it's been sixteen years that i've been tattooing my very good friend dan dealy.
and here's the thing-
far more adventurous and accomplished and motivated than i am,
and in addition,
he's also a lot kinder, and more socially adept as well.
dan dealy is my homeboy, and it's as simple and complicated as that.
he came up to visit the new studio,
on a whirlwind roundtrip roadtrip through all of new england and new york,
for family and friendship and weddings and everything else.
here's another thing-
i'm by FAR the most out-of-the-way destination on the circuit.
it counts more, to my mind, and in my heart, that i saw his family during their visit.
mr. and mrs. and baby makes three,
and that's some magic number sh!t, for sure.
kaye is great, and always has been, she's got poise, dudes,
and that's a rarity and thus a delight each and every time we see each other.
and that beautiful, sweet, incredibly well-mannered little bitty bay girl of theirs??
noa serene is adorable, and that's no joke.
what do you do when your dudes are in town,
and you've missed them terribly?
you put a whole lotta hurt to 'em.
one more time, on the knee.
we started el pulpo an age ago, and when we get the chance,
we give him a tune-up, and terrorize a little cap-and-bend flesh.
it's sort of like a family thing.
we meet up and punish ourselves.
it's not like i feel good about blasting his body into submission.....
but rules is rules,
and i do what needs doing.
i'm grateful, always,
for the remarkable people that've found their way into my life,
and traveled along the same paths,
and kept in contact as those same paths diverged into wildly tangential time and space.
i know i'm lucky,
and i do not take that for granted.
what do yo do for someone you just did a blunt-force mischief to?
you make that miki-flicker a sandwich.
that's how i apologize for giving you what you asked for.
to be honest, i knew it was gonna happen.
(the sandwich, not the tattoo)
and in preparation,
i made a semi-sourdough banh banh bread batch in the a.m.
look at what i did:
the bread started with an every-8-hours-for 36-hours-fed poolish,
which had all the hottness bubbling in it's sugar-boosted floury bubble-blops.
i had 1 1/2 cups of THAT live and lovely starter,
added to 3 cups of a.p. flour,
and two teaspoons of bread machine yeast-
plus a cup of warm water,
and 3 T of olive oil.
kneaded hard, for ten minutes, in my stand mixer with a dough hook,
until it was smooooooooooth....
i gave it a half-hour contertop bulk,
punched it down, covered it,
and put it in the fridge over night.
it still proofed again, with zeal,
and in the a.m., the latent bread machine yeast kicked in,
while the cut and shaped loaves re-rose while the oven preheated
twenty minutes of baking, after a gentle brush-up wth olive oil on the tops,
and y'got loaves on loaves like jesus or somethin'......
how good were they?
pretty effin' good.
incredible, with just the barest bit of sourdough tang.
not too fat, not too light. toothsome, hearty, perfect.
good bread makes better people, man.
what makes a banh mi so dope?
pickled pickly picks on picks.
i had some custom quickpix radish carrot and jalapeno!
i drained those suckers,
and used their sweet and salty brine to activate some pickled red onions, too.
that's doubly expert.
and i even added some crawnchy little dill roundies on the bottom of the thing.
too much is the right amount, bro.
that's a fact.
and when you add coconut-oil-fried superturbo exxxtrafirm tofu,
with a dash of GPOP,
and vegan mayo,
and hot sriracha stripes,
the mint was so righteous, i couldn't have gone wrong.
banh mi is so high up on my list of good things,
and i couldn't help but share it with my good friends.
i do what i do for my dudes,
and i do it as hard, and as best as i can.
it's all really happening, which is great,
and it's all shared with my worthiest warrior poets,
which is even greater.
i can't say enough how fortunate i feel to have seen this extended family of mine,
an to hold that perfect little baby girl,
and to span time with those who truly care.
but it's also the truth;
never quiet, never soft.....