hup me.

You know what? There's a reason that the streets aren't overflowing with pickled watermelon rind. I sat down in front of the TV before bed last night, not because this is a normal ritual or anything but because I'm sleeping on the couch for hotness reasons, and I thought maybe I'd take on a nice relaxing mindless task to subdue my normally restless bedtime mind.

The "unprocessed" watermelon rinds in my fridge were taking up a lot of room, so I said, even possibly out loud (I guess maybe addressing the cats? Not good.), "Hey, let's get those dang ol'-timey pickles started," or something similar, and then assembled a bowl, two vegetable peelers, a sharp knife, and my rinds.

Right, and Jade. In the last couple of evenings before bed I've been trying to watch it on Hulu, primarily because it's free, but also because it seems to be doing a wonderful job of putting me to sleep. I really haven't been able to watch more than 15 minutes at a time, which is an unusual distinction for a non-subtitled film.

There's only one issue so far, which is some kind of (hopefully) horrific scene near the end of the film that involves lots of bloodcurdling screams and screechy violins. This tends to wake me up, but after the first time it happened (during which I assumed that the screams were coming from one of the inhabitants of my apartment), I seem to have learned that "It's just Jade", and then I roll over and go back to sleep.

It's not a good movie in the traditional sense of the word "good", but of course this is why I'm watching it. It's not just a bad movie, but a bad movie made by experts in bad moviemaking such as Joe Eszterhas (Showgirls, Basic Instinct), Chazz Palminteri, and the amazing David Caruso. Plus it's a noir, and well I love to see good ones or bad ones. But also: a then-35-year-old Linda Fiorentino is in it, and I defy you to find a man my age who wouldn't think that's a good thing.

Watermelon rind. My point. I sat down expecting some mind-numbing but productive task a la cleaning green beans, shelling peas, husking corn, pitting cherries, etc. What I got instead was something far more epic, a fight to the death between human and fruit. I lost. After fifteen minutes of increasingly agitated attacks by me, all ending with the watermelon remaining totally unscathed, I said "fuck that", viciously stabbed the watermelon one more time and then painfully stepped on a vegetable peeler that had fallen by the wayside. Mindless? Yes. Relaxing? Less so.


I could whine some more about the heat, but really, who wants to hear it. I will say that I went for a two-hour bike ride to cool off today, and yes, that was a great idea by me, much better with a manufactured breeze. And now there are just the faintest stirrings of a real breeze coming through my windows so I imagine general relief is on the horizon.

Got a manly dinner/Scrabble/World Cup date tomorrow. Will probably do catfish in Ethiopian butter with a tart cayenne-mango salsa, and a yellow zucchini thing with a little shoarmaspice, feta, mint and that tahini-sriracha-buttermilk stuff. I also have a little pork belly sitting around, now what should I do with that, some kind of little appetizery thing. Tell me. Teach me.*

I was thinking about this, minus the quinces.


* Back when we had our record store (ha moop), we used to get the cutest handwritten faxes from a very sweet old Japanese man named Tomonori. His manner of asking us about our new releases was, "Teach me about any new releases! Teach me!!!"


pork belly rub.

2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
1/2 tsp powdered bay leaf
finely grated zest of a large orange


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