Thursday, November 20, 2008

more info on new york city

so. new york, new york. the town so good they named it twice.
kai and i are gonna be there for thanksgiving. only just.
we're riding the train out there. which pretty much means we are gonna spend more time on the train than we are actually in new york. roughly 48hrs on the train and 36hrs in the city.
seems kinda weird, right? well actually, no. not really. the train ride is part of the adventure.
now i'm not sure if the average american reader will really understand this but, for a european, that would be me, riding the train is a very ordinary thing. its an easy way of travelling. especially in the uk. there are train stations everywhere. and i do mean everywhere. from big cities to little towns to a collection of two houses and a barn which calls itself a village. there are stations everywhere.
so its super easy and convenient. here on the other hand, it seems to be the exact opposite. unless you're on the east coast, tell someone you're gonna ride the train and they look at you like you've got three heads.

maybe its some weird sentimental thing, reminding me of my childhood. maybe its another americana, wild west type thing i just need to get out of my system. who knows. who cares. i'm looking forward to the train ride as much as i am the time in new york. care free travel. the potential to meet some strange friends on the train, or at the stations during smoke breaks. and then new york at the end of it all. exciting exciting exciting.

good coffee. good food. good people watching.

Friday, November 14, 2008

who's flynn?

so, during an IM conversation today i heard, or more accurately read the expression 'in like flynn', baffled and confused by this i pushed for an explanation. and more specifically, who the fuck is this flynn person?
unable to get any sort of reasonable answer from kai, i took matters into my own hands.

so, who is flynn?

“What is the derivation of in like Flynn?”

Reference books almost universally assert that this set phrase, an American expression meaning to be successful emphatically or quickly, especially in regard to sexual seduction, refers to the Australian-born actor Errol Flynn. His drinking, drug-taking and sexual exploits were renowned, even for Hollywood, but the phrase is said to have been coined following his acquittal in February 1943 for the statutory rape of a teenage girl. This seems to be supported by the date of the first example recorded, in American Speech in December 1946, which cited a 1945 use in the sense of something being done easily.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


having no actual family in milwaukee i've decided to ride the train out to new york for thanksgiving. lots of time on the train. very little time actually in the city. but, as my grandmother always says; fuck it. we'll have fun.

expect more updates on nyc soon. or don't, and then you won't be disappointed when i can't be bothered to post anything.

crazy japanesse stuff

has anyone used a siphon brewer? or a vacpot?
anyone have any idea what they are? no, well allow me to enlighten you dear reader.
they're a style of coffee brewer found predominantly in japan and asia. and they turn your local neighborhood coffee shop into a chemistry lab.

the idea behind it is super simple. water starts in the bottom. heat is added, in our case a pathetic little burner with denatured alcohol (what is denatured alcohol, anyway? surely the nature of alcohol is to be alcoholic. to denature it implies taking the alcohol out. but then its just water, and that doesn't burn? hmmmm....i'm confusing myself)....

the water boils and rises into another container filled with coffee grounds.

the grounds are allowed to steep for a set amount of time in the upper container. the liquid stays up there because the heat from the burner creates a vacuum....

then the burner is removed. this breaks the vacuum and allows gravity to pull the coffee through a cloth filter and back into the lower container.
coffee chemistry 1.01 simple.

now, how does it taste?
james freemon, owner of blue bottle cafe. who has a dedicated siphon bar in his store says:
“Siphon coffee is very delicate,” he said. “It’s sweeter and juicier, and the flavors change as the temperature changes. Sometimes it has a texture so light it’s almost moussey.”

so did we achieve anything close to that? kinda, yeah!

FTO Ethiopian Natural Sidamo Suanta Golba, from Zephyr Green Coffee Importers.

the dry fragrance was super super sweet. loads of red fruit. ripe cherry and red grapes. the aroma was completely different. nothing but earl grey. seriously. it was like smelling a cup of tea. floral notes, bergamot and tannin.

on the first few sips there was lots of mucilage. the remnant of the coffee cherry that remains on the bean because of the way it was processed. it can taste fibrous, vegetative and kinda fermented.
after getting past the taste of the process the sidamo really came to life. clean, with a ton of red berries. under ripe sweet cherries. sweet but not super sickly sweet.
an awesome balanced body and acidity. sweet and orange citrus. the finish was smooth and clean, with the bergamot coming back and adding a nice floral end.

this post is so late its almost comical

halloween spent with minor threat and the misfits aka get rad and children in heat

friday october 31st. all hallows eve. halloween.
what to do....what to do?
dressing up in costume? not likely. its never really been something i've done. not as a kid and not now. i've just never been comfortable doing it. and, as anyone who knows me will attest, i'm not fun to be around when i'm not comfortable in what i'm wearing. i don't really know why? self image issues? low self-esteem? taking myself too seriously? all of the above? i really have no idea.

so, weeks ago i was told about an awesome gig coming up at the cactus club. a night full of punk and hardcore cover bands, on halloween. could it get any better?

friday night rolls around and i have a house party to attend and the show at the cactus club to get to.
the third annual ghoulie gala at ben and lora's was fun. ridiculously over the top, with a cemetery in the back yard, decorations all over the house, cookies shaped like fingers and a dog dressed as sherlock holmes. and costumes, my word were there costumes. jack the ripper and one of his victims, john and yoko, charlie chaplin/hitler....i wasn't quite sure which?
the fun and booze flowed freely, and as people began to show the effects of the latter i took that as my cue to leave and head to the gig.

the halloween bash at the cactus club was an interesting affair. i got to the club around 11pm and i'm sure it was already over capacity. the bar was packed, i know its always difficult to navigate through the bar when there's a show in the back room because the place is so narrow, but this was seriously full. arseholes to elbows. getting into the back room was no problem, $8 and go right on through. enjoy the carnage.
the back room was even worse. kinda dangerously full. i'm sure if there was a fire we'd all be crispy.
get rad, aka minor threat, were just about to start. unable to move any further i watched from the very back, getting hit by the door everytime someone entered the mayhem or took a breather at the bar.
first song and the room explodes. guilty of being white. almost the entire room is engulfed in a circle pit, bodies are flying everywhere. stage dives. crowd surfing. people hanging from the ceiling rafters. and thats pretty much how the entire set went. utterly wonderful chaos.

i guess i can take this opportunity to say that my assumption about the type of kids who go to the cactus club was completely wrong. i assumed that everyone would be far too cool to dress up. my oh my was i wrong. zombies. gnomes. lance armstrong. motorcycle crash victims and many more.

children in heat, aka the misfits.... well i don't really have too much to say about the misfits. i was still sick, and coughing so badly i almost puked. i went home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

day 2 at wmse

so today was the second day of my volunteer work at wmse. i know yesterday's post was kinda brief, but i was actually in the studio while i was posting....should give you an idea of how slow the pledge drive has been, and how desperately the station needs your cash money.
helping out down at the station has been something i've wanted to do for a long time. i've known tom, the station manager since i arrived in milwaukee almost 3 years ago, and i've never actually followed through and done it until now. it felt really good to know that i was doing more than just giving money. there are other ways to help out.

fun was had by all. some money was raised. and i actually got on the air. scary!
i've recorded some promo spots for the station in the past, and i'll continue to do them for as long as they want me to. but being live on air waas a weird experience.

feeling somewhat impowered by being there and helping out, i announced to erin that if she played a song for me i'd give another $50 to the pledge drive. she totally called my bluff and told me to grab the record from the archive. whilst trying to find the right track she announced, live on air, that she was handing the mic over to me. urgh!

i don't really know what the hell i said but all seemed to go pretty well. i didn't swear. there was no dead air. and the record got played.

go check it out in the archive section of the website for tuesday november 11th here:

we might have run over a little, so some of it might appear at the start of cosmo's show, right here:

7seconds: walk together. rock together.
and keep giving money to keep a milwaukee institution on the air

Monday, November 10, 2008

support a milwaukee institution

greetings fair reader.
i have to ask something of you.
something very close to my heart is in need of help.... wmse. a radio station in milwaukee.
91.7fm wmse is a community supported radio station. by that i mean they are completely funded by their listeners. they're a noncommercial station that relies on volunteers for everything. events, answering phones, dj's...everything.
twice a year they hold their membership drive. its a way of raising the $125,000 operating budget for the next 6months. compaired to other stations, $125,000 is nothing! other stations need 3 times that to run.

wmse is the best station in the city. seriously. volunteer dj's play what they want when they want. anything from punk to blues. hip-hop to surf guitars. roots reggae to classical. there's something for everyone.

listen online at and if you like what you hear donate. please.