Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Miracle

My family just boarded a transcontinental airplane and I still don't have the Christmas ham! Or such was the situation 5 minutes ago. It comes as no surprise to learn that I have left dinner preparations to Christmas Eve. At 4:30pm, unsure even if the butcher was open, I popped out the door, strode down the street, and crept through the meatsmith's faux-snow freckled door. The racks stood empty. Some lonely pepperoni sat in a fridge. Things looked grim indeed. "Hello?" called the butcher. "Ham," I replied. "Ham for whom?" inquired the man. "For the family," I said, cringing anticipatorily. "You're in luck! We just got a call 2 minutes ago: a cancellation."

Giant leg of ham = MINE!

It's times like this, I'm almost tempted to believe in Santa Clause.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


The neat thing about growing up is you get to watch the world grow up with you. Given as I am to narcissism and projection, I see the world as a reflection of me. This allows me to indirectly understand certain things about myself by examining my views of the external world. For example, I have this indelible sense that "modern day" culture started in 1998. I've thought this for a long time. Probably as far back as late '99. For me, 1998 was the dawn of the 21st century. The last vestages of neon clothing and rollerskates lay in the Goodwill Graveyard and the 90's were behind us. The culture of my Gen-X predescessors had finally set and a new world, one all my own, was dawning.

Culture obviously changes all the time and there is nothing special or correct or mature about the late ninties. That I feel that there is reveals something about my own maturation. I would be hard-pressed to think objectively about my own personal growth at that young age (all of my memories are first-person). But my perceptions of the world that survive those formative years expose a metaphor for my own growth. If I thought "modern culture" was born in '98, it is probably because some part of me started then. Probably puberty. 12 is about the age.

I'm sure most people have some year in their mind when the world "really started." I think it would be a fun party to have everyone dress in that style. You'd need a diverse age range.

Don't fly to the sun if you can't take the heat.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Give Them Hope

Milk is not playing in NZ that I can tell. I hear generally positive things.

No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problem

One nice thing about New Zealand is that businesses don't seem to mind barefootedness. I've taken to walking all over the place in my naked feetsies. It's starting to do a number on my heals as my callouses catch up to my walking habits, but I find it much liberatinger than shoes. I've never liked shoes. They're too constrictive. In lots of ways.

Friday, December 12, 2008


This old house rumbles under your thunderous posture.

Crossbeams and plateware and load bearing studs all shudder to know:
You are about!

Some silly something invites your vibrations...
To the sun room.
A stray wisp of worry scandalizes Mr. Rickter
In the kitchen.

Lurching upon the hardwood floors
In your hardwood feet
Which you frequently drag
Through invisible snow
("Scuff! Scuff!" go the slippers)
I feel as though
My very bones
Were rattling under your rude lumbering.

The wood in the walls begins to bow with your spine
I know that the halls are showing the signs
Of early onset scoliosis.

Our hunchbacked address is a misaligned mess
Of chiropractic lore.
It won't be a wonder if after the thunder
The doors don't close all the way anymore.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum, Banana Bread!

Banana bread! Is there anything more glorious? Low-fat vegan banana bread! Baked a loaf today and boy oh boy was it tastie. It's just about the easiest thing to make: put everything in a bowl, then stick it in the oven. In fact, I think I'm going to go get some more nanners right... now!

Scott would have something cute to say here, but he already left to go get some more nanners.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Country Crust

Went kayaking today with some friends. Went dancing yesterday with some other friends. Now I am waiting for some dough to rise before I pop it in the oven. I did a redux of the Country Crust Bread from Thursday. It turned out deliciously. So deliciously, in fact, that I am doing yet another batch today. I LOVE BREAD!

The best bread in the world, my sister and I both agree, is the bread that the First United Methodist Church in Atlanta, Georgia serves as part of its annual Marketplace Week, which is a hands-on re-creation of Biblical life. There is livestock and brick making and, you guessed it, the very most tastiest bread in the world. It is the king of kings of breads. If only there were some way - some person with the ability to take one loaf of bread and make it two. And if only this miracle person were somehow in my life. I would keep this friend next to my apple machine and never leave my perfect garden of paradise.

I created myself so I wouldn't be as lonely.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I Am The Baker

God is great, God is good,
Let us thank Him for this food.
By His hands we all are fed,
Give us Lord our daily bread.

That was the rhyming blessing my sister and I learned to say over each dinner. Yesterday I made bread from scratch for the first time. I love bread. I will eat bread without fear or shame, loaf upon loaf, until it is gone. Good bread is one of the greatest pleasures this life has to offer. Here's the recipe I used. As my friend Michael said, "2 eggs?! That's a cake!" I actually ran out of flour and had to pop next door to borrow another cup. Things were really sticky and the loaf came out... not quite as advertised. I think I'm going to try again today (after I pick up some flour at the store - seriously, who doesn't get enough flour?!). I tend to approach baking (and cooking) like I do hacking; iteratively. Unfortunately, compiling your food takes a while longer. Bread [beta].

I am often guilty of committing the Narcissist's Generalization Fallacy, which means that if someone is a little bit like me, I assume they are exactly like me. This is probably why I am continually surprised to find that there is no real correlation between being gay and being an atheist.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Things I Fucking Love, Vol. 8

A Musical About Prop 8 Starring John C. Reilly, Jack Black, Allison Janney and Neil Patrick Harris OH MY GOD THIS IS AWESOME!!1!

Today: A Poem

Today I woke up

Did absolutely nothing
Then wrote this poem.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

We're #1, Bitches

I have inherited the long and proud cultural tradition of laizze-faire a-patriotism. A movement that started in earnest back in the 60's with the activist/hippy crowd, inspired punk rock during the 80's, and settled into a comfortable background theme of modern day liberalism/academia/comedy.

The culture war has become an arms race of euphemisms. "Loving America" is some ineffable requisite of being a redneck (now is that erotic, platonic, familial, or romantic love?). "Support our troops" bumper stickers are like an "I voted for George Bush. BOTH TIMES!" button. Words such as "values" and "the family" make me slightly nauseous. All of these disgusting little double entendres merely serve to perfume the hatred and ignorance of "The Real America."

So I have inherited the long and proud cultural tradition of psudo-cynical, quasi-anti-american, disestablishmentarian apathy. You know the one.

But beneath the small town values and the Joseph T. Plumbers and the megachurches and the fast food children and the Proposition 8s and the small maritime borders and the veil of Reality, beneath all of that bullshit is a country whose founding principle is Freedom. A country started by a bunch of traitorous men in wigs and tights. They set out to create the Democracy Exemplar. The Utopia Nova. The Land of the Free. They failed. And their posterity continue to fail. But we're making a better go of it than just about anybody else.

Was reading around today and learned that in a '94 ruling, the European Court of Human Rights held 6 to 3 that, "the interference with free speech was 'necessary in a democratic society' in order to guarantee the 'rights of others' to protection from gratuitous insults to their religious feelings." Europe does not have a First Amendment. The UK does not have a First Amendment. You can still be put in jail in Austria for Holocaust denial. Journalists are. For all of its secular progressiveness, Western Europe lacks the foundational core of Freedom that America enjoys. And we fucking elected a black man as President. Land of opportunity, bitches!

So hey, REST OF THE WORLD, guess what? We're better than you! That's right. We're the original new society, we don't have any kings, and you're still playing catchup. So fuck you, 'cause WE'RE NUMBER ONE!