Umpire State of Mind

Editor’s note: I forgot the name of my blog, and have inadvertently been posting to the wrong site. If you want to catch up with my posts from the last month, and are a resident of Christmas Islands, you can point your browser over to Thanks!

In the grand tradition of’s Pat Forde’s (1) most excellent “Forde Yard Dash,” this post will be presented in the form of short tidbits that mention 40 proper names.* Ready? Set. Go!

I finally got a hard copy of David Chang’s (2) and Peter Meehan’s (3) Momofuku (4) Cookbook. Meehan had it overnighted to my house—bless his heart. I was naked when the FedEx (5) guy came this morning, and, OMG, was super-dee-duper annoyed to have to put clothes on to answer the door. But it was all worth it, because the book is fucking solid. The photos are styled by Mark Ibold (6) of fucking Pavement (7) (and fucking Sonic Youth (8)!)! The narrative sections are engrossing and honest. Eat your heart out, Stanley Tucci (9)!

I met Meehan in New York a couple weekends ago, in order to plan a piece we’re putting together for the San Francisco Panorama (10) (the one-off Sunday-style newspaper that is serving as issue 33 of McSweeney’s (11)). I’m editing the food section, which is going to be earth-shattering, and will feature—among other things—spit, death, water, Ryan Farr (12), noodle soup, lamb, chicken, beef, fish, pork, and Namu (13). All of which, funnily enough, have also been featured in my last 48 hours.

On Sunday Samantha (14) and I shared lunch with each other—in a gay way—at Nopalito (15). Almost everything was on point, and, contrary to my previous belief, in line with the price. Quesadilla roja with chicharrones was delicious—crispy and gooey. Green chorizo torta, also solid. But those fucking carnitas. Those fucking $14 carnitas. Granted, Sam and I had done our typical 80/20 split on two entrees before the carnitas, but I refuse to believe that it was fullness that prevented me from finishing our precious sachet of over-fried pork. I stopped eating in protest. Now I know exactly how the monks of Burma (16) felt when gasoline prices were hiked to exorbitant levels by the junta, thus setting off the largest anti-government protest in the country’s history. Leave the pork on the plate, my monk friends. Or box it up and take it home, as it were.

But back to the 48 hours in question. Tuesday night, we bottled our first batch of pale ale. In order to do so, however, we first needed a few more bottles to accommodate 5 gallons of brew. So my knitting circle and I gathered to drink a sixer of Summer Solstice (17), another of Lagunitas Pils (18), and yet another of Anchor Steam (19) before proceeding with bottling. Skip ahead two hours. Beer was in the bottle, I was tipsy not drunk, and dinner wasn’t going to make itself. I pulled my box of $700 carnitas from the fridge.

Slice, slice, slice (the third slice was my finger), and into a pan went the leftover pork hunks. A couple minutes of half-attention later, and I was ready and drunk enough to add in some leftover duck carbonara from Presidio Social Club (20) and an egg stolen from my roommate, Qong (21). A human egg. Just kidding, a chicken egg. Fuck you.

Oh, but damn, girl, your carnitas is getting burned! Use the pasta faucet over the stove to neutralize it and moisten the incoming leftovers! Just swing it over here, and, oh, shit, water is pouring out of the faucet and you can’t turn it off, and oh, fuck, there goes the entire handle and valve. Qong shows up to help you catch the unbelievable amount of water firing 5 feet straight out and onto the floor of your kitchen.

I’m not so drunk anymore.

I’m trying to force this valve back into place against all the water pressure in our house. But every time I manage to stop the geyser that is rapidly spreading out of the kitchen and into the hallway, it only diverts the water to the open faucet head, which is aimed straight into our range. Qong and I yell for Samantha, who makes her slow and steady way down the stairs, but quickly jumps to action and starts bailing water into the sink. They use a deep hotel pan, and the five gallon beer brewing pot. Here comes Li’l J (22), whose shit is getting blown out in the basement. Did I mention that water is pouring in sheets through light fixtures and the rafters down there? Art (23) comes home from a quick jaunt to the fabulous new Whole Foods (24) in Noe Valley (25). It’s the cutest place. It used to be a small, dingy grocery store, but Whole Foods—bless their titties—really made use of the space, and are selling the most delicious petite fours in the neighborhood! It’s to die for.

Where was I? Right, we’re still in shitfuck cocktown, screaming for Jesus (26) to save us. Art comes in and she springs into action. She calls the fire department, or PG&E (27), or our landlord, or someone with a better idea than, “Let’s just keep bailing water until forever.” I leave Sam and Qong to hold down the fort, while I search for the water shutoff. Soaking wet, with wrench in hand, I just start tightening everything I come across. No luck. The legs of my desk aren’t attached to the water main. After a few minutes, I sprint back to the kitchen, and give it the old college try again, and by some disgusting twist of luck/irony, manage to shove the valve back in and shut off the water.

And here’s the Fire Department. They traipse around the house for a few minutes, poking holes in our sheetrock ceiling, kicking things over, flirting with my housemates, and pointing out to me that there’s water on the floor.

A second fire truck arrives. This one’s got a guy with a back-mounted wet vac. They vacuum what they can, say inappropriate things to my friends again while I’m out of earshot, and then disappear into the night, leaving only the mud from their boots.

The next two hours unfold as you might expect. Mops, towels, delirious giggling, the unexpected discovery of a closet where someone is keeping twisted figurines and ritualistic accoutrements. The best part, however, is that I have to wake up in three hours to drive to Occidental, CA (28) to witness a lamb slaughter with Farr, and our Panorama photographer, Solway (29). Nice nice.

At the crack of 3:30 am, I’m awake, showering. I couldn’t give a wet shit about work, or food, or photography, or lambs. I do care not to fuck over Farr though, so I forge ahead, pick up Solway, drive to the only 24-hour Starbucks (30) in San Francisco (31) (which DBot (32) just taught me about last week! HOORAY!), and start the horribly long journey.

Between the end of the Golden Gate Bridge (33) and the end of Sausalito (34), the street lights are out. It is before dawn, and I think we are driving on the wrong side of the road. There is no way to stop, to go faster, or to exit the freeway. There is only driving slowly, breathless, touching myself under the cover of the power outage. Thankfully, we eventually leave the darkness. One and a half hours later, we’re in Occidental, lost.

We get our bearings straight ten minutes later, but by the time we meet Tommy (35)—the man doing the slaughter—and Don Watson (36)—the rancher, the animals already have a .22-caliber lead bolt in their heads. They are spazzing out on the kill floor, as Tommy hooks them up to the rafters. Solway isn’t ready to photograph. He stands in a sleepy stupor. Farr has already been given a knife, however, and instructions to bleed the writhing animals out from the neck. The USDA (37) inspector looks suspicious of us, but eventually she warms, at least, as much as you could hope for from a suspicious USDA inspector. Maybe more. *Wink* (I fucked her. JK!)

Anyway, we shoot 550 photos, and complete the first third of the work for the spread. It’s going to be amazing, we hope. I would show you something of it, but I don’t want to spill all the beans.



Thus concludes my biblical 48 hours. I’m off to meet GLK (38) for a beer. (Welcome back, GLK!) I’ll try to post more often, but until this newspaper gets off the ground, I ain’t making no promises. Except this: Jay-Z’s (39) “Empire State of Mind” is going to be annoying as fuck in one month, but is still hotter than shit in your mouth right now.


* Just kidding. ESPN (40) is a burst zit. Don’t ever read “Forde Yard Dash.”

3 responses to “Umpire State of Mind

  1. arockridgelife

    I’m just glad *someone* made you feel guilty enough to post this. Nice one.

  2. It was a human egg sucka.

  3. Steamboat Willie


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s