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Innovations we can all do without.

Rakı--good. Fresh mint--good. Sugar--good.

A "Rakı Mojito?" Almost unbelievably bad. Imagine licorice toothpaste with alcohol. The world might (might) be ready for an anise-flavoured cocktail, but this is most assuredly not it.

Also, visitors to Chicago are strongly encouraged to try this. The best description I've heard of the flavor so far is "rubber band with notes of grapefruit pith." yummy :)

vital, vital info

My first post in months and months is for the sole purpose of telling the world that the incomparable Ladytron's new album, Velocifero, is available through the usual channels. Download it, then see the concert, buy a t-shirt, and call it even.

Let it be known that my raging crush on Helen Marnie continues, totally unabated.

That is all.

more evidence...

 ...that I have the World's Most Awesome Girlfriend, as shown by this birthday cake:

That's hand-made, by the way.

This works?

The Korean restaurant near my apartment (no better place in the city for grilled intestines, let me tell you) has a policy of posting handwritten help wanted signs in bad Spanish--stuff like, "Man needed--wash dishes." Today there's a new one--"Needed: Woman for work". It's unclear what type of work they require a Spanish-speaking woman for--the clientele's probably 95% Korean, and the owner gives the impression he knows everyone in there by name. It all comes off as rather shady.

Why Spanish speakers? As far as I can tell, most of the staff is monolingual in Korean (everyone seemed a little edgy the first time I walked in, though they were very polite overall) , and if the signs are any indication they certainly don't speak much Spanish. Isn't this exactly the kind of crap restaurant work that relatives get roped into?

burning questions.

So do you think Belgian college students tell stories like, "Man, I got -so- wasted last night. I had, like, -three- beers! crazy!"

To be fair, the one Belgian I've known could drink like a warrior--a lifetime of Chimay, Duvel, and Delerium Tremens resulted in a pretty fierce tolerance, in his case.


I had forgotten how good Tears For Fears was. Er, was capable of being--Shout, Mad World, Pale Shelter, classics all. Many, many other songs--not so much. But no one's taking Shout away from them.

The Kenshin obsession (7 years and counting) has returned with a vengeance--I've been through every episode of the Kyoto arc 3-4 times in the last two months. Consequently my Japanese (which was always spotty at best) now includes weird phrases like "Tsuyokereba iki, yowakereba shinu," and an encyclopedic knowledge of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryu, yet I remain totally unable to, say, ask for directions. But back to Kenshin. Genius. Start to finish. Every character built on an absolute mountain of pain and suffering, and a depiction of the Meiji period that's totally convincing precisely because every character is so deeply ambivalent about the whole thing.

If you haven't seen it, see it. If you have, see it. Drag along a friend who hasn't.

ghosts from the past.

Today I received an official-looking envelope from Flint, MI (my hometown). Intrigued, I opened it. To my deep irritation, it was a letter from a collection agency requesting payment for an unpaid bill of $44 from Paradise Video. I haven't lived in Flint for 4 years. God only knows the last time I rented anything from Paradise Video.

Kudos for tracking me down, however.

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April 2008


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