I’ve been jammin’ smoothies hard this summer, keeping the blender out on the counter because half the time I want to make another smoothie before I’ve event washed the blender out. Here are somewhat-vague recipes for a couple fatty, tropical-tasting summer smoothies. They’re both vegan, to boot! (J is in Japan, I have to pick up the slack).

1. Pineapple-coconut nonsense.

INGREDIENTS (all amounts approximate; just guess, basically):

– 1/2 c orange juice
– 1 c chopped-up fresh pineapple
– 3 ice cubes
– 1/2 to 3/4 c coconut milk
– 1 banana, sliced/chunked into small-ish pieces

Blend pineapple and OJ until pineapple is as smooth as it’ll get. Then add ice cubes and blend more; add coconut and banana, blend until smooth. Serve in a big huge frosty glass or two. Serves two normal folks, one smoothie glutton like myself.

2. Avocado malarkey.

INGREDIENTS (all amounts approximate; just guess, basically):

– 1 ripe avocado (that’s not approximate, that’s exact), cut into small chunks
– 1 c pineapple juice -or- 3/4 c orange juice and 1/2 c fresh pineapple chunks
– 1 c low-fat coconut milk, or, hey, fresh coconut juice, what the hell.
– Juice of 1 lime

Blend the avocado and juice/pineapple first, then add the rest and blend till smooth. Put this in TWO frosty glasses; even such a glutton as myself can’t handle all of this one at once.

hassling the hoff

June 20, 2007

Last night, I made some eh-okay pasta: penne with chopped up raw tomatoes, mozarella and an olive oil-balsamic-lemon juice dressing. I’ll eat the leftovers, but I’m not sure if I’ll make it again. I think I used too many tomatoes, and I don’t like raw tomatoes a lot in that context anyway. Oh well.

I then dove into Squirrel Hill to flyer for Joe Jack Talcum. In case you wanted reason to think I’m pathetic, I bribed myself into doing this in the rain by promising myself a bottle of vodka from the liquor store on Murray if I did a decent job of flyering. I hit the regulars (warm reception at the Exchange, icy stares of suspicion at Avalon, goofy nice dudes at Te Cafe who were already planning on coming to the show, doorway of Jerry’s) then grabbed a bus and made it home in time to watch the majority of “America’s Got Talent.”

Yes, that’s right. You probably know me as someone not easily enticed by the camp/kitsch/irony of stupid reality/competition TV shows. However, I have become a huge fan of “America’s Got Talent” this year. For this I credit:

  1. Living alone without the internet.
  2. The variety of acts featured — this isn’t a bunch of assholes who think they can sing.  This is a bunch of assholes who think they can sing PLUS a bunch of people who belly dance, do acrobatics with chihuahuas, break stuff with their butts, etc. etc.
  3. A pre-rehab Hasslehoff prone to losing his shit at random intervals.

The guy toward the end who sang the Police song made my heart feel warm. I hope he goes far. Same goes for Boy Shakira. His act was awesome in that it brought out two major cultural issues: mainstream treatment of trans people (you heard the competing cheers and boos in a way that doesn’t happen often on the show — the disagreement was intense), and the double standard inherent in favoring someone who’s attractive performing over someone who’s not as attractive. Shakira and Boy Shakira honestly do the same exact act; Shakira is a hot Latina lady, Boy Shakira is a kinda flabby guy. I’m glad Sharon and Piers moved him through, even if in doing so they moved the Hoff to angry theatrics.

The biggest disappointment of the night, though, was the judges’ dismissal of the Tuvan-style harmonic singing banjo guy. He was charismatic and talented, though I’ll admit the combination of throat singing and banjo ditties — especially self-referential banjo ditties about the origins of throat singing — is a bit awkward. But still, dude isn’t far removed from Arrington DeDionyso. And the judges’ treatment of him was a bit harsh, not to mention ignorant. It’s not easy to sing like that, frog-sounding or not.

quick roundup

June 11, 2007

Time to catch up on some things.

  • Missed Wax Fang, but Centipede and Oxford Collapse were both spot-on at the arts fest Saturday evening. Oxford Collapse was the best I’ve ever seen them. Other highlights of the show included: the dude dressed like LL Cool J who claimed to be the best chef in Pittsburgh, the Shadyside-looking girls who took a picture with Lingo because they were city girls and presumably had never seen anyone like him, Lingo pouring red wine on Dan from Oxford Collapse’s shirt, bike messenger looking dudes skanking onstage,  a 50ish guy with a cowboy hat, button-down shirt, shorts and tennis shoes who was rocking out, etc. etc.
  • The French Open women’s final was kind of a gimme; Ivanovic started out strong but pretty quickly folded to Henin. The men’s final was exciting — at points I thought Federer might actually take it.  I’m pulling for Nadal to pull off the major upset at Wimbledon now. Cheer with me.
  • I ate twice at D’s this weekend, which means I’m not allowed to eat there again for at least two weeks. I’d rather not burn out on it. I think I’ll turn my attention to the ice cream place on the corner. Saturday at D’s was great; strangely enough, it was pretty empty and our waitress was very attentive. Sunday at D’s was back to the average D’s experience: really good food and beer, when it finally came, and wasn’t the wrong thing (like that veggie dog that I ordered that came as a beef dog).
  • Also, it’s smoothie season.  Get all your fruit servings for the day in one slurpy glass of tasty stuff. Last week was strawberry for me, this week is peach. Don’t let the season pass you by.
  • Read Vintage Didion, a collection of her essays on stuff like Patty Hearst, the Central Park jogger, the Reagans and the Clintons. Now on to Let Us Now Praise Famous Men again. This time I might finish it. Or maybe not.

hard hat cereal guy.

May 2, 2007

YOU: Guy in a white button-down shirt and red hard hat with a shopping cart, giving away little boxes of Honey Bunches of Oats on the corner in front of Bruegger’s.

ME: Skinny dude getting a bagel.

I didn’t want any cereal; you lamented the fact that I didn’t want free breakfast, then warned me that at about 2 PM I’d get hungry and wish I had taken that Honey Bunches of Oats.

Are you an employee or a Yippie or just someone who hates Bruegger’s?

This is in or around Bruegger’s on 7th Ave.
It is NOT ok to contact this poster with further breakfast cereal solicitations.

film and fondant

April 5, 2007

Monday was tennis weather and yesterday brought us snows. This truly is one of the cruellest of Aprils. Meanwhile, last night was AKTIONISMUS etc. at avant-garde film; Kubelka, Kren, the wonderful Mara Mattuschka. I was glad there were people there who would laugh at the funny things. Last week one of the Müller films featured splices of several different women from several different ’50s and ’60s films, all performing basically the same exact actions, such that 6 different people from six different films were being shown but it seemed like the same thing repeating over and over. It was funny. No one else laughed. I stifled.

Coming up, it’s Easter. I’ve had three of these so far, two of which happened just this evening as I struggled through my article for next week’s paper:

(As an aside, if you image search “Cadbury egg” or “Cadbury Creme Egg,” you’ll stumble upon quite a number of interesting things people have done with the little buggers, including but not limited to:

  • Attempting to bake a cake substituting them for real eggs.
  • Making a fried sandwich with them on wheat bread.
  • Stuffing them inside Peeps, or perhaps it was the reverse.)

D’S bullet points

February 8, 2007

  • Last night, skipped out on the avant-garde once more in favor of hanging out with peeps and getting some studying done. Tonight, seeing the Godard film at Regent Square (last night for that) and getting a dog at D’s. Most likely the reason the veggie dogs taste so damn good at D’s is that they’re slathered in meat juice, but so long as you don’t stare at the grill (and I don’t), you can pretend that ‘s not the case. Plus, their fries are my favorites in town, except maybe Rudy’s in Monroeville. Also, their beer selection is immense, although you’re a bit hard pressed find something to drink on the cheap there (but they have mighty fine root beer on tap, if you’re into that).
  • I’m simultaneously annoyed and excited that my favorite ad from the Super Bowl is currently featured on the main page on Youtube: Emerald Nuts — “Boogeyman.” The complete absurdity of sticking Robert Goulet into an ad of any sort in 2007 appeals to me a great deal; having him mess up your desk at work when you nap appeals even more; the clincher is toward the end when he jumps up into the ceiling.
  • The Budweiser “Crabs” commercial is another that I enjoyed; at first, you expect a cliche: animals stealing beer from a picnic and partying. They end up worshipping the cooler instead. This almost derailed the usual stupid water cooler commentary, except I caught Jay Leno Monday night making some clever reference to a beach and girls and crabs. Errr, not funny, moron.
  • Also notable: the totally insane Garmin ad.
  • Among the stupider entries were the Doritos ad (with the guy in the car and the sexxxy lady, made by some schmucks as part of a contest) and the GoDaddy and SalesGenie ads, which just plain made me never want to do business with those companies (I stand by my assertion last year that GoDaddy didn’t have enough money, after paying for the airtime, to actually make a decent spot).
  • The plumbing is back to (relatively) normal at this point. The story is long and sordid and perhaps for the most part doesn’t need telling. Suffice it to say that no one died, and the house didn’t burn down, and we’re able to drink water from the faucet again instead of from the toilet. (Aside: I’m tempted to create a tag on here called “about clogging,” as to label just these sorts of posts.)

blah blah blog

January 25, 2007

I’ve recently made some changes to my blog reading habits that I feel inclined to inform you of, because maybe you’ll like to read the things I’m reading too. (You and I, reader-friend: little nodes in the Reputation Society.)

  • I’ve nixed Balkinization from my RSS reader; the intense constitutional law-talk is a bit too much for me for the most part and, for better or worse, I get kind of bored with the daily updates on just why it would make sense to impeach the president and/or why the constitution is inadequate in that we can’t recall him or have a vote of no confidence on the subject.
  • I’ve added Crooked Timber and Eszter Hargittai because they both are fun to read and tend to include occasional posts that apply to the research I’m doing right now on scholarly blogging.
  • I’ve also added (Notes on) Politics, Theory & Photography, because it, uhhh, looks sweet.
  • I guess it’s time to remove Berube as well, since he stopped posting a month ago.

Tonight I make soup — if it looks pretty, I’ll post pictures for you. You like looking at pictures of food I made. I should probably give you recipes now and then too. There’s been a much-bandied-about cookbook idea that may someday come to fruition, which will involve favorite recipes of the roommates and myself and a bunch of bands/folks who have stayed with us while on tour/traveling. It will be beautiful. I should work on this, and pressure the folks to work on it as well.