Thursday, October 31



i'll just leave this here:

crimbosaurus rex.
that's my boi.
even the dog knows that hallowe'en is expert;
never quiet, never soft.....


muffins or cupcakes?
if there's spice, are they even cupcakes?
if they're frosted, are they even muffins?
if they're gluten-free are we even worried about anything else?
i make nicey-niceties for breezy.
she takes all the good care of all those kids,
but she can't even munch up on wheat without falling to pieces,
and that ain't right, man.
not one bit.
so i do what i can to make the specialties all sorts of special.

lemme just say that that's coconut creamchee' frosting,
AND cinnamaple grey dollops, too.
a secret flavor bomb on the side is a nice touch, in my opinion.
i have the recipes for those on here all over the place,
take a look around and find out.
you really do need to know how to make these:
preheat the oven to 350℉
in a mixin' bowl, smoosh up:
1 stick vegan butter (8 T);
1 tsp vanilla;
1 cup brown sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
1 cup pumpkin;
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and cloves, to taste;
stir in:
1 cup bob's all-purpz gf flour;
1 cup bob's 1:1 gf flour;
3 T tapioca flour;
1/2 cup blended gf flour (i used quinoa flax, it doesn't really matter);
1/4 cup coconut;
1/2  cup chopped walnuts;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 1/2 tsp baking powder;
1 cup non-dairy milk.
stir it well,
then scoop it evenly into muffin papers,
and bake 'em for thirtyish minutes.
you'll know when they're done,
because gluten free stuff gets cracks in it when it's finished.
easy, right?
once you get into a rhythm for wheatlessness,
it gets a LOT easier, and that's good news for me, man.
hallowe'en all month long?
treats all day every day?
sweetness for the sweetness?
it is literally always an adventure in feelings and time management.
that's what happens when emotional people interact in trying circumstances.
muffincakes help grease the wheels, for sure.
we do the best we can.
i make the food that makes the days make sense,
and together we make the best of our time;
never quiet, never soft.....


triceratops is the best one.
hippopotamus is also the best one.
they're herbicorous monsters from the earth, bro.
that's tight.
and bats?
bats are cool, too.
especially fruit bats.
and how about jack o'lanterns?
that's hallowe'en magic for your F*ing face.
so, if i were to activates some sweet sugary iced awesomes in those forms,
well, then you woulod probably be psyched, right?
damned right you would.
check it:

expert, y'know.
you wanna know what else?
that's cocoa icing, and vanilla icing and F*ing spooky sprankles, too.
are the orange pumpkin cookies actually pumpkin flavored?
hell yes they are.
and are those chocolate chips in the chocolate cookies?
c'mon, what am i?
an A*-hole.
you KNOW i doo-doo it right, right?
preheat the oven to 375℉
1 1/2 stixxx of vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
2 T cocoa;
3/4 cup sugar;
1/4 cup brown sugar, all thoroughly creamy and blended.
add 2-3 T non-dairy milk,
and 1 tsp baking powder,
plus 2 1/4 cups flour,
and 1/2 cup chocolate mini chips.
smoosh it all as smooth as you can, and refrigerate it before flouring
and rolling them out into whatever shapes you like.
do you bake them for 10 minutes?
do you drop the heat to 350℉?
are they awesome?
and the icing is just like always. you know how to make icing.
i literally describe it in the next post.
seasonally-appropriate site-specific sprankles are essential too.
rules is rules.
miss me with that weak sh!t, nerds.
and the pumpkin ones?
i used:
1/2 stick buttery vegan stuff;
1/2 cup sugar;
2 T pumpkin;
2 T brown sugar;
1/2 tsp cinnamon;
1 cup flour;
1/2 tsp baking powder;
and a dash of maple syrup, plus orange coloring.
are they just as dope?
maybe even doper.
and am i happy?
cookies are what you need to feel better for a few bites.
i doo-doo that.
and when i'm crunchin' a bat with a pumpkin on it?
i'm off my t!ts with happiness, of course.
it doesn't take much.
you should make some cookies.
they might not be as tight as hippos and dinos,
but i bet you'll do okay.
try it out;
never quiet, never soft.....


hallowe'en rock bloxxx.
that's all you need to know.

here'show to get your hands on some from your own kitchen:

preheat your ovent o 375
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together:
1 stick vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/2 cup sugar;
1/2 cup brown sugar.
stir in 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce;
1/4 cup ground unsweetened coconut.
mix well, then add;
1 cup mini chocolate chips;
2 cups king arthur all-purpz flour;
1 tsp ea bakey powder and soda;
1/2 cup coarse oat flour (i grind up whole oats like a champion);
2 tsp maple syrup.
mash it all up,
and roll little balls about 2" in your hands, arranged on baking trays
and fired up in the oven for 13 minutes.
that's the stuff.
and the icing?
food coloring, powdered sugar, vanilla, and non-dairy s'milk.
you never made icing before?
you need a half cup of sugar, a dash of vanilla, a squirt of food color,
and a tiny splash of s'milk.
too much and you get runny sloppy sh!smears instead of beauty.
so be careful.
rock blocks are expert.
hallowe'en is expert.
together, you're a F*ing miracle and that's no joke.
i hope your day is full of treats, and few tricks;
never quiet, never soft.....


and if you think i don't use my oven with great efficacy, you're wrong.
will i simultaneously bake bread and roast potatoes?
F* yeah.
what do think this is?
amateur hour?
no way.
i'm out here making potatoes work for me.
check it:

Wu-TANG, boi!!
turmeric, smoked paprika, coriander, cayenne, black pepper, pink salt, GPOP,
and olive oil, all busy roastin' with those chef's white spuds
while the bread bakes alongside it.
do y'all just shake your spices on top, or do you measure?
i feel like measuring is weak sauce,
and i don't really bother.
i mean, i've been eating food for four decades or more,
and i've been eating good food for the second half of my life so far.
so, if there's gotta be some seasonin' on my potatoes, i just baby it up,
and let it do what it does.
the last week raced by with reckless abandon.
like, a toad-piloted wild ride of running around hither and yon and to and fro
with no regard for personal well-being.
i didn't sleep much.
i didn't eat right.
i don't even know when i exercised last.
i have a head cold.
it's like hallowe'en wants me to be broken.
like, that's the pricetag for 'enjoying' the creative process.
if i started in september, i'd just have two brutal months.
and nobody needs that.
so, i just wild goose chase the pumpkin month,
and see where it takes me.
this time, it led me to realize that nobody needs a costume this elaborate
for the north of new hampshire.
i mean,
these folks only like storebought stuff.
that generic jauns is what the want.
wal-mart plasic bummer bits.
but that ain't us, man.
we're cuter, and greater, and smarter, and better than that.
you'll see.
there's hallowe'en spirit and memory in the works as i type;
never quiet, never soft.....

TRUE LOVEπŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•πŸ•

i scrambled, and i scraped, and i picked, poked, prodded, pasted,
glued, and magnetized all sorts of foam and fabric to make another
'nother expert hallowe'en costume.
in between all those fumes that affected my brain i also had the oven going wild.
*disclaimer: ALWAYS use a respirator and proper ventilation.
the costume making adhesives, paints, and dust from sanding
can be verrrrry harmful to your little brainy-brain.
and that's no good.
so be safe if you're gonna be makey.
ANYway, the oven was raging like a 480℉ box of hottness,
and there's only one reason to ramp up the heat like that.
the finest food that ever was,.
i eat a lot.
i make a lot.
i  like it, a LOT.
wanna look at my pizza?
oh, alright, you don't have to ask twice:

that's a looker, no?
that malt powder has my crusts CRISSSSP as F*,
this one has daiya mozz, broxxx, red onion, spinach, sauce,
and garlic sprankles.
that crust has a lot of appeal, in my opinion.
another one?
you got it:

do i make pizza at least once a week?
you bet i do.
tomatoes, sauce, daiya, red onion, spinach, and those fried garlic spranks.
rules is rules.
is this dough a semi-sourdough, proofed for forty-eight hours/
would i mention it if it wasn't?
c'mon. don't be dumb.
that's two tablespooons of my sourdough starter, plus half a cup of water
and half a cup of king arthur bread flour,
allowed to mingle and get frisky overnight together,
then added to a cup and a half of flour, a few teaspoons of salt,
a packet of active yeast, a scoop of that malted barley,
and some olive oil to give it some oooomph when it bakes,
plus another 'nother 2/3 cup warm water.
kneaded and refrigerated for a day and a half, for some epic sourdough deliciousness.
i do that.
i have more.
here's some more:

simple, but so much flavor.
cashew chee' and cooked sauce,
red tomatoes, red chili pepper, and arugula for the victorious green takeover.
are there garlic bits on there?
that's how we do it, man.
so you get it, right?
i always want pizza.
but guess what?
last night?
mmmhmm. too much is the right amount.
check the teleport:

cauliflower, with GPOP and red pepper flakes.
sweet onion.
daiya and cashew chee' MINCED, of course.
and those muh'fuh'nnnn sprankles, boi.
this is how it is at the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress.
the house is collapsing but the costume is complete.
the road crews wanna seal us in,
but this much hot fire should keep us alive until spring
or until the propane runs out
and we're all the way trapped under ice atop this rural roadway.
what's going to happen?
probably disaster.
but while rome burns, we'll grill a pizza or two.
that's how we do what we do;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, October 25


shannon came in for her appointment,
and i had NO idea what we were doing at all.
turns out, she wanted a giant phoenix on her leg.
well, i had the time, and i had the marky markers,
so i drew it on and started the outline.

i forgot the after pic of the actual tattooed outline,
but i think you get the idea, right?
but, i mean,
those mountains with the compass and the flowers you saw on pinterest
and now absolutely have to have are cool too.
just, not nearly as cool or interesting or individual or unique as an
in-the-moment drawn-on creative collaboration.
but whatever, man, i still got bills, so i still got your reg-tattz.
actually, those make stuff like this more enjoyable;
never quiet, never soft.....


butternut squash wedges,
with cumin, coriander, cayenne, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder,
black pepper, and smoked paprika, plus a dash of thyme and oregano,
sauteed in a hot pan, with a splash of veggie broth to soften 'em up.
y'know why you'd do that?
because it's october, and that's seasonally appropriate.
check it out:

there are pink beans with onion, scallion,
garlic, sweet pepper, jalapeno, minced cilantro stems,
coconut oil and ho'sauce all tossed together.
that's simple, but it's SO good.
spicy lettuce showed up to hang out, and that was cool.
red onion, chili pepper, and cilantro sprankles, too.
f'real, i didn't measure anything at all.
the food is always better navigated by feel, not math.
i mean it.
there's AVO-F*ING-CADO, or course.
rules is rules, man-
and that green butter pear is permanently invited to my taco parties forever.
when i'm eating alone, i'm only using soft flour tortillas.
in this case, i used street sized. which are smaller.
because i'm responsible, bro.
take it easy, like i did with my taco ingestion.
and my custom fire-roasted tomato salsa saved the whole entire day.
that sh!t is THE TRUTH.
here's the recipe:
in your food processor, combine:
2 cloves garlic;
1/4 red onion;
1/3 cup chopped bell pepper (red, orange, yellow, for prettiness);
1 jalapeno;
one handful of cilantro;
2 T scallions;
1/2 tsp cumin;
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed;
1/2 tsp ea GPOP;
a shake of smoked paprika;
1 15oz can fire-roasted tomatoes;
a heavy squeeze of lime. at least on lime's worth;
salt, pepper, love, excitement.....
pulse it until it's as chunky or as smooth as you prefer,
and let it sit in the fridge for an hour a least.
is it expert?
you already know.
you're welcome for that.
it'll change the way you eat chips and tacos and burritos and enchiladas.
i mean, you'll still use your mouth, but you'll like it more.
so there you go.
my phone is taking better pictures for the platform i'm using.
that's good.
my old phone was a genuine nightmare to use for that purpose,
so i'm glad about it.
all the kids look cuter,
all the tattoos look better executed,
all the food looks more delicious.
it was about time to do something that was way past time to do.
story of my life.
too late, too terrible, much worse, more expensive, then fine.
i'd like to start skipping the first three parts, please;
never quiet, never soft.....


i made refried bean, tofu, and avocado tacos last week.
i'm not really sure what there is to say about them,
other than i ate the holy hell outta them all,
and the turned on the gluttony and terrorized all the leftovers in the pot, too.

too much is the right amount.
that's a fact.
a cup of baby tomatoes, chopped, plus a few tablespoons of cilantro,
and a little scoop or minced red onion, a teaspoon of finely minced jalapeno,
salt, pepper, GPOP, and lime juice had me feelin' some kind of salsa.
the tofu had smoked paprika and cayenne just sorta shook on top,
fried in coconut oil on four of six sides, and some oregano and cumin
stirred in towards the end.
s'simple, but dope af.
avocado is always invited, so i featured it prominently front and center.
but, with minced chili, white onion, lettucey stuff all on there, i was ready to get fat.
but i wasn't ready for how expert i was about to be with that ESCABECHE, boi!!!
real talk.
it was one of the best ones yet.
in a one quart saucepot, combine:
one purple carrot, sliced;
2 cloves garlic, sliced;
one fat radish, sliced;
1/4 cup red onion, chopped;
1/2 jalapeno, sliced;
1 cup apple cider vinegar;
1/4 tsp sea salt;
1/4 tsp black peppercorns;
1 tsp sugar.
boiled until the peppers went from bright green to olive green,
and the reds in the carrot and onion turned the juice pink.
that's it, but that's ITTTTTTT.
you need it.
i ate it all, and i enjoyed every tangy, tart, spicy, sweet second.
that's no joke.
if you like tacos, you know that soft flour tacos are the ONLY good ones.
the rest are just wasting your time.
oh, i get it-
maybe you've gotta be gluten-free, and i feel you, and i feel for you,
and i will munch up a soft corn jaun in solidarity if i like you,
but for me?
i'm choosing soft flour 100% of the time.
they're my favorite.
i'm not even close to finished with my hallowe'en costume.
i'm always lost and bewildered at work.
i'm watching my house fall apart and not sure where to start fixing it,
or if i'd be better of just walking off into the mountains forever.
no big deal.
maybe you'll notice i'm gone?
doesn't matter.
i won't notice if you notice.
i'm busy in all the ways i'd never expect,
and i'm slow in all the ways i'd never want to be.
there's a lesson in that somewhere,
but i'm legit too deep underwater inside my brain to see it.
never quiet, never soft.....


she's strong!!!
she's big!
she's so F*ing happy i can't even believe it.
she's a lucky little baby buddha-bellied flowerbud,
and i'm always impressed by her attitude.

her ma does the best job.
she's got a system for making great babies, and it works.
i give this little lilli five stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐,
and 11/10.
i mean, for real, though:

i've seen cute babies.
i've made cute babies.
this cute baby is the best collab of ingredients i've managed in seventeen years.
and that's no small thing.
...neither is she.
most of her shirts are belly shirts.
this is one happy baby.
she's surrounded by happy siblings.
she's surrounded by love;


Monday, October 21


harvest wanted cupcakes.
harvest got cupcakes.
that's just what it is.

lemon cake.
white chocolate frosting.
october sprankles.
i got in late from breezy's dad's 70th berfday party surprise exxxplosion,
and fired up the oven immediately.
i love berfdays.
so i'm going to alllll the parties.
that's right: rules is rules.
and i'm going to all the places where there's cake and glitter and sh!t for sure.
but anyway,
i got in and got to work.
you want the recipe for these little yummers?
preheat the oven to 350℉
line two muffin tins with cupcake papers
in your stand mixer with a whisk in place, whip together:
1 stick vegan butter (1/2 cup, 8T)
1/2 tsp salt;
1 cup sugar;
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp lemon extract;
1 lemon's zest;
1/2 cup vanilla non-dairy yogurt.
mix that well,
then add;
2 1/2 cups king arthur all purpz flour;
2 tsp baking powder;.
1 tsp baking soda;
/4 cup tapioca flour;
1/4 cup lemon juice;
3/4 cup non-dairy milk.
whip whip whip whip whip it all up to a fluffy batter,
and spoon it evenly into 24 cups-
bake it all for 30 minutes, and be prepared to be excited.
did i zest a little more lemon on the tops?
i did.
too much is the right amount, man.
don't be dumb.
and when they cooled,
and it was dark out, but also very early the next morning,
i made some white chocolate frosting.
3 cups powdered sugar;
1/4 cup micro-grated cocoa butter;
2 tsp vanilla;
1/3 cup non-dairy vanilla s'milk.
whipped to a frenzy and piped out all over those little cute guys.
plus the spranks.
i mean,
is it even a berfday cupcake without 'em?
no way.
and i'm not feelin' that no-glitter vibe.
not once, not never.
harvest is 19.
that's incredible.
a full-sized short-statured adult.
we don't always talk long, but we always talk well.
she's insightful.
these kids of mine just are.
they got the best parts of their ma,
and whatever DNA i added to the mix as well.
that goes for all of 'em.
and that's good news.
i got the baking skills, tho, and those're no joke;
never quiet, never soft.....


harvest skye is nineteen years old today.

i have a nineteen year old person i helped make.
and every day since she showed up,
there's been a LOT of strong opinions.
hers most of all.
she's usually the fist to make her opinion known,
and to give a verrrrrry confident voice to what she feels and believes.
i respect that.
even when we're not on the same page, she's writing her own story,
so that's okay with me.
we spanned time in northampton, massachusetts yesterday,
drinking boba,
eating dumplings and noodles (and falafel),
opening presents,
going shopping,
snacking on berfday-specific cupcakes,
and generally enjoying each others' company.
also, she almost threw up, and i was there to try and capture the moment.

she survived without regurgitation, so i guess that's another 'nother berfday present,
from her own body.
and we all (her ma and her stepdad and i) went back to umass
for a little iphone set-up meltdown and a singsong and present opening thing.
y'know- like how you do.

rules is rules.
and everybody had fun, and almost everybody, including he roommate
was sick,
so there are enough germs in my body right now to kill off a continent.
but that's cool, too.
who wouldn't want to get sick on their berfday?
we all missed her sister, but a facetime get-together helped us all out with that.
shoutouts to technological reunions from all over.
she's motivated, and determined, and driven, and she's making plans
and implementing plans and being a forward thinking momentum-gatherer,
as well as a total GIRL to the 11th level.
she's one of those people who says "that's funny" instead of laughing.
100% girl.
so happy nineteenth.
i'm grateful every day for who you are,.
and for being the first true little lovey dovey itty bitty baby i ever learned to care about.
you paved the way for all good things to come,
and you'll always the first big tears of joy i ever shed;
never quiet, never soft.....

Wednesday, October 16



thanks, dylan.
he always gets better tattoos than you.
that's why he's a real one.
he even had his sweet boo-boo bring us pizza.
that's tight.
you could be getting something so dope instead of more mountains,
but whatever, man,
that's your problem (which is therefore sorta mine, too;
never quiet, never soft.....

twenty years

yesterday was a hell of a milestone for me.
i've officially been tattooing for twenty years.
in a row.
two decades.

look at all that dark hair!!!!!!
everything i am,
everything i've done,
everybody i've met,
everywhere i've been,
for the last twenty years all traces back to this career.
...and i fell into it and just couldn't ever climb out.
so this is what it is, and what i do, and what's happening.
two decades, thousands and thousands of tattoos, gallons of ink,
tons of needles and tubes....
all of it.
and let's never forget the big loves and bigger losses
and the long lengths to which interactive participation have taken me;
from the very worst albie rock show runaway trainwreck moments
to the very best enduring close connections to genuine people.
it's all due to tattooing.
the job i love to hate, and hate that i love so F*ing much.
i've overlapped with so many many other artists over the years,
and fortunately/unfortunately
i haven't spoken to almost all of them in a very long time.
mostly because i took my old motto to heart too often.
breaking hearts and burning bridges
is exactly what i did for a solid decade straight.
and that didn't work too well, honestly.
this new approach- doing tattoos all day every day,
at AMPERSAND TATTOO in the environment that suits me best
has changed everything about the way i tattoo.
even when it's bad, it's still pretty F*ing good...
and it's a damned sight better looking, smelling, and feeling
than the places and spaces i occupied and spanned time with prior.
how wild is that?
only in the last few years have i felt at home in what i do.

i had three apprentices after a fashion.
i'm at a 33% success rate, although they've all gone on to do great things.
i had four separate careers in the same sense.
that's about a 25% win ratio.
i went from the tiptop to the bottom to the middle of nowhere
and now i'm up here just doing all the things i do best every single day.
there's just so much history wrapped up in the past two decades.
there's my babies who're big and my big baby who is small,
there were two divorces, and there's one real redheaded love that outshines both.
there've been big moves and big houses and small worlds and triumphs
and tragedies and death all over the place-
from the tiny deaths of love and money to the big gaps left by blood and family-
maybe i'm not making a big enough deal out of this:
that's a practically a life sentence.
if it was a real job, i could retire.
although, if i'd wanted or been suited to a real job,
i wouldn't have ever started down this reckless road of makery and mockery.
i thought about firestorming all the folks who made my life terrible through tattooing-
a long list of who can get bent and get lost, who did me dirty or -
and as quickly as the thought came, it left....
nobody is a F*ing A*-hole for no reason,
and i'll bet the reason was me most of the time.
i literally have only true stories to tell about tattooing,
and all of them end with all of us leaving without the title.
and there's a kind of wild animal poetry to that.
i'm sayin'- if it has to end, let it end brutally.
at least that's worthy of another story to weave into the fabric of tattooing.
maybe thanking those bastards and dirty b!tches by name is never going to happen,
but if i'm gonna outright flame anybody,
it's gotta be my own damned self.
sure, it wasn't all me all the time,
but i'll bet it was always partially me most of the time.
no lies: being albie rock is a hard style.
i said those things, i did those things.....i can live with that.
so thanks, tattooing, for EVERYthing.
and i cannot stress strongly enough that i mean that literally;
never quiet, never soft.....


that diastatic malt is doing good things.
look at this CRUST, son:

on a white pizza?! the crust is a must-
this jaun has sauteed leeks,
and roasted mandoline'd potatoes,
and tempeh bacon,
and fire-roasted tomato sprankles,
and fried garlic sprankles,
and cheddar AND mozzarella daiya chee',
and arugula.
neighbors, if that ain't some sort of super hottness i can't imagine what is.
i had the oven roaring at 480℉.
i did all the things i always do-
the chee' was minced, the leeks were soft,
the baconish tempeh was smoky and salty and sweet,
the arugula was bitter in a good way,
and my attitude was bitter in a different way,
i still ate the whole thicck, heavy, crisp-crusted boomfire.
i dunno how many ways i can tell you about pizza.
suffice to say that without it, we'd all be without me, too.
that's the truth;
never quiet, never soft.....

Saturday, October 12


i made another cake.
because more cake is better than some cake, of course.
and because i couldn't work up the excitement for costume making,
but i also needed to make something.
and when cake works like it is supposed to,
you'e not just making deliciousness unfold,
you're operating in a successful sequence of steps to achieve a goal,
and that's a small part of making sense of the wild world we live in.
i mean,
nothing else makes sense...
but then a cake comes along and comes together and for a few bites
i have something resembling clarity.
it tastes good, and i made it, and it worked.
it's a small victory, to be certain,
but it's still a victory, and i need more of those in some part of my days and nights.

pumpkin chai cake.
that's what it is.
with cinnamaplecreamchee' frosting.
and sprankles.
i like a fancy seasonal sweetness in my morning routine.
and this is that and then some.
here's the recipe:
preheat your oven to 350℉
grease a 9"springform single layer pan,  man.
1 stick vegan butter;
2/3 cup brown sugar;
1/3 cup sugar;
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/2 tsp maple extract;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 T maple syrup.
cream together, then stir in:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree;
1/2 cup coconut yogurt.
next, add:
2 cups king arthur flour;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
the contents of 2 chai spice teabags;
cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice;
3/4 cup non-dairy milk.
stir well, spoon evenly into the pan,
and bake for 35 minutes, turning the heat up to 375 after 15.
mine came out great, which was great, but make sure yours is done in the center.
i let it cool while i walked crabtree in the rain and we dragged each other
across the hilltops, getting our grudging togetherness in while he defiled the lawns
of my absentee neighbors.
and then i came home and activated the frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar,
plus one stick of vegan butter,\plus 3 T vegan creamchee',
plus 1/4 cup real maple syrup,
and cinnamon for good measure in a whisk-affixed high-speed stand mixer..
there's cool colored grey frosting?
too much is the right amount.
i added black gel to the o.g. whip, and gave it a twirl in the mixer.
that's all.
swirls from out of the pastry bag piper make it pretty,
and the sprankles make it even nicer.
it's just cake, and i don't need it, but i sure like it.
wanna know a subplot?
i'm working on working and working on myself but i don't think it's working.
if i work myself to death, then i might get a few days off, right?
i'm working the most i can,
and eating every moment i'm not tattooing.
that makes me sluggish and sloppy looking,
and that makes me irritated and aggravated and aggrieved
by every single conversation i don't initiate,
and i don't initiate many because i don't know what to say,
other than to leak out the litany of loss and lack i know by heart by now.
i don't want to be left alone,
and yet i don't think i should be around anybody, either.
...which is dumb when there's so much cake around.
i don't know how to be different.
i don't know how to do much.
i don't know how to get better.
i only know about cake and, like, three pointless chores;
never quiet, never soft.....

Friday, October 11


i threw all sorts of stuff in a bowl,
and made myself a pretty good treat.

apples, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, brown sugar, maple syrup.....
all just mooshed up and mashed together and baked.
i had three big apples, peeled, cored, and chopped up.
i had half a cup of brown sugar,
a quarter cup of sugar,
a half teaspoon of salt,
a quarter cup and 2 T of oats,
6 T vegan butter,
half a cup of coconut yogurt,
half a cup of soymilk,
two cups of king arthur all-purpose flour,
two teaspoons of baking powder and one of baking soda,
a teaspoon of vanilla,
a lot of cinnamon, and a little nutmeg and allspice,
and a fat glug of real new hampshire maple syrup for more wet sticky goodness.
the oven was cranking at 400℉,
and the baking trays had parchment on 'em-
i shoved all that into a very coarse, loose battery doughy bloppity blarpy mess,
formed small balls,
and baked them for thirty minutes.
that's all.
then i iced them with thick wet powdered sugar drizzles,
and a few cinnamon sprankles.
then i ate them in rapid succession.
a whole lot of them.
whatever, man.
i make treats to make sense of my crumbling world.
it doesn't always work,
and sometimes i make crumbling creations, like these lumpy lovelies.
and some other other times,
i do all my making things right,
and still can't make things right.
i just have treats and also a bad time in bad relationships,
with people and places and portion control.
i'm a mess, and this sugary side project reflected that.
it still tasted good,
unlike every other thing that leaves a bad taste in my mouth;
never quiet, never soft.....


i'll cover a big black naked lady silhouette with a bird.
or i'll try to, anyway:

drawn on, redrawn on, and tattooed with alllllll the lines...
i don't know if i'm doing it right,
but i'm writing these permanent marks on with permanent marker,
then even more permanent pointy pieces.
i'm gonna do every tattoo.
i'm gonna draw every picture.
i'm gonna smash myself to bits on the rocks and hard places.
i'm gonna work myself to death.
sound good?
never quiet, never soft.....


santana gets stephen king tattoos.
this one is a good one:

the dark tower, the gunslinger, and some poppies.
those are key elements, or so i'm told.
if more people got literary-inspired non-harry potter tattoos,
i think i'd be into that.
reading is pretty F*ing tight, and so are tattoos,
so when they're combined, that's expert.
i'd like to think that there will be more interesting tattoos in the days to come.
mostly because i'm coming up on a very big day in my life, soon.
i mean,
they're all big days,
but this one marks a passage of time that impresses me, and maybe you, too.
the rest of my time passes like kidney stones.
so, i'll take a tiny tattoo reprieve wherever they've got 'em,
and let that soothe a small portion of these dark days;
never quiet, never soft.....


i'll put a scoop of your loved ones' ashes in the ink.
is that cool?
is it safe?
is it a little baby bit gross, and a big bit morbid?
for sure.
am i the good idea police?
i am NOT.
but i am a tattooer in good standing among the ranks of tattzappers.
so i do weird sh!t like that:

this one has real bits and pieces of bernard in it.
the cardinal is from somebody else's work,
reworked and wrestled with,
while grampy and the twitches fought me at every line.
these things are what make meaningful tattoos more memorable,
in memoriam,
that's just what it is;
never quiet, never soft.....

Thursday, October 10


diastatic malt powder.
the secret is OUT.
i got some;
nate has some;
we GOT some.
and it gets it IN, son.
for real.
you want excellent oven spring and a strong rise in your dough?
you want a sexxxy brown crust on your baked breads and such?
you do?!
then y'gotta get that powder.
it makes alllllll that happen.
check it:

it's my favorite blend-
brussels, 'bacon', and onion-
that's the expert Folk Life & Liberty Fortress signature pizza pie.
and look at that crust, bro: tight AF, am i right?
i know!
a spoonful of diastatic malt powder is what makes the magic so much more magical.
it's barley, bro. barley flour is the big action,
and it activates the best yeasts to do their best work.
everything else is the same.
sauteed brussels sprout quarters, with a splash of water to soften them up.
one sliced vidalia onion slowly sauteed to caramel perfection.
tempeh baconis always invited to my pizza parties, too.
11 strips of tempeh, slow bubbled in a half a cup of water,
with tamari and liquid smoke and agave and Garlic Powder and Onion Powder
and black pepper and smoked paprika and olive oil....
and when it all gets absorbed it all gets ready to rock your F*ing face off.
that's a thing.
there's minced daiya mozzarella chee',
and minced store-made cashew mozzarella chee',
and crushed tomatoes, and kale,
and fried garlic sprankles, too.
i mean, rules is rules, dudes.
you need all those things to do the thing correctly.
i did it.
in a 480℉ oven on a set of stones.
and the dough was what made it all so much better.
in a stand-upright mixer, combine:
1 spoonful diastatic malt powder;
2 cups king arthur bread flour;
2 T olive oil;
1 pkg active yeast;
1 tsp fast-actin' bread machine yeast;
1 cup water.
give that a quick whirl with the dough hook, like fifteen seconds-
then let it stew for an hour.
add 2 tsp sea salt, and 2 T warm water,
and knead that bad baby up for 11 minutes-
cover it, and let it proof in the fridge for 12-16 hours-
take it out when your oven is preheating and stretch it on an oiled steel tray.
i use steel because it makes the crust bubble up nicey-nice.
but that's just me.
how long do i bake it for?
until it's finished.
and i take it off the steel and give it the last little minute ON the stones, too.
does this make sense?
so you get it?
are you feeling it?
do the right thing, kids.
what can i say?
i have a lot of true stories, but they're all sad.
i have a whole long list of low points and losses,
but really, according to the logistics on this little diary,
nobody is looking,
and that's probably for the best.
i may be all alone.
i may have nobody to actually talk to most days.
i may spend every night huddled in a puddle of quaking shakes and comfortless comforters.
i may not have any avenues that look promising.
all that may be the honest-to-goodness way it is.
my hallowe'en costumes may be lame.
and my food is annoying to look at over and over.
and the giant armoire of fancy napkins and cutting board tableaus is excessive.
and my art may be too weird for northern new hampshire.
and i may have so many heavy weights from all the aspirations that asphyxiate me.
and my dog may be impossible to adequately care for.
and my kids may all be better off with less of me in their lives.
and i may say all the wrong things without exception.
but maybe that's the beauty of it-
who ever read it?
who still reads it?
who kept on after the picture of the pizza?
y'wanna know what's actually all really happening?
it's ending.
this thing.
those things.
and i'm telling this little captain's log all about it.
maybe i'll feel better,
maybe i'll feel nothing.
either would be preferable to feeling like it doesn't matter if i stay or go.
and that's how it ends each and every night;
never quiet, never soft.....

Tuesday, October 8



i made a special cake for a special person.
i might've not mentioned it before,
but i've made some seemingly insignificant yet substantial changes in my life.
it's true.
when you live like a weird hermit with no one to answer to
for a large chunk of your fully-formed adult life,
it gets impossible to imagine NOT doing things the way you already like them.
i mean, why would you?
there's comfort in routine, and structure is essential for obsessives like me.
that said: 
at one point, for decades, in fact- i swore i'd never get a mobile phone.
...then i did.
i swore i'd never get any apple products because i don't buy the hype.
now i have three, including the phone i'm looking at too much.
(i still don't buy the hype, but they stuck me for my papers anyway)
i also swore that carrot cake was NOT invited to the party.
carrots are for food, not treats i said.
there's HOW many blog posts on this thing,
and there's no carrot cakes...
and yet,
when breezy says she wants a gluten-free carrot cake?
immediately, i set out to make that vegan supersweetness for her,
and i look up recipes on my iphone that she strongly suggested to me to get...
i guess when you really like someone you do things you said you wouldn't.
i barely used a recipe at all when all was said and done.
that's my style.
i'm NOT ever giving in to the box-mix, man.
i saw some general proportions-
i wasn't sure how much carrot to use, mostly....
then i fired up the oven and got to work:

here's how it went down:
preheat your oven to 375℉
grease two 8" cake tins with coconut oil, set aside.
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar;
1/3 cup demerara sugar;
1/3 cup sugar;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp vanilla;
2 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 tsp ginger, nutmeg;
1/4 tsp allspice;
dash of cloves;
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter.
cream that all up,
then add:
1/2 cup unsweetened plain coconut yogurt;
1 T powdered egg replacer;
1 1/2 cup grated carrot;
1/2 cup mama's gf almond flour blend;
1/2 cup bob's 1:1 gf rice based flour blend;
1 cup bob's ap gf flour;
1/4 cup tapioca flour;
1/4 cup medium-flake unsweetened coconut;
1/2 cup chopped walnuts;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
1/2 cup random gf baking flour
(this one was arrowhead mills ancient grain blend);
you need diversity in flours if you want gf baking to WORK.
that's a thing.
and 3/4 cup nondairy milk.
stir it up, and mix it all together nicey-nice,
spread it evenly between those two pans,
and bake them both for 33 minutes.
that's it.
you're a miracle now.
when they've cooled, y'gotta stick 'em up with that creamchee' frostin'.
that's the mandatory topping i guess.
rules is rules and that's a fact,
so i did what i do-
in a stand mixer with the whisk affixed, whip up:
3 cups powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 stick vegan butter;
3 T vegan creamchee';
1/4 cup non-dairy milk.
that's it. make it fluffy.
i added orange for carrot indication, too,
because cakes should be pretty, especially when they're for a pretty lady.
that's no joke.
...and there's cinnamon sprankles.
and there's coconut sprankles.
because too much is the right amount.
and that's all there is to it.
if it's cake, i'm for it.
if it's most other things, i'll probably sit it out;
never quiet, never soft.....


rules is rules.
you put streusel on coffee cake or else.
so i did it.

pumpkin magic time, with allll the maple and brown sugar.
that's oatmeal and coconut and coconut oil
and all the cinnamon sprankles on top
that's what happened.
here's how:
preheat the oven to 375℉
grease a 9" springform pan in anticipation of great things to come.
in a mixing bowl, cream together:
1/2 cup brown sugar;
1/3 cup sugar;
1 stick (8 T) vegan butter;
1/2 tsp salt;
2 tsp cinnamon;
1/2 tsp ea. nutmeg, ginger, allspice;
dash of cloves;
3 T tapioca flour;
3 T unsweetened coconut flakes;
2 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp maple exxxtract.
get that all mashed up together, then add:
1 cup pumpkin;
2.5 cups king arthur flour;
2 tsp baking powder;
1 tsp baking soda;
3/4 cup non-dairy milk.
stir that all up,
and spoon it into the cake pan.
using the same bowl with those scraped out cake leavin's, combine:
3/4 cup oatmeal;
2 T brown sugar;
3 T powdered sugar;
a shake or two of cinnamon nutmeg cloves ginger allspice to taste;
2 T oat flour;
2 T vegan butter;
2 T raw unrefined coconut oil;
2 T unsweetened medium-flake coconut.
using a fork, crOmble that all up, and sprankle it on top.
bake the whole thing for 35-45 minutes- until a tester comes out clean from the center.
serve it with non-dairy vanilla ice cream if you're smart.
or without if you're not.
and here's a pro-tip: add MORE cinnamon.
it's good for you.
i think that's a thing.
so do what you're supposed to and bake some cake.
at least then, if you F* up all the rest of your life,
there's still cake;
never quiet, never soft.....


it's a broken heart for this broken autumn.

damn, dudes.
sometimes, when you're just out walking in the woodsly goodness
and your dog is raging around all fired up because he doesn't get enough exercise,
and for that matter neither do you,
and you feel like you haven't slept enough because really what the eff even is rest
especially after long hard nights that don't end or get brighter,
...and it's raining,
and you spent the whole cold dark wet morning filling bags on top of bags
with tons of stuff that you don't need, or want, or care about,
and they're loaded up for throwing out,
and you're emptied out and numb and you see a little green heart on the ground......
that's nice until you look closer and see it's broken already.
what i mean is:
peak foliage season doesn't look like it's coming this year.
there's no bright sprankley warm-hued maple exxxxplosion to send us into the ending.
it's just bad fade to worse fade to worst.
i see love but i'm looking at it wrong,
or i see leaves and attach value to my feelings because i'm too sensitive.
maybe both;
never quiet, never soft.....


ian and albee visited for a bit.

that was really great.
albee is a good baby;
ian is a good friend;
and me?
well, i guess i had some cake to offer,
and that's something, at least.
i like it when the Folk Life & Liberty Fortress has Folk Life friends in it.
it really helps.
and help is something i don't know much about, but i sure like it when i feel it.
and that baby!
handsome, like his papa, and lovely like his ma.....
plus, his name sounds F*ing expert.
i love those people;

Wednesday, October 2


i made my head waaaaaaay too big.

i have a little bitty weirdy-shaped peanut head.
that's the truth.
and maybe that shirt looks like a polo.
and i've never played horseback croquet or whatever the eff polo even is.
i know what i look like.
....basically a small-headed different-shirted version of this.
guess who wasn't tattooing and had a pen and some time?
there it is;
never quiet, never soft.....



october is when you do this sort of thing;


i made my sweeeet baby lady woman something special.
we were laughin' late at night about old treats for autumn.
that's not funny.
pandowdy? that's a hoot.
grunts and slumps? c'mon....
in your mouth????
i want that.
so i made that.
biscuity batter over fruit blops, with sugar sprankles?
yes, please.
i modified the recipe i was imagining.
i didn't use a real written-down one,
but i changed my imagination to also include gluten-freedom for her.

THAT'S how i said bye bye to september.
with a big bowlful of baked APPLE SCRUFFS!
seven apples, peeled, cored, sliced, and simmered in maple syrup and brown sugar?!
you want the recipe?
you got it-
preheat the oven to 375℉
simmer 7 properly prepared apples in  2 quart saucepot on low heat,
with 3 T maple syrup;
3 T brown sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.
maybe give 'em a pinch of salt.
how about also a squirt of lemon juice, too, to make it better.
do that.
in a medium mixing bowl, combine:
1/2 cup mama's almond flour blend;
1/4 cup bob's 1:1 gf flour;
1/2 cup bob's all purpose gf flour blend;
1/4 cup bob's gf oat bran;
1 tsp vanilla;
1 tsp baking soda;
1 tsp baking powder;
1/2 cup demerara sugar;
4 T vegan butter;
cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice;
1/2 cup non-dairy vanilla yogurt;
3 T non-dairy milk.
it should be a thick and cakey and awesome.
add the simmered apples to a pie pan,
and spoon blops of the batter over the top.
add some demerara sugar sprankles.
add some gf oat sprankles.
bake it for thirty minutes.....
the cake will rise, the apples will soften further,
and the whole thing will be SOOOO F*ing awesome.
make sure you add vegan ice cream to your bowlful,
to fully activate the exxxtra smooth magical creamy goodness.
i should also mention that that's waaaaaay more batter than the pie pan can handle.
i made another 6" cake as well....just so you're aware.
this'll make enough hottness for exxxtra cake.
my little lovely lady doesn't eat gluten, man.
we all know this.
so i'll make a no-gluten treat when i wanna so we can have a little fun.
that's right, i'll share a grunt or a slump with her.
maybe both.
that's nice.
i'm not good at most things,
so i get so excited about the things i can do.
i'm sayin', i made up a recipe about wheatless apple goodness.
now, if only i could make up a functional method of behaving.
the treats tho;
never quiet, never soft.....


i said the magic words.....and it started raining.
shoutouts to a wet start.
shoutouts to a dark day, in the literal sense.
shoutouts to bright horizons, figuratively.
shoutouts to treats.
and shout out that spellcast blast past your pursed lips, kids:
rabbit! rabbit!
cultivate coincidence and garner fortune's favors for yourself.
all you gotta do is remember to speak it first things first, or else.
y'know what else you gotta remember?
cinnamon rolls.
rules is rules, neighbors.
we say the thing, we make the thing.
that's how it is around here.
and to start october right, i put the spiral to some new hottness:
don't even act like those don't be LOOKIN'.
i know they do.
i doo-doo that spooky sh!t, son.
what's good about 'em?
the centers are super soft.
the edges are very firm.
they're sticky af.
the nuts are crunchy, 
but they compliment the softness of the brown sugary buttery pumpkin filling.
the icing is thick, 
and full-bodied with vegan creamchee' and vanilla and cinnamon.
and the pecan sprankles?
too much is the right amount.
that's real.
i'll give you the recipe, and you ca get buy with a batch of your own.
i will warn you, i took down seven of these babies, in two sessions.
the first five went in while warm, and that was too easy-
but the last two were cooled, and sticky, and F*ing awesome.
you've been warned.
preheat your oven to 375℉.
line a 10" cast-iron pan with parchment.
1 cup non-dairy milk;
1 tsp vanilla;
4 T vegan butter;
3 T pumpkin puree;
1 T maple syrup over low heat until the butts melt.
cool it off so it doesn't kill your yeast in a minute.
meanwhile in a stand-mixer with a dough hook, 
or by hand if you really wanna have no fun,
3 cups king arthur bread flour;
1/2 tsp salt;
1/4 cup sugar;
1 pkg active dry yeast;
1 tsp fast-actin' bread machine yeast;
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in that order of quantity, 
from a shake to a pinch.
mix that well, add the milky magic, and knead it for 11 minutes.
cover it and let it rise for fifteen minutes.
for the filling, chop 1/2 cup pecans, and set aside.
in a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together:
5 T vegan butter;
1 cup brown sugar;
3 T pumpkin puree;
3 T demerara sugar;
cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, etc...
1 tsp vanilla.
roll the dough on a floured surface into a rectangle.
spread the sugar mixture evenly across the whole surface, 
leaving a small dough margin along one long edge of your rectangle.
sprink' those nuts all over the top of the sugar, and roll it up,
moistening that beige unsugared edge to seal it shut.
cut the resulting roll in half, then in half, then in thirds,
and arrange them with the smooth-cut sides up in the pan.
let them rise again for another fifteen minutes,
then bake them for 33 or until they look gold enough for you.
that's when you pull 'em out and ice their spiraled swirly tops.
i used:
1/2 cup powdered sugar;
1 tsp vanilla;
2 T vegan creamchee',
and enough s'milk to make 'it spreadably thiccc.
a spoonful at a time is the way to go, bro. for sure.
...and then add MORE nuts.
i mean. 
now i'm not saying that cinnamon pecan rolls are going to make october better.
but they made it start better.
i went to work, got a new phone for taking new pictures and sending more texts,
and calling all the right people, and on and on.
i made some art.
i vacuumed the shop, twice.
i did things.
i do things, sometimes.
and, i started my hallowe'en costume at night.
a little rainy day hot glue situation had me staring at myself and cutting foam
for the face portion of the costume.
this year, i think i need to make an accessory costume the kids can also wear.
i think that's important, too.
a berserker barbarian space robobotron warlord is cool and all,
but what if he had a little sidekick?
and that might make everybody happier,
and a little happiness is something i'll latch onto so hard right now.
it's all really happening.
it isn't much, but it's more than last month, for certain;
never quiet, never soft.....