Saturday, July 26, 2008

expanded tweets

Twitter is frustrating: it lets me get random thoughts out quickly but limits me to about a sentence and a half. This is of course the point and limitations oftentimes can be inspiring, but there were many tweets that were brief to the point of being cryptic lately and that bugged me. So I started writing and thus the below occurred.

It's generally more personal than I wanted to be with this blog but I feel foolish throwing it away now. Enjoy, if you like.

A woman on a bicycle talking with a few homeless guys on the metromover makes me wonder why homeless white women in Miami always have a southern drawls and furthermore whether I've ever actually heard anyone use the phrase "score and get high" and, like, mean it.
09:58 AM July 25, 2008 from Twittelator

I know so much about pre-1950 cinema purely through Bugs Bunny cartoons. They hardly show those anymore on TV, and it makes me wonder whether kids will grow up without knowing who people like Humphrey Bogart, the Three Stooges and Joan Crawford are as a result.
04:45 PM July 23, 2008 from Twittelator

The same old, tough as nails cop who towed my car in the University Shopping Center at least 6 years ago still apparently spends his off-duty hours working there. I want to write something exploring what that says about this community, as for some reason it seems appropriate for Miami that this gun toting hardass basically lives in a parking lot.
08:35 AM July 23, 2008 from TwitPic

Wired has a cover story on Clover this month, the insanely expensive coffeemaker that Starbucks just acquired the maker/manufacturer of. In typical Wired style, the article seems to start with an "wowee zowee!" opening, a hefty amount of background, and a last few paragraphs that seem to come to a damning conclusion that contradicts the rest of the story. In short: the Clover makes good coffee if you put good beans into it, which Starbucks does not have, and as a result the difference is nil and this is all just a wad of hype (that this article largely fed right up until the closing paragraph). What I drew from the story (but was never specifically said) was that a Clover does nothing more than what I can do at home using a french press, but that it allows a barista to make a very good cup of coffee quickly, a necessity in the grab-and-go world of fast food coffee. As a result I could care less about it, because decent coffee isn't something that should be drank out of a travel cup. What I also drew from the story was an intense dislike for the idea of terroir being important for coffeebeans, but that's an entirely different story.
04:26 PM July 19, 2008 from Twittelator

Last weekend I visited Lakeland, then Tallahassee.
A mash of the unfamiliar into the familiar, neither that different from one another.
I visited an old friend in Lakeland who just got happily divorced. She spent much of the trip trying to talk me into moving there, which I admit was tempting in the same odd way moving to Tallahassee again was tempting for a while. Tallahassee then quickly taught me why both are kind of a bad idea, as there wasn't anything I particularly wanted to DO while I was in Tally. All the things I did while I lived there were done not out of any real excitement but because there wasn't really much else. The same three tolerable bars were there, the same tiny coffeeshop with their mammoth brownies, the same decently priced small places to eat. With the exception of visiting Lakeland and seeing an awesome group of old friends in Tallahassee, there was no sense of adventure about the trip. This was echoed in the sentiments of all my friends about how much longer they have in Tally, which is to say, not much longer at all.
All this isn't to say that I need an "exciting" place to live, as honestly I don't know how long I'm planning on staying in Miami. But it is to say that I think I need a little more than a college town or a tiny central Florida burg, at least right now. Who knows though: I already miss my tiny coffee place up there.
10:44 AM July 17, 2008 from Twittelator

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

banana bread

What does one do with 5 lbs of baby bananas from the backyard?

soon to be banana bread

The problem is not an easy one: they're ripe for 4 days tops before they go bad.

A while back I spent an afternoon peeling and tossing bananas into plastic bags to freeze. I've been whittling away at these and making about two loaves of banana bread a week.

I had a friend tell me recently that she was looking for a "killer" banana bread recipe. The truth is that no recipe is perfect, and even if it was, what the hell is the fun in that? What's interesting is experimenting and making something your own. Anyone can spend an hour in a kitchen, but I want to spend an hour and walk out with something that might make my grandmother proud, and not just because I managed not to destroy the kitchen.

I use the Cooking for Engineer's recipe as a start.

So far I've tried:
- Replacing all the ingredients with healthy things, i.e. molasses, unblanched almonds, and whole wheat flour, in an attempt to make breakfast bread. This worked well assuming I didn't overdo the molasses (all molasses -> sticky bread). Note though that molasses, unlike sugar, actually has things in it that are good for you (namely, potassium and iron).
- Using lychees instead of bananas (failure, but I think mostly because I lacked enough lychees and decided at the last second to cut the added sugar by a third.)
- Adding powdered ginger and cinnamon to the bread (amazing success)
- Using different kinds of nuts (pistachios = amazing, hazelnuts = boring)

banana bread

Foreground is failure lychee bread, background is relatively good banana bread. I forgot to add cinnamon and ginger to the batter until I had already poured it into the pan, so I added it on top as a crust. Still quite good, but I've made (and will make) better!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


There will be people there for humor value, there will be people there with fond memories of Hotwheels. Somewhere there will even be people who still regularly listen to Uncle Luke non-ironiclly, who don't immediately say "man, that's so Miami" between songs or while the cassette in their Tercel's stock audio system changes sides.

There will be people there because it's funny, because it's a spectacle, because it's nostalgic, and just because it's awesome. But you know who won't be there? Me. Why? Because I too vividly remember getting my ass kicked in 6th grade for listening to Pearl Jam. Also, I'm completely exhausted.