Thursday, November 29, 2012

Of Course---You've Seen This Already

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Weather

When you see old people talking about the weather you always wonder, “Why do old people talk so much about the weather?”

I think it’s because as you get older you sort of get younger in that you care less and less about the logic of things, the status of things, or how you are going to use your logic to get to a higher status. (That cash load. The esteem from others.)

So life becomes more immediate. And what the hell is more immediate than the weather? It’s this changing show and everyone gets to enjoy it. It’s egalitarian. And though it might seem boring, it’s actually pretty interesting. There’s this ball you live on and because of the way it spins around this burning nuclear reaction the temperature and moisture changes all around you. I mean, the only thing possibly more interesting is how an egg is only one cell. (And that it hardens when you cook it…)

I would gladly be nothing more than an animal looking at a leaf or a pond enjoying the day’s weather. If my mind is empty and this is joyful, it is enough.

There comes a time…

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

VS. Theatre Company

Friends, I am on the advisory board of this theater in Los Angeles. VS. gets awards, accolades, but more importantly, they do it right-on and right.


VS. Kickstarter

Monday, November 26, 2012

Winter Season

As we sally forth with love…and this really is the greater natural intention whether we want to accept it or not, (and I am a snarky mouther---so it might seem odd that I mention this)---but really, if we don’t practice a loving stance with actions (at least to those closest and nearby), why the hell exist?

Christmas is dark. The decorations are affirming.

All is possible.


Baltimore: A Good Latitude for Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am grateful

I am grateful for the moments when I trust and do not try to make anything happen, when I simply breathe and live…this natural state is a happy one.

I love stuffing.

Monday, November 19, 2012

It's the Information, Stupid

Everything is reported. Everyone knows about it. And people do not like what they are hearing.

I feel bad for the mountain and prairie people who really want to believe the world is munificent and all you have to do is get out of bed and attend to business and you will have no problem affording those tater tots from Walmart.

But it’s over. Because the only way you can work these days and make real cashola is you have to either be highly, specifically skilled, or a real dynamo willing to do anything to succeed—climb over others, start a business and work 18 hours a day.  Most people are not these things. (And most people don’t want to kill themselves just for tater tots.)

Apparently, manufacturing in the U.S. is highly productive and our exports are doing well. But you just don’t need that many people any longer to make things, to farm things, to work.

There’s no work because there’s no work.  And with that…with all these idle people, what can you do but transfer some money their way in the wealthiest nation that has ever existed since the beginning of time?

The fundamental cry is about being taxed and having money handed over to people who could use it. (And accusing those same people of being moochers.)  It’s an absurd cry.

It’s math.

People would gladly work if there was work available. If the job creators are such job creators, why do I only see them fuming about their decaying portfolios while they still plan their trips to villas and horse farms? It’s sad and scary to have your world change. But what was the idea? That the world would not change?

Point, hate, blame, go ahead. But whatever you do, everyone will know about it. And as soon as they know, they are not going to join your side. Not in a million years.

So sell that McMansion to a school at a low price or turn it into a factory. You might as well. Because padding around your 6000 square footer hating taxes is not a great use of your time.

Sorry it got this way, sort of. But it’s math. It’s always math. And part of the equation is that a whole lot of people just want a job, nothing else. They aren’t going to invent the latest internet idea that takes over or come out with a reality show/cookbook tour that sweeps the zeitgeist. It’s not their fault. They just aren’t built that way. But most people are built to work, to do something.

So stop screaming at the 47% and start asking---“What job can I offer you?”

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chicken Parm--Old Jersey

Chick Parmigiano like Grandma Nettie used to make for Two for two nights:

First, you have to buy things:

Package of Organic, expensive boneless chicken breasts. About three breasts.

Garlic cloves

Good Olive Oil

One can of Hunts Tomato Sauce--the big one, about the size of a baby's head

One can of Crushed Tomatoes--the big one, same size

Fresh Basil, as little as you can buy

A big ball of the best mozzarella you can afford

Good grated parmesan/romano cheese combo

A Box or two of linguini (or spaghetti)

Eggs, breadcrumbs (plain), flour

Now get your ass moving:

First, make the sauce. You put a couple of tablespoons of oil in a medium sauce pan. Heat it up. Smash two cloves of garlic to get the peel off. Slice garlic into smallish pieces. When oil is hot, throw the garlic in, stir for a while. Keep stirring until the garlic is medium brown. Take the pot off the flame and THROW THE GARLIC OUT.

Put pot back on flame and put in the can of tomato sauce and the can of crushed tomatoes. Rinse the cans each with an 1/8th of a cup of water to rinse out the rest of what sticks to the can. Throw it into the sauce pan. Throw in about ten or fifteen leaves of fresh basil. Cut them up a bit, first. Stir. Add very little ground pepper. And some salt. Just…salt to taste. Be careful. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer. If it starts getting too thick, add some water. Stir every now and then. Don’t add anything else. Nothing. No sugar. No onion. Nothing ridiculous. This recipe begs for simplicity. Like a simple quickie in the back of a Chevy Monte Carlo.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Get three wide bowls out. Scramble up two eggs in one bowl. Put about a half cup of flour in another. Put about ¾ a cup of bread crumbs in the third. Add some salt and pepper to the bread crumbs.

Take the chicken breasts out. Put them, one at a time, into a zip lock and pound them with a rolling pin. Not too hard. You don’t want to liquefy the raw chicken. Just get them thinning out some and a little tender. You’ll be glad you did.  Put them on  a plate. Don’t get chicken on your rolling pin. Try not to get raw chicken all over the place. One hand chicken, other hand clean. Something like that.

After the three are pounded out and on a plate, cut them cross-wise so you end up with six squarish pieces.

Get a big frying pan out. A real big one. Heat the pan first. Put a solid amount of oil in the pan. Not too much…like, you don’t need depth. You’re not deep frying. But do cover the whole bottom and then a tidge more. Get that oil good and hot. But don’t get it smoking.

The chicken: dip in flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. LIGHT ON ALL THREE. You’re not making a mummy here.


Wash up all the raw chicken mess you made. Throw out that zip lock bag. Wash off that rolling pin within an inch of its life---because you know no matter how hard you tried, you ended up touching the rolling pin with your raw chicken hand. Get the rotten raw chicken plate into the dishwasher and don’t go near it again. I know, I know---it’s expensive organic chicken. But you never know. I once got MRSA just watching a documentary about India.

Get all six pieces fried to a golden brown, flipping over one time. Cut into the middle after about 8 minutes. You can leave just the tiniest sliver of raw chicken in the center. I mean, TINY.

Get your spaghetti water going. Salt it a little.

Cut up about ¾ of your mozzarella ball into little-ish squares the size of a nickel, the thickness of a pink eraser. The other ¼, snack on while you drink and listen to Louis Prima on your iTunes.

Take a long glass or metal cake pan…you know, like a 1970s sheet cake size, and pour a little of the tomato sauce you’ve made in the bottom. Like, just cover the bottom. Don’t be nuts about it. You don’t want it deep. This Jersey Chicken Parm needs to be finessed with light amounts.

Until the cheese.

Sprinkle some parm/romano over the chicken. Medium. Cover the chicken with the cut up mozzarella. Throw it in the oven. It will take about fifteen minutes for the cheese to melt right. When the cheese is melted…you’re pretty much ready.

By now you should be making the linguini. Use Brown Rice Pasta if you are wheat sensitive or have the Celiac.  Drain.

Turn off the sauce.

Take a look at your chicken. It’s probably ready because your cheese is all melty---but because there’s a little sauce on the bottom, everything is moist and nothing is getting ruined. So now, turn the oven up to broil…and let it brown the cheese up, just a bit. Watch it. Not too brown. Don’t get too crusty about it.

Take it out.

Put the linguini and a couple pieces of chicken on a plate. Put on the sauce. Serve. Should be enough there for two hungry adults for two nights.

As a side dish, consider broccoli rabe…Buy the organic good stuff. Cut off the fattest ends. Boil it for just a few minutes. Sautee in oil. Choose garlic or lemon, but not both, to finish it off. Garlic, you’d add into the oil.  Lemon, you’d wait until the veggie gets to room temp and squeeze it on.  If garlicked, serve hot. If lemoned, serve room temperature.

That’s what I got.

The second night: Heat the left over chicken parm in the oven in a smaller glass cake pan with a little sauce on the bottom. Make some more pasta or heat up leftover pasta from the night before. Heat up the extra sauce in a pan.

This is NJ kind of fare. Fattening. Carb and cheese loaded. So fucking delicious, you’ll wonder why you ever fucking left Newark.

Keep eating. You deserve it. You survived Sandy. You survived the recession. You survived two wars in the Middle East. Fuck, you even survived your shitty childhood with the ugly paneling and the cheap polyester print shirts from Caldors. You deserve it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

So There I Was Standing on the Fiscal Cliff

Whenever I am standing on the edge of a cliff, I just love it when everyone around me starts fighting. What a fun circus. I maintain that we have wars and a two party system because people like to fucking fight. And if there is peril, like falling off a cliff, all the better. Those are the kind of movies we enjoy, too! I like to fight. Sort of. But it’s more like this: “Rub my feet.” “No, I’m tired.” “Do it now or I’ll have an affair.” Or “Make me pork chops.” “You make yourself some pork chops.” “Fine. I won’t eat.” Little things like that. Of course, no one ever really wins in any fight. And it’s all posturing. In 19 years of intermittent foot rubbing, I’ve never had an affair. And I never stop eating. It’s brain chemicals. I think people want to ramp things up in order to feel alive. So they fight. Near cliffs. And if they can get their constituents back home cheering, they fight, near a cliff, with huge waves of energetic support. I think all this talk that Romney and Obama were dirty fighters during the campaign is a bunch of bullshit. Democrats learned that being dainty is useless and they are fighting as filthily as the Karl Roveians. Fine. No one really gets hurt. It’s all a game. Boys bearing their teeth and strutting their energy is fully acceptable in a crass society, which ours is, clearly. So as they continue to posture and poke and each other in the eyes and pull the chairs out from under each other while they try to sit, and drop the occasional bucket of pig’s blood on each other’s heads—it’s really just a show. And they love it. What show-offs. But we’re a plumage kind of species. Keep buying tickets.

Okay--A Bit Pathetic

The highlight of my day was after my testing at the immunologist’s office, where I discovered that mold and dust are still my major enemies, I was called to the front desk to fill out another form. It was then that I referred to myself out loud as, “Don Cummings, the famously allergic—“ and the girls laughed. Yeah. That’s what happened.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Have Been Harsh. I Have Been a Sore Winner

I have posted things that were based in anger and revenge. At the time, my pie hole (typing fingers in this case) found it to be necessary. I do experience the Right Wing as bullying. In fact, their lack of compassion for anyone who is not "them" is terrifying to me. So when election cycles come around, I feel personally attacked. When George Bush Junior was president, I found him so terrifying, I used to have this dream: I became the only Democrat on earth that he trusted. And he would have meetings with me and I was able to convince him to soften his approach. He liked me (he really liked me). And I was proud to be liked by him. It was a bit like Stockholm Syndrome, in that I was connecting positively with my oppressor. Maybe a bit more like suburbs of Stockholm Syndrome, in that, really, my oppressor was connecting positively with me. I was proud of my status. And more importantly, I felt safe. When you are bullied as a kid by all sorts of bullies (and I understand that I am one of gajillions of grown people who were bullied when young so I claim no special status here) and you grow up and you feel that bullying energy--it gets scary. When your side, the meek collectivist side, the side that thinks, "Hey, can't we just help people out some?" reigns supreme for a bit, you just kind of want to kick those ol' bullies in the nose. With words. It's immature. But it's a normal response. So in an energy release, one gets excited and screams some shit. Now, ready to move on. And Jeezum Crow, make love, not war, forever and ever.

Monday, November 05, 2012


I would enjoy it so much if you would vote. Please.

Now, I am a Socialist---but I kind of love Libertarians.

--Did you know the French effectively pay about 3 - 4% more taxes than we do, but get about a gazillion more good things from the government than we do?  Of course I must admit that Socialist Democracies can breed a certain, ahem, lack of robustness in the creative spirit. Need (to fend for the self) + Ticking clock (Death) is the oomf of most narratives--

But I digress.


Make love, not mud pies.

Tanzania: The Movie

Please enjoy the Tanzania Movie. Sure, it's a YouTube Playlist that runs one hour and thirty-eight minutes. But how is that going to hurt you?

(If it were me, though, I would just click around the different clips. You like a baby giraffe running around, we have a baby giraffe running around. The second lion clip has a Momma Lion roaring a bit at her cubs to get in line. There are many clips of the two cheetahs...spraying, playing, acting just like cats. Elephant and Zebra crossings are particularly beautiful. 8 clips in a row give you a lion stalking and eating a zebra, though I missed the exact moment of the grab. But you can still watch the hunter suffocate the zebra to death and then they all play and eat it. And don't miss the Masai kids singing and smiling. We made friends and they asked us to come back. Maybe you can go and say hello for us.)

The 75 clip play list on You Tube:

And if you missed it, the blog entry with over 600 still photos.

Now, get thee to Africa. Really.