Friday, August 21, 2015

Jeremy's Drunk in the Kitchen

It's late summer which pretty much means you can't walk down the street without people frantically trying to unload bags of ripe garden fresh tomatoes from their home gardens.  Seriously.  If you know a person who has even a medium sized garden they are sitting on a metric ass load of tomatoes.  They are yours for the taking.  Those and any number of garden vegetables that can be shoved into a pot and turned awesome.
Tomatoes unaware of the horrors that await them.

You know what that means, bitches?  It's sauce time, fucker.  Tomato sauce... from scratch.  As in no cans.  And MEAT.  Lots of MEAT!



So this is an experiment.  I'm making notes so that, if this turns out good, I can replicate this again and again until the sun becomes nothing but a burned out speck in the cold, unforgiving sky.  Or if it sucks so I can bury it and never speak of it again... ever!  And I'm putting it online so that other humans can find it if they so wish because that's what people of the 21st century do!  They put their failure right out front so everyone can revel in the Sideshow of Shame. 

I'm varying a little from my standard homemade tomato sauce recipe and incorporating some elements from this recipe by Chuck Wendig that has become a staple in my household.  And, Chuck, on the off chance that you ever read this.  More recipes you beautiful bearded bastard.  More.  Fucking.  Recipes.

Also Blue Blazes Rocked.

Also I basically ripped off his recipe writing style with this rant.  But fuck it! Who cares.  NO RULES!

*pisses into pot*

*drops mic*

Um.... Okay, first rule.  No pissing into the pot.   And no shitting in it either.  Tell you what, you just put in what I tell you.  What you do besides is between you and whatever god you'll need to beg for forgiveness later.

Okay step one:  If you've accidentally just pissed in your cooking pot, throw that out and get a new one because... eww.

Next, tomatoes.  I ended up with about 9lb of the red, juicy bastards.  You may have more or less, I don't think it really matters that much.  Scale up or down as needed.

Also, take one pound of these and set them aside.  Make them feel like they narrowly avoided the horrific fate that will await their tomato brothers and sisters.  But just you wait, a much more terrible fate awaits them.  Look at them and laugh maniacally every once in a while.

Do it!  It add flavor.

The other 8lbs of tomatoes.  First we blanch those motherfuckers.  Why blanch you may ask yourself?   Weeel... we've got to peel and seed a shitload of tomatoes.  This makes it easier to peel.  Easier is good. 

Like your momma.

Next, we plunge those tomatoes into the boiling water.  Not long, maybe a minute.  Just enough so the skin starts to split and peel.  Once that happens pull them out.

No!  Not with your hand!  Get a slotted spoon you crazy fuck!

Okay from the boiling water, you drop the tomatoes into and ice bath.  That's ice and water for you lay folks who... I dunno don't know what ice and bath mean?  Shaddup.   And while your at it, put your hand in there before it blisters up.

Once the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, pull them out.  The skin should peel right off, much like what is happening to your hand right now, seriously go seek medical attention.   Okay the rest of you, the ones who didn't boil your own skin off.  Let's continue.

So its time to peel and seed.

Peel off the skin.  Squeeze out the snot and seeds.  Chop them up and throw into a blender.  Repeat.  Repeat you miserable bastard!

Okay tomatoes peeled, snotted and seeded.  Next step, blend.   Put those tomatoes into the blender and hit the blades until all you get is a weird, pink watery sludge.

Yes, it's suppose to look like that. Shaddup.

Just fucking trust me, okay.

Pour that into the pot.  Fire up the heat and bring that to a boil. 

At this point I added a few shakes of Italian seasoning, a bay leaf and a quarter cup of red wine. 

Speaking of wine, looking at the grammar and spelling its probably clear that a goodly amount of booze went into the making of this particular dish.  Whatever, you can't stop me!  Anyway, the drink of choice was margaritas.


Okay I can feel you judging me.  For those of you who think margaritas a girly drink, my cocktail recipe calls for a chili pepper or two along with the tequila, triple sec and lime juice.   If margaritas are a girly drink then this is the type of girl that kicks your ass at pool, nicks your wallet and beats you half to death when you come looking for it. 

This margarita, she is a spicy bitch.  Maybe if you're good and non-judgy I'll spew out that recipe someday.

She is a spicy bitch.

But right now, back to tomato sauce.

Once you have that up to a boil, step away son.  This doesn't need your help.  I mean, make sure it doesn't catch on fire but, other then that, let it do its thing.

While that is happening, BEHOLD!  The roasting pan!  You will need one large sweet onion.  Chop that up into six or eight pieces and toss it into the pan.  Then, a couple carrots skinned chopped and tossed with the onion.

Next, peppers.  Okay, its like this.  I ended up was almost as many bell peppers as I did tomatoes.  So what do we do?  We use the bastards.   Sliced and diced seven of them and tossed them into the pot.  WITHOUT MERCY! 

Aside from the six or seven smaller bell peppers, I threw a couple of Anaheim peppers in there.  I like Anaheim peppers because they are the bigger, dumber, gentler cousin of the jalapeno.  They add a lot of pepper flavor with just a touch of spice.

So grab some Anaheim peppers. Or feel the wrath of a million lost souls.

Now, remember those tomatoes you set aside.  The ones who have born witness to the death  of those who came before?  Yeah, it's time you sadistic prick.  Peel, chop, seed and toss in the pan.   Your tomato genocide is now complete.

Anyway, that all goes into the pan.  And on top of that, a decent helping of olive oil.  Go ahead, grease those bad boys up.  If you think you have enough oil, give them another spritz.

After that, a flurry of salt, pepper and Italian herbs.

Okay.  Meat.  I promised meat.  I deliver long, throbbing hunks of meat.


I was talking about Italian sausage.  Get your mind out of gutter, weirdo.  We are in the kitchen.  And there is food around.

1.5 lbs Italian sausage.  Plop them on top and send the whole mess into the oven.

The pan of roasted veggies pre-roasted.

Wait... like an hour.  This is a good time to clean up the kitchen a little.  If yours looks like mine at this point, your counter probably looks like the results of a vegetable murder suicide pact.  Clean that shit up before someone sees you, psycho.

Also, remember your pot of pink tomato juice?  By now it's probably starting to resemble sauce sorta kinda.  Well get back to that, motherfucker this is no time to slack the fuck off!

Okay so your gonna wanna add another cup of red wine.   That's if you haven't had it all you drunken fuckwad.

Next two cans of tomato paste.

What's that you say?  I promised no cans?  I, in fact, put that in capital letters.  NO CANS!  I may or may not have also added MOTHERFUCKER.


You know what, you are a horrible, judgmental prick who's going to die miserable and alone.

See?  That's what it feels like to have your shortfalls pointed out for all the world to see.


Okay, I forgot about the tomato paste.  You need two cans.  Toss those in and hide the evidence. 

After that a few squirts of Worcester sauce, a dash of salt and pepper, a splash of cider vinegar and another few sprinkles of Italian herbs.

You can't have too much Italian herbs.

One more thing, MORE FUCKING MEAT.

This time a whole dick of pepperoni.  Slice it in half, chop it into bits and toss it into the sauce.

Check your oven.  Your sausage should be golden brown.  The vegetables should be roasted with maybe just a hint of black on the sides.  Rescue your sausage and set it aside.  You don't want them to have any part in what comes next.

Okay remember your blender?  Well get it out again, cowboy, we are blending the shit out of some more stuff.  The whole pan, all of it gets blended into a thick, orangish sludge.  Yeah it looks like baby vomit but smells like pure roasty awesome.  It goes into the pot.

The sausage.  Chop it up and toss it in.

Continue to simmer for... well however long you wanna wait at this point.  Wendig recommends two hours.  Due to time constraints or just being hungry enough to contemplate cannibalism I've dished it out early before with no ill effects.

Give it... say an hour.  Maybe two if you can manage.

 Put it on pasta, add to Italian sausage sandwiches, pour it into a wading pool for your wrestling/ orgy championship (everybody wins) it doesn't matter.

Me, I like it on whole wheat spaghetti with Parmesan cheese on top.

And the results?  Pretty awesome.  This sauce was just a touch sweeter then the sauce I normally make.   There was just a touch of pepper to it as well.  All in all, a successful experiment.

Thus endith the lesson.

*passes out*

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tavern at the Crossroads: A shrine to the traveling writer.

This article originally appeared in the Dreaming in Ink newsletter.  

I'm going to keep things brief for a couple of reasons. First, I am Marla's victim for the monthly interview and the last thing anyone really needs in this newsletter is more of my special brand of bullshit. Go read that to get some insights into my odiferous inner self.

Also, I don't have much to say when it comes to writing this month, because I didn't get much time to do any of it. Life kinda exploded on me this month. Not in a completely bad way, mind. Not all bad anyway. Just a very time-consuming way.

But I found something weird in my travels. And I want to talk about it. So I'm gonna.

There's this strange little place off Interstate 80 in Iowa. The word 'shrine' comes to mind, although most shrines don't have toilets as their primary feature. There is a rest area in Iowa dedicated to the art of writing. I'm not sure what, if anything it means. It's probably just one of those weird little relics one finds on the road.

I'm on the road all the time, so I know my rest stops. I know them well. I've bolted into most of them with a special kind of urgency. That's what they are for. They exist so that the traveler may rapidly discharge the extra cup of coffee in a dignified, sanitary and ,this is the important bit, a not-peeing-on-a-bush-in-front-of-God-and-everyone kind of way.

Iowa takes their public restrooms a step farther. Their rest areas have themes. There's one near Des Moine that is a salute to wind power. There's another by Ames in honor of the Iowan farmer.

And there's one near Iowa city for the writers.

The first thing I noticed was the word 'Iowa' written in huge, black script on the front of a building around the size of a small house. Well that and the giant sculpture of a pen out front. In retrospect it's hard to figure out how I was able to pass by so many times and not know exactly what I was looking at.

Inside there are digital scrolling signs continuously displaying quotes from Iowan authors. There are others cut into the enclosures around picnic tables. It is every functional rest area you've ever seen... with a shout out to writers. Vending machines and deep thoughts. Water fountains and fountain pens.

I don't think I ever stopped there before this month. There's just no reason to. I travel through Iowa a lot. A LOT. Like two or three times a month sometimes. Like any repetitive task, I have a rhythm. A routine. This was not part of it.

So I don't know why I stopped in this time. Maybe it was a little present from the Universe since this month devastated my productivity. Or maybe it was the coffee. Okay, is was definitely the coffee. Maybe a little bit of the Universe. Coffee and the Universe working together. To make writers. And a rest area in Iowa to honor them.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Templum Veneris, 1st draft completed.

Hear ye, hear ye.   Or something.
On May 5th 2014, I finished the first draft of the second book in the Reconnection series.

 25 Chapters and 71,640 words.

*blows party horn*

Okay you may all go about your business.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Relax. It's not as bad as you think. It's much worse.

The much contested minimum wage bill was officially defeated yesterday.  I’ve read figures that put over 70% of Americans in favor of this bill.  And when the GOP does what the GOP has done best over the past few years, there was a real groundswell of outrage.  At least that’s my unscientific impression.  But the anger is real.  And it’s building.  And while I agree in spirit, I have to remind myself that the argument is inherently meaningless.

So everyone just relax.  It’s not as bad as you think.  It’s actually much, much worse.

I’ve heard arguments over the minimum wage from both sides for years and both sides present more or less meaningless arguments. For the record, I think any change would be miniscule.  From the worker’s perspective all a minimum wage increase really does is increase the number of minimum wage workers.  Businesses are forced to pay more in wages which they gleefully pass on to the consumer, the price of goods increases and…. ta da!  Now you have more people living at a wage far below what is reasonable in this country.  It’s like a trick where a magician takes a twenty dollar bill and turns it in to a piece of shit.  Then he takes that piece of shit and turns it into… two pieces of shit.

From the perspective of an employer, the small business suffer most.  For them, the increase in cost can be a real and maybe even debilitating blow.  Walmart will be fine.  They’ve already figured out ways to avoid little annoyances like paying employees.

A minimum wage increase isn’t the answer.  What this country really needs is good, middle class jobs.  But that’s a whole different rant.  I didn’t see a solution to the nations problems get shot down yesterday.  What I did see was a giant middle finger courtesy of the richest Americans to the rest of us.

Dear America,
Fuck You

Love, The People Who Ran Off With All Your Money

The actual statue in front of the Milano stock exchange. 

In my mind the whole debate is fighting over scraps from the Master’s table.  There are numbers everywhere.  The numbers we’re talking about here?  According the the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2012, 3.6 million people made at or below minimum wage last year.  The operative words here were ‘at or below’ but let’s just assume everyone there made $7.25 per hour.  They didn't, most actually made less, but let's assume.  They were going to get a raise to $10.10.  We’re talking about an increase of 10.26 million dollars in total that would need to be paid out every year  Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPmorgan got a 20 million dollar bonus last year.  Correct my math, but that means that one CEO could have given his bonus (not his salary mind… just his bonus.  Just the extra money he gets for being such a swell guy) and raised the minimum wage twice.

It’s pocket change to these people. 

And in the end it doesn’t do much to raise the standard of living.

In fact with the figures in mind, I’m almost forced to the conclusion that the only people a minimum wage increase would help would be the richest Americans.  Think of it as a nice little gesture to prove that the ‘job creators’ really, really do care about America.  Like a twenty slipped into the country’s collective g-string while they pat our ass and say, “Here you go, sweetheart.  Buy yourself something pretty.”  It would be insulting, but at least we would be an entity worthy of placating just a little.

We don’t even rate that level of respect.  This is short-sighted greed and stupidity on a scale that even my cynical heart has trouble comprehending.  People without money have almost no say in government anymore that’s becoming clear.  Not only are we losing say, but those in control are actively ignoring the will of the people.

I’ve been listening to the Revolutions podcast for a while and I’ve always been interested political upheavals in history.   I know two things from what I have studied.  First, when the revolution does hit, things that seemed impossible twenty-four hours ago become real.  Second, they are violent, unpredictable monsters.  People get hurt.  People die.  Some that deserve it, most that don’t.  It sometimes leads to freedom.  It just as often leads to violent oppression and subjugation.

I like to wonder if a time traveler from fifty years in the future came to this time and warned them of the coming revolution.  Say he managed to fill a stadium with the one-percent and warn them that the guillotine blade was being greased as he spoke and it would come down soon.  What would they do different now?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I’m aware there is a game today, I’m not that far gone, although I had look up who exactly was playing.  Apparently it’s Denver and Seattle, two cities I have personal connection to but not for their professional football program.

“The sad fact is the game has become secondary to the antics and the hype.  And I can’t decide whether I’m alright with that.

The first real memory I have of the Super Bowl and its parade of insanity was in the third grade. The Chicago Bears were dancing on television and rapping in one of the most overt trash-talking incidents of all-time. The song was so flashy and spurring (read: disrespectful to the Patriots) that even the backup quarterback, Steve Fuller, had a verse.”

Dexter Manley

Superbowl Sunday has become one of the two quintessentially American holidays, right up there with Black Friday.  Days when the ugliest part of Americana are flaunted in front of the wold.  We display what kind of horrible, vicious, mindless consumers that everyone in the world assume we are.

Maybe that’s me.  Although the fact that people are regularly trampled to death trying to get in a Walmart in November is at least evidence in my favor.

The Superbowl is worse for me.  My lack of participation in Black Friday is viewed as an anomaly.  But to not know what happened during the Superbowl?  I can feel suspicious rising all around me.  To not care about football?  Not care about the Superbowl!  Someone check this man for signs of terrorism.

‘“This is Super Sunday!” I screamed. “I want every one of you worthless bastards down in the lobby in ten minutes so we can praise God and sing the national anthem!”
Hunter S. Thompson
After being forcefully pulled from his Superbowl Sermon on the Balcony.

I remember the first time I felt this suspicion.  It was in college around the table with some drinking buddies.  It was the Superbowl of the Wardrobe Malfunction.  The date when American was outraged at a titty covered with a pasty, but Laughed Out Loud at a horse farting in a woman’s face.  My friends were talking about it at length.  I drank and listed, for… i don’t know how long.  It was late in the night and I might have been fortified with drink.  Had I been sober I might have known just enough to understand that my ignorance on this subject would paint me as, at best, a sort of cultural idiot.

I wasn’t sober, so I asked, “What are you guys talking about?”

It stopped the conversation cold as everyone tried to come to grips with the idea that there was one among them who didn’t Know.  They explained it to me, but to this day I think they tolerated my presence in the same way on tolerates a homeless man who always sits on the same street corner, present, but not a participant in any meaningful way.

“I have watched every Superbowl.  It’s important for man to have a ritual and the Superbowl occurs once a year, on a Sunday… so at least I’m trying.”
Lewis Black.

Here we are again.   Part of me feels like I should bake a pizza, grab a beer and participate.  I don’t have to like it but just go.   Like a man with no religion who goes to church every Sunday, go and pay lip service.  Watch it for the commercials.  Lots of people do that, right?  If football is not your thing, Corporate America has spent billions to make commercial messages that will dazzle the populous into submission. 

But I probably won’t.  I just don’t have the will and, besides, there is other crap to do. 

 I don’t know what that says about me anymore or my relationship with my native land or it’s people that I don’t even feel the urge to pretend anymore.   Maybe it’s me and my natural contrariness.  Maybe there really is something evil brewing behind the Pop singers doing Pepsi commercials and endless hype around a game that could never live up to that level.

Just do me a favor.  Someone let me know how it ends.

Just in case.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Saturnius Mons, Draft #1 Completed

Let it be known that at 8:46 pm on September 12 2013, the first draft of Saturnius Mons plopped into the world.  Things haven't been right since.

Currently 90,363 words long across 27 Chapters.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Amazon Abuse

There's an unwritten rule among the shopping peoples who lurk the pages of the 800lb gorilla known as

For there are objects so expensive that only the wealthiest in the world could conceivably afford it and so bizarre that only the most eccentric-billionaire-stereotype among them would even consider it.   For these things it is perfectly normal and accepted to leave hilarious and childish fake reviews.

I referenced the infamous Badonkadonk Tank above (The Donk!)  here's another I ran into recently.

Honeywell Ademco 944WH-M Magnet Only for 944WH

Yes for just... ... 210 million dollars (a 17% discount) you too can own.  A magnet.

Whatever the origins of this ad, the people have come out in force with their 'personal experiences' with this device.  Here were my favorites.

Daniel Haun, always the bargain hunter says:
I have been looking at this magnet for a while, but could no longer pass it up after the 17% discount. My personal space program will just have to wait.

I deducted two stars for ineffective packaging, as the UPS delivery driver could not get it loose from the side of his truck. They eventually had to just cut the side out of the truck. causing me to have to pay for repairs. On the upside, I now have a 1' by 1' square piece of UPS truck, which I use for a night stand.

Oh, also, when I set the box on my kitchen table, it pulled my fridge across the room, my car from my driveway, and the collar and tags from my neighbor's Cocker Spaniel. It compressed all of these into a Higgs Boson.

Recommended for serious hobbyists/particle physicists only. 

TechnoLady 'Diane' summed up the world's problems with her review:
 When they say "Only for 944WH" they really mean it! I bought it 13 years and a week ago (no 'Prime', Amazon- seriously!?) and tried to use it on my 944WG and accidentally created a magnetic time vortex that sucked me back into the year 2000. Unfortunately, while there,I sat on a butterfly and six months later Bush instead of Kerry is President, we're in a war with Iraq and half the country is unemployed. My bad.

So only two stars really because of time vortex but I'm giving it an additional star because of the killing I made on Apple. 

Ms described his lady trouble with:
 I was rather disconcerted that the magnet kept pulling my gentialia toward it , every girl who came to admire my magnet had their bits pulled toward the thing 

Yote provides some chillingly useful advice:
I've been looking for a way to launder hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money, and this is perfect! Simply buy it, tell them you don't want it, and return it! Plus, it's Honeywell! Need them to duck out of that government contract so your company can swoop in? You're looking right at the magnetic key to solve your problems! 

And, finally Nikon 1 accidentally ends the modern world as we know it:
After I was able to unpack this beauty, I made the mistake of taking it out in my backyard and pointing it at the sky. As I was looking around, I was suddenly knocked to the ground by a series of strong jolts. When I regained my vision I looked at the 944WH-M and saw that there were 6 communications satellites stuck to it!

My cell phone no longer worked, my neighbors were screaming about their cable TV being knocked off the air and cars were crashing into the neighborhood houses, with GPS units all reading "Recalculating Route."