Archive for May, 2009

Pixar’s “Up”, Poignant, Pretty, Perfect

Posted in rants on May 31, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

I had fairly high expectations when I went with my family to the matinee this morning, but this more than exceeded them.  I could talk about how great the art direction & visuals were, but really, anybody can make a film look great now, especially ones done in CG; but what really sold it to me was the subtlety and character development.   I’m a giant freakish golem of a human being, composed mmostly of scar tissue & pork products & this movie actually made me cry.  Yes cry, actual tears, from my eyes.   Wanna’ fight about it?  Didn’t think so…   It was literally that poignant and this set the tone for the film & the characters actions.  Besides making one shed manly tears, I also was in hysterical laughter because of this film, yes the movie literally made me laugh & made me cry.  I wholeheartedly recommend this movie to anybody with a pulse & some people without; this so far is Pixar’s masterpiece by leaps & bounds above their previous films and I might venture that this might have weasled it’s way into my top 25 movies ever, repeated viewings (which I look forward to) will tell the tale there.  See this movie in the theaters, I’m sure it’d be good at home as well but a darkened theater makes it easier to hide a tear rolling down your cheek.

Paternal Grandma’s Cabbage Noodles

Posted in Food on May 30, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

A collective sigh of relief is made by my adoring culinary fans that I finally am adding another recipe to the blog and not rambling about goofy musician stuff. All (or at least some) jokes aside this recipe is from my dad’s side of the family of whom I really don’t know much at all; which made it especially awkward as I was the one who informed most of them of his demise, a great subject for a first conversation let me tell you. Sadly I don’t really have much information about my paternal grandmother. Overwhelmingly when she was mentioned she was described as a fantastic cook and a baker nonpareil, she was the one who actually taught my mother how to bake pies & breads; oh and she was about 6 feet tall which is kind of funny since my dad was about 5′ foot 6”, that helps to explain my freakish proportions a bit at least.

This dish is delicious and my dad’s mother taught it to my mother & she would make it for him as an occasional comfort food. By head & shoulders the easiest way to make this is in an electric frying pan or electric wok, you can do it on the stove (or an open fire for that matter if determined enough) but the electric wok that I have cooking merrily away in the kitchen is the porridge that Goldilocks ate in this situation.

Ingredients:

1 pound of egg noodles

4 sticks salted butter,

1 head of red cabbage, quartered & sliced,

1 head of green cabbage, quartered & sliced (you can use all red or all green I just like the color contrast so decide depending your whims, and sales)

6 red onions,

6 yellow onions (same sentiment as above)

2 tablespoons paprika,

about 2 ounces of wine or Mojo marinade,

a pinch of saffron,

liberal salt & black pepper.

First take your electric pan/wok and set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit & toss in the butter, this is a low and slow operation. Now when my mom made this she would break out the food processor since there is a lot of chopping work involved and she of her own admission is scared of knives; in fact to this day she can’t handle being in the kitchen while I’m doing prep-work, but I just break out a big scary knife and chop away.

Start by chopping the top & bottom off the onions and take off the skins (being sure to squirrel away the castoffs in your freezer bag of stock stuff), quarter and slice then toss into the electric pan/wok, add the paprika and pinch of saffron and let simmer away as you begin to prep the cabbages. Core the cabbages, quarter them and slice, then lay each quarter in layers on top of the onions with hefty sprinkles of salt & pepper in between them & toss the wine or Mojo over it.

Place a lid on your cooking implement, if said lid is missing (like mine) a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil will do the trick and set a timer for 20 minutes. After the first 20 minutes give it a through stir, replace the lid and let it simmer for another 20. Do this again, I told you this is low & slow cooking, did you think I was kidding? That’s probably why my mom rarely made this, that & the food processor was a bitch to clean.

Guess what happens next? Give up? Give it another good stir, re lid and set another 20 minutes, this time put the water for your noodles on the stove and set to the low end of medium high so it will be boiling by the next time you check. Finally after that last 20 minutes the cabbage and onions should be about done, allow to continue simmering with the lid off as you cook & drain the egg noodles then fold into the cabbage, onion & butter mixture in the pan, which by the time you finish the noodles will have shrunk enough to accommodate their volume. Turn off the pan and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving so that the noodles can absorb some of the flavor.

Some Minor Achievements

Posted in music, rants on May 29, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

After another successful Opera Mash-Up gig Wednesday night that cheered me up from crippling depression to merely a bit down, therefore, I actually was productive enough to  finally got the house cleaned up properly with willing help from Shu & applying liberal yelling to the kids.  The minor achievement was satisfying and hopefully something that will last as I put the bratlets to work today on maintaining the tidyness before they went out to play. 

With the dread ides of summer a week away I figured that it’s best to get them (the kids including/especially the 17 year old) into a regimen of basic housekeeping so that I might be able to postpone having a massive stroke from aggravation until Kira starts dating.  The financial situation is still somewhere between godawful & for the love of god slit my goddamned throat, but we’re still paying the bills at least.  Despite this empass I find myself considering changing my work schedule somewhat in order to continue performing the Mash-Up series which are changing dates to Tuesday nights.  The downside is that I would be making a little less reliable money, the upside is that doing the shows have hugely improved my general mental well being, as well as the fact that any lost funds would still be vastly cheaper than the horse dosage  perscription of Zoloft that it would take to accomplish the same for me.

The gig itself was unique and it was edifying to know that “I’ve still got it”, Gregg & I synced in perfectly (30 years of playing together might be the reason behind that one) and our friend James (who until that moment I had only known as a comedian and indie film maker  http://www.myspace.com/robersonhorror) played a seriously mean theremin, that’s right a theramin.  Those therimin thingy’s rock & it was the first time I got to jam with someone playing one so it was especially fun.  The drummer was rock solid as always.  It’s good to know I can still help to pull 90 minutes of music directly out of my ass when technical difficulties caused a shift in focus from “electronic noise music” to Spinal Tap “jazz oddssey”.  Another high point of the evening was when Bunny convinced a couple of signifigantly tipsy opera singers to put on giant furry pig heads (don’t ask, I didn’t) to do an duet that we gave a sort of Jesus & Mary Chain treatment to. 

All in all today at least, I’ve earned myself a good sit as I pound away listening to Morrissey’s “Suedehead” on the Comcast “Classic Alternitive” radio channel. Tomorrow’s neurosis I’ll deal with when I drag myself out of bed.

4th Grade Parent’s Breakfast–A Celebration of Almost Everything I Hate

Posted in kids on May 29, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

There are things I simply despise, rational or not these are key to my personality.  The ones essential to this particular post are the following:

I hate getting up early (especially since I don’t get home from work till 3 am),

Children (other than mine),

Those children’s parents,

Looking at photographs (it depresses me more than most things),

Any PowerPoint anything,

Stale Pastry,

Children (they are just sticky little miniature douchebags),

Awkward interactions with strangers,

Being crammed into enclosed spaces,

Those children’s parents taking photographs,

Undersized furniture,

The movie “Independence Day”,

and last but certainly not least, children (and their germs and their general douchebaggery).

Because I dearly love my son I attended this abomination.   I knew what I was getting into but it is one of those parental duties that god saddles you with as a penalty for enjoying sexual intercourse.  We spent no small amount of time throwing together an Abraham Lincoln costume for his “presentation” last night; which only helped me to focus the dread of the morning to come.   “Oh no…” I thought, “Speaking children…”.

As I staggered into the classroom with Shu I saw a claustrophobic panorama of children (of whom I was certain were at the very least,  sticky & covered in germs) in costumes thrown together in equally rushed & haphazard ways; my favorite of these was a kid wearing a plain white T-shirt with Neil Armstrong crudely written across it in magic marker…  For a brief moment that kid was my hero.  So as I unenthusiastically picked from a table filled with obviously stale wholesale pastries (while secretly wishing it was an open bar) I endured child after child, going to the front of the class to spout out their key historical inaccuracies before returning to their desks, including a couple of lumbering geniuses who looked like they were trying to set a repeating 4th grade endurance record, they at least could have shaved for the occasion.

Logan however, found himself unable to rise to the occasion as he succumbed to the sheer terror of reading 3 sentences off of a blue note card in front of the classroom; I’d like to think he was having an existential crisis over the futility of it all; but it was probably just stage fright instead of the horrifying realization of  a vicious, uncaring world where there is a very real chance that there will be a critical, possibly fatal, lack of resources within his lifetime-a minor disappointment really but I digress.  When the presentations were over I thought I could escape but not before a seemingly endless PowerPoint slide show of badly composed photographs of the classes activities through the year.  Now I am finally home trying to make sense of the horrors I witnessed before having to repeat a variation on this theme in Kira’s classroom next week.

The Infamous “What’s it 7?”

Posted in Food on May 26, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

This is a drink I created many years ago when I was working 2 jobs (one of which luckily in a coffee shop) as well as being a full time musician. The origin of this beverage/dessert/abomination is the stuff of personal legend. Many eons ago when there was a stable American economy, MTV played “videos”, and I was actually thin; I was enjoying a few dozen, post-gig after, hours drinks at the inimitable “King’s Head Pub” in Plantation (which is still there to this day thank goodness) when my friend, the equally inimitable “Fosty” (a.k.a. David Foster, a.k.a. The Dread Pirate Roberts—Okay I was lying on the latter part there) noticed the sun rising and quipped “What’s it, 7?” To which I exclaimed a hearty “Oh shit!” and headed straight to work at my coffee shop job where I was due to clock in at 7:30 am.

In the particular state of mind/consciousness/exhaustion I was in when I arrived at work I realized that I needed to take desperate measures to survive the 14 hours of scheduled retail serfdom and thus my beverage of infamy was born. This drink of ill repute was also a surgically effective hangover cure and sleep replacement that I served under great secrecy to my closest intimates, the biggest fan of it being my former boss at my other job my friend Chris “Pink” Pincket who humbly commissioned me to produce a blender full of my sweet nepenthe to aid him and his better half in their upcoming move. So without further adieu, the sociopathic celebration of fat, sugar, caffeine and poor judgment I give you the “What’s it, 7?” By the way this makes a blender/bender full.

Ingredients:

2 cups commercial “ice cream base” or vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt

7 shots of chilled espresso

2 shots of chocolate syrup

4 ounces of chocolate covered espresso beans (this is a must)

1 large chocolate chip cookie or 4 “Chips Ahoy Type”

½ a shot of hazelnut syrup

½ a shot of vanilla syrup

½ a shot of Irish crèam syrup

1 dash of caramel syrup

1 biscotti

5 ounces of Ice

To prepare crumble the items into the blender while repeatedly muttering to yourself, “Why does this god damned thing have to be so loud? They can put a man on the moon but they can’t make a silent damn blender…Bastards..” When the mixture is properly blended pour into a glass and enjoy what is at the very least a venial sin.

Cast in an Independent Film!

Posted in rants on May 24, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

This is yet another of my crazy adventures.  I was cast in an “independent film” which is a way of saying working for next to nothing sound hip & impressive; being directed by my old friends Brian & Harrison.  These gentlemen have made a bunch of short films, and have the distinction of having completed the first feature length fan film.  I don’t want to give too much away but I have been cast as the main villain due to my lumbering enormousness & shocking good looks. 

All Jokes aside, I’m really looking forward to doing the project & they are giving me a lot of free reign with the role; and so far things have been doing well.  The shoot starts in June & further updates will pepper my random and erratic postings as they develop.  Did I mention that I had to shave my head for the part?   Yeah…  I have far less wind resistance now and my creepy looking factor has gone up by an exponent.   I sort of look like a cross between the Kingpin & King Crimson bassist Tony Levin.  This should be fun.

My Basses

Posted in music, rants on May 22, 2009 by kingbiscuitpants

low4basseshoriz2

These are my 4 working basses, frankly I’m posting this because I just felt like & I stumbled across this old image while cleaning up my desktop.  Left to right I have a 1992 Warwick  Corvette Pro line, next is a 1986 Steinberger Spirit that I painted green & added thumbrests to, third is a Carlo Robelli acoustic bass that i ripped the frets out of and strung with flatwounds & last but not least is my main bass a “Frankenstein” fretless that I built with a Fernandez body, a Warmoth neck, Seymour Duncan Pickups and a Badass bridge.  The 5 string isn’t pictured since it isn’t working at the moment & I didn’t own it at the time the picture was taken.