Saturday afternoon in Kensington, Philadelphia

This week’s CSA share included Greensgrow bucks, which we spent on bread, heirloom tomato salsa, and a Port Fishington cookie.

The resident chickens seemed in good spirits, and there were signs of fall at the farm, including mums.

Old 97′s review: TLA 12-11-10

Last Saturday, the Old 97’s wrapped up the current leg of their tour at Philly’s TLA, the best music venue in town (with the possible exception of Johnny Brenda’s).

They’ve been around since 1993, but I know and love them best for Wreck Your Life, Too Far to Care, Fight Songs, and Satellite Rides, a progression of records that gradually moves from alt-county to pop, mostly with very clever songwriting. Some of my best musical memories are Old 97’s shows from that era.

Because of those memories, I compulsively get tickets whenever the band comes through town, even though I don’t like much of their more recent work. It’s time to stop attending the shows and just be thankful for the fun we had back in the late 90s and early 00s.

While the prevalence of new music in the set was expected (it’s the reason they’re touring, after all), the set list had no momentum, and many of their older selections weren’t the best representation of the Old 97’s glory alt-country days.  Busted Afternoon?  Lonely Holiday?

They did, of course, do Barrier Reef, and they ended the evening with Time Bomb. I can think of few better ways to end a show, but it took a long time to get there.

Poconos, somewhere near New York

Wow, so this is nature. Specifically, this is the Upper Delaware river, near Lackawaxen, PA (New York is over on the left). The water was so warm and inviting that I didn’t mind falling off the dock onto swarms of tadpoles.

You too can be anime

anime eyes
After reading the latest Wired Japanese schoolgirl watch, I am thankful not to be a Japanese schoolgirl. The pressure to have the latest Hello Kitty gadget! The endless quest for cuteness! The constant buzzing, ringing, and beeping of electronic devices! How do they do it?

Japanese schoolgirls are now wearing spooky black contact lenses for that “gigantic monochromatic pupil” look made popular by anime heroines. I look good in anime, don’t you think?

ne pas demouler le fromage

French cheese
This fancy French cheese came in the mail, and I don’t understand the directions. Specifically, this one important-sounding line:

Ne pas démouler le fromage

Do not demolish the cheese?

Unfortunately, my French dictionary fell into the hands of Special K when he started dating a French woman. But luckily, there’s always the Internet.

Babel Fish translation: not demouler the cheese
WorldLingo translation: not demouler the cheese not demouler the cheese
LangToLang: nothing

Thanks a lot, Internet.

Seriously, what should I do with the cheese? Should I put it in the fridge? It’s starting to smell.

Secret Cinema and secret ballots

Secret Cinema
It’s not very secret if there’s a webpage and a mailing list. But check out Secret Cinema’s Friday night Halloween-grab-bag lineup:

  • The very first Twilight Zone episode from 1959
  • Who’s Out There: a short about the possibility of life on other planets (with Carl Sagan and Orson Welles)
  • The Old House: a vintage haunted house cartoon
  • Weird Women: a 1944 film based on a horror radio program. Lon Chaney, Jr. is a university professor whose career is aided by his wife’s voodoo rites.
  • Other surprises!

All that, and you get to bring your own snacks! Thanks to Sassy J for rounding up the troops.

In completely unrelated news, the soulless office park is currently holding a mock election. We keep running out of ballots, and the office manager keeps printing up new ones, so I suspect that some tomfoolery is afoot. I asked boss-across-the-hall if I could sit in the break room and be a neutral poll monitor, but he said no. Well, don’t come crying to me when the legal department has to come over and sort out the election fraud.

Ricketts Glenn

Wow, Ricketts Glenn is gorgeous. A perfect outing for last weekend’s perfect weather. The leaves in Northern Pennsylvania were just starting to change, the park’s waterfalls were falling, despite the recent dry spell, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

Actually, a lack of clouds isn’t always desireable, since nothing adds interest to your photos like some nice, puffy clouds. Thank goodness for the magic of digital technology:

Boss-across-the-hall update

Boss-across-the-hall: I got the last glue stick from the supply closet!
Me: We have glue sticks in the supply closet?
Boss-across-the-hall: Not anymore!

I’ve never needed a glue stick at this job, but if boss-across-the-hall has one, then I want one too. It’s very quiet over there. The door is halfway shut, but from what I can see, there is some kind of secret project involving the glue stick and a big database diagram. What could it be?

Secret family recipes: the new rules

It’s time to discuss family values and how they’ve disintegrated during the past fifty years. Take, for example, the matter of secret family recipes. There was a time when people respected secret family recipes and waited until marriage–a sacred institution that unites the culinary heritage of two families–to give them away.

But in these immoral times, anything goes. I know someone who shacked up with her significant other and gave his family her grandmother’s secret gingersnap recipe. Gave it away. Just like that, like it was nothing. The relationship eventually ended, and she’s probably roaming the streets even as I type this, handing out the gingersnap recipe to sketchy men.

Am I too old-fashioned? Is there a three date rule for secret family recipes? In an attempt to be more modern, I shall now reveal the S secret family recipe:

1. Cook a hotdog and slice it vertically.
2. Make some mashed potatoes and put them in the hotdog.

3. Melt a slice of American cheese on top of the potatoes.

To get the full effect, use instant mashed potatoes. Also, soy dogs can be substituted for regular hotdogs. And stop making faces; this recipe is better than it sounds, and your kids will love it.

One more thing: a hypothetical question. How long do you have to date someone before you get his secret chili recipe?

Sunday morning in Fishtown (whisky donut)

Sunday morning in Fishtown (whisky donut)