Annals of Cooking for One: Hungry for Pizza

Pizza Night!
With 30 mph winds and the threat of rain (and snow??), I knew I wouldn't put in enough miles riding outside. A couple of aggressive young whippersnappers took all the fans in spin class for themselves, so I biked home sweaty without changing for the immediate air-conditioning effect into the south wind. I biked home hungry.
Started capturing a freelance project for my father, hit the shower, and then started the pizza preparations.

Whole wheat crust from Le Quartier, conveniently freezable so I could use but one of the three
Spices, including oregano, basil, fresh ground mixed peppercorns, crushed red pepper
Fresh garlic
Oil-cured black olives
Anchovies and the capers they were wrapped around
Mozzarella (not pictured....yet)

Post-oven deliciousness

To accompany the nearly 3/4ths of this pizza I ate (with three pieces left for lunch tomorrow), I sliced up a watermelon radish from Shadowbrook Farm. Beautiful!

It's an heirloom variety of daikon radish, and one of a few local foods popping up so far this season. Speaking of which, this Sunday, April 5th from 11 AM-2PM is the 4th Annual Slow Food Nebraska Eggstravaganza. This year, it's being held at Chez Hay, and Triggertown will be playing live. RSVP to slowfoodnebraska@gmail.com.


Vitamin D

I spent the afternoon on the dock at The Mill, first meeting with Brent about our project, then reading the New Yorker (specifically this article on solitary confinement) while listening to the Afro-Cuban All-Stars, and later running into Ben, Kaleb, and Conrad. It was an excellent day for making Vitamin D.

And What, Pray Tell, Might They Be?

Live Animals AND Special Effects? I'm almost curious enough to go see what sort of special effects Southview Baptist has in store. It is free...


Often Overlooked

I haven't made a political post in a while (mostly just shared bits from the ever-excellent New Nebraska Network), but it's almost time for the Lincoln/Lancaster Primary, so here's the Democratic slate card....reminder to follow...

I've personally worked for Kathy Danek & Barb Baier, and Don Mayhew's was the first campaign -- as a senior in high school -- that I really invested serious work into. Great folks all around.


First Tornado/Thunderstorm of 2009

I have what would best be described as a morbid fascination with tornadoes. As a child, I got extremely upset when everyone went outside as Ken Siemeck implored us to get in our basements. I had a little suitcase packed full of my favorite matchbox cars, die cast John Deere implements, and maybe a doll or other trinket that I could take into the fruit room with me at a moment's notice. Though we lived in Lincoln, we spent most of the summer on the farm, taking care of the garden & haying; for my brother & I, this also involved the creation of elaborate games with elaborate rules & generally getting into trouble. On the farm, the nearest tornado siren was in Emerald, a solid 4 miles away and hard to hear. The notion that the sirens might be going off and we couldn't even hear them??? Terrifying. (As of a few years ago, there's one at the lake, so this wouldn't be a problem anymore. Not consequently, I now enjoy watching the sky.)

But I loooove a good thunderstorm. I missed them thoroughly in New England. Now, March 23 seems a little early, but we had our first tornado warning today (a brief blast of the sirens, even), in what was a narrow, windy & fast-moving band of storms. It's snowing in Scottsbluff. I managed to bike home in the 10 minutes where it really poured. Right before I left my office, though, it was sunny & there was a rainbow.

Note, however, the extremely windblown flags. The state flag has even been wrapped around the pole a few times.

Minnesotan things

Ande & Modelo

Some mustard greens & garlic

Ande's coffee brewing methodology, involving ladle. Side note: it was wonderful to not have to get up or make the coffee I drank in bed Sunday morning.

The scale of kitchen instruments in a young child's Montessori environment, as compared to my hand

A sponge the size of a silver dollar and its accompanying tiny pitcher

Ludvig Van Beethoven


Three Signs

"Trucks Are White": Neither Lindsey nor I could find any explanation for this text.

Old School Dairy Queen

Slick graphical representation of a cyclist simultaneously acting as kerning. Upon further reflection, this is an incredibly unlikely cycling position.


Spring, sprung

Today makes it official, but last weekend felt like the start of spring. Belatedly posted, above, my newest riding buddy & finest of neighbors, Gina, in front of the sadly not open Roca Tavern. Below, my dad grills a leg of kid from Green Glade farm.


Out of the 'Dirge'

Wow! Great interview with Elvis by Steve Inskeep on Morning Edition. From the opening notes of "Doomsday," I was thrilled to get a pause in my morning routine to hear this.

Morning Edition, March 19, 2009 - Based on the catchy arrangements of Elvis Perkins' sophomore release, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, the album seems like a more upbeat, light-hearted affair than its predecessor — that is, until you take a closer look at the lyrics.

"I don't let doomsday bother me — do you let it bother you?" he sings on "Doomsday," chirping over a pleasant blend of brass, tambourine and even a marching drum. Though he originally wrote the song as a waltzy "dirge," he ended up shifting the mood after discussing it with his band mates. The same joyous sound permeates the album, often serving as a hopeful contrast to its troubled origins.

Elvis Perkins is the son of Anthony Perkins, the actor most famous for his role in Psycho. Anthony died of complications from AIDS when his son was a teenager. Tragically, Elvis' mother, Berry Berenson-Perkins — a noted photographer — was aboard one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

"The songs are their grandchildren they didn't get to meet," Perkins says. "They strike me as offspring from time to time, and some of them on the new album sort of stare back at me a little funny."

His feelings for his parents also emerge in songs like "123 Goodbye," which includes the line "I love you more in death than I ever could in life," though Perkins prefers to sing about these thoughts rather than talk about them.

"I've never been a good storyteller when it comes to regular conversation," he says, "which I think is in part why I've been driven to write these songs. I get to put as much as I like into it, say my piece and sort of feel more successful [that way]."

Click the link above to listen to the full interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.



Havelock Ride

Gina & I rode out to Havelock tonight. She learned to use her new clipless pedals like a champ.

We rolled over to Bob's Tavern, inadvertently ordered green beer, met up with the TNMWR, ran into Jim & Carrie at the Isles, and then joined the Monkeywrench pack for a fast-paced ride back to our hood. Most of them ended up going to O'Rourkes for some more Irishness, but we headed home. Work at 6:45 tomorrow is going to be rough. I'd rather live in spring...


Kill County

Three From Ringo (Kill County) at Lincoln Exposed 2009 from nocoastfilms on Vimeo.

Three songs from Kill County's set, part of the Lincoln Exposed fest at Duffy's Tavern, 2-12-2009.

For eventual music video creation, I taped this set of Ringo's. Beautiful.


This American Life Impresses Once Again

Do yourself a favor, sit down without distractions, and listen to this.

Episode 375: Bad Bank

The collapse of the banking system explained, in just 59 minutes. Our crack economics team—the guys who explained the mortgage crisis, Alex Blumberg and NPR’s Adam Davidson—are back to help all of us understand the news. For instance, when we talk about an insolvent bank, what does it actually mean, and why are we giving hundreds of billions of dollars to rich bankers who screwed up their own businesses? Also, two guys go to New Jersey to look at a toxic asset.

Other shows on the financial crisis: Giant Pool of Money and Another Frightening Show About the Economy. And you can get daily updates about the financial crisis on Alex and Adam's Planet Money podcast and blog.

These recent episodes of the Planet Money podcast go into more depth on the issues in this week's show:

2/9/09 Get Tougher Please—especially the interview with Adam Posen
2/27/09 He Nationalized a Bank
2/2/09 Japan's Lost Lesson

Simon Johnson, the former IMF official on this week's show, has a blog called BaselineScenario.com.

Also, on C-Span—Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner praises this episode.



Host Ira Glass plays clips from TV in a recent senate hearing and talks about how confusing the current banking crisis is. But fortunately today, we have the team that brought us our show that explained the mortgage crisis a year ago, back to explain entire the banking system in 40 minutes. (3 minutes)

Act One. The Collapse of the US Banking System Explained in Just 39 Minutes.

Alex Blumberg and Adam Davidson tackle a very tough subject: trying to explain exactly what a bank is and does. They talk to a number of experts about what has gone wrong in banking, but not before bringing us all up to speed on some banking basics, like understanding a bank balance sheet, and a bank’s assets and liabilities, and the squishy business of what banks say about their balance sheets compared to what they are.

Alex and Adam walk us step by step through the complications of the US government buying up bad assets from banks, and explain why, when it comes to footing the bill, the government might just prefer to not be in charge of the very banks it is having taxpayers bailout. From a dollhouse, to a hypothetical bank worth tens of dollars, to the trillions of dollars being spent to keep banks afloat, Alex and Adam talk economy, and where we might be headed. (39 minutes)

Act Two. Clean Up Crew.

Not everyone hates the idea of “toxic assets.” Reporter Lisa Chow goes to New Jersey to follow two guys on their quest to clean up some of America’s bad mortgages—by buying them, and going straight to the homes themselves to have a look at how dire the situation really is. (13 minutes)

Song: "The House Song," Peter, Paul and Mary



I'm really happy about the poem Mathias and I wrote for Anders.



by Elisabeth Reinkordt & Mathias Svalina

A is for AWESOME. You are awesome!

N is for NEATNESS. You are very neat (as in tidy).

D is for DEBONAIRE. You are well-dressed, sophisticated, and at ease, showing ease of manner, elegance, & sophistication

E is for EAGLET. You are fuzzy & cute & you eat half-digested raw meat, occasionally from roadkill, occasionally from D’Leons.

R is for ROOMMATE. Elisabeth can’t imagine what it would be like without you. Mathias has never been your roommate.

S is for SUNSHINE. You are like sunshine everyday, but without the cancer-causing, skin-burning agents.

R is for ARGYLE. We think you wear argyle socks.

E is for EW. We never say “ew” when thinking about you.

Y is for YENTL. You’ve always wanted to be a Jewish man & when you disguised yourself as one you got some very good reviews for the movie based on your life starring Barbara Streisand.

N is for NO VOMIT IN SINK. As far as we know you’ve never vomited in a sink & we’re pretty sure you will never do so in the future. Except maybe tonight.

O is for OUTLAW. You badboy, you.

L is for LOVE. Love love love love love.

D is for DOGCHARMER. Somehow you made Bird like you.

P is for POTATO. Potatoes are delicious.

E is for ECSTACY.

T is for TALL. You are a tall man, especially from the point of view of a fifth grader.

E is for EASY SHOT. You can interpret this one in many ways. You are like a delicious shooter drink. Also hanging out with you is like taking an easy shot, in the sense that it’s always a score!

R is for REVENGE. If we are murdered you will have to revenge our deaths. (Really avenge, but you know what we mean.)

S is for SALMONELLA. Did you get salmonella poisoning from that peanut butter? We hope not.

O is for OBSOLANGIUM. You don’t have this. Yet.

N is for NOSTRILS. We love the way they flare when you’re sitting in front of John McCain.

All of these things are what make you you & we love you you! Happy birfday. Or Dersday. Or Dersbirf. Etc, etc.


Mimicry & Reality

It was too nice outside to be inside. Courtesy of Emily's cycling instructor in Boston, whose motto is "Don't do anything in a spin class you wouldn't do on a real bike."

Indoor Cycling Moves To Avoid: Indoor Moves Tried Outside from jon Malone on Vimeo.



I've been resistant to write about this story, feeling it doesn't really deserve as much attention as it is getting. But then, an inside source informed me that the plastic/plexi-glass box the cat was in was labeled "CHAMBOR." Poor Shadow. Man can't even spell the parts of his bong right. (For the record, that language is in the official Sheriff's report.)

And he's funny, too!

I have had the hots for Brian Williams for as long as I can remember. Swoon. The interview is the best part, but the references to Jon Stewart's earlier jokes make watching the entire episode worthwhile.


She's a Talker

Neil Goldberg, 1993.  Watch it here.

More than 70 gay men in their living rooms pet their cats and say "She's a talker."

Technology can't possibly be educational!

Cornfed Gamer summarizes it better than I could, suffice it to say there are bigger fish our auditor ought to be frying...

Neal chimes in, too: