shiny things in messy little piles

Tag: food


I don’t like cala­mari. It’s not a big deal, but it’s emphat­ic. I real­ly don’t like the stuff. It’s rub­bery and unpleas­ant in the mouth and it tastes like dead fish. So I don’t like calamari. 

I’m sur­round­ed by peo­ple who loooove cala­mari so I can’t fig­ure out why I don’t. And every five or 10 years I lose some of my sense and fig­ure: What the heck — it can’t be that bad. Every­one else loves it, and I love all these oth­er things that they love. Even dif­fi­cult things. Like roast­ed brus­sels sprouts. So I’ll try it. Um, no. It’s always a total, damned-near-to-gagging-at-the-table (my grand­moth­er would be appalled by my man­ners) fail­ure. Some things are just not meant to be liked by me. 

It’s not that I spend a lot of time think­ing about my hatred of cala­mari. In fact I would say that I spend more time think­ing about tooth­paste or shoelaces than cala­mari. It only comes into my con­scious­ness at all when I pass it by on the appe­tiz­ers sec­tion of the menu at the Ital­ian place in town. You know going through the appe­tiz­ers… Antipas­to plate — no, too much; bruschet­ta — maybe; cala­mari — ugh, No; bread sticks and fruity olive oil — yeah, that’s what I’m in the mood for.

On the oth­er hand I can dis­like olives with­out the dra­ma. No, I don’t like olives. But my dis­like of olives is just a basic “I’d rather not but it won’t kill me if there are some in the sal­ad.” I’ll pick out the ones I can see and leave them on the side of the plate but if I acci­den­tal­ly get one on my fork and into my mouth then it’s not great trau­ma, I just won’t like that bite of sal­ad as much as the one before or the one after — unless of course I’m being par­tic­u­lar­ly hap­less and both of those also con­tain an olive. Okay, there’a cer­tain lev­el of sus­pense in the olive thing, but not real drama. 

Cala­mari involves dra­ma. An unsus­pect­ed bite of cala­mari is absolute­ly revolt­ing. That tex­ture first and then the taste of bilge water. (Yeah, I do know what bilge water tastes like, and yeah, I do think that cala­mari car­ries with it not only the taste of stag­nant sea water but a hint of kerosene.) There’s an actu­al catch in my stom­ach and a lit­tle hint of a flip — a threat, if you will, that any fur­ther attempts to inflict cala­mari on the sys­tem will result in open revolt. 

There’s some­thing shame­ful in not lik­ing cala­mari, it’s like not lik­ing oys­ters. Cala­mari, like oys­ters, are grown up food. Marks of hav­ing made it out of child­hood food pref­er­ences and taboos. Being will­ing to eat those salty, sea-tasting and rankly slimy del­i­ca­cies. I’m not an oys­ter fan either, but some­how I don’t find myself try­ing oys­ters every five or 10 years and being revolt­ed back into my senses. 

Some peo­ple are like olives — the ones I’d just as soon avoid but if they end up in the same con­ver­sa­tion­al group at a par­ty it’s not big deal. I won’t walk away or sulk and I don’t par­tic­u­lar­ly won­der how it is that any­one else could like that per­son. They’re just not my taste. Live and let live. 

No mat­ter how much my friends and fam­i­ly are always going on on about them — “Joe is so fun­ny.” “Lucy is so sweet and a great cook!” Joe and Lucy just aren’t going to be on my list of peo­ple I want to spend time with. Joe is an ego­tis­ti­cal blow hard and Lucy is just so damned twee it makes my teeth ache. On the oth­er hand Joe is someone’s favorite uncle and Lucy has nev­er let any­one suf­fer a bereave­ment with­out a good sup­ply of casseroles in their freez­er. But they’re like olives. It’s not going to ruin my evening if they hap­pen to cross my path or end up monop­o­liz­ing a bit of con­ver­sa­tion. They’re just olives. 

And then there are the cala­mari peo­ple. The ones whom I can’t under­stand how any­one tol­er­ates, and whose pres­ence I will actu­al­ly be rude to avoid. There’s Tony who is con­sis­tent­ly cru­el in the way that only guys who weren’t one of the cool kids then but are now can be. And Joyce whose all-encompassing jeal­ousy poi­sons even the most casu­al friendship.

The stu­pid thing is that for at least one of them I have to go back and remind myself every so many years why I don’t like them. It takes for­ev­er to get the taste of kerosene out of my mouth. 

Random Linkage (Sept 19)

Caren Alpert takes pho­tographs of food through a microscope.

Here for exam­ple is a pineap­ple leaf.

Caren Alpert's image of a pineapple leaf

pineap­ple leaf detail

Many more includ­ing sprin­kles, a spooky sun-dried toma­to, and choco­late cake.

via: fea­ture shoot



Bel­gian ads advis­ing you to “Take the Bus” done for the bus com­pa­ny De Lijn. Pro­duced by Cre­ative Con­spir­a­cy for the Duval Guil­laume agency.



via: Paper­Walk­er (which you should look at just for the head­er art)



Cheeky smile of the day: Mr. McQueen’s Licence Inter­na­tionale de Con­duire. Tri­als and Scrambles.

McQueen's Int'l License

would you trust this man with your motorcycle?


via: Gun­slinger

Morning Linkage (Dec 15)


3 from Asphalt and Rub­ber this AM.

I seem to be all about the black bikes late­ly. And Ducati has got­ten the mes­sage. The dis­as­trous­ly white Diav­el has got­ten a pre-release make-over and now comes in a much yum­mi­er Dia­mond Black. More rid­ing, less polishing.

And April­ia has the per­fect Xmas gift for your fav boy-racer. The RSV4 car­bon fiber fair­ing kit. Per­fect if you’re a bit more flush than most of us. 5K? Srsly? Damned pret­ty though.

I can­not explain the pic that goes with this post. Oth­er than to assume that I am not the only who could use an appetite sup­pres­sant dur­ing the hol­i­day (over) feed­ing sea­son. But the news appears to be real. Paris Hilton has flung a bunch of mon­ey at a cred­i­ble 125GP team.

Toys and Maps

The unfor­tu­nate­ly named Fuck Yeah Car­tog­ra­phy tum­blr. Many , many pages of maps. Some clever, some odd, some cheesy, some more art than maps. Links to the sources vary in their use­ful­ness but some lead on to won­der­lands of images and history.

It was inevitable. Food­ie Lego. A vil­lage bak­ery and Parisian green gro­cers. I’m not sure the local four-year old is gonna be pleased to see either of these under the tree instead of the next Star Wars set, but I’m going to have a great time on Xmas.

Art. Images, and Design

A love­ly print of a line of pranc­ing dev­ils. Matt Forsythe.

Episode One — Robots in film. The usu­al sus­pects from the ear­ly days are here. Maria, Gort, Rob­bie. And few that are new to me. Tobor? He looks like fun.

Fruit and Veg­gie Alphadeath. Maybe a few too many deaths by knife but there’s not many oth­er ways you can mur­der an egg­plant. (Click through to flickr)


Made for Mole­sk­ine by Rogi­er Wieland. Cut paper ani­ma­tion of dates in a plan­ner. Bonus dinosaur appear­ance. (1:07 — the sound track is grat­ing and you don’t need it)

Morning Linkage (Jul 29)


Start­ing with a cou­ple of Ducatis.

Sweet Duc 750 Sport.

Joe’s V Cycle cafe rac­ers. A ’66 Duc Mon­za 250 and a ’72 Hon­da CB750.

Ital­ian ref­er­ence, NSU licensed and built Lam­bret­tas. Stub-tailed cat on a scooter.

Not Ital­ian at all. moto — extrem­is. I love this bike.

Political Trivia

Sub­jects” became “cit­i­zens” and the tone of the doc­u­ment changed in a sub­tle and impor­tant way. Jef­fer­son­’s revi­sions of the Dec­la­ra­tion of Independence.

Art, Images, and Design

This could take all day. Titles, excerpts, and cov­er art for vin­tage tracts and pamphlets.

They draw — they cook — pas­ta al limone.

Amy show us vin­tage Chi­nese fire­works packaging.

I seem to be on a mon­sters kick this week. Fuco Ueda under­stands mon­sters and the mun­dane dis­guis­es they wear. Coil­house gives an overview.  Her site.  The nav is hid­den under shoes.

But now we need some­thing a lit­tle brighter. The Bear turns fifty today. Here’s a lit­tle birth­day par­ty.

off you go,

Morning Linkage (Apr 26)


There is very lit­tle infor­ma­tion on the bike in this pic­ture but the set­ting — BBQ and the pho­tos are nice. A Ducati cafe rac­er. But which one?  The paint looks real­is­ti­cal­ly, well, rough. But would some­one please aim the headlight?

I’ll make it 2‑fer Guzzi Monday

Moto Guzzi Le Mans — sub­tle silver.

Moto Guzzi Con­dor — arrest me red.  Mind bog­gling mechanicals.

Science and Pretty Girls

What are we cut­tle­fish? Isabel­la Rosselli­ni is back with more paper cre­ations and crea­tures to explain the world of sex­u­al repro­duc­tion. Seduce Me sea­son 1 begins with — Cut­tle­fish.


How to eat a cup­cake. I know you think you don’t need instruc­tions. You need these instructions.

More cup­cakes. Cup­cakes, cup­cakes, cup­cakes. Been done to death so what can I pos­si­bly have come up with that would jus­ti­fy anoth­er post on cup­cakes? Mup­pet wed­ding cake — that’s what.

Art, Images, and Design

Any of you that have been involved in the com­mer­cial design world will remem­ber, fond­ly or not, crits. Well, here’s one you might have enjoyed par­tic­i­pat­ing in. The sum­ma­ry of couch forts as archi­tec­ture.

John Burge makes inti­mate por­traits in either water­col­or or oil. Old school paint­ing. Just like life, some images are NSFW.

Yuko Shimizu is draw­ing for Ver­ti­go (DC Comics) again, anoth­er cov­er for Unwrit­ten. This stand­alone edi­tion deliv­ers a fairy-tale world with a dark preda­tor. As usu­al her post has lots of in process scans of the work, some edi­to­r­i­al changes, and snaps of her visu­al ref­er­ence material.

march­ing on…