Monday, October 31

INDOMITABLE

my dudes,
i've been so busy trying not to die that i'm way behind in my writing about real life.
uh-huh.
that's real.
i mean,
hell night came and went,
hallowe'en is over and out,
and i'm still justover here trying to tell you about saturday's pizza party.
awwwww, man!
i hate falling behind.
i've got at least a couple treats i haven't shown you yet,
and a costume that took FORever to fit into my days and nights.
still,
there was a triumphant post-accident pizza party on saturday,
and that's the logical place to begin.
of curse, when i say pizza party, what i mean is-
i had pizza while i sat by myself,
and it sort of tasted a little saltier than normal-
in fact,
everything i've eaten lately has tasted just a little tiny bit like blood....
mostly because of the holes where there aren't supposed to be any.
and the indelicate devouring determination i have to rend and tear,
as i'm rent and torn.
yikes.
lucky for me the pies were pure fire for my face.
check the teleport:

BUFFALO CAULI!!!!
yeah!
undechee', crushed tomatoes,
shredded spinach, chedg=dar and mozzarella daiya melties,
crisp angle-cut celery semicircles,
raw red onion, and that especially wet and wild buffed up buffz jaun.
uh-huh.
vegan butter, tejas-style ho' sauce, srircaha, smoked paprika,
GPOP, black pepper, a little nootch, and vegenaise.
damn!
a scoople of everything and some cauliflower florets,
and suddenly,
the whole night seems brighter.
it didn't end with all that goodness, guys.
nope.
there's fresh cilantro sprankles,
and cashew cream drizzled on top, too.
i needed that.
no doubt about it-
a burly spicy flame-igniting face-melter is the cure for a stitched-together saturday night.
word up.
however,
there was MORE than that.
obvi-
rules is rules.
when there's no time to activate anything,
the only choice is to pile more burden on your own back.
why would anyone do that?
because too much is the right amount.
that's why i also tuned up a white pie, with autumnal awesome sauce all over the place.
check it:

YEAH!!!
butternut squash, roasted up in cubes,
with underchee' and daiya mozzarella both droppin' it heavy on that circle.
mmhmm.
there're caramelized onions,
seared asparagus,
grilled leeks,
quartered miniature roma tomatoes,
tempeh bacon bits,
and fried garlic sprankles.
neighbors,
on the real-
my whole head hurt so bad i almost used a knife and fork!
y'know,
to make the bites more manageable and less destructive to my destroyed skull....,
until i remembered that i'm a warriorn poet, and a wrench-choosing sunovab!tch,
and not some disreputable disrespectful doodiehole.
i ate it all like i was s'posed to,
and i'm a better man for my trouble.
***********
october is finished,
and it ended with a bang, a crash, and a few all-nighters,
but,
what's next is some other other sh!t,
and honestly,
the last broken mirror of my past will lose it's lease tomorrow.
until then,
it's crabtree and me,
fighting the good fight in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
until we collapse where we stand;
never quiet, never soft.....

BIG

pumpkin coconut cinnamon panniecakes?!??!
F*CK YEAH!!
duders,
after i destroyed my big dumb face off,
and missed out on pizza,
i HAD to upgrade my breakfast situation on saturday.
mmhmm.
that's no joke.
so,
i got the BIG breakfast underway:

kaBOOM!
guys,
tempeh bacon is dope.
so i made some of that.
soy sauce and liquid smoke and spices an' that,
plus thin strips of magical bean hottness give you the invisible nutrients you need
to thoroughly enjoy a magnificent morning of being alive,
if unlovely.
for another 'nother go at staying ugly (uglier) and just being dope.
word up.
i also had premade weirdie vegan soysages,
an those sh!ts were great, accompanied by real maple syrup.
my patented skin-on pre-roasted ho'sauce homeboy fries
were pure fire incarnate this time around.
no jokes.
the exxtra-buttery panful of searing ho'sauce-style texas peteyness,
with the crispest caramelized crispy onions,
and the GPOPpin' rockin' roasties really got it going on.
and that got us going OFF,
and that got the block hoppin' with high-heat hootenannying all over the place.
i'm justsayin',
i love a good homeboy fry. and when they're taken to eleven,
with cilantro spranks?
expert!
the tofu scrambo?
you KNOW it got the nootch-boost of a big ol' handful,
plus GPOP, olive oil, turmeric, and smoked paprika,
plus,
the upgrade of fried miniature roma tomatoes.
damn.
you gotta admit that's one sexxxy combo, right, bro?
heck yeah!
however,
it was those thick, fluffy, pumpkinators that panned up the hot fire from the future.
how'd it happen?
like this:
1 cup of flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 T sugar
1/2 cup oat flour
1/4 cup freshly-ground flaked unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup pumpkin
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup vanilla soymilk
4 T melted butterish
2 tsp bakey kapowder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
-
.....whisked, rested, and with maybe another 'nother couple Tablespoons
of milkish to thin it out post-naptime,
griddled up over medium-high heat,
until all the superior pumple flavors were activated.
damn it tastes good to make the big action explode in my own mouth.
and this mouth needs all the help it can get, kids.
no jokes.
i'm up late, hallowe'ening.
i may not get nearly enough done,
but i'll be gosh-darned if hell night is gonna get me all twisted up.
i may be sicker than a dirty dog's doodiehole,
and i may have a massively-messup-up masticator,
as well as a no-five nosehole with a defiantly deviant,
and devilishly deviated beaten-pathfinding septum,
but hallowe'en is my thing.
it's all really happening, and the midnight oil is alit, and alive.
we'll see what i come up with;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, October 30

SMASHED UP.

dudes,
y'know where i was friday night?
the emergency room!
yeah.
i might've been betrayed by my old eyes,
and crashed my car,
in the rain,
by myself,
into a light pole.
yup.
i honestly couldn't see it,
and as i slid right into it,
the only thought i had?
no.
it was't: i hope my kids know ilove them.
uh-uh.
it was: this is a lame way to die.
real talk.
and then, stars and explosions and loud, fresh, super-hardness,
literally for my face.
ouch.
i cracked my gums, i put a few new holes into my face,
like, straight through, and all very bloody.
did my head crack the windshield?
it sure did.
and my nose?
oh, don't you worry, neighbors-
it's broken.
ha.
i didn't even get an adrenaline surge from the near-death bash-up.
honestly,
my vitals were those of a calm and relaxed man of leisure.
y'know why?
because i'm resigned to the idea of perpetual misfortune.
awwwwwwwww.
no.don't be bummed.
it's cool.
because that's the burden of the best storytellers, anyway.
good fortune is wasted on good storytellers.
so i spat out my mouth, not hot fire, although it still feels like it,
but rather, the salty iron essence of werewolf from within.
i was drippin', and spurtin', and split into bits,
and all i kept thinking about?
pizza and cookies.
uh-huh.
y'see, i was in a rush to get home and make pizza.
and eat cookies.
and generally have a tasty friday night.
instead,
i got a ride to the hospital, got to hear allllllll about
the amazing brand new tattoo shop in town,
from the night nurse who tended me;
and as she just got her brand new first zipzap ever,
the first of many more to come, to hear her tell it-
she thinks that i should go get a tattoo from there too-
from those tasty and amazing new lovely ladies
who are totally and completely awesome........
ummmmmmmmmmmm.
...right.
now,
for those of you who know me and my truly told true tales of woe-
you may already know that the new new is the byproduct of my old and busted.
huh?
well,
my ex-wife is the proprietor of the place i was being told about.
guys,
it always makes thrills me to hear about her.
i mean, we've studiously avooided each other for years-
but, we live and work in the same small space,
so the sour grapevines leak information on occasion-
i don't know that at my lowest point in some time, in a decent amount of pain,
that an unknowing update on the general beloved nature of my least-liked lost lady
was the best medicine for my mangled maw.....
uhhhhhhhh.
so,
you can bet that's precisely what i had hoped to talk about,
despite the lingering laryngitis that still plagues my pronunciation of every syllable.
right?
i mean,
instead of making pizza and being satisfied,
i had a beating and a bruising and a general battering of my already compromised ego.
womp womp.
i believe that's called icing, bro.
and it was on some seriously lame cake.
i got some stitches.
i got some aches and pains.
i got fewer bruises, but more lumps than i'd have guessed,
and my skull hurts even more than it did from the pre-existing illness i'd yet to overcome.
...the worst part?
by the time i got home, which was practically saturday morning,
that meant no pizza.
sh!tty.
however,
i had cookies already ready already,
and i'm sure that made everyone else pretty psyched.
....
wanna see 'em?
ok.
teleport:

coconut walnut lemon chocolate chip lovelies.
i'd tell you how to make 'em,
but you're not gonna.
suffice to say, there's lemon everywhere,
coconut everywhere else,
and an overlarge quantity of nuts and chips for good measure,
although nothing was measured.
the icing had juice and extract and zest-
the sprankles were color-matched to the season,
and the taste was totally expert.
that's it.
i make things in my kitchen,
i break things on the roadways.
it's all really happening, and it hurts quite a bit;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, October 28

CINNAMON/BROWN SUGAR/CIDER.

cups and cakes, kids.
i'm about that spongy, soft, dare i describe it as MOIST, muffiny magic.
yep.
cupcakes are good for you.
if for no other reason than it's a cake you don't have to settle for just a slice of.
YEAH!
i made up a batch, from scratch, naturally,
and they seem to really be something sort of special.
flavorwise, they've got all the comfort of autumn in every single bite.
i don't know what's different, but i do know it's F*ing expert.
check the teleport:

YUP.
two sizes.
i made what i thought was a short order,
but i had my usual magical pessimistical mystery goggles on.
duh.
it's like i constantly forget that i instinctively adopt an uncanny adherence
to the secret universal rules on the regular-
i think i don't have enough,
when really,
too much is the right amount.
so i ended up with another dozen and then some of miniature overflow cuties, to boot.
nice!
you ninjas want to try your hand at these hotties?
ok.
here's what i did-
(good luck recreating the new hampshire majesty trapped in every morsel)
-
1 stick vegan butts
3 T vegan creamchee'
1 cup brown sugar
3 T granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup non-dairy yogurt
^^^^ whipped up into an airy creamy wet bowlful of awesome,
to which you must add-
2 1/4 cups a.p. flour
2 T cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ginger
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking kapowder
1/3 cup tapioca, for that springiness that comes from puddin' it to the mix
3/4 cup apple cider (or 1/2 cup cider 1/4 cup non dairy milk, whatever)
^^whisked up until smooth,
it makes a more than a dozen, but less than a double dozen, regular sized cuppycakers,
filled 1/2 way before baking, at 350F for 30 minutes or so.
mmmmmm.
it seems so straightforward, but they taste so complex.
i'm very pleased with the finished product.
-
the frosting?
weirdest version of cinnamaple creamchee' yet.
i mean it.
6 T vegan butts
3 T creamchee'
2 cups powpow
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple extract
2 T maple syrup
and a whole lotta whippin'.
ooooooooooooooooooooof!
....it's dope.
and i mean, really dope.
and thick. and smooth. and toothachingly sweet.
it's seriously too much, kids,
which is how you know were doing it right, right?
yes indeed, because rules is rules.
***********
so,
do you guys eff with hallowe'en heavy in your 'hood?
yeah?
bobbing for apples in boogery water?
dressing as a slutty something or other?
scaring people from out of the bushed by the backdoor?
yeah?
that's cool.
i get into it,
but i don't really get it,
i more like, ghetto it.
i'm sayin', i LOVE it.
but,
i don't DO much.
i mean, i work, because i always work,
but otherwise,
i just dress up, and then go through my everyday routine.
i wonder if i should change it up this year?
or just stick with the bleak bitter jawbreakers of hurtful and howling-mad
hermity tricky treatises on being all by my lonely?
hahahahaha.
guys,
i'm gonna come home after work,
keep my porch light OFF,
and eat a whole pie by myself.
hell,
maybe i'll eat a pizza pie AND pumpkin pie.
word.
what-what, say what, say what?
ANYthing can happen.
it just most likely won't.
that's the way i celebrate the things i love the most;
never quiet, never soft.....

RACING!!

time. time.
got the time tick tick ticking in my head.
y'know?
no?
oh,
well,
maybe you're too young to have listened to anthrax back in the 90's,
but damn if i don't have that song ticking in my head,
as time ticks through my hands in real life.
uh-huh.
it's almost hallowe'en,
and i'm over here, bringing my costume equipment with me everywhere i go,
so while i'm doing some tattoos, and i'm also troubleshooting the time constraints
and construction issues that come with freeform patternless piecemeal pats and labor.
that's real.
i'm certainly not distracted by the zipzaps that i'm humbly,
and to be honest, somewhat luckily, grinding away my days on.
like,
it's basically been a whole bunch of nice ladies,
regularly getting regular sh!t,
which is keeping the lights on,
while we generally enjoying animated and interesting single-serving conversations,
inasmuch as my raspy wheeze of a voice will allow.
huh?
neighbors,
the tattoo scene is seriously infinging on my makery of masks an' that.
don't get me wrong-
i'm working it,
and i'm working on it,
and for the most part, it's working out.
the only thing i could use?
MORE TIME.
jeez.
and not for nothin',
but my little boy-o?
as in- the terrible terror of a terrier we love to hate?
yep.
the misanthropic missile-headed miscreant monster we all call
constable crabtree,
is F*ing killing me.
hours of walking, in ice and wind and rain,
fulfilling my responsible adult obligation to the
lousy life that relies on me for maintenance?
not great for time management, and worse for ailing health.
no question about it, when i say killing, i'm not using hyperbole.
so,
what does a warrior poet, short on time, and long on hunger,
do to assuage the shark-gluttonous appetite that threatens to undermine
all eveningtime efforts to be excelsior?
i go crazily lazy,
and make a little pasta.
awwwwwwwwwwwww, man.
pasta just seems so, i dunno, EASY.
i'm not proud.
but,
i am less hungry now.
check the teleport:

STILL STEAMING!
duders,
i repped a little rousing rustico jaun,
quick-fast, and in a hurry,
so i could get back to work on hallo-winning.
damn.
i do love it when a one-bowl batch of big action satisfies
in the spot where food goes.
olive oil, garlic, onion, homemade vegan sausages,
pre-boiled bitterness-busted broccoli rabe,
with nootch-boosted and GPOP'd salt and pepperishness throughout,
over tricolor fall-apart butterfly bowtie farfalle fresh-to-deathly 'ronis.
simple?
a little.
sexxxy?
assuredly.
y'like that italiano plate?
ha.
rustico, bro. i done already told you.
***********
i can't blame nature for not cooperating.
after all, i had a whole year to work on hallowe'en.
i should've known it'd be a paint-proof 100% humidity rainfest in the clutch.
i do love adversity, if only because my true calling in life is the fine art of complaint.
in fact,
compliance with murphy's law might be one of the few things i actually look forward to.
hahaha.
hard styles for hard-headed, harder-hearted, heated,
hot-fire-spittin' heavy-handed homeboys.
that's how i do it.
a little rain;
a surprisingly busy schedule, popping up out of nowhere;
pizza night;
laryn-F*ING-gitis;
it's all really hapening, and by now, i should be able to predict the pressure
of the in-the-pinch last minutes that routinely erupt and  disprupt my poorly-laid plans.
wordimus prime.
i make things harder for myself.
rules is rules.
i'm racing around, and the finish lines aren't visible.
bleary eyes and rainy skies have seen to THAT;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, October 26

CURRYING FAVOR.

ohhhhhhhh, rocky!!
ha.
oh, wait.
that's TIM curry.
...my bad.
i mean, that's alright,
and all right,
but,
it's still the wrong kind of curry.
for real.
i'm more of a coconut yellow style of man, myself.
yep.
a hearty, thick, spicy-as-heckfire helping of hot and creamy coconut curry
is the cure for what ails me.
or, its what fills my bellyhole while i'm ailing and failing at feeling better.
check the teleport:

you like that kaBOOMfire!?!
sweet.
i do too.....a whole LOT, actually.
i got myself some parboiled white and blue potatoes,
and i grilled 'em up in coconut oil.
i also broiled the sh!t outta some cauliflower,
splashed with soy and sriracha,
which steamed through while getting good and charred on top.
i set those aside, along with jasmine rice, seasoned with just a zippy drip of lime,
and got to work on the big pot of power that dominated the day.
*
sidebar:
yesterday,
with no voice,
and no appointments on the schedule, allowing for a 'cleaning day' at work,
i did a bunch of consults,
and more importantly,
i brought my hallowe'en costume accoutrements along with me to the studio,
where i got the babiest little teeny-tiny bit accomplished.
who knows if i'll finish when i s'posed to?
but i've gotta move on,
and keep trying harder and harder to fit it into the schedule, kids.
...anything other than that can't be tolerated.
the thing of it is, there's less time than usual-
yup.
yuck, yuck, and yuck.
i'm super sick,
and i'm doing my best to beat it with just my vegan healing factor.
also, i ordered pizza delivery for lunch,
and got pizza take-away for supper,
because cooking isn't on the menu.
at least not during the choking, throat-closing coughing jags
that are wracking and wrecking my chest, and ravaging my voice.
on the ones:
laryngitis,
to a competent communicator/chronic-motormouth
is THE WORST way to try and span time.
there's a lot of hacking, some feverish chilling,
and the blissful oblivion of my nightly fresh-to-deathly 4 hours of sleep.
i'm talking with my hands but it isn't sign language.
*
back to that curry, tho-
coconut oil, and sauteed onions, sizzled up until they turned clear.
from there, i added poblano, diced;
jalapeno, sliced;
rainbow baby bells, also sliced;
and red chili, minced.
the peppers gave it some zing, neighbors, and i needed that.
after all,
i'm trying to punish my tonsils for quitting on me...
fried garlic got tossed in,
and i poured a full can of coconut milk on top.
a half a cup of water, a scoople of bouillon,
GPOP, half a bunch of cilantro,
and about 7 big basil leaves, shredded, also made their way in there.
so did a few tablespoons of lime juice,
a sh!tload of turmeric,
fresh ginger,
smoked paprika,
coriander, and a pinch of cardamom.
mmhmmm.
and let's not leave out that firm cup of chick peas that turned up the texture, buddy.
heck yeah.
i added some chopped scallions at the end,
and fired all of that hottness (the rice, 'tatoes, wrestlers' ears, and wet stuff)
all together into a BIG bowl,
with a few more scallions as sprankles;
and then i ate all four servings'-worth all by myself.
yep.
i do my dirt all by my lonely, homies.
not only that,
but if food is my medicine is my food, an that?
well,
i'm OD'ing all the time.
that's how it IS, man.,
too much is the right amount,
always.
...i decorated my place setting with peony leaves.
i figured they weren't doing very much good out in the yard,
an a little autumn beauty doesn't hurt the taste of a spicy feast at all.
that's real.
**********
so,
i'm sotto voce,
and i don't like it.
not one bit.
also,
i'm fairly certain that these long, uphill sweaty walks in the icy drizzles
and frosty fogged-over mountainous mornings aren't doing me any favors.
crabtree, however,
has really taken advantage of my lack of loudness.
mmhmm.
since i can't yell at him to stop being an A*-hole,
he's taking his A*-holery to new and previously unimagined heights.
he cant come when i call, because i can't call, y'all.
it's one of those things....
i HAVE to chase him,
because words aren't available,
not that they were working all that well when we had them on hand.
so,
it's pneumatic knuckles,
and hopefully non-pneumonic mnemonics,
that we're using to convey ideas and actions.
body language and non-verbal abuse.
it's ALL really happening,
and i'm really trying to stay cool while it does;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Tuesday, October 25

HOMESKILLET SKILLSET

cookie pie?
yep.
cookie pie.
*ahem*
i meant-
COOKIE PIE!!
mmmhmmm.
i doo-doo that tasty business, b!tches.
what?
really?
you actually don't know what i'm talking about?
well, neighbors, then y'better check this teleport:

COOKIE PIE!
wetter cookie dough, pressed into a cast-iron circle,
and baked up into something not quite cookie or pie,
but decidedly super-expert all the same.
...and what's IN it?
everything!!!
for serious, kids-
gigantic chocolate chunks and miniature chocolate chips.
dried cranberries.
almonds.
pumpkin seeds.
oats.
and vanilla bean paste to make it especially luscious.
how'd i make it?
like this:
-
1 stick + 3 T butts
1 cup + 2 T sugar (1/3 cup dark brown, the rest organic vegan granulated)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking kapowder
2 cups a.p. flour
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt
3/4 cup chocolate chunks
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup almonds
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
-
all of that, from the creamed butts, sugs, and vanilla,
to the dry dock rock block chock full of nuts,
all rolled and folded and pressed into a 9" skillet,
and baked for 25 at 375F,
topped with raw sugary sprankles, oats, and seeds,
to make it look lovelier,
and activate just that little bit exxxtra we worthy warrior poets all always look for.
mmmhmmm.
i cut myself a manly slice,
and i freshened it up with a scoople of vanilla almond milk ice cream.
i'm just sayin'-
LOOK at that chunky, crumbly, gooey, wedge of interstellar stupendousness!!!!
y'know?
i don't like the weak sauce,
and i especially have no time for underfilled cookie dough.
i want MORE.
and when it's time to rock the party?
well,
i albie rock the party along following just one all-important guiding principle:
too much is the right amount.
word up.
and that's how you know it's always gonna turn out expert.
overarching thematic overindulgence.
i mean,
they're effing treats fro crying out loud.
and they should be just that.
...
soooooo,
cookie pie, broskis.
who'd have guessed that a giant cookie could transcend time and place like this?
i'm pretty happy with the results,
and i'm pretty happy with the picture, too.
as long as the leaves are still lingering for a moment more,
i'm gonna stage the scene to look as sexy as possible.
i don't wanna mess around with ugly food.
you know that.
so, when i'm preserving my place setting for posterity,
i'm also making sure that i capture a moment of maxxximun hottness.
after all,
if i'm not prepared to take it to eleven,
what the heck am i even bothering for?
i do what i do, as hard as i can,
and i let the day fall into place around me;
never quiet, never soft.....

BLOODLINES

we may not look exactly alike;
we may not sound exactly alike;
we may not agree on most things-
but,
we share the same werewolfen blood-curse,
and that's more than enough.
on the real,
there's a red-tinted tainted tincture that pours into our platelets
straight from our sour-to-the-marrow bad-to-the bones.
from the first to the last of it,
there's a curse on our kith and kin,
and we sure as sh!t share it, in spades.
damn.
they say angry expertism is in the DNA, duders,
because my pops likes to get effed up in the exact same ways.
in fact,
my father and i are more alike in more ways than is recommended
for the continued well being of worthy warrior poetics;
in all the worst ways-
the ones that cause the most sequentially savage
and calamitously consequential repercussions,
we resonate at the same frequency...
check the rock-and-boulder-type teleport:

STAY UGLY, STAY DOPE!!!
if ever it was an applicable sentiment,
it's that right there.
i mean,
look at those two barbarian battle-beasts,
time-and-weather-and-careworn across the surface,
and cast-iron, lava-lined, and lugubrious within,
side by side,
letting whatever slim similarities we share shine through
like the fat chance in heck that we'd be mistaken for father and son....
....until we start to spit that hot fire.
then,
there's no mistaking the meter, pitch, and timbre of our tune...
we don't have the same voice, but we definitely sing the same song.
i told you.
it's in the blood.
and it's thicker than water,
but it still finds it's own level, or so they say.
and my old man and i have achieved common ground.
a low-tide watermark of kinship after all these years.
i s'pose on a long enough timeline
we all have more in common than we'd readily admit at first.
*
i'm made out of one heck of a weird recipe.
don't believe me?
well, check it-
here's my ma, too:

awwwww.
how psyched do we look?
i know, right?
my ma has become a wild weird old italian lady to the fullest.
i really like that.
i mean,
i grew up surrounded by old italian ladies,
and look at how good i turned out!
ha!
*
so,
this past weekend,
i found myself spanning time,
letting our mutually intricate spirit and memory dictate the genetic paeans
of worthy warrior poetry for posterity.
it was good to have everybody together,
if only to see the shockwaves of family resemblance roll outwards in
loud, fresh tsunami-style slaps of family togetherness.
that's real.
we're one heck of group, me and mine.
in fact,
i've even passed on whatever werewolf lunacy i've inherited
right on down, live and direct, to the next generation, as well;

c'mon!
yup.
we are all sipping from the same poisoned well-
three tiers of wolf-eyed weirdies,
all sharing space and time as best as we can.
there's no continuity errors in this narrative.
start to finish, it's all really happening.
loud, fresh, hardness, for everybody,
all the time, in your face;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, October 24

GOURMET LUXURY.

is it pizza time?
duh.
don't be dumb.
these days, it seems like it's ALWAYS pizza time.
to that end, it's almost like i've forgotten how to make anything else.
i haven't,
i just need the comforting embrace of my favoritest, most bestest food.
...seriously.
when the times are tough,
and the going is slow, almost to the point of being stooped, stoopid, stale,
and stopped at a standstill,
i need some pizza power, neighbors.
it's the cure for what ails you.
it's definitely the solution to what's for supper, that's for damned sure.
now that we've cleared that up-
lemme tell you all about the new new hottness on my plate last night-
luxxxurious fanciness, superlatively sexxxy, and totally flippin' expert-
i had some inspiration flowing from my fingertips,
even as both of my lungs began to collapse under the strain of upper-respiratory ragnarok.
that's a thing.
i can't breathe, and i can't stop eating pizza......
this may very well be the way i leave this earth,
suffocating and soaked in tomato sauce.
i can live with dying like that.
but,
before i check out of my extended stay over here,
let's bring it back to that pizza pie.....
just what is it that's so deluxe about it?
ha.
don't you worry, duders,
i'm more than happy to share the story,
just check the super-fancy-type teleport:

WOOOOOOOOOORD!!!
cashew-garlic underchee'?
you know it.
is it on a strong, firm sourdough uber-flat crust?
where else could it go, bro??
yup.
how about crushed tomatoes?
of course.
and a whole mess of daiya mozzarella?
obviously.
from there, though,
i took it by the horns, and let it get devilishly dope-ified.
that began with a strong bed of baby arugula,
with it's sharp peppery bitterness,
followed by caramelized white onions, for a more pronounced oniony flavor.
over that i dropped a link or two of thinly-sliced highly-spiced homemade vegan sausage,
that's when i got really  nicey-nice with it-
like,
i hit it with a few seckel pears,
sliced lengthwise, and fanned out across the surface.
sweet. literally. and soft, and smooth,
and pretty F*ing expert, if you ask me,
i whipped up some tapioca-laced oil-and-soymilk softened cashew garlic blops
of burrata-be-kidding-me style homeade custom cashew chee',
and dropped those on there,
followed by the obligatory fried garlic sprankles.
uh-huh.
rules is rules,
and i've got an oil-cured cupful of those jauns resting around on the counter,
always, ready and waiting for activation,
in the kitchen laboratory at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
smart.
how could i make that even sexxxier?
that's easy.
i also dropped some crunchy effing walnut pieces on there!!!
uh-huh.
i doo-doo that crackery late-october tastiness.
how could i not?
i want the nutrients, kids.
hell,
i need 'em;
i'm collapsing under these bone-cracking coughs,
and i've got to build up my strength for fighting off this pneumatic hammer in my chest.
ha.
wait,
that's a pretty sweet pizza;
but,
could it be better?
is there a way that this perfect eleven
could go to omega-level-eleven?
hmmmmmm.
well,
maybe....
but only if you pause,
and consider that its drizzled with a caramelized balsamic reduction, too!!!!!!!
kaBOOOOOOOM!!!!!
oh. c'mon.
it's just pizza.
but it's never JUST pizza.
it's my favorite,
it's my thing.
it's all really happening,
and i'm grateful that i've got a hot oven and some cold sourdough to make it with.
anybody can eat a sh!tty pizza,
but it's the professional appreciation
and active participation of this fresh Folk Life
that make something that could've just been super-simple into something amazing.
this is What Is,
and it's good for you;
never quiet, never soft.....

BATTY-BAT-BATS

i got a tall order of shortbread on my countertop the other day.
uh-huh.
i was wondering if i could make some sort of danish dopeness,
with the big sugar, and the heavy butter game,
like in the olden days of my misspent and mayhem-laden mishap-slapped
unhappy stretch of young adulthood.
y'know?
my elderlies, back in the day, eternally had those danish butter jauns
in the round red or blue metal tins,
and i used to terrorize 'em like i was entitled to every last sugary swirl
on every last doily in each circle of holiday hottness on the table.
i mean,
going to grandma's (which also happened to be my great  aunt's as well)
meant allllll the treats all the time-
my grandmother would cook,
my ancient aunt would bake,
and i would steady stir the sauce or the batter,
like an attentive, if effeminate, nice and good little italian boy.
that's real talk.
you want an origin story, comic-book style, for your boy?
well,
the food part of the story starts in that house in new haven...
and in between meals,
you'd best believe i was lacing into those cookies
like a savage stormswept raging gypsy shark-glutton.
word up.
ANYway,
i made some shorties, reminiscent of my long-lost youth.
....so, how'd it go?
well,
take a little look for yourself, via teleport:

BATS ON BATS!!
yeah, neighbors,
i sort of smooshed myself into the middle of somewhere
between sugar and shortbread cookies,
and came up with something unintentionally not quite either.
but,
they're delicious, and that's what's most important.
the bats have got chocolate ganache piped on top,
carefully applied to maintain the shape of the airborne mammals they mimic,
with holiday hallowe'en sprankle dots dropped on top,
...and the circles??
i went off-book and double drizzled some of that dark chocolate ganache,
AND a thick citrusy lemon-orange icing.
mmmhmmmm.
lemon juice, a drop of lemon extract, three drops of orange extract, vanilla extract,
magical orange dye, and kapowdered sugar, super thick.
yeah.
it's simple, and i used a plastic baggie as a pastry bag,
with a pinhole punched in one corner.
to drool that sauce over the surface, and activate some pretty hallowe'en stripes.
word.
you wanna know what's in the dough, bro?
sure thing-
1 1/3 cup vegan butts
4 T coconut oil (unrefined)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup big crystal demerara sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking kapowder
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup coconut yogurt.
^^^i added everything together at once, except the yogurt,
and cut it in like piecrust,
so the fats were coated in flour and were still just a little chunky.
that makes the crumbliness all sorts of flaked out and nice-nice.
then,
i hit it with that 'gurt, just to bind it all up;
after that tough touch, y'must let it chill in the fridge for a spell.
i let mine get exxxxtra-lazy in there for half a day.
....yup.
here's the thing-
once it was rolled out, it just so happened to be a baby bit wet,
so i used a whole lotta flour,
and that fixed the stickiness right away.
also, i made sure to chill the shapes before baking, too-
which happened at 375F, on the convection setting,
with that hot air circulating around all the edges
of each and every cut-out crispy one, for 15 minutes.
-
yeah.
the cookies have big sugary bits in amongst the flaky fattie-boombattie layers,
and moreover,
they're all cut pretty thick.
y'know why?
because thin cookies are all fine and good,
but MORE cookie in every bite seems so much better.
after all,
too much is the right amount.
that's no joke.
***********
guys,
i'm sick.
like,
super-stupidly especially awfully sick.
i mean it.
i can't stop with this cough.
and as such, i can't sleep.
the minute i get in bed, the banging around in my bronchials begins in earnest,
and there's no rest as i hack and bark and wreck myself with every breath.
yeah, i know- it's pretty cool.
luckily, there's a brutal biting wind outside,
dropping these morning temperatures, and whipping the wet air directly at my face.
luckily?
well, yeah, because i've still got hours of walking this terrible terrier ahead of me,
and i'd hate for that to be anything but a HORRIBLE experience.
mmhmm.
crabtree isn't playing it cool.
not one bit.
in fact,
these days, he's making sure that hallowe'en isn't gonna happen as hard as it used to.
nope. not one bit.
he's determined to destroy every happy moment in every day,
along with his own A*-hole,
and most of my house.
ugh.
therefore, the time i'd take to create is now spent shepherding his maniacal energy
into places and spaces that DON'T require emergency medical attention.
it's essentially a whole other 'nother job as soon as i get home from work.
yuck.
but,
that's what happens, right?
harder and harder styles;
longer and longer nights;
and the only thing lessening besides my sleep schdedule
is the appointment book a work.
where's the good part, guys?
i'm wracking my brains,
and i'm squinting my eyes,
but all i can see is a blurry bludgeon pounding away,
with every breath, which in it's turn comes with a banging b!tch of a cough.
it's all really happening,
and getting sick is all part of the deal, i guess;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, October 23

YEAH! PIE!!!!

pumplestiltskin creme pie chee'cake hottness from the future????
hmmm,
well,
i don't mind if i do:

YEAH!!!!!!
pumpkin pie for your eye,
reimagined,
via the food-styling freshness of @vegan_magic_time!
no joke.
i read about travis's interpretation, and i got so excited,
i simply had to have ago at one of my own.
he named his as a tart, and i agree.
the nutty crust qualifies it as an absolutely tarted-up little ho of a treat.
i used my go-to superflaky piecrust,
and miniature pie tins,
so by default,
i was headed in a different direction from the foundation.
that crust is a must.
and without it, i think my weekly endeavors to persevere
would be perilously punctuated by doo-doo butter,
rather than golden, delicious, crisp, sexxxy pie!
whew.
luckily, i know how to make more.
anyway,
the crusts were cut, and the leafy accents were, too.
i mean, really, autumnal awesomeness needs the leaves, or else,
what the eff are we even doing?
wasting time and energy, that's what-
and i can't  hang out with that, at all...
so,
since we know that we're not lazing around,
there'd be no point in letting that pumpkin creme idly weak-walk
into the waterbabyish diapersauce, right?
heck no.
i want that barbarian bam-bam sister nancy-style freaky-diki sh!t,
and everything else is NOT invited.
word up.
i used the following to make it work:
-
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 pinch of cloves, just to let you know that this is grown-man business
1 1/2 tubs creamchee'
2 T cornstarch
2 T tapioca
1 T arrowroot
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup soaked cashews
-
food processed until smooth in that high-heat hellrazorblade hole,
and poured out in equal portions of magical potion,
as the pumple quotient rose to eleven and beyond.
hahahaha.
i baked them at 415F for twenty-two minutes, until they were dark and firmer,
then pulled them with a bit of jiggly wiggle in the middle,
and let 'em cool.
for the record i took the leaves out much earlier.
they'll burn bro, so stay on 'em,
or eat those overtoasted turds at your own peril.
mmmmhmmmmm.
that said;
after a stint on the counter,
and a brief tour of the refrigerator,
to be certain of their gelled-up doneness-
i encircled them with the ensorcelment of almond creamchee' frosting,
and affixed the foliage with it, as well.
i doo-doo the decorative presentation stuff, neighbors,
because i don't wanna munch up on ugly food.
i stay ugly, but i eat beautiful.
that's my m-f word.
too much is the right amount,
and that goes double for pumpkins
***********
meanwhile, before i left for connecticut,
i had that expert pizza.
but,
before it was a pizza,
the red lentil arugula onion jaun was also an expert sandwich.
yup.
check the teleport:

MY 'GUINI SCENE GOES TO ELEVEN.
homemade bread?
obviously.
i like my hoagie rolls to stay woke AF,
and that meant activating a little commercially-yeasted upgrade magic.
-
1/2 cup semolina,
3/4 cup a.p. flour,
1 T gluten,
2 tsp sugar,
1/2 tsp salt,
i pkg yeast dissolved in <1cup p="" warm="" water="">with just the babiest bit of olive oil,
with about half an hour of initial bulking,
while the oven preheated,
and then another 30 minutes post shaping.
i made two loaves, each about 10" long.
baked at 450F for about 20 minutes?
perfection.
***********
so,
there's been a lot of food happening,
and a lot of coughing, too.
no joke.
i got a mild case of emphysema, of black lung, of chronic pneumonia,
or maybe even a little bit of a cold,
and i've been up all night coughing every night for the last week.
what a bummer.
i could go the doctor,
or,
i can count on my vegan healing factor to effectively keep counteracting
the normally-lethal levels of venom affecting my respiratory tract.
i'm just saying,
if YOU had this 'itis, there'd be coroners getting called in.
luckily,
all that arugula is staving off the vultures and the undertakers,
and i'm just sleeping even less than usual.
yikes,
and yuck,
and that's the way it goes, my dudes.
it's all really happening,
in sickness, and in health;
rules is rules,
and that's all there ever is to it;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, October 22

16 CANDLES.

harvest is 16.
that's a thing now.
huh?
oh, well, maybe i'm understating that just a bit.
harvest,
my daughter,
is sixteen years old.
in a row.
..as of yesterday.
i have a sixteen year old kid.
that means were both getting too old for our own good.
yep.
and her with a newly nabbed learners' permit, to boot.
we love celebrating.
me and mine will always find a reason to rock some party time,
and this was especially special-
so i was down there, in the unpredictably wet and windy weather
of weak-sauce connecticut
for a firsthand fresh-to-death faceful of all the festivities.
what's more,
i even made a cake for the kid.
OBviously,
since nobody else gives half a F* about vegan food,
if i want a slice of berfday cheer, it's up to me to create it for everybody.
so i did just that,
and you know something else?
it looks like this:

pretty good, right?
two brown sugary vanilla bean circles,
with pudding-ish tapioca and vanilla in-the-mix,
for a thick and soft and deep and decadent crumb
the likes of which will be raved about for ages,
or until maple's berfday, when i do this sh!t all over again.
because that's what i DO, duders.
i make things, and i bake things, and i break things.
in this case,
i also crafted a batch of blarpity raspberry compote,
complete with lemon zest, juice, extract, and more vanilla.
plus a little kapowdered sugar to cut the tangy tartness just a baby bit.
i squished that, exxxtra-thick, between the cakes,
and frosted the holy F* out of it with lemon creachee' frosting,
lemon-raspberry creamchee' frosting,
raspberry-lemon-creamchee' frosting,
and orange-lemon icing.
uh-huh.
because when you're finally sixteen,
too much is the right amount.
which explains the seasonal autumn-hued sugar sprankles.
MORE is better.
*
connecticut, man.
on the whole, it's just not what i'm lookin' for in a place,
but,
new haven really IS one heck of a sexy city.
too bad i don't feel like i fit in there.
i wanna, for sure.
i mean,
there's so much to recommend itself to the warrior poet in me.
the congestion, and the embellished opinions of the academically privileged
and economically elite of the central downtown grid,
leave a whole lot to be desired.
actually, to be fair,
all the people kind of leave me feeling like there's something lacking,
from the street-peeps talking to themselves,
the college joggers,
the bus stop blarps,
and the beggary change-grubbers,
i wasn't feeling like i was in my element.
give me a lonely home in the lonelier mountains,
with an oven,
and awful animal companion,
and some flour,
and i think i've found my niche.
it's important to find out where you DON'T belong,
so you can appreciate the places where you're tolerated, at least a little.
i'm beat.
i'm sick.
i've been up all night, every night,
coughing up a storm, and sweating my face off.
nothing screams berfday party like a barking seal in my throat.
i'm beat up, but i'm back in bartlett, where i ostensibly belong.
i'm headed to bed, where sleep is unlikely,
but coughing is assured.
i'm happy to have had the experience,
but i'm just as happy to head upstairs;
never quiet, never soft.....

perfect pizza, forever.

you'd better be gettin' ready for the truth, neighbors-
yup.
because i'm coming correct with a pizza situation that's gonna upgrade your whole
outlook on overdoing it, 
to eleven,
in as many different ways ,
in as many different days,
with as many different toppings,
as time and money will allow for.
huh?
oh, you're reppin' that small frozen cheese jaun?
bummer,
because that's what poor people do.
yuck.
i'm living in the lap of elite luxurious lusciousness,
and i'm indulging in the uplifting tang of a sourdough thin crust explosion.
on the ones,
i've got a plan, and i'm working it,
and it's working like a g-dang charm.
don't think that's real?
get ready to recognize, son-
and check the split-screen-type teleport:
kaBOOOOOOMFfuego, bro-bro.
the sourdough scene is so dope, tho.
i mean,
the crispy crackling crust has got it going on....
and there's a bit of butter spread out under the pan it gets baked on,
for a golden-eyed underside,
looking all sorts of sexy with that glistening sheen.
and then,
it really gets activated with all the toppings.
check it:
i'm just sayin',
the subtle seared poblano strips on the underside, just above the underchee'?
expert.
and the parboiled bitter-bested broccoli rabe?
also expert.
so, by the time the homemade vegan sausage,
and the grape tomatoes,
and the diced red onion sprankles got tossed on there, too-p
it was already the supergood extra-hot loveliness,
in echoing excellence along the round rim of that heroic circle.
word up.
but that's just one of the twins.
the other sister is pretty in her own way, friends:
WU-TANG!!
red lentil seitan cutlets, cut up and spread out,
with a whole lot of doubly-smoky tempeh bacon,
and shredded daiya provolone,
alongside a heavy layer of caramelized sweet onion,
and a whole mess of arugula...
real talk-
these pizzas are heavenly.
with underchee', and crushed tomatoes,
and the obligatory fried garlic sprankles,
all the elements were aligned in order,
and the primary directive was to be super flippin' dope.
mission. mutha. effing. accomplished.
***********
damn it feels good to eat pizza.
also,
it feels pretty damned good to be home,
after a whirlwind roundtrip to connecticut.
the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress is warm,
the weather outside is pure sh!t,
and that's exactly the way it's supposed to be.
it's all really happening,
and that's teh whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, October 19

DON'T SLEEP.

hey guys,
y'know how you crash out at night,
and shut your eyes and let your whole mind and body recharge
in a bedful of snug and restful slumberland deluxxxury?
yeah.
i bet that's pretty cool.
you know what i'm doing while you're doing that?
i'm getting busy with my big business, bro.
that's no joke.
sleeping is reportedly some kind of health benefit,
but it sure looks a whole lot like getting nothing done.
literally,
i do not have time for that-
check the teleport:

WORD.
you sleep,
but i grind.
that's right,
and that's it.
well before 6 a.m.,
i'm already elbows deep in that flour power.
on the real-real-
i kneaded up two kinds of sourdough-
a slightly-sweet sprouted whole wheat jaun,
and an explosively spelted expletive;
plus,
i divvied up the freshly-divided semi-semolina sourdough pizza balls;
and i got the delicata squash out, for splitting and filling and roasting.
what?
what're those beige tubes?
oh c'mon, neighbors-
i made a batch of from-scratch seitan sausages,
packed with pulverized chick peas,
utilizing those leftover legumes from pizzatime on monday.
sweet.
is that all?
no way.
there's sugar cookie dough cold-coolin in the fridge,
and there are red lentil-seitan steaks developing gluten chains on the stovetop.
-
1/2 cup red lentils
1 1/4 cups broth
2 T soy sauce
liquid smoke
3 cloves macerated garlic
GPOP
black pepper
1/3 cup chopped caramelized sweet onion
1 cup wheat gluten
...
boil the lentils with the garlic until the liquids are all gone,
then add the glutes and the spices and the onions,
and stir it all up.
from there, form up some cutlets,
and cook 'em in a skillet, with enough liquid
(tomato sauce, broth, whatever) to cover them halfway,
and flip e'm, adding enough liquid to replace what's been absorbed,
until both sides are a bit brown.
y'know what THAT is?
it's F*ing expert.
mmmhmmm.
i stay portobello while y'all mush in your room, y'feel me?
there's too much to do,
and i can't even waste any more time writing about it.
it's all really happening,
too much is not enough,
and not enough is all i've got.
luckily,
whatever gets done is clearly all i could've ....
i'm not rushing the hottness,
and i'm sure as sh!t not takin' shorts.
loud, fresh hardness until i collapse or it's finished.
i think we all know which one it is gonna be;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, October 18

FLAT.

dudes,
what do you know about a weeklong proofin' time
on the last of the sourdough pizza portions?
i didn't know about that, either-
...until last night.
yeah.
i had it in the fridge,
chilling itself into a verrry relaxed freeform state of being.
now, there was a symbolic balance to be had here,
as i was the exact opposite of freeform and relaxed.
the afternoons, in between dog walks and dinnertimes,
are total bullsh!t.
i did some tattooing,
and i even did some personally rewarding drawing (since tattooing was in short supply)
mostly, though?
i coughed.
a lot.
uh-huh.
i caught a little up-here 'itis.
yuck.
i've got a throaty throatin' esophageal something-or-other,
and i've been barking madly,
and aloud,
for a few days now.
it's loud and hard, definitely;
but in no way does it rep a fresh to death style.
guys,
i don't like even mild inconveniences,
so this hacking attack on my chest, post werewolfen full-moon comedown,
has really got me grumpin' around like a surly sourpuss.
i HATE it.
luckily,
the most perfectly compatible companion to a sourpuss is sourdough.
and that dough, tho.
one week of strengthening it's cultural ties to actively cultured yeasts an' that,
and i had myself a fully-developed round, waiting to get flattened out.
that's the thing about the sourdough, neighbors-
it's stretchy, and it's strong,
but you've gotta patty-hand push and press it into a pan, kiddos-
because it gets thin and delicate almost immediately.
the gluten strands are so unstressed and well-developed
that it goes from a ball out to a big circle real F*ing quick.
if you're not careful, it'll blow out along the semolina grains.
and nobody likes a hole in their pizza,
unless they're a flippin' 'hole.
that's word.
anyway,
i drew pictures and i coughed a lot,
and then i got home and coughed a lot and made pizza.
check the teleport:

WOOOOOO!!
i guess we gotta call this one a flatbread?
i mean,
c'mon,
no tomatoes, and no chee' means it's certainly NOT traditional,
and those toppings aren't helping much to convince me otherwise.
the cracked black pepper, adhered to the crispy edges with garlic oil?
expert!
there's sesame-seeded hummus on the bottom,
and arugula, and caramelized sweet onion,
plus chick peas,
and tempeh bacon bits,
not to mention sliced grape tomatoes,
and in an inspired twist, actual F*ing halved seedless grapes.
uh-huh.
that's that nouveau sh!t, my friends.
plus,
i hit it with the fried garlic sprankles, obvi;
because rules is rules,
and then,
just to pump up the jams, and turn up this jaun to eleven,
there're a few scallion spranx as well,
to give it a little zipzap of the hottness you get from knowing at a cellular level
that too much is the right amount.
mmhmm.
other than the onions and garlic,
everything else was just raw and uncut,
ol' dirty pizza style,
and got the heat blast solely from the fuego in the oven.
***********
suddenly,
quick as a bunny,
october is more than half over.
just like *that*.
oooooooooooof.
it seems like it sure went past awfully fast.
and meanwhile,
every day, i'm grinding, and i'm lookin' for a come up,
but all i'm catching is a let down.
awwwwwww, man.
the season and the scene are both on the waning end of light into dark,
and that's no joke:
these pizzas are good (but the certainty of what's for dinner isn't);
the trip i'll be taking to connecticut for a few days
is probably going to be good(ish);
making art is good (when there's ten seconds worth of spare time to do it);
crabtree is good (at being the worst);
all these things are happening,
and there seems to be more along those lines,
parenthetical caveats and catches,
other shoes dropping,
and waiting for what's next,
while What Is takes forever to end
yet elapses and eclipses everything in-between before you're even aware of it.
damn.
forever and never,
over and out,
inside and upside my head,
these days are prisoners,
and these nights are jailbreaks;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Monday, October 17

HOT, THICK, SICILIAN.

guys,
i LOVE pizza.
i mean,
i love it the most.
THE.
MOST.
and while i change it up,
and run a stronghand mack-game on the toppings and crusts,
it's all still pizza,
and that's what's so F*ing cool about it.
they all mean something, and they've all got their strengths.
last night?
well,
last night i went nana-pan on the pie scene, kids.
yup.
if your grandmother was italian, and she was cooking you a pizza,
then you probably already know about it-
the sicilian square is a homestyle classic,
and i repped it with pride,
letting that long-seasoned crust pop and sizzle in an olive oily pan,
so that the greeeeeeasy-bottomed goodness really crisped-up and glistened in the light.
word up.
now,
check the mama-mia-type teleport:

AMORE!!!!
that is what was needed after another 'nother waterlogged day,
wet-blanketing on the sinking ship of tattoo studio histrionics.
...for real;
the scenery is sufficiently chewed-through, and spit out,
by the emoting meteoric mass-extinction of our dwindling client base.
that's real.
the bottommost-barrel-dwellers have crawled up through the bilge,
and dammit,
they're causing us to list and founder even faster than ever before.
awwwwwwwwwwwww, man.
that's a hard style,
but it's an understatement, as well.
don't get it twisted-
i'm still busy.
but,
eventually,
the anchor will drop when the rigging can no longer support it,,
and the shop will drift off into the rocks.....
...
but enough of the naysayin' gloomy doombringin', bro.
there's pizza to discuss!!!
for serious,
i crafted a quick triple-team threeway explosion of hottness,
and i let the deep-d dough do it's best to accommodate
the get-wrecked rectangle of supreme spring and overt ovenly openness-
y'know?
no?
well,
i did,
and it did,
and that was good news.
buttery-bottomed and olive oiled,
with GPOP and MORE olive oil on top,
and all of that, before the toppings get plopped up on it.
woooooooo!!!
that's when i got down to business-
phase one?
*
cheddar daiya and mozzarella daiya, mixed up, and lid on thick,
without red sauce.
uh-huh.
because potatoes and broccoli don't need that sh!t, son.
oven roasty crisp 'tato jauns,
and soft, bright green, broxxx.
plus,
grilled leeks,
for added charred hottness in every flippin' bite.
expert.
*
crushed tomatoes, daiya mozzarella,
soy-sauced-simmered smoky seitan,
with caramelized onions,
and sweet rainbow pepper rings,
sliced grape tomatoes,
topped with fresh basil leaves,
for that zesty magic zip and zing.
heck yes, brother.
expert.
*
and,
crushed tomatoes, with caramelized onions,
and shredded baby kale,
with tempeh bacon,
and a whole bunch of fried garlic sprankles,
just to take it to eleven.
expert.
-
WORDIMUS PRIME.
***********
pizza is my saving grace.
without it, i think i'd be in a way worse place, categorically,
across the board,
as the brightest, tastiest and most successful spot in my life
is clearly and without question the oven here in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
i can't eff with that.
so,
it's pizza for me.
always, all the time, every day, forever.
sorry about repeating myself, ad infinitum,
but,
rules is rules,
and too much is the right amount.
i like what i like, and i do it to it as loud, fresh, and as hard as i can.
it's all really happening;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, October 16

AUTUMNAL!

what's up, dudes-
y'know that i love the treats, right?
i mean,
treats are a worthwhile pursuit,
at least,
in so far as i can concern myself with pursuits,
i'd much rather chase these treats than try to track my hopes and dreams.
no, for real,
i can catch a treat.
and in this instance,
my go-to pastry dough brought the furious flakes yet again.
uh-huh.
neighbors,
i made myself some anniversary galettes.
yeah. that's right.
i love to celebrate the passage of time,
the elapsing ellipsis of perfunctorily paused punctuation-
...
^to be continued, after tarts.
that is how i feel.
and the feels are a merciless mistress.
ha.
luckily,
these seckel pear pinwheels are perfect and tender and loving,
in all the ways a galette should be.
check the mutha-effin'-seventeen-type teleport:

WU-TANG!!!
i'm just sayin',
how flippin' kyooooot are those little reddish brown pears???
i knowwwwwwwwwwwwww.
and they're sweet as heck.
in fact, the little sack they came in calls them sugar pears!
awwwww. that's nice, kid.
i laid down a centrally severed sliced circle of chartreuse bartlett pear,
right over a little spread-out splat of vegan creamchee'-
the fatty-boombattyism of the chee'
keeps the wet baked syrup of the fruit from F*ing up the pastry.
smart, right?
uh-huh.
so,
you've got your bartlett, then some brown sugar,
then a sexxxy wedge of that seckel, and dried cranberries,
a dusting of brown sugar,
and black walnuts,
all laid out in the middle,
and then the edges get crimped along the folds
that hold all that hottness snug in a buttery embrace.
...lovely.
410F twenty minutes, until crispy and flaky and golden and all of that good stuff-
and after a walk with crabtree,
in the brisk 24F degree windy hills of the woodsly goodness.
i kapowdered those jauns to make 'em exxxtra-pretty.
mmmhmmm.
no ugly food, my friends.
especially not on an anniversary.
-
the pastry dough has become a standard item on the makey-list up here.
-
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
a T of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick plus 3-4T butts
3-4T creamchee',
and just enough soymilk to soften and stick it.
use a food processor.
if you don't have one,
stop wasting time,
and go get a food processor.
^ i'll keep refreshing the recipe every time, so you can get on it,
and get the glowing galette glitter of this tasty scene-
i mean,
it's too flippin' good to leave alone,
and that's in the rules, brother.
-
i celebrated in predictably disappointing style.
i  had a little stencil drawn up, so i could tattoo myself,
a little tribute to the tedious trials of tattooing,
steady on, and on a steady grind of steadily suckier sh!t\-salads,
and in relative anonymity, at that, for the last decade or so.
instead, i did 7 tattoos.
3 womens' weekend wine enthusiasts
(expert)
2 happily/lawfully-wedded aniversarealists
(expert)
1 of which was a cover-up of some epic youthful sportsball enthusiasm
(expert)
2 youngish ladies from the far-flung flannel-clad frontier of eastern maine
(expert)
i had a total of 15 words, in twelve different fonts;
4 silhouetted birds;
also,
fifty or so silhouetted trees split among multiple clients;
4 snowflakes;
and a wine glass.
.....all in all, an expert day.
the stuff that dreams are made up of, actually.
but,
that's why i brought the galettes.
i led with that in the intro, buddy.
c'mon.
it's foreshadowing.
and as the day went pear-shaped,
the taste of the pear tarts was present in my mind,
and the aroma of buttery crusts was saturating the room.
like i said,
i can catch a treat,
but i can't catch a break.
wordimus prime.
...
it's all really happening.
it'd be a whole lot funnier,
to me, if it wasn't what was happening,
to me.
in fairness, every single client was a great sport,
and i had a great time conversing with all of them.
good audiences are maybe more rewarding than great ideas.
is that too narcissistic, douchey, and judgemental?
honestly?
ok.
happy anniversary it was NOT,
but another 'nother milestone milemarker,
capped by a diarrheally gross dog's A*-hole,
and a missed shot at zappin' on myself,
it most assuredly WAS.
long nights, had styles, and nothing but sh!t at the tail-end.
it genuinely sounds so comforting.
routines become traditions, i guess;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, October 15

XVII

TODAY IS THE DAY.
yup.
october the 15th.
this is it.
as of today,
i've been tattooing for 17 years.
seventeen YEARS.
and if we're telling the truth?
what a long, slow, excoriating, excruciating crawl into the future it's been.
how often do i talk to the guys who got my first ones?
you know,
the dudes i promised to give free tattoos to for life,
for showing me such trust and faith and all of that noise?
well,
roughly never ever-everrrrrr do i ever speak to or see them.
pretty cool, right?
sure.
maybe that's the benefit of being a high-hills hermit of hot fire and lightning.
i don't work for free,
but only because it's not worth making a roundtrip trip up here.....
and considering they were my best men back when i got married for the first time.
uh-huh.
weak sauce by the lakeful.
oh, and i'm also super-psyched i get to reference my marriage numerically.
ugh.
seventeen years of doing this thing that i cant figure out how to leave behind,
mainly because it's the only thing it has lasted,
and outlasted so much of my life until now-
think about it,
i'm still tattooing, six days a week....
but what has gone since then?
 all my old friends;
two wives;
girlfriends;
many shops;
three dogs;
a huge portion of my hair;
three apprentices- ALL of whom went on to become jedis
whilst i've been hanging out in carbonite for ages.
somehow,
i'm still working and working and working,
even after two intentional hard-flatline DNR career-suicides...
which includes the move to this remote,
and reportedly 'sh!tty-for-tattooing' town in the woodsly goodness,
where i've remained well past the sell-by date,
which for all intents and purposes was a solid decade ago.
and even after triple that number of pink-slippery firing squads,
i've stuck it out, and seen it through,
like the parent of a handicapped kid
who will never not live at home and need constant supervision;
jesus christ.
that's bleak.
and that's just the tip of the iceberg, too.
that big, cold, juggernaut of slow-flowing immutable mass
of loss and love and labor and laser-guided self-destruction
that comes with choosing the wrench every single time.
i doo-doo that hard style headstrong hurt-the-team-by-beating-yourself-type sh!t.
yeah.
SEVENTEEN YEARS!!!
there're highlights, too:
like my two terrific teenaged kids.
i mean,
they weren't around before i began this thing.
and this big old haunted household i call the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress
wouldn't be mine without these tattzappin' moviechecks rollin' in.
plus,
i've met some worthy warrior poets in the intervening years
since my old lives withered and died,
time and time again,
and whatever remained of my meager glory faded back to black-
haha.
...........
it's crazy. neighbors.
i stay here and i work alllll the time.
it's tattooing at the old-school straight-street level.
whatever comes my way, i do.
i'm on that GRIND.
seventeen years in it,
fourteen more-or-less  steady reppin' in this area
and what am i doing today?
walk-ins and cover-ups.
yup.
this is What Is,
and it's all really happening, man.
no sense in holding onto the past.
it's gone.
regrettably,
while time is terribly short,
my spirit and memory are impossibly long,
it's all still right there.
and i think that's the hardest part of my need to mark the passage of time.
i see it all, i know what's up.
i can't condone an edited folio of my own curated history,
redacted to only include the self-preservative platitudes
that come with not telling the story correctly.
and that's just the thing-
truth tellers can never stop,
especially not when it comes to their own personal narrative.
i think it may be a contest of sorts.
how hard can it get?
and more importantly-
how much can i endure?
seventeen.
not even legal yet,
but a full and legitimate lifetime has elapsed from inception to the present-day.
i got older.
hell, i got old.
and now,
there's still so much MORE of all of this.
isn't that the best and worst part?
it doesn't end, it just keeps on going.
this anniversary feels like a 17 yr. old mastiff.
y'get me?
11 years older than it should be,
long overstayed, long in the tooth, infirm, and unwieldy,
a drooling, doddering, immobile mess-
the affection we feel for those unmercifully lingering last gasps and dregs
is cruel at best, and selfish at worst-
or,
maybe it's like an old pro wrestler:
his bleached graying hair thin and broken-off;
his glistening muscularity long gone to fat;
the moves slow and predictable, a parody of lost potential-
nostalgia keeps him in the ring, and keeps us watching,
but that's as good as it gets,
and it hasn't been good for some time.
*
look, man.
i know how lucky i am.
i do.
and i recognize that i have it pretty easy, relatively speaking.
it's just that i'm a salty sunovab!tch,
and i see where i want to be far  more clearly than i see the path to get there.
so,
i'm bulldozing my way through the low country,
hoping to hit the high road,
and the high life,
by moving forward, soooooo slowly.
i AM grateful for the time i have been given.
i just like complaining-
it keeps complacency at bay;
never quiet, never soft.....

EGGPLANT FRIDAY!!!

neighbors,
i had pizza again.
AGAIN?
yeah.
......that's right.
again.
i mean,
i'm just sayin',
pizza is pretty effing dope.
besides,
you already know my logic:
too much is the right amount.
you like that about me, i think.
and anyway, that batch of sourdough keeps getting better the longer it proofs.
that's no joke.
oh.
actually,
i also had pizza for lunch,
and i had pizza the night before, too.
in fact,
i've had 6 pizzas in 5 days,
which is great.
the only bummer?
i didn't even have any on wednesday.
also,
i'm pretty sure tonight is another 'nother pizza night.
there's no such thing as too much pizza.
the only thing better than pizza is MORE pizza.
that's real.
however,
last night,
in honor of eggplant friday,
i made myself a superior sourdough jaun,
and ate every last little itty-bitty bite.
check the virtuoso-vinete-type teleport:

WORD!
i made myself a circle of that nicey-nice,
and guys,
it went down smoooooooooooth.
mmmmmmm.
i fired up a boomfire serving of herb-crusted graffiti eggplant rounds-
with the thin skin, salted, rinsed, and dredged in a flax/soymilk mix,
then patty-caked in a big bowl of cornstarch and flour and cornmeal and nootch,
with oregano, basil, and parsley, GPOP, s & p, and love.
aww.
besides the eggplant,
i also dropped the hammer on some arugula,
over daiya mozzarella,
over crushed tomatoes.
guys,
i didn't use any cashew-garlic underchee'!!
nope.
i let the aubergines do all the squishin', and i'm glad i did,
because this big baby b!tch of a pizza was HEAVY!
what?
oh, well, yes-
that's diced and spiced seitan on there.
GPOP, and basil, and a splash of soy, a little liquid smoke,
lots of pepper, and a dash of cider to simmer in.
damn.
that's that good-good.
and those grape tomato discs are definitely a must-have,
as they added a little soft and wet to the thick and luscious.
real talk,
the topping game is very strong around here.
i finished it with fried garlic sprankles,
because i am smart,
and not even a little bit of a diaperbaby about making the right moves on a 'za.
topped at the last with fresh basil and a 'garious garnish of more arugula?
you know what's up, man.
a steamy, dreamy, burly, crisp-crusted soft-bite slice or four is what i wanted.
i just cut it up into quarters.
i'm gonna eat it all, regardless;
so pretending i'm taking it easy
and slicing it into 6-8 wedges is just wasting time.
i know right, i'm so efficient.
***********
pizza pizza pizza.
pee eye zee zee ayy.
i eat a lot of it,
because it's awesome.
i make a lot of it,
because i enjoy doing it.
not everything can be pizza, regrettably,
but fortunately,
pizza can be a lot of things.
dinner for one, on a friday, in october, could be a whole lot worse;
never quiet, never soft.....

ROCK BLOXXX (the hippie edition)

brothers and sisters,
i knew i had to get it poppin' with that luxurious tahini hottness
i was gifted by the maine falafel company.
word up.
the falafel mafia let the sossamon sesame sexxiness flow my way,
and i mean,
it'd be a poor display of gratitude if i didn't use the stuff to make stuff.
heck,
anybody can sit around being lazy and letting good gestures go to waste,
but it's US, neighbors,
the warrior poets and active participants who grab hold of what's out there,
and transform it into that new-new.
that said,
i happen have a huge surplus of tahini,
and i also have a huge interest in cookies.
so i let them meet up in the middle,
and watched the beauty of a lusty passionate relationship explode from outwards
from their kinetic collision of powerfully charged particles.
y'know?
two great things, combined, to benefit the whole.
check the teleport:

SALTED TAHINI OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP ROCK BLOXXX!!!!!!
yup.
the way i see it,
my cookie recipe is adaptable to any and all situations.
therefore,
when tested by that tempting and tempestuous tan tar,
it needed to elevate and activate and generally surpass my expectations,
lest i be let down my the versatility of my victuals.
what?
how'd it go??
dude-
if it hadn't worked,
would i be talking sh!t right now?
guys, c'mon.
they're pretty flippin' dope,
and i dominated a dozen myself.
here's what i did to make these melty magical mutha-effers:
...
1 stick of vegan butts
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
^ creamed together,
and added to 1 cup of cold tahini,
-whisked up into a wet bowlful of beige,
and folded up with
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup ground coconut
1/4 cup ground oats
^ i have several spice grinders, for making this happen handily.
whole flake coconut, crushed up, just tastes better. that's a thing.
1 tsp bakey soda
1 tsp bakey pow-pow
1 large handful (roughly a cup) of rolled oats
1 12 oz pkg of miniature chocolate chips
mix it, and be prepared for how wet it's gonna be.
that's just it.
you might wanna make this part the night before,
as the dry will soak up the muddiness if you let it rest for a while.
i used an ice-cream scoop to portion out the individual cookies,
using very cold dough,
and i sprankled them with fresh-ground sea salt, just a bit,
to take the taste to eleven.
375F is cookie temperature,
13 minutes is cookie time
that is what happened, and that is what's up.
they're super-soft, packed and stacked with chips,
and seriously expert.
how many did it make?
i dunno,
i guess a couple of dozen? i wasn't counting.
that's the thing about being-present-but-getting-lost-in-the-moment-
i focus on not effing up the thing i'm doing,
but i let that be the only part that commands and demands analytical thought.
the feels, bro.
that's what i'm talking about.
the texture of the dough,
the smell of the oven,
the look of those perfect scooples on the parchment....
it's like using the force.
i'm serious.
i keep all my feelings in the kitchen,
and i'm beginning to thing i should've been doing that all along.
i'd have been eating way better food, for longer, and more often.
i love cookies.
i love eating.
i love food.
i'm pretty lucky to have the hookup,
i'm pretty intensely intent on paying that forward.
i've got the treats i think you want,
and i'm happy to let you have some.
it's ALL really happening,
that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....