I didn't make this. From Pizza N Grill on Lincoln. They are 1.5 blocks away. A strange little outfit to be honest owned by a first generation Russian guy. They get mixed reviews all over. I like them.

There is a square layer of cheese on the bottom. Originally the top. There is more ravioli in the refrigerator. This Pizza N Grill serving produced three small meals. 

The ravioli hits the spot that tinned ravioli hit at age six. It's all mass produced to satisfy the lowest common denominator, so it satisfies me. I would not serve this to a dinner party.

     Why not?

It's too perfect. Perfectly mundane. Compare with egg yolk ravioli in truffle oil from the art museum restaurant that closed. 

Pizza N Grill, Denver

Takeout through Grubb. 

I used this place twice today. Once for delivery to a shop and this one for myself. In both cases they underpromised and overdelivered. We'll be there in forty minutes then show up in twenty.

I raced them. And I won. They showed up while I was at the door. 

For my delivery normally I would meet them downstairs at the front door but this time I cannot carry anything. My cart is useless. It is filled with torn up cardboard boxes, a project I was doing, the stuff will not fit in my backpack. So the guy comes up and he isn't even shocked about what a total mess my place is. Like all this stuff out covering every flat surface is normal. 

Omelet, shitaki, jalapeño, bacon, Havarti cheese

This is unbelievably horrible. The shitaki are 100% wrong for this. Shame because I have regular mushrooms in the refrigerator. It could have been lovely, but no, I blew it.

Omg, I just took another bite. This omelet is horrible all the way through. 

Status: complete fail

Also, Photoshop 6.0 no longer works with Mac OS Catalina. In many ways GIMP is insufficient and weird.


Gift tea. Variety package. Ultimate tea sampler by Solstice. The company offers three such kits that I know about. This kit is all non-caffeine. Loose teas packaged in round tins that can be reused for spices or for nuts and bolts, buttons, or whatever. 

I chose this kit because it is most attractive when all the containers are opened all at once, but turns out the women keep them all closed. They both have no idea how lovely their teas are all together.

This is what I went for. This look is the deciding factor. It means nothing to the women because they are carefully opening the tins one-at-a-time. The tins are sealed. So the women won't open them until they are ready to experiment. The tins that they did open, like the one with Hibiscus, blew their minds. Because they are pretty and they are interesting.

I had no idea both women would flip out. This turned out to be a very good gift for both women.

So then, need an idea for a gift? Here you go. Even if you don't care that much for tea.

I still cannot cook. Today I washed a pot. Pathetic. A little surprising what the injured hand can do and what it cannot do. There is a very thin line between functionality and total disaster. I punctured the lemon with an 8" chef's knife like a total mong with no idea how to use a knife, while my mong-method works very well for me, then cut it holding the knife the usual way, but then I could not pick up the glass of ice tea. The whole general area is healing nicely while very specific spots are incredibly sore. 

I see videos of people attempting a rope swing and fail immediately because they are unaware how weak their grip is. Their grip cannot hold their own weight and I laugh my butt off because their hands are so weak. 

Now that's me. I cannot grip my cane far less put any weight on it. That is the precise spot of injury. The cane in my hand is a disaster. No help and all liability. 

In the video, if you watched that, the dog is snapping at bubbles produced by a toy machine. The bubbles are bacon-flavored and that is what has the dog's attention. The machine and the bubbles were another gift that I sent to the youngest boy.


My right hand is helping type this. 

My arm goes; normal normal normal normal warm warm normal normal.

I can almost pinch my swollen wrist with my good hand. The clamped fingers almost touch. Like one inch to go. The swollen wrist hand clamps the good wrist easily.

Two spots on the injured wrist are super sore. Front and back. No twisting allowed.

All my injuries are where two bones become five bones except for the femur and skull surgeries. And the two things on both pectorals. And the faceplant that led to Bell's palsy thing. I am a wreck at all these end-limb 2-bone to 5-bone connections. All of them were injured. Some repeatedly. Toes were broken.The left wrist was injured previously, the scar still there, along with this same right wrist. It's been insane. Compared, this injury is nothing.

I swear there are more than two bones in there, radius and ulna. It feels like a chicken leg with more thin bones in there, thin enough to use as a toothpick threading through in between the two main ones. I can't leave it alone. I keep examining the area and dehydrated the whole thing feels very weird. 

Want to hear something stupid? 

Okay, here goes.

A few days ago I wrote an email to my younger brother in which I attempt to annoy him a bit by repeating something in four languages including colloquial electrician-English and asking if he understands what I mean. I said, "here it is in sign language [                 ] Did you see that? I verbalized it. Did you hear that?

The answer must be no and no. 

I asked him if he knows how hard it is to speak sign language and English at the same time. And that it makes you look and sound a bit stupid in both languages. Again. You look stupid and you sound stupid in both languages.

Conversely, how hard it is to interpret anything word for word. It doesn't make sense until the end. Then the picture becomes clear. Then you find some way to say that in English.

Then a story. I apologized for the story, that he probably wouldn't care about, please don't bother wasting his time. He wrote back and told me he thought this is an interesting story, so here goes. Since my brother Jim thinks this interesting, maybe you will too. I don't know.

A very long time ago I had just met Jeff. Deaf Jeff. Turns out the most profoundly deaf person that I would ever know. His whole family, in fact. Half of them, actually. Both parents. Half his brothers and sisters. One of the strangest households that I have ever entered. 

His value to me then was him introducing me to his friends. He became a much better friend than just that.

Through Jeff my deaf associations among deaf people my age increased significantly. Knowing all these people increased my sign-skill immeasurably but that occurred over years and this is the beginning of all that.

We had been clubbing together. The club plays music so loud your whole body feels it. We encountered one of Jeff's hearing friends. We decided to stop at this hearing friend's house after the club closed. Along with other friends of Jeff's hearing friend. The group that assembled is half deaf and half hearing. Everyone very young. Very young. Like twenty-one and twenty-two. We had just turned of age to join the adult bars. We had already been assembling in the 3.2 bars, weird in this state, bars for ages between 17-21. 

What did we intend? More cocktails. More music. We intended to prolong the fun beyond closing hours. More raw energy than common sense. More eager to connect than for good sleep. At this time in their lives my new deaf friends were intensely interested in meeting hearing people and hooking up outside their small group. They were each lovely and vivacious, outgoing, personable, imaginative, artistic, energetic, enthusiastic. They were raised to be lovely. Literally schooled in being affable. They were very fun to be around. We always had a very good deal of fun together. 

Instantly the deaf took stock of the friend's apartment and realized the window between the kitchen to the breakfast nook was an imperfect stage. The deaf assembled in the tight kitchen while the hearing assembled in the living room with the nook separating them from the kitchen window performance stage. The deaf rooted around for kitchen implements to use imperfectly as stage props, adding to the amusement. 

They put on a spontaneous puppet show using kitchen implements as props. The story was prosaic as all hell but also amusing for its layered imperfections and its childlike absurd creativity. Everyone liked this arrangement. The deaf enjoyed doing the thing they were raised to do, be charming and lovely, while the hearing really enjoyed trying to figure out what in the heck they were doing. 

The deaf spoke. They needed to explain a few things. Here is where they shine. Getting through to hearing people. Still, at points they got stuck. I was the only hearing person who knew sign. I told the hearing people the signs that I recognized as I saw them. All very young, this impressed the crap out of all these new people. Like sports ref signs except a lot more of them. They were surprised that I could see so much. But the thing was, as I called out the signs someone else watching would discover an English version for all that much faster than I could. They kept blurting out what all that means and collectively they were much faster than me. Much faster. 

And that bummed me out because I was the only one who knew what they are actually saying but always the last one to know what all that means. The whole thing filled me with doubt about my own skill. And I was trying so hard. Was there something about my comprehension that will always put me at last place?

But then, they were guessing the whole time, and they were wrong a few times as things cleared. For me, that night was interesting for filling me with doubt in myself, for everyone else it was interesting for the interaction between worlds. 

Then, that night, a few nights ago, The night that I explained all this, I sprained my wrist making sign impossible. 

What a bummer!

I try to interpret things as they come up and switch to left-handed sign and the whole thing totally sucks. There is no way for me to make this look good. Extremely frustrating. And yet there are people out there signing with only one hand.  And two-handed signers who sign so lazily, so abbreviated, married couples for example, they might as well simply blink and think it. I'll know that I've healed when all this comes together.


 The injured arm does not hurt so much as yesterday (← all left handed letters.) Weirdest thing. my good hand nags my injured arm and hand, constantly testing resistance, pain spots, swollen areas, gently pulling, twisting, testing, exploring. I discovered the swollen areas are hot. this must be why they put on ice. 

i cannot deal with ice. i feel up and down my arm and it goes normal normal normal normal HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT over the swollen parts. its awesome how it matches so clearly.

when my arm is down at my side it pulses madly and painfully. so i keep it bent.

my good hand pretends that it is healing the injured one. And it works!

i cannot put on socks nor tie shoes. i can cut a piece of summer sausage with immense difficulty. i cannot do a button, nor button pants. i can mix chocolate and white milk and carry it, with tremendous difficulty. i cannot open a container of pills. But i can get off the toilet.

Want to know how? 

ACABINet with a sink is right next. I lean over left far as possible use the sink, with my legs bent to the right and pull up HARD with all my might using one arm past the legs useless zone then switch to leg power soon as the leg muscles activate. So a power switch that relies on trust of legs activating right at the critical spot. its a bit fun. but f'k'n weird. if you saw this you would either have great pity or laugh your butt off. Possibly both.


 I fell down and went boom crack grind twist turn curl oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh on floor for half hour. My legs dont work, right arm doesnt work. 

thats the noise that i make when im injured. thats like the fifth time a similar thinghappened and that is my noise. it must be weird for oter people to hear it.

I am a torso with left arm that works. Also I think therefore there must be a head.

SWOllen wrist hurts like a sunny beach. 

Come over here and help me wipe my butt. help me stand up from the toilet.it was quite nearly impossible to stand up. thats where im at.

Cannot use my camera but i type rather well with my left hand, dont you think?

oh man. and im right in middle of fifteen projects. literally the middle i got sht all over the place. mid way. cart loAded. clothes spread around, hoses, aquarium in need. plants that need watr.photographs, frames, boxes torn up ready to go. dishes all over, soil to mix, all comes to a stop like this erk. 

Philly and chocolate milkshake

The first half was eaten earlier today. This second half was not protected very well. It dried in the refrigerator. The whole sandwich was held under running water and then wrapped in aluminum foil.

Standard ingredients from the bodega across Broadway.

Does that sound romantic or what?

Regular ice cream and regular milk and this is distinguished from the premium ice cream and premium milk that made the immediate previous milkshakes. I am thinking that I like this stuff better. 

Nothing new here. Old stuff all over again.

So I will talk about something else. 

I needed a haircut. Badly. And that is what got me out. 

First I must contact the pizza place and order pizza, salad and ice cream. Then I must stop at the juice shop and buy for myself and for the grocer. Then haircut. 

Then order from Philly. Then the small grocer next door. Then Philly again to pick up my order. Then home.

Everyone is new at the barber. The whole place is new. The inside is remodeled. We are all strangers to each other. I was there and seated and watching when the boy handed the driver my $10.00 tip as if it were his own as we arranged. I was supposed to be seated for a haircut but they were running late. Then he was surprised that anyone bought him ice cream. He is still a boy. I watched him with the same fondness that I watch my own nephews and I have no idea who he is.

I must say, the woman gave me a fantastic haircut. I watched the whole thing. I was amazed. And I have been studying haircuts since ... um ... since a very long time. Like really pay attention as if I am doing it. Because I wanted to try what they do on my dog. That is why I paid such close attention and that is how I knew this haircut is different. It goes from zero to something militaristically. I look like a military officer. But this woman trimmed it all up, way up, severely, and the rest backward with the front flicked upward and backward to make me look exactly like Gatsby. 

"You know, in my thirties I used to model." 

     "You did?"

"Sure. All over the place. For the whole decade. But I must tell through that whole thing, through extreme makeup and haircuts, I never had a haircut good as this one." And I meant it. And I sounded so freaking sincere that she knows that I meant it. Plus I bought her a pizza, salad and ice cream. What's not to like about this whole thing? 

Back outside I stopped at Taste of Philly and ordered a sandwich and 6 Cokes. What the heck. Take some home.

I also need milk, ice cream, sugar and corn starch, the basics of life as set forth in the Bible. Somewhere. 

The grocer didn't have cornstarch. I gave him his watermelon drink. I don't think it's really all that healthy. The juice place doesn't put it on their menu. It's just a thing that they like that is better than the things that you usually get. It is a complex mixture with other healthy things like ginger. 

So that is two fairly unusual gifts. Pizza, salad and ice cream for the haircut people and watermelon juice for the grocer. 

Now I am laden with things to take home.

This was a mistake. 

Let me write this down. Note to self: Don't do that again.

My backpack contained two pints of juice to bring home, a gallon of white milk and two half gallons of chocolate milk, and one half gallon of chocolate ice cream and five pounds of sugar. Surprisingly, this filled the backpack. And it is a large one too. And it is heavy. The bag that I carried contained a 12" sandwich and six Cokes and potato chips but those hardly weighed anything at all. 

The heavy bag intrudes mightily with my left cane as if it is its own gyroscope working against me. This is most of my difficulty, the high blood pressure and kidneys not working is incidental to that. I walk the street as if I am traversing K-2 in the Himmy Layas. This is my state. I live in each moment. Each step.  Each step is a struggle for continued life. I feel myself sinking. I feel my leg muscles closing down.  I fumble the door key.

Odd, because the key is automatic. I just touch it. How do I fumble that? By touching the key and not the key fob.

Inside I see no one. I hear no one. I say into the absence from behind my mask: "Did you get your box of tea?"

From inside the office, faintly, "Yes! Hang on." 

The woman met me at the office door. We are blocking the door, face to face, both covered with masks. She is excited about the box of twelve sample teas.  Each their own tin. She showed me the box. She told me about her previous tea adventures. She was very excited to have this box of tea appear from out of the blue. Associated with nothing. She was thrilled. 

"Liz guessed it was you." 

And she looks fantastic. Her hair is great. Her makeup is great. Her hygiene is great. Her dress is splendid. Her shoes are fantastic. Her jewelry spot on. She smells like a mystical tree. She is upscale and she hides in the back of this office. But now she is talking to me excitedly about tea.


Imagine that.

The other woman sprang up and joined us. Now three all wearing masks face-to-face-to-face, two fantastic women, blocking the doorway. She is exited about her caladiums. This is part of a group that I left in a box at the beginning of lockdown. The woman cannot grow anything but this time she grew a pot full of wonderful large splendid colorful foliage. She is thrilled. Thrilled because she finally grew some plants. She is showing me photographs of her caladiums on her phone. 

I see the results from two previous gifts. Caladiums and tea. Both stabs in the dark. Both worked really well. 

I give and give and give and give. 

And what do I take?

I take all the joy and excitement and raw pleasure that people give so freely when somebody springs a small surprise on them. It is so easy.

Orange Jell-O

Bummer. The cup is a terrible mold.

See what's become of me? 

This is a thing from the 1950's I think. And that's like what, seventy years ago. We were told that Jell-O is made from horse hooves. 

But that was before the internet and now we can check. Hang on. 

[is jell-o made from horse hooves?]

Snopes is first. Before a few years ago that's where I'd go, but not now. Now their presumed authoritah is risible.

Wow this orange Jell-O is good.

Here's one. The Daily Meal.


The page says:

Gelatin is made of the protein collagen. This is Jell-O’s primary ingredient. Collagen is the most prevalent protein in animals found mostly in bones and skin.

Ew, gross me out.

To make commercial-grade gelatin, bones and hides of cows and pigs are boiled, cured, treated with acid and alkali, and filtered during a multi-week process until the collagen has been thoroughly hydrolyzed. Then dried, ground and sifted into powder. The product is nearly 100% protein and so pure that it is no longer categorized as animal product by the federal government.

I’m sorry, what? I’m too grossed out to think right now. I didn’t hear mention of horses so the tale about using horse hooves is false. That’s my conclusion. Go away. 

There is another cup of orange Jell-O

And another package of strawberry Jell-O, at least something red. 

And you know what is going to happen? My fingernails will grow. Toenails too. Hair too. Like all the animal stuff that goes into Jell-O is now in me. I'll have animal fingernails and animal hair. Their animal essence becomes my physiology. And don't even ask me what that word means I only heard it somewhere. 

So, in a few days, there I will be, clipping my nails and scheduling a haircut. Because of the protein in Jell-O from frying animals so long and so hard that the product isn't even animal anymore. 

But my body is animal and it responds chemically as animal to products from animals. 

Do you think that animal spirit just dies? Or there isn't animal spirit to begin with? What do you think happens to animal spirit?

All the little chickens on the homesteading videos are just meat. They are numbers. Tended numbers. They live only a few months. Their lives are calculated by weight of feed against weight of product against time. I haven't heard one single homesteader mention their home-ranged chickens are 10x better than battery chickens and the eggs are clearly much healthier, darker and more erect. 

And then among those chickens are the few odd chickens that behave as pets waiting for the school bus and always greeting the farmer like a puppy. Birds that tuck their heads into a farmers chest indicating some form of affection. Indicating some kind of spirit.

You know what? Living in an advanced society really isn't all that pristine. I can see why people are always exploring alternatives. They are freaked out by modern animal processing. 

Fifteen years ago I went to a cafeteria with my brother. We sat down and a very large family passed by in front of us. The sister carried a plate piled up with food. The dad's plate was higher. The mum carried a very full plate. Finally, the little boy carried a plate with only a few cubes of Jell-O. 

What a stupid thing to want at a cafeteria but even with all that food around that is all that he wanted. We assumed this is all their first trip to the buffet. If it was their second ... Jeeze. 

And that's what you call control. 

Rib-eye steak salad

Miso soup

I am in trouble. Too dark. That means it is going to taste too strong, like wow, water this down, by about 300%. 

I already did water it down. Boldly watered it down. The whole time I was thinking this is the wrong thing to do but this must be the right thing to do.  Because I started with two quarts and ended overnight soaking with 1.75 quarts so I held the container under the sink water filter spout and filled up the container. That was about 2 or so cups. Pure filtered water into the cooked broth.

The broth only steeped for ten minutes. 

The second time with bonito. That is dry smoked fish flakes. Can you believe that? They take these fish by the thousands and dry them to tight little bricks. Fish-bricks. Then smoke them. Sometimes back and forth smoke/dry smoke/dry smoke/dry for months. Ferment them, actually. Grow mold on them. Then shave them to super thin airy flakes. Extremely flavorful dry evanescent flakes that float in the air. They put these flakes all over the place, all over everything, soups, salads, the whole lot, entrees, whores de ovaries, amuse-bouches, whatever. The flakes waft in the air. It's a thing with them, woo-hoo have some Fairy Fish flakes, they are magical, they will knock your socks off. 

And if you are not wearing socks then the flakes will knock your sandals off. 
And if you are not wearing sandals then the flakes will knock your shoes off. 
And if you are not wearing shoes then the flakes by shock will have you instantly pedicured.
And if you are already well pedicured then nothing but shock will happen to you. You are set. You beat the Fairy Fish Flakes to the punch. But you still get the shock, your legs will stretch out and your toes will splay open and we will all see how well pedicured you are. We'll all be, "wow, look at that guy."  

And it soaked overnight the first time with kombu. I never did that before. I always did this quickly. I never took the time to do this properly.

The piece of kombu looked to be too small for two quarts of water. I wiped it with a wet cloth as they say, but eh, I don't really care. The white powder is MSG that collects as it dries. This is the origin of commercial MSG. Japanese cooks think this is too much so they wipe it off. 

I don't care. It's too small to care about. I watched as the water came to a boil. I am interested how bubbles form in a new laminated steel pot. It's cool. I watched water ripples emanating outward along the bottom of the pot from the kombu that is soaking. The kombu will grow right before my eyes. The kombu is releasing its essence into the water and I can see the nearly invisible kombu essence snake along the bottom as bubbling from boiling begins to occur across random spots on the bottom of the pot. The snaking continues all around the kombu and right across the bubble paths without darkening the water. I taste it. Weak. 

[Each time I much check, week or weak, I mean the one that is not strong.]

I cut the heat, put on the lid and went to bed. 

Woke up and the kombu grew by X10 its original size and weight and the water in the pot was lower.

I don't know. I am guessing over here. The kombu was dry and small when I put it in and it was wet and large when I took it out. If you saw it you'd be all,  "What? You put that in your water?" The water was darker than usual but not by much.

After this dashi was done, after the bonito was added, I added more filtered water to restore the two quarts.

And even with that dilution it is still way too strong. 

The color comes from bonito. I think. And that is the part that is too strong. I used way too much. I copied the guys that I saw on YouTube. What else am I going to do? Huh? I actually have no idea how much to use. I don't have a teacher over here. I always thought that I used too little. And now I know that two giant handfuls is too much for two quarts. 

Live and learn, innit. 

Oddly, it tastes like orange. 

There is a faint and pleasant acidic element that rises to the top and the front of taste sensation and hints of orange. It only hints and it is off. Off-orange. The taste suggest to me some weird little orange.

The miso soup is odd when it is made with strong dashi like this. I got this whole thing way out of whack. 

I would get an F in Japanese cooking school.

Good thing I never signed up or this would be on my transcript.

This whole time I thought miso soup was just miso and water. I figured this out on my own, no, they start with dashi, not plain water. I ordered takeout from a restaurant and stood there and marveled how much better their miso than mine. "WTF, guys, wha chew doin?" That caused an epiphany. And I realized, "OMG, this is dashi." 

Why didn't you tell me? 

Maybe they did tell me but it was in Japanese and it all went right by me.

In this video the cook adds as much bonito as I did. Our water amounts are nearly equal. His broth is mild, by color, and mine is strong. And this tells me that I just cannot believe what I see. 

When I say bonito, the fish, you know that I intend katsuobushi, the dried smoked fermented mold-grown-on flaked fish.

Why does Japanese industry do this drying and smoking fermenting and infecting with mold and finally flaking to bonito and not to other species of fish when bonito is perfectly fine to eat straight as a fish? I asked, the websites that I read didn't say and I stopped looking. For now I will answer myself: It was convenient. And now it is art. Actually, this video has the answer.

Mashed potato, sausage gravy

Cantaloupe with whipped cream

This is the wettest cantaloupe that I have ever seen.


The seed hollows formed cups filled with orange cantaloupe liquid. So I drank it.

My lips were already on the outer edge of this thing like a giant thick cup. 

Sue me. 

I germed it all up.

Apple and jalapeño slaw

This idea was pinched from Zep's Epiq sandwiches who are located on my block. You should come over here and try some of this slaw. It is excellent. So amazing yet so understated. 

You get a little cup for $2.25 and as you are eating it you are thinking, "Oh man, I should have ordered two of these because these little cups are so tiny."

So you'll have to buy at least two. And that's $4.50 right there. I must say, still a very good deal. Because this is the best slaw that I've ever eaten and I've had a lot of that cabbage-crap at summer outings. Put me off cabbage for decades. 


Who even eats cabbage? For crying out loud.


God, why did you put me on this stupid planet? 

They're eating cabbage over here!

And then I had this slaw and my whole cabbage-world changed. The very idea; apple and jalapeño. You guys are nuts. 

My kind of nuts. 

Come to think of it, Zep's slaw can be improved with nuts. And raisins.  

I just now finished my bowl of apple jalapeño slaw improved with raisins and pecans and I am ready to go back and hit it again. This stuff is awesome. 

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