For the last month.. Ive had my radio on 24/7, since the TV..well I only play the VCR on it.
I dont even watch the news.
Instead, I leave the little clock radio in my bedroom on Bloomberg Radio 24/7, the business and information service.
Eh.. I like my music loud, but sometimes music on the radio just irritates me.
Bloomberg Radio is serious and yet very New York - which means the anchors are opinionated, albeit classical radio quietly.
On the weekends, they tape a regular little session with former mayor Ed Koch and former senator Al D'amato, old-school New Yorkers.
Its - lively - to say the least. :-)
Anchor: "....and about the upcoming execution of Timothy McViegh.."
D'amato: "In case you missed that, that's sizzle. He is gonna *fry*. Good..."
Oh lord. New Yorkers.
I chased some teenage kids off my roof this afternoon...
They were just being curious, wandering out the window of the apartment they'd just moved into.
I dont want them feeling free to come peering into my place, which is level with the roof.
I dont want them being curious and opening up a window to come INTO my place.
I dont want them coming in and burgling my place, which is going to be having a shitload of electronics very soon.
There was a deepening in bass and tone.
The girls froze.
And looked around.
There are indeed times when being a big, black guy comes in handy.
"You *CANT* be up here."
When you get older, all that is needed is an emphasis and a hint of a snarl to scare 'em.
They soundlessly wheeled and scampered off the roof very quickly.
I'm Mister effing Wilson now.
And since kids have the perspective of gnats, they'll be back eventually.
Normally, I would let kids play and get into mischief.
But now... Im aware just how much of a hassle it is to go to court to clean up after kids 'mischief' nowadays.
I swear, I used to be cool.
So, now I have to add 'window guards' on my shopping list.
Saturday, June 09, 2001
For the last month.. Ive had my radio on 24/7, since the TV..well I only play the VCR on it.
CUBS WIN!! CUBS WIN!!
Da Cubbies are hahtt!!.
Leave me alone.....
Lemme enjoy this. *sigh* They'll swoon in the summer heat as usual.
It'll soon be late september, the ivy on the walls of Wrigley Field will be still green and da Cubbies will be swept by their arch-rival St. Louie Cardinals in the last home series where it'll be standing room only, because only the die-hards Cub and Cards fans will care that THIS is the Championship Series that wont happen again this year.
As a Boston Red Sox fan said to me the other day.. "We're ALL closet Cub fans".
One thing that pisses me off about living in New York, is that I cant get Chicago superstation WGN here, only on satellite... and I miss having Cubs and White Sox games playing idly in the background (Cubs during the afternoon, Sox at night) no matter what store or building I go into.
Just aint summertime in the Chicago area widout it.
Shit. Its just not *summertime* widout it. :-(
So, thats why - even tho the Piggy Bank has long had its throat cut for the greater good - I walked out of the local Radio Shack perusing the DirectTV brochure, comparing it with the new Dish Network PVR system.
Yeah, I fully anticipate being back in the swing agin.
When youre nesting - even if you have no loot now - no plan, no detail is insignificant.
And Cub games on the wall mounted 42" plasma display screen will make it feel like home. :-)
Sometimes shopping is sweeter when you have no loot.
JPennant: you want to learn how to make rice and peas?
JPennant: using a big thick walled pot....
JPennant: The best beans are red beans
kate12: now this is sounding spanish to me
kate12: red beans and rice...
kate12: maybe the spices are diff?
JPennant: except the best ones are the DARK red ones.
JPennant: lessee you will need
JPennant: a few red chili peppers, small.
JPennant: dried coconuts
JPennant: salt of course
JPennant: do not substitute onions for scallions
kate12: I adore scallions
kate12: but I might have to cut back on the chilis
JPennant: I said small. :-)
kate12: ya, ya okay
JPennant: one or two is enough
JPennant: this is enough to fill a big pot
JPennant: and here is why it takes so long to make
JPennant: you will have to either finely grater the dried coconuts
JPennant: or puree it, but not too fine.
kate12: you mean all the meat of an entire coconut?
JPennant: half a coconut is usually sufficient
kate12: what do you mean dried?
JPennant: you have fresh coconuts
JPennant: where the meat is all gelatinous
JPennant: or dried, where it comes in the brown husks
kate12: I don't think i've ever seen a gelatinous coconut
JPennant: go to any spanish markets
kate12: ohhhhhh...the ones I see have the brown shells
kate12: no kidding!
JPennant: didnt anyone give you coconut juice?
kate12: when you crack the coconut open
kate12: the milk escapes
kate12: very watery
JPennant: did they split open the shell for you?
JPennant: Its like Jelly then.
JPennant: I prefer fresh juice.
kate12: fresh coconut is so wonderful
JPennant: very soda-like cuz of the potassium :-)
kate12: anway...I could toss that in the food processor
JPennant: but dont puree it TOO fine
kate12: actually, I liked it shaved coarsely
JPennant: if you do you get the husks in your food. Not fun.
kate12: I'll remember that
JPennant: you put it in a fine strainer
JPennant: and squeeze the juice out
JPennant: squeeze until its dried fiber
JPennant: that juice is VERY concentrated.
JPennant: okay, the stock and beans
JPennant: I prefer to soak my beans in a mug overnight
JPennant: reduces the farting later. :-)
kate12: lol...wait...back up..
kate12: which stock?
JPennant: Im about to get to it
kate12: hey, at least I'm paying attention
JPennant: basically, what youre gonna do is boil the beans until theyre cooked.
kate12: how long does that take? if presoaked, not as long, right?
JPennant: right, but at least an hour or two
kate12: do you pressure cook them or just in an open pot?
kate12: or a covered pot?
JPennant: you can pressure cook them, but then the stock isnt as rich
JPennant: either way
kate12: okay...I don't own a pressure cooker anyway
JPennant: anyway, add the seasonings to the water, including the pepper :-)
kate12: k (throwing one pepper aside)
JPennant: some people put a little salted ox-tail, piece of cured beef or bacon, sometimes a little beef buillion.
JPennant: personal preference
JPennant: just a little
kate12: for flavoring
JPennant: add the beans and simmer until the beans are nearly cooked
JPennant: usually when theyre still firm, but can be eaten.
JPennant: that'll usually take an hour or two
JPennant: at that point, add the coconut juice
JPennant: if the juice is rancid or bitter, dont use it
kate12: boy, this sounds good
JPennant: the reason you add the coconut juice so late is that it 'curdles'
JPennant: and kinda accumulates to the side
kate12: ah...like whey?
JPennant: the stock will be dark red
JPennant: and the beans should be firm, but ready to fall apart.
JPennant: undercook them and I'll guarantee farting :-)
kate12: well...I'll keep some Bean-o handy just in case
JPennant: plus they get chalky later when theyre undercooked.
JPennant: now, there is a reason you cook so much
JPennant: I'll tell you why when Im done
kate12: thank you
kate12: *rolls eyes*
JPennant: anyways :-)
JPennant: you add the rice
JPennant: purists like parboiled or Uncle Bens.
kate12: and you?
JPennant: I prefer Uncle Ben's, but parboiled is good too.
JPennant: Rice and peas suck when the rice is overcooked
kate12: this sounds like the critical part of the cooking
JPennant: this is where the experience counts, and why you want a thick shelled pot.
JPennant: you bring the water to a full boil from the simmer
JPennant: add the rice and stir
JPennant: to mix beans, rice, seasonings, coconut 'whey', all that
JPennant: and then you bring it back down to a loooooow simmer
JPennant: cover the pot
kate12: I could see that coconut whey scorching
JPennant: well, not really
JPennant: its now a part of the mixture when you stir it in
JPennant: when its almost cooked, tear a piece of a supermarket paper bag, enough to cover the pot opening.
JPennant: turn down the fire to bare minimum
JPennant: or off if its basically cooked already
JPennant: or if the pot retains heat well
JPennant: and cover the pot with the paper bag between the cover and the pot
JPennant: some folk use foil
kate12: why the paper there?
JPennant: you want the rice to absorb the moisture and yet you want to get rid of some of the moisture
JPennant: because the beans are sodden and soaked already. it wont absorb any more water
kate12: k..couldn't you do that by taking the lid off?
JPennant: you still want it to slow cook
JPennant: this is the old fashioned way
JPennant: but it gives you all the flavor
JPennant: it takes trial and error to get it right.. I just gave you a short cut :-)
kate12: you may save me from a soggy mess
JPennant: better to have too much rice than too little
JPennant: and then leave the pot like that for about a half hour more.
JPennant: and youre done.
JPennant: now since it takes so damned long to make properly
kate12: takes as long as it took my Italian aunts to make spaghetti sauce
JPennant: thas why rice and peas is usually only cooked for sunday dinner
kate12: I can see why..prolly started on saturday
JPennant: yeah, there are a zillion easier ways to do it
kate12: it sounds wonderful though
JPennant: this is me growing up with it
JPennant: I tried the shorter ways (no coconut, scallion or thyme)
JPennant: and I go back to the old ways
kate12: there's something to be said for authenticity
JPennant: its not really that.
kate12: what's that saying? "accept no substitutes"
JPennant: its like Jerked pork
JPennant: or chicken
kate12: never had that
JPennant: once you have it made the RIGHT way, you dont accept it any other way.
kate12: I can understand that
JPennant: Port Antonio is famous for jerked meats
JPennant: vendors selling it by the side of the road.
kate12: I remember lots of vendors cooking by the roadside
kate12: and lots of plantains?
JPennant: thats your rice dish
JPennant: sometimes you boil an overripe plantain in the stock and take it out before you add the rice.
kate12: thank you...I saved your instructions
JPennant: Im not done yet
kate12: then why don't I hush up
kate12: of course, you gave me NO measurements
JPennant: course not, because you cook 'just enough' and for taste
JPennant: personal preference and all
JPennant: the same techniques work for enough for one to a pot for 50
JPennant: ok now, so youve cooked a CRAPLOAD of rice and peas
JPennant: and unless youve got hungry men coming for thirds (me)
JPennant: you will have about half a pot left over.
JPennant: by the way, the meat to go with this.. beef, chicken, pork
JPennant: the different meats give it a different flavor
JPennant: I prefer stewed chicken. Everything but fish. Fish never goes quite right with rice and peas.
JPennant: personal preference
kate12: *nod* I steam chicken a lot
JPennant: heheh.. I'll get to stewed chicken in a bit. :-)
JPennant: just ask :-)
JPennant: AMAZINGLY versatile leftover food
kate12: I could see it as a filling for something
kate12: like a taco
JPennant: here is one recipe I learned from my half-chinese girlfriends mother.
JPennant: it makes STUPENDOUS fried rice :-)
JPennant: I always went over Mrs Hew's house for monday dinner :-)
kate12: lucky you
JPennant: Here is how she made it
JPennant: bsically you add vegetables and slices of meats to it
JPennant: and fry it
JPennant: what SHE did was add fresh shelled shrimp :-)
JPennant: oh yes :-)
kate12: but...an oriental sauce as well?
JPennant: doesnt need it
kate12: so just some flavored oil?
JPennant: the rice shoud be flavorful cause you made it like that, remember?
kate12: I remember
JPennant: add spices, herbs
JPennant: of course the oil is to fry it, but you dont want it oily
kate12: well, you don't use much...a tablespoon or two
JPennant: wok does it well....
kate12: that sounds so good
JPennant: but I use a 'dutch' pot because you want to SEAR it without burning
kate12: does it freeze well?
JPennant: yeah, but it gets hard then
JPennant: an you have to steam it back to life
kate12: what interesting imagery that conjures up
JPennant: the fried rice? Yes, it freezes very well.
JPennant: so add fresh shelled shrimp
JPennant: ground chili pepper
kate12: more pepper?!
JPennant: yeah, cause its fresh
JPennant: youre reheating rice, but you want the meal to taste fresh.
kate12: I know
JPennant: thats the joy of rice and peas. leftovers. :-)
JPennant: cause it goes with everything
JPennant: For instance.. curried chicken. :-)
kate12: some foods are just so much better when reheated
JPennant: curried chicken with rice and peas is addictive
kate12: and curried chickens sounds like great accompaniment'
JPennant: remember, Jamaican cooking is caribbean, asian and indian.. basically.
kate12: I never realized that
kate12: never realized the asian piece
JPennant: yup :-)
JPennant: didnt you clock onto all the chinese and korean folk around? :-)
kate12: would you believe no?
JPennant: most people only notice black :-)
JPennant: when I tell folk Im mixed race.. they only think in terms of 'half'
kate12: what's your ancestry?
JPennant: if Im not 'half'.. Im black
kate12: that's silly
JPennant: thas how america works.
kate12: in some parts, perhaps
kate12: not all
JPennant: Among caribbean folk, Im mixxed.. most people think Im dominican.
JPennant: West African of course
JPennant: there is chinese in there somehow.. but we cant pin it on any one person
kate12: great blend
JPennant: Indian = east indian
JPennant: Most black folk are mixed anyway.
JPennant: Heheh. Id tell most non-immigrant white folk that its VERY likely they have black blood in 'em. :-)
JPennant: seriously :-)
kate12: oh I know
JPennant: all of us are mutts :-)
kate12: just chuckling
JPennant: I loved that line from the Sopranos
kate12: which one?
JPennant: where Meadow is talking about a mulatto girl.. and she said "Shit, we italians are blacker than she is."
JPennant: yeah... another food I kill for is roti
kate12: what is that?
JPennant: essentially stewed curried meat, usually beef
JPennant: with naan
kate12: sounds flavorful
kate12: now what's naan?
JPennant: although some people use pita
kate12: like a chapati?
JPennant: usually guyanese and trinidadian folk make it the best
JPennant: closer to the indian source
kate12: now, do you ever offset that, as the Indians do, with something cool and dairy, like raita?
JPennant: errrr... why? :-)
kate12: it just seems like a nice complement
JPennant: you WANT that stinging aftertaste :-)
kate12: not me
kate12: thx for the recipe
JPennant: like clockwork
kate12: dependability is good ;-)
She was cool about me taking the picture. I took another one of the dog I think.
Saturdays is when many New Yorkers go back to the centuries old tradition and browse the farmers wares.
This being Manhattan, its just slightly more expensive than usual - but you can find very hi-quality produce. Manhattanites being the discerning sort, usually.
What IS surprising, is the amount of flowers on sale at the Manhattan GreenMarket. Fully a third of the vendors turn the square surrounding the Union Square park into a veritable nursery.
Its an amazing sight, particularly around now.
On Saturdays, you'd invariably find cyn here....
Friday, June 08, 2001
JPennant: Went to da Bronx for much of yesterday. was interesting
laura: why do you say that?
laura: the bx is a 3rd world country
laura: country, in every sense of the word.
JPennant: is its own world, yes.
JPennant: I liked it
JPennant: specially by the grand concourse and Hunts Point
JPennant: Went with someone who wants to chronicle some of the mural and graffiti artists
laura: graffitti by real artists is pretty cool
JPennant: very much so. Awesome work.
JPennant: it should be a good site.
laura: but the bx is a damned mess and there is no real excuse for that type of crap in america
laura: the poverty and all the oppressed behavior that comes with it--
JPennant: it could be so much more.
laura: the graffitti would still be there, but it wouldnt be as distressing-- it could be arts for arts sake.
laura: have you noticed the "memorials?"
JPennant: went to several.
laura: notice how young the dead cats are?
laura: born in the mid 80's!
laura: i wonder what type of commission the artists get for that type of work
laura: there are a few really nice ones in my nabe
JPennant: saw some in Staten Island. Seems a lotta Bronx folk have moved to SI.
laura: but you know, i'd rather see the pretty ones commemorating the birth of a new kid then the death of an old kid
- I like my bank actually. Theyre big, theyre fairly convenient and although they charge entirely too much for a basic account and fuck with my deposits for a week (I know, they take a BROAD NY .. they dont do this shytte in other states...interpretation of the law requiring banks to have YOUR money available to you within 2 days.. by the time theyve taken advantage of every loophole and kited your cash for maximum profitt, an actual week has passed before all your money is available to you..), it really is no different from your average blood-sucking NY bank, same crap, different stench, so theyre pretty decent out of a bad lot, all things considering.
But for me to deposit a check, I have to leave the *#$^%%#&@( state, because there are no branches in the entire North Jersey area!!!!
They are a GLOBAL bank, with branches in every state of the union, fer chrissakes.
And they force me to cross the river to a place where they have 4 branches within 6 blocks of each other???
Can you effing BELIEVE that shytte???
- I am not a ($&%^$*#)% web page designer. I $#^%^#( dont like screwing with Other People's Computers, to the point that the thought of another help desk job gives me the sweats.
So why do assholes keep wanting me to make web sites for them, for no recompense?
Even when I say 'NO' many, many times?
- I wish I could get the funds to stabilize this sitiuation and get the equipment and agreements to started on the projects. Now. Make my landlord un-nervous about me and me working towards all this.
I know, I know, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
Doesnt make it any more fun, shytte.
Ok, that felt a little better.
Wednesday, June 06, 2001
If you feel uncomfortable in your business suit, you may be trying to maintain an image that isn't
Your financial situation improves when you give up a bad habit.
Don't be afraid of disappointment because you will learn from it.
There's so much to do, and yet, it all seems to stand still if an important cog in the wheel breaks.
Keep humor and philosophy at hand, and keep learning as you meet the needs of the moment.
Don't settle for less when it comes to love.
To my favorite Gemini
Happy Belated, Poo.
Okay.. this is brilliant.
This is effing brilliant.
Make it with the strong, harsh colonial versions (ie: British, Hong Kong, Trinidadian etc) and youve got yourself an automatic winner.
Starbux, I give this idea freely. Go. Serve it and they will come.
I would LIVE at Starbux if they offered it. (Not that I wouldnt be there anyways, but..)
gg: Uhhh, yeah Joe. You REALLY have your hand on the pulse of the american experience.
*blink* Whaddya mean. Shit.. part of the reason I love NewYork is that I can find Ovaltine stuff from all over the world in almost any Brooklyn neighborhood.
Man, this is high energy and addictive comfort food. Add the espresso shots and you cant miss.
It would work. Im tellin' ya..slap a snooty coffee shop logo on it and serve.
They will come.
JPennant: Last night, being the asshole made me consider if this is something I should be doing.
Nancy: not should be.... want to be doing....
JPennant: the difference has become indistinguishable, really.
Nancy: then something is wrong... if you really want to be doing it then you'd have no doubts...
JPennant: Its not doubt
JPennant: Its the realization that in doing this, I have to change in ways I didnt anticipate to accomodate it.
Nancy: one of the things ****** has realized too...
Nancy: it aint easy to compromise sometimes...
JPennant: Sure isnt.
JPennant: yep, youre right
JPennant: plus I dont want to drive away ALL my friends. sheesh.
JPennant: Im listening to Bloomberg Radio
JPennant: and the place that served the Bush girls their margaritas, are now being investigated by the Texas Liquor Commission
Nancy: ah duh....
JPennant: and they quote the manager as saying
JPennant: "Maybe it was a mistake calling 911 to report the Bush girls." :-)
Nancy: oh god
Nancy: texas people ::::shudder::::
JPennant: <--- dyin laffin
(Texas folk, dont go sending Nancy yer hatred. I find New York natives oft have an antipathy to things Texan. Not sure why....)
T and the FireTruck
I DO remember it being cold beyond belief that night.
Tuesday, June 05, 2001
In 1984, while I was being young and typically brattish - I was asked a seminal question....
"Are you gonna be an asshole ALL your life?"
I AM an asshole.
I took heed of that warning.
And I tried not to be.. except, I knew an intrinsic truth.
Sometimes you have to BE an asshole.
Lets just say.. when I see Mayor Guiliani sacking his police chief, or getting rid of someone who was at cross-purposes to what he's trying to achieve...
Or Steve Jobs.. well, being Steve Jobs.
Now I get it.
Today I did exactly that. And I had good reason.
It may be unpleasant, but now I see why it has to be done.
Sometimes you have to be an asshole to get things done.
Greater good and all that shytte.
And you cant always be nice about it.
But, no... I dont want to be an asshole all my life.
Wandering around manhattan. Found that the latest fad were coffeehouses done as black/r&b/jazz themed with a world class pastry chef.. reminded me wood-panelled steak houses.
As I was going into one I bumped into a tall, pretty bubbly woman.
She seemed awful glad to meet me.
When in the coffee house, I took a seat and had a simple coffee. (I seemed to be broke in the dream too, gahdurnit.)
When I looked back, there was the woman, who waved at me from her table... then invited herelf to mine.
We had a great old time, her buying, with the pastry chef personally coming over to give us our orders. WOW, she had an appetite. Enjoyed her pastry.
We walked out to Central Park, the streets beautiful after a rain, she talking a mile a minute.. me not saying much.
Then when it came time to find out who she was ... a horde of media folk came out of nowhere.. to accuse her, Julia Roberts, of merely picking me up in a long tradition of picking men up.
I remember not wanting to being one of many (the song Little Red Corvette going through my mind) so I quietly drifted off, leaving her to face the media horde, not intending to get in touch with her.
I remember wondering afterward if it was the right thing to do. She seemed awful nice. It seemed if I had never known who she was and her history.....
Segue past what seemed to be a bus crash carrying chinese immigrant women who were coming back from the supermarket. As if I were in the middle of TV broadcast, but not. It seemed the bus had crashed in the rain into a junkyard, with injured women, brightly colored shopping bags and groceries strewn all over. Hazmat folk were dumping the groceries, which seemed wrong somehow as the women had traveled far to simply get their groceries.
Past the junkyard, just outside of the New York City limits, I stumbled upon people skyjumping from hundreds of feet up from a tower.
I joined them jumping, in the drizzle, in the rain. We all had to walk back a long way to the buses.. this being New York, and the buses only going out so far.
As dreams do, it became surreal, as I stumbled upon a video shoot.. for, Im not sure.. it seemed to be a multi-cultural array of hula dancers, all colors, all models, with hooting beachgoers writhed with movie smoke and real fog. Then with a flash and much smoke, a neon yellow, new volkswagen beetle extended pickup truck roared over a ramp and skidded to a stop on the rain-slicked beach.
I remember thinking that it looked awfully like a Mustang II, and I wouldnt buy one.
Okie, thas the last time I have a day-old custard donut for lunch, and have coffee with a bright, bubbly woman who monopolizes the conversation...
Maria's Bakery, now Dragon's Land , in Chinatown.
Miss my cold Ovaltine mixes.
Monday, June 04, 2001
I have mice in my walls.
Thats what I thought, because apart from my neighbors walking up and down the stairs and hearing the footsteps from the one above...my place has been very quiet.
Then I realized that someone was in the apartment in the building right next to mine.
I knew that since that apartment is right above the Dawg House club.. that it had been empty as no one could take the noise for long.
I went outside this evening and saw what I think is furniture from that apartment for the garbage collection in the morning.
Hmm. The couch looked clean. Hmm.
Shit. Essentially brand new.
In another life, I woulda grabbed it.
(Thinking of the Da-Da-Dah VW commercial..)
Flea spray (hard lesson, long story for another time) and some steam cleaning.. and Im good to go.
But Im an adult now. Thrift store dumpster diving .. no. Is verboten if I want to have some style in my place.
"But Im broke.." my inner voice whined.
I thought about it a bit, and said no.
I have a plan and I need to stick to it.
No curbside shopping.
Plus Im too lazy lug that thing up the stairs.....
Sunday, June 03, 2001
Looking back on my old diary (Before the Blog)
Things have changed. And yet, its like I was anticipating things that are happening now...
I dont need a room. I need a place.
And if it means moving out to the hellhole of Joisey (where I still
have outstanding speeding tickets).. so be it.
*Whistle* Prescient or what?
And on 11.21.2000
And yet, I get the strangest feeling that this hump shall pass
and things will get better, as long as I keep my eye on the ball.
There is a feeling of urgency with
this. As if I can go far and long,
but my success depends on me
committing myself and getting up
to speed quickly to take
advantage of upcoming
Ive got too much riding on this to
drop the ball.
The only thing I would ask the Genie of the Lamp for is...
Foresight with all the perspective of Hindsight.
Then again, part of the fun of life is not really knowing whats ahead, aint it.
Sun and Birds in Flight
Yes indeed, Jules and Brian... New York is beautiful in the fall.