Ithaca Blog

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How To Lose Weight

We were out to eat, at The Piggery (excellent and fun, by the way), and talking about food, when M. said he didn't want to gross us out by reporting on what he heard on This American Life recently. We said go ahead, as long as it's not as boring as the show usually is; we don't mind gross, we do mind pretentious ironic unpretentiousness (we like to make M. mad, easy to do).

Once he unscowled, M. told us about the topic, so-called "imitation calamari" in restaurants, that is really pig rectums, or thereabouts. Isn't that gross?

No, what's gross about it, we said; what are we eating here? The fact is, we eat hotdogs (not often, but ceremoniously, in baseball season), and we know what goes into those: everything, including some things that mightn't cross your mind, much less your knowing lips, like placenta and eyeballs.

It all reminded us (tangentially, I suppose) of a notion we had recently, of how to lose weight, by only eating things you don't like.

It was one of those brainstorm moments, based on circumstance, which was that we came home ravenous one evening, with nothing ready to eat, except for something someone made for us, a friend who is very generous, but a scattershot cook.

It was healthy, which we like, but rather bland and mushy. We thought we could fix it by seasoning, but then thought, why not leave it, and just eat enough to sustain ourselves?

Thus, the weight-loss notion. What if you cleared your kitchen of things you really like, and replaced them with healthy things you really don't? Over-eating will end, and you will become slim, practically automatically. You won't starve - in fact, if it is fava beans, cabbage, and cranberries, your make-up will no doubt improve.

One key to this scheme is no eating out. The world outside is just a big trough, you know. We would also recommend avoiding TV, or at least keeping the remote handy for when food ads broadcast. We watch sports on TV and know there is a lot of food porn during commercial breaks.

It's a simple idea, and simple ones are the best, aren't they? We wish you luck with it, and if you lose weight we will accept your thanks, although in the meantime, not your dinner invitations.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Buy Local (And Be Glad): The Computer Room

We think we need a new battery for our laptop. We figure first stop will be Staples, to see what they will say. Also, without some research, we don't know where else to go.

We stand there a long time at Staples while two clerks look at us. One finally moves. We describe our problem to him.

He looks at us dully like he's simply waiting for us to stop talking. And then that seems accurate, because when we're done, he goes into a pitch of a comprehensive diagnostic examination, of all our hardware and software, which costs $69.

We say we just think it needs a new battery. So he goes to check on that price. It is $139. It must be a nice battery. But we decline.

We tell this tale to our friend Tom. He says yeah, forget Staples, go the Computer Room on State Street. Where on State Street, we ask. Next to Maxie's, he says. Oh yeah, we pass there every day.

Today we go in. The clerk sees us and greets us right away. He listens to the problem. He is not sure it's not "a fluke." If that means don't do anything, that's alright with us. He says yeah, try this and this, and if it still happens, we'll see about a battery. The battery will cost $50.

That was a pretty comprehensive diagnostic, and it didn't cost anything. And, should we need it, we'll save $90 on the battery.

Three cheers for local good guys. Check out the Computer Room when you got the need.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Brooklyn 3 New York" Is Back

Our parvus opus, our jugger-not, 100 pages of a plain slice of Brooklyn, is back online.

We wrote this little work, "Brooklyn 3 New York," to document the Brooklyn we grew up in, a good time ago. We admit, it is partly an effort to counterpoint the blowhard Brooklyn lit of today. All the syllables, all the concepts, all the thinking who one is. That's not for this place.

"Brooklyn 3 New York" was offline for a while as we negotiated publication somewhere. That deal fell through, but another came through, that allows us to offer B3NY free once again, on, at least for a while.

You can find it by entering "". Reading requires some juggling, as the last entry written is printed first, the first last, etc. But you'll catch the hang of it. Then when it's published, you'll still want to buy it, to have it right-side up.

What's not to enjoy, as they said in Smilin' Jack's Appetizing. And, you gonna buy something?, as they said at the comic racks.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

The Best Movie There Will Ever Be

We like the movies, and try to keep up with them, but there are lots, and it isn't any easier when they insist on giving movies names that are either non-descript ("The Sessions") or just hard to remember ("Crouching Dragon, Lunging Lion," an historic example).

Our new way to rate movies is by the title: how descriptive is it, as in accurate? Not as in creative. Save creative for the movie. We want a movie title that gets us to the right theater.

On this basis, we give a medium rating to "The Promised Land," which we saw last night. They should have called it "The Fracking Movie," because this is what people will call it. It is not about Moses or Springsteen.

And on this basis, we will give "Lincoln" five stars. Because, can you imagine this conversation?:

- Went to the movies last night.

- What'd you see?

- "Lincoln."

- What's it about?

Never happen. "Lincoln," by our standards, the best movie, maybe, there could ever be.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

We Know What She Means

At work, my friend K. was done, and looking forward to a nap. She started work at 6:30 a.m. She said something about being a night person.

"The thing is," she said, "I'm a morning person, too." She thought for a second. "I'm just not an afternoon person."

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Cars And Snow And What We Know

Here's how much we know about cars. Winter corrosion, especially salt on the snowy streets, is bad for them. So it is good to wash them in the winter. Today is 16 d Farenheit or so, but tomorrow will be in the 30's, so a good day for the carwash. (It will be crowded.)

We're lucky, there's a good carwash two blocks from our house, so we can walk it.

Here's how much we don't know about cars. After the big snowfall last week, we were digging out our car. A passer-by said, "Is that Volvo all-wheel drive?" The answer, quite sincere, was "I don't know." The guy looked away with disdain. And we know so little about cars that we don't know exactly why.