Posted July 30, 2010, 4:45 pm.

Modest Mouse's Delay

Xue treats me so well. Her generosity includes, but is not limited to, taking me to see my favorite bands. Last Monday the two of us rode down toward Fenway park to see Modest Mouse play at the Blues Room, or the Blue Heart, or something. The venue is not important.

We got there on time and filtered in along with the rest of the crowd. I guessed there were probably twelve to sixteen hundred people there. The opening band started up soon enough.

Morning Teleportation? Maybe they were Morning Television. Again, the specifics escape me with no great concern. Their first song was good, I really liked it. I even made a mental note to try to pirate some more of their music when I got home, but the rest of the set changed my mind. They weren’t terrible, but they lost their charm quickly and I was glad when they left the stage.

Twenty minutes later Modest Mouse’s techs had finished getting their instruments on stage and in tune. I started getting really excited; I love Modest Mouse! Then we waited, and waited some more.

The instruments just sat there. What were they doing backstage?

There was a full hour of downtime between the opening band leaving the stage and the headliner taking it. Fuck that shit. I know they’re rockstars and there’s a lot of preparation that goes into a big show like that, but c’mon. Start writing your set list an hour earlier next time, assholes.

But I couldn’t stay mad for long. They played lots of hits, and not too many of their newer songs, and it was a good time. It was in fact a very good time.

But don’t get me started on the total crock of shot that is the gratuitous encore paradigm.

Posted July 25, 2010, 9:40 pm.

Eats in Boston

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Burritos in Boston will underwhelm if you’re familiar with real Mexican/Mexicali food. They are often too small, not warm enough, not at all spicy, and overpriced. Sometimes they are filled with steamed cauliflower though, and this is good because it is delicious. Repeat business is rewarded with improved burrito girth.

Exotic fruits should be tasted, even if their flesh looks like massive huddled larvae inside of an oak gall.

If you are eating at a Korean restaurant you may not want to order an appetizer. There’s a fleet of small dishes already on it’s way to you table, and it is called Banchan. Most of the items are vegetable, many are strange and exciting. Try them all. That kimchi is going to be gross though, just saying.

Bubble tea is delicious. The sunken boba are like little pearls of goo ball goodness, but they can easily be spoiled in preparation if under- or over-cooked. Don’t choke on them! Milk teas are often sweeter than the black or green teas. If you get a tea with plums in it they will be overly sweet.

There is a Burmese place called Yoma that make excellent noodle dishes, fresh and pulpy tamarind juice, and both pork and ice cream salads.

Frozen yogurt that actually tastes like yogurt will blow your mind.

The breads of Asian bakeries can be unbelievably fluffy and good, inexpensive too. A good loaf of white bread can become a cake.

It’s hard to poach eggs, maybe spinning the water faster before dropping them in would help keep them together?

There is a pastry shop in Somerville called Patsy’s. The middle-aged Italian woman you’ll most often see behind the counter is not Patsy, but will politely respond to the name. Her bakery sells pizza and calzones in addition to some of the richest desserts you can find at very low prices. More calories poor dollar will not be found. Repeat business is rewarded with a reduced grimace from the woman who is not Patsy.

Duck eggs are worth habituating.

If your girlfriend’s employer is paying for the meal you should go ahead and order that second root beer. Her co-worker ordered the lobster, so go nuts!

Pizza on the East coast is better than you remember. You can order a pizza “Using Your I-Phone” from the nearest place, but the second-nearest pizzeria is better. If you walk down there you could probably talk yourself into getting some of their soft serve ice cream too.

There’s a bagel place in Allston called Bagel Rising that is staffed entirely by cool looking kids. As far as I know they actually are cool, and they’re nice too. The jalapeƱo cream cheese is hot enough for me. The bagels are fresh. Enough said.

Posted July 6, 2010, 10:04 pm.

Sleep Now?

There’s a heat wave on. Xue’s sleeping on the living room couch by the air conditioner; I’m in bed and alone with my thoughts save for the window fan. I’m not sure if it’s the heat that’s keeping me awake.

I’ve been thinking on just about everything. Work and school, Boston and Chico, friends and family, the past, the future, and the Internet. So I’ve decided to do the one thing I so often find myself unable to do, that’s write.

Today was the kind of day that gets little done and leaves an unsatisfied taste in my mouth.

Even though we both got to bed early, and even though I slept better than her, I didn’t get up in the morning with Xue. Instead I slept an extra hour and a half and barely remember seeing her leave for work. Eventually I emailed my boss to tell him that I’d be working from home (on accounta the heat) before going back to sleep.

For breakfast I fired up my computer and started staring at work around ten thirty. I was on and off the clock until the middle of the afternoon. I only got three or four hours of real work done, which actually only brought more problems with the current project to my attention.

I spent more than four hours playing video games today. For me it can be a mindless exercise that does little more than kill time. Sure it’s a little entertaining, and a very little bit challenging, but it always leaves me feeling wasted. I should uninstall some games, the free gigs would likely serve me better.

After Xue got home from work I continued to laze about in front of my computer (or on the little pocket computer), breaking once to make grilled cheese for dinner, until she got tired and set up for sleep on the couch next to me.

And then I went to bed. Maybe I’ll be able to sleep now?

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