Sunday, October 19, 2014

GR EAT! Food Diary for Sep/Oct

Headin' on down to Donutville!

After a whirlwind week of eating out, we've stayed in more. Still, I had some tasty vittles along the way.

9/25: Noodles & Co. A chain I know, but I had the birthday freebie, and it was worth noting the Thai Hot Pot. This was delicious. Knowing chains tend to make things a bit more generic for the general public, I look forward to a hot pot from a real Thai restaurant.

10/4: homecoming, Schuberg's. Instead of going with the standard burger that made them famous, I wanted something a little leaner and neater, opting for the steak sandwich and cole slaw. It hit the spot perfectly, a petite sirloin served open faced on a grilled piece of bread with sautéed mushrooms. The slaw was coarse cut with carrot slivers in a mayo-vinegar base. Even though I got no potatoes, I snuck a few from Ryan's plate. The tater tots absorbed a little too much grease.

10/8: Robinette's. Homemade deep fried cake donut, fresh from the fryer. No icing, no sugaring off, just cake. How can something be so heavy and so light at the same time?

10/10: Russ' lunch with Cara. Counts as local since it's a Holland based chain of family restaurants. Cara's grandma used to work there, and knows how to make the secret creamed turkey and French dressing from scratch. She went with the comfort food of her childhood, the fried clams and Slim Jim. I went with the cole slaw and open faced turkey sandwich.

10/13: Perrin's Brewing. I had a couple onion rings, tomato basil soup with herby flat bread and a taco. Also had the single rail ale and Gilda's Cherry. The onion rings were thick and crunchy, with an herb panko bread crumb batter. I could have lived on the soup and flat bread alone. The taco...? Heavy with cilantro so not my favorite, but my fault, not theirs. The ale was light and delicious, and the cherry was pretty but the flavor not to my liking, I wanted more fruit, blame my love for lambics.

10/15: Rak Thai. Forgot dinner, oops. Was on a soup kick, so ordered the Pho. It's essentially a hot pot with rice noodles, jalapeños, herbs, beef broth, shoots, brisket and meatballs. Pho-nomenal. I really could have even done without the beef and gone for a mix of veggies. The portion is so huge, I ate two small bowls and have more left for tomorrow.

10/18: Donutville, Dearborn. Post-race indulgence. I ate a maple on the way home and a lemon bismark with powdered sugar the next day. Iconic roadside sign, bare basics inside, ie., no cronuts, bagels, croissants, lattes, herbal teas, coconut or soy milk. Coffee, donuts. What they do advertise is over 52 variety of donuts, fluffy and airy.

10/19: Real Food Cafe. I feel like this may be cheating because this is a usual spot for us, but we haven't eaten there since the foodie challenge started. I went with my usual corned beef hash and eggs, wheat toast. The portions are huge, so I had enough left over for dinner. I eat the eggs first while they are hot. Over easy there is so delicious and buttery, you want to eat them first. The wheat toast is nutty. The corned beef... oh my. They slow cook it and strip just the right amount of fat off so the meat is tender and juicy but never greasy. The taters the right amount of tender and crispy.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Typing Out Loud: AP15 ideas

Art! Angst!

So I didn't submit for AP this year. When I think back to wonder why, I can look no further than my typing out loud post from June.

So... better planning for this next year?

I have a few ideas I'd like to play with, so I guess this is a typing out loud stream of consciousness sketch book.

42|12: a visual obituary for my dad. My idea was a piece of glass 80" x 10", depicting his lifeline measuring 69 inches in strong, stark colors.

Pancerz, 1928: a cut paper reproduction of my grandmother's family portrait. Why cut paper? To turn it into a family tree of sorts. By adding a lily plant and a rose bush, it's a way to include Stella and Leona, who were born after the picture was taken. By adding cut paper elements like leaves to the tree that frames the photo, every descendant that springs from those children can be in the picture too.

Temporary: paper mache. As a graphic designer, I'm painfully aware that most of the work I have completed in my career has been well crafted but has a short shelf life and ultimately discarded. I was planning on making a fine art-like sculpture of paper mache that may be destroyed at the end of AP.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Why Art Matters: Old School Baseball Logos

Collecting these by eating too much ice cream is another post for another time.

Baseball season is in the first week of exciting playoff games, so thoughts turn to old school baseball logos.

There is a charm to old logos, one that comes from nostalgia of course. But having been educated in the school of legendary graphic designers like Saul Bass, I get giddy when a logo multi-tasks. Example would be the Milwaukee Brewers logo that is not only an M and B but also a baseball mitt. Genius!

Another old school logo in this same vein comes from the now defunct Montreal Expos, the E, L, B blending to create an M.

Some logos, since retired that incorporated the team mascot have a distinct appeal as well, such as the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres.

Ah, but my favorite from growing up would have to be the Houston Astros sunset rainbow softball jersey. So 70s it hurts.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October Playlist: The Spice Girls

This one is going to be short because their career was so brief. They are resurrected due to the movie Spice World popping up on Netflix. Yes it was terrible, but everyone involved was in on the joke.

I was first introduced to the girls Spice in aerobics class, when Wannabe was everywhere. Their message simple, their beat borrowed, their enthusiasm infectious. When I went on my honeymoon to the UK, the daily paper delivered to our door was in the throes of Spice Girl Week, and featured collectible trading stickers. It was such a happy time in life that their music also became a bookmark for the year 1997.

As with anything pop star phenom, they had the books, the collectibles, the dolls, the movie and of course, you argued which one was your favorite. My favorites were, of course Scary, Ginger then Sporty. Baby was ok, but Posh was worthless.

Grown up Spices. Wha' dya do with yer curls then Scary?

As with anything, some of their songs have the timeless sheen of pop magic that will always sound great. Others have dated horribly but were good at the time.

So music-wise, what was good?

Wannabe: Opening with a bawdy laugh and a crash of music, the girls made the party happen in 96/97. Scary leads and the girls trash the place.

2 Become 1: If I was in high school in '97, this would have been the IT song for me. Since I wasn't, I was content to watch in amusement when I used to go dancing in bars with the girls. Pure torch, and a vocal highlight for Emma.

Who Do You Think U Are: Girls tarted it up for the video, a bar hop dance club stomper. Very disco.

If U Can't Dance: Throwaway giggle at the end of the of album with a wicked little horn.

Say You'll Be There: It's one of the bigger singles from the album, not a favorite except for the homage to the movie Faster Pussycat Kill, KILL!

Spice Up Your Life: "Flamenco, Lambada... But hip hop is harder! We moonwalk the foxtrot, then polka the salsa... Shake it shake it shake it, haka!" Arriba Scary.

Stop: So 60s girl group. Charming, adorable. Posh's vocals are horrendous.

Viva Forever: Another torcher that has a touch of melancholy when you realize that by time this was released as a single, Ginger had already left the group, citing exhaustion. In later years, she acknowledges the whirlwind ride that was those two years, all while battling bulimia. Girl power comes as a sacrifice. The video is a terrifying fantasy sequence where the girls are puppet fairies that lead a tween into the woods and kidnap him/her (the child is very ambiguous). hiding him/her in a Rubik's Cube of death or something. Interviews with the band state the fate of the tween was left ambiguous, representing the death of a person/friendship/etc. YouTube viewers state it was the stuff of nightmares.

Lady is a Vamp: Roll credits on Spice World, the movie so bad it's great. Pure burlesque, the girls name drop icons from the sixties on. Seems sorrily dated to be celebrating "power girls in a 90s world" in 2014. I think I still own a bustier, not for public consumption...

I'm The Leader of the Gang (Come On): Not a single on any album nor a hit anywhere, but a fun, energetic romp in the middle of the Spice World movie where they perform in Milan with near naked Italian models. Deleted scene with Gary Glitter, who shortly after filming was the subject of a pedophile scandal. Oops. Nifty nod to the glam rock era for which they borrowed, I wish I had a complete single somewhere. Best I could do was a crappy version someone spliced together from deleted scenes. I listen to the Girlschool version instead.