get in my head. or my belly. same thing.

Monday, June 30, 2003
the sad demise of our little piscine friend.
one of jen's little fishies has gone to the great fishbowl in the sky (sea?). not through any fault of jen's, might i add. the girl changed their water some three times a week and corrected the pH and everything. the surviving fish seems quite happy to have the bowl to himself, however.

and, of course, i had to take pictures of the flushing. er, funeral.

cute little guy, huh? ah well.
and my favorite, mid-flush. neat little arty pic, no?

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
there's this super long-bomb hill in boston commons that i've long regarded as my mortal enemy. it starts at the high corner and ends at the low corner (really, you say). most of the hill is pretty tame, but there's this part at the top where it dips down crazy and you pick up all this speed. in about three seconds, you're going faster than you can run, and this is bad, because once you're going faster than you can run, if things get super-hairy and your board gets the speed wobbles, you can't just hop off the board, bail and run it off.

this is a point worth clarification to the non-skaters out there. if your trucks aren't tight (ie. if you wanna be able to carve tighter turns), once you get going fast, your board will start carving left and right super quick. it's hard to avoid. there's no analogy in the flora and fauna world, so i use an example from hollywood and point to the red mustang that tried to get inbetween the two semi's in 2 fast 2 furious (a totally cool movie -- awesome to the max!). once it gets the speed wobbles, the board is irreversibly out of control. this is not good. being out of control is never good, unless you're the hulk, in which case that's a good thing, cause then you get to say "hulk smash!" and smash things and have jennifer connelly as your girlfriend (even though you'll never excuse her for that double-dildo business in requiem for a dream).

i've always fucked myself up going down this hill, to the point that i have to really pump myself up everytime. this is usually done by alternately flexing my left and right pectoral muscles. no, i'm joking. seriously, though, last time i hit a crack in the pavement and checked myself hip-first into a bench. this, believe it or not, is something i try to avoid. i've heard chicks dig scars, but i've never heard of any who like peanut-shaped and -sized blue bruises. maybe i'm not tapping into the right fetish crowd. whatev.

today, i chickened out once again. i got half way down the hill and the board got wobbly. i had no intention of adding a matching bruise/gash/rash/slice/slash/teenage mutant ninja turtle on my right hip, and i was wearing shorts, so i said, fuck it, i'm bailing. i jumped off the board and started pumping me wee little legs as fast as i could. pump legs pump, i told them, pump like you've never pumped before. and so, they pumped away, fast, faster, fastest, except, true to previous experience, you really can't run faster than, say, 40mph. there was a comical moment, shared by the crazy thoreau-reading blanket-wearing coke-bottle-eyeglass-wearing chaw-spitting homeless hippie girl sitting underneath the light, where i did my best impression of speedy gonzalez, taking these bloody enormous steps twice a second and making that noise where you speak into a fan and it sounds like you're darth vader. i'm so fucking precious.

Tuesday, June 24, 2003
it's official: summer has arrived.
after what seems like an interminable month of unceasing rain, the sun's finally come out and is now baking the new york streets to a toasty 90-plus degrees. and i am grateful: the air can circulate between my toes in my flip-flops, the subway hasn't started to stink yet, and cherries are $1.99 a pound. what better way to inaugurate the season than with a delectable bacon-tomato-mayonnaise sandwich? i've been craving one for a few days now, and while tomatoes won't be at their real prime for another month or two, they still taste of summer even now.

for one bacon-tomato-mayonnaise sandwich to feed one semi-hungry person:
i'm no purist when it comes to cooking bacon, so i suggest just nuking three rashers, sandwiched between paper towelling, in the microwave. for a lovely crispiness, fry in a pan or put under the broiler. now, generously slather your choice of sandwhich bread (i used arnold 100% whole wheat this afternoon) with hellman's (and only hellman's, unless you make your own. it exists as best foods on the west coast) mayonnaise. this is no time to be stingy with the fat. slice up a firm, but juicy tomato however you like, thick or thin, and place slices haphazardly on mayo'd bread. (like my PB&J, i prefer my fixins to cover the whole face of my breadslice in a fairly uniform layer. but i'm not that anal about it.) lovingly arrange the cooked bacon over the tomatoes. anoint with tabasco if you like (and i do). take a bite and savor each salty, unctuous morsel, the tart tomato cutting through the creamy mayonnaise, the fatty, porky bacon. best enjoyed outside on the stoop or in a lawn chair on a patch of grass somewhere. lemonade or pellegrino would also be quite nice. man, i want another one.

Monday, June 23, 2003
i plowed through jay mcinerney's bacchus & me. this novelist-by-trade was tapped to write about wine for house & garden and is one of the first really accessible scribes on the subject. if you ever wanted to learn anything at all about wine, i think this little collection of his articles is a good jumping-off point. a self-professed amateur, he tends to use more literary analogies and pop-culture references than one would expect. admittedly, his repeated references to grunge-rockers nirvana, as well as his affected use of "like" in the 21st-century-garbage-word sense can get a little old, but his enthusiasm and youth bring a freshness and vitality to a potentially musty, high-falutin' subject. and he is eminently quotable.

from "on doing it right," a loose guide to wine selection: "White wine with fish, red with flesh is a pretty reliable rule. But any idiot can follow rules -- it's far cooler to break them. Pinot Noir can be great with salmon, particularly grilled salmon. (The oily flesh highlights the bright Pinot fruit.) And sweetish German Riesling is always good with pork and/or veal. If someone else is buying Chateau Petrus or Chateau d'Yquem, by all means drink as much of it as you can, no matter what the hell you're eating. Give the food to the dog."

"In Burgundy the allegedly key element of wine personality is the terroir, which translates into American as 'location, location, location,' or, alternately, 'dirt.'"

from "gruner veltliner loves vegetables": "I think one of the reasons I have never been seriously tempted by the vegetarian option is that, in my experience, most wines seem to become surly and depressed when they are forced to associate exclusively with legumes, grains, and chlorophyll-based life-forms. Like girls and boys locked away in same-sex prep schools, most wines yearn for a bit of flesh."

"To me, a good Sauvignon Blanc should conjure up a picnic in a meadow, with scruffy wildflowers sprinkled amid the grasses and the faintest funky scent of a distant farm on the breeze. Kissing would definitely be part of these bucolic festivities, a little light petting perhaps, but nothing heavier than that. Hey -- it's not that kind of wine, if you know what I mean."

"[Let's] be clear about this, champagne comes from France. If you're the kind of guy who buys his fiancee a cubic zirconia on the principle that it looks just like the real thing, then by all means celebrate your nuptials with Spanish bubbly."

Sunday, June 22, 2003
first off, went to kashmir tonight and was reminded of how mediocre this place is. had the malai kofta which was still too tomato-y, and the bhindi which was -really- greasy. the service was really subpar for a place charging $15 for an entree, and the food wasn't much better than a place 1/2 as cheap. as of tonight i'm boycotting it in lieu of samraat which isn't much worse but is much cheaper.

i don't post enough pics, so here are two that i've been meaning to post of me and the foo from graduation last year ... hahaha...

Saturday, June 21, 2003
maybe i am a baseball fan after all.
yankees game no. 2. i was hocking up some serious loogage, but i actually enjoyed myself. thanks to linda's great seats.

there was no real action until the bottom of the 5th. but here, bases are loaded and jeter's at bat. i think he got a single.

freddy, that yankees stadium institution, with his spoon. and linda.

Friday, June 20, 2003
fer chrissakes.
"Female fans style pubic hair like Beckham's Mohican."

i dunno whether to laugh, cry, or schedule a waxing.

she gets it.

i got an email today from sarah weiner. the weiners lived next door to us in chesterfield, MO, for about a decade when i was growing up, and i spent much of the time with sarah and gavi, the two younger weiners -- and sarah is my age. they moved away to clayton sometime in middle school and i saw sarah at model UN and heard later that she had gone to dartmouth. and then more recently, i'd heard that she'd gone to italy to cook. and now she's at slow food. and her cooking experience is exactly why i want to move to italy.

Thursday, June 19, 2003
this has been one of the more eventful birthdays in recent memory. but i'll keep the details to myself. thanks to all my peeps for coming out to celebrate, in spite of my incessant coughing and insistence on eating the hanger steak rare. i think i'm finally recovering. or at least, my appetite seems to have returned somewhat. pictures to come. but for now, here's one nelson snapped while we were exploring more of the LES. we're at the reed gallery, a very cool space on orchard, i believe, where i picked up a tenmyouya hisashi poster that kicks all possible ass. his prints are amazing. coming soon to the whitney.

more eating!
continuing on my quest to visit every eatery within a one mile radius of where i live, i finally went to saffron. it was quite terrible. i vaguely remember it trying to be fusion-y when it first opened maybe two years ago, but i think now it's mostly just mediocre indian food, even worse than such places as bhindi bazaar, probably about on par w/ india quality in kenmore, which is about half as much. the place itself looks nice and it has an outdoor patio, which is prob. why it seems to get a lot of business, but the lunch buffet we had was pretty sad. (then again, buffets are generally not the greatest, but this was particularly bad. maybe it was mostly b/c the food was cold.) funny story, though: i asked the waitress if they had any "chutney", which i described as being "red and usually with onions", b/c i'd only seen the brown and the green sauce by the buffet tables. she looked confused and then came back a little later with little cups of both the brown and the green sauces -- neither of which were red or had onions, obviously. andy quipped: "'maybe if i smile real big when i give it to him he won't notice.'"

catfoo and i went to the tibetan place next to korea garden on pearl st. it was my first time eating tibetan food and i found it to be quite bland, and the cilantro was a little too pervasive for my taste. even though my dish was spicy (a tofu vegetable dish), it was the kind of spicy where they just throw in some really hot peppers, i.e. it didn't really penetrate the dish. we also got some fried potato/mushroom balls (w/ cilantro) which were pretty good, some steamed buns (which catfoo says is very chinese), and our food came w/ a little plate of oiled halved cherry tomatoes with onions and a little plate of cucumbers lightly covered in a sort of creamy sauce. catfoo had noodles (i forget what kind) with vegetables, but the noodles were really rather tasteless. she said the other type of noodles they have are better. all in all it was interesting, although i prob. won't be trying tibetan food for a while. catfoo said she had lunch at the buddhist place on mass ave and that it was the best chinese food she's had in boston, so i'm going to have to try that w/ her one of these days (before she moves to SF! :( ... )

catfoo and i reminesced over the gone but not forgotten curious liquids. she said that there has been discussion of closing down manray and putting up multi-story apartment buildings in its place. geeeeeeeeez. if ani were around she'd prob. respond w/ a line like: "the greedy republicans aren't satisfied enough w/ fabricating wars, now they have to attack us on our own soil!!" i don't think i'd say it quite in that way, but seriously, what is up w/ these people who are taking away everything that makes boston worth living in? i may have to start jobhunting in new york if this keeps up, heh ...

speaking of catfoo, she's set up a new version of the blog she was doing ... which is good b/c she's my connection w/ what's going on in the world. you can find it here: catbar

Sunday, June 15, 2003
this weekend andy and i spent a lot of time together. first off, pride was really pathetic. the parade was pretty half-assed; they didn't have any of the school groups (which might have been b/c pride was about a week later than usual), a lot of the major nightclubs didn't even bother participating, nor did other groups that are usu. there, inc. the policemen, firemen, etc. andy pointed out that maybe this is just a reflection of the fact that we don't need parades anymore b/c being gay is so much more accepted now than it used to be. we talked about how we could make it better, and among our ideas was to get tricycle man to lead the parade. he'd be awesome!!! WHOOOOOO WHOOOOO WHOOOOOOOO ...

in food news: went to the metropolis cafe last night. andy got a simple salad and the veal scallopini, which he said was pretty good. it came w/ this vegetable gratin which is what i had. i'd get it again. it had potatoes, leeks, and cauliflower w/ asiago cheese on top. very filling, and nicely done, not heavy. i also had a terrine which came with a salad. the terrine was mostly artichoke, goat cheese, and spinach. it was good, but i didn't find it to be particularly noteworthy. the wait for our food was -really- long, but it must have just been the time we were there (prob. got there around 7 on a sat.) b/c the people who came after us seemed to get their food pretty quick. there was this guy next to us who was really loud and near the end of our evening sort of butted into our conversation. winnie, put this down on andy and my list of restaurant pet peeves: just b/c we're sitting at the bar and you're by yourself does not mean it's acceptable for you to intrude in our private conversation. esp. if you're loud and annoying.

andy and i also went to dok bua for lunch today. this was the third time we've been there, and it's prob. my fav place in boston right now to eat. i had the red curry w/ tofu and andy had the pad kee mow. both of our dishes came w/ two appetizers. the main dish was about 1/3 the size of a dinner portion, but in total it was a nice amount, for anly $6. ridiculously cheap. the thing about this place is that the food usually isn't incredibly different than stuff you might get elsewhere in terms of how they put it together, but the end result is -good-. i don't know what little things they do differently, but their food is definitely better than any other thai place around. for dessert they gave us this funny gloopy, gelatinous thing that had bits of corn and chewy bubbles that tasted like sweet rice. no idea what the heck it was, but geez, asian desserts are definitely not asian food's strong point.

i've been really into supporting local merchants lately. there's this toy store on harvard ave that's really old-fashioned and i don't really feel like i necessarily need to go there that often, but i love the fact that it's there.

Saturday, June 14, 2003
linda and i met up for lunch at madison square park, braving the chilly, rainy weather. but it was worth it. danny meyer recently opened a hot dog stand in the park just outside his restaurant eleven madison park. along with lemon-verbena-ade, flavored loose-leaf ice teas, and italian iced coffee, they offer two excellent hot dogs:

the chicago dog (with everything, natch).

and the new york dog.

Thursday, June 12, 2003
this was published last year in harper's, around the time i moved to new york. i dunno why, but i've been thinking about it lately, and i've finally found it on the web:

The Orange
By Benjamin Rosenbaum

An orange ruled the world.

It was an unexpected thing, the temporary abdication of Heavenly Providence, entrusting the whole matter to a simple orange.

The orange, in a grove in Florida, humbly accepted the honor. The other oranges, the birds, and the men in their tractors wept with joy; the tractors' motors rumbled hymns of praise.

Airplane pilots passing over would circle the grove and tell their passengers, "Below us is the grove where the orange who rules the world grows on a simple branch." And the passengers would be silent with awe.

The governor of Florida declared every day a holiday. On summer afternoons the Dalai Lama would come to the grove and sit with the orange, and talk about life.

When the time came for the orange to be picked, none of the migrant workers would do it: they went on strike. The foremen wept. The other oranges swore they would turn sour. But the orange who ruled the world said, "No, my friends; it is time."

Finally a man from Chicago, with a heart as windy and cold as Lake Michigan in wintertime, was brought in, He put down his briefcase, climbed up on the ladder, and picked the orange. The birds were silent and the clouds had gone away. The orange thanked the man from Chicago.

They say that when the orange went through the national produce processing and distribution system, certain machines turned to gold, truck drivers had epiphanies, aging rural store managers called their estranged lesbian daughters on Wall Street and all was forgiven.

I bought the orange who ruled the world for 39 cents at Safeway three days ago, and for three days he sat in my fruit basket and was my teacher. Today, he told me, "It is time," and I ate him.

Now we are on our own again.

happy birthday to me
happy birthday to me
happy birthday dear meeeeeee
happy birthday to me.

i hit the big 2-3 today.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003
toni tone tony ...

the tony awards were this past sunday, and boy it is really really sad that musicals are so bland these days ... the top winner was hairspray, a completely fluffy musical based on the john waters movie, and the majority of other nominees were basically nominated out of default. last year wasn't much better, with the top awards going to the bland confection called thoroughly modern millie (based on the little-known movie w/ julie andrews) and urinetown (which was little more than college sketch comedy set to music). sad sad sad.

winnie, when are we going to write our musical that's going to shake the world? any other takers out there??

other comments: hugh jackman wasn't that great of a host, but he was genial and pleasing enough. not as hot as in x2, but still pretty bootylicious.

sarah jessica parker and matthew broderick were pretty funny/cute.

the kiss b/t the two winners (they're partners) in the second televised award (book and lyrics) was awesome. HAHAHA.

was it just me, or did that frog and toad song make them totally sound like they were lovers?? HAHAHA.

anyway ...

Tuesday, June 10, 2003
the nerd in me appreciates this craigslist posting.


Reply to:
Date: 2003-06-10, 5:01PM

... Why is it that we never read a headline that says something like, "Psychic wins the lottery!"?

A mathematician named Klein,
Thought the Mobius band was divine.
He said, "If you glue
the edges of two,
you'll get a weird bottle like mine."

Wednesday, June 04, 2003
i. love. gene. kelly.
i've recently developed a fixation on "singin' in the rain," which i managed to watch four times in the space of a week. one thing that struck me particularly about the production was the amazing costumes. debbie reynolds and the other women in the film wear amazing clothing -- shirtwaist dresses, circle skirts, sweaters with nipped-in waists, gorgeous gorgeous frocks. kelly and reynolds work really well together too. i just watched "an american in paris" last night, and, while it was also a brilliant production, leslie caron just can't match kelly's ebullience the way reynolds can. there's certainly an appealing innocence and ingenue quality to her looks, and she dances as if she were born with toe shoes attached to her feet, but her continental mystery lacks good ol' american spunk. (costumes in "american in paris" are also jaw-droppingly beautiful. and the music, of course, is fantastic.) but gene kelly could very well be the masculine ideal: all charming suavity, easy grace, and self-assured sexiness. yowza. and god, his dancing! does anyone move like that anymore? and it's not just his choreographed movement. his every gesture, his gait, his timing -- i find myself totally transfixed. i can't believe betsy blair left him (and according to this week's new yorker, she's still kicking herself as well). fred astaire? elegant schmelegant. give me kelly the athlete, kelly the scrappy hero, kelly with the brawny arms and the smile that could charm the pants off of the church lady. he codirected "singin' in the rain"! he was an econ major!

i've also lately discovered a fascination with old-school fashion designers, specifically madame gres and mainbocher. i found a book at the tate with a sampling of gres' designs and they are, simply put, astonishing. some interest in her designs resurfaced a few seasons ago and versions of her grecian column gowns popped up all over the runways, but none of these contemporary versions came close to the ingenuity and the drama of her creations. and mainbocher i long for because he endowed his dresses with the perfect distillation of femininity and classic beauty (and yes, this seems counter to my uniform of cords and sweats, but there's a girly girl lurking deep down somewhere that i haven't quite killed off yet). as far as current designers go,i think badgley mischka come close, and zac posen offers a particular brand of elegance and 50s glamour in his designs. i think mainbocher has flitted into my brain because of the katharine graham autobiography i've been reading. though i think she later favored halston, i think she wore a mainbocher to capote's black & white ball. man, how cool would it be to live back then? (well, and to run in those circles, naturally.)

Tuesday, June 03, 2003
[let me preface this by explaining that my sister purchased this gigantic nike poster of lance armstrong for her advisor because, well, he's basically the reason why she's going where she's going. it is, of course, a rare find, and she was anxiously awaiting its arrival from her ebay seller.]

conyang23: i got the poster and framed it
conyang23: it looks fabulous
winyang: i'm sure
conyang23: damn, too bad i have to give it away
conyang23: i'm a genius too
winyang: yeah. you should've gotten one for yourself
winyang: oh well.
winyang: why?
conyang23: because there was all this adhesive shit stuck to the glass
conyang23: and there was nooooo way to give it off scraping it
conyang23: so i remembered that ethanol (pure alcohol) go it off
conyang23: but who the hell has ethanol
conyang23: so i was thinkiing
conyang23: and i was like, well ... any alcohol should help get it off
conyang23: so i looked at my selection. and i had peach schnapps, baileys, and malibu as my choices
conyang23: so malibu had a 20% alcohol content so i used that
conyang23: and it worked really really really well
conyang23: and it wiped right off
winyang: hahaha
conyang23: so i am a genius
conyang23: though now my room smells like coconut rum

as i was saying.
right, so we got bored with camden market fairly quickly and took the circle line to blackfriars and walked across the bridge to the tate. it was much better than i remembered (unsurprising, considering that last time, we had 30 minutes until closing time and we had to sprint through all the exhibits). all the usual suspects were up and around (de kooning, pollack, johns, ernst, magritte...), but the most memorable room housed a bunch of bruce nauman's stuff. (see pictures.)

this makes the top 5 all-time best places to get lunch in manhattan.
where the hell have i been? while i've been told over and over how amazing sullivan street bakery is, i only just got around to checking it out for myself yesterday. linda and i grabbed some slices (about $2.25 each and quite generous) of their tasty pizzas and claimed a bench outside in the sunshine. this shit is gooooood. amazing crust: i think they're focaccia-based. i would go here over lombardi's or grimaldi's any day (though granted, they aren't exactly comparable places). i also saw a ton of crostate and other delcious-looking pastries and savory items in the glass case.

the potato pizza. a really marvelous combination of creamy, perfectly cooked tuber inside, while the stuff on top is nicely crisped with a lovely roasted flavor.

the radicchio slice. i managed to stuff my slice in my face before i remembered to take a picture, so this is the piece linda's taking home for dinner. again, really fucking good.

and fortuitously, we discovered that the yoghurt place II is next door to SSB. they make their own strained greek-style yogurt from whole milk (there's a low-fat version for the weak). i can't fathom how the american public can stand the insipid, cloyingly sweet crap that's mass-marketed to us when the real stuff is infinitely better. YPII definitely takes total (the usual greek yogurt i get from the store) to the next level. the nice lady at the counter even makes a lovely topping from figs, apricot, and honey to accompany the yogurt. they also have a huge spread of greek pastries and meat pies.