Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Compare and Contrast

Two albums I listened to today: Mary J. Blige's "The Breakthrough" backed with Lucinda Williams' new one "West".

Lucinda's been my girl from way back but this new one is a downer. Not sure if I can keep listening until Lucinda gets some therapy. Mary J. is all G-O-D but at least she's found a way to pull herself up out of that dark place instead of treading water and going there again. And again. And again.

The Mick is Back

Swiped this link from Deadspin. Check out Jeter's 2007 Topps card.

That is some seriously hack Photoshop work, but G.W. is watching from above the dugout, and the Mick is I guess batting fifth. I wonder who has had the most drinks? This is the kind of printing/proofing horror that would cause me to lose my job, much like the rumor of certain photographers giving Scarlett Johannson a sixth finger on a recent ad campaign that made me look at everything eight times.

I can't think of The Mick ever without remembering the time Sparky, Shellie and I went to Cooperstown in the dead of winter. As we were checking into our motel, the clerk asks us who we are there for and Shellie, in deadpan New York accent (although she's from Dayton), says "Fuckin' Numba Seven. The Mick." Still funny.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Lent Sandwich

CINCINNATI — In 1962, Lou Groen was desperate to save his floundering hamburger restaurant, the first McDonald's in the Cincinnati area.

His problem: His clientele was heavily Roman Catholic. In those days, most Catholics abstained from meat every Friday, as well as during Lent, the 40-day period of repentance that begins this week with Ash Wednesday.

His solution: He created the Filet-O-Fish — a sandwich that saved his restaurant and eventually would be consumed at a rate of 300 million a year.

"Frisch's (the local Big Boy chain) dominated the market, and they had a very good fish sandwich," recalled Groen, now 89.

Check out the rest of the article here. Ray Kroc wanted to create a Hula Burger, which was a piece of pineapple on a bun. Yuck. I do love the occasional Filet-O-Fish so now I can thank Mr. Groen and the huge population of Catholics in Cincinnati.

Site Meter

One of the more entertaining things about having this blog thing is periodically reviewing the site meter to see how people link to your site or who visits on a regular basis. It's pretty easy to ID who's who at a certain point -- including site meter giving you the longitude and latitude of the IP address -- and even more so after someone posts a comment and thus removes their anonymity forever by allowing you to ID their IP. I'm up to about 15 hits a day so it's really a veritable juggernaut for The Know-All.

Today someone found my site my typing "Stephen Gan filipino chinese". This is the owner of my company: why is someone looking him up based on his ethnicity? (and why did an article from a London paper I posted awhile ago come up first?) Or this one today got me a referral: "japanese women bodies." And this: "Priestess Hello Master." Many hits come from work-related things, so I try to change the syntax on these posts a bit so that I don't get searched out by employers who will be annoyed if I reveal too many deep, dark secrets of the Visionaire world. A bunch come from referring URLs on friends' sites: nice. Some come from the "most recently updated" list of blogs on Blogger. And I get a lot of hits from people looking up "Lamb and Jaffey", a restaurant in Greenpoint that I reviewed eons ago (and I haven't been in a while, but its not so great), and from the place I stayed in while on Phu Quoc in Vietnam "Mai House Resort." I especially love when I can see someone whose whole name I posted in the context of a story search themselves out. Over and over and over.

So yeah, I can see you. But don't be afraid. And thanks for reading.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

While I find super personal posts on the blog cringe-inducing, I have inserted the name "Susan" in that headline in my brain, and it is (luckily) where I have found myself for the past few months. I don't know if it's in the stars, the return of my self-confidence after a couple years, all the fun going-out to be had in recent weeks, lessons learned from being around Ms. Heater, or possibly just lots of whiskey, but there's sure been a lot of boys to be flirt with and kiss in recent days.

Now by commenting on it, I have no doubt jinxed myself with the rest of 2007 being completely action-free. Ah well. It's good while it lasts. It is what it is. When it rains, it pours. And bunch of other cliches that let me know I'm in a good yet-always-temporary phase.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Press Checking

Dear God, I am so bored in Montreal. I can't stray far from the plant in Boucherville (30 minutes outside of downtown) as the pressman are constantly promising me I'll need to come review the color on the next section of the magazine. Each of the 13 forms (24 page sections) of this issue is scheduled to take 2.5 - 3 hours from start to finish, running straight through 24 hours a day, but right now we are averaging 5 hours per section.

I sit in my hotel room in my underwear, my face breaking out, thinking I'm going to be called any minute so its hard to wind down and nap, and no call comes for hours because of scratches on the plates; a paper jam; a downed computer; the broken folder; and a laundry list of other excuses from Woodland Animal Sylvain, White Trash Sylvain, Mean Pierre, Loverboy Hair Pierre, Hot Dave, Boring Ross, The Skeleton, The Girl (the only one), Dirty Blonde Boy, Mario the former hockey star, and Cute Stephane (all nicknames given in complete boredom to separate one Quebecois from another). I had no less than FOUR very.serious. conversations. with the senior staff here today, whereby I am promised more efficiency, and I threaten to pull the $1.25 million bux worth of business we do here each year if something doesn't change. Whatever. It never does. And I don't have the energy. I either want to be working solid, or I want to be home.

And I suppose that's why they call it a goddamn job. It sometimes sucks. I know no one sympathisizes that I actually have to work when I travel for said work but fuck you anyway. The point is, it's not fun.

At least the restaurant at the hotel is outstanding with foie gras and wild game meats of all kinds. And they do have lots of wine, god bless 'em. We were able to run over and pick up some excellent Syrian food at the delicious Le Petit Alep. Plus, my lovely assistant Jason is with me taking on half the job, and I've caught up on some phone calls, movies and reading. Now I need to figure out how I can get a hotel-only boyfriend for the 6 times a year I am up here.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nothin' Much

Off to Montreal tomorrow for a few days to print V46, and a small break to give my body/liver a needed rest. I have been on bit of a social roll as of late partially due to the exit of my favorite stay-at-home drug from my life, and find myself out most nights having lots of good meals, seeing music, getting a nightcap down at the local with the Franklin Street Drama Club, and a variety of out-of-towners popping into the city and adding to the mix. NYC has been way too fun again with the finally rising temps giving me spring fever a little early. Currently making some travel plans with Vegas on the horizon in late March for Miller's wedding with a stellar cast of old characters expected to be in attendance; a week split between Verona and Vienna in late April to print a freelance job, and to visit Kate who will be working in a play for three months in Auld Austria; and Mom coming to co-host the Derby Party this year.

Too bad the bastards just cancelled the French course I was going to start taking in a couple weeks derailing my small attempt at self-improvement and actual learning.

Here's a slightly amusing site for the Sarcasm Society in the meantime.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I'm Only Going to Claim it Once

Dreamgirls ruled. Big budget musical done right: the girls were pretty, the costumes fab, the glitter covered sets gorgeous, even Eddie Murphy wasn't a chump and the whole thing made me smile as I sat through it yesterday at the always fantastic-last-of-the- great-movie palaces blahdy blah blah Zeigfield on 54th. Kate saying she saw it twice in the theater surpised me but also forced me into going to see it. And there you go - she wasn't wrong.

Ridicule at will.

Griffey Better. Ha. Ha.

I've always been sucker for sure about Junior and still want to believe, even after its obvious to all that dude is done (and has been pretty much from the time he came to the Reds back in 2000) but only he would injure himself playing with his kids on his frickin' yacht.

What's weird is that this story is now being reported as some sort of big news on the AP wire when this is exactly what he said happened, back around Christmas when the injury occurred. Or so reported the best Reds writer, Hall of Famer Hal McCoy from the Dayton Daily News. Cripes, it's so lame and so typical of how it's been for the Reds for the past 7-odd years, how could it not be true?? Plus, Junior's not a cheater or liar. Just a has been.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Most Romantic Valentine EVER

True confessions time (and my brothers should quit reading here...) This is so great, I must share. I've had this booty call going for over a year, although it's more or less run its course at this point. This boy is tall, hot, sweet and alas, just not bright enough for me. A perfect example: last night I get the image below on my phone around 9pm (his name removed). I think it's a little sappy and queer, but nonetheless a nice enough sentiment.

Until I scroll up on the message, and see that he's sent it to TEN OTHER NUMBERS across America!! Helllllllooooo Bcc: please! I literally laughed so hard I almost cried.

Of course, I shared it with nearly every person I came across for the rest of the night, and then saved it on my phone to give me a giggle when I need one in the future. Ah, modern romance!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Start of Spring

Although we are on the cusp of the first snowfall (I mean, this year's STORM OF THE CENTURY!! People: we almost live in New England. It snows in February, okay?) this year in NYC, pitchers and catchers reported today for the Yankees (whatevs), the Mets and Reds open camp on Saturday, and Major League Baseball has fucked over their fans once again.

I heard about this deal via Keller who was up in arms about it last night while we were having dinner at Fatty Crab (that watermelon pickle and crispy pork salad is killer, btw). In a nutshell, MLB has sold the full broadcast rights to any out-of-market games for the next seven years to DirecTV for the tidy sum of $700 million dollars. So if I wanted to buy the package that allows me to see some of the Reds games from the comfort of my own home in Brooklyn (as I was considering this year), I am out of luck unless I am a DirecTV subscriber. Note: one in FIVE people who have previously bought MLB Extra Innings is a current DirecTV subcriber.

What a bunch of idiots, and way to drive down your audience even more. It's no wonder baseball only loses fans these days.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Happiness on a Sunday is

...sitting in bed on the wireless, listening to the new Patty Griffin album, getting my revitalizing antioxidants via some green tea, and eating a bagel with horseradish cream cheese topped with a mix of salmon and flying fish wasabi roe from Russ and Daughters'. Truly one of my all-time favorite spots for that treasured "Only in NYC" vibe, even walking by the front of this incredible smoked fish emporium makes me smile.

After 10 draining days mostly spent relearning how to deal with reoccuring anxieties, I have a big day planned of watching "The Break-Up"; figuring how much of a tax refund I get; reading Fragrant Harbor by John Lanchester, which is giving me dreams of Hong Kong; maybe going to the gym; and meeting a friend later whose presence I have sorely missed in recent weeks. As always, there are so many good ladies in New York -- the weekend was a whirlwind of women with Heater, Camille, Kate, Gina, Rachel, Julia, Helen plus a first night appearance of our new (male) Welsh friend, Ewan, courtesy of an email introduction via Jay, an old chum from 19 years-back-in- the-day-Ohio. All in all, a very good time was had.

AND: Rescue Me is filming on my block tomorrow. It's not every day that my favorite show is in the 'hood, so I expect I will walk around the block about 25 times to "get the paper."