Things You'd Think Would Be Delicious, But Ain't...

A Wheat Thin schmeared with cream cheese and topped with a dried Turkish apricot.

Mmmkay, that's all I have right now. I guess 'cause most things are delicious. Just an excuse, really, to dash off a quick note to let y'all know I'm:

A) Still alive.
B) Still eating.
C) Still itchin' to blather on endlessly about A and B.

Thing is, I've been maniacally busy and doing a wee bit of globetrotting (well, one modest sliver of the globe) and will continue to be for a bit yet. But I shall return, surely by the end of the year, perhaps by the end of the month, at which time I'll share tales of eating my way through six states.

So, like the lions in front of the New York Public Library, patience and fortitude, my peeps. You be patient, and I'll be gobbling up the fortitude. (Which, by the way, tastes great atop a cream cheese schmeared Wheat Thin.)
Dear Dick Cavett,

Of all the intolerant, media-sanctioned sizism I've read (and I've read plenty, this week alone), your "Is Bigger Really Better?" in today's New York Times has got to be the most juvenile. Packed with pinky-out pontification and peppered with racism, for good measure. Strasbourg goose, indeed.

Dick.

Drunk driving claims far more nonparticipating victims than does obesity, but if you banned those with DUI convictions from appearing on television, prime time would be filled with nothing but windblown tumbleweeds. And out-of-touch irrelevants like you.

If Orson Welles was alive, he'd kick your quivering white ass. Buddy Hackett, Beverly Sills, and Jackie Gleason would patiently wait their turn.

You doddering diminutive.
I’ll buy anything that’s got a line drawing of the creator’s head on it. (Not god’s head, in case you were wondering. The cook’s.) Which is why, when I plunged my hand into the frosty clutter of my neighborhood market’s novelty ice cream case, hoping the aforementioned god would divine it toward a Bananas n’ Cream FrozFruit bar (which the aforementioned god won’t make the aforementioned market keep in stock, thus rendering me about 80% atheist), and I pulled out a Mamita’s (Homemade Style) Tamarind Ice with the lovely mug of, I’m assuming, Mamita represented on the label, I snagged it.

Sorry. I just couldn’t say that without a run-on sentence.

I’d never had tamarind ice, “homemade style” or otherwise, and found the contents of the plump Fla-Vor-Ice type squeeze bag to be the unappealing color of an oversucked cola slurpee. (Everybody with a childhood knows y’gotta alternate the slurping with the spooning, to keep the syrup to ice ratio right.) But with reassuringly few ingredients and an Ozone Park manufacturing address, I confidently snipped, squeezed, and sucked.

Requires surgical precision to get into without getting sticky all over ya, but it was tangy and refreshing. I’ll try another. Recommend you maybe do the same. But whatever you do, don’t smell it first. Just hold your nose and suck.

500 Years of Western Art

Awfully cool video of female portrait subjects morphing one into the next. Does it prove constants in the Western beauty ideal? Nah. But it’s pleasantly hypnotizing to watch with the sound off while you’re on the phone.

ID the artists and works here.
The pre-cut salad Dole sells to lazy-ass Americans? I just ate an entire 12-ounce bag of the “Greener Selection” (iceberg, romaine, carrot, red cabbage) in one sitting. Doctored up with some broccoli florets, chow mein noodles, and a bit of Mandarin orange. Why such a psycho display of eat-monster gluttony?

Kraft’s new Asian Toasted Sesame dressing. Hard to find and chock full of high-fructose corn syrup, but well worth the hunt and the premature death. Last night I even dipped a couple of my perfect, big-as-my-head sautéed sea scallops into a dab of the baby diaper brown, and if not for my reluctance to defile such a sea treat, I’d’ve drowned them buggers in the stuff.

Gonna try it on grilled chicken next. And maybe in some gingery rice thingy with loads of cucumbers? And I’ve got one more bag of salad in the fridge…

Pimiento Cheese: Manna of the Booze Gods

Went to a party the other night, and the food was delicious. Planet Thai sushi, calamari, and these pillowy little fried tofu poofs you dip into a thin but ass-kickety pepper sauce. Stellar vittles, but I didn’t get enough of ‘em. It was one of those catching-up-with-peeps-you-haven’t-seen-in-ages shindigs, and after a while, I started no-thank-you-ing the waitstaff when they’d stand next to me with the hors d’oeuvre trays, waiting for me to stop talking. Sometimes I think they head straight for the fat girl, counting on me to lighten their load.

So I got home with an open bar buzz, an empty stomach, and one thing on my mind. Pimiento cheese. Back home in the South, pimiento cheese spread was sold in tubs in the market, but I don’t remember anybody ever whippin’ any up in their kitchen. I fired up the Internets, and sat there like Otis of Mayberry, hiccupping and Googling for a pimiento cheese recipe.

What?!? It’s just cheddar, pimiento, and Hellmann’s? This can’t be. No mysterious “mom” type ingredients? Rather than enduring what’s now been ten years of pimiento cheese deprivation in NYC, I coulda been downin’ this stuff every time I get tipsy?

‘Tis true. And screw the recipes. I’ve made it two or three times over the past few days, and it works better without one. Most recipes I found call for way too much mayo, and others add salt to already salty ingredients. Just eyeball it. Shred whatever cheddary cheese you have on hand (I used white cheddar, extra sharp, and smoked gouda), then add mayonnaise and diced pimiento until it looks right. Optionals include garlic powder, Tabasco, crushed green olives, and a dash or two of chipotle sauce or liquid smoke. I’d skip the lettuce and tomato on a sandwich this subtle, but whatever blows your skirt up.

Pictured above (we’ll see if I can keep up this photo thing), I’ve dollopped some onto a warm, parbaked bretzel roll from FreshDirect. Like a soft baldy pretzel in bun form. These things are impossibly dense and moist, and the combination of flavors is a keeper. Bretzels are also good hot and slathered with honey butter, or piled with ham and Nance’s sharp mustard.

Drunkenness, optional.




JLo Packs on the Pounds!

A celebration of sweet, sweet irony. Dude photoshops celeb faces onto non-celeb bodies. Couple of 'em made me damn near lose my pudding. 'Specially this one...

Hell's Kitchen MILF

Some have asked why I don’t post pictures of the meals about which I write. As much as I enjoy food photos (‘tis my emergency back-up porn), it never occurs to me to shoot any. I’m not thinking “blog” when I’m eating, and even when someone’s camera is pulled out (as above), I just don’t think about pausing to shoot the food. I guess it’s that pausing thing that hinders me. Hungry girls have trouble with the pausing. Maybe I’ll work on this. In the meantime, close your eyes and imagine…

Empanada Mama. Clean. Cute. A brightly colored oasis on a dingyish block in Hell’s Kitchen. Filled up after we got there. A more than welcome respite from the heat, and even when they opened up the front and let in all 89 of the degrees, it never got too warm. Great music overhead. Paolo Conte, Jerry Mulligan, Sugarcubes. Attentive, pretty service.

I’m a corn meal person, but E-Mama’s corn flour empanadas were baked hard, and my carne molida was mostly tasteless, I’m afraid. I’d also skip the Chorizo Colombiano with griddle cake and lemon, from the tapas menu. The arepa was dense but flavor-free, and the sausage was underspiced and gristle-y.

No, the wheat flour empanadas are where all the greasy taste action is. Can’t remember what the beau had, but I enjoyed his, too, and we both ordered repeats. With all the interesting looking selections, I hated to do that, but I had to. The “Viagra” (my mouth was always too full to ask why they’re named that) was a seafood lover’s wet dream. Shrimp, scallops, and crab. I was sure they meant that Barbie Doll crab stuff, and when it arrived, it didn’t look like anything special. But holy mackerel, that’s one tasty tart. So, like a blue-shirt-with-a-white-collar-wearing divorced cokehead Porsche salesman, I gobbled up second Viagra and kept at it.

The hot sauce was of respectable heat and the green sauce was downright drinkable. But I opted for a champagne soda. Next time I’m trying the sangria. Might even try and get fruity drink drunk.

Took home a tasty Belgian Milk Chocolate & Banana dessert empanada, and devoured it for breakfast the next morning. (Oddly, there’s a picture of that, but I ain’t sharin’.)

Empanada Mama
763 Ninth Avenue at 51st Street, Manhattan

Other empanada joints at which I’ve gobbled with glee:

Havana Pies
219 E 23rd Street between Second & Third Aves, Manhattan
Wonderfully saucy Cuban-style empanadas. But there’s a good chance they’ve closed.

Gauchas
1748 First Avenue between 90th & 91st Streets, Manhattan
Argentinean. Most curiously delicious combination: celery and ricotta.

Now if only I could find a place that serves fried Coke without the accompanying aroma of cow manure, I’d be all set for the summer

Antabuse For a New Generation

I thought it was a joke. Then I saw it in the Rite-Aid with my own two bb blues. I read the manufacturer’s warning. Still kinda think it’s a joke. Noted for being the first FDA-sanctioned diet drug to be sold over the counter, and for the highly entertaining “side effects” copy, Alli (pronounced ‘ally’) has taken the diet world by storm. Shit storm.

“It's probably a smart idea to wear dark pants, and bring a change of clothes with you to work,” warns the manufacturer.

Alli works by blocking the absorption of 25% of consumed fat, releasing that 25% straight into the wild, often without warning. Naturally, diet-desperate Americans are unflinchingly gobbling up the $60 bottles as quickly as pharmacists can stock them. “Not since the 1987 post- Julio Iglesias run on penicillin have we seen anything like this,” said pharmacist Bill Buttspray of the Duane Reade at First Avenue and E. 91st Street in Manhattan.

Not really. Dude’s name probably tipped you off, huh? But they are comparing it to the Cipro-hungry days of the post-9/11 anthrax scare.

The more cynical among us must wonder whether GlaxoSmithKline perhaps weighed the negative publicity they’d surely get from the graphic and hilarious warning label against Americans’ vast gullibility, and determined that if people will voluntarily walk around with barf breath, and surgically remove most of a properly functioning organ, leaving them covered with hanging, runny skin flaps (this term co-opted with permission), then what’s a little excremental explosion at the office?

“The courteous young boys on my son’s Little League team were more than happy to hold a tarp up while I stood behind it and changed my poopy pants,” said one happy customer. “The sight of dozens of tiny hands struggling to keep their grip on that tarp made me realize what a beautiful world we live in.”

Again. Totally made that up. But if you had any idea how hard I laughed when typing it, you’d forgive me for misleading you.

“They tell you to carry extra pants around with you,” she went on, “but they don’t mention the tarp. You’ll want the tarp.”

Lactose Intolerant

Pretty girl, huh? Well, you’re supposed to find her unattractive. Revolted by her enormity, in fact.

Brazilian ad agency Salles Chemistri has created a low-fat yogurt campaign featuring fattened subjects in iconic poses, inviting the observer to compare their size to that of the original scenes’ occupants, Mena Suvari, Sharon Stone, and Marilyn Monroe. (Click here to see the plumped up Stone and Monroe.) The tagline for each reads, Forget about it. Men's preference will never change. Fit Light Yogurt.

Am I that out of touch with the Brazilian beauty ideal, or is this an actionably faulty ad campaign? No offense to Mena, but the model above got it goin’ on. I’m not slamming the ad agency for being offensive (that’d be a full time job, and I got shit to do), but really, now. I do believe they missed the mark on this one.

Hola, Cambozola.

Generally, combining two fine consumables makes twice as much of a mediocre one. Blended Scotch. Brangelina. Cocaine and Comet.* But I have discovered the reason god invented combinations (aside from supporting the lagging Really Big Spoon industry). Cross Gorgonzola with Camembert and you get the soft, ripe divinity that is Cambozola.

Cambozola (which is the sound made when a drunk clown belches, coincidentally) hails from the region of Germany which also gave us that other fine cheesy comestible, Bavarian Beaver Cheese (second only to that of Venezuela). And dare I say this is way tastier. Deceptively mild at first bite, followed by sharp bursts of bleu. Follow this triple-cream cheese with a hunk of cherry pie only if you’re where you can safely allow your eyes to roll back into your head.

*No, Mom. I don’t do cocaine. Nor do I do Comet. How ‘bout a maid service for Christmas?
The Adipositivity Project: Trying to change attitudes about the aesthetic validity of big women, one fat fanny at a time.

To big asses and kickin' asses! ::clink::
You heard me. The new "order, pay, and get outta here" Shopsin's opens June 19th. Selling sandwiches and other walking fare, apparently. Essex Street Market, 120 Essex. Stall # 16. Tuesday through Saturday, 9am to 5. And the old menu's been preserved!

(On the website, that is.)

Et tu, McCoy's?

Went to a fancy Classical music concert the other night, where attendees were dripping in diamonds and dupioni. Nevertheless, the gentleman seated in front of us occupied himself during the slow parts by excavating earwax with the armtip of his eyeglasses. Just goes to show ya. Something.

Fortunately, we were full of beer.

Had some time to kill before showtime, and I wanted to show my beau McCoy’s in Hell’s Kitchen (768 Ninth Avenue, between 51st & 52nd). I remembered it as the classic gritty Irish bar. Last time I was there, we sat across from a built-in jukebox next to a family toasting the matriarch being sprung from the hospital. Sprung a bit early, I’m guessing, as she was still donning a hospital gown and bracelet, and was hooked to a rolling IV pole. This wholesome scene was then interrupted by a wobbly gentleman entering the bar, threatening its patrons by announcing he was toting a bomb in his backpack. The weary bartender sprung to action with the most customer-comforting command ever.

“Get ouuutta hee-uh.”

Bomb Dude muttered something about Barbie shoes and the Disney-controlled United States Congress, then left. Take that, Department of Homeland Security.

Sadly, this place has gone the way of many great old NYC bars that’ve died. Or worse, those that’ve died, but haven’t yet fallen over. McHale’s, Terminal Bar, the original Siberia, The Village Idiot (yet another place I’ve seen a patron belly up to the bar wearing a fresh hospital bracelet). All gone. McCoy’s now boasts 10 big screen TVs, a less communal seating setup, and likely a more by-the-book response to terror threats. The juke’s still there, but my will to pump coin has gone.

We had two glass o’ Bass and headed for the show, where I spent much of my time pondering what shade of goo would shoot from Mr. Decorum-Free's head, once he successfully pierced his eardrum with his eyeglasses.

Revisiting the Buddha

After being assured I’d ordered all the wrong things, I gave Buddha BbeeQ on Second Avenue on the Upper East Side another spin. Crazy-glad I did. The much touted #7 was indeed the go-to selection. Ample and satisfying. The glass noodles were moist and flavorful, and the beef was smoky-sweet and tender. My companion’s chicken #7 was every bit as good. The sow’s ear type dumplings were big as my hand, tasty, but with too meager a drizzle of sauce atop. The spicy scallion pancakes were a pleasing orange color and curiously stood the is-it-still-edible-the-next-day test. Came with no sauce, though, so I’d order a side of toasted soy sesame sauce. After suggesting they start including some dipping sauce, of course. Together we can engineer some more reasonable service here, eh?

And again, the black sesame ice cream is to voluntarily perish for.

Let's Get Lost

This past weekend. We’d gotten two and a half appealing invitations, but begged off everything, opting to “let’s get lost,” Chet Baker style.

Let's get lost, lost in each other's arms
Let's get lost, let them send out alarms
And though they'll think us rather rude
Let's tell the world we're in that crazy mood


This plan produced one helluva romantic weekend of big, wet monkeylove, but by Sunday evening, I think the beau wished we’d gone to a cookout or two, so’s I’d stop singing and/or playing the Chet Baker song. (That “repeat one” function really isn’t meant for when company’s over.)

Cut to last night. 6:30. We’re sitting around in our undiepants, perusing take-out menus. The beau remembers a movie review he’d read in the Voice. Finds his copy and reads it to me. Then grouses ‘cause he really wanted to stay home. Again. But he shouldn’t’ve read that review to me.

By 8:30 we were showered, clothed, popcorned, and nestled into our seats at Film Forum to see Let’s Get Lost, a 1988 Bruce Weber documentary on the life, music, and steep demise of Jazz singer/trumpeter Chet Baker.

Unseen for 14 years, this newly restored print is drippingly lush in high-contrast black and white, with an infrared film glow and meticulous attention to light and shadow. The visuals could stand alone. The performances could stand alone. The camera-hungry superfluous satellite characters and unlikely staged scenes with curious cameos by Chris Isaak and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) are unfortunate, but once the smack and the interviews start flowing, your heart snaps in a hundred different places.

Included are many of his women and children, and his mother, her familial facial structure upholstered with wrinkles so deep and starkly lit, they appear to be the clearly marked chapters of a sad biography. After lightheartedly listing her son’s impressive musical achievements as a child, she’s asked, despite the trumpet and voice, was he still a disappointment as a son. The folds beneath her eyes tighten as she considers the unexpected question. A breathless silence precedes a heartbreaking answer.

Other show-stoppers include a plea for a disrespectful audience to pipe down for a best-ever take on Elvis Costello’s “Almost Blue,” and a Weber query near the end of the film, asking Baker what his favorite kind of high is. The wide openness of the question would surely lead one to sum up their life and loves. The joy of that perfect sustained note. The blissful pleasure of a woman’s love. The returned smile of one’s child. Baker’s answer? Speedball.

Never has a life so grim been so stunningly rendered. Runs through June 28th at Film Forum. Watch the trailer, listen to a Weber interview, and buy tickets here.

Banana Twinkies!

Don’t get your panties in a bunch. I don’t have ‘em yet. The above photo comes compliments of X-Entertainment, and depicts last year’s tie-ins to the film King Kong. But something ‘nana this way comes.

The sponge tubes launched in the ‘30s using banana cream, and Hostess has had a few limited releases since then, but this time it’s apparently for keeps. Odd, considering just a few short years ago they threatened to yank the whole Twinkie line. Remember that? The bastids.

Anywayzzz. I predict Banana Crème Twinkies will contain no actual banana or banana byproducts, and will taste like tinted chemical. And I will love them to the tune of an inch more to my hips.

Philly Food Court Follies

Yes, I know. We’re all busy stuffing dark chocolate M&Ms into our faces, banging on our TVs to dislodge the final scene of The Sopranos, and looking up our friends’ addresses on Google Street View, to see if we can spy them bumpin’ uglies with the drapes open. And others of us are sidelined with a fatigued right groin. Perhaps from the bumping of the uglies. But life is short, people. And there’s much to eat.

I’ve been eating much of it at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station of late. One of the busiest passenger rail facilities in the US, and not a bad place to kick it and wait for your train home to NYC. Across the street is the new Cira Centre that glitters, if you look at it right. Northbound trains take you past the riverfront scull crew houses strung with lights, and the deliciously whiney “TRENTON MAKES, THE WORLD TAKES” bridge sign in red neon. The 1930s station boasts a cavernous main concourse with stories-high windows and a dozen or so art deco chandeliers. A fully functioning shoeshine station and Old World wooden benches that vibrate when those seated on them fart. (If anyone knows whether others seated nearby can feel this, do let me know. Just… curious.) The most helpful homeless peeps you’ll ever wanna meet hang in this station. A massive marble special events room. The only event I’ve ever seen going on in there was late one night, two jugglers practicing. Big, gruesome statue of a winged angel dragging a dead railroad worker. And at the holidays, a giant, towering, fuck-you sized Christmas tree. Gotta love Philly.

The station’s food court selections are surprisingly feeble, though. Here’s the Pleasure Pie run-down, in no particular:

Auntie Anne’s – You’ll wanna take them up on their free sample before you plunk down three crispies for a lemonade more cloyingly sweet than a soft-focus puppy. Lemons is tart, Auntie!

Delilah’s Southern Café – Cryptically endorsed by Oprah, Delilah’s just can’t seem to get it right. The help is dim and every time I eat there, they’re out of something critical to the enjoyment of my meal. The idea is great, but their execution just misses the mark. The greens will be thick with a leathery sheen, wonderfully not overcooked, but also not very flavorful. The cornbread is sweet and cake-y, but over-baked. The fish cakes will be chunky and have a satisfying texture, but will be bland and dry. Choice of sauces? Hot sauce or nothin’. Ain’t Oprah never et her no real Southern cookin’? On a recent visit, I asked the counter girl what was good. “What did you have for lunch today?” “I didn’t eat lunch here.” Make something up, Girlfriend!

Bridgewater’s Pub – Serves wild boar and yak, but I recommend this really good walnutty, balsamic vinegary salad thing I’ve had twice, but I can recall neither the name of it, nor the ingredients of the salad. Neither can I recall why I’ve not had their yak burger. Sounds right up my alley. Maybe they were outta yak.

Asian Food Fair – A congealed looking steamer table along a major food court thoroughfare. I’ve never seen anyone actually eating the stuff. Just sayin’.

Bucks County Coffee – Completely addictive. Avoid, if you’re a broke-ass girl like me. Or be prepared to find your wallet a hundred bucks lighter at the end of the month. But oh, mercy.

Ben & Jerry’s – Never heard of Stephen Colbert. I asked twice.

McDonalds – The clock’s been wrong for years (ill-advised for a big city train station restaurant, I’d think) and to get an iced coffee, you’ll have to point, instruct, and throw the first few away. But it’s clean and spacious, and best of all… dollar doubles. Even though my meals are covered by an expense account, I often opt for the nostalgically-priced (now more than twice the price in some parts of Manhattan), reconstituted onion topped double cheeseburger. Sometimes you just need something soft and mindless. The McDonalds double cheeseburger is soft and mindless. It's like the Jay Leno of burgers.

Saladworks – I love this place. They have signature salads, some of which don’t make much sense, but I recommend building your own. Tasty dressings (including my low-brow fave, Thousand Island) and fresh ingredients, including pretty good sun-dried tomatoes and Buffalo chicken chunks. And they toss it using patented space age inversion technology. (They flip it a couple times.) This place is your best bet. Unless you wanna just get a cab to Tony Luke’s for a downright life-affirming Italian roast pork sandwich with provolone, sautéed broccoli rabe, and garlic breath for days.

And don’t forget to hit Faber News before boarding. Thee place to stock up on TastyKakes to take home to New York City, where demand is high (in my apartment, anyway) and availability is spotty.

Heads Up, Toronto Streetniks.

A bit last minute, but I’ve just learned of a can’t-miss reunion show this weekend at the Art of Jazz Festival. My favorite bespectacled hornpile The Shuffle Demons will be screeching the praises of cheese sandwiches and weed Saturday at noon in Toronto, and again next weekend, with two shows at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in Rochester, NY.

Always with the costumes, these guys. Hats and dark glasses. Loud Hawaiian shirts and big, painted suits. I like to imagine it’s to protect their daytime identities as scientists and CEOs and Richard Underhill. Or maybe they’re just hiding from bench warrants. Either way, do not miss this now-mostly-disbanded bop rap band, for as with life, future gigs are never guaranteed.

I haven’t been this jealous of Canadians since the first time I bit into a maple cream doughnut at Tim Horton’s.

Oh, no. Thank YOU, CD Baby.

Dear [Miss Pleasure Pie],

Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to makesure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, June 1st.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sigh...

--Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby

Gotta love it when humor merges with bidness. CD Baby's got it all over the dry, "your shit's been shipped" messages sent by Amazon and the lot.

And the dude won't even capitalize his job title.

Wax Up and Poutine Down

My favorite New York Horror-Surf band the Coffin Daggers are having a single release party tonight for "Something Wicked This Way Comes," at the Pussycat Lounge on Greenwich. These people are crazy good, live, but sadly, I’ve other plans. You’ll go for me, right? Opening are BonBomb & The Greyhounds.

Coffin Daggers Single Release Show

Pussycat Lounge
Thursday, May 31
$7.00 – Coffin Daggers go on around 10PM
96 Greenwich Street, NYC

And while you’re in the neighborhood, check out the poutine at Inn LW12 (7 Ninth Avenue at Little West 12th). I’ve enjoyed an authentic version of the obscene sounding treat at a diner in Montreal, had a dumbed-down interpretation of it at McDonalds in Toronto, and somewhere around here I’ve got a photo of me leaning against a sweetly decorated poutine lunch truck in Ottawa. (I look less sweet.) French fries topped with curd cheese and brown gravy. Sounds disgusting, doesn't it? It ain't. And this from someone who doesn’t like the food on her plate to touch. Last week’s New York Times photos of NYC’s first taste of poutine made it look a bit dry and Americanized, but certainly worth a go, eh?

Nature's Apostrophe

Fiddleheads, fiddleheads
Roly poly fiddleheads
Fiddleheads, fiddleheads
Eat them up, yum


(Just Googled for the songwriter responsible for “Fish Heads,” and landed on an Ebay ad. “Fish Heads for less!” Now I’m gonna try Googling ‘crotch rot.’)

Fiddleheads are the furled tips of the Fiddlehead Fern, so named for its resemblance to the curved peghead of a violin. I think they’re mostly found in the Northeast. Or only in states beginning with the letter M, or some such. Foodies go all foamy trying to find them during their brief season in the Spring. But oh, if you can find ‘em. Blanch ‘em and sauté them in olive oil with garlic, and they’re… way overrated. Similar-to-but-not-as-good-as asparagus, though with a more pleasing texture. The packed leafy bit is moist and mushy, the curly stem is crunchy when not overcooked. And they’re great source of dietary fiber and roughage. With fronds like these, who needs enemas?

PLEASURE PIE DISCLAIMOR: I didn’t really care for the fiddleheads. But I felt I had to blog about them, as I went to a great deal of difficulty acquiring them. And they’re awfully pretty. Plus, I was kinda proud of my enema joke. But really, I’ve just wasted your time. Sorry. To make up for it, I won’t bother you with details of the omelet I made yesterday. With sautéed baby bello mushrooms and an exquisitely rich herbed goat cheese. An omelet so good, it’s the reason god made Teflon. But that’s enough about that.

Vote For Hillary ('s campaign song)

Remember how the Clintons ruined Fleetwood Mac for us? (Okay. Stevie Nicks did that. But you know what I mean.) Well, Hillary’s “Choose Our Campaign Song” contest has reached round 2, and the voters have mercifully given the Mac a rest, but they didn’t think enough of my write-in vote to include it in this round’s options. C’mon, Hills! Why not The Commodore’s “Brick House?” Aren’t you mighty, mighty? Just a’lettin’ it all hang out? I mean, it ain’t no (wonderfully NSFW) “Ass n’ Titties,” but dag.

Round 1 Winners:

“Suddenly I See” – KT Tunstall
“Rock This Country!” – Shania Twain (would really piss off the red states)
“Beautiful Day” – U2
“Get Ready” – The Temptations
“I’m a Believer” – Smashmouth (Monkees cover)

Top Write-Ins:

“Are Ya Gonna Go My Way?” – Lenny Kravitz
“Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” – McFadden & Whitehead (let’s make Disco ominous!)
“You and I” – Celine Dion
“The Best” – Tina Turner
“Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” – The Police (unless she puts on shit-fly blue eye shadow and gets her tassels spinning in opposite directions, it ain’t magic)

Go. Vote for which of the above American car commercial soundtracks you think best represents the Hillary Clinton for President. But if you “F-Mac” that beautiful U2 song, so help me Jah, I’ll see that you’re put on the GOP fundraising phone list. Land line and cell.

Feast of the Ramson

Possession of this weed, sometimes called “skunk,” is restricted by Quebec law. “A person may have [stinkweed] in his or her possession outside its natural environment or may harvest it for the purposes of personal consumption in an annual quantity not exceeding 200 grams… provided that those activities do not take place in a park.” The law also prohibits the sale of skunk. “Failure to comply with these laws is punishable by a fine. However, the law does not always stop poachers, who find a ready market across the border in Ontario (especially in the Ottawa area), where [the stuff] may be legally harvested and sold.”

Those smoke-head Ottawans. Sounds like good stuff, huh? Are you holding? I am.

The above lesson in Canadian law comes compliments of Wikipedia. And they’re not talking about ganj. They’re talking ramps. Ramps are wild leeks, hand-picked from riverbanks, and their availability is fleeting, so hop to. They’ll fill your apartment with a curious chemical smell commonly thought to be unpleasant. I don’t find it so, but neither do I want to be filling elevators with it, so if you’re as concerned as I am about imposing your leek reek upon unsuspecting souls, I’d eat ‘em when you’re not gonna be breathing on the boss.

Like Miss Pleasure Pie herself, ramps are uncultivated, a tad funky, and the reason for assorted drunken hillbilly hoopty-do festivals throughout Appalachia each Spring.

Down there, they pickle ‘em, can ‘em, and cut ‘em up in they eggs. None of those plans speak to me, but yesterday I made Pasta with Ramps and Cured Pork, an astonishingly tasty recipe I snagged from Gothamist. Creamy without cream, garlicky without garlic. If I’d been served this at Babbo, I’d send my deepest curtsy to Mario. That’s how good this dish is.

A vegetarian version can be found at Epicurious, and other ramp recipes can be had here.

The urbanly elusive “Tennessee Truffles” can (at the moment) be found at FreshDirect and the Union Square Greenmarket, where their availability is tracked by the unassumingly bookmark-worthy Lucy’s Greenmarket Report. (I don’t know this Lucy, but she’s doing God’s work. And I do know God.)


Now I’m off to try and find me some fiddleheads…

Buddha and the Barbecue

Welp, drowning my sorrows didn’t work. Apparently my sorrows wuz hongry, too. So last night I investigated Buddha BbeeQ (1750 Second Avenue), a Korean barbecue place that’s recently opened around the cornerish. BBQ sushi! Why not? I ate spam sushi when the Hawaiian place opened in my ‘hood. Why not sushi made with barbecued beef?

Because it sucks, that’s why. Two of my favorite foods are barbecue and sushi, but smoky-sweet beef rubbing up against pickled ginger and wrapped in seaweed? The flavors work together like Leonard Cohen and Goober Pyle. But digging out the savory beef and eating it with your fingers? Works.

Also tried the classic Korean style barbecued beef ribs over sticky white rice with a surprisingly fresh but dry salad. Sliced thin, grill striped, and flecked with sesame seeds, the beef was flavorful, but was more fat (and work) than I like. Had the foresight to get a side order of toasted soy sesame sauce, and it saved the dish.

What saved the meal was the black sesame ice cream. Holy Mother of Fuck, this stuff is tasty. A crazy rich and intensely flavored pearl gray dollop, topped with a fresh strawberry and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. Three bucks for a small a scoop, but worth every 75-cent bite.

The restaurant is austere-chic but tiny, so take-out and delivery are recommended. The order taker had a keen command of the language and a refreshingly good knowledge of the menu. And the fact they stapled the ice cream bag to the outside of the hot food bag damn near won my heart.

Aside from the downright life-affirming ice cream, I have to give the place an eh, overall. I’m told the glass noodles are good, though. I plan to give ‘em a go. Next time I don’t have tickets to Steely Dan.

"Funny, you don't look dancerish."

Having once had a fat dancer friend described in the press as appearing “elephantlike” (and like the heartbreaking dramatic climax of a 1940s movie about the rise and fall of a Great White Wayer, it was excitedly read aloud to her by me, my mouth a few beats ahead of my brain), I was happy to see Claudia La Rocco tackle the topic in the Sunday New York Times. And there’s my comrade Janie, pictured on the left, above.
I’m drowning my sorrows in refreshing Italian lemon soda while I endure the agony of not having tickets to Steely Dan at the Beacon tonight. Lucky for me, after numerous requests (mostly from yours truly), FreshDirect is now stocking Limonata soda. Zesty-lish! I discovered it at Trader Joe’s about a year ago, found it at my neighborhood C-Town (at six bucks a six-pack), and have noticed the cloudy, Fresca-esque flavored mineral water being carried in an increasing number of markets and lunch counters (Gristedes has it in bottles, Food Emporium has loose cans for 79 cents each, as does Little Atlas on E. 4th in the Village, for more than twice as much). But after endless haranguing, FreshDirect has finally answered my pleas and begun carrying the delicately fizzy treat.

I’d have to speak Italian do describe how good this stuff is. Made by San Pellegrino (the mac daddy of sparkling water), Limonata (lee-moh-NAH-tah) is spasmingly tart and tangy. Like the intense lemon ices I used to get at Caffe Dante on MacDougal in the Village, back when it was full of cigarette smoke and suave, open-shirted Eurodudes eyeing the high-heeled waitresses who looked like they could be Sofia Loren’s understudies. It’s great straight from the I’d-wear-it-if-it-was-a-T-shirt can, or on ice with a splash (or two) of Jack Daniels. And best of all, it’s made with real, fuck-you-US-corn-subsidies cane sugar. No high fructose corn syrup. And check out its sistah beverage,
Aranciata, which makes creamsicle-icious floats when poured over a good vanilla ice cream. Would also make a Peep-worthy tee. (Nods to Italian graphic design.)

If you’re outside FreshDirect’s delivery area, the stuff is worth hitting up on Amazon. Amazon, who also carries Steely Dan CDs. But alas, no amount of Amazon will land you a ticket to tonight’s show.
<> <> <>
ETA: In other beverage news, I went to a party at a dentist friend's over the weekend, and was served the signature cocktail of ginger-infused vodka and my choice of ginger ales. The Gingervitis. Who says going to the dentist ain't fun?
Had dinner the other night with the juicy Tangerine Jones, "burlesque bitch goddess and illuminatrix supreme." (She's got a sweet side, too. And better table manners than you'd think a bitch goddess would have.) I'm hoping to both corrupt her, and catch her in this Friday's Coney Island show, Big Bad Beautiful Burlesque at the Beach.

"Burlesque is about honoring all types of bodies! For one night only we’re showcasing the voluptuous and the ample. So if you like a little more meat on the bones of your lass or revel in performances that dare to go there, this is the show for you!"

World Famous *BOB* hosts, and rounding out the bill (coughmadeajoketherecough) are Dottie Lux, Old Ma Femme, Glenn Marla, Black Cat Burlesque's Yellow Fever, Lady Rigel, and Velocity Chyaldd.

Waddle by the waves!

Red Hots Burlesque Presents:
Big Bad Beautiful Burlesque at the Beach
Friday May 18th @ 10pm
Sideshows by the Seashore
1208 Surf Ave
Coney Island, NY
Admission: $15 Regular (don't know how much it is, if you ain't)

Oh God

O wise and merciful Lord, I kneel before thee to give thanks for thy creation of that most abundant blessing, Philadelphia Ready-To-Eat Cheesecake Filling, in the 24-ounce tub. Your servant hath tread upon the ground of many a marketplace in search of this manna, O Lord, but Jesus Christ, was it worth it.

Follow the label’s commandments as written, I shall not, for that would surely yield a processed pie most foul, and I shant disrespect the anointed perfection of The Real Deal, by piling a wad of faux goo into a pie shell and calling it cheesecake. Philling cheesefake, I rebuke thee!

Nay, I shall instead stab at thine Philly Cheesecake Filling with yet another of your joyous creations, the Graham cracker. I shall do this again and again, lustfully, and with abandon. Dipping and partaking, dipping and partaking, each bite laced with delights both heavenly and earthly. I shall not cease until I am smudged with sin, Graham cracker crumbs adorning my awe-filled bosom, and smidges of filling-but-really-dip smoodge-ing my worshipful lips.

I also humbly beg forgiveness, Dear Heavenly Father, for my many sins and shortcomings. Particularly those I’m about to commit with this here cheesecake filling, over the next 20 minutes or so.

Amen.

Pig 'n a Poke: A Love Story

Because it involves one who shares my name, I must interrupt your regularly scheduled blog about pleasure to share something decidedly not. Well. Except for one Louisiana man.

Seems the sister of one Austin Gullette heard her pet pig squealing at about 11pm (don’t ya just love stories that begin this way?), and went to investigate, finding her 45-year-old brother “engaging in intercourse with her Vietnamese potbelly pig, P-Pie. When she confronted Gullette, he fled into the woods.”

To find another barnyard critter to finish him off?

“Deputies caught and arrested Gullette who denied the incident,” but authorities noted, “the eyewitness account and physical evidence found on Gullete prompted the arrest.”

Whuh? A man’s misunderstood love necessitates the humiliation of having his dick dusted for pork gravy? Damn cockblocking sister. That’s gonna be one tense Mother's Day dinner.

“Gullete has been charged with committing a crime against nature and is being held without bond at the Ouachita Correctional Center. He faces a fine of up to $2000 and five years in jail with or without hard labor.

“P-Pie is under observation at a local veterinarian.”
Life is short. Love your job.
The Zimmers!

Tap Into Global Warming

In other anus/animal care/Tribeca Film Festival news, Spinal Tap reunites! Rob Reiner has created a 15-minute This is Spinal Tap sequel to drum up (ooh, sorry… sore subject) interest in the six-continent, 100-act, save-the-climate-from-filthy-Republicans Live Earth concert slated for 7/7/07. Read about it here, or just get straight to the ganderin’ here.

(Thanks for the heads-up, Jeff.)

TFF BFF

Saw Avida last night, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival. I was joined by a handful of tres interesting plumpette pals, including the film’s lead, voluptu-pus model/actress Velvet. (This marks the second time in recent months I’ve joined a friend in seeing a feature film in which they appear fully poon-out nude. A record for me.)

My expectations were low. Every bit of press I’d read on the Benoit Delepine / Gustave Kervern film included the word ‘grotesque,’ and even Velvet’s invitation came with a warning of the ways of the French avant-garde. But though I wouldn’t have guessed the plot had I not been pre-hipped, I found each scene stood alone as it’s own brilliantly executed masterpiece. Stunning, both visually and aurally. The Foley is nearly another character.

And darkly hilarious! Delepine and Kervern masterfully play a Scotch tape fiend and a fingerless nub-sucker, respectively, a couple of Special K addicts who repeatedly tranq-dart one another in the spine, then collapse in puddles of euphoria. The pair employ such sophisticated comedy tenets as endlessness and mismatched dialogue/visuals (in one case, a thoughtful monologue followed by a glimpse at a menu full of critter anuses) and such low-brow ones as slapstick tussles and silly grins. The film opens with a claustrophobic shot of a hypnotizing mouth dance, reminiscent of Rocky Horror and guaranteed to make you crave crispity snack chips. It then goes on to give nods to Dali and Munch and creative taxidermy, with an armoire scene that sweetly summons early Monty Python.

I thought it was a great commentary on the tremendously uncomfortable lengths we’ll go to to maintain the comforts we crave, and how those comforts can so easily be our undoing.

The many apparent indignities suffered by animals in this film made me ponder whether there exists an animal protection agency policing French-made films. Yes, there’s pet beheadings and the slow skinning of another unfortunate creature (which sent some opening night attendees running for the doors), but there’s also love and beauty. And big laughs.

And heart. The closing credits end with a quote from Suquamish Native American Chief Seattle: "Whatever happens to animals will soon happen to man."

I guess this is why there’s no apparent French SPCA. Karma is counted on to get the job done.
Now playing in my head.
I've just had an hour-long jaccuzi and two Exedrin PM, so I'm too fileted to get into the whole story, but the abbreviated version is I met this playwright last year after a permormance of his one act FEEDER: A Love Story. He got my name from the mailing list sign-in sheet in the lobby, and phoned me to discuss the needs of the play. (The needs were many.) He asked for technical assistance with a yet-to-be-written second act, and I hooked him up with a peep or two possessing practical knowledge of the subject matter. The rest was written, and today I got an e-mail from Mr. Carter, quoting The Daily News thusly:

Tony Bennett's daughter Johanna will soon be treading - or trampling - the boards in a new play. At the We Are Family benefit, the actress told us she'll be co-starring in "Feeder," wearing a fat suit to play a masochist who is force-fed by a sadist. (Yes, it's a sexual thing.) Playwright James Carter is developing the production out of a one-man show he performed last year. Later at the benefit, Johanna's dad told us, unrelatedly but appropriately: "New York is the capital of the world - there's nowhere like it. Anything can happen here."

What? Weren't there any real live fat actresses with popses famous enough to draw the much needed attention (and backing)?

I'll never forget the first time I saw Equus live. Yikes! There's a naked stranger just four feet from me! So different from naked strangers in the movies. I'm thinking I may have the same reaction seeing a fat suit in the non-flesh.

Sure hope I can keep from blurting that out in the middle of the play.

Cheesecake, Fried and Otherwise

So last week I'm having fried cheesecake (wonton-y and crazy good, Okinawa Restaurant on LaGuardia Place) with my friend Janie (of broken speculum fame), and she tells me I was responsible for her getting a gig modeling her ample undiewears in the May issue of Details Magazine. I couldn't be a prouder cheesecake pimp. Girlfriend knows how to represent.

Cut to days later. I’m nosing around Penn Station trying to find the place that has the insane Buffalo chicken panini, and I spot it. The May Details. It’d be quite a feat to exude more femininity than cover girl Orlando Bloom, but I’m keen to see if my Janie pulled it off.

I grab a seat on the Amtrak to Philly (where I sampled the faboo new TastyKake TastyGrahams pudding pie in a Graham cracker crust) and I settle in with my mag. And therrrrre’s Janie, the downward pull on her plush corpulence mimicked by the flesh colored draping behind her. In other shots, she’s crawling through an Elmer Battersesque setting, and reposing across a covetable divan, lustfully eyeing an even more covetable side table of pastries and cakes.

Also in undiepants: a fella. With a sheet-wrinkled belly and a respectable rack.

The accompanying article (“Super-Size Me, These men and women are hot for partners with more than a little meat on their bones.”) is silly in parts, and wildly misinformed in others (I know 400-pound people who fuck like bunnies) but mostly fair, to have been penned by vanillafolk.

Excited as I am to see such a thing in a mainstream magazine, and pleased as I am to have hooked Janie up with both fried cheesecake, and the men’s mag sort, I am distracted by a pages-away article on grilling, my eyes landing on the fully pornographic images of grill-striped sea scallops post-coitally dripping creamy orange tarragon butter sauce, and a sublime looking pepper-flecked pork tenderloin rubbed with mustard and bourbon (my favorite act of foreplay, by the way). As I gaze hungrily at the glistening grill marks, I feel myself being stared at.

Across the aisle, Mr. Sensitive Ponytail Guy gives up a smile. When his mouth starts to move, I yank off my ear buds.

“…turn back to the naked lady?”

Hmmm… cute or creep? So hard to tell, especially with the long-haireds. Either way, an article on fat sex ain’t no community event, certainly not one I’m inviting stranger-on-a-train to. I pointed to the magazine meats and said apologetically, “Kinda groovin’ on the pork right now.” And in what may have been the cruelest act of dismissal I’ve ever done without meaning to, I put my buds back in and returned to the article, which I then had to pretend to actually read until dude got off at Princeton.

I’ve since wished I’d taken his number and had The Naked Lady phone him. Then he’d be writing about this in his blog.

The Bacon Scarf

‘Bout a month ago I came this close to dropping twenty-five crispies on a Towelie towel. I finally talked myself down, using the argument I’m a grown-ass woman, not a dreadheaded dorm-hound. I managed to get past it, but it took damn near as much restraint as it takes me to make an 8-oz. tub of scallion cream cheese last through a weekend’s worth of bagels.

Well, again I’m tempted by a silly swath of cloth. Temptation at the hands of Shopsin’s General Store. (Click the bacon above to see the latest coded announcement I’ve gotten in the mail from Mr. S.) I’ve seen other bacon scarves (!), not all of them intentional. But this one’s by far the porkiest. Even if it is unscented. (Sad face.)

A Testicular Taste Treat

Woke up in the middle of the night last night, and turned to the tube to put me back to sleep. Heard a phrase that made me understand the ex who once put a foot through his TV, then spent the next ten years without one. “Countdown to custody.” Jesus god. Remember when news wasn’t about Anna Nicole Smith and her sad satellite souls? I almost don’t.

Turned the TV off (but resisted the kicking thing), and rooted around on my nightstand for a Tootsie Pop I thought I’d seen there. Found something even better to stick in my face. A Cuban.

The beau and I had been to a party at a friend’s place, where one of the guests had just returned to the US with a box of Cuban cigars in their carry-on. (If the embargo police are reading this, I do not recall the name of said guest. Nor that of the party’s host. Or even what he looked like. In fact, I think he’s changed his name. And left the country. And died, maybe. Yeah.) The bold smuggler had managed not to get Homeland Securitied at the airport, and we were handed an aluminum cylinder on our way out. I’d forgotten about it. But last night, I discovered a comfort combo guaranteed to make me forget all about doomed methadone babies and Giuliani campaign coffers and Paris Hilton and Al Sharpton and Nancy Grace and all of ‘em.

<> One big-ass jumbo shrimp cocktail.

<> Frosty-cold bottle of Guinness Extra Stout.
<> A flamin’ Montecristo, and no one you have to share it with.

I’d read about the anointing of the “smooth, brown thighs of young Cuban girls” (Hiaasen, maybe? Elmore Leonard? Hunter S. Thompson?), but I’d never tasted their bounty. I lit up. Drag one: Wondrous. Drag two: I feel a little guilt. Drag three: I feel a little buzz. Drags four through seven: I make a somewhat frantic effort to find my copy of the stunning 1959ish propaganda film, I Am Cuba. Drags eight through god-knows: I swear I feel Fidel Castro patting me on the head. I give up on the movie and put on some Tito Puente. Yes, I know he’s not Cuban. But he was handy. And he chased away the Castrolucination.

It gets fuzzy after that. Deliciously fuzzy.

Shrimp, Guinness, Cuban. Triumvirate of two-fisted tasty. Try it. With the TV off. Or at least on mute. Or if you happen to have a copy of I Am Cuba

Paging Mister Reusen...

Having a Smoke with Vonnegut

Borders Book Store. 57th and Park. Nearly a decade ago. Went to a reading of the newly released TimeQuake. Well before start time, it was already steamy and standing room only. I went back up to street level to smoke a cigarette and think about blowing it off. Standing on the sidewalk, leaning against the brick, I light up. Kurt Vonnegut exits the store alone, and does the same, a few feet away. We smoke in silence for a moment. A gaggle of screechy young fans who’d perhaps seen him exit, spill out of the store and are now determined to spoil his cigarette. He spots them before they spot him, and he ducks into a dark doorway a bit farther down. The screechies whimper, then scatter back in. I smoke in peace. As does the glowing cherry above the arch-framed raincoat to my left.

The bookstore door then spits out another Vonnegut seeker, this time a gentleman I’d seen with him earlier. Validation enough for me. I point to the smoke-spewing doorway and the man trots over to fetch The Man, assuring me I'd done the right thing by telling me he was the lawyer. On their way back past me, I’m thanked. By the lawyer. I decided to skip the reading, but went home with a signed copy of the book, and a smile I couldn’t explain to my boyfriend because he was under the curious impression I'd quit smoking weeks earlier.

I’d like to say I quit soon after because this smoking-precipitated encounter couldn’t be topped. Or that free will kicked in. But it was mostly that lung cancer thing. And the smelly hair. And the boyfriend.

RIP, Vonnegut.
Oofa, Veniero’s. 100+ years of life-affirming Italian pastries. The other night. Guy asked for my order with about ten people ahead of me. Gave me a pang of longing for the now-boarded-up Second Avenue Deli, where two babushka-ed women once clucked at me, “I guess you’ve gotta have the tits to get waited on in here.” (I had the tits, and I was waited on. I don’t see the problem.) I sneered at Veniero’s pignoli cookies behind the glass. They looked poofy and overbaked and short a few pignolis. Not like the perfectly pale, covered-in-‘em pignoli cookies at Rocco’s Bakery on Bleecker. Never had better. Including in Brooklyn.

Well. Veniero’s might be better. I’ll need a controlled comparison test. Perhaps several.

The odd height only added to the serious chewy, and the anisette flavor was every bit as intense as that of Rocco’s. Perhaps more so. I’d still prefer ‘em lighter in color, and covered-er in nuts, but sweet simulated Jesus, them things were good. I wanna hold hands and buy furniture with these cookies.

Sunk to the bottom of my bag were mini cannolis flecked with the trademark bright green granules of what I hope is rock sugar. Pasticceriffico! Fabulously oily tasting, the blistery tubes were perfect, and the filling was nicely spiced, if a bit tighter and sweeter than I like. And why do we need chocolate chips in a cannoli? Still. I’d give my left nut for one right now. Both nuts for a dozen.
Rififi + Veselka - Imusteria = Happy
American schlock media leads us around by the short and curlies. And we blindly follow them to the lemmings edge, rubbing our sore pubes and asking for more. They distract us from what’s important (war, corruption, the fact that not all Popeye’s carry a full menu and they don’t tell you that until you walk all the way over there and stand in that long-ass line) by juggling noisemakers and shiny objects like staged outrage and faux scandals. So Don Imus (whom I had no idea was still alive) called the Rutgers Women’s Basketball Team “nappy-headed hos.” Stupid? Perhaps. Not funny? Oh, yeah. Worthy of all the chest beating? Hardly.

‘Nappy-headed’ is not a condemnation. It’s a salon request. (Ask Stevie Wonder.) It’s no more a judgement than ‘fat.’ And have we forgotten that in this country, we pay young men good money to write and perform songs to and about the ho? And not just regular Springsteen money. Diamond-encrusted toilet paper on MTV Cribs money. So if ‘ho’ is offensive, how ‘bout we start with the biggest offenders and work our way down? Imus is surely near the bottom of that list. Well below where the hair gets really nappy. (Pickin’ up the theme?) Honestly, sometimes I think this is something Imus and Al Sharpton cooked up together to jack up ratings for both their shows. Like Rosie and The Donald did.

Kramerizing Don Imus is ridiculous, and waters down what we should really be pissed about.

So when I was invited out for some comedy Friday night, I was in more than dire need. And that’s exactly how it was proposed to me. “Some comedy.” Generic, no-name, store-brand, discount comedy. Five bucks. Almost guaranteed to be dripping with offensive stereotypes and off color thank-Jah-no-one’s-youtubing-this-stuff stuff. That, and the promise that Demetri Martin had once graced this Friday night stage were enough for me. Met my friends at Rififi in the East Village for The Greg Johnson Show.

The line-up was uneven and seemingly a smidge out of order, but I still recommend it. Highly. Laughed myself tired. And my decades-long record of the comedian always messing with me goes unbroken.

Can’t remember anyone’s name, nor could I recite a joke for you if my rent depended on it. (I truly suck at this blogging thing.) All I can tell you is the funniest comics were Somebody Mintz near the beginning of the show, and Lou Something at the end. And everyone in between gave me something to howl about. I can also tell you to grab a fresh drink from the bar before entering the theater, ‘cause there’s no service in there. One cannot reach the Flying Snot level of comedy show enjoyment without cocktails.

*intermission-y pause*

Just tracked down some names. See how much Mommy loves you? Mike Dobbins and Anthony Jeselnik were a bit challenging. Intentionally. Funny, though. Dan Mintz and Leo Allen, however. Let’s just say both of ‘em likely went home with some snot on their pant leg, ‘cause of me.

Wait. That’s not snot.

After the show, we got our dumpling on at Veselka (home of the most ass-kickety dill salad dressing in 50 states, several of them Baltic). Loaded up on stuffed cabbage and peirogies. Button-popping good. Literally.

Let’s hope the smiley memory of delightfully blue comedy and superlative Polish feedbag fare lingers at least as long as the metal pipe beating to Imus’ shins does.
American Idol for fat girls! (‘Cept it’s British.) Into the Beth Ditto -dominated world of plumpette national recording artists (the girls may be fat, but the pickins are slim), comes Plus, an all-girl English band being built, Monkees-style. From RealGirlBand.com:

To be eligible for a place in the band, you will need to meet the following criteria: you will need to be female, at least a size 16, have some musical talent and be ready for stardom.

Minimum size requirement! A smooshy-ish singer I once worked with told me the waiting room at the auditions for the role of Hairspray’s Tracy Turnblad on Broadway was filled with not-plump-enoughs comparing notes on how to quickly gain the mandated mounds. I have visions of across-the-pond girlies hittin’ the clotted cream and crisps to pack on the stones. Not an entirely unpleasant vision, mind you.

Note to Real Girl Band applicants (and the boys who stalk them): Closing date for applications is May 1, and auditions will be held in June, in Jolly Old. The epicenter will be the Marquee Club in Hertford, Hertfordshire. The town so nice they named it two and a half times.

Still Mad, Miriam

Once again, my friend Richard hips me to something wonderfully sick and cool. It’s a delicious sandwich of misogynistic missteps from too few decades ago, in the form of a Secret Romance issue from Charlton Comics. Social engineering disguised as a love story. Boy meets girl, boy manipulates girl, boy dies mysteriously in his sleep while his young widow gets fat again and finds a nice jiggle-lovin' man who knows some manners. (Not really. But if I were penning the sequel...)

If the office etiquette films from the Preminger Archive were comic books, this is what they’d look like. Thanks, Richard. Thanks, MisterKitty. And thanks… Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Padding the Keister for Easter

You can keep your Peeps, and those chocolate eggs that ooze faux fowl embryonic fluid? Pass. My Easter basket (were I not a heathen) contains the following:

Jelly Bellies – I’m a mix-my-own girl, so I like to get ‘em at one of many dispenser walls in candy shops throughout the city, but prefer Economy Candy on the Lower East Side, or Dylan’s Candy Shop on the Upper East, where they have clear plastic lidded Jelly Belly boxes you can load up for what feels like less money than the regular per-pound price. But surely I’m wrong. The boxes are compartmentalized, for those of us who’re anal about our jellybeans. While you’re there, hit the lower floor and color coordinate some M&Ms for a friend whose apartment is all purple and red. Or something. (I’ve done this twice, and both times, the candy never made it to the friends.)

Godiva Coconut Eggs – Dark chocolate eggs filled with creamy coconut. NOT coconut cream. Important distinction. Wrapped in baby pink foil. Insanely good. Monday they’ll be half price, and therefore insanelier good.

TastyKake Hippity Hops – Sounds like what somebody’s grandma would call Rap, dunnit? Used to be TastyKake Coconut Kandy Kakes, and why you’d change a name with so many appetizing instances of the ‘k’ sound is beyond me. These coins of coconutty cake covered in dark chocolate are now only available at Easter and Halloween (as Ghostly Goodies), and only on the shelves of TastyKake towns in the Northeast, no matter what time of year it is. In fact, these were previously unavailable from their website, though industrious Ebayers would hook you up. But now (hurry! quick!) you can snag a dozen two-packs from
TastyKake.com for twenty bucks. They come in a holiday tin so hideous, I had to affix a strip of masking tape across the faces of the smiling bunnies adorning the lid, to keep them from sucking the soul from my very being. But I gotta say, in all my years of chasing these damn things down, I’ve never had them as fresh as what the Postman delivered yesterday.

And yes, my TastyKakes again arrived with an embarrassing personal message on the outside of the package. But this time, it was meant to embarrass.

Favorite Image of the Year

Every year. The two things that introduce Spring in my world are the annual lowering of the footbridge to Randall’s Island, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s CherryWatch Blossom Status Map showing its first bud. The subhirtella or ‘Pendula Rosea’ trees are my faves, and not just because they have a dirty sounding name. (Also known as ‘Weeping Cherry’, which ain’t much better.) These explosions of bloom herald the smells of flower gardens and freshcut grass and lighter fluid and Coppertone. And by August, garbage juice sizzling on hot asphalt.

Like life, cherry blossoms are unpredictable and fleeting. And breathtakingly beautiful, even as they wither and fall. Enjoy while you can.

Pigs is Pigs

Over the weekend I went to a shindig crawling with young socialite scenesters. Personally, I was more excited the time I spotted the silver-haired Roy Blount, Jr. at a Paolo Conte concert. And even more excited to find this soiree was catered by Daisy May’s BBQ. Forget Stella Keitel, Adam Levine, and Olivia Palermo (not pictured above). Let’s talk pulled pork.

The sandwich was tender and tasty, but a bit too dry for this juicy girl. I’d like to give it another go when I’ve got more throwdown room and easier access to cole slaw and squirt bottles. Pleasantly surprised by the sesame roll they used, though. Had a buttery, pastry-like mouthfeel. I’m not sure I’ve ever known a barbecue place to pay much attention to their buns. On my way to ask Ivanka Trump if she’s got Andy Dick in her five, I caught myself cooing over the heavy hunk of cornbread on someone else’s plate, and though I faux-protested, the plateholder insisted I take it. After I devoured with relish the dense, peppery bar, I asked the cornbread lady why she hadn’t wanted it. “It’s not that I didn’t want it,” said the young woman whose name I didn’t catch. “It just looked like you wanted it more.”

Mmmkay, so I’m a food brat, even at fancy parties. I’m woefully unimpressed by celebrity spawn, and I go all Billy Jack when I can’t get at the buffet table. Or the bar. But odds are she, though generous of cornbread, is stingy with the calories, and has since thanked me for eating several hundred of hers.

Sunday was cold and rainy, and I woke up with a bed attitude. So I laid around in my socks and undiepants, eating pepitas and watching (the ganj-enhanced) Planet Earth on Discovery Channel. Did you know the dwells-in-the-dark vampire squid produces flashes of disorienting light to confuse its predators and prey into thinking it’s something it’s not? Just like celebrities!

I didn’t give a second thought to them calories. Would sure love to have another hunk of that cornbread, though.

My Sweet Lord

Attention, Easter shoppers! Screw the hollow bunnies, and look out, Cadbury’s! There’s an anatomically correct, 485,460 calorie Jesus at Lab Gallery on 47th and Lex. 200 pounds of milk chocolate. (Sounds like a Taj Mahal song, dunnit?) Never thought I’d say this about a religious icon, but… like to break me off a piece o' that.

(Pass, actually. I prefer dark.)

UPDATE: The gallery has grabbed ankles to papal pressure and decided chocolate Jesus might just spoil their dinner. Not sure what they’ll do with the masticable Messiah now. I say lock him in a room with a dozen pre-menstrual women and all evidence will be destroyed inside of twenty minutes. In other news, I ate a whole swag sized box of Godiva last night, whilst pondering the demise of the diet-y deity. I don’t care what Bill Moyers says, this brand of religion is part street gang, part Bink for the weak. (The rest of us use cocktails.) Praise the Lord and bon appetit!


PS: This is fun. Has anyone used ‘tasty totem’ yet? How ‘bout ‘yummy Yahweh’?

Butt. Fugly.

Coming to CBS this Fall. Fugly. Three siblings – two identical twins – pool their money to surgically “perfect” one of the twins, in order to live off the Hollywood earnings of the cosmetically altered one. Starring squeaky plumpette Hairspray alum Marissa Jaret Winokur, willowy gigglebox Nikki Cox (more fun to say than ‘former Bobcat Goldthwait squeeze’), and the oft-seen-around-Bleecker-and-Sixth-on-his-bike Michael Rapaport. Hmmm… wonder which two will be the fuglies.

I quite enjoy thoughtful national dialogue on the significance of physical beauty and what defines it. Or, it could suck. I’ll reserve judgement until I see it. Then I’ll judge its brains out.

Fat Girl Duds Alert


Beware, Bwear Be Gone

From their UK headquarters, Lady B Wear has been catering to trannies and genetic girls of girth for as long as I can remember. But sadly, this nana of the plus size lingerie and club wear world is closing its doors. But to soften the blow, shit’s on sale.

The Fit’s the Shit

Said I’d re-post when my new bigger size Substantia Jones T-shirt from CafePress.com arrived, and I’m pleased to report it’s completely b’jiggety. The feminine details – shorter sleeves, shaping (subtle, if at all), a more open neckline – are great for girl-shaped girls with girl-length arms. And the design area is much bigger than their other selections. This is not a unisex T, and I kinda miss the double-needled shoulder seams, but it maintains a classic look. And most importantly, it accommodates massive ass. I ain’t gonna give ya digits or nothin’ (pervs!), but I’ll assure you that CaféPress’ size chart is refreshingly on the nose, and my T-shirt arrived with a few inches of clearance, even. If you’re still not convinced, their return policy is as loose as a stoned stepdaughter. Downright foolish, in fact. Check out the new designs and take $5 off a $20 purchase (coupon code DUSKYPOINTS, expires 4/4/07). Then check out the new Fat Girl Fishnets T-shirt shop. (!)

Flea Bagged

The annual Fat Girl Flea Market - like the Barneys Warehouse Sale for fat girls - is looking for a new home. (The LGBT Center says no room at the inn until September, and the Flea is shooting for July.) They need a wheelchair accessible place, preferably Manhattan, at least 2000 sq. ft. for approximately $1700, and available either July 13-15 or July 21-23. A no-Sundays sitch might also be do-able.

I’m not sure it’s cool to publish the e-mail address I have for ‘em, so if you’ve some assistance or info to impart, hit me up and I’ll pass it along to the Flea Folk. Then hopefully come July, we’ll once again be sweating together, digging through the mountains of tapered jeans to find that elusive silk-lined velvet princess coat.