Saturday, August 31


i made a few tasty things since the last time i wrote to y'all.
and i know what i did, and how i did it,
and i even have pictures of the results.
all that is true.
but here's something even truer.
i don't feel at all good about all this radical vegan hottness.
no, no way.
c'mon, man- don't be dumb-
i'm still vegan, and i have all the intentions on staying that way
i'm just burnt out on typing these sorta-recipes for a blog.
i mean, it isn't exactly going places,
and the direction has gotten diverted and sidetracked and become less
of what it once was since i opened AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and then met breezy and then had lilli and then pretty much fractured
my life into sixths or tenths or something like that...
too much is the right amount,
but i may have finally taken on so much that nothing gets even half the attention it deserves
and that's pretty terrible.
i'll grant you tha tomorrow is september,
and things at work will die down a bit immediately.
i grant that after labor day weekend summer is unofficially done,
and the kids will all be at school,
if they're old enough-
that's college and second grade and kindergarten.
i'll even acknowledge that the weather and the light are both fading fast.
i'll even concede that i have at least one more week worth of
somethings to write about....
i mean,
the first is on a sunday, dudes.
you know that's important right?
rules is rules,
and the numero uno best part about a rabbit-day starting
on the first square of the calendar corner
means that the next eight days are getting stacked between bread.
that's no joke.
so there's that.
i can't tell you where i'm at,
and i don't know where i'm headed either.
i do know that there's likely a secret universal planagram stratagem at play,
and there's ley-lined maplines,
careworn and creased, like blueprints for a Folk Life do-it-yourself hobby kit,
that're unfolding as we reach the edges of 'em, and making more routes
to roll along, for now and for later and forever....
that means it's always a mystery,
and i guess that i'm completely at a loss for what to do next.
it's all really happening, it just doesn't necessarily all happen to us;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 27


just.... wow,
my day opened up in unexpected ways,
so i had time to capture the light and make use of a few afternoon hours
to create a captivating clutch of knots.
yeah, knots.
garlic knots.
F* yeah!
i don't always want homemade marinara and almost a whole bulb of garlic
inside my body, but whenever i do, it's not a craving, neighbors.
it's biology.
my italian DNA needs tomatoes and garlic or my sauce count goes low,
and you wouldn't wanna be around when i'm low on sauce.
that's no joke.
so, i fixed it.
and i made the magic happen.
and i overdid it, because rules is rules.
check the teleport:

sixteen supersexxxy tied-up twists of garlic on garlic on garlic.
mmmmm mmmm  mmm.
the sauce?
the garlic butter?
the soft, rich, fluffy, magnificent doughblops?
that's right, bruh.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
this is for SURE a garlic lover's dream come true.
where should i begin?
well, i took two teaspoons of olive oil in a small pan,
and tossed in five finely chopped cloves of garlic,
and fried 'em up on mediumish heat until they just barely got golden.
that was important.
and that's where i started.
let's talk about the drizzle, friends-

2 T vegan butter;
1 tsp olive oil;
2 cloves crushed garlic.
all heated up on low heat, so the garlic gets cooked, but doesn't get brown.
add 2 tsp finely chopped parsley, a pinch of salt, and a lil baby bit of cracked black pepper.
once the butter begins to barely bubble, add 2 tsp finely chopped parsley.
add another 'nother tablespoon of vegan butter to the hot mix,
and let that melt into the rest with the heat off.
is it really that easy?
it really is.
do you have a pastry brush?
you'll need one.
otherwise you're pouring this stuff onto your knots,
and that's cool, but also very messy.
the dough was a combination of my own creation.
and also, it was F*ing awesome.
preheat your oven to 375℉
i always use my stand mixer, and a dough hook, because i have one
and that's the whole point of it.
1 1/2 cup king arthur bread flour;
1/2 cup king arthur white whole wheat flour;
1 tsp sugar;
1 pkg fast actin' yeast;
1/2 tsp bread machine yeast (more yeast means more flavor btw);
1/2 of those fried garlic bits from before;
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder;
2 T vegan butter;
1 T olive oil;
2/3 cup warm water.
barely knead that up, and let it rest for fifteen minutes-
then add:
2 tsp sea salt;
2 T white whole wheat flour;
3-4 T warm water...
knead the whole thing into a tight but sticky, sloppy, floppy, but structurally intact dough.
as in:
it's soft but sturdy.
wet your hands and fold the dough in on itself to make a shiny ball.
lightly oil your dough ball, and let it rise for fifteen to twenty minutes,
or until this magic mix is twice the size you started with.
next up, divide your dough into eighths.
on a well floured surface, roll each piece into a 1/2" thick log,
and cut each log into two equal 7-8 inch lengths.
that's sixteen pieces for those of you who don't understand math.
then tie 'em in knots.
c'mon man, the name of them kind of tells you what to do here, right?
don't be dumb.
arrange those tied-up bits on a parchment-lined baking tray,
very lightly oil each one with the infused oil from the garlic bits,
and press the rest of that garlic into the tops of these little DÜDI BOIZ.
i dusted mine with a hint of exxxtra Garlic Powder,
and a baby bit of pink salt, as well.
i mean, too much IS the right amount after all.
word up.
your'e gonna wanna bake 'em for 11 minutes,
pull 'em out, glaze 'em with garlic butter,
and bake 'em for 11 minutes more.
yeah, that's right.
a mid-bake grease-up, to make 'em especially expert.
and when they're golden-brown and the whole house smells like
you're dreaming of some old italian nona?
they're ready.
but you're gonna wanna brush 'em with all the rest of that garlic butter,
making sure to get all the little crushed -up chunks of garlic all over 'em.
and then you HAVE to hit 'em with MORE parsley sprankles.
that's a thing.
otherwise, they're lame, and so are you.

that's how it's done.
they're SO soft.
the outsides are SO rich and buttery and garlicky and salty and dope.
the insides have garlic flavor throughout, too.
it's a megadose of allium sativum for what ails you,
and the only thing that makes these even better?
you guessed it-
homemade mar-F*in'-nara!
in a hot pan, with a glug of olive oil, saute:
1/4 cup minced shallot;
2 cloves crushed garlic;
1 cup chopped fresh baby grape tomatoes.
add salt and pepper, and cook all of it until the shallot is just beginning to get golden.
in a quart saucepot, on high heat, begin to bubble up:
1 cup crushed tomatoes;
1/4 cup pureed fire-roasted tomato;
2 tsp red wine vinegar;
2 tsp nutritional yeast;
2 tsp sugar;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP, dried oregano, dried sage, dried thyme;
1/4 tsp rubbed rosemary;
3 T fresh chopped basil;
salt and pepper.
when that inevitably start to sputter and pop,
add 1/2 cup warm water, and the shallot/garlic mixture-
stir well.
reduce the heat to low.
put a lid on it.
leave a wooden spoon in there.
simmer it for as long as you can.
(i started mine way before i started the knots)
why'd i do the two bits separate?
i was wondering if the caramelization would work better in a shallower pan.
the answer was yes.
...and the tomatoes cooked down better and faster, too.
i'll wash an extra ting if i get an extra good result, man.
don't be lazy, it's no good for anyone.
what do you do with an extra hour?
i needed it.
honestly, all i've done is work work work work work,
and now, at dinnertime, the light is gone,
and the day is done.
i don't remember what working less even feels like.
i can't picture it in my mind.
i'm faced with the very real obstacle of thinking i might get ahead by working more.
and that's true for some,
but for me, in my situation, i'm also aware that that's what poor people do.
i'm not impressed.
but i AM full to bursting with 13 of those knots.
whoever said thirteen was an unlucky number wasn't talking about garlic knots.
it isn't possible.
those jauns are the TRUTH.
and i'm lucky to be packed to the tiptop with these topnotch knots.
that's the best i can do with the spot i'm in,
so i'm gonna do the best i can with what i've got;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 26


i make too many pizzas.
i used to cook so much stuff,
all different all the time,
but these days, it's baked big wheat saucers with all the stuff on top.
i know, that's repetitive , and you all already know i'm just treading water
in a big ol' sea of same-same-old, samesies.
but the pizza game is still F*ing expert.
that's real.
check the teleport:

roasted potato wedges.
that's easy enough.
fried-up leeks.
i like those too.
all those 0% slimy mushrooms, lookin' thiccc.
little long orange tomato quarters?
and fried garlic sprankles,
and minced daiya,
because rules is rules, fools.
and i went with fire roasted cooked tomato sauce this time...
what. the. F*. ever.
i just eat too much pizza,
and i'm trying all the things.
this one has a high-protein white whole wheat crust.
that's good, i guess.
i even put sesame seeds on this one.
and fresh basil.
that was cool, man.
i dunno.

it was delicious, but it also took waaaaaaay too long.
and that picture is waaay too bright.
i'm eatin' pizza and having a hard time,
and i'm tattooing so much my whole body is worn out.
that's no kind of way to have a DÜDI BOI SUMMER at all.
i might be doing it wrong-
nobody leaves with the title, i suppose;
never quiet, never soft.....


i was up in the hot seat at AMPERSAND TATTOO
doing outer space tattoos.
there's this thing- cultivated coincidence-
where the more i think about somethin', the more there are instances of overlap
between what we're all talkin' about and what's really happening.
i did two of those space jauns.
two of 'em.
on people who don't know each other at all.
i only finished one of 'em,
as it was the second session where all the stars and sh!t
get added in to all the blackness...
the other still needs one of those.
here it is:

i'm pretty happy with this one,
even though it's not even close to my usual thing.
but that doesn't change the fact that i'm fired.
that's right.
because every F*ing picture i take kind of sucks balls.
and this tasty bit of ethereal atmospheric universal magic looks really good,
and also about twenty times better than the hot glare and the bad photo allow for.
i'll just be over here doing fresh little tatty-toos,
and having no credible evidence of the final outcomes.
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 24


i'll make a sourdough crust once in a while.
and this time around, i made something especially excellent.
i'm not bragging, i'm just sayin'-
good crust isn't guaranteed,
and going freestyle on your dough isn't any guarantee of greatness.
it's a gamble,
and when you barely measure anything, you're for real taking a chance.
but this time it worked,
and it realllllly worked.
take a look:

sourdough crust, bruh.
tha's brussels sprouts,
and caramelized onions,
and fried slab garlic,
and sliced baby tomatoes,
and MINCED daiya mozzarella,
and crushed tomatoes,
topped with arugula for that freshy-freshness.
there's tempeh bacon on there, too.
it got blackened a bit, but it also tasted amazing-
y'ever make tempeh bacon/
it's pretty good stuff.
i had a teaspoon of garlic oil, hot af,
and to that in a small pan,
i added half a block of tempeh, sliced into thin strips-
then i added 2 T tamari;
1 T agave;
1/4 tsp GPOP;
1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
several dashes of liquid smoke;
and a bunch of cracked black pepper;
with 1/3 cup of warm water-
bubblin' away until the liquid is absorbed,
and the sugars caramelize,
and the whole thing gets brown and rich and tasty.
and that's it, bruh.
but, that DOUGH.
that dough was fresh to death.
1 3/4 cups of king arthur bread flour;
1/4 tsp wheat gluten;
1/2 tsp sugar;
1 T olive oil;
1/2 tsp bread machine yeast;
1/4 cup sourdough starter;
3/4 cup + 2 T warm water....
add that all together,
and let it autolyse for twenty minutes-
add 2 tsp sea salt and 1/4 cup flour,
and knead the heck out of it for eleven minutes.
let that wet sloppy dough bulk up on the counter,
folding every thirty minutes for a few hours,
then refrigerate it for the afternoon.
that's the big thing, duders.
while the oven is preheating later,
stretch your cold, relaxed dough over an olive oiled baking tray
and let it rise up again.
the flavor is HEROIC.
that's real.
i sorta suck at writing these days.
i have distractions and sleepiness and stress and work
and every other kind of real life thing....
real life intrudes.
and writing about food and dogs is kinda pretend.
i didn't turn into a food bloggin' sensation,
and i might even suck balls at writing about food.
it isn't working like it used to,
and i'm not even nearly as excited about big superfancy unnecessary meals.
i guess i'm just F*ing up?
could be.
i s'pose that's just how it goes;
never quiet, never soft.....


oh, you saw some flowers on the internet,
and now you need some?
i got you.

there you go.
drawn-on with markers and fought with the whole time,
using new machines and sour F*ing grapes.
you want an eye that you saw on the internet,
but you wanna make it different?
i'm on it.
here you go:

with that ocean wave pupil??
will there be a compass later?
maybe a map?
who knows??
little zippy-zaps like this are a lot of fun.
what are we doing at AMPERSAND TATTOO?
we're making people who have the internet's dreams come true.
we're dreamy;
never quiet, never soft.....




peanut butter is such a great thing to put in a cookie.
chocolate is good.
oatmeal is good.
coconut is always a secretly good little add-in.
but peanut butter?
c'mon, man.
and it's sometimes a tricky b!tch to include because it can make a cookie too crumbly...
but not if you're expert at cookies.
and i'm that if nothing else.
check these soft boyz out:

i just feel like having some new hottness is a great idea,
and it's been a lil minute since i went into a peanut buttery explosion of excellence.
it was time.
and now i'm here eating way to many of 'em.
too much is the right amount,
and i took down half a dozen of these jauns before i even left the house.
would you like to make some as well?
i can help with that.
here's the recipe:
preheat the oven to 375℉
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 tsp vanilla;
2/3 cup sugar;
1/3 cup brown sugar;
3 T powdered sugar;
1/3 cup crushed unsweetened flaked coconut.
mash that all together, then add:
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
2/3 cup creamy natural peanut butter;
1/2 cup coarse oat flour;
2 cups king arthur flour;
1 cup mini chocolate chips;
1 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda...
moosh it up, and get psyched.
it's gonna be sorta soft, and it's gonna get beige af.
you want it, you need it, and you will like it a lot.
i made golf balls,
and i flattened 'em like you do.
then i put fork lines on 'em, because rules is rules,
and then i baked 'em for 13 minutes.
you won't regret making a big fat batch of these soft centered sweeties.
i love 'em.
i guess that's the best i can do.
i make a cookie, i eat a cookie, and my life is better about it?
i have doubts about that, but i also have a bellyfull of cookies.
maybe that's worse?
i seriously don't even know anymore.
neighbors, make some F*ing cookies and find out;
never quiet, never soft...

Wednesday, August 21


a lot of folks already know this-
but i have a terrible terrier.
that's a thing.
neighbors, if you've met him, then you know he's a wild barbarian battle beast,
an animal anvil,
a shark-bullet canine calamity,
a real-deal handsome and headstrong bull terrier.
he's my dude.
he's my friend.
he's my burden in a lot of ways.
he's also the only one who just needs to be fed in order to really like me.
he's half-deaf, he's all dumb,
and he's got acres of love to give,
and too many rough paws to punch me in the face with while i sleep.
here's the thing-
today is the day.
that's right.
it's my dog's birthday.
crabtree is FOUR.
like, right now.
check it:

i'm not sayin' that he makes ANYthing easier,
but he makes my personal failures, failings, shortcomings,
and inevitable alienation of all the people i've ever known
seem just a teentsy tiny baby bit less of a damning damnation
on every day until my last one.
i'm just sayin',
he's not going anywhere,
and neither am i.

we're a couple of genuine DÜDI BOI SUMMER bums, bro.
...but does he actually love me?
F* if i know.
i mean, he's had years to get to know me,
and he sure does seem psyched to see me every day despite that.
maybe that's the best i get?
could be.

now, don't think i don't understand that he's no human being,
but he's a lot better than more than ninety percent of those i've ever met.
i can't argue with him about our feelings,
but maybe that's the secret?
we can't talk, really, so he doesn't hate what i say,
and therefore hate me for saying it....
he doesn't understand me, but i also don't expect him too.
what i'm saying is-
i'm grateful that we know each other,
and i'm glad he's my little buddy.
i made him a whole bunch of biscuits this morning, too.

rules is rules.
oatmeal, coconut, sweet potato, rice flour, and cinnamon.
it's not your berfday if you don't get a treat.
i was up SO early.
wait, are you even up early if you didn't sleep,
or are you up so SOOO late?
i feel like total sh!t,
and the weather is lookin' like i feel,
but my lil milkman is ready for ACTION.
that's right.
a.k.a. crimbo, a.k.a. young doodie, a.k.a. little brother, a.k.a. milky boi
is pumped to hang out in a thunderstorm,
but i'm just swimming eyeballs deep in a total sh!tstorm.
but ANYway happy birthday to my dude.
happy effing fourth birthday to my dog.
and here's to probably at least four or more after this one;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 19


chickpeas, spices, potatoes, tomatoes, and spinach.

that's what dreams are made of.
i took three cloves of garlic and an inch and a half of skin-on organic ginger,
and minced 'em right up.
i added two quartered skin-on red potatoes;
a cup of chopped tomatoes;
half a minced jalapeno;
a tablespoon of cilantro stems, finely chopped;
and a full bunch of diced scallion bottoms,
all with one fat tablespoon of raw coconut oil sizzlin' over high heat.
i dropped down 1 tsp cumin;
1/2 tsp cardamon;
1 tsp ea GPOP;
1 tsp coriander;
1/4 ts nutmeg;
1/2 tsp cayenne;
1/2 tsp turmeric;
1/2 tsp dried mustard;
a shake of crushed red chili;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1 tsp dry peri peri blend;
1/2 tsp guajillo chili powder;
and 2 T red lentils.
all that got toasted up, with that omega-level aromatic profile wafting through the house-
then i added 1 T tomato paste, and 2 T lime juice, and stirred it fast af.
once that was all good,
i poured in 1 cup of crushed tomatoes and 1 cup of warm water,
then covered it all with two huge handfuls of baby spinach-
that wilted and incorporated, and the potatoes cooked slowly in there, too.
i added 1 15 oz ca of drained rinsed chickpeas,
and let that all simmer for another 20 minutes.
and while that was bubblin' and softenin',
i steamed up that tri-color quinoa-basmati blend, neighbors.
a little exxxtra-nutrients for my rice is a great plan, man,.
and when i served it all up?
i used HOT jalapeno slices, and cilantro, and scallion sprankles,
and helped my burning face out with that scoople of plain unsweetened coconut yogurt.
this sh!t was burning my face off.
like, it retained literal heat,
and carried molto spice, too.
it was like i was in mortal combat with the bullsh!t cold i've been in a fight with all week.
and i was determined to win, and i did.
i like that.
yes, my stomach was a roiling hotbed of fire.
but this morning i feel somewhat back to normal, and that's cool.
i burned out all the bad times, and now we're ready for the good ones.
i hope y'all are ready too;
never quiet, never soft.....

making money having fun.

i drew on and zapped a tattoo yesterday that i thought was pretty cool.
i literally did the same exact tattoo, in color, OVER the tattoo i had just finished;
...and then we called it done.

nature wins,
and nature tattz are something you do a LOT of in the white mountains.
if you're a white girl who lives here, you absolutely have to have one.
rules is rules.
it looks cool, anyway:
i did a wolf on a liberated love machine who spends her free time
out in the dirty back roads of maine being scandalous.
that always makes me a little uncomfortable.
i mean,
it's sort of funny when someone is proud of being a human petri dish,
but also, it's really kind of NOT funny, too.
i dunno,  just do the sick wolf tattz and call it a day.

anyway, i drew most of it on and plugged away at all those choppy greys.
do i do cover-ups?
man, if it's a regular tattoo, i do it SO hard.
a rose, adapted from pinterest reference to cover an open-heart scar?
drawn on, with my marky markers, as usual.
yuuuuup...i doo-doo that freaky sh!t, no problem:

that's heavy duty.
did she cry?
happy tears?
i doubt it.
ouchie ones?
have you noticed how little talent i have for tattoo photos?
it's like the universe knows how invested in food i am,
and saves up all the skills for shots of my soup and stuff.
hey, neighbors-
did you just wonder aloud if i drew on an entire jewel cuff the other day?
i did.
was it swollen and angry when i finished?
do the pictures reflect that?

well, yes, they do.
you like that heavy glare?
i'm fired.
that's the news.
the next time i need a photo, i'm just going home instead.
i do a LOT of tattoos.
i take pictures of some, sometimes.
it isn't the tattoos' fault, it's 100% mine.
i suck at tatt-shots.
i'd rather do decent tattz and take bad photos,
then do dope photoshop on doo-doo buttery tattz.
that's a fact;
never quiet, never soft.....


i like pretzel twists way more than plot twists-
at least in real life, anyway.
i'm wild up in these woodsly mountaintops for
those twisted boiled baked brown bread loops.
check 'em out:

nice, right?
i mean, i know it, i'm just glad you do, too.
i got vegan butter for dippin'.
i also have scallion and toasted dill seed activated vegan creamchee' as well.
AND, just because too much is the right amount,
i also fired up some grainy mustard, cut with horseradish dijon,
and taken to eleven with malt vinegar and caraway seeds.
it's not doing it i believe's OVERdoing it, or not doing it at all.
coarse sea salt is awesome.
big ol' crystals of flavor heightening hottness are what you want,
when what you want is a DÜDI BOI SUMMER breakfast twist.
i use 'em liberally on top of my boiled baddies, bro.
that's what's good.
and if you really want full-sized super-expert awesomeness,
here's the recipe for the whole thing:
preheat your oven to 450℉
in a small pot, warm up 3/4 cup non-dairy milk, + 3 T vegan butter.
heat it up to let the butter, then remove it and let it cool a bit-
in a cup, combine 2 T real new hampshire maple syrup,
1 tsp bread machine yeast,
and 1/4 cup + 2 T warm water, and let it bloom.
in your stand-upright power-mixer,
with a dough hook attachment affixed firmly in place,
knead up the following:
1 tsp sea salt;
1 T olive oil;
2 cups king arthur bread flour;
1 cup dark rye flour;
1 pkg fast-actin' yeast;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/4 cup rolled oats;
2 T wheat bran.
add the milky butter,
and the maple water,
and give it a powerful beatin' for 11 minutes.
cover it and let it rest and rise.
in a BIG pot, bring 8 cups of water,
and four heaped tablespoons of baking soda and a lotta salt to a boil while the dough rises.
cover a baking tray or two with parchment
when your dough ball has doubled in size,
divide it into 8-16 balls, y'all...depending on whether you want knots of braids or whatever.
i got sixteen full-sized sexxxy boys out of this batch,
rolled out, twisted up, and set aside for five more minutes-
i boiled them in that big pot in batches 4 for thirty seconds each side,
then arranged them evenly on the trays, salted them up,
and baked two trays full for 14-17 minutes until they looked TIIIIIGHT.
a deep  golden brown, with luxurious texture is what you want here.
you can see it up there.
i LOVE pretzels.
in fact, i prefer them to the crunchy potato alternatives almost always.
however, i'm verrry whatever about that mustard.
the rest is excellent of course, but i don't dip more than once in that musty sh!t.
i dunno if i'd be more interesting if i liked it, but i'm trying not to rule it out.
it's just that it doesn't make me enjoy anything extra,
so it's just not really worth it.
i'd probably skip it entirely if it wasn't such a staple of soft pretzel reality.
rules is rules after all.
august is in full swing over here,
and allllll the tattoos are all booked up slid for the rest of the month.
i s'pose that's good?
it makes me feel tired just thinking about it.
then again,
i think i'm just tired no matter what.
that's just how it is.
i just woke up feeling decongested and uncompressed for the first time in a week.
i like that.
i guess that means i'm ready for another 'nother august monday to try to bring me down;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 17


i do alllllll the money-tatts.
the ones that've been posted on the first page of an internet image search on all browsers.
the ones that you see the best fifteen examples of,
and assume that only fifteen strangers across the globe have the same tattoo as you.
the ones that pay alllll the bills around these parts.
i do those.
i don't ONLY do those.
but i do-doo a whole holy helluva lotta'vem.
and that's fine, honestly.
AMPERSAND TATTOO is an inclusive spot.
the other day a dude came in, got tattooed by nate,
then walked over to the giant wall of original art and said:
i want that one.
so i also tattooed him with a freehand version of a skull and crossbones.

i like that a LOT.
that's only the third time that's ever happened in two years of operations.
do more of that.
it will make you more appreciated, neighbors.
trust me.
making our own original art is about a billion times more rewarding
than making money off of another 'nother redo of a pinterest tatt.
most folks can't imagine how those tow things are any different,
and that's why they only get bam-bam bum-bum butterbombs
instead of wild-style tatty daddy dopeness.
either one is gonna help keep the lights on,
the main difference is how much of a toll it takes on my eternal soul
as the samesies day in and day out chip away at everything
that ever even made me want to do tattoos in the first place.
oh, is that too much insight into the day-to-day doldrums of a DÜDI BOI SUMMER?
tell me about it, bruh.
i live it.
i still would rather do ordinary tattoos all day than do roofing for an hour ever.
i'd still rather do mediocre biker tattz than shovel asphalt even once.
i'd for sure prefer to do a day of infinity symbols with words and birds
than treat myself to a casual friday applebee's lunch break.
i AM grateful for the time i have been given,
don't  misunderstand me.
but i'm also a little bit greedy and desperate for something just a hair better.
if you aren't trying to improve your circumstance, you might be F*ing up.
i'm not sayin'.....i'm just sayin';
never quiet, never soft.....


i've lived in the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress for ten mutha-F*ing years already.

holy sh!t, i had totally forgotten that i closed on
and moved into
and began the journey of warrior poetry
and stagnated home improvement
and self-discovery
all a full blown decade a ago.
like, ten years and two+ weeks, actually.
time flies past so fast i genuinely feel like i'm still just thirty-three and hopeful,
instead of old, busted, broken, broke.....and dope.
that's the thing-
this may be a haunted house;
it may be dilapidated and outdated and dark and dirty...
but so am i.
it needs a ton of work to even be considered functional.
does that sound like anybody you know?
it's weird looking and full of surprises and problems
and loaded with whole corridors
of largely unexplored interesting recessed treasures and tragedies.
and it's been ten freaking years.
in a row.
and i forgot.
that says something about how busy this summer has been.
i'm just swept away in a whirlwind of regular-A* money tatts,
and the race to stockpile a few bucks for the looooong winter.
the gettin' stops gettin' good in a few weeks,
and that's when the budget gets tighter,
and the days feel shorter,
and the dark gets deeper,
and all the best parts about sweaters and apples kick in at the expense
of light and warmth and profits.
and here i am, ten years into living in this largely unrepaired old manly manor,
in the cool shade of these looming and dangerous trees,
thinking about what comes next.
it probably isn't gonna be here forever.
that's sad, sorta,
but nothing ever really stays the same anyway.
things change,
circumstances arise,
life keeps going,
and it all continues to really happen,
even when it moves so slowly you can't see the progress;
never quiet, never soft.....


i made a F*ing expert pizza.
i did.
and by the time my tired oven was hot enough to fire it up,
the light was limited and the pictures were rubbish-
and that's disappointing.

why's it purple?
because bad light makes bad photos.
it didn't get better:

and indoors, it was orange.
and y'know what's even worse?
i have a summer cold, and i couldn't even taste it.
bummertime, neighbors.
for sure.
it's time for bed when the pee eye zee zee ayy can't boost your mood
or heal your ills.
it was probably amazing,
but i ruined it with bad timing and worn-out weary headcoldin' ailments.
i'd rather sleep forever than not enjoy pizza.
that's word;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 14


crispy garam crusted curry tofu,
with sriracha mayo,
and mixed leaves with pea shoots for texture;
and lemon scallion tomatoes,
and red onion,
and radishes for crunch,
and cucumber because it's expert.
check it:

you KNOW that the naan is homemade, neighbors.
i doo-doo that freaky sh!t.
how else am i supposed to have a DÜDI BOI SUMMER??!
there's even cilantro on there.
i love it, man.
i'm not sorry about it, but i do think it sucks if you're one of those people
with defective tastebuds who can't hang out with deliciousness like that.
the exxxtra-firm tofu was fried in exxxtra-hot raw coconut oil,
but first, it was double dredged in the mixxx.
the mixxx is how you make it good, guys.
that's a 50/50 blend of non-GMO organic cornstarch and chickpea flour,
plus your own preferential proportions of:
toasted cumin.
ground coriander.
pink salt.
black pepper;
dried mustard.
lemon zest.
if you can put things in a bowl and stir them, you can make this.
the tofu was dunked in that stuff as a batch of slabs,
then double dunked, for added flavor.
i mean, i'm not about to have weak mixxx, man.
and besides, too much is the right amount.
that's a fact.
what about that soft, supple, sexxxy ill na-naan?
well, i've covered that before.
here is the recipe.
if you're a wrapper you;re gonna wanna make that all the time,
the yeast version is superior,
although in a pinch i've made a baking soda/kapowder and that's good too.
scallion lemon tomatoes is exactly what it sounds like-
sliced tomatoes, minced up scallions, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
i wish i had remembered to add avocado to these.
i literally had it right out on the counter, so i wouldn't forget.
and then i did.
i guess i was psyched about the sriracha mayo scene?
i added a little nootch, and a drop or five of lemon to the combo,
plus a tiny shake of cardamom, just because.
it was fancier, and i like it unnecessarily superfancy if possible.
i made a dinner.
i dunno what day this happened, actually, if i'm being honest.
i've been a little out of sorts lately.
but yesterday i had a sort of impromptu family get together out
and truthfully, for being something i think ordinary people just do and don;t think about?
it felt sooo cool...
usually, after work, i go home, and nate goes home,
and we don't talk or hang out,
and it's just over.
the day, i mean.
but yesterday,
i had the little kids, and their mom and dad, and even dylan all representing,
after a full studio hang out with tattoos and great friends and good talks and good times
and better art for better people poppin' off all damned day.
i had an overloaded enormous sicilan pizza
and people watched from the other side of the glass.
normally, i see 'em, but like at the zoo, y'know?
i'm IN the studio while they ooze around outside.
and after that?
dudes, i went swimming!
in a pool and everything.
and then i saw people literally just hanging out at night being social at a hotel
honestly i had no idea that was even a thing...
it's almost like i forgot that there's always stuff happening in this vacation destination
all the damned time,
and i've been absent because i assumed it was always just drinking at bars because
i have a house i'd rather be at,
and so i  just stay home and go to bed, usually.
it was different,
it was good,
it felt like i was part of a thing,
and that made the day a lot better;
never quiet, never soft.....


holy sh!t!
chantal and ian have been married for EIGHT years. a row, dudes.
and on their actual anniversary,
they brought their bouncing baby boy to AMPERSAND TATTOO,
and we all spanned time together like a batch of big action busy business
moms and dads.
they've got a six week old handsome homeboy baby of their own,
and breezy and everybody, including lilli, were also at the spot,
so all the bodies got to do a little meet and greet and see all the little bitties.
here's the thing-
their son is ALBEE.
so there were two of us in the house.
was i freaking out about the good lookin lovely babies?
was i freaking out about my friends and their firstborn and his expert name?
did i take a picture with each of them?
check the teleport:

that's what's up.
everybody is psyched.
i really really like these guys.
in fact, i always have from the start.
i consider myself damned lucky to know 'em.
but, wait.
how about this one:

so much beard, so much manliness, so much big round unimpressed baby in my arms.
she's got a personal style for miles, man,
when the anniversary mom and dad headed home,
we went swimming, and afterwards...
lilli continued her tradition of looking totally indifferent.

i'm into it.
i guess that's just how we do things in the woodsly goodness.
we take it easy, sorta.
i don't, at all.
but WE do as a collective.
majority rules and rules is rules.
i had a wild day.
i had a good day.
i saw a lot of people i really like,
i spanned time,
and occupied space with a group of folks who all matter immeasurably.
today is sure to be looooooooong,
and hopefully, there can be a winning tradition of professional appreciation
and active participation established that will endure for years to come.
i have a LOT of feelings, and i'm not even hungry,
so who knows what'll happen if i don't bury them down deep under a pancake or somethin';
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, August 13


tofu scramble?
homeboy fries?
sourdough toast?
am i havin' that big breakfast stuff or am i having a bad time?
i'm having both!!
check it out:

BREAKFAST is sometimes what i want.
i normally just have a smoothie and a cup of black tea.
but every so often i need to eat all my feelings before i start my day.
i had half an avocado, too.
vegan butter and raspberry jam,
those tomatoes are juicy as heck and they really tie the meal together.
the roasty toasty red skin-on potatoes are expert and perfect.
i mean, c'mon, neighbors-
do you even like potatoes?
they're dope.
turmeric, smoked paprika, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, pink salt,
and a drip or two of olive oil...
in a four hundred degree oven on parchment on a baking tray.
i'm sayin'- don't you even really get rad in the morning?
potatoes are what's good during a DÜDI BOI SUMMER!
that scrambo, tho.
half a block of exxxtra-firm tofu,
plus two tablespoons of minced red onion,
and a big shake of Garlic Powder and Onion Powder,
a lil smoked paprika, a little turmeric, a blast of nootch,
pink salt, black pepper, and baby spinach.
guys, scrambled tofu is molto excellent, and it's probably even kinda good for you, too.
i love it.
i like being very full before work.
two slices of toast?
that's right.
homemade sourdough is amazing.
with buttery goodness and jammie jammin' and that crust!!!!
good bread makes better people,
and toast is like upgraded bread.
that's fresh.
it's just eating, but early.
my whole life is just getting heavier and heavier,
and instead of getting stronger, i'm only being more tired.
is that how it's supposed to be?
because that's how it is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Monday, August 12


a fat rectangle of white pizza?
i mean,
why not, right?
after tattooing like a machine made out of tiredness
and drawn-on black-and-grayish lines and blobs of blurred needlepoint plotpoints,
what can i even accomplish besides pizza and sleep.
is that depression?
nah man, i think it's just late summer wear and tear.
but, regardless of what it is that crushes my culinary creativity,
i've got so little imagination left after a weeklong yatty boi tatshack zap session
that i can make pizza
or i can make myself go to bed without dinner,
but i can't make much else of myself and/or for myself.
at least my oven works, neighbors.
check it:

smoky chick peas,
red onions,
daiya mozzarella,
olive oil,
fried garlic,
and some small-leaf rogue thai basil.
that's expert, especially for being non-conventional.
the dough was really somethin' new.
preheat your oven to just 400 easy fahrenheit degrees.
in your stand up mixer, with the hook attached, knead up:
2 cups king arthur flour;
2/3 cup warm water with 2 pkgs regular-action yeast, and 1 tsp agave;
2 tsp sea salt;
3 T vegan butter;
1 T fire-roasted tomato sprankles;
1 T dried shallots;
1/2 tsp coarse cracked black pepper.
knead it up for 11 minutes-
oil it a bit, and let it rise, before stretching into a 9" x 11" vegan buttered pan,
where it can rise with all the stuff right on top.
that's so easy, it's lazy, almost.
how long'd i bake it for?
probably half an hour....and that was nice-nice too.
waiting for food sucks.
but waiting for pizza you made from scratch?
that's not so bad, tho.
because there's pizza at the end of the tunnel.
i used coconut oil on a whole 15 oz can of drained chick peas-
with a heavy shake of GPOP,
and real paprika, smoked paprika, oregano, basil, and black pepper...
otherwise, all the stuff was just raw stuff.
and it was also all delicious.
garden fresh rosemary, and thai basil??
man, that was pretty tight.
more tattoos all day today and tomorrow?
collecting wood in the woodsly goodness while i walk?
wondering wtf is wrong with me that i STILL don't have new stickers??
i'm just old and tired.
is that cool?
maybe... i hope so;
never quiet, never soft.....

Sunday, August 11


i've written an erased five versions of an explanation already.
so, here's the sixth-
i am worn out.
and i'm so furious about it.
i am tired, sad, spent, used up and beat down, 
and my creativity is pretty low.
i work too much and enjoy it way too little.
but i feel like i'll have plenty of time to be creative and not have as much work,
which means i won't have to work as much in just a few weeks-
the end of summer shoulder season, bruh.
it comes quick, and it sucks hard.
umm, that's what she said?
as long as i can endure another three weeks of hard styles and sour feelings 
and phone pics of somebody else's good ideas, i'll have time for something else.
and y'know what really eats sh!t about being all kinds of exhausted?
i'm really just eatin' pizza, neighbors.
most good days are just a baby bit better with pizza,
and the bad days?
well, on the bad ones i NEED those jauns as a form of antidepressant dopeness.
that's the truth.
if it wasn't for pizza, no matter how repetitive it may be for everyone else to see,
i'd be in even bigger even more dire straits.
so, here's the big action:
i was thinking of my little buddy cohen
and the way he says 'veggie pizza'.
it's english, but he has a very regionally ambiguous accent when he says it.
i imagine this is what he's talking about.
the dough is from scratch,
the tempeh bacon is homemade,
the toppings are copious,
and those fire-roasted tomato sprankles are expert on the edges.
daiya mozzarella, minced over crushed tomatoes.
homemade cashew chee' over that.
caramelized onions.
braised broccoli.
green pepper.
rainbow sweet baby bell pepper.
chunky fried garlic spranks.
pan seared baby bella mushrooms.
and that spicy tempeh bacon, too.
the dough was better than usual:
dough-hookin' on your stand-upright mixer will be essential,
but combine:
1 cup king arthur bread flour;
1/4 tsp wheat gluten;
1 cup king arthur flour;
1/2 tsp sugar;
2 tsp sea salt;
1 pkg fast-rise yeast;
2 T olive oil;
3 T unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt;
2/3 cup warm water.
beat it up until it forms a shiny ball, it may take a minute, but be patient.
oil it and let it rise while the oven heats up to 480℉, convection-style.
i always stretch my dough on a seasoned steel pan, with exxxtra-oil.
this time, i also freaked it off with those tomato bits.
that was nice.
and what about that tempeh bacon?
you want it.
i know it's veggie pizza, but a little exxxtra flavorfulness is always invited.
that's 11 thin slices of tempeh (think <1 div="">
in a pan with 1/2 cup water;
2 T tamari;
1/4 tsp ea. GPOP;
2 shakes liquid smoke;
1/2 tsp smoked hot paprika;
1 T agave;
1 tsp olive oil-
simmer that until all the liquid absorbs/evaporates.
that's when you flip 'em once, then give 'em another 'nother minute,
and you're freakin' done, dude.
the recipe for the cashew mozz' is here.
you're welcome.
there's not much else to say, man.
there's still so much august left to get through.
and i'm gonna.
there's nothin' for it, it can't be helped, it's just What Is.
true life tattman livin' is not to be taken lightly;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, August 10


i've done eighteen tattoos on fourteen clients in the last three days.
i just want to stuff my face with some heavy business,
and use it like one of those weighted blankets to hold me down.

that's right? five of 'em. right into my big dumb bald head.
limes, bro.
if you don't have 'em, your whole scene is bullsh!t.
that's a fact.
i got those toasty flour flaps, like always.
i've got scallions and cilantro and red onion sprankled on there.
tangy, crawnchy, crisp radishes?
F* yeah.
you got those spicy florets?
i got those spicy florets:
in a lil pot, over high heat, saute:
1/4 head chopped cauliflower;
1/2 tsp coconut oil;
1/4 tsp cayenne;
1/2 tsp smoked paprika;
1/2 tsp oregano;
1/2 tsp guajillo pepper;
black pepper, pink salt;
Garlic Powder, Onion Powder;
2 tsp ho'sauce;
1 T water-
lidded and steamed up and goooooooood.
how about coconut oil fried thin-sliced sweet potato wedges?
that's the ticket.
here's the thing, man-
i just put a bunch of things i like into my mouth.
i wish there was more of a method to it.
refried beans with GPOP and nootch and a tablespoonful of onion and olive oil
and more of that ho'sauce just because.
^^ see?
it's not a recipe. it's just stuff mixed together.

these are overfilled, obvi.
they're loaded up to the point of overflow, and they spilled everywhere.
the pico de gallo?
lime, jalapeno, red onion, cilantro, pink salt, black pepper,
and orange, red, and brown tomatoes-
three different tomatoes?
that's how it is around here- too much is the right amount.
one epic expert heap of hot vegetables.
that's what you get.
that's what i got.
that's all there is.
i went home, i made food, i walked this dumb dog, and i fell asleep in a heap.
it doesn't get better.
i'm not actually saying it was any GOOD,
i'm just saying it also doesn't improve;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, August 9


ohhhh MAN.
have you ever had a day that was 100% A*-hole?
i mean, have you ever felt like the universe was bored,
and for the first time ever, you caught the notice of the infinite,
but not for any exemplary performance that merited notice,
rather the secret universal blueprint of all life just wanted
to single you out to pick a fight with?
that's cool.
well after overestimating my importance to the endless expanse of time and space,
i went home discouraged and did what i do best.
i buried all my bad vibes under an acre of excellent edible expertism.
good food is good medicine for your soul, neighbors,
and my soul needed a megadose of dopeness
to kick-start some kind of self-preservation instinct.
what's the specific treatment plan?
oh, word?
and as if that wasn't good enough, i put it on a PIZZA.
now we're talkin'.
check the teleport:

that's where we bring that DÜDI BOI SUMMER to bear, bruh!
the sauce is custom,
the crust is custom,
the grange is custom....yeah, it's vegan ranch,
but ranch is precisely why the midwest sucks balls, bro,
so we're home on the range and at work in the grange.
that's semantics, but i'm like that.
can you tell it's dope?
look closer:

the crust is good:
1 1/2 cups king arthur bread flour;
1/4 tsp wheat gluten;
1 pkg fast-rise yeast;
1/2 tsp sugar;
2 T olive oil;
3/4 cup warm water,
all kneaded with a dough hook in my upright stand mixer for 11 minutes,
olive oiled, covered and allowed to rise while my oven preheated to 480ish°F.
i oiled a pan, and hand tossed that circle, sorta thickly at the edges, and let it rise again.
and while the oven was preheating, i used the increasing temps to roast the cauliflower.

that's half a head of that tight, white brain, chopped into small pieces,
and arranged on parchment to brown up and soften a bit
after a coating of my proprietary elite treatment was applied.
what's that?
it's a shake each of  GPOP, cayenne, black pepper, and hot paprika;
1 T chick pea flour;
1 T ho'sauce;
1 tsp tamari;
and 25% of my custom BUFFY BOI SAUUUUUCE.
you NEED that recipe, for sure-
melt 2 T vegan butter, and add to:
2 T vegan mayo;
3 T texas ho'sauce;
1 T sriracha;
1/4 tsp ea Garlic Powder Onion Powder;
1 tsp smoked hot paprika;
1 tsp paprika;
2 tsp nootch;
that's that hottie hot hotness, dudes.
and it's really effin' good.
spread whatever is left after coating up your 'flowers on to the dough, obviously.
then add a double-dose of mincey daiya mozz' and cheddar chee'.
the two-tone blend is key here- smooth and sharp and excellent,
as well as minced first for superior meltability-
rules is rules after all.
did i do what i do and add fried garlic sprankles?
you know it, kiddo.
the universe may want to break me, but i'm not about to let that affect my pizzas.
no way......not once, not ever.
there's wedges of thin sliced red onion.
we got jalapeno rings all up on there, too,
plus the roasty caulibuffs all in place as well.
that's a spicy jaun just like that.
but, when it came on out of the oven, after getting risen up on a steel tray,
and finished directly on the hot stones, we turned it up to eleven and beyond.
that's right.
too much is the right amount.
and we aren't here to be a bunch of bummers when it's pizza time.
so there's cilantro AND scallion sprankles for prettying it up,
and a drizzle of that smoooooooooth grange to activate a whole other level of lusciousness.
the new-new grange arrangement is hella expert, buddy:
combine 2 T vegan mayo;
1/4 cup vegan sour creme;
2 crushed cloves of fresh garlic;
1 tsp dried parsley;
a couple heavy shakes of cracked black pepper;
1 shake of cayenne;
1/2 tsp dried dill leaves;
1/2 tsp cider vinegar;
1/2 tsp pickle brine;
1 tsp lemon juice-
stir it up exxxtra good, and let that sit while you're baking all this stuff.
pipe it up and out onto this pizza pie,
and then just relax for a second,
and marvel at the masterpiece you've managed to make,
whilst flying directly into the storm of inescapable limitless atmospheric universality.
at least the pizza is amazing.
i overheated my insides with hot, spicy, sharp and tangy pizza,
and all it did was combine with all the hard feelings i harbored all damned day-
and that led to some very wild and untamed dreams.
i really savored the creation of this hot and fiery pizza pie,
i just should've thought ahead a little more about
the combination of spirit and memory and ho'sauce and jalapenos.
i gave myself a beatin',
after i got beat up all day by circumstance and situations.
if that's what's really happening, i guess i just got what's coming to me;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, August 8


i thought i would have a luscious bowl of comforting soup.
guess what, though-
i used too many red lentil quinoa gluten free noodles.
that's supposed to be soup, but those starchy too-firm F*ers
dominated the whole damned thing.
i overnoodled, dudes.
like a jam band concert, yfeel me?
not enjoyable.
the veggies were great.
i had onion, garlic, carrot, celery, hot pepper, crushed red pepper, 
rainbow bell pepper, brussies, parsley, sage, basil, tomatoes, and spinach,
plus tomato paste, tamari, umami mushroom powder,
GPOP, vegan broth, and broccoli, too.
a little salt, a little black pepper, and a 
really, if you make a mess of veggie soup, you should probably just like
in a cave and suffer from severe vitamin D deficiency.
it's just a big bath of plants, man.
however, if you add too much high-protein pasta?
well, now your soup isn't so soupy anymore, is it?
i effed up, man.
it tasted great.
it looked halfway terrible.
the pasta was a bummer.
and i went to bed right afterwards.
that's what was going on for the few hours i was awake at home.
rain pouring down,
light fading fast,
sore eyes,
sore body, 
sore feelings,
and a new haircut that really reflects just how badly age and stress have eroded my hairline.
good looks and bad looks,
good food and bad presentation,
hot fire and high humidity...
it's all really happening,
and it isn't much, and it isn't great,
but maybe that's the whole point;
never quiet, never soft.....


yeah, man.
i like to leave a little time, just in case.
i did two tattoos  on one person, then i did a little lip-tatt on a russian,
then i did allllll the cancer ribbons on some fingers,
and some fancy patterned lines and dots on the same hand...
then, my client who missed her appointment last thursday showed up
for her appointment seven whole days late.
is that lame? it's for sure bad calendar operation, and also a little hilarious
when somebody shows up with their tie-dyed friends to have a fun time,
and the artist is like, 'oh, you're here a week late for your appointment,
AND you're five minutes late for it, too?'
meanwhile, there's spoiled diaper babies around town talking noise
about how there's just no time for the next century or so to do any tattoos.
but not at AMPERSAND TATTOO, bro.
and like a true life real-deal tattooin' expert-
i blasted out five F*ing butterflies on her chest.
well, yeah, she lucked out, sorta because i finished the hand tattoo early;
and i had a half a second to maybe eat something or eff around on my phone,
or stretch out, or do whatever.....except that ain't me, neighbors.
i'm only good at working, honestly.
that's regrettably true.
and i'm pretty much straight up garbage-bagged dogsh!t at just about everything else.
and then i drew up a thing for a leg,
and i watched a righteous summer storm fire off a billion joules of electric energy
across the street in the form of a sprank-flingin' ferocious crooked finger of lightning.
i would've been alright if it hit me through the window, if i'm telling the truth.
instead i found myself fighting my way through a leg-liftin' squirmy thigh tatt,
full of what might've been fine lines and perfect arcs.

there you go.
faces and dingle-dangles and a little bit of blue, too.
if i can fit in one more tattoo, i usually will.
that said, when three bestie-friendy ladies came in at six fifteen,
and said they pulled in out of the raging storm after talking about tattoos all day,
and figured that being in the parking lot of tattoo studio they didn't know about
was probably a sign.....
i asked if it was a *closed* sign, because that's what we were.
you can't do every tattoo.
heck, i got called a F***ing A**hole by a very horizontally large man,
in front of my very lovely clients,
for not having time to do a tattoo and for not responding to his email,
(which incidentally i had already done, but it seems he didn't check)
and for which it turns out was a wraparound ring finger tattoo,
and i would NOT have done that anyway.....
...which i apologized for in the email he didn't get.
the thing is:
he was telling his young son that because i woudln't stop what i was doing to tattoo him,
THAT was why i'm an effin' ayy-hole.
so that's what yesterday was like, overall.
a lot of everything, a large lightning strike, sun, rain, joy, pain, ink, sweat
and instantaneous fall-asleepiness as soon as i sat down on the couch.
when the best part of the day is that it's over,
you can bet the next day will just be more of the same.
august is a hard style, every single year.
but come september, i'll almost certainly miss these movie checks
more than i dread the workload on the schedule;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, August 7


who's a little loud one?
it's lilli!
she's vocal, she's curious, she's strong, and she's big.
breezy has kept her growing at a rapid rate, with that mother's milk magic,
and it's working like fertilizer.
this baby bean has sprouted up and out, and with a laugh and a shout,
she's exploring her immediate surroundings with genuine goodness
emanating from her at every extremity.
of course, after a warm bath, she's very relaxed:

what a good baby!
it's kind of weird to see a tiny mama-clone in that crib.
i mean, on the real-
she looks 0% like me..... which is probably a good thing.
that means she'll be a cutie, and that doesn't hurt anything.
right now though,
she's a bright and shiny happy, healthy rapid-risin' wonderwoman,
and she makes me feel SO old and so young and really, just SO much of all the things,
all at once.
and then she smiles, and i dissolve into a dumb, dumpy doodie daddy,
and i get those wet eyes i keep try to avoid all the time.
it's that eye salt distilled form acres of great big giant feelings, neighbors.
who the F* thought those up?
i have 'em,
and even buried under a huge burrito, a taco, and a coffee,
they still reach the surface around this girl and her ma.
i guess they've got the secret ingredients;


two large potatoes-
red ones, with the skins still on, sliced into wedges,
tossed into a bowl with a spoonful of olive oil,
and then dusted with Garlic Powder, Onion Powder,
smoked paprika, hot paprika, turmeric, and coriander seed,
plus pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper-
then arranged in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking tray,
and thrown into the oven while it heated up to 400℉.
just a couple of taters gettin' roasted in a dress-up party of seasonin'.
that's expert.
and when they were crispy and golden,
i added them to a hot pan with some red onion strips and ho'sauce,
fried 'em for a  few minutes,
threw 'em in a fancy bowl i found on top of my fridge,
and garnished 'em with scallion sprankles.
what was that like?
it was like this:

i'll eat  a bucket of spuds for brekkie.
why not?
every shirt i own looks bad on me anyway,
so adding a heapin' helpin' of starchy rib-stickin' tubers isn't gonna hurt much.
first thing in the morning, and i'm just woofin' down baked potatoes with flavorin'.
i used to spew all my feelings out like a lava-spit vomit-flume
of scenery-chewing angst and outrage.
these days,
i bury the vast majority of them under a mountain of deliciousness.
it turns out i must have a LOTTA feels,
because they're beginning to show through my skin.
i'm not big boned,
but my average sized bones are getting surrounded by big flesh.
that's a mountain of meat, made out of deliciousness, to smother those emotions, man.
and is that better than excavating all the anguish and anger, sorrow and spite,
jealousy and fear and fury???
i think so.
i mean, i still feel joy and mirth and love and attachment-
i still feel amusement and amazement and motivation....
but i will collapse and be crushed or consumed by any of those negative ones.
think of it like the national debt.
nobody expects it to get paid off, just indefinitely deferred until all economies are defunct.
that's it.
my heart will explode from joy or pain before i dredge up anything awful on purpose.
whether i go out full or empty has yet to be determined,
i'm hopeful for the former and resigned to the latter;
never quiet, never soft.....


homemade naan.
homemade chickpea fritters.
homemade cucumber-yogurt-mint'ziki.
fresh-made lemony tahini.
lemon-kissed salad mix.
red onion.
pickled jalapenos.
orange and red sweet baby grape tomatoes.
toasted sesame seed sprankles.
what happens when you make all those things touch each other?
this happens:

there's never been a more DÜDI BOI SUMMERTIME than this one, neighbors.
that's like a couple of enormous mediterranean rainbows of vegan righteousness.
that's like a pair of full-spectrum sexxxy suitcases of succulence.
that's like a tandem twosome of nourishing nuclear bombs.
that's expert to eleven,
and anyone who says otherwise is clearly a dumb-dumb.
for real.
get a closer look:

c'mon, man!!
that's what's really 'hood in this woodsly goodness.
the streets and the mountains around the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress
are reverberating with echoes of this epic excellence.
shockwaves of supreme flavor are still being felt up here.
the fritters are spicy and crispy-edged and soft-centered.
the bread is supple, but sturdy.
the sauces are incredible.
the tastes and the textures are magnificent.
and i'm gonna tell you how to make all of it.
let's start with the beans.
in your food processor, combine:
1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained and dried;
1/2 tsp sea salt;
1/4 chick pea flour;
2 T flaxmeal;
1 cup chopped parsley;
1 cup chopped cilantro;
3 cloves garlic;
1/2 cup onion;
juice of 1 lemon;
1/2 tsp cumin;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
1/4 tsp sumac;
1/4 tsp black pepper;
1/4 tsp coriander seed;
1 T olive oil.
pulse it all up to a coarse but cohesive consisitency,
think gritty clay soil-
and form up 1" balls, pressed firmly and allowed to rest 15 minutes,
as 1/2" vegetable oil heats up good and hella hot.
add your balls (there should be a LOT), and roll 'em around with a fork or spoon
until they're crispy enough for your liking.
cool them on a paper towel to absorb any surface oil, and get 'em ready for stackin'
in your breads, bro.
but first,
you're gonna wanna make some sauces, too.
in a high speed blender, combine:
1 tsp lemon juice;
1/4 cup unsweetened plain coconut yogurt;
1 little mini cucumber (or 1/3 regular-sized non-english cucumber);
6-10 big fresh mint leaves.
pulse it up, add a lil pinchy pinch of pink salt,
and let that marinate in it's own awesomeness
until it's time to drizzle it on your sandwiches.
the sesame paste taste of a good TAHINI is essential too.
i usually add a LOT of lemony, a lil black pepper, a dash of sumac,
and a spoonful of tahini together to make a thiccc but smooth sauce.
i like it burly, but add warm water to thin it out if you can't handle that much raw power.
i'm not judging you for your weakness.
and the mixed salad bits?
that's parsley, scallion, cilantro, purple cabbage, salt, and lemon.
lemons are very integral to this event.
don't even front like you ca do without 'em.
....because only an A*-hole would even try.
all the other stuff is pretty self-explanatory,
but tha bread is the TRUTH,
and without it, your falafels will forever be lackin' and you'll always be slackin'
and the BIGGEST big action activation will forever be out of reach.
that's a fact.
you can try to convince yourself you like it as much with store bread,
but you;re lying to yourself and you know it.
take the extra effort to heart, and upgrade your meal to the highest stratum of hottness.
do it.
you'll be so happy and so much more satisfied.
real talk.
in your stand mixer with the dough hooker hookin', combine:
1 1/4 cups king arthur bread flour;
1/4 tsp sea salt;
2 T olive oil;
2 T unsweetened coconut yogurt;
2 tsp bread machine yeast;
1 tsp sugar;
2/3 cup + 1 T warm water.
knead it up to a smooth ball, cover it with a drip of olive oil, and let 'em rise on up
for fifteen or so minutes.
divide the ball into 2 for extra large meganaaners,
or smaller balls for four or five..... i had two biggies and one little bitty baby leftover exxxtra for snackin' on,
and that was cool, too.
and let those rest another ten minutes while a large skillet heats up
over all-the-way-high heat until it's furiously hot.
on a floured surface, roll out the dough balls thin and flat and floppy,
and set 'em aside to relax a second.
add a drop of oil to your pan, and one at a time, fry those F*ers up!!
a minute a side should do it.
they're perfect.
and they hold alllllll that stuff so snug.
and the whole thing together is a major win for your face.
look at how huge these bad babies are:

my hands are extra-large, and this hangs over my whole spidery-finger murderpalm
man-mitts by three inches in either direction.
that's a LOT of falafel.
and that's the right amount.
i rolled 'em up like a bicycle toolkit, and i devoured them both in no time.
do i still feel full this morning?
i do.
but only in my heart, because i loved them so much.
make it yourself.
don't be lazy.
make it count.
you deserve it;
never quiet, never soft.....