Thursday, August 31, 2006

Blog Day

Apparently today is Blog Day. What this means exactly I'm not sure--the blog day website has been down all morning. Isn't it ironic, in the Morisette sense? (Blog Day might be a British thing, but the internet is global, baby, and anyhow, I was born in England.)

I gather from Silverbrow that you are supposed to link like the Dickens on blog day to show your love all over the 'sphere. I like.

Ample Sanity turned me onto Jay is Games and I'm most grateful.

General Hospital of House, M.D. charts references to GH on House and v.v. 380-some blogs link to it, so perhaps it was already a daily read. It wins the Pete Wells exploit-your-niche award.

The Cinetrix has Sam Jackson to help her keep her film students in line and it's only the first week of class.

Finally, some local blogstuffs: Sprawled Out: The Search for Community in an American Suburb is a Franklin, WI blog about "the way we live and why." And Not Be Televised reviews Wisconsin State Fair food. Eating ostrich: "remarkably not like any other poultry I've had in my day." Dane101 reports on Trader Joe's, soon coming to both Madison and Milwaukee. Yes, we are so blessed. And not exactly local, but Food Market Index tracks Whole Foods, especially the one in Framingham, Mass.

In other news, I bought some t-shirts from Threadless to try vainly to recapture my lost youth. I'll be sure to let you know how that goes. L8R.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

When in Barcelona, be sure to fill your mouth with broken glass

In a Dining In video, Mark Bittman nominates a ham sandwich as the greatest sandwich in the world. What's so great about it? Among other things, it's the crispness of the bread: "The bread is like so crisp that when you bite into it it's like glass breaking."

Mmmm, glass.

(Btw, this is not the culinary metaphor watch.)

Monday, August 28, 2006

Kidstuff links

Wanna waste some time while feeling young, or at least juvenile? Click away.

Kids make claymation movies. I did something similar as a kid animating cardboard cutouts shooting with Super 8. I think it's safe to say that no one does that any more.


Play flash animation games, with or without a kid:

-Deko Boko Friends (I've linked to this before)


-Thomas & Friends (the house favorite at the moment)

Surprisingly, the Nickleodeon web games I have played are disappointing.


Youtube mashups for grownups, most of them exercises in hideous taste:

Blue Velvet Clues

Dora the Mafiosa


Spongeback Mountain

Wasssup Teletubbies?

Before you die

There's a meme going around: you recommend things to eat before you die. A bit morbid, no? If it were things to eat before being banished to Devil's Island for thirty years, that would really be something to consider. Then you would have thirty years during which to contemplate the moment you ate that cherished morsel of whatever. But what difference does it make what you ate in your lifetime once you're no longer of the living? It's like Bush 43 said when asked how he thinks history will view his presidency: "Who cares? We'll all be dead."*

The point is actually to recommend great foods that other people have to make a point of eating before they die. So I don't actually have to think about my own demise to join in, only yours. These are things to eat before you die. If you wait too long and die you'll miss your big chance so don't blow it, ok?

I was invited to play along by Eat. The meme originated with Traveler's Lunchbox, which spun it off this BBC poll. Here are my picks:

1. Fresh bagels from Fairmount Bagel, Montreal. Poppy and sesame. Great with lox and cream cheese but also all by themselves.

2. Frozen custard from Kopp's Frozen Custard, Milwaukee.

3. Bratwurst, simmered in beer and grilled over charcoal. Served on a hard sausage roll with grilled onions and brown mustard and accompanied by anything brewed in Wisconsin.

4. Fresh cheese curds eaten while walking around the Dane County Farmers' Market in Madison. If they're good they squeak as you chew them.

5. Chinese buns and sweets from the Yung Sing Pastry Shop on Baldwin Street, Toronto. Tofu buns, meat buns, fried sesame balls stuffed with sweet yellow bean paste, all cheap, greasy, and good to eat while sitting on a park bench or picnic table nearby.

*Bob Woodward quotes "We'll all be dead" in Plan of Attack. I took the liberty of inserting the "Who cares?" part just cuz.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Culinary Metaphor Watch

Martha C. Nussbaum reviews Harvey C. Mansfield's Manliness for TNR and, to quote one MeFi poster, "hands him his ass." The book sounds horrendously stupid and Nussbaum's takedown is delicious reading, but my point here is merely to share culinary metaphors.

If the author of Manliness is far from being the patient philosophical type for whom we have been searching, who might he be? Plato's dialogues knew the answer: he is a rhetorician or a sophist, one of those theatrical types so admired by the conventionally ambitious men amply on display as Socrates's interlocutors. Far from seeking truth, the sophist seeks to put on a good show. Far from wanting premises that are correct, the sophist seeks premises that his chosen audience will find believable. Far from seeking analytical rigor, he offers a show of rigor in arguments that are riddled with ambiguity and equivocation and logical error. Far from submitting bravely to Socrates's questioning, he slinks away when the going gets tough, or cranks up the volume in order to try to drown out the courageous voice of the truth-seeking philosopher. Audiences love him -- because, says Socrates, he is like a clever cook: instead of promoting true health, he goes after what his audience will eagerly gobble up.
This would seem to describe the whole culinary trade, fast and fancy food alike. That Socrates sure knew his stuff.

Mansfield's intended readers do not care what modern feminism really says, and they know so little about the subject that they are likely not even to see how little of it Mansfield has described. From their youth they remember the chilling names of Millett, Greer, and Firestone, and they are sure that feminism cannot have had a thought since then. They certainly relish the tasty claim that sexual promiscuity is a central goal of the new feminism. And just to be sure that they are utterly delighted, Mansfield smears all over the top of his dish a thick layer of sneers and jibes, rather like anchovy paste, delicious to some but revolting to others -- patronizing characterizations of women as harboring a "secret liking for housework," or enjoying "the pleasurable duty of henpecking." Or this: "One has only to think of Jane Austen to be assured that women have a sense of humor, distributed in lesser quantities to lesser brains." At this point, I think, even some of the implied readers of this book might turn away. In fact, I suspect that Mansfield underestimates the care and the acuity of his chosen audience (or some of it) throughout his book.
I can't imagine anyone, even a great lover of the salty little fishies, relishing a thick layer of anything "rather like anchovy paste." But since Nussbaum is among the smartest people in the world, I'm not about to call any metaphor of hers bad.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Idol Live in Chicago, August 19, 2006


After the first song of the Idol concert in Chicago, Mandisa proclaimed herself blessed to have been on "the greatest television show in the world." The audience approved this line with its cheers and applause. I had to think about it for a second; I haven't watched every television show in the world, but upon brief reflection I was prepared to agree with Mandisa. Whether or not we are right that Idol is better even than House and The Sopranos and 24 and Veronica Mars and Battlestar Galactica and Lost and The Daily Show and the other contenders for the title of World's Greatest, it is undeniable that no other show sells out arena concerts all summer long across the USA. If one important function of TV is to offer a communal experience, Idol maximizes this appeal. The tour is an opportunity for people to commune with thousands of others who watched along with them, to collapse the distance and mediation of the regular broadcast and to come together in a single space.

The crowd was full of kids but also of older viewers, mostly white but not 100%, and very effusive for its favorites. The first real rush of enthusiasm came when Ace took off his jacket and made love to himself, caressing his chest like a gay porn star as he sang "Father Figure." And they were even more charged up for the biggest stars of the show, Chris and Taylor. Only these two have the talent and presence to command the full rock and roll fervor of a huge arena crowd, but the others give it a good shot. (Some, like Elliott, would be better suited to a smaller venue.) One of the biggest roars of the night came during Taylor's set, when the jumbo video screens cut from the live camera feed to a clip package of Taylor's ascent from nobody to star. Just as rock and roll fans cheer for tunes they recognize and love, the Idol crowd went nuts for the familiar images of the television season just past.

American Idol's appeal is straightforward: it combines singing, dancing, comedy, judging, competition, the pursuit of fame, and a ritualized pattern of seasonal and weekly television consumption. That the audience gets a say in who gets to become a star is an added appeal but I think it would be almost as good television without it. The audience votes first by tuning in. The telephone calls are an added element of participation but lots of viewers don't call and their experience hardly seems diminished.

For the hardcore of fans, though, the devotion to their favorite is so intense that they could never miss out on voting. One thing that made the concert unusual, then, was that the audience was there not only to see their heroes, to see them put on a show, to be part of a collective experience, but also to celebrate the kids they made into stars, to exult in their triumph along with them. This was overwhelmingly the case when Taylor, the unlikely grey-haired winner, appeared from a section in the crowd singing "Jailhouse Rock" escorted by a scrum of black-clad security dudes and jogged through the aisles (just a few feet from where we were sitting in the 28th row of the floor!) to the stage. The fans don't just love Taylor; they're proud of him.

There were iffy bits and off notes, bad song choices and lackluster performances, just like on TV. Some of them were hot ones, some just weren't doing it for me; that's the nature of a concert with ten performers. Reality TV has to be raw, has to show us people with flaws, blemishes, quirks, sad stories, funny smiles and odd features. Even if it's scripted and polished like Idol, its payoff still comes from exploiting the realness of the people. Thus even in a contest drawing on the best of as big a country as America, much of the talent is in some way undeveloped. It seems that on Idol they have some contestants with looks, some with personality, some with natural musical ability (pipes), and even some with the ability to perform a song like they really feel the emotions conveyed by its music and words. Few if any ever can claim all of these talents, though, which is what one should do to be a great pop singer. (Kelly Clarkson comes closest of all of the Idols over five seasons.) Katharine, the curvy California girl with a huge voice, never seems like she has a clue what her song is about. She sang "Over the Rainbow" like it's a Hollywood closing-credits ballad rather than a yearning. Even Taylor, who looks nothing like a rock star but has the charisma and the voice to work a room of any size, sings Stevie Wonder's "Living For the City" like it's a good-times anthem (the lyrics are actually quite bleak). Of the 2006 crop of Idols, none has the total package. But that's what makes it good television: Taylor wasn't a likely candidate to become a star, but the people made him one.


The show had two sets; the second one showcased the real talent. There weren't many of the cheesy group numbers we were hoping for. There were a few duets, including Bucky and Kellie singing "You're the One That I Want." Chris, Elliott, Bucky, and Ace sang Guns N' Roses's "Patience." For encores the group (save Taylor) did "We Are the Champions," ironic considering that none of them was the champion, and "Living in America" as a finale. This was preferable to "God Bless the USA," the final number of the concert the Ruben-Clay year, the last time we saw the Idols.

Some parts were earnest but the best parts were just fun. One of my favorite moments in any Idol episode is when Simon criticizes a performance using a negative comparison: too karaoke, Las Vegas, Broadway, theme park, wedding band, hotel lounge, or worst of all, cabaret. How amusing to think there is something he is looking for that's better than these things. What I like about Idol is precisely its cheesiness, but there is good and bad cheese. Bucky singing "Drift Away," encouraging the audience to sing his chorus, "Give me the beat boys and free my soul/I want to get lost in your rock and roll..." was a bad cheese. Chris singing "Wanted Dead or Alive," getting the audience to sing his chorus, "I'm a cowboy/On a steel horse I ride..." was a fine, ripe cheese.

For the most part the performances were the same as on television, only with slightly less bloated arrangements. (The band on tour is smaller.) One welcome difference was that some of the Idols played instruments. Chris, Bucky, and Taylor played guitar, and Lisa played piano. But none of them played well except Chris. Lisa hammered away like a kid in her basement and skipped all the interesting chords in her Elton John numbers. Bucky and Taylor's guitars sounded like they weren't plugged in. Taylor played harmonica during "Takin' it to the Streets." Everyone smiled a lot. Many of the performers referred to the crowd as "Chi-Town" as in "How you doin' tonight, Chi-Town!" I don't think I have ever heard anyone say "Chi-Town" who wasn't onstage at an American Idol concert.

(This set list is mostly from my memory, but I got a bit of help from the American Idol blog.)

Mandisa: "I'm Every Woman," "If I Was Your Woman" (dedicated to all the fellas), and w/Ace (dedicated to God) "I'm Your Angel."

Ace: "Father Figure" (with removal of jacket), "Harder to Breathe." Ace tossed his hat into the crowd at one point, the first of many such tossings.

Lisa: "Signed Sealed Delivered," "Your Song," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," "Waterfalls" w/Paris. Lisa appeared to be wearing a shirt with Michael Jackson's image on it. Or it might have been a naked woman, hard to tell from as far back as we were.

Paris: "Crazy in Love," "Midnight Train to Georgia." Paris had on the headset mike to free her hands for her dance moves. Her jeans were monogrammed PB on the butt.

Bucky: "Superstition," "Drift Away," "You're The One That I Want" w/Kellie. Bucky's diction is atrocious.

Kellie: "I'm The Only One," "Walking After Midnight/Something to Talk About."

Intermission. The lines at the women's bathrooms were so long that dads were taking their daughters into the men's. These poor girls, they were so mortified they covered their faces in their hands.

Chris: "Whole Lotta Love," "Wanted Dead or Alive," "Renegade", w/Elliott "Savin Me" (I think that's what it's called).

Elliott: "All My Love," "Moody's Mood For Love," "Trouble" (I should note here E's strong feelings for Elliott.)

The boys (except Taylor): "Patience" with Ace taking the lead for the "I've been walkin' these streets at night..." portion and Bucky and Chris on acoustic guitar.

Katherine: "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree," "Over the Rainbow." Katherine looked like she had been mixing Vicodin and booze and she wore a long black dress to conceal the cast on her broken foot. The fans dubbed her Ill Diva after she missed the first three weeks of the tour due to whatever was supposedly wrong with her.

Taylor: "Jailhouse Rock," something soulful I can't remember, "Living for the City" "Don't Get Me Down," and dedicated to the troops, "Do I Make You Proud?"

Encore: Taylor, "Takin' it to the Streets" and group: "We Are the Champions," "Living in America."

[For more pictures see my American Idol photoset on Flickr.]

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I say tomato

Maybe it's not news to you, but there is a variety of tomato called celebrity. I thought celebrity was a terrible name for a Chevy but I don't mind it on a tomato.

Celebrity Tomatoes

Apparently, these are resistant to all sort of viruses. Good for them. They look too perfect if you asked me. I prefer something along the lines of this heirloom tomato which I believe is called a German Striped. It's from Cedar Creek Farm in Cedarburg, WI. One source claims:
This tomato has a complex smooth refreshing flavor and texture which will please even the pickiest tomato gourmet.
I'm not the pickiest tomato gourmet, so this one pleases me plenty.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Is there anything useful to say about heirloom tomatoes aside from, Hey these are really good tomatoes? Actually there is, and Barbara says it. These German ones and the Purple Calabash that the same farm grows and sells (at the Cathedral Square on Saturdays and Zeidler Park on Wednesdays) are the best tomatoes I've had this season. The reason I sometimes think there's nothing to say about these tomatoes is that all you really need is a knife and a few grains of salt and you're a happy tomato eater. Of course, two slices of toast, a slather of Hellman's, a few strips of crisp bacon, and a leaf of lettuce wouldn't hurt.

Also today at the market, fresh okra for my gumbo. Is there a vegetable with a more intriguing shape than okra?


Sunday, August 13, 2006


Canada is a lot like America, which is why Canadians get anxious about their national identity, and also why Americans have such a vague idea of what Canada is aside from a vast expanse of cold, empty space between Minnesota and the North Pole. I like to think of Canada as the accumulation of a thousand little differences. Different signage, currency, lingo, holidays, patterns of speech, etc. All of these things give me a warm, familiar feeling when I'm back there. And while Canadian cuisine doesn't bring to mind the same kind of fully formed idea as French or Italian or even American cuisine, there are many foodstuffs that are distinctly Canadian. One is the Nanaimo bar, which you can find in the States but which is always better when eaten in Canada. (It is named for the city in British Columbia where it might have originated in the 1930s, or not.)

Nanaimo Bar

This one was from Thyme & Again, a cafe in Ottawa. The essence of the Nanaimo bar is the contrast in textures between the chewy coconut-chocolate cake layer, the smooth and soft vanilla cream layer, and the top chocolate layer (which ideally would be hard and crisp). Nanaimo bars are best cold and they really should be cut in rectangles, but this specemin was a square and it didn't bother me much.

Another Canadian food is the bagel. This might sound off, but it's true. Many Canadian bagels are different from American ones. There are the Montreal bagels, which are their own special topic for another day. And there are Toronto bagels, like the ones below (a regular bagel and an enormous twister) from Haymishe Bagel Bakery on Bathurst Street near Lawrence. Unlike New York bagels, which are dense and heavy (and wonderful), Haymishe's bagels (and also those of Greyfe's, also in Toronto) have a light-textured crumb. Haymishe calles these bagels fluffy, which is apt. (The twisters use a heavier dough.) And yet the crust, as you can see, is dark and very chewy. The essence of bagelness is a shiny, chewy crust, and Toronto bagels are as good as any in this department.* And the contrast between the fluffy interior and the chewy exterior makes for happy eating. Contrast seems to have become the theme of this post.

Bagel, Twister

While staying with my parents in Toronto, the little man had his first taste of Froot Loops. Also his second, third, fourth, fifth... I loathe the smell of these things and the colors are just preposterous. But he couldn't get enough. When asking for these, he said, "I want toucan cereal." All week long he ate little aside from toucan cereal and bagels. I guess it's good to be two.

Froot Loops

Today, home and rested, we made our way to the Wisconsin State Fair.

Black and White Fair

Last time we were at the fair we decided to wait and have our cream puffs, the signature Dairy State fair food, on our way out. But by then we had filled up on sausages and frozen bananas and the like, and there was no way we were going to eat any more. E was pregnant, the day was scorching hot, and the whole fairground smelled of either livestock or stale frying oil. No cream puffs for us. Indeed we swore we would never return to the fair. But parenthood changes everything, so we were there at 9:30 am, before the crowds had amassed, and went straight for the cream puff pavilion.

Cream Puffs

One person can finish a cream puff in about two minutes; they're mostly air. But what a mess. I picked it up to eat it like a burger and the cream went everywhere. The best way to attack one of these, I decided when I was done, is to take it apart like an Oreo and eat it in two pieces.

For lunch we ate corn dogs. The little man took one bite and put his aside, but I devoured mine. I watched as the corn dog kid dipped the wieners impaled on sticks in the corn batter and then dropped them in the fryer. It's pretty exciting to bear witness to that kind of magic. After careful consideration, E and I determined that neither ketchup nor mustard is preferable on a corn dog. They're great all by themselves.

Corn Dog Innards

The high point of the day was surely the pig race at Hogway Speedway. There must have been five hundred people in the packed stands to watch the little swine scurry around the track. We sense that our young fairgoer will be talking about that race from now till next year's fair.

Hogway Speedway

*Why are bagels are so good? Because of their shape, which maximizes their surface-to-mass ratio and makes them fun and easy to eat (easy to break pieces off/easy to put in your mouth). And because they have a unique shiny, chewy crust (the result of boiling them before they go in the oven), which helps them exploit the benefit of their high surface-to-mass ratio. That they are often dense and heavy also makes them good, but this quality is not part of their essential bagelness.

Eat Canada:

Thyme & Again
1255 Wellington Street West
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 722-6277

Haymishe Bagel Shop
3031 Bathurst Street
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 781-4212

Friday, August 04, 2006

Frozen heroin juice

So it turns out they won't let a fella cross the border with his minor child unless he has his baby mama's notarized consent. They will keep him from boarding his flight. They will tell him the next flight leaves in nine hours. They will tell him that their website notes the policy, blah blah blah. They might even say something along the lines of "yelling at us isn't going to help, sir," even as he is only contemplating yelling at them. The moral of the story is, don't go anywhere. Just stay where you are and the people will come to you.

Anyhow, my bonus day here affords me the time to harvest some links. I heard a talk once by a guy who promotes films at festivals. (He would probably describe his work using other words, but that was the jist of it.) He summed up his job like this: "I come with my muffins and I say, 'Here are my muffins. If you don't like them, I'll be back next time with some other ones.'" This is a culinary metaphor I can get behind.

-Tom Waits has a novel way of getting around scalpers: you pay for your ticket at the door and then you have to go straight in.
The only way to tout, I suppose, is to establish your fleecing price, then stand in line with, and enjoy the show with, your prey. That seems to be a sufficiently weird prospect. Sure enough, there's not a tout in sight.
(The language is English in case you were wondering.)

-Seva Café, in India, asks for a gift but doesn't demand payment. experiment in the joys of giving and of selfless service. Run mostly by volunteers, our wholesome meals are cooked with love and served with love and offered to you as a genuine gift. To complete the full circle of giving and to sustain this experiment, we leave it to you to pay from your heart. All profits are used to support social service projects.
There used to be a vegetarian cooperative restaurant and gallery in Montreal called Cafe Phoenix run by a collective of artist-owners. The service was atrocious and the food unpredictable but the vibes were always really good. It didn't stay open long. (via)

-If our documents are in order, we will not be in Toronto quite long enough to enjoy the fake prom.

-Sleater-Kinney are dunzo. Is it "the death knell of feminism itself"?

-Los Angeles: Good yogurt, bad customers.
"The bottom line is the customers that go to Pinkberry don't mind paying $68 for a tub of yogurt," said Huntley Avenue resident Oliver Wilson, handily adding the price of a parking ticket to the $7.45 cost of a large yogurt. "It's all Escalades and Mercedes and BMWs. You tell them, 'Don't park here,' and they do. They can afford it."

Thursday, August 03, 2006


For months I tried to ignore those orange TimesSelect links on the NYT page. If everyone else gets along just fine without it, why can't I? Punish the Times for their wrongheaded attempt to charge readers for web content. Ignore them until they give up.

Well so much for that. We subscribe to the paper so there isn't any extra charge. And I wanted to read Douglas Coupland's blog (I'm skipping the link; if you have TS you can find it easily enough).

Today Coupland is writing about the book tours and readings.
I've been to only a few book readings other than my own. The reason is that once I hear an author'svoice reading his or her own work, I can never read that author again without that voice replacing my own inner narrator's voice. I love Margaret Drabble, but it's so hard to read her now. I heard her read from "Radiant Way," and that was over 20 years ago, but I can't shake her voice, and it's a very nice voice, too. I once went to a Michael Chabon reading, and he pronounced the word, "saxophonist" to rhyme with "sarcophagus." and to this day, if I read his stuff, a voice in the depths of my subconscious shouts out every 10 seconds Saxophonist! Saxophonist! Kurt Vonnegut is one exception to this rule. I can't imagine reading him without his signature doomsday croak bouncing about my cranium. The best live reader in the world, bar none, is Irvine Welsh. In person he's almost mute, but put him on a stage and he electrifies, and his profanities sound more like onomatopoeias than profanities. The New York Times won't allow me to offer examples.
This is an odd position for an author to take--you might like hearing me read, but if I were you, I wouldn't. I like going to readings, not only because I like hearing authors' voices, but also because I am interested to see authors in person. I feel at home hanging around bookstores. I am curious to see who turns out for these things. There's always some kind of surprise: an unexpected huge crowd or a cluster of alternakids or grannies. It's good to know that there are others out there and to participate in a public gathering. And I'm always happy to be entertained for free. The thing I reallly don't like about readings is the overeagerness of the audience to laugh. People laugh at stuff that's not at all clever or funny at these events. At the more literary ones, some people laugh at the mere mention of television programs and consumer products. This is tension-defusing laughter: it seemed this event might be all serious; what a relief that it's not. But it's still irritating.

I don't see the point of waiting around for an author to sign my book. I don't usually buy books at these signings, but if I did that signature would add no value to my reading experience. And I don't get excited by the thought of meeting famous people one on one. Who gains from this exchange? The author might rather be elsewhere. If they seem cheerful it often comes off as an act and if they don't you feel like they're doing you a favor. I would much rather hear an interview with an author on npr than meet him or her when I get to the front of the bookstore line.

Now for the good part.

Video! Pelé signing books with the grace you would expect of him.

Better yet! Book signing gone wrong.

And more! Ali G: "People has been reading books for millions of years..."


Setting off for Canada tomorrow, so posting here may be light for a week or so.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The self-timing egg

The Times (UK), npr: the British Egg Information Service will introduce eggs with an ink printed on them to tell you when they're ready. The radio story has a lovely bit of cultural mixup when the American host doesn't understand what the British guest means by "soldiers."

Meanwhile, CBS is going to run ads on eggs. All those DVRsters who ffwd past network promos will learn that Survivor is on at 8 on Thursdays one way or another.

All this is fine with me. I have no snarky reply, no jokes, no rants, no resigned cynicism. Writing on eggs: I'm for it. Indeed I do it all the time, marking the cooked eggs in the carton to distinguish them from the raw ones.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Brisket kippa

For vegetarians, presumably, grilled zucchini.

(Hats of Meat, via)

Also, Wikipedia kippa. Way too much information but you've gotta love it.

Whole Foods, Milwaukee files has seven orgasms just thinking about WF:
Milwaukee has been waiting with bated breath for the highly anticipated Whole Foods Market -- which specializes in selling natural, organic and gourmet foods and is currently celebrating its 25th year of operation -- to open its doors.

Well, the public won't have to wait too much longer since the store's scheduled to open Sept. 20.

Located at the corner of North and Prospect on the East Side, Whole Foods will act as the anchor store for Columbia-St. Mary's Medical Center, which opens in 2010.

"Milwaukee residents have been patiently waiting [sic] the opening of Whole Foods Market, and we are eager to share our passion for truly delicious, fresh, all natural foods with them," said Jon Gass, Whole Foods Market Store Team Leader. "Whether they're seeking the largest selection of organically grown produce, all natural and organic meats, fresh artisanal cheeses, or simply an enjoyable shopping experience with outstanding customer service, we look forward to opening our doors and being a part of the Milwaukee community."


But the Milwaukee location has a few firsts in store for foodies, shoppers and hungry people alike.

Most notably: a first of its kind beer and brat station with flatscreen televisions, six beers on tap and comfortable seating; a taqueria bar, freestanding brick pizza oven, made-to-order sushi and panini stations; and a state-of-the-art open kitchen area, viewable from the store floor.

"We want people to enjoy the store and see it as an excellent meeting place," said Whole Foods PR specialist Kate Klotz, who added that the Milwaukee Whole Foods will have three times the beer selection of any other store in the chain.

I usually refrain from picking on local media boosterism--you know, local bloggers/journalists who believe that if you don't have anything nice to say, say something super nice. Boosterism is probably good for the economy and makes people feel pride for their town. My policy is usually to ignore these people on the theory that denying them publicity is better than giving them the business (in every sense). But this article is more pernicious than your ordinary boosterism, for at least two reasons.

1. WF is competing with local business; it's a giant from outside appropriating our beer-and-brat culture to sell it back to us at a premium.

2. This article doesn't even bother to filter the corporate horseshit PR statements. It quotes them as though they were news.

One more thing:
Whole Foods has scheduled a Job Fair for Aug. 23 at the Midwest Airlines Center.
My Canon A620 and I will check that out if we get the chance.