LET’S GET OUT OF HERE

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate Cream Puff from Puffs of Doom (still drooling)

It’s slightly ironic that the past two weekends—arguably the nicest, weather-wise, the entire time I’ve lived here—I’ve been out of town, considering my past personal dredges of Seasonal Affective Disorder that begged for 78 degree days. But it was worth it, because I got to stuff the above creation into my face (a salted caramel hot chocolate cream puff… heavens to Betsy) and gaze upon the Washington Monument in a 10-mimosas-deep state of mind.

You can find the link to the Bonnaroo rundown in the post below (or on munchies.vice.com ). One thing I didn’t adequately elaborate on was the absolutely fantastic burger made for me by Jeremiah Bullfrog, aka Rick Ross’s personal chef. I’ve only had one other “real-meat” burger in the past 11 years, so it’s true that I may be biased (and I’m not planning on having any more in the near future.) But lord, this thing… if anything was worth betrayal of my personal ethics… A salty, juicy handheld from heaven, I’ll tell ya. One every six years is okay, right?

gastropod-burger-2

As for DC, here’s a rundown:

Took Amtrak for the first time in my life. Everyone told me that I would love it—I’m partial to old-world modes of transportation—and they weren’t wrong. Penn Station is not romantic, make no mistake, but the long and sunset-backdropped weave through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland was spectacular.

Stayed with Ms. Shaelyn Dawson, one of my literal best-friends-forever (since we were 14 and counting) and went on a worthy rampage around the city. Started Saturday with a bottomless brunch of about 10 million Mexican breakfast tapas and google-plex mimosas, ran around the touristy stuff in a heightened state (the Jefferson Memorial, the Potomac, the Washington Monument from a safe distance to avoid the grumpy families and tour groups of teenagers), followed by a cartwheels contest on its accompanying lawn.

Regained composure and watched the World Cup at this nookish bar tucked on the second floor of an apartment building called Ivy & Coney, which felt like a moderately dilapidated Victorian living room with ice-cold beer. Fantastic. After a nap and some time with Shaelyn’s ridiculously photogenic miniature Australian Shepherds, it was off to Show Time to eat pizza and listen to all of the Shangri-Las and Smoky Robinson songs I could manage from the free jukebox before pissing off fellow patrons. Unnamed members of our parties vomited from the building extravagance of the day and I almost tried a potion made from “every leftover bottle of weird promotional liquor that we get sent, mixed together” but thought better of it.

Walking to my friend Brett’s house later on, we were apprehended via shouts from an upstairs window by some artists partying in a loft who saw us walking by. They invited us in and we passed through a ground-floor studio of impressive neon sculptures and plaster busts and up into a high-ceilinged converted firehouse, where a gaggle of creative types were playing pool and dancing to Pusha T. They equipped us with beers and brought us up to the roof, but eventually we departed to hit a different roof (that of my much-missed friend from college, Brett).

Maybe I just had no idea that DC was such a friendly place? Admittedly I had stereotyped it as a collared-shirt kind of town where no one schmoozes unless they have something to gain from it (politically or career-wise), but this conception was totally shattered. Maybe it’s no longer the land of Dischord, but it’s pretty cool.

Trains, planes, and automobiles seem to be the theme of my summer. And that’s more than fine with me. Take me to a Ruby Tuesday’s in rural Tennessee or a fjord in Iceland. I’ll take it all.

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Trenton, Delaware

EVERY SONG IN MY ITUNES LIBRARY ABOUT PIZZA

pizza

Pizza is unlike any other food in a few respects.

1) It is very rarely bad, if not always very good. I’ve had bad chow mein, I’ve had bad sandwiches, I’ve even had bad breakfast cereal, but I can’t recall ever biting into a slice of pizza and having a thought of disgust. Maybe minor disappointment, but never repulsion.

2) No one doesn’t like it. Pardon the double negative; it might also be fair to say that everyone likes it, but I’m trying to consider things like veganism, lactose intolerance, and freaks who don’t like “red sauce”. I would still say that those people don’t NOT like pizza, they just might have personal reasons to not eat it and therefore may not actively like it.

3) There is a >50% chance that any given pizza place will deliver to you. Think about that. If you are in any metropolitan or suburban area RIGHT NOW, I guarantee that there is a place nearby that will bring a pizza to you at little to no additional cost to the price of the actual food. Amazing.

There’s more, but what I’m saying is that pizza is the food of the people and it deserves at least as many cultural tributes as it has been granted in recent history. I made a pizza zine a few years ago and did a performance art piece about pizza in college, but that’s a story for another time. I decided to search my iTunes library for “pizza” and see what came up.

The Aquabats – Pizza Day

The Aquabats are a vaguely seminal pop-punk/ska band (presupposing that ska bands can ever really be considered seminal)  primarily enjoyed by 8th graders who skateboard (and people in their late 20’s whose musical tastes stopped evolving in 8th grade). They have elaborate costumes and stage names and Travis Barker drummed for them before he joined Blink 182. This song’s lyrical narrative explores the perseverence of high school students in overcoming the strife of forced cafeteria dining to eventually be rewarded with pizza on Friday. This is also the only Aquabats song that I really know besides their cover of “Video Killed the Radio Star”.

Charlotte Diamond – I Am a Pizza

Charlotte Diamond is this Canadian lady who used to perform children’s songs about fish and flowers and stuff at my elementary school. Her songs are truly insufferable if you are over the age of 9. This song was stuck in my head for literally 12 years until I finally purged it by finding it on the Internet, downloading it, and forcing myself to listen to it until my brain was satisfied and released it from my semiconscious.

Ducktails – Pizza Time

Tolerable but boring lo-fi indie experimental instrumental. Blogosphere-driven.

Gemini – Pizza

There is no YouTube link for this because I have no idea where it came from or why it’s on my computer. Possibly used for the aforementioned performance art piece in college. It’s from The Best of Gemini: Music for Children and Families according to the embedded song information and it’s just a guy singing “It’s a pizza, it’s a pizza / Mamma mia, pizza pie” accompanied by really generic accordion music and flamenco guitar.

Old Skull – Pizza Man

I did a post about Old Skull a couple of months ago and this is really some of their finest material. The chord progression is… well…. slightly repetitive but the lyrics are really gripping:

“GIVE ME A PIZZA / BRING IT TO ME/ I WANT EVERYTHING ON IT”

“I WANT EXTRA CHEESE/ I WANT MUSHROOMS AND ANCHOVIES AHHHHHHHHHH”

“PIZZA MAN, I WANT MY PIZZA / I WANT IT RIGHT NOW!!!”

“DOMINO’S PIZZA TASTES LIKE SHIT!!!”

“IF YOU ARE LATE, YOU WILL GIVE IT TO ME FOR FREE!”

They preach the gospel. Totally recommended listening.

Personal and the Pizzas – I Don’t Wanna Be No Personal Pizza

For those of you unfamiliar with Personal and Pizzas, they are essentially a pseudo-Ramones tribute band who draw the majority of their thematic elements from pizza (obviously) and teenage conflict. The Ramones’ lyrics are actually very easily modified to be about a steaming hot pepperoni pizza pie instead of a surly punk chick and their original songs make for some pretty enjoyable garage punk too. Download their whole album, Raw Piehere.

Think I need to head to Arinell and grab a slice now.

originally posted on Deaf Forever, 5.24.11