Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Corn Chips & Pie

I am not unaware that this blog has neglected its primary mission: to educate the benighted masses about the wonders of corn chips and pie. Moreover, a fair bit of traffic every day ends up disappointed because I offer no information about pie and chips (freedom fries & savory meat pies). I am given to understand that there is such a thing as corn chip pie, but purists prefer the two complementary elements to be served separately.

First, posh CC&P: Imagine a Cezanne still life. A wooden table with peeled, light blue paint. Atop it sits an artisan's clay bowl filled with delicious, nourishing, life-affirming, organic corn chips. The eye rests upon the corn chips, pleased, but drawn ineluctably to the right... what's that? Could it be? It's pie! The peasant's wife has gathered loganberries from the banks of the creek, and has baked a steaming pie.

Next, CC&P as God himself enjoys it: Tostitos and Home Run Pie. ("This 'value' pie attracts the 21-44 year old shopper with children," says the website, but it is too modest... this 'value' pie, despite containing no ingredients that are not chemically synthesized in the laboratory, attracts gourmands and hobos alike.)

And, ok, fine, corn chip pie. Kim Overstreet of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma submitted this fine vegetarian recipe.

Sunday, February 26, 2006


I will play catch after the sun sets, after everyone else leaves, after the park fills with heroin addicts [the Saigon zoo at dusk is empty; the only living things are lazy despondent animals, couples fucking, and bony wraiths shooting up], after my rotator cuff grinds to pieces. I will play catch with anything: baseballs, footballs, basketballs, tennis balls, squash balls, lemons, figurines, compact discs, keys, turtle bones, Dell 922 All-In-One printers, Trotskyist pamphlets, archaic maps, tuna.

The fancy, fancy brain somehow intuits the terminus of the object's arc, and thrusts a welcoming paw into that space. Then the throw back, equally fascinating. There it goes, more or less where you'd envisioned, with no real idea how it happened. Now, from an evolutionary perspective, throwing I can understand. Spearchuckin'. Kill the Castorocauda lutrasimilus. But I have to regard catching as a miraculous byproduct of natural selection. Wow. How'd the hell I just catch that? And what possible selective advantage could the skill have conferred? The only conclusion I can draw is that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Catch is so damned fascinating. But it is a wild, untamed beast, responsible for a multitude of catastrophes over the years: the shattering of an Italian Mormon's window; the killing of a pigeon by Randy Johnson; the death of Ray Chapman; the tragic and unprovoked destruction of an anqtique Edwardian curved window [or something] in San Francisco, via lemon, by EB, back in the late '90s. Cost me a fair bit of my security deposit, unless he paid it back, which he might have done.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Indie Clerk Assholes, presented by Stereogum.


I like to eat peas.

Comments (9)

Oh my God. Your awesome. I love you.
--Posted by Erin on February 23, 2006

This is consistently one of the most incisive, juicy blogs on the internet. Keep it up.
--Posted by terence02 on February 23, 2006

Peas? Who are you? What is this drivel? Shut the fuck up about your peas. You're not funny. You're not clever. Stupid cunt.
--Posted by alex on February 23, 2006

Yes and that is a very good point of view. I also enjoy your site with its discussion of the fascinating topic of PEAS. There are many interesting aspects to this. Perhaps some of you might also enjoy discount prices on tanzanite at another interesting website I have found.
--Posted by Mr. Doggy on February 23, 2006

Um, ok. I thought the internet had already covered that ground about, you know, two years ago. If you don't mind being part of a dead movement, all I can say is: whatevs.
--Posted by ukulele_man on February 23, 2006

I think you've touched on something very important, but you've given the topic short shrift. For those of you who are interested, I suggest you check out my own blog, which addresses this question in somewhat more detail.
--Posted by Beverly on February 23, 2006

That is genius. Bravo, sir.
--Posted by Holden_Caulfield2983075837 on February 23, 2006

Jesus Christ, that is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever read. Do you have no internal editor? No sense of self-respect? Seriously, that pisses me off. You fucking twat. Where do you live? Seriously. I am coming to find you. I am going to kick your ass, hard. Tell me, motherfucker. Typical snarky bourgeois pretentious whiny cowardly retarded cliched unfunny asshatted pseud douchebag. I hate you. I will be on the SE corner of 4th and B, near Max-- which you probably like, asshole-- at 8 pm tonight. Come find me and get the shit beat out of you.
--Posted by Rene on February 23, 2006

Some of you are being awfully hard on him. Please, remember: he tries.
--Posted by Mom on February 23, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Port fooferaw

Stupid. Let's "lazily watch this curling match play out," as one of Kevin Drum's commenters sez.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Cold, lonely, bitter nuggets

  • Walking home tonight, I noticed that the cold wind has attached twenty-two plastic bags to the tree in front of my apartment; normally, there are only three or four stuck up there, but some remarkable confluence of weather, sanitation removal schedules, and season (lots of pointy little bare branches) has produced a tree laden with a cornucopia of white post-consumer fruit. I needed to alert Ian Frazier, and quickly. But my sense of urgency passed, and I walked upstairs.
  • CC&P Stalker: I saw Brooke Shields at a bar with some kind of mustachioed man the other night. We traded baked carp recipes and furtive glances. Rather, I stared at her all evening and awkwardly thrust a yellowed scrap of paper with my grandmother's baked carp recipe into her hands.
  • If you live in New York, check out the Obsessive Drawing exhibit at the American Folk Art Museum. It's not large, but it is hypnotic and unsettling. I know how much you like to be unsettled. The permanent collection's pretty interesting, too. Not the inferno of textiles and pottery I'd feared.
  • Make sure to read the wall-mounted descriptions of the art. Let me say here that I love a good wall-mounted description, the more pretentious the better. The key here is to realize that most of the "folk" art could also be classified as "outsider" art; that is to say, it's art made by crazy people. Thus phrases like "an unconscious allusion to de Kooning" or "her mashed potato towers address the dislocations produced by rapid industrialization" or "his crude crayon scrawls deal with the complex emotional dynamics induced by prison rape" become more transparently bullshit than the equally vacuous prose on the walls of, say, the MoMA next door. Plus: these descriptions contain the words "scrimshander" and "Fancy," the latter capitalized.
  • Speaking of crazypantses, we'll get to A.G. Rizzoli in good time; don't you worry.
  • Francis Fukuyama can go fuck himself with his quasi-mea culpa. Meanwhile, so can Leon Wieseltier, who willfully and completely misrepresents Daniel Dennett's arguments in the NYT Book Review.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Four nuggets: not worth a damn

  • There are certain gems, stones, and minerals that only seem to crop up in English translations of Italian authors. I am thinking here of chyroprase, chalcedony, sardonyx, chysolite.
  • My barber refused to cut my hair the way I asked today. I hadn't asked him to peel his eyelids back, remove his pants, dance an Irish jig, and graft bear fur onto my head. I had merely asked him to use the #4 clippers all the way around. This is what you get for going to the barbershop in Presbyterian Hospital.
  • This is the dark, cold, lonely season for sports: no football, no baseball, before the NCAA tournament. And I just can't get into the Olympics without Jim McKay. A lot of bodegas & bars up here in Washington Heights get Dominican baseball games on satellite, so that helped in January. But February... even Yard Work isn't updating these days.
  • I close with some lines from my favorite Frank O'Hara poem: "Everyone, look at me/I'm Frank O'Hara/writing some of my po-et-ry/I'm a big city poet/fancy fancy me/look at me, everyone."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Now look what you made me do

You made me get all preachy. And, I know, this preachiness is literally hooouuuurs late (who hasn't seen "administration in microcosm" rants all over the place?), cliched, put to bed, unwanted in the first place. Well fuck you.

But hey, Cheney shot a guy in the face, and I still think that's pretty great. If he really was tanked at the time, so much the better ("one beer"? and ducking the sheriff 'til the next morning? come on). Obviously it doesn't matter much either way. But keep the endless jokes, rants, conspiracy theories, and general hoopla coming. I really don't think I'll ever get enough.

Time for some Chunky Monkey

Cheney says Saturday was one of the worst days of his life. But it didn't quite reach the crappiness of the day he realized, in all their enormity, the consequences of invading Iraq: likely well over 100,000 killed unnecessarily. These people were "peppered" with "spray," so to speak, under false pretenses; while the fondest neocon hopes of a Pax Americana in the Middle East would fail to materialize; as would the more modest hopes of a stable, US-friendly puppet regime right in the oil heartland. Global instability, torture, American armed forces stretched to the breaking point, growing domestic resentment, spiraling debt, a final deathblow to the staggering & wheezing notion of American military omnipotence. And again, the 100,000+ dead. No, the day he realized that, it was time for a Lil' Debbie snack cake binge.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

We is right

Achilles Rizzoli sez:

"We sincerely believe we have delineated the most remarkable and singular impression ever possible of expressing in terms of decorative architecture unique to extremes hardly possible of visualization unless one has actually experienced the oddly intrinsic throbbing ordeal, thereupon we feel we have produced the most picturesque and precious piece of, or at least essayed the initial move in what may be considered a new movement in the history of art."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Re: Cheney & buckshot

I have nothing to add, but that's never stopped me before. Here's what we're all thinking: how fantastic would it be if Cheney had killed the guy? Actually, for all I know, the woods are littered with the remains of wealthy Republican campaign donors who got accidentally blasted in the neck by Cheney. Conspiracy, I tells you.

black slush & yellow holes & dogshitsicles


Sunday, February 12, 2006



Friday, February 10, 2006

Weekend nuggets

  • Former Olympic figure skater Scott Hamilton turned down a reported $4 million per year offer to be the Oakland Raiders' head coach yesterday, saying the "interface with ownership was not optimal."
  • A couple of days after brutally trouncing Winston (the doorman in my apartment building) in a savage armwrestling match, I received a CD that shows an even softer side of the man: a dancehall reggae single, with the cover featuring Winston himself in a soulfully romantic pose. It's not bad.
  • Clown of the Year 2005 is making a strong bid to upstage this year's model in the news this week. Michael Brown has turned on his evil benefactors in a beautifully craven display of ass-saving. But Clown of the Year 2006 will not be outdone: after being fired the other day (nominally for lying about the fact that he'd graduated from Texas A&M), George Deutsch has kept running his spittly, overprivileged, developmentally disabled, right-wing religious nut mouth. I cannot believe this dude was appointed to NASA. NASA, for chrissakes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

"How in God's name can this be related to Benihana?"

Look, man, if you're gonna throw shrimp around like that, the chickens will come home to roost.

He will rock you

Someone did something very bad today. Police have closed off a coupla blocks here in Washington Heights, off St. Nicholas at 173rd and 174th. 2 police choppers circle overhead. 250 cops are swarming around. Nobody knows what's going on. And nearby, leaning out of the passenger-side window of a parked car, a dangerously obese Dominican kid is repeating, over and over, "We will, we will.... [long pause, waiting for a pedestrian to pass into his target zone] ROCK YOU!!!" With every punchline, his face is screwed up in a little ball of fat, eyes pinched shut, spittle flying out of his screaming maw.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I'm a driver; I'm a winner

It's been pointed out to me that my last several posts have involved shit, piss, cock, humping, and fiery infanticide. I apologize. Let's keep it clean, kids. Gotta stay out of the gutter if I want Corn Chips & Pie to be a major voice on the national scene, a tastemaker, a kingmaker, a theme park, a Saturday morning cartoon, a line of plush toys, a Stella McCartney blouse.

I was just listening to some of Guero and my thoughts drifted to 1994, driving around in my 1980 Honda Civic, hearing "Loser" on the radio for the first time. Beck? His voice actually sounded like it could be Rod Beck's. My mental image of the guy featured mutton chops, a 'stache, and a wicked split-fingered fastball until I saw a photo of the waifish blond Scientologist.

Lou Reed once referred to "Walk on the Wild Side" as the song that allowed him to buy six houses. Beck probably got at least a swimming pool out of "Loser." One too-tidy narrative has it that Kurt Cobain's suicide + "Loser" = the end of flannel mopery and the ascendance of puckish insincerity on the national scene. Ushering in the Golden Age of American Irony. I like that narrative, even though I know it's not really true.

Things are gonna change. I can feel it.

P.S. Why Beck, and not Sexy Death Soda? Ponder that one.


Owen RW, Spiegelhalder B, Bartsch H. Generation of reactive oxygen species by the faecal matrix. Gut. 2000 Feb; 46(2): 225-32.

I'm not sure which is more surprising: 1) that our shit conspires to kill us, 2) that there is something called the "fecal matrix," or 3) that there is a scientific journal called "Gut."

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Don't that beat all?

With over six billion people on the planet, and so many many many bits of common knowledge, you'd figure there are a few people with incomprehensible gaps in their understanding of the world around them. I am one of those people.

Until yesterday, I had no idea that female dogs don't lift their legs when they piss. Well knock me over with a feather.

Get your dander up

Follow the chain of links from the Washington Monthly to World O'Crap to the New York Times.

Or don't. I hadn't really sympathized with the violent response to those Danish cartoons, of which we will speak no further, until I saw what Kevin Deutsch, the recent journalism school dropout / Bush crony / NASA press secretary had to say about science v. religion: "I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA." I wanna go protest in front of his house & call upon the US government to set him on fire.

My shot at the Pulitzer

'Sfunny. Every time I've been watching a Steelers game with friends who are, shall we say, not football fans, Bill Cowher's face elicits the same reaction: "Who's that guy? He looks like a cock."

Of course he looks like a cock. Would shaving the moustache help? Difficult to say. With most people, I believe it would help. Take Jeff Kent. With the moustache, he's like a pouty CHP officer who just caught his girlfriend humping her Pilates instructor, so you'd damn well better put your hands on the wheel and put up with his entirely forced cool-cucumber act. Without the moustache, he's just a whiny David Eckstein. But Cowher, boy, I think his face has reserves of cockitude that go well beyond his facial hair. The jut of the chin, the squinty little pig eyes.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Until about last fall, most people figured epidemiology was the study of skin disease. Kinda understandable; you know, "epidermis" and all that. But now, when people ask me what I study, they know what it is. And they have one question (posed, I suspect, more out of politeness than curiosity): So, what's the deal with bird flu?

I don't know any more than you do. Epidemiology, formally defined, is "the study of not knowing what other people think you might know." I don't know shit about bird flu. I don't know shit about molecular biology, about anatomy, about skin disease, about table settings. I can barely count to twenty. That doesn't prevent me from telling people that bird flu will kill us all, and that we should keep our basements stocked with ramen, batteries, and cellophane. The drunker I am, the more I will pontificate, the more alarmist I become. Burn your children just to be safe, I say.

Epidemiology can be surprisingly abstract. It's grounded in statistics; it flirts heavily with mathematical modeling. It has intimate, candlelit dinners with causal theory. It has rough and conflicted sex with probability. Of course, its entire "reason of etre", as the French say, is application: preventing and controlling disease at the population level. But you could carve out a happy little career in epidemiology without ever once doing a damned thing to influence a real person's life.

Doesn't hurt to learn some basic microbiology, though. So I'm taking an immunology class right now. It is fascinating. Also fascinating is the degree of anthropomorphization going on. This may be inevitable. Immunology comprises an immensely complicated dynamic with gazillions of objects interacting in not immediately intuitive ways. The only way we can really grasp the narrative is to assign motives, roles, personalities, etc. to the objects. The textbooks are carefully worded, but in lectures and conversations, the way we really think about these things emerges.

Similarly, it's remarkably easy to lapse into the unconscious assumption of design. "Intelligent design" is not ideologically seductive in any way to me; rather, it is seductive to the basic way in which I learn about and comprehend complex interactions among things. Perhaps our brains are particularly well-suited to understanding complex social interactions; perhaps such an understanding conferred considerable selective advantage among humans living in complex societies. Perhaps, then, it's a hell of a lot easier to think about immunology as a bunch of people with a bunch of motives doing a bunch of stuff. Or perhaps I'm just an idiot.