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Preview: radical maneuvers

radical maneuvers

Updated: 2014-10-04T23:55:38.723-07:00




i've found myself more worked up about david foster wallace's death than i have any right to be. it's caused me no end of reflection, and i've come to some decisions about what i want to be doing with my time when i'm not corralling youngsters.

so. i guess that's it for now. i'm going to try to get the fucking final disc of dexter (season 2) to fucking work so i can fucking watch it, then hit the sack.

more posts to come. i'm sure someone is waiting with baited breath.



how is hillary clinton taking shots in a bar with "regular workin' folk" any less stereotypical and classist than obama's "bitter" comments?

riddle me this


seriously, someone explain this shit to me: how can the south produce some of the most socially disgusting human beings that have walked this planet, and yet somehow also produce dudes whose southern aphorisms sound like divine scripture?

i give you exhibit a for my argument, taken from the onion av club:

"AVC: Lou, what made you decide you were done with acting?

LP: My political beliefs. My spiritual beliefs. It's all trash. And Chuck Norris, I'd flush that cocksucker down the toilet. What a pussy motherfucker. What a fucking cunt.

SCD: You rolling tape on this?

AVC: Yep.

LP: He's a pussy! Fuck Chuck Norris. I regret being in any of that goddamn Walker, Texas Ranger shit. Motherfucker couldn't act his way out of a rubber. Jesus, he's fucking terrible. People buy that as a Texas Ranger? A guy that's 5'5"? For God's fucking sake. And so much of it is just tawdry. Part of it, too, is my depressive mentality, and being frustrated. I thought I had plenty to offer. I went through the grandiosity of believing I was really good—and I was good at times.

SCD: Were and still are, Lou."

so bad


i got sick last night at practice, so i called in sick. i'm feeling better (12 hours of sleep will do that for you), but i decided to order "transformers" on demand. holy god. i think this is my favorite movie ever. it's so stupid. they really should have renamed it "gigantic robots hiding behind things." the first half hour was ok, i guess, but all of a sudden it's slapstick and robots like tripping over things and getting peed on by chihuahuas and saying, "my bad."

this school is weird


i think i just walked in on two teachers canoodling. i think they were making out and i just walked right into her room. huh. weird.

one thing i will never get sick of


i know it's like hitting a paraplegic pinata, but making fun of rob liefeld drawings will while the hours away like nothing else.

adventures in cooking


roast leg of lamb, with pear salad and cherry rhubarb vinaigrette.ok, so when i moved in with the wonderful GF i found this untapped talent: cooking. all of a sudden, in an environment in which i would not hear my orangutan friends in the background hooting "FAG!" every time i tried to make something for dinner, my culinary green thumb has sprouted. my friend ben came up from LA for my 30th surprise bday party (more on that later), and i really wanted to hang out with him more, so when DD and me were at the (overpriced) embarcadero farmer's market, we got some good stuff for dinner. here's how you make this shit:roast leg of lamb:1 boneless leg (if you get a boned one i have no idea how to take it out, but there's all sorts of directions on the inturwebs)garlic (i used 4 cloves, but whatever)olive oillemon juice from 1 lemonrosemarykosher saltpepperred pepper flakesground mustardwhite wine (for the sauce)so this marinade-thing is pretty much the basic one; there's variations but the oil, lemon, rosemary, and garlic are more or less the common denominator in all the recipes i found. i think i'll play around a bit with them more later because there were a few that sounded pretty fucking good. one had honey and mustard that sounded pretty rad, and there were a few more middle-eastern-y minty ones, but as long as you stick to the basics and just have maybe one or 2 standout extra flavors you should be fine. materials: food processor/mortar and pestle; digital meat thermometer; casserole dish; tinfoil; gallon ziploc storage bags; knives, time, etc. i was going to make a rad joke out of listing the most mundane of obvious items for "materials," but i've decided writing about the joke with this meta-joke will work perfectly instead.preheat the oven to 325-350 ish. if you can score the meat, do it now so the flavors can get into it, but we didn't really score it too much; i just poked some holes in it. plus, since it's in a casserole dish and we're making a sauce out of the juice that'll come out of the meat anyways, don't worry too much about the meat getting dry or anything.toss some kosher salt on the meat and let it chill out while you make the sauce. throw the garlic, lemon juice (watch out for seeds), oil, etc, into the food processor and get it all smoothed out. i didn't measure too much for this, but start with the wet ingredients and garlic and then add the spices to taste. throw the meat and marinade into a ziploc bag and let it set for a couple hours at least. some say overnight, but whatever. if you want to work on the salad while the lamb is marinading you can, but make sure you have some more lemon juice to keep the fruit from browning. i used asian pears for this because i was kind of making the recipe up as i went along, but since it turned out tasty i'm ok with it.pear salad with persimmon, cherry-rhubarb vinaigrette:salad mixasian pears (but any sort of pears will work)persimmonscandied/honey roasted walnutscherry-rhubarb jam (we used this just because i bought some at the farmer's market, but really any sweet/tart fruit would do, i think)olive oilred wine vinegarlemon juicesugarkosher saltcut the pears like very thin apple slices. i learned the hard way that this is difficult to do if you have shitty $2.99 ikea knives. cut the persimmons into either smallish chunks or thin apple-slice style as well. put them all into a ziploc container, put lemon juice on them, and put it in the fridge for later.for the dressing, put about a quarter cup vinegar and at least 1/8 cup olive oil into the (cleaned) food processor. toss in at least 5 oz of the jam, maybe half a lemon's worth of juice, a pinch of kosher salt, half a teaspoon of sugar, and blend the shit out of it. add sugar/salt/jam to balance the flavor as needed.after the lamb has marinated for a while, take it out of the fridge and let it get up to room temperature. once it's been o[...]

down with the sickness


the occupational hazard that looms largest for teachers is cold and flu season. you're surrounded by hundreds of squirming, screaming things, all of which revel in filth (well, the male ones at any rate). i've managed to dodge the sickness bullet until today, which is way, way longer than normal (every other year i've collapsed sick the moment i step on campus). so i'm sick, and i got soup for lunch from the chinese place down the street. it was delicious. and then the fortune cookie said "your health will be your wealth," and i was like: well, shit.



i made the mistake of reading some right-wing blogs today. they were enough to make me grind my teeth down to the gums.



is ok in my book, but making your own costume is kind of a pain in the ass.

why i hate pitchfork


this from a "best new music" blurb on pitchfork's front page today:

"This Brooklyn four-piece follows its fantastic single '2080' with a debut packed with similar moments of pan-ethnic spiritualism. Like Midlake, Grizzly Bear, and Animal Collective-- who have all recently re-shaped tribal, primitive sounds into ultra-modern forms-- Yeasayer channel both a dystopian science-fiction sensibility and deep appreciation for the natural world."

oh. my. fucking. god.

i mean, i understand: if you don't like it, don't look at it. no one MADE me read pitchfork this morning. but come on, pitchfork. meet me halfway here. use your powers for GOOD, please. there's no need to use the fucking term "pan-ethnic spiritualism." this is rock music, not a fucking anthropological dissertation. you ain't smart for writing that.



on the way to work i was lost in thought, remembering this and already composing a blog entry, but then i read this which says it all better than i could have, and so instead of writing an awesome blog entry i bought this off ebay for way cheaper than its regular price.

it's a pretty guitar.

you've never seen happy


until you've seen an autistic kid who, until this year, had problems with eye contact and speaking directly to people, giggles and does a little dance at his seat while listening to the strokes.



since getting my new faraway job i've all but given up on weeknight drinking, which, if pressed, i suppose is for the best. but tonight my illustrious Better Half is leaving for a week, so what better way to say goodbye than have a miserable, hungover day tomorrow? i have a feeling that's a trick question, but since i asked it, i guess... something. i dunno. shut up.

my asshole sister had her second baby. maybe now she won't be as much of an asshole. just kidding. my new niece, grace, was a couple weeks preemie but came out ok. i'm visiting on saturday.

my car got broken into. again. i have a beige-y grey '96 nissan sentra -- a.k.a. the car that looks exactly like every other car in my neighborhood -- which i bought for the grand price of $600, give or take a couple hundred for parking tix. a while ago someone broke into it near Better Half's old place by exploding the passenger side's door lock with a screwdriver and stealing a visibly broken digital camera and the $1.48 in my ashtray. they left the screwdriver. on monday night someone smashed a back window and took the .75 cents in the ashtray, completely ignoring the screwdriver and thus robbing me of something far richer than all the change in all the ashtrays of the world: the opportunity to sing "the circle of life" while telling this story. those bastards.

but now i have to fucking buy another window. i feel like putting a sign up in the thing saying, "dear people who break into cars: there really is nothing in here worth breaking any part of my car to get to, so please don't. if you DO see something in here and you want it, please leave a note because chances are we can work something out. but breaking into this car will be a waste of everyone's time, and although you most probably live in golden gate park and have quite the surplus of time, it's still a waste."

i got some new records... and actually BOUGHT a few, instead of downloading! i actually kind of amazed myself there. i got:

the new jose gonzalez, which manages to be simultaneously more nick drake-y and less nick drake-y. the new iron and wine is balls-twirlingly good, except for a couple songs that kind of made me forget what was happening because there was too much going on. i got that kevin drew, broken social scene-connected record, and it's ok, i think. i haven't been able to listen to the whole thing in one chunk yet. the new aesop rock is awesome, too. it's way bouncier and more fun than the other stuff i've heard by him. i had all this shit i was going to write about these records, but i'm too tired and annoyed to try right now. maybe later.

"sombody gonna get pregnant."


scene: golden gate park, at around 6:30 p.m. clear skies; bright, close sun; smooth breeze; indian summer evening. the kind of time you wish you could call everyone you love and say: hey, get over here, let's get drunk in the park and whatever. walking home from the comic book store, crisp new "52" trade paperback under my arm.

i'm walking fast, down 9th, into the park. bikes whiz and joggers plod past. there's a guy up ahead of me with a shopping bag, one shoulder lower than the other. i'm enjoying the evening.

i get closer to the guy. it looks like his bag is heavy. i'm right behind him. i then see the lcuky's bag he's holding is completely full of bloody, dripping red meat*. there's meat all the way to the bottom of the handle loops. it's got to be at least 10 pounds of meat. dripping meat.

mood ruined. entirely replaced by confusion, with a shot of amusement running through it.

oh, and by the way


barry bonds' son is my t.a. how weird is that?



it's back to school night! FUCK YEAH! MINIMUM DAY AND WE GET OUT AT 1:55 AND SHIT... oh, but wait. i live 40 minutes away from work. and i have to be here from 7 to 9 tonight. well, then. i suppose i'll just... um... blog? and sit here, shoes off, feet smelling remarkably like sourkraut, necktie over a booger-encrusted student chair, desperately ignoring the billion and ten things i SHOULD be doing right now. fuckin a.

the upside: i called in sick tomorrow because of my fucked up ribs. they're a lot better, but i figured i should call in sick friday because i didn't call in sick when it REALLY hurt, on monday. trust me: this makes perfect sense. this is known, in business circles, as "paying it forward." no, wait. i mean, "the law of aggregate returns." or something. whatever. all i know is i'll be able to sleep another hour or two in the morning, which is the most important thing that each of us should take away from this conversation.

so, yeah. in a week i've torn through almost the entire ultimate spider-man run and i have to give it a grade of B. the first fifty issues were pretty spot on, character-wise, and, relatively speaking, art-wise. after issue fifty it all kind of turns into this weird, oddly self-referrential mush. i mean, come on: ultimate moon knight? ultimate master of kung-fu? who has a fucking BOWL CUT (p.s. bagley, what's the deal with you and bowl cuts? there are way too many of them in your stuff)? ultimate RONIN? bendis, shame on you for giving the world ultimate ronin. i understand how it all fits into the story, but that's like dj shadow sampling himself. wait, no. that's like dj jazzy jeff sampling himself. the story wasn't good enough to let that be "clever." it was more "silly."

in the middle chunk of that fifty-issue run, though, mark bagley really kind of started stepping up in the art dept; i really, really don't think he's a very good artist, but he had a run that was, relatively speaking, flawless. the first couple arcs are really bad, and the last few arcs are even worse (hello? BOWL CUT?). stuart immonenn, though, is fackin amazing (r.i.p. nextwave), and i think the book may have a renaissance thanks to him being hired. i certainly respect bagley being a workhorse and churning out issues nonstop, and comics needs guys like that around to show everyone how it's fucking done, but in the end i would rather just have a trade paperback with steve mcniven or travis charest art that took five years to finish than a timely, average book which doesn't do much other than give us totally underused ultimate b-list marvel characters and an ultimate daredevil that's... exactly like the normal one.

next time i write about bendis, remind me to talk about how it seems like his stories are made up as he goes, as if he's constantly dictating what he thinks would be cool to an ever-present comic geek stenographer. ok, i have to do work now. bye.



as in, i totally munched it on my bike last night. i rear-ended mike, the other guitar player in touch committee, going full fucking speed and let me tell you: this fat man FLEW. when i hit i basically elbowed myself in the ribs, so they're either bruised or cracked a bit, but other than that i'm pretty much okey dokey. it was kind of scary when it first happened, but no traumatic brain injury no foul i suppose.

i have been reading the entire ultimate spiderman run after never having read any of it. i just hit issue 51 and i have to say that my support of bendis is wavering. i think he's done some great stuff, but i think that great stuff tends to be finite things: avengers: disassembled, the illuminati stuff, secret war, that kind of stuff. but having an infinite sandbox to play in... i dunno. he gets the characters, for sure, but it's just so... so... drawn out. i mean, 50 issues in and there's been like 4 story arcs. i can blow through them and nothing really happens. i'm all for decompression in comics -- and i don't think that's the argument i'm trying to make, anyways -- but bagely's art is "meh" at best (i seriously have no idea how he's gotten the props he has) and the payoffs, in my mind anyways, simply DON'T.

but maybe the rest of this shit will blow my mind. and, frankly, maybe it's the art, because i've read some stuart immonnen stuff and loved it.

cobwebs, dust, etc.


i just heard a hum song on a cadillac commercial, starring that guy from "the ring." weird.

i kind of can't believe that my last post was in may. i managed to go the ENTIRE summer without posting anything. truth be told, i kind of hit a funk this summer; i holed up and played a shit-ton of video games (including a lot of "lego star wars" with deidre, a game i highly suggest everyone play with their significant other because the co-op play makes you work through a lot of relationship shit while playing), which, normally, i rarely do, and occupied myself with reading comics and not leaving the house. but everything's going pretty good still. i got a new job at a new school that pays... twenty thousand dollars more a year than my last gig. yeah. i almost crashed my car when i drove away from signing the contract. it's a pretty cool place, too. all the other teachers i've met are cool, and i get to work with my friends aaron and lexie, which is also very cool, but the principal and i don't really understand one another. it's not that i dislike her, or that she dislikes me (although she very well may dislike me, let's not be presumptuous, right?), but it's that almost every conversation we have is utterly confusing. we NEVER get off on the right foot. every single interaction we have tends to be under "perfect storm" circumstances, and, like, NOTHING goes quite as it should. so i have this feeling that i may not be asked back nexy year, which sucks because of how much money it pays, but in the end i'd rather teach somewhere i feel comfortable and that gets me. because i'm hella complicated.

music: the new animal "too cool"-ective is "meh," the new liars is "meh," i like maritime, i like old al green, and i'm pretty sure i heard some other stuff that i liked but i can't really remember it right now.

movies: superbad wasn't as amazing as i'd hoped, but it was a lot of fun

comics: dude, what the fuck is DC doing to itself? countdown is ass-chunks. world war hulk is a billion times better than civil war was, and i think the new avengers is kind of falling apart. i like bendis, but man. it's fucking time to finish all this stupid avengers disassembled shit and get somewhere else. they keep talking about how the marvel universe needs change, and i agree, but it feels like these stories that are causing the changes are going on too goddamn long. the fact that they keep saying the whole m-day storyline will be resolved finally or whateever, it's just... marvel, you guys are good. really good. so just fucking stop it, already. stop it.

anyways, if spencer is blogging again, and i'm blogging again, then maybe all is really right with the world. i mean, except for the whole iraq thing, and the housing market thing, and the irreparable damage caused by the bush administration thing. and the global warming thing. and the end times thing.

i called it


breaking up a fight? check.

got super fucking sunburned? check.

it's just like...


you know how the teddy bears had a picnic? today, the special ed kids get a picnic. here's to taking the day off in the name of "social skills."

the funny thing is that although this field trip to the park is ostensibly to teach social skills, we will have to break up at least one fight or bust a kid smoking pot in the bathroom.



as in: my breath has been taken away by all the shit that's rained upon my furrowed brow as of the past few weeks. jesus fucking christ. i'm dying over here.

the good thing is that me and my awesome lady got us a place on 7th and fulton, which is right next to golden gate park, haight street, green apple books (the best bookstore i've ever been to, hands down), the inner sunset, and all manner of cool shit. i love my city. so all i have to do is hang in there for 2 more weeks and then i'll be ok.

looking for a new job


is butt doody. i have spent so much fucking time rewriting my resume, working on cover letters, etc, etc, etc.



anyone want to pay me six figures to hang out around them and be witty all day?



so hung over. i haven't left my bed all day. it's been fantastic.

i don't understand


i really, really don't get it. i mean, i have a lot of ideas. every day i have ideas. all kinds of them. the other day i had this idea about jetpacks. that was a cool idea. yesterday i had an idea that i should make a joke about my girlfriend's weight. that was a bad idea. some ideas are good, some ideas are bad. the trick, as i found out when i had the idea to dive for a softball, even though i had no idea how to properly dive and ended up breaking my collarbone, is to not follow up on the bad ones.

it seems like marvel has a lot of ideas, too. and they should, too, because they've got some really creative people working there. the problem with marvel, it seems, is that they'll just take any idea and run with it, whether or not it's good or bad. i mean, how else do you explain this? how did marvel get to this? don't they understand that the continuity of this whole civil war thing, although potentially cool, is falling dead on the floor?

they really should have done what DC did with 52: PLAN THE FUCKING THING OUT BEFORE STARTING TO PUBLISH.