Sunday, August 20

COQUETTISH CROQUETTES!!!

cauliflower!
chick pea flour!
kale!
mmmmmmmmmm.
guys,
i made a thing,
and i'm really glad i did...
what do you do, when you don't feel like doing anything?
you F* around, and see what happens.
yep.
like, art making, and bread baking, and risk taking on every level,
sometimes, at suppertime, you just toss a loose idea into a pot,
and see what shapes up from there.
yeah!
i wanted cauliflower cakes,
so i made cauliflower cakes.
i mean, i had this idea in my head, neighbors,
and i thought about it on a long car ride,
which led to a short kitchen stint alongside a steamer,
and a skillet,
while the oven provided lovin' to a side of spuds.
i'm serious.
look at what i did:

ACCIDENTAL WHO-KNEW HOTTNESS IS HERE!!!
and it wasn't even hard to do, dudes.
-
*
CAULIFLOWER FRITTERS!!
-
steam two cups of cauliflower until soft.
rinse with cold water (or let cool, if you're smarter, and less hurried)
and mash it up in a medium bowl.
add 1/2 cup chick pea flour;
3 T white flour;
GPOP;
salt and black pepper;
1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale;
1/2 cup minced daiya mozzarella;
a little dash of cayenne;
and some shredded parsley.
mix that into a gloppy mass,
and form up some 3-4 inch patties-
dredge 'em in a mixture of chick pea flour;
organic non-gmo cornstarch;
fire-roasted tomato sprankles;
nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.
then, fry 'em up!
when they're golden on both sides, and the centers aren't gummy with raw flour,
they're ready.
i used earth balance butterish, and then a re-up with olive oil
to keep 'em crispin' on the skillet.
they're good.
like, tasty and crispy and rich and hearty and almost nutty.
in fact, i'd bet chopped walnuts would rock these into the stratosphere.
no foolin'.
...
*
what's up with those roasty toasty potatoes?
c'mon.
don;t be dumb.
that's self-explanatory.
they're good.
and roasted, they're even better.
olive oil, pink salt, and black pepper.
what else do you even need?
a fork, probably.
because they're really hot fresh out of that oven...
*
asparagus!!!!!
chopped into smaller scoopable spearlets,
with slivers of garlic instead of almonds,
and a little oil to sear those suckers up jusssssssst right.
easy.
get it.
eat it.
savor the succulence.
repeat.
word.
-
i added those cukes and radishes, too.
i mean, otherwise, how would you even know i was vegan, right?
salad is clearly the indicator.
and i'm indicating that without some red on this plate,
i'd have been working with more beige that a desert.
ha.
juicy suppers, on the fly, off the cuff, and with lots of flavor and heart.
that's all i need to end each day.
well,
that and a dog walk,
and a car drive, and some exercise,
and maybe a little netflix before bed.
*gasp*
yeah.
although, i AM reading again, as if i have time for that.
it's good for me, getting off of my phone-
which, i reluctantly admit, has become a problem for my effective time management.
virtual connections with borderline imaginary people
is NOT the best use of my spare minutes.
i could be learning new things, and eating words that'll nourish me,
instead of eating my own words of disdain for mobile devices all those years,
which now i'm guilty of overindulging in.
maybe even more than an average individual, actually.
damn.
i'm picking up books, and putting down some paint on the touched-up walls of the new new.
it's all still unfolding along the path that's been preordained.
i'm simply ad-libbing within the lines;
\never quiet, never soft.....

OATCAKES!!!

damn, dudes.
the big B!
that's what's up.
'cakes, and scrambo, and 'tatoes, and stuff!!!
oh MAN!
i don't always stuff my face full of fattie boombattie freshness,
but when i do it,
i take it to eleven, and then i add some sprankles.
word.
check the teleport:

most. important. meal.
cinnamon oatmeal manjacks, with a bit of coconut?
expert!
like,
so thiccc, you'd swear they were meant to dance in a rap video.
boom.
-
*
OATCAKES!
-
in just one bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup flour;
1/2 cup mixed oat flour & fresh ground unsweetened dry coconut meal;
1/2 cup whole rolled oats;
3 T oatbran;
a handful of coconut;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt;
1 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp cinnamon;
1/4 tsp nutmeg;
3 T melted butterish;
3 T brown sugar;
1 cup non-dairy milk.
whip it, rest it, pour it, flip it, eat it.
DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE!!!!
and you'd better be using real maple syrup, or you're a chump.
yeah yeah, agave blah blah blah.
enjoy your low-glycemic second place stuff.
new englanders know the truth.
it's real, it's dark, and it';s thick, or it's bullsh!t.
that's a thing.
*
...and how 'bout that scrambo?
with the blackened fried tomatoes??
rules is rules, neighbors-
and it's been clearly stated that the tomatoes are essential
to maintaining vegetable integrity
in any worth-a-sh!t scram-'fu!
mmmmmmm.
i might've gone a bit heavy on the smoked paprika,
but the GPOP and nootch and black pepper,
and the minced fresh onion,
all compensated for a really rich batch of crumbly goodness.
and of course, there's parsley and scallion garnish, because that's just how it's done.
obvi.
-
BUT HOW ABOUT THOSE HASHERS, BRO??
mmmhmmmmm.
prefect circles of tuberous rooted vegetable hottness,
with paper-thin onion entwined throughout,
pan fried to the crispiest crawnchiness on both sides!!!
you have to salt and rest and squeeze to drain 'em.
that's for serious, or else you get soggy sh!t-salad suckbombs instead.
and nobody good likes that.
not one teentsy tiny little bit.
uh-huh.
damn.
hash browns are just too damned good.
which is to say: they're perfect.
because too much is the right amount,
and that's no joke
***********
......i LOVE breakfast.
i love it so much that i don't always eat it like this.
that way, i still get the big feels from the big B,
and that's something that makes me so super happy i can't even stand it.
ANYbody can enjoy breakfast,
but it's only the realest of morning glories
who bask in the beaming glow of this much goodness.
i mean, c'mon-
AVOCADO!?
shoutouts to white girls, for sure.
and that weird bacon? i still effs with that.
i'm not sorry.
*
after breakfast,
it's been on and on and on the final stages of construction.
and the superfancy unnecessary activation has not been for naught.
it's dope, and i'm biased, but i'm also not wrong-
hmmm?
well, sure,
i could've only used one color of paint,
and one kind of trim,
and simple but elegant stylistic accents to show off my aesthetic......
but that is nowhere nearly as expert as an incredible color-coordinated
supersaturated sexxx-exxxplosion of awesomeness,
and why have pone budget trim when a three tier top is OBVI where the new hottness resides.
wu-effing-TANG, kids.
if y'all aren't getting it poppin' with the big B,
and then some busy big business big action activation,
the what the F* are you even bothering to leave the house for?
i mean it.
i don't like running around all over town acquiring flair and accentuations,
but the alternative is to be ordinary,
and tha's not any kind of option i'm amenable to.
it's ALL really happening,
and too much is the right amount-
especially when it's your name on the line;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 18

BUHNAYNAYNUNU!!

short on time, but long on big bananas?
just make a bunch of baby banana bread muffins!!!
how soft were they?
the softest!
how rich were they?
daddy fatsaxxx staxonstax warbuxxx rich!!
how banana-y? monkeysh!t-packed!!
and what about that inetrior, with ALL the coconut, and twice the oats,
and those toasted coconut sprankles on top??
c'mon.
don't be dumb, neighbors-
the whole flippin' big picture was a masterstroke of baked-up genius.
and that's not hubris, that's simply the accurate real-life documentation
of all my tastebuds' true life recounting of each and every bite.
word up.
just look at 'em:

WOULD YOU JUST LOOK AT THAT?!
and they go down smooooooooooooth, kids.
like, easy easy, and you'd better have self-control,
or you'll suck down half a dozen in three bites apiece in rapidfire quick succession.
trust me on that.
you need this buhnaynay business in your daily big action, bro.
i mean it.
get on it, or get lost...
-
*
BANANA COCONUT OATMEAL BABIES!!
-
preheat your oven to 365℉.
-
in your stand mixer, cream up:
1 cup brown sugar;
1 stick plant-based butter (earth balance!)
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
-
add in:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt;
2 XL ripe bananas, or 3 average sized jauns or whatever;
whisk together well,
and toss in:
1 cup whole rolled oats;
1/2 cup medium flake unsweetened coconut;
2 cups flour;
2 tsp baking powpow;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/3 cup mini baby chocolate chips!!!
^plot twist! those little chocolate drops turn these jauns right up to eleven,
but they're not so numerous as to overpower all the other flavors at all.
they're basically little dark miracles that dwell within the spirit of  the thing.
and that's dope!
...whisk it all up nice and fluffy, and then you can get into the good-good, guy.
-
scoop the batter into greased muffin tins, about halfway full,
top 'em with toasted coconut spranks,
and bake them for 25 minutes.
expert almost isn't a strong enough word
to adequately describe the level of awesome these jauns possess.
it'll do tho, because they're tight and righteous, and soft and spongy,
and fruity and nutty and sweet and hearty,
and all those things are dope as heck.
***********
rain!
great.
y'know what's not awesome?
wet dog walks.
y'know what else i need?
new hiking boots.
yup.
thousands of miles logged on my current pair,
and they're finally ready to give up the ghost.
who knew i could wear out shoes?
i mean, who walks anywhere?
that's what poor people, and/or devoted drunk people, do.
thing is, all those worn out spots soak up water like a towel.
guess who's about to sloshfoot through the woods with his little milky boy?
huh?
because he's white and wet and only 2% smart, bro.
you get it, and you like it.
me and my wet dog, with our wet feet.
bedraggled and bedazzled by the wild woodsly goodness.
it's all really happening.
if it was easy, i'd have nothing to write about, would i?
that's it;
never quiet, never soft.....

THREEPEAT!!!

dudes!
when you want tacos for a third night,
but at the same time,
you realize that you're pigeonholing yourself
what with all that same-same-but-different sh!t over and over,
you've got to freak it off and turn it up and take the styles to a harder and louder place...
yup.
ANYbody can keep on keepin' on with that taco business,
but the really real ones out here are always going to find a way
to activate a little something MORE.
neighbors,
what's my favorite thing in the world to eat?
YEAH!
PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!
and the infinitely customizeable crucial taco scene
has always been something that lingers around in the top three.
but,
when you really want tacos,
and yet, you reaaallly reallly love pizza,
you just make 'em touch each other inappropriately,
and then roll around in the resultant orgiastic flavorful filth of their union!
oh. F*. yes.
guys,
check the TACO PIZZA teleport:

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORD!
the crust was so elite i almost passed out when i hit the end of the first slice.
ha!
loooong and sloooow cold proofed semolina sexxxiness,
with all the rich, tangy, yeasty flavor you could ever want.
that's what a strong week of refrigeration will get you, if you're patient.
mmmmm.
500℉ of hot hearthstone fire-up had it baked with all the haste, and all the taste,
before i could even register that my tastebuds were tingling in anticipation.
...and that was just the bottom bread-plate that all that other other sh!t was stacked upon.
expert!
the other night's refried beans were reactivated with more oil and nootch,
and spread on the base,
with double daiya chee' mozz and cheddars over the top.
from there, the combined chili-chunk tofritas/succotash hash was dropped,
so very little waste was employed from night-to-night.
what??
leftovers? oh, right.
i do that for the moment-
i must've forgot to mention:
i'm presently UNEMPLOYED,
at least until i can get AMPERSAND TATTOO up and running.
i hate delays and roadblocks, but i loooove a good taco pizza...
so maybe let's keep the focus on the positive and not the P.O.S.
ok.
diced sweet onion? check.
red and orange super-sweet baby bell peppers? check.
jalapeno? check.
black beans? cheque.
rainbow heirloom grapey tomatoes? mmhmmm.
blacker-than-black olives? hell yeah.
scallions and fried garlic sprankles?
rules is rules, fools, OBVI!
and when it popped out of the hot cage,
that chopped avocado, and ALLLL the cilantro,
plus those lime wedges for supercitrus squeeze-upgrade goodness
turned that TILTY muthafug up to eleven and then some!!!
yo, on the ones-
if you don't eff with pizzas and tacos and taco pizzas, i feel sorry for you;
but mostly i think you're a lame turd,
and i don't ever want to hang out with you.
real talk.
**********
WTF is sleep?
there are stresses and messes that need constant attending to,
and less and less time in every day to do any of it.
i get frustrated, and occasionally overwhelmed with all that's buzzing
and swarming and storming the gates of my conscious mind.
eating pizza helps.
it helps a LOT, actually,
but it solves few of the problems that come with timeline derailing.
friends,
i'm weeks past the projected scheduled start-up...
which, if we're being honest, i anticipated, but which i also still detest.
when the time finally comes to do the thing,
i hope to high hell that it exxxplodes with superhottness,
and the return on these investments is exponential.
in the meantime,
there's this damned dog that still needs walking,
and a chocolate coconut cake that could use some ganache.
i guess that even when it's difficult,
it's not as bad as being somebody else.
good, bad, ugly, and dope...
i'm grateful for the time that i have been given;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 16

TACO TUESDAY!!

TACOS AGAIN?!?!
yup.
the only thing better than too many tacos?
waaaaaay too many tacos!!
uh-huh.
that's real.
i effs with the taco game heavy 'round these parts,
and i went all-in on some epic two-timers last night.
i mean it.
i had semi-sofritas tofu jauns,
AND blackened black bean/corn/pepper/onion succotash, too.
guys,
rules is rules,
and it was TACO TUESDAY, after all....
y'know?
yeah!
i made a big bowl of refritas to pump up the jams on each and every
soft flour flap that i filled and folded full of all that freshness.
neighbors,
i love those pinto magical mashups-
and with plenty of plant-based butter, sauteed onion, jalapeno, sweet mini baby bell pepper,
GPOP, and nootch to boost the taste profile straight through the roof,
they are a show-stoppin', jaw-droppin', get-it-poppin' centerpiece to any mexican mealtime.
no, like, literally-
check the teleport:

experté!
lime garnish, cilantro sprankles,
AVOCADO, purple carrots, scallion sprankles,
pickled gringo escabeche-veggie medley,
spring mixed baby greens (with herbs, it said, although it all just tasted of wet leaves to me),
heirloom baby tomatoes, and hot jalapeno rings, for good measure.
too much is the right amount,
and this was an exercise in walking the talk.
*
that fresh local summer sweet corn, shaved straight off of the cob, was tight as heck, man.
and black beans are ranked among the best of beans, for sure.
with sweet onion chunks,
red pepper and chili pepper and jalapeno pepper and black pepper,
plus a few dashes of ho'sauce, a little chipotle powder,
and a clove of crushed garlic, grilled up in a superhot pan,
the whole thing was almost ready right from raw....
of course, a clutch of cilantro and a shake of GPOP helped a whole bunch too.
they always do.
the ease and the simplicity saved time,
and i savored the speed with which it was whipped up.
i love that.
*
TOFRITAS!!
half a block of extra firm tofu, in tiny cubelettes,
seared with smoked paprika and cayenne and oregano, in olive oil,
added to:
3 T minced onion;
1 T diced jalapeno;
2 sliced cloves of  garlic;
1 cup chopped mixed rainbow tomatoes;
bay leaf, basil, cumin, coriander, Garlic Powder Onion Powder, black pepper, pink salt;
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes;
1/4 cup broth, and a spicy rapid simmer from the first to last,
until it's one thick, chunky saucy boss-bloppity base for taco tremendousness.
mmmmmmmmmmm.
*
tacos tacos tacos.
all i needed were some tacos.
now, all i need is another me, to do all the things that need simultaneous action.
it'll all work out, mostly, because it HAS to.
i'm unemployed for the next week,
while i work work work on making this dreamy new artspace a reality.
how nervous am i?
well,
i slept an ENTIRE hour last night,
so that's probably a decent indicator.
it's all really happening, oh so agonizingly slow,
but surely,
and that's some surety in restlessness.
this is IT, and it has to work;
never quiet, never soft..... 

Tuesday, August 15

TACO TACO!!

four tacos.
that's me cutting back on the tacos, but still getting rad on a lot of tacos.
i mean, it used to be i'd take down six at a clip,
but my waist was anything but wasting away.
nobody likes a blarpity skinny guy.
oh, wait,
everybody is a beautiful miracle, or some sh!t like that these days, right?
uh-huh.
except that not everybody is beautiful to everybody.
that's a preposterous assertion.
and while 'beauty' is generally considered a subjective surface trait,
my surface was expanding in all the wrong places.
no bueno.
so,
i'll just be over here thinking that NOT everybody is a beauty,
and therefore being ugly on the inside, i guess...
and probably the outside too, honestly-
but,
if i'm just a little less sloppy around the middle,
i'll thank you in advance for noticing...
besides,
if i can cook up a set of four ferocious flour tacos
with enough serious succulence to satisfy my monstrous appetite,
and maybe still have room to beat up a side order of something special, too?
c'mon.
that's the right call,
and it's still a massive meal.
too much is the right amount,
even if waaaaaay too much is no longer an option.
ha.
so,
four tacos it is.
and i'll make sure they're expert as heck.
i mean it.
stay ugly, stay dope is the name of the game.
-
guys!
mexican monday hasn't been a thing for a few,
due mainly to the time constraints of a distracting day-after-daily grind.
but,
last night, with an hour's headstart towards supper,
after tattooing some awesome clients,
and spanning a relatively low-key day that the old studio,
i had a little bit of inspiration,
and i put it  to work on some rainbow magic.
YUP.
no salsa? no problem!
check the teleport:

OLÉ, duders!
*soft flour tortillas!(rules is rules)
lettuces and purple cabbage, too.
*some got orange sweet baby bell pepper,
others got minced onion and jalapeno.
*they ALL got a quick-pickled radish/carrot/ jalapeno blend-
(that's boiling apple cider vinegar with sugar and salt,
poured over the thinly sliced veg, and allowed to cool.
...perfecto!
*agave-black pepper fried pepitas? F* yes, neighbors.
that's olive oil and fresh cracked black peps, toasty and sharp,m
with the pumpkin seeds tossed into the mix, sizzled for a full minute,
removed from the heat, and stirred around with agave.
what're the proportions?
a glug, ten crax, a scoop, and a squizzle.
y'got that in there?
hooray!
*
smoky cayenne cauliflower?!?!?
HELL YES.
pan-seared florets,
sizzled alongside thin striplets of sweet onion, for extra-juicy pan infusions,
tossed with cayenne, smoked paprika, GPOP, salt, pepper,
cumin, and coriander...
then braised/steamed in a spoonful or two of broth, covered,
for about three minutes or so,
then allowed to sear up just a bit more once the liquid is gone-
^^^THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT, MAN.
-
yellow rice is twice as dope when there's black beans in it.
that's a thing.
jasmine rice, with a 1/2 tsp turmeric,
1/ tsp ea. Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,
a dash of salt, a spoonful of oil,
and a few tablespoons of chopped onion and red pepper-
guys-
once it's boiling, and turned down, you add the saoked and sexxxy black beans,
and jalapeno,
and when that's all cooked up, according to the rice's instructions,
you stir in cilantro and scallion, too!
BOO-YA!
good rice makes for good times.
plus, i had enough to heat up again later,
after an epic dog-walk through the town, in a futile effort to exhaust my dog.
luckily,
later-on rice is even BETTER!
yum.
***********
i had the craziest dreams,
right after discussing how infrequently i remember my dreams!
that's that vanilla sky like muh'fug.
and in-between elaborate unraveling ribbons of subconscious strain on my brain,
involving all of the suppressed stress of this sh!t-hot waking-world mess i'm in-
i kept coming back to hallowe'en.
what?!
well, i mean, it's never too early.
and i'm going to be making my costume at AMPERSAND TATTOO this year,
so we can all enjoy the obsessive intricacies of a dress-up aficionado.
ha.
that's gotta be a better way to spend the few hours i'm unconscious
than the intricately involved scenarios i'm apparently summoning up
while i sleep.
it's a small wonder i don't do it much, if that's what's waiting for me.
bummer.
at least the costumes were great, i guess;
never quiet, never soft.....

KUNG PAOWERFUL!!

KUNG PAO!!
dudes,
it's quick-fast and in a rush,
it's spicy as a whip,
and it's filling AF!
yuuuuuuuup.
diced fried tofu,
jalapeno, red chili, red bell pepper, celery, onion, sliced garlic,
and SAUCE!
kaBOOM.
that's that kung 'fu, fools!
oh, heck yesssss, it's some serious dinnerly dopeness.
dispensed in record time, at that.
teleport:
KUNG PAOWERFUL!!
sizzled in sesame oil,
the 'fu gets SO crispy on the outsides-
and with a little GPOP, and ground mustard, and ginger on top?
expert.
and once that tasty bean curd is crisp'd a bit,
you just toss in the rest of the little squares of veg,
and season the heck out of 'em-
mmmmmmm.
MIRCHI MIX'D SPICES? get on that.
it's like crushed red pepper, black pepper, paprika, star anise and stuff...
make your own blend with the proportions you favor, and shake that stuff on everything.
....delicious.
for this meal, i used:
1/2 block tofu;
2 T sesame oil;
1 huge stalk of celery;
1 small sweet onion;
2 cloves of garlic;
1 jalapeno;
1 small red chili;
1/2 red bell pepper...
^ easy easy.
then, after adding 1 T tamari;
1 T rice wine vinegar;
1 T red hot sauce;
1 T agave;
i added 3 T peanuts,
and sizzled it alll up until the peppers were jusssssst this side of raw.
sweet, salty, sour, spicy.
that's the secret.
-
adding in those spicy red radishes was smart.
topping it with cool lettuce and pea shoots was pretty bright, too.
but,
those scallion and cilantro sprankles??
that's the masterstroke of genius.
make sure you put the on there,
otherwise you're only getting 90% of the boomfire you need.
and 100/100 is where it's at,
especially when time is of the essence,
because sometimes, you can't come back-
like mama said:
if you need 5 cents, don't ask for 3, ask for 10.
peace to de la soul for that one.
-
what are we serving that up on?
traditionally, it's rice,
but in this case, it's rice noodles.
yup.
black (rice) magic is what were conjuring up.
five minutes in boilin' water, a quick rinse, and a toss up
will have you slurping up the spiciest noods and improving your moods
with the quickness.
noods, dudes.
that's where it's at.
wordimus prime.
***********
hurry up!
that's all i think, all day, as i spin in circles,
trying to get where i've got to go,
before i need to be somewhere else.
...which just happens to be everywhere,
all the time,
like a tornado of temporal twists and turns.
i can't imagine this kind of fractured focus is at all very good for you.
in fact,
not sleeping, but also spanning crucial hours attending to the very real
investment of time that is ONLINE SHOPPING,
is kind of an insane way to invest energy and money and emotion! in
the build up towards the bigger picture.
dudes,
that's real.
i mean, you can't just go to the rug store,
because there isn't one in the woodsly goodness.
and the file cabinet situation?
sure, i could get some sort of budget jaun,
but only if i stopped caring about the smaller details of this endeavor.
and that's NOT a thing,
because the devils creeps in through those little slackass indulgences.
(did i just become half-amish?
ANYway,
from the lightswitch covers to the curtain rods,
i'm making the calls,
which means i'm to blame if those choices suck sh!t.
yup.
accountability is the better part of decisiveness.
no jokes.
the back end consequences are longer lasting than any knee-jerk responses
to building pressure and time constraints.
after all,
the right rug realllllly ties the whole room together, y'know?
can't have some cheapo crapuloso on my floor.
no way.
rules is rules,
and the new hottness needs to fully replace the old busted jauns.
*
crabtree is a living-breathing full-speed running wrench in the works.
he really is.
left alone, he's destruction embodied.
he just wants to battle-beast his whole head into every possible worst-case scenario,
from roadside rot heaps to clifftop leaps, to pillow-biting and rug-munching!
c'mon. i mean that literally, but still......YIKES!!
and what it takes to wear him out is HOURS and miles.
that's considerable time invested every damned day.
and once he's actually tired, he's only got an hour's worth of calm in him,
before the batteries are recharged and he's back with 11x the intensity.
i thought it'd be cool to have a homeboy with the same energy as i do,
but i didn't account for the ambitionless directionless distraction that's be
from a mute shark-bullet with no artistic creativity whatsoever.
he's lucky he's such a sweet little idiot.
if he was in any way more of an A*-hole,
i doubt i'd be able to cope.
then again,
i did spend almost a decade with a dirty poor-person pitbull who was mostly sh!tty,
but that was because i also spent that decade with her mostly-sh!tty owner, too.
ha!
there's no ladies here to mitigate this little guy's behavior.
and without that intervention, he'd better maintain this precarious balance of
delightful and devastating, lest he fall out of favor at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
.
.
.
OH STOP IT.
that's my DAWG, duders.
no matter what, we endure each other.
but if you're wondering why AMPERSAND isn't opening any sooner,
you can thank this little sh!tmonster.
that's no joke.
my future, as usual, is slightly misaligned,
because i only ever love the things that will hinder and harm my fortunes;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 14

REPEAT PARTY!!

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!!!
yuuuuuuuuuuuup.
because too much is the right amount,
and "frequently" is the box i check,
when i'm answering the questionnaire about pizza consumption.
ha.
i'm serious.
if it isn't homemade,
then it's the luxurious take away at flatbread,
but what it never ever is is absent altogether.
pizza is the TRUTH,
and pizza is for the children,
and the people,
and everybody.
damn i love pizza.
is that generic? basic? ordinary?
well, F* you, buddy-
if you don't get big ups with pizza, then you're going down.
-
and now that i've cracked the seal on homemade pizza pie?
there's bound to be a whole lot more of it in the immediate future.
that's all i need, really.
i mean,
every day is a jam-packed stacked attack on my time and space,
where i'm later than late, (which i haaaaate)
and constantly crunched by schedules that seem impossible to stay on top of.
except at suppertime.
sure,
as the year wanes past summery sunlit evenings,
i'm a little in-a-hurry to finish dinner......
but i take my time to make sure i''ve got the right flavors,
even if i'm so harried that it's single-bowl style meals,
with no sides of stuffs to snack up with on that exxxtra tip.
ugh.
the taste has to be tight, or it's not invited.
i'd rather skip dinner than have a weak one.
and that's no joke.
luckily,
when it's pizza time,
it's also always the right time-
and this time?
this time the mushrooms came through to carry my mouth across the finish line-
check the yellow-light-type teleport:

please please please excuse the minor inconvenience of indoor lighting.
my replacement sunlight supernova bulbs have burst or brnt out,
and my dudes over at amazon prime haven't sent out the new new, yet.
so, you get the yellow cast to the thing,
but that really just accentuates that superior semolina in the crust, right?
yeah!!
yellow heirloom tomatoes!!
browned non-slip baby bella buttontops!!
softened snappy sweet red bell peppers!!!
chopped broccolini!!!!
caramelized onions (rules is rules)!!!!!
scallions, parsley, and fried garlic sprankles!!!!!!
i can't say it enough- pizza is what keeps me going.
500 degrees of seasoned oven stone hearth activation,
and my excelsior dough,
and alllll of my focus and intent, making that crushed tomato and daiya mozzarella
reach their highest potential,
just so i can cut it into quarters, and crush the whole thing in twelve bites or less!!!
SHARK-GLUTTONY is not designed for lots of chewing, kids.
bite, tear, swallow, repeat.
feeding frenzies are supposed to be fast and furious,
otherwise, they're just feedings,
and that's not as dynamic, is it?
nope.
i want that raging wild stormswept savage animal experience.
the urgency,
and the total sensory overload,
of a big action explosion of total body rapture,
one huge crusty mouthful at a time.
if your pizza isn't doing that,
you're clearly eating the wrong pizza.
***********
no time for fake ones.
also,
no time for anything else either.
i'm off again, to the race where nobody wins or even finishes.
it's all really happening, and damn me for a fool,
but i barely understand why;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 13

KNOCK-KNOCK!!

...who's there?
cinnamon.
cinnamon who?
cinnamon BUNZOS, broski-mo!!
there isn't much more expert in the morning than an overstuffed,
double-buttery, brown sugary, cinnamony drizzled and sizzled,
caramelized coil of fresh-baked ovenly lovin'.
...and that's no joke.
 thanks to faulty genetics, age, and stress, the days of my long hairs are long gone.
(huh? oh. it makes sense....wait for it.)
so,
when i want to go around rockin' a man bun,
i just put cinnamon in the center of my molto masculine morning routine,
and represent on a more useful and attractive version of the prevailing trend.
y'feel me?
like a cinnamon samurai.
that's probably exactly what i am.
and i'm down to bake up a dozen dope dough spirals,
and let the hypnotic pattern of brown on brown on brown coerce me into
towards untold new levels of shark-gluttonous overindulgence.
no. for realsies, tho.
i want ALLLL the cinnamon jauns.
...and i can HAVE 'em.
duders,
check the cast-iron-nest-of-niceness-type teleport:

CINNAMON BUNZOS FOR YOUR FACE!!
yeah!
neighbors,
the parchment/cast-iron scene is a crucial element in the evolution of my buns.
clean-up is just a quick lift-out.
expert.
the iron gigantism keeps the crusts tight, and the caramelization at max efficiency.
expert.
and what's even better?
these jauns got that little bitty exxxtra-concentrated convection in their section,
so the tops got browner,
the centers stayed softer,
and the cinnamon?
well, to be honest-
that was unaffected by the process, but damn it was still delicious.
you need these in your life,
but,
if you aren't sleeping over, or rising early-shirley to pop on by,
you're going to have to make them yourself.
good news, tho, friends.
i'm going to walk you through it-
-
*
AUGUSTUS CINNAMON BUNZ!
-
preheat your oven to 375℉.
-
in your counter-top hero, a.k.a. your stand mixer, with the dough hook attached,
combine:
3 cups flour;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
1/3 cup sugar;
1 pkg fast fast dried yeast;
1/2+ tsp salt...
give it a low-low spin to sift it all,
and add:
3 T melted plant-based butter;
dissolved in 1 cup non-dairy milk;
with 2 tsp vanilla;
and 2 tsp bread machine yeast-
warmed enough to melt the butts, but cooled enough not to kill the yeast.
like baby bottle temperature-ish.
you know. like with the squirt on your wrist an' that.
anyway,
knead that from low to high speed for about 8 minutes,
and allow it to rise, covered for 15 more.
while that poppin',
in another 'nother other bowl, smash and mash together:
1/2+ cup dark brown sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
4-6 T earth balance butter, relative to how soft you want your middles, man.
plus, 2-3 tsp cinnamon, a dash of nutmeg, a splash of dried ginger;
and maybe even a little tiny bit more cinnamon.
that is, if you want to really all-out ball-out.
i mean, i did it, but i know what's up-
too much is the right amount,
and weak-A* cinnamen aren't warrior poets, they're doo-doo buttery diaperbabies.
yuck.
ok. OK.
so, spread the brown onto the beige,
after you've rolled out a rectangle on a well-floured surface.
leave a 1" edge on one long side,
and as you roll up the whole thing like a body in a carpet, or whatever,
tightly, for the ultimate in flavorful explosions throughout,
wet that black end, so the dough ca adhere to itself, and hold shape when it rises and bakes.
you'll now have a log of lusciousness,
but it might be too soft to slice up still.
i always put mine in the freezer for a few,
so that the cinnamon stays put when i squish through with a sharp serrated knife.
y'know?
yeah, you do.
alright.
it's cool, and that's cool, so now, play it cool, and cut your tube in half,
then cut those tubes in half, and then cut those tubes into thirds!
boom.
one dozen delights are ready to be arranged on that parchment,
in that pan,
and allowed to blossom and bloom for 15-20 more minutes,
before you bake those brown babies for 25-30, or until they're done to your liking.
WORD.
and when they've had a chance to cool,
so that the drip-out reservoir of melted sugar starts to stick to the bottom
of each pull-apart piece of heaven....
that's when yo hit 'em with the glaze for days, and get molto craze.
yuuuuuuup.
powdered sugar, nondairy milk, vanilla, and a dash of cinnamon are all you need.
....you've gotta get some of this.
it'll fix you right up.
cinnamon manly men. that's real.
and those soft, sweet centers, with that crispy flaked-out thick crust?
that's what we're made of.
we really are what we eat.
***********
......and now i'm out of time, again.
i guess we'll catch up tomorrow?
that's a likely story.
until then;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 12

OATGANG!!

would it be weird to invite passengers onto a sinking ship,
to list and lilt and struggle alongside you,
while the anchor refused to buoy the hull like a balloon,
and the keel and rudder autopliloted the bow into icebergs
like a south pacific bamboo junker sailing blindfolded in the arctic circle?
would that be cool?
i mean,
it wouldn't be BORING, i'll give you that.
however,
and i say this firsthand, as both the first mate on an ancient run-aground wreck;
and as the captain of a still-on-land, yet-to-be-launched, unchristened battleship.
efficiency, efficacy, expert execution?
those traits are all off the table,
and have been replaced with immaterial myopic monomaniacal muddling, meddling,
and mediocre methodology......
which surround myself, and my clients, 
like sharks around the USS indianapolis.
shoutouts to quint and the orca, y'all.   
guys,
i'm lucky to be able to generate income in the midst of this 900-square-foot epic undertaking.
i'm lucky that my limited engagement is met with relative indifference, 
rather than outright vehemence.
i'm lucky that i have been able to reroute my client list to the old old, 
while the new new takes longer than that second death star did to build 
(and it isn't fully operational yet, i assure you)
but goddamn it, neighbors,
listing back into the port of call i just left?
ooooof.
it feels like giving someone permission to watch embarrassing corrective surgery 
...on your A*-hole.
so, yeah, AMPERSAND TATTOO will be a thing,
and it should be a thing,
and it will be SUCH a thing.
but right now, there's just this other thing, 
and that happens sometimes. 
you get what you get, and you can't get upset.
the only real cure?
eating those feelings, son.
mmhmmmmm.
you KNEW i had treats coming up, or you would've stopped reading.
i see you, bro.
here's some sexy foodstuffs to key into, and get psyched on-
BOOOM!!!
oatmeal coconut barbarian cakeybars,
with that chocolate drizzzzzzzzzle.
yeah!!
mmmmmmm.
guys,
big buttery oatmeal and coconut crumbles all over the top are what's good.
you guys want to make some of this in YOUR house?
no problem.
here's the process:
-
*
SUPERSEXXXY COCONUTTY MAGIC BARS!
-
preheat your oven to 365℉.
-
in a medium mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick (8T) earth balance butter;
1 cup light brown sugar;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 cup medium flake unsweetened coconut;
1/2 cup thick rolled oats.
stir in:
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt.
when that's 100% a muddy well-blended mess,
add:
2 cups flour;
1/2 cup fresh-ground oat flour;
2 tsp bakey powder;
1 tsp bakey soda;
1/2 tsp coconut extract;
and 1 cup non-dairy milk.
combine it thoroughly,
and spread it into a greased 9x12" pan,
and cover with a handful of oats, a handful of coconut,
and 3 T melted vegan butts stripped all over the surface.
damn!
that'll lure in the tasty ones, probably, if that's your thing.
bake it for 30 minutes,
and allow to cool enough to keep the chocolate drizzles 
from spreading out and looking terrible.
friends-
chocolate chips, powdered sugar, 'milk, and vanilla over low heat
makes ganache-type spreadable hottness.
you gotta have it.
it turns the whole thing up to eleven.
...
if you aren't altering your attitude with nutrients, then you might be effing up.
mood-enhancing medicine doesn't have to be prescribed, buddy.
just get some vegan cake in your face.
it's better than mind-altering drugs, and it has vitamins in it probably.
hahaha.
yeah.
*
meanwhile,
i'm circling my wagons and circling the drain,
while the vultures circle overhead; 
and it's all overlapping and intersecting and moreover it's all really happening,
only the wagons and the drain and the vultures are a metaphor for
leaving and staying and dying to live a life worth dying for.
damn, dudes.
i'm reppin' a hard style,
and it's careening towards career suicide and resurrection.
that's real;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 10

HOMECOMING!!!!

duuuuuuuuuuuudes!
it's been waaaay too mutha-'ucking long.
for realsies.
like,
when was the last time you saw it?
june?
i don't even know if that's correct.
but i know for sure that it ain't right.
your boy over here has been preoccupied with all this big boy business,
and one specific spot in my life has suffered for it.
uh-huh.
that's some loose-packed bullsh!t in the first degree,
and it's got to stop, pronto.
you know what i'm talking about?
no?
oh.......sorry about that.
i'm talking about homemade hard-style hottness.
i'm talking about circles of echoing eternity.
i'm talking about pizza, neighbors.
a.k.a. the TRUTH.
mmmmmm.
i've been munchin' up on takeaway,
supporting the local pizza industry,
and trying to free up some extra time with walk-up pizza service-
but,
as of yesterday,
my homemade high-hydration dough is fully slow-proofed, portioned,
and prepped for a special spree of stretched semolina sizzling
on the slate stone surfaced hearth of my very hot oven.
word up.
i need it.
i love it.
i missed it.
but,
it's back, and i'm back,
and we're together, and that's beautiful.
check the triumphant-reunion-type teleport:

PEE EYE ZEE ZEE AYY!!!!!!!!
y'better gimme that pie, guy.
i came out for the comeback come-up swinging for the fences,
and what's more, i had company.
i know, right?!
relax, it was a dude.
yup my longtime client, ian, who also happens to be my genuine homeboy,
and actual friend, for that matter,
went, quite literally, out of his way to search for antique end tables
to accentuate the angles and the area of AMPERSAND TATTOO.
truly, i am humbled by the help of the people who've chosen to participate in this project.
and while that meant i only had half as much pizza,
i had ten times the camaraderie and that's a pretty damned good trade, really.
y'see that pizza pie up there?
it's terrific, and that's no joke.
the dough? dope.
the recipe?
right here:
-
*
SEMOLINA SEXXXINESS!
-
in you stand mixer, with the dough hook on,
beat up the following:
2 cups white wheat flour;
1+ cup semolina flour;
1 tsp wheat gluten;
1 T salt;
4 T olive oil;
1 pkg fast-actin' yeast;
1 T sugar.
add:
1 1/2 cup warm water, activated with 1 tsp bread machine yeast (jar yeast, bro),
and a little pinch of energizing sugar.
knead it on that hook piece for eight or nine minutes,
wrap it and refrigerate it for at least eight hours,
overnight is better,
and a whole day is ideal.
-
i cut mine into equal portions for pre-measured individual pie doughs,
but y'all can do whatever you'd like.
the thing of it is, you'll STILL be psyched on a good crust
no matter how you decide to measure out the size.
real talk.
*
i hand-pressed a third of this newly proved dough onto a butter-bottomed pan,
and let it rise while my oven preheated to a toasty 490℉.
also,
while the oven was firing up,
i had a couple of red potatoes, oiled, GPOP'd salted and peppered,
slow roasting along with the increasingly higher and higher heat.
by the time the oven was ready,
the potatoes were crisp-crusted and soft-centered
and basically completely expert as heck.
nice.
caramelized onions are my favorite homemade pizza topping.
they have ALL the flavor, man.
and with mozzarella AND cheddar daiya on the bottom,
the onions added a whole holy sh!tload of tastiness to the base.
yum.
-
and then there's the chopped broccolini.
c'mon, now.
that's so crawnchy, and so delicious, and packed with nutrients and sh!t like that.
braised with a dash of hot water, to steam and sear the raw off of it,
chopped into perfectly, decoratively delightful floret flak,
and tossed with abandon all over the place.
THAT'S how real dudes do it, when they're down to really do it to it.
true story.
there's weirdie baconical bits, too.
sorry, but i'm not sorry, because a little doo-doo buttery indulgence
in plant-based processed pink products once in a great while never hurt anybody that badly.
or, maybe it has,
but it was on there, and it made it taste better....
-
and those potatoes!
DOPE!
and tomatoes!!
SUPER-DOPE!
c'mon.
also, rules is rules,
so you know i had those fried garlic sprankles on top.
no span of time can change that.
and just to turn it up to eleven?
radicchio shredsies...
F* yes!
too much is the right amount.....
***********
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand ,
after a day off from tattooing, where i drove all over the state,
independent of ian's own statewide adventure, even-
i'm back to being busy as all get out.
yup.
there is work to do.
and i'm working on it.
dropping fat sacks of stacks on stacks,
and drawing up zaps and zaps of tats on tats.
ugh.
it's all more than there is time for,
and it's all the same, all the time.
rush rush rush,
eat,
sleep,
walk this F*ing dog,
work work work.
responsible adulthood is NOT for lazy people;
never quiet, never soft....

Wednesday, August 9

BERRIED ALIVE!!

i did it one more m'F*ing time-
uh-huh.
the color-scheme scheme.
yeah.
i apologize for my orchestrations.
the thing is-
i'm a sucker for coordination.
...and i already had everything necessary to make it happen,
which was the deciding factor, honestly.
i wasn't even planning on preparing anything for the morning,
but i knew i needed to administer some especially speical tlc to my dog in the evening.
and that's a whole other thing-
but let it be known that the fading light of late summer,
the heavy cloudcover of recent days,
and the downright chilly temperatures anywhere not under the direct sunlight
all make for a semi-miserable downtown dog walk.
and since time is of the essence. lest we become night creepers,
a dinnertime deluxxxe was just not feasible within the time constraints.
but,
i couldn't do NOTHIN', neighbors.
no way.
treats are important.
and rules is rules.
so,
i rummaged around for a minute and found some odds, a few ends,
and the remainder of the fruity frostings from earlier...
that's more than enough to get it poppin'.
freeze-dried berries are what make the insides awesome,
and also what make the frosting so fresh-to-death.
true story.
y'wanna see what i made?
you do?
ok.
here:

COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOKIES.
really, they could be biscuits, and not in the british sense,
(which is to say cookies).
they went together in a jif,
and they went down the hatch in one smooth motion.
guys,
cookies are a winner.
eating cookies is a win.
and we are the champions, my friends.
that's a thing.
would you like to attempt these from the comfort of your own home?
i know i would.
ha.
here's the info, bro:
-
*
BERRY BISCOTIOS!
-
preheat your oven to 365℉.
-
in a medium mixing bowl,
smash together:
1 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 stick (8T) plant-based butter;
2 tsp vanilla.
then thoroughly whisk in
3/4 cup non-dairy yogurt.
add:
2 1/2 cups flour;
1 1/2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/2 cup freeze dried strawberry slices, and dust and bits;
1/2 cup freeze-dried raspberry crumbles;
1/2 cup miniature dark chocolate chips;
-
knead that into one bog blarpity blop,
hand-flatten it on a well-floured surface, about 1/2 " thick,
and cut yourself some circles.
any size will work. i went big, because i like a lot of cookie at once.
that's my style-
bake them for 15 minutes or so,
and allow them to cool, after the first 5 out of the oven, on a wire rack.
from there,
there's frosting.
and powdered sugar sprankles.
and napkins that look like they were made for this.
and cookies that were made for this.
and you, and me, and us, and them-
except, they can't have any, ok?
word.
this i OUR thing, and that's a good thing.
***********
there's your cookie recipe.
here's the rest of the story-
i'm too busy,
and i don't have much more time to tell you about it.
maybe someday, there will be another extra minute to elaborate,
but that's not today.
because today is the day where i run around all day doing terribly tedious tasks,
from now until i'm asleep.
it's all really happening,
and it's all a necessary burden to haul.
they say we get stronger the more we carry on our shoulders.
you'd think i could translate a little of that metaphysical muscle tone over into real life.
nope.
it's all just skin and bones and biscuits for me;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 8

YOU KNOW!

spaghetti?
spaghetti!
yup.
sometimes,
the best way to follow eastern noods is with western ones.
and really, what better method is there for manhandling a monday night?
spaghetti is good.
i mean,
i'm not about to flip the F* out over a plate of it all on it's own,
but at the same time,
it is the perfect wing man to assist a little tasty somethin'-somethin'
in a full-force flavorful love connection.
that's real.
and maybe that's just the DNA talking,
but the main course,
standing on a mountain of slippery semolina snakes?
that just seems victorious and glorious,
and how could you not be all about that?
c'mon.
victory is pretty tight, neighbors.
and i'm thinking about building an arch in honor of last night's spaghetti supper.
mmmmhmmmmmm.
check the marinara/melanzana/monday-type teleport:

ABBONDANZA, BRO!!
word up-
al dente perfection had those skettis all sorts of just right.
the chunky chunky homemade marinara was DOPE.
the sourdough slices on the side,
freshly baked with that crisp crust and soft crumb,
were molto expert.
and that eggplant?!?!
dudes,
that eggplant was the spoken voice of the lord an' sh!t, for real.
uh-huh.
*
variegated light purple and white thin-skinned graffiti-style superior itailan eggplant,
sliced thinnish,
salted to banish bitterness, rinsed,
and dunked in aflax/chia/soymilk mixture, to give it a gummy adhesive surface.
that's how you get it to stick to the good stuff.
and in THIS instance, the good stuff was in F*ing full effect, man.
cornstarch and flour, with salt, pepper,
plus wheat and oat bran for texture;
parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil; cayenne, GPOP;
and a decent dash of nutritional yeast.
y'gotta activate all that flavor, and all the herbs, or you're doing it wrong...
and nana won't rest easy in her grave if you disrespect the eggplant.
so, take care of your nana, and do it right, friends.
fried up in hot oil, until both sides gget that crunchy crispy skin,
and the insides are soft and pull-apart perfect.
guys,
this jaun had almost NO seeds. it was like i was gifted a perfect egglessplant experience.
and i maximized my enjoyment of it, for sure-
*
especially with the addition of the homemade CHUNKY MARINARA!!
YEAH!
a good sauce is the make-or-break between die-alone-in-a-hole,
and live-a-long-life-and-die-alone-in-a-bed, y'feel me?
wooohooo.
that's the ticket!
-
i had half an onion, minced, a clove of crushed garlic,
and 1 1/2 cups of grape tomatoes, quartered,
simmering in olive oil,
before i added the first pass of herbs.
yup, a sweaty pot of veg is where it all begins.
then, it's GPOP, and marjoram, and oregano, and basil-
give that a second to activate the aromatics,
and zap it with a heavy splash of red wine vinegar.
yep, that's the stuff.
add 1 1/4 cups crushed tomatoes;
2 T tomato paste;
1/2 cup water;
a dash of soy sauce (oooooh, mommy, y'dig? hahaha. no? c'mon.)
salt, pepper, thyme, a spoonful of sugar, a little crushed red pepper,
and a big scoop of nootch.
Wu-TANG!
now that's a tasty base for your big pasta power pack attack!
simmer it, covered, for as long as it takes to bring water to a boil and make pasta,
while you fry up the eggplant and whatever,
so that your sauce scene is BOSS when the time arrives
for serving up a big ol' plateful of that luscious from-scratch chunky hottness.
believe me, it's worth it.
*
and the bread?
oooooooh.
you all already know how i feel about bread, don't you?
that's riiiiiight.
i'm positively passionate that good bread makes better people,
and that even better bread makes the world worth way more of a damn.
real talk.
so, a fresh baked barbarian boule was exxxactly what was good and true in the universe,
and precisely what the plate needed to be considered complete.
i had a whole other other 'nother slice (or two) just for dippin' in sauce
after all the skettis were slurped into history.
mmmmmmmm.
-
i could've left well enough alone.
....if i was a diapery little poopiepants'd waterbaby-
but, i'm not that, at all,
and i know full well that too much is the right amount,
so,
i also hit the whole thing with MORE nootch,
and parsley garnish sprankles,
AND fried garlic sprankles,
because tomatoes and fried garlic are best friends,
and like to hang out together.
that's a thing.
***********
have you ever stressed so hard you actually fall asleep?
on the ones,
that's a new level of mental exhaustion, for me at least.
i crashed out at some point,
literally,
and found myself with rug lines ingrained on my face,
and one arm more asleep than the rest of me, from where i'd been laying on it.
dudes!
worrying is not productive.
everybody knows that's not effective usage of time.
but, good luck not doing it.
what's the problem?
well,
i don't think this new spot is EVER going to open.
that's an exaggeration, of course.
but,
it feels real.
i'm so ready my toes are tapping,
and my feet are fleet in their flight from the titanic turd-tornado that
constitutes my daily workplace purgatory.
how quickly emotions can change, huh?
i am very grateful, in a way,
for the post-credits scenes i'm watching over here-
as the old studio transitions into whatever it's becoming,
and all the precounted eggs hatch and leave the basket with haste-
it comes complete with meltdowns, tirades, genuinely unsound conversations,
petulant power-trips, and monumentally unpleasant phone skills-
damn.
what an angry last-days-in-a-berlin-bunker batch of buggery i'm faced with.
i didn't want the ending to be like this.
fraught and frenzied, rife and replete with resentments.....
yuck, yuck, YUCK.
friends,
i can empathize with the stresses of being overwhelmed,
it's currently my default mindstate most minutes of most days
but,
i can't hang out with the way things are wrapping up as this second encore
finally finishes resonating through the week.......
it doesn't HAVE to end ugly, even though i don't see why it wouldn't.
and yeah,
NObody leaves with the title, for sure.
i get that.
...but c'mon, man.
this is medieval in it's final throes.
just as long as i still actually eventually leave,
i'll endure whatever snipes and snaps come at me before the coda.
after all,
the height of good manners is exiting while you're still wanted around-
by which i mean:
i guess i missed my window by about a decade;
never quiet,. never soft.....

Monday, August 7

WOLVES.

it's big, buddy.
and it's round, too.
and bright as heck.
not to mention really F*ing full.
uh-huh.
the moon is pulling out all that bestial best-case worsening
from my pores and follicles,
so that the essence of animal magnetics is leaving that iron-blooded tang in my mouth,
and a tidal wave of ill tidings is crashing in on a king tide
that's taking it's tithe in spirit and memory.

do you feel me or what?
i'm just sayin'-
it's hard to sleep in the bright bright bright,
and it's even hardeer to relax under the influences of the lunatic fringe
that dangles and dazzles at the hem of the heavens these days.
it isn't ever easy,
but frayed nerves,
and tight tempers,
and short fuses lit by silver nightlights have got me TILTED, kids.
uh-huh.
science says that full moon'itis isn't a thing
however,
super superstitions dictate that that is incorrect,
and all the test tubes and centrifuges, bunsen burners and microscopes on earth
aren't going to disabuse me of my firsthand experience with crawling skin
and creeping dread
and claws and jaws and impudent imprudence
that flow in sync with the flow of the ocean and my similarly-salinated blood.
so,
take that for what it's worth,
and maybe stay out of arm's reach and harm's way today.
i won't take it personally if you ignore me.
in fact,
i'll even extend to you the same.
there's a great big terrific reflective rock rotating and revolving up there,
and the ricocheting radiation it's reflecting is a mirrored reflection
of our most prime selves-
there's a light in the darkness,
but that only serves to accentuate all that darkness.
it's all really happening,
and it's taking us along for the ride;
never quiet, never soft.....

NOODIST!!!

brown rice ramen,
boiled, rinsed, and sesame-oil seared with some SAUCE?
that's noods, dudes,
and i'm sending them out into the universe because i loooooove them.
guys!
who went unintentionally gluten-free for the evening?
yuuuuup.
it was me.
and while wheat wasn't in attendance, crucial flavors all showed up anyway!
sesame oil was the main unifying force,
and sossamon seeds were there for the assist, in black and tan.
dope.
noodoo doo-doo is on the list of quick and easy big time mealtime good times.
and in five minutes or less, these tasty brown rice squigglers are always ready,
which leaves plenty of time to do other other stuff afterwards.
....and other stuff is lurking at the edges of my attention at all times these days.
that's no joke, either.
i've got peripheral ghosts along the limits of my sightlines,
haunting the happenings of every damned day,
all while the carpenter enjoys his weekends,
and i anguish over the terrible timeline i'm presently pressured by-
and that puts a big burden on these noods, man.
for realsies.
i'm pushed and rushed in my private life, as it segues into the professional realm,
which, in it's turn, is in a race to the starting line,
by waiting for the finish line to come into sight for the first leg of preliminary processes.
y'feel me?
the carpenter is allllllmossssssssssst done, and when he is,
the big ball will get rolling like that raiders of the lost ark jaun,
and a juggernaut of special moves and artist's touches will commence at velocity.
once the restraints are lifted, and relying on somebody else's efforts are over,
it's balls-out all-out war on the remaining tasks.
i feel like i repeat myself a lot.
is that rhetoric, or just crazy person sh!t, or something in between?
i can't say for sure,
so i'll likely just stuff my face with noods instead.
neighbors,
check out the big action:

GINGER-SESAME-GARLIC PAN-FRY-UPS!!!!
yeah!!!
-
sesame-fried tofu!
i love tofu.
and tofu loves me,
and we're in love, openly, with each other.
and nothing will tear us apart.
except love, of course.
rules is rules.
-
broccoli, orange and yellow carrots, celery, onion, a dash of minced jalapeno,
and clove after clove of sliced garlic,
sizzled up in a spoonful of sesame oil, and steam-finihed with a custom ginger garlic sauce.
mmmmmmhmmmmm.
-
*
SAUCE!
-
2 T wheat-free tamari;
2 T rice vinegar;
1 T agave;
1 tsp ea. Garlic Powder Onion Powder;
one 1/2" nub of fresh grated ginger;
1/4 tsp mirchi spice blend;
a zap of two-tone sossamon sesame seeds;
1 clove crushed raw garlic;
1/4 tsp dry ground mustard;
1 T chopped cilantro;
1/2 tsp vegan bouillon base;
1 T organic non-GMO cornstarch.
^whisk it up into a slurry,
and pour it on top of all that hot veg, stir the heck out of it,
and cover it for two minutes...
then bask in the aromatic exxxplosions that ensue!
it's realllly good, and really flavorful,
and when you reserve the veg, but add those wet noods to sizzle away in the pan?
you get that good-good, and it does all the things you'd hope it to.
-
veggies and noodles and tofu and sauce!!!
that's expert.
with snap peas and a little lettuce and cooooool paper-thin cukes?!
hell yes, that's what i wanted,
and hell no, i didn't leave any behind.
too much is the right amount, man.
to that end,
i zapped it with shredded radicchio and cilantro sprankles, too.
i HAD to, lest i be accused of taking it easy-
and that's sucker sh!t for sure.
a good nood is worth a lot.
***********
and so i wait.
and i prepare.
and i plan.
and i plot.
and i stilllllll work on folks at the old busted spot,
while the new hottness preheats for an interminably longer-than-is-acceptable startup time.
damn.
when you've waited years to be prepared for what's next,
a few days shouldn't matter-
but when you were ready years ago,
and it was only circumstances that hindered the dream becoming reality,
any extra waiting is excruciating.
like, actually painful.
like,
genuinely physically draining and mentally exhausting,
and full-moon werewolf transformative-
there's a savage stormswept raging gypsy curse
boiling right below the steamy sizzling surface of my skin,
and the only soothsaying salve that'll save the day is the job being DONE.
another day, and another day, and dollars and miles and piles of work to do-
this is What Is,
and it's moving as quickly and a slowly as any one timeline can.
i think that's called a standstill,
which is ironic, since that's the least likely usage of energy on the schedule;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 6

OCHO.

in other news,
it's been eight years since i took ownership of the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress,
and let me be the first to say it:
it's never looked worse.
hahahaha.
only, that's no joke, neighbors.
awwwwwwww, MAN.
the good news is that may deter any NEW neighbors from moving onto the block.
on the ones,
my spot has never looked more haunted than it does right now-
and with the dramatic full-moon shadows?
oh, snap, you ghoulish goblins- it's downright full-time hallowe'eny.
even in august.
the grass is greener,
but only because it's twenty feet tall (i think that means it's trees, now, actually);
the exterior is still four-toned and unpainted;
the interior is so chock full of tattoo studio supplies,
AND books,
AND kitchen overflow accoutrements,
AND dog toys and bones and bits and kibbles,
AND plants-
to the casual observer, i'm pretty sure this is a definitively crazy-person's house.
and that might even be true.
but,
it's mine all mine all mine all mine,
and it feels like summer again,
although so much time and so many seasons have passed,
worsening my hairline in direct inverse proportion to the lawn's lushness,
and taking it's toll on all my nest laid plans for the future, from the past.
time F*ing flies faster than a peregrine freefall,
and i'm wondering if it's possible to hit the brakes before they break.
where even am i?
old and busted and dope as hell,
doing the things i do louder and fresher and harder than i did a year ago.
speaking of-
it's already been a year since the last long-term ladyfriend of mine
dissed your boy like a silent, sneaky cold-blooded gangster.
a whole other 'nother year of solo proprietorship of my big empty castle on the hill.
...ain't that some sh!t.
and it all rolls back around, and away, and back again.
together, separate, disparate, dissonant, dissidence, confidence, arrogance,
and right back to humbled, stumbling over obstacles, and
overlaps and echoes,
spirals and smoke rings,
ghost circles and dead zones-
spirit and memory,
silver skies and werewolf moons-
it's all still happening anyway.
here.
at my house,
in the woodsly goodness,
where i've had great times, and some of the very worst, too.
hard times, fast times, all the time,
every kind except wasted time-
and i've alternately lived high and mightily happy;
deeply darkened in flat-on-the floor despair;
tired and doggedly determined not to fail, flounder, flop, and falter;
cold and lonely;
hot and lonely;
large and in charge;
small and helpless;
romantic;
hopeless;
hopelessly romantic, and the full range in between;
and lately, totally exhausted and completely out of my element.
it's ALL part of this place.
and that's what home feels like.
i'm grateful for the time i have been given;
never quiet, never soft.....

MENTAL FRUIT!!

lentil soup is mental fruit,
and ginger root is good for the yout'!!
guys!
after a disappointing day,
doing tattoos, sort of,
at the place i don't work at, but work at,
while the skies were evening dark all damned afternoon,
i needed something burly.
something hearty.
something expert.
and i knew whatever it was had to be thick, son.
mmhmmm.
a fat stacked hug from within was what i was aiming for.
wait...
you know i'm talking about how i had a lame day,
and then a rad dinner....right?
oh, ok!
that's good.
-
duders,
what do you know about lentils and rice?
here's the heat code: they're always a good idea.
and with tofu and tomatoes, too??
c'mon.
i had myself a comfort bowl,
a super bowl,
a burly barbarian hurry-up curry-down bowl,
and i have to say, with as much humility as i can conjure up:
IT WAS DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE.
yep.
that's real.
check the teleport:

i'm ON that rib-stickin' thickness, neighbors.
i mean, really, tho.
y'see that crispy business in the bottom of the photo?
that's a potato.
potatoes are rad.
tossed with cayenne and paprika and olive oil,
and oven roasted on parchment at 405 luscious degrees, fahrenheit.
y'know what that is?
delicious.
coolwater cucumbers? sure.
a little crawnch is good for you,
and after all,
the whole bowl can't ALL be squishy, or you're doing it wrong.
those heirloom tomato quarters?
they're deep and dark, almost burgundy, with deep green stripes,
and they're F*ing expert.
HUGE tomato flavor, in smaller roundies, is something i approve of.
baby kale and pea tendrils on the sides, to stir in and mix up
and activate a little freshie-freshness for my face.
i need the green stuff, friends.
nutrients and all that are what plants crave, when i'm on that brawndo jaun.
you know.
*
the ginger-lime rice was STILL awesome, a day later.
i'll confess,
i built up my suppertime idea on how much rice there still was kicking around.
fresh ginger and lime zest, a little grated turmeric root, a dash of salt-
damn. how can it be so simple, but live SO fat?
i'm pretty sure it's because of the maestro, actually.
shouts to the boys entering anarchistic states towards internal excellence.
if you know, you're cool.
if you don't know, you're either too young, or too lame.
recognize.
-
coconut-fried tofu has become a staple in this household.
the coconut oil's high-heat tolerance makes the tofu ten thousand times crispier,
and twenty-hundred times crustier,
and generally all-around better.
so that's now an official thing.
rules is rules, bro.
-
red onion sprankles!
cilantro sprankles!!
toasted coconut sprankles!!!
DAS IT!
triple-activated accessorized elites for my eats, man...
too much is the right amount,
which all the real ones out there are on deck with.
you know me when it comes to exxxtras.
...and i give thanks, and i salute you.
*
and then there's those red lentils.
i get into some dal, dudes.
oh yea.
i doo-doo that slow simmered saucy sloppy succulent soupy seed smash.
i mean, who doesn't?
unadventurous diapery babies, maybe,
but all of us would throw down and terrorize a big bowl of this much hottness,
which is why i like y'all so damned much.
it was easy as heckfire, too:
-
1/4 chopped onion,
1 T minced red pepper,
1 tsp mashed jalapeno,
GPOP, cumin, coriander, cayenne, ground mustard, toasted coconut flakes,
fire-roasted tomato flakes, salt & pepper.
sauteed in just a dab of coconut oil, to silt the veg and toast the spices-
then, it was simply 1 cup of red lentils with 1 3/4 cups water,
and about fifteen minutes of boil/simmer/rest, until it was thick and rich and creamy.
ok, OK.
i also threw in a punch of red onion, a tablespoon and a half of chopped cilantro,
and a full-sized handful of baby kale, too.
i like it better when there's a lot going on.
and i'm home alone, essentially (crabtree can't cook for sh!t)
so there's nobody to tell me to rein in my overdoings,
which makes me kind of happy, honestly,
because i'm on some MORE and MORE and MORE type jauns.
that's my style.
***********
y'ever try to engineer anything without any experience in engineering?
that's where i'm at.
just using my brain, and no preconceptions (due mainly to no prior experience),
of how to ornament and adorn the new space, so that it accurately and effectively
is infused with the correct feelings, to provide a properly attuned environment
for being totally motherF*ing creative all the flipping time.
i hope my lack of knowledge is balanced by my problem-solving(and finding) brainwaves.
i s'pose only time will tell if the concepts i've concocted are cool, or pure sh!t.
i'm crossing my fingers, and my heart, and my t's,
and opening and dotting my eyes and my i's,
in a sincere plea to the secret universal plans not to eff me in the A*
as if i was at the drive-through.
i've had enough suckiness,
i'm open and receptive to some brand-spankin' new over-the-top superhot awesomeness.
i'm ready for it.
hands out, mouth open, pants off.
....wait.
that's something else.
you know what i meant;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 5

WHA'ME EAT!!

i and i on that other other 'nother ital activation, guys.
mmmhmmmm.
who is a real jerk?
it's me.
no.
because of the spice rub, buddy.
take it easy.
sweet coconut jerk seitan?!
is that even a thing?
oh, yes, it's absolutely a F*ing thing,
and i stuffed my big dumb face full of it last night.
YEAH!!!
and that wasn't even the half of it.
duders,
i got pretty expert on a lime and coconut overlap attack,
in the theme of island time calypso magic an' that.
mmmhmmmmm.
but first, let me gripe a bit.
rainy dark and storminess is sometimes cool.
yet, if it pops up and pours out right when it's time for a suppertime photoshoot?
that's not cool.
so,
i had to use the big lightbulb,
and the worse location
(which didn't affect the flavors in any way whatsoever),
but had me a little put off during the pic taking portion of the program.
anyway, i'm never satisfied, so just check it out:

BOOMFIRE BUH BUH BUH BUMBASHOOT CALL ME NOWWWWW!!!!
hahahaha.
ISLAND RICE, BOI!!
that's jasmine rice, with 1 tsp fresh grated ginger,
and a smallish scraped splat of fresh turmeric,
1/2 a lime's zest, and a dash of salt,
plus juice of that same lime, at the finish line????
daaaaaaaaamn.
that's incredible, for as simple as it is.
get on it next time you're effing around with rice and that.
*
aaaand THAT SEITAN, THO!!!
homemade shredded wheat meat,
sauteed with onion, sweet bell pepper, jalapeno, poblano, and red chili,
plus big hunks of garlic, and a dash of cilantro-
and the seitan dusted and dredged through a special blend of spicy nicey-niceness-
that's cayenne, smoked paprika, turmeric, GPOP (obvi, always)
coriander, star anise, a subtle baby dash of cinnamon, cracked black peps,
pink salt, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, fire-roasted tomato flakes, cumin,
and ground mustard.
sizzled in coconut oil,
with lime juice to deglaze the whole skillet a couple of times,
and agave added in to sweeten up the whole platter.
i didin;t measure a dang thing, but, you might want to start light,
and get heavier after a taste.... mine was straight FIRE to the point of sweaty hiccups,
which is to say, it was perfect.
mmm.
the red chili sprankles and jalapeno slices were especially hot for some reason,
but, then again,
too much IS the right amount, right?
hell yes it is.
i don't know why i thought that baby kale would make it less fiery.
i mean, since when has that ever been a thing?
and yet, i honestly was like: 'this'll cool it off'.
am i secretly optimistic, or just sometimes a little baby bit stoopid?
don't answer that, thank you very much.
*
JICAMA SLAW??!!?!
yes!
shredded jicama, spicy french radishes, radicchio, minced jalapeno,
parsley, cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice.
could that be easier?
only if you left something out.
ha!
*
PLATANOS!!!!!
coconut-oil fried, coconut sugar glazed, pink-sea-salted, lime zested,
and lime juice spritzed plantains for your FACE, neighbors!!
...BOOM.
with red chili spranks to fire 'em up, on top of all those other other subtler flavors?
i was in heaven.
i mean, seriously, those buhnaynays were golden, soft, juicy, sweet, savory....
like tropical kettle-corn fruit chips.
wait,
that's exxxactly what they were.
also,
they were delicious and molto molto dope AF.
real talk.
...
seems like more food than one man should eat?
probably.
but i'm more than one man's worth of man.
so, it stands to reason that if i'm on some threesome-by-my lonesome
but only as it applies to my workload jauns,
i'm likely to be powerfully hungry at the end of the day, right?
damned straight, bruh.
which is why, even with all that food,
i still had room for one more awesome add on.
yuuuuuup.
*
COCONUT CURRY DEEP-FRIED CAULIFLOWER BOMBS!!!
guys,
these were incredible.
tthe batter, which was mixed right in with the cauliflower,
was:
cumin, paprika, black pepper, star anise, red pepper flakes, a pinch of raw sugar
coriander, parsley, minced jalapeno, lime zest;
4 T flour, 1/2 tsp bakey powder;
GPOP,
and a few T of non-dairy milk, to glom onto, and seep into,
the spaces between cauli and flower.
an inch or so of hot-HOT veg oil, in a small pot,
and wu-TANG!
instant amazing new hottness.
cilantro and coconut in a bowl, to adhere to and activate the last level
of eleventh-tier terrific taste, too?
woooooooooooooooooord.
***********
i make a lot of food, when i make food.
lately, it's been less frequent for all the other directions my attentions are being pulled.
and as an aside- how tall is a pizza box, bro?
like 2 1/2"?
i've got a feet-tall stack of them in my 'recycling' box.
i guess i could get into a bit more kitchen time these days
because when i DO do it,
i get busy with it.
and you like that ital style.
i get into some things when i've got my mind on 'em-
and also,
i get grumpy with rainy days.
and i'm molto grumped out at the impending thunderstorm looming above my dog walking prospects this morning.
i'm about to get v. wet, and that makes me v. unhappy.
however,
me and my little buddy are going to run most of the way,
unless he's got dumber, more distracting, overacting ideas.
we'll know in a minute, i s'pose.
it's all really happening,
under water and over land;
never quiet, never soft.....