Saturday, July 31, 2004

No show

Ah piss it, Shannon didn't even show. I tried to say hi to some of her dumpy friends but they gave me the lumpy cold shoulder. I hung out for hours, breaking my neck to see if she was about to come through the gate, but no dice. About the only good thing that happened to me tonight was that Ray's new butler Waterbury complimented my trousers and made me a drink called like Pimm's Cup or something. Not Winner's Cup, something sweeter.

Now it's gonna be a crappy week while I wait and see if Shannon will be there next Friday. Yeah, she can't live her whole life around this dumb party, maybe I shouldn't either. I'm hesitant to ask Ray to put some feelers out, though. The last thing I want is Ray intervening in my romantic life. Hell, I'd rather talk about it with Waterbury. At least he makes eye contact.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Balancing Act

Maybe typing it all out will help me decide...I want to wear something that's slick but not overly nice, so Shannon doesn't think I'm trying too hard. A more casual outfit might help me relax, too. I think I'm going to wear that Evian bicycle jersey with my new Kangol, and some full-cut tweed trousers with a tall cuff, and these really simple, waxy Doc Marten oxfords. That's a nice mix of formal and casual. Maybe I'll even wear that heavy silver bead necklace. I'm getting kind of anxious about what we're going to say...last time I played it real suave and she was into it, but I can't keep acting that do you bridge the gap between your "player" self and the you that people could live with every day? Agh. I hate this part. What am I going to do for the next four hours?

Thursday, July 29, 2004


Last week I said something about there being a new and unusual girl at Ray's lately. She was there again last Friday, and since I had set myself up as the bartender, we finally crossed paths.

Ray had told me that he was doing a "NASCAR" themed party, which I'm not into and I'm sure no women are, so I hid some bottles of gin and tonic in my backpack before I went over, thinking that if she was there I could hint at a secret stash and maybe make a connection.

I got that electric feeling in my stomach when she walked into the yard with her friends, and tried to keep it on cool. Most of them were happy to take a red cup of Natural Lite or a margarita, but when she got to the counter I could tell that she wasn't really into the selection. I leaned forward as though to tell her a secret, right close to her ear so I could smell her hair, and said "if you'd like something else, meet me in the kitchen."

She smiled, and I got that rush you get when you're decisive around women. I played it cool as I filled a few surplus cups with Natty Lite and margaritas, then I wiped my hands on the towel, looked around, and strode into the house with my pack.

She wasn't there yet so I got out some nice glasses and ice, and I trimmed some limes. I started making the drinks in case she was watching me through a window, and sure enough she came in as soon as I'd finished mixing them.

I offered her one of the tumblers and we toasted. "I'm Téodor," I said. She said her name was Shannon. I apologized for the corny bar situation but she said she had come to expect it from Ray's parties, which we laughed about.

One of her friends got really sick a little way into our chat, and she had to go help, but I got the sense that she'll be back. She gave me a really apologetic smile and looked over her shoulder at me as she left. I finished her drink and remembered the smell of her shampoo. I had mix tape pangs and I can't wait for tomorrow night.   

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Complicated Couture

When I was shopping with Aunt Brezna I got all these "new fashion" belts that are in right now, flimsy colorful nylon things with D-ring belt buckle systems like you get on army surplus gear. I guess I don't know how to fasten them right because tonight when I was prepping some couscous ingredients for dinner my pants fell right down around my ankles. Fortunately no one saw, so I hiked them back up and now I have a safety pin keeping the belt closed just in case.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Nuts, late for Ray's

Ray busted Lyle for cutting my hair at his new taco stand yesterday, but he did manage to pitch tonight's party pretty well before he left. He has his usual stable of mall hoochies scheduled to show up around 11, and normally that's no big draw for me because I don't get off on talking about where I like to buy pants, but the last few times there's been this one friend of theirs along who's really intriguing. I haven't actually talked to her, but I know we've seen each other. It's that thing where you see a girl and you immediately fall for her, just by seeing her face. You start thinking about Thanksgiving at her parent's place. You know what I'm saying, don't act like you don't. You think I'm corny, look at yourself.

Anyhow, all I'm saying is I hope she's there. I'll ask Ray to break the ice, he's really good at that and he's absolutely never into the same kind of women I am. He'll chat her up, introduce me, and then disappear while we commiserate about what a doofus he is.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Visit to Aunt Brezna's

I forgot I had planned this trip since I was so caught up in that risotto thing...anyhow, I've been at my Aunt Brezna's for the last week, up in the city. I try to spend a week with her every year, enjoying the good life (her late husband, Uncle Artie, was J. Artemis Call, heir to the Call Salt empire). She's not some lonely old spinster pining away in a SoMa single-occupancy hotel; she's got a big house in Seacliff and keeps a pretty active calendar. She's on the board of the opera hall and a few museums, etc. I think all the other old-money crows like her style -- she's a no-bullshit Slav with a thick accent, but what she does say usually cuts right to the quick of things. Plus she's really funny. I remember one time she took me to Quadrillon, this coat-and-tie place on Nob Hill, and we were having dinner with some bigshot city attorney and his wife. Aunt B took a grape off the table centerpiece and stuck it in the mouth of the fox fur the woman was wearing. "He has his mouth open all night this fox, and no-one feeds him!" she laughed. I had to bite on a lambchop to keep from busting a gut.
Anyhow, she loves to dote on me (she never had any kids of her own) and we always go shopping to set me up for the year. We'll hit Nordstrom, Neiman-Marcus, Wilkes Bashford (now that I'm older) along with a nice set of old-school tailors and shoemakers she's known forever. This time we did pretty well but when I got home I realized that almost all of the casual stuff I got was EXACTLY like the stuff Jamie Oliver's wearing in that new cookbook of his! You know, the one I wrote about a couple weeks ago, which is more Jamie's modeling portfolio than it is a set of recipes.  I guess it had a pretty big influence on me. Thin white Adidas tennis shoes, dyed and sanded jeans, camouflage turtleneck with an orange safety vest, Simon & Garfunkel shoes, babbley Japanese tshirts...etc.
So I just pulled in and am catching up on email and all of that. I guess I could start doing that risotto thing to Chris again but I'm kind of over it.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

That jackass.

So Chris got up and left the house before I could even turn on the stove today. Since when does he get up at seven in the morning? Oh well, tomorrow's Monday so I'll be able to put my plan into action. Maybe I'll sandbag him with a rum and coke so he stays up kind of late tonight. I don't want this tuna to go bad, it cost ten bucks.

Iron Chef Risotto

I don't have too much going on tomorrow so I'm going to put Chris on a Total Risotto Beat-Down, putting a finale on this risotto revenge and completely breaking him. The stuff does by its very nature take a long time to cook, and it's taken a lot out of my free time lately, but it's been worth it. I've come up with a lot of new recipes, plus I've got Chris pretty sorry that he made that crack in the first place I'm sure.

Tomorrow's risotto schedule:

9AM: Wake him up with a creamy Risotto Florentine, a spinach/risotto base topped with a poached egg and Bernaise (my upgrade over the basic white/cheese sauce)

11AM: Risotto Interlude. At 11AM he'll be doodling around in his robe and coffee, looking out various windows of the house to see which plants he should have watered earlier in the week. I'll surprise him with a tuna/toasted sesame seed tartare quenelle on a large spoonfull of pancetta risotto. The richness of the egg yolk in the tartare will marry it with the crispy chunks of pancetta.

1PM: I present him with a Risotto Monsieur, a risotto with minced ham, concassé tomato, black pepper, and a sprinkling of Gruyere, broiled until the Gruyere is toasted. Champagne.

4PM: Just when he thinks it might be over, I walk in with a simple artichoke risotto, served in the heel of the Ferragamos he just paid $52.50 to have repaired. In the heel of the matching shoe: a Ziploc bag with an ounce of Sambuca in it. I spray him with seltzer water and let him draw his own conclusions.

6PM: Dinner: a photo of him in the shower, among a bed of mixed greens. It looks like he's crying/singing.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

'Mad World"

There's this new cover of Tears For Fears' old song "Mad World" going around now, sung by some trembly pussy with about 1/5 the arrangement and recording talent of the original band. He's probably half my age and sitting in his bedroom crying to pictures of Clara Bow. Anyhow, I thought I'd rant about the lame phenomenon of dudes whose greatest and only hits are cover songs, but then I decided that if everybody else can cash in on it then I can too. I'm going to buy a nice mic, hit myself in the nuts with a hammer, and do a really cookin' version of Rock the Casbah.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Jamie Oliver

So Chris went to this Jamie Oliver book signing at Williams-Sonoma a few months ago and picked up his latest vanity project. 330 pages, 12 recipes, 95 spreads of Jamie looking young and British and ultra-hip in front of spray-painted walls and old VW buses. I exaggerate, but come on now fella. Some really neat recipes in here, and a really nice vinaigrette ratio that I love. Maybe for dinner I'll make the sauteéd scallops wrapped in pancetta, I know Chris can never get enough of either. That'll be nice along with some provencal-style risotto; he complains that I always "fall back on risotto" but he never complains when it's on his plate. Dork.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004


I wonder what INXS are up to these days. The main guy Michael Hutchence choked his own chicken in a rock'n'roll closet like seven years ago and when your frontman goes, the rest of the band is essentially hosed. Same way with DK, Echo & The Bunnymen, etc. Imagine The Smiths carrying on with a new guy instead of Morrissey. The singer is the identity of the band and there's no use kidding yourself otherwise. I guess it's because the voice is far and away the most distinctive instrument in rock music, what with most guitars/synths/drums sounding essentially the same to the layman.

Anyhow, INXS' Listen Like Thieves was the first tape I ever bought with allowance money, and I still have it out in the shed. I can remember the smell of it, the way I sat and stared at the cool handwriting all the lyrics were written up in, marveling at how three of the guys in the band were apparently brothers (Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farris), all of that.

My very *first* tape was Tears For Fears' Songs From The Big Chair, but mom bought that for me. I can name all the guys in that band too, but I'm not going to do that here, except for Manny Elias just to prove a fine point.

Alright, now I'm just talking about old tapes. I'll go.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Dinner tonight...

Should be interesting. We have a bunch of fresh fava beans from the farmer's market, avocados, heirloom tomatoes, some basil oil that Chris picked up in Paris, white anchovies and some fresh ciabatta. I'll probably make us a nice bruschetta using all that plus some of the gorgonzola we have as a base spread. Chris'll hem and haw about the anchovies but they're pretty mild so I'm sure he'll end up liking them. He's been on this big kick about trying all sorts of food ever since he got into Anthony Bourdain. The guy's base tastes are pretty ghetto (he could eat Ore-Ida shredded hash browns three meals a day) but you've got to give him credit for trying. His big breakthrough lately was that he would eat the tentacles part of the calamari, not just the rings. He's all, "more surface area for the batter!" Great, Chris. This from a guy who owns $23,000 worth of cookbooks and enough copper cookware to re-stock the French Laundry. He even has this 12" Henckels that he uses like once a year to cut sweet potatoes. Whatever, I'm rambling.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Bizarre Love Triangle

Alright, so I didn't go to bed when I said I would and I doubt I'm going to be much help at Philippe's campaign meeting tomorrow, since I'm not going to show up. I've just told myself that it doesn't matter since the meeting isn't going to happen unless I go and remind him about it. Whoo hoo.

I found a pretty good tablature site that has all kinds of Substance-era stuff, including Bizarre Love Triangle (New Order, if you don't know it you should start with their 1987 album, it's a great jumping off point for the stuff that comes both before and after). I was picking away at that for a long time until I realized how late it was. Anyhow, I think Peter Hook gets way less credit than he should as an innovative bassist.

Oh, crap. Philippe's making some horrible noises in his room. I bet he ate too much again. Time to grab the Nature's Miracle and a trowel. Straight face, Téodor. Big brother.

These blog templates are corny

Wow, the first thing I think I'm going to do when I have some time is make a less dorky template for this thing.

Anyhow, for breakfast today: a boneless chicken thigh that I had cooked extra last night, and a Hansen's Black Cherry soda. I put the chicken thigh on some nice Olive bread from Bay Bread (farmer's market) and sprinkled it with some kosher salt and extra virgin olive oil/arugula.

Alright, I've got to go. I have a meeting with Philippe tomorrow morning to try to make some sense of his campaign. This whole thing is a total mess, but Ray's putting up a ton of money so I have this weird sense that I have to take it seriously. We're even going on a retreat in a couple weeks.