Month / March, 2004

Cutting Boards

Recently, Diane and I have been in a heated debate about cutting boards. I believe that wood are best to cut meat. She believes that plastic is best. Who’s right? We’ve consulted Risa one of our [many] nutritionist friends and she responded that plastic were best. Why?

The fact is after a quick “Google search”:http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=cutting+boards+and+bacteria&btnG=Google+Search I found a slew of articles which both deny and confirm my assessment. But as I weeded my way through the fray I found, more than not, -wood the champion- both are equally good/bad from _reputable_ sources. _Although they caution that all surfaces be washed with hot soapy water after use._

# “Foodnetwork”:http://web.foodnetwork.com/food/web/encyclopedia/termdetail/0,7770,1925,00.html
# “Neutrition Action Newsletter”:http://www.cspinet.org/nah/11_00/ks_an4.html
# “Mayo Clinic”:http://www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?objectid=D542B4F4-649E-4014-B0444D9488F33C12
# “What’s Cooking”:http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/cuttingboard.htm
# “Reluctant Gormet”:http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/cutting_boards.htm
# “ScienceNews”:http://www.sciencenews.org/pages/sn_arc97/7_12_97/food.htm
# “National Food Safety”:http://foodsafety.ifas.ufl.edu/HTML/il114.htm
# “Alaska Science Forum”:http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF11/1121B.html
# “Good Health Suppliments”:http://www.antiaginglifeextension.com/health_matters_minutes/articles/kitchen_cutting_boards.asp?a=1563&c=&p=

And I am not crazy…

Other People’s Friends

The situation is this… I’m on a train going to work with Diane, when Diane sees a friend of hers sitting across from us. Tracy, the friend, I have met before in passing and she seems like a nice enough person, but we’ve never been properly introduced or have had reason to talk. Tracy’s jovial, talks to Diane about high-school friends, while I busy myself with some pressing nervous hand gestures. They talk for a few stops, across the car, while people file in and out.

Then I hear the troublesome words “oh, I get off at 42nd street where do you get off…” The rest of the details don’t matter, because I know that Diane gets off at a station before me and the friend’s station is past mine, so there are going to be a few stops while we politely have nothing to say to each other. It’s like the awkward silence of death, because now the friend is going to talk to all their mutual friends and say;

“Oh, Diane’s new boyfriend? he’s really quiet. Kind of boring kind of guy really.”

I was at this point constructing a plan, I’ll get off with Diane and transfer to a different subway line and that way I won’t have the awkward moment with the friend. I had formalized the escape route in my head, when just then an innocent bystander stepped between the two chatterboxes and the conversation ended. It was at this point that the friend, I was so afraid to be left alone with, constructed her own plan of avoiding me. It’s probably one of the oldest tricks there is in avoiding the awkward conversation and that is to fake sleeping or just closing your eyes.

*Brilliant!*

My respect for the friend grew exponentially. I wanted to jump across the train and congratulate her on a well played block, when Diane got up to get off at her station… the friend said her goodbyes… and… resumed her closed eyes. Yes, this friend is a pro. She must be as frightened of social interaction as I am. I put on my earphones and added yet another block technique, the iPod.

The end of the story, dear readers, was just as exciting, for as my stop approached and I got ready to leave the friend opened her eyes and said as nicely as a friend of a friend can “bye.” But life, as it turns out, still had a trick up it’s sleeve, and as I said “Yeah, have a great day” I realized that my music was playing full blast and what I was about to say was probably going to be too loud, so I lowered my voice to compensate. The result as you can probably imagine sounded like what a true sociopath would sound like.

The little differences

Recently, while out playing pool, I asked my college chum Isaac what I should do about the tall handsome man playing pool with my girlfriend. His response was correct and right to the point, “stop being so insecure.” It had nothing to do with the guy, but more my trigger-happy insecurity complex. Of course a gay man does a much better job of rationalizing a leering man with my girlfriend than my straight friends, who would have said “kick his ass.”

So when Diane asked me last night if we would still be friends if we broke up, I was a little taken aback. You want to know what, if what? How would you take it? My impression was there were some between the lines reading I should be doing… It turned out she was doing a little thinking about my past girlfriends which have all lead to non-friendships. Not that I planned not to talk to my ex’s, but the opportunities just didn’t make themselves apparent… I also think Diane would be a little adverse to me hanging out with any women I have seen naked…

*I know I am*

We got into the obligatory conversation about the future, where she defended her question. I asked if there was anything I should be worrying about. She replied she was just curious. I asked if I should have any packaging materials on hand. She said no. I guess I am thick headed, it’s just that if I ask to a girlfriend if we can be friends after we break up, it’s because we are at that moment breaking up. I think that’s pretty universal for guys, there’s not too much sub-context with us.

*Hey, I like you. You like me?*

Not that what we guys do is the epitome of romance, or forward thinking, but we are easy to understand. You just have to _dumb it down a little_ to understand the subtleties. It’s like listening to Frank Zappa, you have to turn off the side of your brain that does the thinking and relinquish the part of the brain that enjoys _fluffernutters._ See, now wasn’t that easy?

The Mix Tape

Ever since the early days of the cassette tape, people have been making mix tapes. They are, and have been, viewed as an artistic expression. A well crafted mix tape can become a statement rather than a crude piecemeal of songs you _like._ I know friends who would agonize on their mixes and even craft special _crush mix tapes_ that were the ultimate in expression, the thought being that the right mix of _Replacements_ and _Elliott Smith_ would drive the opposite sex into a feeding frenzy of lustful thoughts.

These mix tapes were often recorded from CDS when available and album art was always a necessity. For every good mix, there was a great cover. The albums became like children and would always be put on at parties as a symbol of pride.

However, nowadays mix tapes have fallen out of the limelight. Now everyone has CD burners they just make a mix in iTunes and presto change-o there you the coolest music ever heard on the ugliest shinny disc you have ever seen. Sure there’s the whole copyright issue, but I’m of the mind if you give someone a mix CD often times if they like an artist, they’ll buy the album… or see them in concert… or try to sleep with them… whatever… Putting somebody on a mix CD isn’t copyright infringement, like the RIAA says, it’s free advertising. Sharing an entire album is a no-no, because that is stealing from the artists and none of us would ever do that… right?! Regardless, the mix CD while a great invention always look like poop. I am therefore suggesting that everybody who reads this site to spend a little time on the next mix CD you make, either for yourself or someone you love. Make it count. Make it sexy. Make it rock.

Were I Stand

airlines

I have been holding off on recording, because I have been waiting for my electric guitar, which I have on backorder, to get to me. It’s absurd really, waiting for a piece of equipment to be creative! As if the guitar were the inspiration. Instead I decided to just get down to it and if I need to I can re-record it later.

Let’s go back to the beginning, I found from my first song _Forgive Me Love_ that my tempo was too slow and made my vocals seem stretched and forced. I learned from my last song _The Argument Dance_ that when I thought about vocals too much I got overly obsessed with recording them right. I kept on recording and re-recording parts in order for them to sound perfect and it just made them seem tired.

*New Thought*

This weekend I deliberately began recording without an idea formalized in my head. Determined to get an entire song finished, I started recording and didn’t look back. My first takes were all I used for my guitar. Vocals were a bit trickier and since I was making it all up on the spot I had to make revisions, but I tried were applicable to keep my first takes. In the end I think the song is a jumble of all the music I have been listening to lately. Anyway, you might look at it as a departure from my last attempts, but really it’s just a speed up and a bit of distortion on my vocals.

My vocal style is a mix of different influences. In reality I was attempting the verses to sound as though I had been drinking and my confidence being gained from the bottle. In the chorus a loss of control. The bridge ending in pleads and a loss of the verses confident overtones.

Well enough of this _jibber-jabber_ on with the show

“Were I Stand.”:http://www.upthetree.com/media/wereistand.mp3

Smokey

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Our good friends Steve and Amy just got a new cat and we’re all very excited. It’s a gray little thing and Amy promises that she’s a princess.

_But that’s what all mother’s say._

What’s the name of your… pet?

Jury Duty

big building

I know it’s my civic responsibility to be a juror. I know thousands of people have died to give me the opportunity to judge my peers. I know I should be proud to serve my country as a juror, but damn it, I don’t want to do it.

I will, of course, serve my city as a juror — partly because of the patriotic responsibility, but mostly because of the $1,000 fine and impending imprisonment. The unfortunate part about being a juror is that not only does it hamper my work, but it could cost me my jobs. The infernal system is so backward that they don’t care if you’re one of two employees at a firm that has projects that must move forward, regardless of the state waving it’s magical wand declaring that life should be held until I’m done.

This is a major obstruction to me.

It’s not like I’m a cog in some corporate superstructure that can maintain motion without me. I work in a family business with 2 employees of which I am one. Me leaving for however many days it takes, essentially reduces our profitability by 50%. Luckily the state understands this and is giving me a whole $40 a day as payment!

*FAN-TASTIC!*
_Thanks New York State._

Why not pay people some real money as incentive? $200 a day with an option to use all money earned as juror to be doubled if the money is put into 5 year bond. That might at least make people care about sitting on a bench.

Bad Stretch

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It’s hard to begin to know where to begin.

Diane’s mother was rushed to the Hospital last week, complaining about discomfort in her chest. The doctors decided that if it were some sort of an infection, that they should treat it immediately with antibiotics, for fear it might cause complications with her emphysema. Fearing that the antibiotics would fatigue her system they then prescribed steroids to help her body cope with the antibiotics. Since she was now strung out on medications which elevated Diane’s mother’s discomfort, the doctors then prescribed Librium to calm her down.

*A cocktail of prescriptions later*

The doctors still have no idea what’s wrong, or if there is anything wrong, but that hasn’t stopped them from handing out drugs like confetti at the _macy’s day parade._

*Cut to*

Our very good friend Lorraine falls off a stool and shatters her leg and requires serous surgery. Don’t ask me how, because I don’t know how exactly one would shatter a leg falling off a stool, but she did.

_So, promise me you’ll all wear seat belts and look both ways before crossing the street._