Sunday, January 28, 2007

Cooks in da Kitchen

Hey, hey, it is cioppino day. What does that mean, you ask? That means I am cooking cioppino for some of KVC's cohorts.

I like to cook. I like cioppino. It seems everybody has some opinion on what the damned stuff is, though. It's cioppino, it's a working class stew, it's the stuff the fish dude couldn't sell, tossed in a pot for dinner.

People are serious about this stuff, I guess. It made me self concious enough to actually look at a recipe. I have been making the stuff for a while.
I have always tried to apply the whatcha got approach, to the making of cioppino. Hopefully, peeking at that stupid recipe will not impact my superb natural ability to be super, in regards to stew assembly.

Anyway, it had me thinking about the whole "creative process" bit. What since I have been slathering some paint onto a canvas lately, it invites conversation/critique. You know, the car thing is the same, people like to point out what they would do differently.
Now, sometimes I need that chit-chat about what I am working on. Usually, in my creative process, if I want an opinion I'll ask for it.

You know, too many cooks - you'll end up with some shit stew...

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Masters Champion

Some days I feel like Carl.
Some days I feel like the gopher.

I got the paints out last weekend. You know, to make art. The artsie paints.
It feels kinda good, to be doing some of that stuff again. Been a while, for me.

I have to say, however, I really feel like taking a grinder to a bit of metal today. Maybe a hammer. A hammer, a grinder, either would be good for me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I spend an unusual amount of time in the car, with my job. I drive around a lot. All that time in the car, well, I am used to most of the oddities of the road. Today was slightly different.

I saw a hybrid car pulling into highway traffic, with a giant plume of black smoke spewing from the tailpipe.
A nice visual contrast, to see the eco-hybrid guy blasting smoke like a dump truck.

Our truck needed some help yesterday, on the subject of cars.
The engineers at Nissan should be proud of themselves, if they were trying to make everything but the air cleaner safe and hidden. I feel like I was in a brawl today, with scrapes, bruises and aches, after changing a squeeky belt. Well, changing a belt and fixing a cracked mount/bolt.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Gourmet Ghetto

KVC and I nosed around some of Berkeley's "Gourmet Ghetto" yesterday. It is in Berkeley, so present day references to it being a ghetto are pretty funny.

Anyway, it was a sunny, warm Saturday afternoon. We rambled down to the Epicurous Garden place, just 'cause I was curious. There is a wine joint called Taste on site - and we did in fact taste.
Following some late lunch action, I opted for a stop at Paragon. It's a fancy pants bar at the Claremont hotel. It has one of those views, photo-op views of the bay, city and all.
We had desert and watched the sun set behind SF.

So, in short, a lazy Saturday of good food, wine and scenery. Living here can be pretty cool.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Two days in LA

The quick down and back trip, to the great LA metroplex, has been completed. There is a whole lot of road down there, I had sorta forgotten.

I had stops somewhere past Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Somethinnorother, Anahiem, the LBC, Downey and Burbank. So, I had plenty of time to remember just how much pavement there was - and to look at it, interact with it. Pavement.

One of the things that I always enjoy in LA is the traffic talk. It is the great uniting dialog of that area. People share that commonality of transport. They talk about road conditions, drive times, routes from here to there, things to avoid, rush hour - seemingly without end. As people come together, they compare their trip and then fill any pause in conversation with details of their planned escape route.

I did get to take a quick detour past the previously mentioned broiler site. Sort of like visiting a celebrity's grave I suppose, I am not sure what my reasoning was for that little jaunt.

I had to have dinner with some of the guys I work with. I left myself out of the restaurant selection process, just to not be annoyed. The guys decided the goofy shabu shabu joint would be a great new experience. I was able to find some non-shabu shabu options for myself on the menu, which seemed to confuse and disappoint my companions, but left me happy.

If you are not dialed into this particular dining style/experience the story is that you get a plate of raw stuff and a boiling pot. It's all up to you, at that point, to get raw shit into the pot, seasoned and into your pie-hole. I have always found it to end up tasting like bland boiled food, but that's just me.

My one associate left looking well steamed, slightly hungry and upset that he had to make his own food. I was left thinking the whole concept is damned clever. Not many restaurants have a gimmick that makes you cook your own food. If you have a crap meal, it's your own fault. Nice.

I stopped into DiPiazza, later that night on my own. I had a slice, a brew and soaked up some Long Beach culture. Kind of a shabu shabu antidote...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

That car project

Yeah, it was only a matter of time before I would make you look at pictures of my car project.

I have been doing lots of staring again. The whole deal seems to have arrived at a point where decisions count. Once you start putting paint on things, well, you don't want to take it off. I did some thrashing to get what paint is there on for my crazy German advisor, Kenneth B Wright's visit.

That was more than a month ago.
I didn't like the way a certain line looked, though. So, back to staring.

The staring process, for me, now involves that silly bit of carcboard standing in for a hood. It also involves me putting little shims in under the body, adding and removing leaves from the springs. Searching for little adjustments that make everything look like it belongs.

I think I am sneaking up on it...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Harveys/Johnies Broiler

I am headed to LA this week, for some work related stuff. Let's not dwell on that, because it's work related...

I am hoping to have a minute to swing by the old Harveys/Johnies Broiler. For those of you not current on your car history and facts, this drive-in was a hub in So-Cal car culture. Harveys was also a nice bit of Googie architecture. It was one of the places to be, the see and be seen scene. A place to cruise with your girl, or your buds...

I am too young to have any real connection to the place, or the places that defined an era I am born out of. My mother has told me tales of the time. Stories of convertible Fords, piled high with pals. Cruising. Another time.

Seems that Harveys was struck by that Chicago weather pattern known as "Greek lightning." Lacking permits or mandate, the owner of the property got busy with a bulldozer. All in spite of efforts to have the place recognized for it's historical value.

The sign and some bits of building are all that is left, today.

Folks should pay more attention to the world around them. That dinner at Outback or that hammer from Home Depot, those are orders of execution for things that make life great...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Undead

I won't even get into the root of this question, but what happens if say a zombie bites into vampire brain. Reverse the attack, if you prefer the vampire sinking fang into zombie necks.

Both parties are of the undead, right? In theory, the undead status is communicable - transmitted by zombie saliva to brain contact, vampire - well however you catch vampire cooties.

Would double-undead status cancel itself out then? (Think of the rules of the double negative, here) Would the vampire, after suffering a nasty zombie chomp to the noggin, rejoin the living?

If anybody knows for sure, dial me in. Please.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Frank Stella

While we were in Ohio, KVC and I made a stop at the Wexner Center for the Arts. It seems to be a part of the process for trips to Ohio. The center should get more credit than it does, but it's in Ohio...

Anyway, there was a cramped exhibit of some Frank Stella work. It was work from the period in the fifties when old Frank was just starting to play with those big black canvas squares, with lines on 'em.

I have seen a bunch of work by Mr. Stella, but these are always the ones I think about. There seems to be some solution in these.
I am still trying to pin down what it is. The balance of precision and imperfection, I'm thinking. There are clearly very deliberate decisions being made, in regards to scale, and palette and line - but there is still the sense of variables of human hand involved. I'm thinking that is what gets me, holds my attention.

I have been thinking about these paintings in relation to my little car project. That may seem like a stretch, car guys usually don't list modernist painters as major influences in their building process. Think about it, though. I still am.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Nothing like a bit of the crud to really clean out the system, heh?
I had it. Perhaps some bug from others, or that Chinese food from lunch.
Regardless of where it came from, it had me going. Expelling whatever nasty thing was in my system through every possible means of excretion. A really pretty twenty four hours.
Now that my body is fueled solely by lemon-lime soda, I feel much better...

Saturday, January 6, 2007


Right, that trip to Ohio I had mentioned. The trip home.
Originally, it was a Christmas trip. That schedule was buggered up by snow in Denver. My grandmother was quoted as asking "What the hell does snow in Denver have to do with Scott not being here?"
So, we were delayed. The X-mas trip became a New Years trip.

Let me be clear, here, I was sure this trip was a bad idea. Experience has taught me that combined family holidays are a pain the ass. The back and forth schedule usually allows for aching degree of frustration and disappointment for everyone involved.

I could bitch about that, but I'll skip it. There are so many layers of Columbus fun, beyond just "normal" family stuff. I will just hold my tongue.

Returning to Columbus for the turning of the year, it seemed to me, more depressing. All that damned retrospective thinking. Confrontations with bits of history, captured in their own degrading sameness or replaced by strip mall plastic. Add a buzz to that and you are well fucked.

KVC and I did get to hang out with some old friends. We had some quality family time. We saw some music. We looked at art. Some inspiring stuff happened, I think.

My highlights, in no order:
The hot dog lunch, with my maternal lineage.
Witnessing more Trish performances.
Melissa, talking art and laughing.
Checking out the Mary/Jeff rock-n-puzzle action.
That band, whose name even the members can't remember.
Everything about Aunt Betty.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

A new year.

Well, it seems we are well on our way into the new year, huh? That brings along all of the annual optimism and liver damage.
Brian, the sushi guy, said the coming Chinese celestial year is that of the Golden Pig.

My level of expertise in Chinese astrology tells me that I am a pig, myself. I usually say boar, when questions of symbol arise. I suppose that I am being too self aware, regarding the symbol. I do try to embrace my inner pig.
My powers of inferring facts has me thinking that, perhaps, the year of the Golden Pig will be kind to all pigs. I would settle for a vaguely polite year, as the degree of kindness recieved most recently has seemed lacking.

KVC and I made the great journey home for the holidays. I am still digesting that little trip. I will address it soon enough, along with some pics.