Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thank You for Being a Friend

Bea Arthur died two weeks ago, not even.  

She spent the final year of her life in the absence of one of her biggest fans.  Well, Dorothy Zbornak's fan, to be precise.  

He loved The Golden Girls and quoted Bea's character ad nauseam.

He adored Will and Grace and would go into Karen Walker mode in a blink.  He'd get her spot on too (aside from the slight Russian accent and an Adam's Apple).

A Lexus.  He drove a damn golden Lexus!  Why? Because his car needed to match his fabulous self, of course.  Yeah, that's how he talked. 

Damn it though, he was fucking fabulous!  Even if I didn't share his passion of all things glittery and in your face, I secretly admired his balls to go on like that.

There was this one time I was up in Minneapolis and we decided to go out on Saturday night.  Of course it had to be a posh homo-lounge where he was friends with the owner.  He said he'd pick me up around 9pm, which meant he'd be there 8-ish to graze in my mom's kitchen.  I knew better than to greet him in a pair of jeans and a band t-shirt, so I quickly ran off to the nearby TJMaxx and picked up the most ridiculous pair of stiletto booties and a mini skirt.  If it was any tamer I'd never hear the end of it.

So I decked myself out in the hoesque get up and after submitting myself to his critical review was approved.   Naturally, the second I tried to pull the skirt down a bit, he slapped my hand.  "Hell no, honey!  You show off those legs!!"

And so we went.  The bar was loud but you could hear him over the shiny crowd without a strain.  He was the loudest person I ever knew.  Kisses were being handed out left and right and as we passed through the crowd he'd half-whisper to me: "He's such a slut" or "What does he think he's wearing?!”

He was a catty bastard but damn, he knew how to have fun.  He got me so lit that night I have zero recollection of returning to my parent's place.

Much is true for his funeral.  It was a year ago and his true friends managed to recreate that night for me.  They got me completely wasted as they tried to one-up each other with the stories of his exploits.  At some point I remember standing on a chair all wobbly-legged as they all sang me a Happy Birthday.  This got us thrown out.    

And he would’ve loved it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May(o) Day!

So yeah, Happy May Day, everybody!  Or the International Workers' Day, if that's how you roll.  And not that it matters to anyone in the US but it should still be noted that the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago lies directly at the holiday's roots.  

Anyway, a few months ago my dad got a hold of a lost batch of photos from the old country.  This here is Minsk, USSR.  May Day 1975.

My earliest memory of the holiday must be circa 1984.  I remember dad and I being sent on a seemingly impossible errand by my mom.  Our mission was to obtain a jar of mayonnaise for the festive dinner that evening.  We searched high and low, stopping in every grocery shop in our neighborhood.  A few times we openly got laughed at for asking about mayo on a holiday.  Sure, it was like looking for face value World Series tickets, but we were desperate.

And then, just as we were ready to give up and face mom's disappointment, we turned the corner and saw a long line streaming out of last the grocery on our list.  Without a word to each other we made a beeline for it.  This was Soviet Union so what was on the other end of the queue was irrelevant.  Whatever it was, we needed it.  Toilet paper, bananas, or carburetors.  The chances of it actually being mayo were pretty negligible but that didn't matter.  If were to fail our original mission, surely mom's fury would be softened with the obtainment of another high-deficit  item.

We stood in line for a good half-hour before we got to the stage where people began to casually wonder how much whatever it is we're buying may cost.  And how big is it.  Suddenly I spotted a little white jar flashing above a crowd.  What was that?  Surely it couldn't be...but wait, there it is again!  Holy crap, we couldn't believe our luck.  Of all the things in the world it actually was MAYO!  The rumor spread like wildfire and the back of the line began pushing forward.  Dad locked my hand into his with a grip of death and we became one with the mob.  

Before long we could see the counter and the iron-faced sales lady with the stacks of yellowish rubles between her fat fingers.  As she calmly announced that she was now opening the last case of mayo, dad grabbed me by the hood of my coat and whispered "Go!" propelling me forward through the crowd.  With the money in my outstretched hand I arrived at the counter to see the last little jar pass in front of my face and into the clammy hands of a desperate looking engineer.

There was no time to think.  The possibility of walking away empty handed was too horrible and I resorted to the only weapon I had left.  "Waaaaah!!!  Maaammmaaaaaa!!!"  The tears were real and it surprised me how easily they came.

And so did the mayo.

The woman reached down and pulled her reserve jar from under the counter and handed it to me.

"Happy May Day, little girl!"

Friday, March 13, 2009

(Su) Börek Accomplished!

Last night I got on a dairy cooking kick.  The ingredients of the day were butter, whole milk, and feta cheese (I doubt it was actually made of sheep's milk but worked all the same).
My first attempt at making a Turkish cheese pie was a surprising hit with not only The Creech but also girls at the office.  Though I s'pose it's a challenge to screw up a dish consisting of fried cheesy dough and melted butter.  The resulting pie was so deliciously greasy it practically slid out of the cake pan :)
Su Böreği or Water Borek
The amazing recipe by Binnur found at:

And then I just had to make some rice pudding which I've been craving all week.  Unfortunately, driven by guilt of the above mentioned grease, I decided to go the healthy brown rice route, which increased my cooking time three-fold.  Still, the result was a bowl of sweet cinnamony heaven!
Brown Rice Pudding with Golden Raisins and Cinnamon
The wonderful and super simple recipe is from

Friday, February 13, 2009

An Advert Friday

I am such an obsessive anglophile.  But hell, I really do love most things BBC.  So here's my daily fill.

T-Mobile Liverpool Advert

Thanks the forward, Jhonna!

The New PG Tips Advert

My love affair with the monkey continues.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mumiy Troll

January 30th, 2009 | Empty Bottle, Chicago IL

Possibly the Most Disturbing Graphic Ever

Yeah, dismembered kittens are disturbing.  George W. Bush doing an African dance is terrifying.  But this right here...  This will definitely send shivers down your spine.  I saw it on Rachel Maddow’s show the other day and it terrified me to the core.  So much so that I am still thinking about it days later.

Seriously?!  Really?!

Think about in the plainest of terms.  If we’re heading down the shitter this quickly, the time it will take to climb out of it (should we ever get enough grip with our dung covered hands) is reversely proportional.  We’re talking years and years and years.

Fuck me.

OK, to fair, I must also include this.  It's no less disturbing however it does provide some context for the figures.  The percentages of jobs lost (as opposed to just their numbers) compared to the five previous depressions look a bit more consistent.  Though once again, no less terrifying.  All we know is that we're still fucked.  But not in a new and original way.  Instead just like the hipsters our economy is simply recyling 1974 or 1981.

Wok Obsession

Actually, I've never owned a wok before.  I know.  It is indeed a mystery how I've survived without one.

So of course now I am completely hooked on it.

The Pad Thai pictured on the right didn't come out as well as its predecessor (too much tamarind this time), however the stir-fry veggies with brown rice rocked my world! And lemme tell you, the fresh cilantro thrown in at the last minute is so money!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tuesday Night Debachery

Roaring good times were had by one and all last night at Schubas.
For a snowy post-New Year's school-night the turnout was pretty impressive. Those unable to attend missed out on an evening filled with rocking pop and solid debauchery.

January 6th, 2009 | Schubas Tavern, Chicago IL

The Handcuffs

The inevitable Thax Douglas

The fine gentlemen of The Debauchers

Saturday, January 3, 2009

NYE 2009

Happy New Year, all!



Work it!

Sir Cliffchik.

The Debauchers' classy rhythm section.

(take 2)