Rain Nor Snow Nor’Easter

Quit Monkeeing aroundAfter a balmy December and a few slashes of chill in early January, we’ve got winter at last. It’s down around zero in the wind, which has been the rule rather than the exception this week, and snow should be starting in an hour or so. If the radio is to be believed, it will never stop. By tomorrow we’ll have up to 2 feet on the ground. By tomorrow, I hope to have 2 feet up on the sofa. It’s DVD weather.

Nothing like a good Nor’Easter to make a fellow step aside and hold the door for Mother Nature. We have blizzard warnings, flood warnings, and whiteout conditions expected. Snow angels, anyone?

Posted in General Musings |

Eat Me, Kate: a Three-Hour Tour de Burger

Back in the sweet haven of July when there was still temperature, we carried word of the bodacious humonstrous 6-Pound Burger, hacked out of the dripping imagination of the owner of Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Pennsylvania (their site largely doesn’t exist right now, but maybe it will be back later). The Founders had a standing challenge: eat the damn thing in three hours or less, including the loaf it sits on and the other assorted 3 pounds’ worth of condiments and decorations, and it’s yours for free, along with the bragging rights that come with this sort of thing: veni, vidi, belly, more or less.

Begin at the beginning... ...go on until you reach the end... ...and then stop. Kate 1, Burger 0.

Many had tried and all had ponied up $23.95 to admit eat defeat until Wednesday the 12th, when 19-year-old Kate Stelnick came in and devoured where others had merely nibbled. Kate’s a 115-pound New Jerseyan from Princeton-the-Town, and she did the deed in 2 hours and 54 minutes, in time by an ample margin of several bites at least. Enough odd corners of the blogosphere have already proposed marriage (or marriage practice, at least) and professed undying love by now that we’ll let the sleeping entendres lie. But who knew that a girl and a plate of meat could mean so much to so many?

Kind of obvious, actually, now I think about it.

Posted in General Musings |

You’re So Vane

Winter is icumen in at last, come commala, and here in the Big Yapple we face it with our customary ebullience. By which I mean we complain a lot. When you’ve slogged through Ed Koch and Squeaky Giuliani in one lifetime, you’ll have whining rights too. Until then we’ve got the head of the line, and near as I can tell Chicago is right behind us on general principle.

Harvey of Bad Example is one of our most stalwart Pepper readers, and as a denizen of the cold heart of America (Wisconsin) he understands the freeze — though the weather gnomes at Yahoo intimate that New York City is colder right now than much of the Cheese State.

Harvey is using the weather as a vane for style, inviting his readership to one-up his real world customers and say something, anything, other than “Boy, it’s cold outside.” Winter isn’t the problem season for this sort of thing in these parts; ours comes in the dog days, when “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” is bound to make a certain sort of person (cephalate) snap. I feel his pain.

Sure is cold outside, though.

Posted in General Musings |

Laundry Day

Today, I did my laundry the Guy Way: I went to K-Mart and bought trousers (2), socks (12 pairs), and underpants (10). It feels good!

Posted in General Musings |

50% Off

After a long day’s afternoon and a late dinner meeting at the Cedar Tavern — when did that atrium skylight thing happen upstairs, or have I just not been paying attention? — I come home brimming with Things To Say, looking forward to a session of the Pepper time that has been so elusive lately.

Outside the mist is dense and freakish, game yellowy lights gleaming from upper windows in the dark Court Street office towers, sound slushing in strange waves over wet tidal streets. It’s near midnight, and fog strokes the night into a long alley of forms wrapped in gauzy, indistinct absence. It’s a Ray Bradbury fog, a John Carpenter fog, an Edgar Allan Poe fog. It’s a fog that makes you want to run away from home, and a fog that just might deliver you to a dark passing carnival if you wish hard enough, or out loud.

Inside, the phone doesn’t work and I have no Internet service. Again. Is that a case of bloggus interruptus, or what? As of January 12th, my home phone has been out for half of 2005. That’s a lifetime, in dog years. Woof woof.

Posted in General Musings |

Demon Lover?

Last night after Miss Saturn‘s gleeful hula-tease first birthday burlesque show at Galapagos — “first” because it turns out she’ll be having her birthday all month, and damn the torpedoes — Pierre and I tucked into a couple of beers at Spuyten Duyvil down the other side of Bedford. Miss Saturn, as it turns out, puts quite a thirst on a body.

For those of you who are following my New Year’s resolution progress, it was yes on #1 but I caught her at a moment when she happened to be dressed.

Spuyten Duyvil’s unibathrooms have chalkboard walls, and chalked on one of them is a large, capacious heart with the touching legend SATAN + LAUREN. So I’m wondering: which one of them wrote it on the wall, Lauren or Satan? Or is it a cautionary tale? A threat? An aspiration?

Two favorite bathroom graffiti conversations of days past:

  • 667, Neighbor of the Beast
    668 Neighbor of the Beast
    667, across the street from the Beast
  • EINSTEIN: What time does Zurich arrive at this train?
    Ah, it was all so much simpler then

Update: Pierre’s pictures of Miss Saturn’s birthday Hulapalooza are now up.
They are not pornographic and they are Not Safe For Work.
Much like Miss Saturn herself.

Posted in About Last Night |

If You’d Like to Make a Call, Please Hang Up and Try Again

Grrrrr. The phones went down in lower Pepper Central on Thursday night, and they are still not repaired — there are Service Interrupti0n signs up on all the mailboxes and every third tree in the neighborhood, and not a dial tone to be found. Once the phone company figures out which cable they cut and which PBX center they whoopsed, I’ll be back in posting business. Meanwhile, let it be known: life without Net access is hell. A guy can’t even go to the movies in peace.

I knew I was tempting the gods when I said in my last post that I’d continue it the next day.

Roadtohella, Goddess of Good Intentions: Oh look, Linus is going to continue his post tomorrow.
Connectivus, God of Modems: Whoops, dropped my lightning bolt.

Posted in General Musings |

See Me Feel Me Touch Me Heal Me

For no particular reason, my favorite phrase today is butt of sack. Which I go to the gym not to have one of.

When I was a kid, my father was slammed by a hard case of sciatica, which is one of those tarpaulin terms that covers a wealth of pains. Dad’s was pretty crippling. Most back and leg pains take care of themselves sooner or later, but this didn’t. We’re in the ’70s now, which means a few things:

  • MRI’s exist in a theoretical sense, but not for you and me or our Dads.
  • Medicine is highly advanced, in a look-at-those-cavemen-go kind of way.
  • The sciatica might have been caused by bell-bottoms. We’ll never know.

As a union family in a time before Republicans started playing chicken with the National Treasury, we had health insurance, and good stuff too. My father tried medication, physical therapy, second opinions, exercise, relaxation, leeches, vapours, magnets, copper. None of it worked. The pain was constant and ineluctable, and at last he started taking advice from the sort of “We nourish our health from the Sacred Twisted Root” folks that he didn’t usually take advice from. We didn’t get as far as orgone boxes or pyramids, but for the age it was pretty edgy — he went to a chiropractor.

I didn’t think about it one way or another. I was too young to know that in the Nixon years “chirporactor” was atin-Lay for “unholy witch doctor,” and unholy Gentile witch doctor to boot, because what member of the Tribes would go in for chiropractic when he could have been a real doctor and made his Mother so happy and all the other Mothers jealous? Besides, I was probably trying to figure out how to consecrate my athame around then anyway, so it’s not like I would have noticed anything amiss.

It works. Dr. Unholy G. Witch sticks him in the chair (remember that Star Trek is newfangled back then, TV’s are still routinely black and white, and “ergonomics” is atin-Lay for “don’t tease him, he talks funny,” so the chair is a howler on its own), twists him around just enough to stir up paranoid Semitic angst (“I don’t know, Officer, he just broke all of a sudden”), pushes a bit here and pulls a bit there and then thumbs an off switch my father didn’t know he had. And that was that for the pain.

I realize two things after Master Debunker PZ Myers, Darwin of the wonderful evolutionary biology blog Pharyngula, takes a few casual swipes at Chiroquackery on Tuesday. First, I think of chiropraxis as rather like acupuncture — which is to say, harmless and sometimes surprisingly effective. Second, I know abso-über-lutely nothing about it whatsoever. So I fire up Google for a bit, and a few linky minutes later I discover a third thing: My Dad must have been in a lot of pain. Dr. McCoy would never have approved of this crunchy business, that’s for sure. But it worked that time when other things didn’t, and that’s something.

I had two brushes with native medicine when I was traveling through Nepal in the ’90s. They were as different as two similar things can be, and they both illuminated much if you watched them right: they were kind of like card tricks, in which the medicine wasn’t really the trick but it kept your eyes busy while the sleight of hand got done. They remind me of this, and I’ll talk about them tomorrow.

“A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.” – Arthur C. Clarke (a synergetic arrival in the email box, that quote, while I was writing this entry)

Posted in General Musings |

Fun at the Daily News

The New York Daily News 1/5/2004Hmm, Milk!

No, the picture has nothing to do with the article headline. Or does it?

Posted in General Musings |

…Or We Could Just See a Movie

Here’s one sentence you will never hear me say:

For our first Valentine’s Day together, my partner and I wanted our celebration to truly reflect our relationship, so naked tandem bungy jumping sounded just right.

Posted in General Musings |