Sunday, May 29, 2005

Damn Good Fruit

Here's my latest good idea: breeding/engineering fruit to be naturally salty! Because nothing tastes better than sweet and salty combined.

Think about how good it would taste to bite into a sweet, juicy orange and get a taste of salt as well. It'd only make you want to eat more.

I'm going to make a mint. We're calling the venture Damn Good Fruit, as in "Damn Good Fruit: sweet naturally, and naturally salty" or "Damn Good Fruit: it's about you." There could be Damn Good Apples, Damn Good Melons, Damn Good Plums... I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

Seriously, why hasn't anyone thought of this before? It can't be that hard to make fruit salty. We make fruit lots of stuff already.

Wake Me Up Before You Go Go

I pulled into a BP station yesterday to get gas for my Mazda. The thing is, the pump handle was jammed: it took some finagling to get it going, and when the tank was full the handle didn't snap back enough to trigger the computer to complete the sale (although it did stop pumping gas). I tried to fix the situation but squeezed the handle a little too tightly and shot a stream of gas across the station lot. And damn, I really zoolandered my car. The worst part is I left the driver's side door open, so the inside of the door took most of the gas. The interior reeks.

No metaphors here, just the straight, honest truth. It's been a long couple of weeks..

Sunday, May 15, 2005


I'm in Miami working with a renowned designer on a case-based history of town planning codes.

RD explains the project: "Codes are so interesting, you know. The problem is that nobody finds them interesting. That's why we need to do this book, you see, to explain codes to people so they become interested in them." It's going to be a coffee table book.

Miami, btw, is great. I am once again staying in South Beach. South Beach is better, more inviting than one might imagine from the tv commercials and true crime stories. There's fancy people and fancy things, but grit as well. There's lots of deco architecture, homeless people, and aspiring models. In some respects it is like what Center City Phila and/or Wildwood would be like, if the two were next to each other instead of 60 miles apart. Curiously, I hear Paula Abdul songs everywhere. My music jam for the weekend, though, is Lisa Lisa with Cult Jam.

Ooh baby, I think I love you. From head to toe!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Fu Manchu

For a long time I had patchy spots at the sides of my lips, around my dimples, where my facial hair didn't grow evenly. In the past year, though, it started to fill in. Now I'm finally able to live out my dream: a kick-ass fu manchu mustache, the kind with sides that grow down towards the chin. The kind that says DANGEROUS. I've been working on it for about a week.

If you're guessing that I look more like Freddy Mercury than Lee Van Cleef, you're probably right. But I'm sticking with it anyway. Mike and Heather's wedding here I come!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Illinois Hydrology

Central Illinois is so goddamn flat.

I took a drive yesterday. The land is flat for miles around. Not Tom Friedman flat, but the real deal. There is some undulation in the farmland, but mostly it looks like a crumpled up paper that's been flattened out again: there are some creases there but no change overall.

This is the richest farmland in the world. Until the nineteenth century though most of it wasn't even passable in the summer months. Central Illinois is so goddamn flat that the winter snow and spring rain didn't drain until well past summer. The Native Americans farmed only to the south and east, along the river banks where the soil was still soft but the slope greater. When it was settled by whites they had to build networks of underground pipes to help drain the land. It's a giant sewer system. Most of the region is still covered in a series of taxing districts that go to maintain it.

Anyway, the only place I've seen that is similarly flat is the shore, and when I drove down the county roads in the heat yesterday I thought of it. I mean I felt it. Like the twinge of salt beneath my eyes. Like the haze of distant asphalt was ocean...

Monday, May 02, 2005

News for Numismatists

Recently the snootiest bar in town began giving Kennedy half-dollars in change when paying for drinks. Now, this was clearly intentional. I checked by subsequently ordering drinks that cost $X.50. Their business manager had to have made a decision to order half-dollars instead of just quarters at their bank. As if they thought the half-dollars would make them just a little more sophisticated than they were before. AND IT WORKS. For me at least. I felt like I was in a casino. I tipped the (pretty) bartender an extra fifty cent piece and kept a couple just to put into circulation later.

Mike Castle and those other ninnys in Congress should keep this in mind when they think about making another forty-odd versions of the dollar coin. We don't need another form of commemorative stamping. This fosters collecting but not use. If you really want to replace the dollar we need coins with a) utility or b) cache.