30 July 2009

Uh-Oh Big Papi

I am not surprised that Manny or Big Papi tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003--I can't believe anybody is really surprised. Ortiz was mediocre at best as a Twin and then all of a sudden he erupts as the most dominant hitter in the league. Come on. We have seen his performance decline sharply since more stringent testing began, leading many to believe--myself included--that he was using.

Really what this new article from the New York Times accentuates for me is just truly how good A-Rod (and I must grudgingly admit, Manny) really are. Before and after the years they were using PEDs, their numbers appear remarkably similar to the years when the WERE using. They still hit the crap out of the ball. They still put fear in every pitcher they face. Which begs the question: Why use PEDs in the first place?

Oh, and I have one more question: What are fans in St. Louis going to do when Pujols' name leaks next?

One From the Road

Going to see Pettitte tonight at the Cell!

26 July 2009

Botulism Anyone?

So, my friend Theresa asked where I got the pickling recipes. I found them all on the internet, and they are all relatively the same. Some add both dill seed and dill weed (which I find to be a great pejorative, btw) while others forgo one or the other. Anyway, I was quite pleased with the actual process of pickling--despite my aforementioned mishap--and happy to have attempted something in the genre of what I like to call Epicurean Americana.

Then, while looking for other pickling recipes I checked out a different website: National Center for Home Food Preservation. What I saw there scared the bederekjeter out of me. And now all I can think of is whether the tart crispiness of pickled rutabaga is worth the tremors and sweats of botulism. Anyone?

24 July 2009

A Bit of a Pickle

Okay, we did it. Court and I have finally cemented our DINK liberal status by joining a cooperative farm. I would say that we are threatening to become socialists; however, we do not have to put in any work. No toiling to till fields. No dripping sweat over the pea plants when there is not enough rain in Minnesota's parched July. No extracting root vegetables from the worm-infested dirt. I did get my hands dirty picking the veggies from the buckets and putting them in our eco-friendly bags.

So here's the deal: Every Wednesday night we go to Thorn Crest farm in Dundas, Minnesota and pick up our bounty for the week. They are an organic farm, and we know the vegetables are fresh because the dirt is still moist. It costs $275 for 11 weeks, or $25 dollars a week. And it forces us to try new vegetables (kohlrabi and rutabaga) and experiment with vegetables we might not be so keen on (beets). This past Wednesday we returned home with 19lbs of vegetables and no real plan.

Then, I had an epickleny. I got some canning jars and some pickling supplies and got to it. Cucumbers, obviously. Kohlrabi, check. Rutabaga, you betcha. I bought two bottles of distilled water because every recipe clearly states USING DISTILLED WATER IS VERY IMPORTANT. The recipes basically yell it out. We're talking flashing lights.
Bold letters. Italics. Different colored font (red usually). And in one recipe, I swear to John Irving this is true, the warning was bold, italicized, red, and over-sized.

And I used tap water. Fuck. And now I have three jars that may or may not be undergoing the process of transmogrification in the back of my refrigerator.

Somewhere Bobby Flay is not planning a Throwdown.

23 June 2009

Promises, Promises

There are times when I know I have failed. Today is one of those times. I stepped on the scale this morning and it read 304. Which, back in January, I would have been thrilled about because it would have meant that I had lost 13 pounds. However, in March I got down to 290. So, once again, the pendulum has swung back in the wrong direction.

It hurts, too, because I can see it as it happens. The trips to the gym start to evaporate. The alcohol begins to flow a little faster. The dinners out occur more frequently.

And then I am back over 300. Great for a first baseman's batting average. Bad for a 32 year old's weight.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about the fact that I don't shave often, I continue to wear sweat-ridden tee shirts until the evening, and that my weight is a problem. All of these things I have been churning about in my head frequently for the past couple of weeks since a friend of mine is having marital difficulties because his wife doesn't find him attractive anymore. And I think about Courtney and that most likely, because of these very same reasons, there will come a time--if it hasn't already come--when she will not find me attractive anymore. And so I am struggling with how to adjust my lacksidasical grooming and presentation with the fact that there is someone who I want to be attracted to me.

So...I am promising a few things:
  1. I am going to shave more often. At least twice a week. Starting as soon as I find my razor this afternoon.
  2. I am going to be back at 290 by my birthday (July 16). At that point, I will reset my next weight-loss goal.
  3. I am going to work to look more presentable when we have company over or when we go out in public.
(As an aside to #3, I saw this couple in the Burnsville Mall today and she was dressed nicely, while he was unshaven and was wearing a tee-shirt with cut-off sleeves. He looked like shit.)

We'll see how it goes. I don't want to make too many promises in hopes that I can actually meet those that I do promise.

25 March 2008

Brand New Dalai Lama Shit

The Middle Way

In a tiger’s hands
my dog will squirm and fall slack.
No match. Not even close.


The Dalai Lama
knows a tiger’s strength; he knows
to mind his hands.

China as metaphor
cannot silence a yelping dog.


My tiger is death.
Unlike the Dalai Lama,
I fight guerilla

wars. I trust in violence.
I squirm until I fall slack.

19 March 2008


Almost seven years ago, I was getting ready to self-publish a chapbook of poetry with the help of my friends at Galuminumfoil Productions. I had a difficult time coming up with a fitting title; the poems were nothing really--thoughts, observations, silly little 10 cent plastic thrift store pigs sold at the register to impulsive buyers. But there were a lot of them (for a self-published, first chapbook), and, at least to me, collectively they meant something.

My wife bought these little pigs. Hundreds of them over our time living in Amenia, New York. She gave them to anybody she felt needed one, and she noticed they made people smile. One afternoon she came home with a bagful, and when I asked her how many she bought she replied, "Five dollars worth."

And I realized that was a lot of pigs, and that, in a way, my poems were much like these dimestore pigs. So I titled my collection accordingly.

These days I live in Minnesota and don't write as much as I need to. I miss my friends in Brooklyn who challenge me to be a better person, my Yankees in the Bronx, my sushi restaurant in Jamaica Plain, my brother singing karaoke in Queens, my mother in North Syracuse waiting for us to move back.

And once again, perhaps, my wife has come to my rescue, introducing me to the idea of blogging. It seems to me that these posts could prove a lot like poems--little 10 cent pigs that, perhaps, can make someone smile.