Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Elk Cloner Bashers and Mash

On January 30, 1982, Rich Skrenta wrote the first self-replicating program, or "computer virus," as it came to be called. He was 15. The virus wasn't malicious; it displayed the following poem every 50th time an infected Apple II computer rebooted:
Elk Cloner: The program with a personality

It will get on all your disks
It will infiltrate your chips
Yes, it’s Cloner!

It will stick to you like glue
It will modify RAM too
Send in the Cloner!
Don't add Earth Balance to the potatoes like I did.

serves: 1-2
prep. time: approx. 20 min.

4 red potatoes, quartered
2 handfuls brussels sprouts
1 Field Roast sausage
nutritional yeast
almond milk

1. Cover the potatoes with water in a small pot. Bring to a boil. Boil until tender (but not overdone).
2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Toss the brussels sprouts in olive oil and bake until they turn bright.
3. Fry the sausage in a bit of oil over medium heat.
4. Drain the potatoes. Place back in the pot and mash with some mylk, nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Nick and Rocco Memorial Fettuccine

I am interrupting normal programming to make you cry. Today, Vegansaurus posted an incredibly sad story about Nick Santino, who committed suicide after being pressured to put down his rescued pit bull, Rocco. I am crying.

serves: 1 (or 2, if you don't have an inexplicably, temporarily massive appetite)
prep. time: approx. 20 min.

1/2 lb. tomato basil fettuccine
1 Field Roast sausage, chopped (chipotle variety, as it turns out my dad bought for my stay, very thoughtfully and tastefully but to the disadvantage of this dish)
1/2 bundle of rapini (aka broccoli rabe), leaves only
1 small yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
handful pine nuts
2 sprigs fresh dill, chopped
olive oil

1. Boil the pasta for 3 minutes, nevertheless overcooking it.
2. Saute onion in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once translucent, add sausage and dill.
3. After five minutes or so, add pine nuts, garlic, and rapini. Lower heat and cover, until rapini is wilted.

I'm not subtle enough to make good pasta dishes.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

André the Giant no longer has a Posse Bulgar Stew

André the Giant (André René Roussimoff) died in his sleep January 27, 1993 (age: 46). His acromegaly caused congestive heart failure while André was in Paris for his father's funeral. Facts that will not make this story less sad: 1. André once consumed 19.5 gallons of beer in one sitting; 2. in the last years of his life, André was constantly in horrible pain; 3. André never fulfilled his wish of seeing a Broadway show because he didn't want to block other people's view; 4. too big to ride the school bus as a young teen, André was driven to school by his father's friend Samuel Beckett.

I made this stew the night before coming home to Virginia for a couple of weeks to look after our old dog while my parents are out of town. Have to wrap this up, because S. is giving me clear signals that it's past time for me to carry her up the stairs.

serves: 3
prep. time: approx. 30 minutes

1 yellow onion, sliced
1/4 red cabbage, sliced
1 butternut squash, cubed
3/4 c. bulgar wheat
fenugreek seeds

1. Saute the onion with oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat.
2. Toss in everything except the bulgar wheat and water. Saute for a few minutes.
3. Pour in enough water to get the squash floating. Cover and bring to a boil.
4. Add bulgar wheat. Reduce heat; cook for 20 mins.
5. Let stand and cool. The bulgar will soak up a lot of the water.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Testimony of a Ghost Tofu, Steamed Veggies, and Rice

Elva Zona Heaster was found dead on January 23, 1897. Her mother believed Elva's husband murdered her. To convince the prosecutor to reopen the case, Elva's mother referred to a vision she had had.
According to local legend, Zona appeared to her mother in a dream four weeks after the funeral. She said that Shue was a cruel man who abused her, and who had attacked her in a fit of rage when he believed that she had cooked no meat for dinner. He had broken her neck; to prove this, the ghost turned her head completely around until it was facing backwards.
I'd like to reiterate: "she had cooked no meat for dinner." Shue was convicted despite a lack of evidence because the jury believed Elva's mother's ghost story. I wish ghosts would get meathead assholes in trouble more often.

I haven't updated recently because I've been eating out a lot with my grandma. She left today. :(

serves: 3
prep. time: 50 min.

1 c. brown jasmine rice
1 lb. tofu, cubed
6 kale leaves and stems, chopped
1/2 red cabbage, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Bragg's liquid aminos
cayenne powder
dried parsley

1. Cook the rice.
2. Steam the kale leaves and red cabbage.
3. Saute the tofu and kale stems in coconut oil. Add Bragg's periodically. Once the tofu starts to brown, season. Cook until desired texture.

I wrote an article for The Huffington Post about an incident that occurred at a bear bile farm in China in August of last year.

I also wrote this review of Aleph's album From Chaos to Cosmos for Tiny Mix Tapes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Posthumous Promotion Curried Lentils

On January 17, 2001, President Bill Clinton posthumously promoted Meriwether Lewis from Lieutenant to Captain. I don't know why that was necessary. Don't worry, he also posthumously promoted William Clark, who was thereby spared rolling over in his grave. Seriously, though, posthumous military promotions? Waste of time.

Today is a sad day. Someday I will have fewer of those, maybe.

servers: 3-4
prep. time: approx. 30 min.

1 c. red lentils
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 sweet potato, chopped
6 kale leaves, torn
2 plum tomatoes, chopped
~3 c. water
curry powder
Bragg's liquid aminos
nutritional yeast

1. Saute the onion in a pot in coconut oil over medium-high heat. After it goes translucent, toss everything in and keep it at a low boil or aggressive simmer until the red lentils start to break down.
2. Stir vigorously. I ate it by itself because I forgot to put on some orzo and didn't want to wait for rice.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Gavin Bryars' Birthday Pseudo-Borscht

I like Gavin Bryars' music. He was born on January 16, 1943. He studied philosophy at Sheffield before studying music. He began playing jazz but gave it up after seeing a young bassist play in an "artificial" way. He studied composition with John Cage. One of his first pieces, and the one I'm most familiar with, is called The Sinking of the Titanic. You can read about it here.

My friend W. made borscht awhile ago, which inspired me to make borscht. I do not know how to make borscht correctly, nor did I look up a recipe beforehand. What I made was more a stew than a soup. I don't have a grater, so I couldn't shred the beets. I wish I could have shredded the beats. Nevertheless, I present this recipe for a palatable pseudo-borscht.

serves: approx. 4
prep. time: approx. 30 min.

1 beet, sliced thin (or shredded, if you have a grater)
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 head red cabbage, sliced
2 bay leaves
garlic powder

1. Throw everything in a pot and boil until the beets are nice and tender. Add water if you want it soupier.

Won't be posting tomorrow in (meager) solidarity with the internet blackout. STOP PIPA/SOPA!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Review of Jason Reitman's Young Adult

"Young adult" is a polyvalent description of Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), a ghostwriter for a YA series about horrid, privileged high schoolers. She lives in luxury squalor, neglects her Pomeranian (the film could be partially but nevertheless faithfully and fruitfully read as an inversion of Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy), and one day receives a mass email announcement from a high school sweetheart that he and his wife are having a baby. Mavis travels back to her small Minnesota hometown, Mercury, where she attempts to steal Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson) away from his domestic entrapment to a life of — well, who knows, that’s not the point.

The casting is perfect: Patton Oswalt as Matt Freehaur plays Pluto to Mavis's Mercury. The writing is good. The structure is repetitive, recursive — a strong reflection of Mavis's interiority and doomed quest.
Other than that, I don’t have much to say by way of straightforward commentary (the film speaks for itself, mostly), so I’d like to take this opportunity to parasitize Young Adult in order to illustrate the potency of Michel Serres's The Parasite, a book dedicated to an exploration and articulation of the one-directional arrow that defines relationality as such.

Mavis is a ghostwriter, seemingly in first position as the creator of the series parasites her work. But it becomes obvious (if we couldn’t have guessed from the beginning) that Mavis is not a producer but a reproducer, living from and through her own idealized adolescence. Already a sort of nothing, drinking herself into oblivion in a messy high-rise apartment, Mavis would fall into critical condition if she weaned herself off of the delusions of memory.

Buddy's baby is a rival parasite. Buddy's wife is a rival parasite. For Mavis, the entirety of Mercury steals Buddy's vitality and denies him a life of happiness with Mavis. Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt) is a fellow parasite. His past is a crutch no less than Mavis's (and more literally). Mavis parasites Matt because "guys like [him] are born to love girls like [her]." The one moment in which the arrow hesitates to point is when Mavis fucks Matt or Matt fucks Mavis. Abuse value is Serres's brilliant term.

Given the parasite, how do we make a better humanity? Maybe that's the dumbest question ever posed. Maybe that's why Mavis, on the brink of self-awareness and the threshold of growth, is pulled back from her moment of radical vulnerability by another, weaker parasite: Matt's sister, who dreams of following Mavis to the city, where she will finally be able to live a life of — well, who knows, that's not the point.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Harold Shipman Meets the Same Fate as His 218 Victims Quinoa Dish

In 2004, Harold Shipman hung himself in his cell. He was 57, 16 years older than his youngest victim. Shipman was a doctor who killed his patients by administering heroin. I'm not sure how that sufficed, because he didn't totally whack them out on it. There must have been more to his methodology, but I'm not morbid enough right now to find out. ... Never mind, the Guardian claims that his method was always "a swift injection of diamorphine—pharmaceutical heroin." I guess that'll do it.

Haven't been updating much of late because I was home for a couple weeks and then moving. I'm now settled in my little room in a little basement in Bushwick. The little kitchen is a bit difficult to manage, but I'm going to try to keep up my cooking. Today's late lunch (4:30) was a strange version of edamame salad.

serves: 2-3
prep. time: approx. 20 min.

2/3 c. tri-color quinoa (the best kind!)
1 can green pigeon peas (because pigeons are wonderful animals!)
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 shallots, sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
dried basil
Bragg's liquid aminos
Sriracha hot sauce

1. Simmer the quinoa in 1 1/2 c. water for 15 min.
2. Saute the pepper and shallots in olive oil over medium-high heat for several minutes. Add the green pigeon peas and Bragg's.
3. Squeeze lemon juice; season.

Got the job application blues. May they give way to the salaried job greens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Carlo Tresca Dessert Outing

Carlo Tresca was an Italian-American anarchist. A newspaper editor, orator, labor organizer, and leader of the Industrial Workers of the World during the 1910s, he was gunned down in NYC by a Fascist, a Stalinist, or a mafioso (all groups Tresca had vocally criticized and opposed). The most miraculous part of the story:
A eulogy at his memorial service was delivered by Angelica Balabanoff, the socialist activist and former Bolshevik. According to Lewis Coser's account of the funeral, "I was sitting near a burly Irish policeman who clearly didn't understand a word of Balabanoff's fierce Italian oratory. But at her climax he burst into tears."
Today my grandmother (visiting for a good while!), my friend C., and I went to Cocoa Bar in Park Slope. I helped eat Peanut Butter Explosion and Oreo Cookie, two of their three vegan cakes. It was good, but I'm not used to so much sugar. Short rise, steep crash. Feeling better now, though.

Tiny Mix Tapes published my fevered review of Zwischenwelt's album Paranormale Aktivität today. I have to be possessed to write a music review. Hope it happens again. Still need a home for my review of Young Adult. Any takers?