Fear of a Tasteless Planet (Week 5)

Rockin’ Tomato Pizza Company
13729 N Highway 183

I’ve been in something of a tailspin since they closed the Austin’s Pizza location near my house a few weeks ago. I was afraid I’d have to fall back on Domino’s. Lucky for me, I remembered the menu for the Rockin’ Tomato Pizza Company that I had thrown in the menu cabinet recently.

Rockin’ Tomato deals in pizza, calzones, salads, and burgers, but I was only concerned with pizza, so I picked up a large ($8.99 for a 14″ cheese) with pepperoni and bacon (an additional $3). Toppings are broken down into two catagories, regular and gourmet. Gourmet included such interesting items as almonds and steak.

“Hey, man. I’m ordering pizza. You want in?”

“Sure. Can we get almonds and steak?”

I promise you, that exchange has never taken place at any point within the history of mankind.

Anyways, I go to pick up my pizza, and I find in no time that it is a more than suitable replacement for Austin’s Pizza. The pie is huge, and the crust is the perfect mix between crunch and chew. The pepperoni and bacon pop with flavor, and the whole pizza has a nice, hot taste to it. I could only get halfway through the damn thing, and it was a struggle to get that far. All-in-all, I vote Rockin’ Tomato my new favorite pizza.

Rating: Is the cook single?

Funky, not Fresh

Every now and then (once every other week or so), I get depressed for no reason at all. That’s why you get stuff like the lyrics to sad songs and essays on the first time I heard Pinkerton. Maybe this annoys you. Well…

Sorry. I just wanted an excuse to run that picture again.

Busy weekend ahead, with various social whatsits I’m supposed to take part in, trying to fit work in between it all. Yay! I have to get copies of the Rundberg preview printed and sent to distributors. I have to put a final polish on the Angry City pitch. I have to talk to Danny and Zan about liscensed property idea, see if they read their assignments this week.

I’m really thinking the Halloween party is gonna go down. Should be a rockin’ good time. And I’m sorry, but my count was off the other day. Only three non-Shawna’s dad people grabbed my ass at that Halloween party. One of them was Shawna’s sister, though, so I think that count’s as two for the sheer ballsiness of it (plus, Shawna’s sister doesn’t like me a whole bunch, so I musta been on that night!).

I don’t know why you guys put up with me. Really.

I’ve Got Your Letter; You’ve Got My Song.

The Foo Fighters/Weezer show got me thinking last night. Here’s some stream of whatever…

It was the first weekend of October. I had been single for a few weeks after a year-plus relationship. I was nineteen. Of course, all of this added up to devestation. Nineteen-year-old males just can’t handle break ups when they think they’re in love. Hell, no teenager can, regardless of gender.

The first weekend of October in Aurora, Indiana means the Farmer’s Fair, a typical street carnival which was just beginning to become a shell of its former self at the time. You could get some okay carnie food, and you could watch the parade, but that’s it. The important thing is that Farmer’s Fair meant all the college kids came back to town for the weekend. Since I had transfered to the University of Cincinnati and was now living at home again, this was important.

I guess it would have been Thursday night or thereabouts when I shagged off to Benny Turner’s house. It was me, Benny, and a girl I’ll just describe as S. Benny had the new Weezer CD, Pinkerton, with him, and he made us listen to it (he didn’t have to try hard or anything). I remember the squeal of feedback followed by the four taps on the ride bell that began “Tired of Sex,” and just like that, I was in love again.

We listened to Pinkerton all the way through, the three of us talking about nothing and listening to Rivers Cuomo pour his heart out the small, tinny speakers of Benny’s radio. I felt a charge of adrenaline shoot through my system at the end of “Across the Sea,” and I sat in shocked silence through “Butterfly.”

Wow.

That night, I kissed S when I left Benny’s. She came over again on Sunday, and we kissed some more. I never called her like I said I would, never visited her at school, and never even emailed her until I moved to Austin three years later. I screwed up something that could have been very good for me because I was heartbroken and weird, nineteen-years-old and already more worried about my bald spot than being a good person.

I saw S maybe once, twice again. She wouldn’t speak to me either time.

I lost her.

But I still have Pinkerton, and it still makes me feel the way I did that Thursday night in October of 1996.

I wish I could get my head outta the sand
’cause I think we’d make a good team
And you would keep my fingernails clean
But that’s just a stupid dream that I won’t realize
’cause I can’t even look in your eyes without shakin’
And I ain’t fakin’
I’ll bring home the turkey if you bring home the bacon.

Last Night, Tonight, and Next Month

I didn’t get to eat at Tino’s last night. it feels like my world just died a little bit.

Shawna and I are going to the Weezer/Foo Fighters concert tonight. It’s funny. We’re still getting over how awesome the Green Day show was, so we haven’t had the chance to get excited for this show. Hell, we don’t even know who the opener is. I’m sure it will rock, either way.

October looks to be a good month for the rockin’. I’ll probably hit the Flametrick Subs show on the first (are you tired of hearing about them yet?), but the big news is that I’ll be seeing Our Lady Peace and Coheed and Cambria within a week of each other. Can one man handle so much rock? Is this good research for Saint James? Do I look fat in these Chuck Taylors?

I’m also thinking about hosting a Halloween party this year. Normally, this is Randy’s domain, but my ass didn’t get grabbed once at his party last year, while it was grabbed five times in the first hour at Shawna’s sister’s party (and that’s not even counting Shawna’s dad!). I want to get these two groups of people together, get ’em drunk, and watch what happens!

What Happened on Monday

So, Mike Brown resigned his post as FEMA chief. Good. I think he should be forced to go around New Orleans picking up corpses, but that’s just me.

Took yesterday off, finishing up Rundberg. It is now 100% ready for print. Met with Frequency Danny for lunch to discuss. We went to Tino’s (hooked already). I’ll probably go back this weekend.

Found out from Danny that I am confirmed as being in Artist’s Alley at Wizard World, Texas, November 4-6 at the Arlington Convention Center. We should have copies of Rundberg ready by then, so stop by, say hi, and buy some stuff!

Hit Shaolin-Do last night and completely relearned Five Directional Palm. Muscle memory wasn’t quite as helpful as I’d hoped it would be, but once the movements were down, the speed came back pretty quickly. My goal is to be back in black belt classes within four weeks.

Fear of a Tasteless Planet (Week 4)

Tino’s Greek Cafe
Corner of Anderson Mill and 183

Yesterday was Shawna’s 30th birthday, and I’d been asking her for weeks where she wanted her birthday dinner to be. Shawna kept insisting she didn’t want anything fancy (and that’s fine, because I’m cheap). On Saturday, she finally settled on lunch at Tino’s Greek Cafeteria, a new place within five minutes of our home.

A small cavaet: I know jack and shit about Greek food. I know how to pronounce gyro, and that’s about it.

After a quick survey of the menu (written fresh on a chalk board), Shawna and I both decided on the lunch plate. This little slice of heaven consists of your choice of meat (chicken, gyro, or combo), three sides, and choice of soup or salad. I went the combo route, also helping myself to lemon-chicken soup, steamed veggies, rice pilaf, and beef stew.

I was first impressed when I saw the stew. My helping had a chunk of potato the size of a child’s fist in it! There’s no skimping on proportions here. My plate was overflowing in impressive ways.

Shawna and I sat down and immediately tore into what has to be the best meal I’ve had in ages. The chicken and gyro were amazing and juicy. The soup was tasty as all get out, just a little hint of lemon in a damn smooth chicken broth. The rice was full of flavor, and the beef stew was so good I used my pita to sop up every last bite (that’s what the pita’s for, right?). My only complaint would be the veggies, which were cauliflower heavy. Cauliflower is my least favorite, vegetable, cauli, and flower, so I was none too pleased.

Thirty minutes later, Shawna and I were both groaning with full stomachs, and neither of us had finished more than half of our food! Did I mention that the lunch plate is something like six bucks?! G’damn, people! You can’t beat this place!

So, Tino’s has become my new regular lunch place. I’m going back today, and I’ll for damn sure be going back every chance I get. You should, too.

Why are you still reading this? Log off your fucking computer and beat feet!

Highs: Price, Taste, Portions.
Lows: Why so much cauliflower?

Rating: Is the Cook Single?.5

The most rockin’ night of September

Last night, I received two CDs in the mail. The first was “The Chairmen of the Board’s Greatest Hits.” I’ve written before of how awesome The Chairmen are. One of the greatest, if shortest-lived, rock and soul acts of the late-60’s/early-70’s.

So, I popped this disc in the DVD player and listened to “Give Me Just a Little More Time” before putting in the second disc that came in the mail…

You bet. Greg Dulli’s first solo/non-Twilight Singers disc. As with most collections Dulli has released, going all the way back to The Afghan Whigs, Amber Headlights is amazing. The songs run the gamut, though they lack some of The Whigs’ sorrow in exchange for more of a jump up and run style of rocking out with your cock out.

There are two stand-outs on this record, and they’re both different versions of the same song, one that already appeared on Blackberry Belle, the second Twilight Singers disc. Cigarettes (the first of the three versions written), takes Follow You Down from Blackberry and kicks it up about a thousand notches, turning a contemplative ballad into a scorching rocker. The disc’s last song, Get the Wheel, strips the song all the way down to Dulli’s voice and a piano, letting you know just how sad, but still hopeful, the song really is.

Wow. Just wow.

No, you’re not coming in…

I’m feeling especially maudlin today, so I thought I’d share the lyrics to one of my favorite sad songs…

Do I really wanna step in here?
I feel like my father at the horse track
When he’s down to his last sawbuck
Do I really wanna step in here?

I’m not as sure as I appear.
Tell me should we make this move?
And if it seems pathetic, pardon me
I’m not as sure as I appear.

Thought it over
Thought I’d walk over
And over coffee we could chat
But then, then I thought again
’cause what was was over
And now I know that.

Thought I’d call,
we could talk it over.
I knew that wouldn’t work out somehow
’cause what was was over,
And I should just get over.
And that is where I’m at right now.

I’m really glad that you are here.
What could be could beat what was.
We are is at any rate.
I’m really glad that you are here.

Thought it over
Thought I’d walk over
And over coffee we could chat
But then,Then I thought again
’cause what was was over
And now I know that.

Thought I’d call,
we could talk it over.
I knew that wouldn’t work out somehow
’cause what was was over
And I should just get over
And that is where I’m at right now.

And we are is because
What was is now was.
Pray for rain, it never does,
And after all that we’ve done been through is is gonna have to do.

And we are is because
What was is now was.
Pray for rain, it never does.
And after all we’ve been through is is gonna have to do.

You’ve been invited, girl, but you’re not coming in.

First thing’s first. My old friend Dan Hudson makes his stand-up comedy debut on September 20th in Cincinnati for a Victims of Katrina benefit. If you’re in the area, go check it out! more details available at Dan’s website. Go get ’em, Dan!

Went to print up Rundberg last night and quickly realized it was going to cost waaaay too much money. Decided to run to Office Depot for high quality paper and new ink cartridges instead. Looks like my weekend’s officially booked.

Fledgling TV meeting tonight, I think to start working on the fourth episode. Y’know, it just dawned on me that this thing might force a move to L.A. if we’re able to sell it. Wow, that’s the biggest “if” I’ve ever typed on this thing.

Today’s featured link? The Asylum Street Spankers. You owe it to yourself to check out God’s favorite band.