Tuesday, July 25


i mess around with that crushed red pepper.
and cherry peppers.
and jalapenos.
and black pepper.
and cayenne pepper.
i do.
i'm not a glutton for punishment,
but i am sort of a sucker for that spice.
and if i'm gonna make pasta,
and i'm gonna make sauce,
and there's gonna be sausages....
well, then you'd better believe i'm also gonna get expert on all that sh!t,
AND bring the heat while i'm at it.
real talk.
check the teleport:

5x 5x 5x 5x 5x the colors in that pasta, neighbors!
3x 3x 3x the hot peppers in that sauce, son!
and all of it heaped on top of itself,
because too much is the right amount.
that's no joke.
i did spend extra on some upgrade 'ronis, duders.
worth every last additional dime, too.
i'm sayin',
y'all might be on some previous-level tricolor jauns,
but i'm over here reppin' two full shades beyond that basic business.
how do they taste?
the same as every other one-
but they look especially delicious, and that's not a bad thing by any measurement.
the sauce, tho.
that's some serious boomfire for your bumbum.
here's what i did, from scratch, because WTF even is jar sauce?
in a medium sauce pan, heat 3 T olive oil, to saute:
1/2 minced sweet onion;
1 small yellow carrot, macerated;
after five minutes, add:
3 T shredded red bell pepper;
3 cloves crushed garlic;
1 T minced jalapeno;
1 T minced hot cherry pepper-
let all of that wilt and melt and mildly disintegrate,
and then toss in and toast up:
oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley; black pepper, GPOP,
fire-roasted pepper flakes, dried basil, and a shake of cayenne.
after a minute or two,
drizzle in 2 T white wine vinegar, to unsizzle the stuck-on scraps,
and pour in:
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes;
2/3 cup warm water;
4 tsp sugar;
let that rise up to a slow simmer,
and stir in:
3 T nutritional yeast;
4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes;
1/4 cup sliced grape tomatoes.
spicy! thick! hearty! fresh! tasty!
and homemade like a mutha.
that's what's up.
shoutouts to everybody out there keepin' it molto molto with those from-scratchables.
rules is rules,
and homemade tastes better.
believe it,..
homemade vegan sausages are kind of my thing.
i mean, whatever you add in is ok, because it'll never be grosser than the
penis-shaped butthole interiors, full of ground penises and buttholes
that constitute real sausages.
i mean, c'mon, that's just not cool, man.
i'll wager there's five or more recipes for 'em somewhere on this blog,
so i'll skip it right now if it's all the same-
suffice to say, my orifice-free tubes were damned tasty once they got tossed
and seared and browned up a bit with onion and spinach and a little pasta water.
add in fresh basil, and parsley sprankles,
and you've got yourself a rainbow partytime exxxplosion for your face,
and fairly quickly, at that.
don't be afraid to heat things up.
it's good for you.
like, metabolically, i mean.
if you're gonna be a waterbaby, and remain defenseless against the spice,
you might want to consider maybe growing a pair of adventure-globes,
and trying to improve yourself a little bit.
no pressure.
just sayin'.
let me just mention one thing-
for very nearly seven years, it's been a standing tradition
that whenever i'm in connecticut, the cones get caught at sweet claude's.
y'better believe that.
and although this time around,
the entire trip was tougher than tying shoelaces with oven mitts on,
the rules remained in effect,
and the tofutti vegan ice cream magic was mandatory for me and mine to activate.
check it:

coffee fudge.
rainbow sprankles.
my kids.
heck, even my ex-wife (the somewhat better one) was there.
there's never a good reason to skip out on a scoople of the stuff.
i'm serious.
going out for ice cream i one of the things that feels like summer.
and it feels like vacation any time of year.
and it feels as good as it tastes,
and it tastes really effin' good.
i may have had a hell of a week,
but i finished off my time in connecticut with the best possible available ending.
there's something about that cone-zone, bro.
you'll see-
go get yourself a scoop somewhere.
you won't regret it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, July 24


reverse batter might be my favorite thing for right now.
and of course,
i think by making a second version hot on the heels of the first,
i may have solidified some mandatory ingredients on the to-do list.
i mean,
rules is rules, fools,
and nobody can infringe on my decrees.
cake is dope.
and cake is comforting.
and as i've recently remarked,
as long as it's single-layered cake is for anytime you want it.
i needed to do something with my dumb hands,
so i made a smart cake.
check the teleport:

ganache on top?
that there's what you do to reverse batter cake, y'fakes.
and it's super moist and super good,
and i didn't freak it off with any moistening starches,
just the reversal of my previous technique.
who'd have guessed?
me, actually, but only just recently.
oh, and it's square.
i like that, too.
what's the order of operations?
it's like this:
preheat your oven to 365℉.
in your stand mixer, cream together:
1 cup organic sugar;
1/4 cup brown sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp powdered vanilla bean;
1 stick plant-based earth balance butter;
1/2 tsp salt.
when that's all melded into one substance, whisk in:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
and then add 1 cup non-dairy milk.
blend that together thoroughly,
and finish it off with:
2 1/2 cups sifted flour;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda.
whip it really well, and spread it out onto a greased and floured pan.
this jaun was right-angled, and it made one helluva cake-
although, it took about 40 minutes to do it.
worth it.
the ganache had coconut oil and coconut extract in it, too.
it needed a little something exxxtra, y'know?
which is why there's also a whole heckload of toasted medium flake
unsweetened extra-super-fancy rich-people-type coconut sprankles on top.
too much is the right amount, friends.
that's a thing.
go bake a cake, guys.
it's a good idea.
how hot was it when i made this?
the F*ing frosting melted as soon as it left the fridge.
that's pretty damned hot, huh?
maybe don't do that part,
unless you LIKE blarpity bops on top.
your call, kiddo.
i'm not the boss of you.
more work?
don't mind if i do.
tomorrow, i am taking some time to get sh!t done,
outside of work,
where i only have a week left, anyway.
what a weird feeling that is.
to leave my home away from home away from home
after such a long long war.
choosing to move outward, and onward, and upwards,
was a decision i made a loooong time ago,
but now that it can actually happen,
and IS really happening,
and what with the collateral calamities that've been unfolding on all sides,
i would just like to take this moment,
on this forum,
to say:
i hope i am worthy of the undertaking.
that's all.
it's not self-doubt, nor is it passive-aggressive self-aggrandizement.
it's a genuine hope, and a genuine goal.
i'm grateful for the time i've been given,
and i strive to be equal to the task at hand;
never quiet, never soft.....


i made a TERRIBLE dinner the other night.
i did.
i couldn't even eat it.
and this was before everything else took a huge sh!t on the floor, figuratively speaking.
it was awful.
i don't know where my mind was at,
but it sure as heck wasn't in this kitchen.
look at it:

what the eff is going on?
any idea?
it was a heaping hunk of nerd turds.
cajuny-battered fried baby bella mushrooms seemed like a win,
but it was zero percent victorious.
they were greasy, and clumpy,
and although the batter was molto tight, on the ones,
it did NOT go well with those mushers, which became muy muy mushy.
lettuce and peppers and pickles and sh!t did NOTHING to hook it up, either.
and the flatbread should've been called salty suck-flaps,
because i ruined that too.
the slaw was too soft, and that was a big letdown.
hey, it wasn't a complete loss, however-
the salad was good.
but, the again, it's like three things,
and two of them were just what they already are.
cukes and tomatoes are pretty tasty, and italian dressing does it's job admirably, as well.
the salad wasn't a failure, but it's also barely a salad, so there's that.
it sucked SO hard on all the balls that i was forced to admit i didn't dominate dinner.
not one little bit.
final grade: F+
was i still hungry?
of course.
what was left in the fridge?
wet leaves.
shoutouts to salad for saving the day!
check the teleport:

whatever, neighbors-
i effs with salad heavy in my 'hood.
and all the little add-ons take dumb leaves to eleven, y'heard?
word up.
and i don't always have the time for magnificence;
and also,
i don't always have the ingredients for tremendousness;
and also also,
i don't always have an idea of what to make-
and i fall back on salad, because i will forever and ever have all ten seconds
it takes to make that.
here's a couple more:

and :

i do that.
and i'm actually sorta surprised i don't do it more often.
i will confess to cooking very little last week.
my heart and my head just weren't in it to win it.
i did order a LOT of indian food,
and twice as much pizza.
that's a fight-back/recover combo.
sick to your stomach with guilt and grief and second-guesses and sadness?
kill it with fire,
and what's more fiery, up in the crackery whiteness of the white mountains
than a big ol' bowlful of HOT indian curry?
that's turbo-ethnic boomfire for your brown-powerful boy, duders.
real talk.
and then, when i was all beat up and broken down,
what is it that kept me going,
and made me feel just a little baby bit better every single time?
ummmmmm, PIZZA, obvi.
what are you?
an A*-hole?
don't be dumb.
it's back to back to back stacks on stacks of work and work and more work,
and while the big action coming my way,
with AMPERSAND TATTOO really shaping up to be something special,
i think i've got to throw myself into it, wholeheartedly with full force and wild abandon.
what's more,
i should probably start being a lot nicer to people.
it clearly makes a difference.
at the end, my sister was immeasurably well-liked.
y'ever go to your waitress's funeral, and cry your face off?
me neither.
there was an enormous turnout of folks who did just that.
that's crazy to me,
but i'm so impressed by it.
i mean it.
and, like, how many ex-boyfriends were at her wake?
a whole mess.
and every last one of them was crying an ocean of tears.
if your exes are all effed up that you're gone?
that's a testament to enduring spirit and memory, isn't it?
i doubt i'd have a single tear to shed if my ex finally fell down
into her flaming punishment in the afterlife.
no jokes, these people were all the way shook.
that's some seriously molto magical juju right there -
being nicer about being mean,
and being mean without being mean,
and meaning all the nice things, too.
the kid was onto something.
seems i have a lot to think about.
and thinking about it means thinking about my sister.
that's a good idea, across the board;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, July 23


that was awful.
grief, loss, mourning, and coping-
plus hours of added travel time in stop and go traffic,
in blistering hot weather,
in every state i drove across didn't help a damned thing.
guess who popped a tire?
it was me.
guess what specific tire had to be special ordered?
have you met me?
how else could it ever even have happened?
that was just a little extra sauce on top of a brutal bludgeon of a weekend.
damn. damn. DAMN.
and when i finally got home to the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and unleashed my high-strung tornado terrier,
i quickly re-leashed him,
and we walked,
and walked,
and walked some more,
until both of us were bleary eyed and dizzy from the heat and the exertion.
you ever been to a wake for a local celebrity?
between my sister anna's ability to make friends EVERYwhere,
and my sister mary's successful business connections,
and my father's notoriety across all levels of the underworld,
and my mother's preposterously enormous extended family,
and her beloved work family,
there were a billion people shaking hands and touching me,
and two billion wet eyes looking to make sense of this all-consuming misery.
y'know what i do when i don't know what to do with myself?
i make something to eat.
that's right.
and when i have extra hours to consider what's for supper,
it isn't always a better plate for all that there is added consideration.
last night?
last night was something.
if you're gonna eat your feelings,
and you're the type to have a whole lotta strong feelings,
then really, the objective is clear:
too much is the right amount.
and a big plate of big flavors took a tiny bit of the edge off.....
.....although my body isn't ready to be delighted in any way right now,
and that diminished what i know deep down was some next-level dopeness.
check the teleport:

damn, dudes.
i came home and saw a bright flash of orange in the woods.
i suspected it was a special treat,
and upon closer inspection, i was rewarded for my suspicions.
backyard-harvested delicacies, bro.
chicken of the woods is the TRUTH.
real talk.
dunked in a soymilk/flax/chia blend,
and dredged in cornstarch/flour/GPOP/salt/pepper/paprika/
cayenne/oregano/ground mustard breading???
how can you beat that?
with jalapeno and scallion tossed right in the batter of some big boi-style
little manly cornbread waffles.
1/2 cup flour;
1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal;
3 T vegan sour cream;
2 T demerara sugar;
1 1/2 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
2 T melted earth balance buttery goodness;
1/4 tsp salt;
11 cracks of black peppercorns;
2 T minced jalapeno;
1 T shredded scallion greens;
2/3 cup non-dairy milk;
^you could totally mix that up, and waffle it out.
i just know you can, and you totally should, too.

wilted baby spinach greens, in the same pan as the mushroom sizzlers?
with pickles and jalapenos, and parsley and scallion sprankles?
and how about those sexy purple cabbage confetti streamers?
no ugliness is invited to my dinnertable; y'heard, y'turds?
wordimus prime.
you know what that's missing?
and here's how you too can conjure up a whole mess of that big beige,
and activate all the excellence contained therein:
2 T plant-based butterish;
3 T flour;
(toasted together, on medium heat, until golden)
+ 2 T nutritional yeast;
2 tsp each Garlic Powder Onion Powder;
black pepper to taste;
1 1/2 cups broth;
^ dudes, that's all there is-
heat it up, stir it a lot, let it thicken,
and then lose your effing mind over how totally elite everything is with gravy on it.
that's no joke.
how could we improve on that?
i mean, honestly, if there was something to add,
what would it be?
OBviously, it's barbecue lentils, because that's what's ON the plate, neighbor.
1/4 cup onion;
1 1/4 cup lentils;
olive oil.
sizzle those together,
and add:
3-4 T organic ketchup;
1 T smoked paprika;
4 dashes of liquid smoke;
1 tsp oregano;
1 T red bell pepper, all mincey-minced nicey-nicely;
2 T pickle brine ( i used jalapeno in this instance);
GPOP, black pepper, parsley, and a touch of cayenne.
^^^DAS IT!!^^^
with raw red onion garnish?
c'mon, kid.
that's what's good.
it's back to my surreal real life today.
back to work,
and back to the front.
fighting the good fight, of which, no fight is really all that good,
but, sometimes, there are battles that need winning,
and if i can't work ON something,
then i've got to work THROUGH something.
there's no time to adequately feel what's happening.
it's not fair, but it is what's really happening;
never quiet, never soft.....


low bush blueberries grow in abundance in my backyard.
i have cultivated big bush big bloobers, too,
but they yield a measly handful at best every year.
that's on me-
they need more acid in their soil, and i've been incredibly lax
in my attentions to the grounds of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
as such, the lowly low-lows adjacent to the soil-embittering,
enriched ripeness of my heroically huge hemlock tree are flourishing instead.
and in turn, so am i.
a big bag of backyard bloobs had me wondering what to do with such a special treat.
and after a mere moment's hesitation, i knew the answer:
breakfast biscuits.
scones are in the zone, neighbors.
and my scone situation has only gotten more expert with time.
check out the two-bite wedges i worked up last week:

so much blue, they turned green.
that's when you know you've overdone it-
which is to say:
you've correctly done it.
that's right.
too much is the right amount,
and that goes double for smaller berries.
you wanna overdo your own?
you ca use store blueberries, too,
i won't judge you too harshly.
(just a little bit)
preheat your oven to 400℉.
in a mid-sized mixing bowl,
cut together:
3 T vegan creamchee';
1 stick plant-based butterish;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 1/2 cups flour;
3 T raw sugar;
1/3 cup tapioca flour;
1/2 lemon's zest.
when that's all one indistinguishable crumbly mass,
4 T vegan sourcream;
1/2 cup non-dairy milk;
1 cup wild harvest magic low-bush new hampshire Folk Life blueberries.
fold, and turn, and fold, and turn,
until the whole thing is one somewht sticky, layered block.
flour a surface nearby,
and press the whole of it into a flat get-wrecked rectangle,
about 1" high,
and slice it lengthwise down the middle.
cut yourself a whole bunch of wedges from either strip.
arrange them all, alternating tips and butts, on a baking sheet.
freeze them for at least five whole minutes,
and then bake those sweet bluegreen baby b!tches for about twenty minutes.
cool 'em, and then glaze 'em, broski.
lemon juice, lemon extract, vanilla, and powdered sugar are all you need.
eyeball it, too.
i believe in you.
lots of sugar, and just a little teentsy baby bit of everything else.
you'll get smarter is you do,
how awesome are they?
they're soft, and not too dry, and not too sweet,
which somehow makes them taste too damned dope-
and usually, that's what we need, nerds, y'know?
breakfast can be simple,
it can be superb.
when it's time to turn up my blue-ray blue-bae blueberry spectrum,
you know i will come loud and hard with that freshness,
directly for your face.
i'm catching up,
and when i'm there,
everything else is going to be okay;
never quiet, never soft.....


5x chocolate brownies.
that's how it is, now.
and i've been slacking, sort of, on keeping everything recorded for you.
sorry about that.
here's what they look like:

and here's how you make them:
preheat your oven to 360℉.
in a medium mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick very soft plant-based butter;
1 cup sugar;
1/4 cup brown sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
1/2 cup cocoa (that's a lot!);
1/2 tsp salt.
when that is mixed well-enough to become a thoroughly sloppy wet mess,
add 1 cup of non dairy milk, and mix well.
it's reverse batter, buddy,
and it's realllllly damned good.
2 1/2 cups a.p. sifted flour;
2 tsp bakey powpow;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1 heaped cup of chocolate chips;
2/3 cup cacao nibs.
stir well,
and add to a greased and floured brownie pan.
bake for 33 minutes, or until the center just barely isn't jiggly anymore.
let them cool a little, but NOT to room temperature.
we want the next level of chocolate to work, too.
shave dark baker's deep dirty chocolate all over the tops.
and it'll melt jusssst enough to hold fast.
try it first, to make sure it doesn't just all-the-way dissolve, tho, obvi.
don't be dumb, duders.
and ganache!
y'gotta doo-doo that ganache, guys.
rules is rules.
and what's the use of exxxtra-chocolaty chocolate without even MORE chocolate?
that's 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted,
with 3 T non-dairy milk,
1 tsp vanilla;
3 T powdered sugar.
kaBOOM! instant hottness.
that's FIVE kinds of chocolate.
and these reverse bbattery b!tches are the bomb, bruh bruh.
for really real.
they're super soft and springy, and moist and rich and light, surprisingly.
so much so that they do go down the hatch pretty easily.
you might tune up ten in a row before you have time to register
that you've just given yourself diabetes.
be careful.
but, also, be ready, because once you do this,
brownies will be forever changed.
it's all really happening,
and i'd be more than happy to share them with you;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 21


fourteen years.
fifteen summers.
endless days.
countless hours.
and after all of it,
i'm all done.
that's correct.
i gave my notice at the only real job i've ever had.
the longest consecutive number of days i've spent performing a specific task,
in one location, is presently coming to it's conclusion.
i'm serious.
as of august first,
i no longer will be employed at white mountain tattoo.
you read that right.
it's been a literally incredible journey through the highs and lows of my career,
living and loving and hating and working (always working) in the woodsly goodness.
there are innumerable times that i thought for sure it was going to collapse in on itself,
and there were even more times where i steamrolled and rollercoastered and coasted iby,
spanning whole swaths of berserker barbarian battle-beastliness,
and motormouthing my way through day after day of summertime tourists, 
ski-bum winter wanderers,
mud-season rednecks,
mud-bowl amateur sportsmen,
early august camp counselors,
and out-of-state second-homo's (that's homeowner, abbrev'd)
and now,
that's all over.
fourteen years in one tattoo studio?
in tattooer years, that's three lifetimes' worth.
hell, i'm downright lucky.
after all this time;
thousands and thousands of tattoos;
sh!t, the entirety of my thirties, good, bad, and worse, elapsed under that roof.
these dudes took me in when i mistakenly thought i had enough juice in the industry to 
retreat to the high hills with no adverse effects-
and tolerated my highfalutin antics when i briefly returned to my former imagined glory
during the few years i traveled to atlanta in search of the magic i'd let out of my grasp.
that's something.
and that's what i'm choosing to remember.
we always get a choice, neighbors.
and i'm choosing to remember those kindnesses 
as the final curtain closes on our time together. 
that said,
the NEW new hottness is on it's way.
for too damned long, i've been waitin' in the cut,
steady grindin', and stackin';
planning and plotting and plodding along in a rut.
why am i leaving white mountain tattoo?
because my five year /eight year plan is finalllllllly coming together.
at long last,
i am pleased to proudly announce the creation of my own studio!
word up.
as i type, construction continues apace on the new space for spanning time,
and making art, 
and zappin' tattbombs,
and telling true stories,
and actively participating in each puzzling piece of the bigger picture.
it's ALL really happening,
and now, it has a name:
like, c'mon, now:
do you know what that is?
it's dope.
that's what it is.
the & symbol, 
the stylized 'et' from latin, 
the 'and per se and' of the alphabet,
the 27th letter of most classic typefaces,
the symbol for AND,
which is equivalent,
in my lexicon, to MORE.
there is no this OR that,
only this AND that,
because too much is the right amount.
as i prepare for this trip to connecticut today,
to say a final goodbye to my baby sister,
i'm humbled by this opportunity i have ahead of me.
maybe overwhelmed is a better word.
so much newer, bigger, better, ever-bigger BIG action is just beginning
as an ever bigger piece is gone for good.
it's difficult to focus on the future 
at a time when the past is present and holding you to account.
i'm far more mindful that the gifts i've been given are not to be taken lightly.
i'm staying gold knowing full well nothing gold can stay.
that's just what i do.
whenever and wherever there's a harder way, 
i'll find it
turn it up to eleven,
and make gold from straw.
rules is rules, after all.
i'd hoped for a bigger fancier reveal.
a grand debut.
but somehow,
this feels more fitting.
without the bitter the sweet's never ever as sweet.
and this good news, shared with you, is good for me.
i'm grateful for the times,
i'm fortunate to have been given this hand-forged Folk Life,
and i'm sure as hell not going to squander it-
today is the day.
the last one, the first one, the hardest one;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, July 19


how do you put grief into words?
i've always thought i had that down pat.
loss and i are old friends, after all.
today, however,
i'm not so sure there are words that can capture the scope of the loss i'm feeling.

my youngest sister, anna, is dead.

that one sentence states the facts.
but, it's not enough.
...because that just tells you how the story ends,
and doesn't do anything at all to tell you about how much she mattered to us.
it's easy to say you're sorry that something sad has happened.
and really, what else can someone on the outside ever actually say?
there's a kind of culpability in that apologetic offering-
'i'm sorry for your loss' is sort of the same thing
as volunteering the sentiment of being sorry for not losing.
me and mine just took a hard L,
and in an instant,
just like that,
everything has changed,
and nothing has changed,
and i'm seriously not sure which is worse.
do you understand?
i've got to do all the same sh!t i had to do yesterday,
and all those mundane chores and tasks and responsibilities remain.
a huge glitter-glued sparkly continent-sized piece of my life and times is missing.
it's not like we spoke every day.
it's not like we saw each other every time i went back home.
that's wasn't ever the point.
we didn't have to, because we each knew how the other felt.
we actually liked each other.
we laughed the hardest together.
we shared all the inside jokes at the family's expense.
we picked up right where we left off, every time, no matter how much time had passed.
we were connected, and we were friends and now she's gone.
that's the big motherF*er about death.
you can still have a whole lot of great things with a whole bunch of great people,
but you never get to have those things with that person ever again.
and i'll miss every last bit of it.
she was a good person.
she did a whole bunch of A*-hole things, and often-
it wouldn't be a true story if we left that out-
but she was a good person.
better than her brother and sister at the core of it all.
for all that she tagged along behind us, she led the way in that respect.
here's the thing-
from way back in the day, when my kid sister was just a little girl,
she was determined to be every bit as big as her siblings.
that meant she went after every moment twice as hard,
twice as loud, twice as fearlessly as the rest of us.
so much so that we all knew
(and that includes any friends who happened to be playing with us)
that as soon as anna got involved,
any ordinary games were about to get really real real fast.
we used to genuinely fear her level of absolute intensity.
...like teasing her was dangerous because retribution was swift and brutal,
and then forgive and forgotten.
she was prepared to go farther than the rest of, and she routinely did.
her determination to be considered the same as us typecast her as a tough guy,
in reality,
she was more of a lover than a fighter.
and she loved as hard as she fought.
maybe harder.
in some ways, i think she thought of them as one and the same.
if she loved you, and she probably did, she loved you the best,
and if she hated you, damn, dude- you definitely deserved it...
she kept my mother on her toes, with midnight calls of danger close confrontation,
wherein she was guided to safety by our dear ol' ma.
it seemed like she was good for one of those a year, like a booster shot.
she was so much like our father in that-
hell, she made him feel needed, which was all he ever really needed.
and she really needed her mom to take care of her, which was hell on them both.
life is funny like that, only, nobody ever laughs at it, when it's all really happening.
she was a neat freak and a hot mess.
she was a workhorse who could sleep for days.
she was a fast-talking sh!t-talking right-up-to-your-face-and-dis-you girl.
she was a ghetto fabulous and a do-it-yourself crafty homemaker.
she never got her driver's license.
she was my father's favorite daughter, and his favorite son, and deservedly so.
she was thirty six years old and she died in her sleep.
that's some small comfort.
i remember her as a torpedo of a baby.
i remember her as the sweet second sister who endured being the second sister.
i remember her as my little tagalong, helping me shovel snow.
i remember her as a batsh!t teen terror.
i remember her as a beaming graduate from night-school.
i remember her working for me and saving my A* when i was unequal to the role of boss.
i remember her as a laugh-so-hard-we-cried co-conspirator on too many christmases.
i remember her as a dazed and crazed bride at her front-yard barbecue wedding.
i remember her cradled in my arms, crying and helpless, when her husband died.
i remember her as she was, light and dark, easy and hard.
anna was a good person.
she was a kind person.
she was my little sister.
she was my friend.
i am grateful for the time we were given,
and the life and love we shared;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, July 17


organic brown rice ramen??
what even is that?
.....about 600% more expensive than plain ol' dirty budget ramen, apparently.
it's not prohibitively expensive, unless you're for realsies on a top ramen budget,
but it's crazy inflated versus almost every other pasta out there.
if it's superfancy and unnecessary, then papa carocci simply has to have it.
rules is rules.
oh, btw, that's me,
papa c.
(also, it's the cucch, too, alphabetically)
it's complicated, but trust me, that's a thing.
ok, ok.
i found some fancy ramen.
that's cool.
what do we do when we gotta do what we gotta do?
we doo-doo that freaky sh!t, each and every time.
shoutouts to another 'nother elite NOODOO BOWL!!!

part pho, part thai, part sweet, part sour, part spicy boomfire.
that's a lot of parts,
but then again- too much is the right amount,
and sometimes, that's what we need.
it's got a lot of flavors and textures.
it's a sophisticated kind of spice.
i'm serious.
the broth has more than it's fair share of hot and sour and sweet,
and the veggies are complex for all their simplicity;
there's fresh ones, and sauteed ones, crunchy jauns, softies;
plus, those crispy AND hot boys, too.
check it-
half an onion, diced;
2 huge cloves of garlic, sliced;
veg oil, to saute them.
sizzle those for a few, to soften them,
and add:
1/2 cup thin red bell pepper strips, half length;
1 tsp red chili, minced;
1 tsp minced jalapeno;
when the garlic is just starting to color, pour in:
1 T chili-garlic paste;
1 T tamari;
3 T rice wine vinegar;
3 T mae ploye SAUCE;
1 T agave;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
1/2 tsp ginger;
1/2 tsp ground mustard;
2 cups hot water;
2 T lime juice.
let all that bubble for ten minutes,
and add chopped cilantro and a cup of baby spinach for the victory!!
how good is it?
so good you'll slap your mama in the mouth!!
those big broccoli guapoli florets got seared in a dab of unrefined coconut oil,
then braised, along with a bunch of baby bok choy, in a soy/water 1:1 ratio dash.
a lid, some minutes, and a hot pan were all that was needed to make something magical.
and the mushrooms?
quartered fattie boombattie big baby bellas, brown on two out of three sides,
before swimming in that broth like little myconic otters...
from there,
it was all decoration-
baby spinach, pea shoots, red radishes, yellow carrots, fresh basil,
snap peas, jalapeno slices, cilantro and scallion sprankles...
plus a lime garnish to activate any latent hottness that might've still been asleep.
to that, i say:
wake the eff up and get ON this tasty jaun, neighbors.
i LOVE NOODS, dudes.
i'm totally like that.
so, when i'm not crushing noodles with my face,
i'm drawing.
and when i'm drawing, crabtree is whining.
or barking.
or generally destroying something of valuable,
along with my patience and my self-control.
i don't know what it is about the little A*-hole,
but he HATES when i have a pencil in my hand.
that's weird, right?
if i'm cooking, he's cool as a cucumber.
if i'm entertaining someone (rarely) he goes to sleep.
but, if i get out a paper and a pencil?
instant eff-holery.
it's making my latest adventure into kind of an ordeal,
why wouldn't it be?
if it was easy all the time, there'd be no accomplishments to it.
i'll get it all done,
and he'll get on my nerves,
and we'll go for a walk, and we'll get it all out of our system,
and then we'll get the job done...
it's got to happen,
and it all really is;
never quiet, never soft


ohhhhhh snap
it's been a wild weekend of work, work, and more work,
and late late nights and early early mornings,
and long dog walks and intense really real talks;
and big moves and small victories;
and fat tips from skinny people and no tips from big'uns...
it's ALL really happening.

that's a picture of some cookies,
because far too few of you actually like when there are too many words on here.
for realsies.
but, back to the world of the woodsly goodness-
the studio has been so super-mobbed that i barely have a minute to catch my breath.
tatts on tatts on tatts-
with more and more of 'em piling in every damned day.
that's a good thing, guys...
busy is better than slow,
and being harried and hurried and overworked
is better than spanning lazy days in a lootless movie-check-free space.
that's no joke.
here's the thing:
i've somehow got to be in two places at once,
and i still don't know how to subdivide myself into equal parts.
instead, i have rely on worthy warrior poets and active participants
for all the in-betweens and collaterals that i can't be present for.
i have good friends.
how weird is that?
and the best part?
because i'm such a limited edition elitist,
all the friends i have are all absolutely expert.
plus, when they say they'll be around, they ARE.
look, neighbors,
ANYbody can bobblehead around being nice to EVERYbody-
of course,
if you're like that, it doesn't really count, does it?
think about it, man-
that means everything awful is the same as everything amazing,
and that elevates turds, and dims the stars.
doing that might make you kind of an A*-hole with a smiley face.
oh, don't worry, duders, i'm NOT about that sh!t.
in fact,
i'm positively discriminatory when it comes to who's ON the list,
and who won't ever be considered for entry .
y'gotta be dope, or you're not invited.
so the fact that i have these few helpful, present, involved active participants
is just about the best news out there at this point in time.
yesterday, my friend dennis had a berfday.
and that's pretty cool, because he's pretty cool.
i'm pretty effin' lucky to have family members like him.
and when i say family, i mean it like: the manson family, obvi.
it's just that those closest to me matter more than ordinary average everyday regulars-
and that's how family is s'posed to work, isn't it?
i'm not exactly sure, honestly, but i think that's it.
i'm lucky, and i know it.
i'm so crushed underneath the slipping sands of the hourglass that i haven't found time
to do all the things i'd like to,
but i will.
and that means all the berfdays get a cake,
and all the candles get lit.
and all the dinner parties get thrown,
and the fires burn and the days unfold on dotted ley lines of spirit and memory
and all of that gets recorded for posterity and prosperity right here.
here's that cookie recipe.
preheat your oven to 375℉.
in a medium bowl, cream together with your trusty pastry cutter:
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1/2 cup raw sugar;
1 stick (8T) earth balance butterish;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 T lemon zest;
1 tsp lemon extract;
1 tsp vanilla.
^to that tasty mush, you'll need to sift in:
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour;
1 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 T lemon juice;
and maybe a little more lemon zest.
if it's tooo crumbly, add a little agave, or more lemon juice, a little at a time.
you don't want mud, you want putty, y'feel me?
knead that into a shiny smooth dough, and rest it, wrapped in plastic,
for at least an hour, or overnight, if you're good at planning.
i rolled and cut 'em out, and got more than four dozen 2 1/2" circles.
sure, they were like 1/4" thick, but they were 100% delicious.
baked for 11 minutes,
they're crisp AF, and snappier than your mean aunt.
you can eat 'em as is, and they're great.
i had a whole bunch of frosting in the fridge,
so i used all of that,
and added those powdery sugary sprankles, too.
after all, too much is the right amount.
why have just plain jauns when you can have that multiflavorful freshness for your face?
MORE deliciousness is clearly better.
that's what i'm sayin'!
so, today is full.
and tomorrow, too.
i gotta get while the gettin' is good,
before i gotta get the the eff out of there.
there's a time and place for everything,
and i think it's about to be albie rock o'clock;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, July 14


i bake a LOT of bread.
that's no joke.
and i like bread.
and i break bread.
and i share bread.
and i believe, for real,
that honest-to-goodness carefully crafted bread
is what the whole world needs a whole lot more of.
good bread makes better people,
and i've been on the path to self-improvement through natural fermentation
for a while now.
what have i been baking?
i'll show you:



(with seeds!!!)

there's no such thing as too much bread.
in fact, sharing the stuff builds better relationships.
and moreover,
making it is meditative, contemplative, and good-fortune-generating.
that's a thing.
the air, and the water, and the wheat all work together to make a living thing,
and that self-replicating organism is determined to make something special
out of just the simplest stuff.
that's expert.
and i'm so psyched about it.
now look again, because there's plenty MORE:



i'm not saying that i know all there is to know about bread.
far from it.
but, i will say that i enjoy making it, because i think i genuinely learn something more
each and every time i bake.
...that's pretty awesome, since i bake bread a few times a week.
and when it's time to feed the starter, i give it a little pep talk.
and when it's time to measure stuff, i give it a little off-the-cuff add-on or mix-in.
i only very roughly measure.
and it seems to be working, so i 'spose i won't stop until i start making sucky bread.
seems like a good plan to me.
now look at more bread:





is that not enough yet?
you want more?
here goes:

i guess i like carbohydrates, huh?
let me just say, i believe in what i tell you.
too much is the right amount.
no question.
here are the last of the current roster of loaves:

and i document every loaf.
after all,
the best way to progress is to keep records of all you do.
there are comparisons that need making,
and milemarkers that need measuring.
it's all really happening, in my oven, and on my countertops, and in my mouth.
homemade tastes better, looks better, and makes you better.
get involved in your daily bread, bro.
you'll be glad you did;
never quiet, never soft.....