sports versus "barbaric" sports as dear old John McCain described the UFC. Actually, that racist motherfucker called it something along the lines of "human cockfighting." Certainly MMA is hard to understand if you're a pinhead, and it could easily be dismissed as a fad or not worthy of mainstream media, but while MMA fighters run the risk of getting knocked out cold, medical suspensions prohibit them from fighting until after a careful and long period. Last weekend, Andrei Arlovski got knocked out by Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Day of Reckoning, and it will be at least a few months before either Mssrs. Arlovski or Emelianenko will be allowed to fight by state controlled athletic commissions.

In the context of the NFL, those guys would have to suck it up, walk it off, and get back on the line of scrimmage as quickly as possible. Maybe not within the same game, but damned soon. There's a word for that kind of business practice: IRRE-FUCKING-SPONSIBLE.

I certainly hope that the NFL allows for greater care for the well-being of their players, but I also hope that the Redskins will win another Super Bowl trophy in the next couple years.

On a related note, how the fuck is American Football a legitimate sport, and there's slim to no chance that the UFC or some other MMA organization will have the mainstream appeal of a Madison Square Garden event? Shit, even World Wrestling Entertainment was at the Garden.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Super Mariusz!

This is Mariusz Pudzianowski (his official site while impressive is in Polish, and his English language site is buggy and needs updating).

He is a 5-time World's Strongest Man title winner. For those of you not familiar with Strongman competitions, think of practical application of bodybuilding. Sure those guys look big & diesel, but what can they do? Lift cars & refrigerators. Toss beer kegs over a wall. Lift & carry cannonballs and place them on stands. Oh yeah, this sort of thing is timed against other competitors. It's some pretty freaky stuff, and Mariusz retired from competition in 2008 with more titles than anyone. This is not a man to be trifled with.

In the summer of 2008, my girlfriend and I adopted our second guinea pig. While our first guinea cavy (as they are properly known) Saku is more skittish & cautious, our second cavy is fearless. He has dominated our apartment going wherever he pleases. He is bigger & more muscular than Saku and when the time came to name him, I could think of only one suitable moniker: Mariusz.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Note to PBS: Evolve or Die

I used to love and respect PBS across the board no matter where I lived. There would be a slice of life that regular television simply wasn't addressing, or the commercial viability of such gems like "Masterpiece Theatre," or "Nature" were not nearly as good as Fonzie jumping the shark. Pretty sad, eh?

While I am indebted to PBS for giving me my first exposure to "Doctor Who," Joseph Campbell, and series like "Sesame Street," "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood," "Cosmos," "I, Claudius," "The Inspector Lynley Mysteries," and "Monty Python's Flying Circus," the quality of programming on PBS nationwide has plummeted.

There isn't one blessed thing on PBS that you can't find elsewhere on the Internet, satellite, or cable TV. NOT ONE FUCKING THING. "Doctor Who" (or at least the current iteration) happily resides on BBC America. I've seen "Cosmos" on one of the Discovery channels, and "Monty Python" has it's own YouTube channel. Who the Hell wouldn't want the Ministry of Silly Walks on demand?

It is a buyer's market for television programming, and while the quality of programming has arguably increased and broadened in scope, PBS shuffles out the same goddamn shit every time they try and hit you up for money during a membership drive. While PBS used to have membership drives a couple times a year, they're practically begging for dough at least 6 - 7 times a year. Either the accountants at PBS collectively have one of the worst cases of Alzheimer's Syndrome on record, or they're about as adept at managing money as Bernard Madoff. I don't know which is worse.

I've been fortunate to see the wonderful work that stations like WETA, WNET, and WGBH do or at least have done. When stations play the same stuff like Doo-Wop Music Tributes, Andre Rieu, The Irish Tenors, and touchy-feely Dr. Wayne Dyer mystical wooga wooga seminars every time they want my money, I tend to think that these stations are not for me. With all due honesty, I'd rather suck down the business end of a loaded Desert Eagle .50 cal and pull the trigger than watch any of that horseshit. It's obviously intended to appeal to the baby boomer generation while ignoring the fact that the generations after them have money as well. Moreso than money, My generation has a notoriously short attention span. If you don't appeal to us in a short order, or if you piss us off, we're likely to change the channel FOREVER.

I would love to think that PBS is going to straighten the fuck up and fly right, but I'd also like to think that George Bush will apologize for the past 8 years.