Monday, January 23, 2012

The Pits

tree fog
I know, I know.

I don't update this anymore. I'm the worst. Blah blah.

It's funny, because it would have been pretty interesting to chronicle the life this blog has missed. I was unemployed for a while, then sort of employed, then unemployed, then had this crazy job that sent me to LA, NY and Vegas, and now kinda half and half employed/unemployed again. Like a surf n turf.

Surf is definitely the unemployed because I don't eat seafood.

It's been a really trying time, truth be told. And it just keeps dragging on.

That's the nature of my work though, part-time work, short contracts, less-than-ideal jobs. I guess it's the path I chose though, so I shouldn't complain too much. But, I am ready for the next step - I'm ready for something full-time and permanent. Something that fits.

I have recruiters helping me find work, which makes me feel kinda important when I pretend they are my agents, and jobs are fighting over me (doesn't happen).

Oh and I have this now, just started: so you can go there. It's like this blog, except I actually post things there, but tumblr is kinda for teenage girls. So, it's a plus/minus.

You want an update on my love life? Too bad. Just know that never finding someone who loves you isn't nearly as scary as never finding someone you love.

Keep up the good work, guys.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Kings & Angels

***EDIT: There was an order to these photos, telling the story of my trip to LA - but they got out of order when I posted them, and also now they look like crap. And some of them are sideways. I don't know how/care to fix them. Enjoy!

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Didn't Win

So, McSweeney's ran the winners of their column contest, and I was not one of them.

I probably wasn't twee or pithy enough for them. But I'm just the right amount of twee and pithy for you guys. Awwww. I should have written a column called "Jokes my ironically named pet bird told me about 1980s heads of state" they'd eat that shit right up. So, anyway, here's my entry for their contest. Enjoy how much better it is than the crap they are sure to run from their "winners". You're the real winners today, guys. Congratulations.

Cooking with Tony is a column that is really a front to tell stories of mine and bitch about things I want to bitch about, loosely related to food or cooking. I have the palette of a 12 year-old, and the budget and motivation of a college sophomore. The format will be adhered to as strictly as the content won’t be.

So here it is, not my funniest story, but the story that I thought best presented my proposed concept. Bon Appétit!

Cooking with Tony – Stromboli

I think we’ve all been there: it’s a balmy summer evening, I’m not wearing any pants, and it’s creeping closer to “Crap, it’s ten o’clock and I can’t eat this late or I’ll get heartburn and fat” time. I need to whip up a fun, easy menu that delivers bold flavor, charm and nutrition. Join me on a recent epicurean journey.

First off, dinner has a few requirements for me: it should be hot, and include more than one “dish”. And preferably salty. And crunchy. And not gross. I turn to my pantry (cabinet above my sink). How many Pop-Tarts are in a dinner? Three. Three Pop-Tarts are a dinner, with a side of tortilla chips (salty and crunchy!). But, the baffling two-tarts-to-a-pouch philosophy of the heatable breakfast market does me in. I can’t just leave one to go bad in its crinkley silver coffin, and I can’t eat four – eating four Pop-Tarts means you’ve failed at life.

The menu planning continues: No clean pots for pasta, and I had pizza rolls for lunch. Sometimes, if you remain uninspired, I’ve found it’s okay to look outside your own ingredients, especially when your ingredients are all microwavable, toasterable, or canned chili. So in this case, it was time to bite the bullet and set out. And by set out, I mean get dressed and walk two doors down to the pizza shop. A world of possibilities opens before me! A world which is entirely populated by pizza, cheesesteaks and stromboli. Cheesesteaks are always a bonus, because I can toss stray meat flakes to my cat, but I’m not in the mood. Pizza makes my beard smell greasy, and I’m headed to the bar later. So, it’s set, tonight’s menu: stromboli, with a side of French fries, paired with a 2011 Diet Pepsi.

Side note: I used to drink regular Pepsi, but at the staggering rate of my consumption, switching to diet was my only hope of avoiding mid-20s diabetes.

Side side note: In doing research for this recipe, I found out that the delicious stromboli is a regional dish, native to my north eastern part of America. A) You’re welcome for the culture, you rubes. B) That’s a shame, rest of the country. I feel bad for you. And C) You might not have stromboli, but I am assuming you have the internet since you’re reading this, so just Google it already.

Fine, it’s a lot like a calzone. You backwater hillbillies know what that is, right? Happy now?


Gathering ingredients for your menu can be a metaphor for life; you look outside yourself when you realize everything in your cabinet (pathetic life) is boring, spoiled or stale. Or you really need to stop talking to your ex-girlfriend because she’s really just a total bummer and you guys are never getting back together or even going on another date that was as good as that time you guys got ice cream and laughed so much when you had a sprinkle stuck in your beard. So don’t eat the spoiled cheese (ex-girlfriend). Go and get a stromboli (girl who goes to the bar you go to who wears too much eye make-up and definitely won’t nag you about things like how salt and pepper shakers and ketchup shouldn’t be “permanent fixtures” of your coffee table, or “paying the electric bill” or “looking at other girls’ boobs” or “Tony could you take the goddamn Guitar Hero guitar off the couch so I have a place to sit”).

So, I go out, like my hunter-gatherer ancestors: I put on pants and shoes and walk to the shop two doors down from my apartment. I always hope to order from the nice old Greek lady, to avoid interacting with the marble-mouthed 40-something who also works there. In this particular instance, I wasn’t so lucky. Before getting a chance to place my order, he somehow forces the following from his perpetually open mouth: “Hey Jeff! Hahaheeehaaaeeehh?” No, sorry, Jeff isn’t my name, but nice try at randomly guessing after interacting with me for nearly two years! I order. It’s often said that waiting is the hardest part of cooking, and they are right. I sit on my stoop and smoke two cigarettes. Like all things in life though, the wait is often the most enlightening part. I learn that a one-way sign is no deterrent as two separate cars go the wrong way on my street. I learn that people who drive hybrids can rarely be bothered with “parking between the lines” or “not being an asshole.”

Ah! The true reward of cooking is finally here: the meal is ready! I pick it up and head back to my apartment. My cat is disappointed as she doesn’t see a cheesesteak emerge from the greasy bag. I am encouraged that I made the right choice, because that was super easy. If I had to do it again, I would have said “no onions” twice, because one time they put onions in my stromboli and cooked onions are creepy and slimy and gross. Overall, this was a very successful menu: the pairings interacted like world-class dance partners and the Italo-American flair lit up the room with an ebullient “Mama-Mia!” charm. Bon Appétit!


Recipe (includes French fries and Diet Pepsi side dishes):

13 Dollars

1 pair shoes

1 pair pants

Ketchup (to taste)

Clean plate

Pizza place (Greek)

Preparation Time: “10 minuhs” (16 minutes)

Difficulty: No.

Pros: A stranger made my dinner. Delicious. Kitchen isn’t hot from stove. No microwave brain cancer. Cheese.

Cons: A stranger touched my dinner. Putting on pants and shoes. Washing stromboli plate. Interacting with the guy who rides a bike to work and drinks shots of Goldschläger on a begged-for credit line at the local bar. Eating too much and getting a stomach ache.

Conclusion: A really great recipe overall: simple, delicious, multicultural. The real question is: would I make stromboli again? Yes. Especially if it is really hot out or I am totally out of other food. Probably not if it was raining, though. Also, don’t order the large, that thing is like four goddamn pounds.


When I sent this idea to some friends of mine, they all said pretty much the same thing: “You’re an idiot.” When pressed further, they said “It’s a pretty good column, but it seems pretty limited.” I am paraphrasing, because they didn’t all say exactly the same thing and because I don’t pay attention to them very well. However, as a rebuttal, here is a list of (more than the requested three) future columns:

· How Many Grapes Can Fit in Your Mouth? (A tale of youth, machismo and victory)

· The Time My Mom Ruined My Eleventh Birthday with Carrot Cake (A treatise on shit that shouldn’t be desserts, mostly)

· The Time My Friends Made Me Eat Sushi at that Fancy Restaurant (Squishy disks of fish and pretension)

· No Waffles a la Friend’s Drunk Dad at an Engagement Party (He promised me waffles and asked me to dance)

· Ham and Cheese and Tostitos (Pro: actual recipe, Con: not really)

· Getting a Sandwich Named after You (Bucket List) (The Tony Burger)

· I Love Steak More Than Any Girl I’ve Ever Met (I once said “If I ever meet a girl I love as much as the Phillies I will marry her immediately. I guess that isn’t related to steak, but you get the idea. The idea is girls are not as good as other really good stuff)

· Mozzarella Sticks: Ambrosia? (self-explanatory)

· My Favorite Vegan Meal is Telling Everyone I’m Vegan (90% of vegans are truly insufferable, also chubby because all they eat is bread and Twizzlers also quinoa tastes like un-brewed tea)

· One Time at a Bar a Girl Sent Me a Pizza Instead of a Drink (Valentine’s Day theme column?????)


There you have it. I thought it was pretty good. Oh well.

Monday, June 13, 2011


That about sums up where I am right now, mentally, spiritually and pizzally.

I'm super old update:

I graduated from high school ten years ago this week. Ten years is a really, really long time. If I could time machine back to that day and see myself, I would say:

Keep up the good work?

I don't know. I should probably have something profound here.
-How about, You aren't going to marry any of 'em, so dump 'em when you think of it. It's easier that way and then your R2D2 poster won't get destroyed and you won't have to punch that guy with the earrings and bad tattoos.
-Don't park your car in front of your apartment on Cricket Ave., that car was bitching and some asshole is going to steal it.
-You are totally right, naps are always a waste of time. I regret nothing but the naps.
-You still don't like Chinese food.
-Would it kill you to exercise once in a while you lazy ass?
-All those Phillies games you turn down tickets to turn out awesome. I'm not going to spoil the surprise, but it rhymes with ho nitter.
-They see you rollin, they hatin
-He makes it, she doesn't, be strong for your mom.
-Avail doesn't come back for like seven years, don't miss that show.
-Your beard is awesome. You single handedly bring beards back.
-Forgive. Always.
-Don't sweat the technique.
-Be excellent to each other.

I think that about sums it up. You're doing a good job kid, it gets better.

I also am old because:

-I got my new license yesterday. My picture looks exactly the same. This one expires in 2015, but I'll probably have to renew for my hover car license before then.
-One of my best friends turns 30 today. Ew.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

X Gonna Give it to Ya

I wish this post were about DMX, as I relate pretty much everything to him lately.

But it's not. I saw X-Men: First Class last night. And typing that out for the first time, I realize that's kind of a stupid name. First Class. Classy X-Men. Whatever, it was pretty good.

Except January Jones, she is terrible and I hate her. Also Mystique was slutty, petulant and annoying, but I suppose that is probably appropriate.

I consider myself pretty hip and "with it" and blah blah WHAT THE FUCK, INTERNET? You are making less and less sense and not even in a good, Nyan Cat way.

What the HELL is with these stupid "that awkward moment..." things?

HAHAH I saw movies! Haha I get it! Funny movie! *fatkidfartnoiseface*

The internet, that's not awkward, nor is it a moment, and it's not funny or anything else good. Most of these "awkward moment" things aren't even complete sentences or thoughts. While doing my typical deep, probing and thorough research for this post, I googled "that awkward moment" - that was a terrible mistake. That google hole plunged me into a deep despair and I found myself wishing for the world to end and to never have existed in the first place. Thanks. Most of these "awkward moments" are things like "that awkward moment when you eat a pudding" or "that awkward moment when your foot is asleep" WHAT? Why would anyone talk about that? I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Or they are fake, like those horrible fake TFLN. Why would you make up a TFLN? You are the worst human. "That awkward moment when you are so cool and you quote a movie and then you are handsome!" I made that one up.

Oh the internet, I guess I shouldn't expect so much from a thing run by people who are either mentally or actually thirteen.

Let's go back, internet, you and me babe, let's go back to porkchop sandwiches and unforgivable. C'mon, for old time's sake. Just a little. Yeah. C'mon c'mon. Yeah.

I was going to embed the video for Ghost Town DJ's My Boo here, but my computer is disagreeing with YouTube right now. So, play that song, imaging me captioning it with "this is a pretty good summer jam" and be on your way.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


That cover is so awesome. It's about time for another Summertime Funmertime playlist. Imma do that.

Hey! Happy Memorial Day. What'd you do? Hamburgers? I hope it was hamburgers. I had a ton of fireworks to shoot off and then I didn't even get to. My weekend was monopolized by a trip to our nation's capital.

One of my best friends from high school was getting married in DC. I headed down Saturday for the brotrothal. Remember? You were helping me pick an outfit. I couldn't decide and ended up taking three outfits with me. BE PREPARED.

The trip down was surprisingly easy after I had prepared myself for the nightmare that is X95 traffic I had heard so much about. A quick pit stop for some rollerblade-chat-inspired Diet Mountain Dew was the only real speedbump.

I think my favorite thing I saw as we pulled into DC was the "WE OPEN LATE" Wendy's sign I saw. You know, someone who actually knows how to read correctly might interpret that negatively. A block from there was a crooked, bent, stained sign which read "US CAPITOL ---->" which I also thought was hilarious. Thattaway. Ha.

Washington DC is bizarre. It's clean, no one there could beat me up, and the streets are wildly confusing and round. It's everything Philadelphia isn't. I give it a B-.

The actual wedding was a wedding. There was church (snore) cake (yum) and drunkenness (meh). White people remain terrible dancers. Especially the ones who are either acutely aware, or completely oblivious, to that fact. Overall it was a good wedding. I was rarely bored, the people who were there are some of my favorite people in the entire world, and I think the wedding was a good idea. Nothing like thinking a marriage will end in bitter divorce/murder suicide to ruin a wedding.

In my mind I thought a post wedding drive home was a much more reasonable plan than a hotel room. Hey, I won't be drunk, why not? Why not?! Because it will be three in the morning and you will have a terrifying and harrowing sleephorror drive home. You will have to hang your head out the window like a goddamned golden retriever just to stay awake through Maryland. Yeah, don't do that next time.

Anyway, keep it real homies. Hollerback for a dope playlist. Hope you enjoyed the travelblogue.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Cricket

I love Wilson Valdez. I call him the Cricket. Because he is cricket-like.

I have to go to a wedding this weekend for one of my best friends from high school. It's a little weird that a lot of my friends are family-ing up, and in light of all of this love, and life and reflection I am left with a truly important question.

What should I wear?

I turn to the most obvious fashion icon for my personal needs, Rick Ross.


And while this black on black on black (on black) is working for him, I fear it might be a little played. Ideas? I probably have better fashion sense than you, but who knows, maybe you will accidentally stumble upon something that is brilliant for reasons that are, frankly, beyond your comprehension.

Oh and here's my impression of life:

Did I tell you guys I have a softball team? No? Oh that's because we didn't win until our fourth game. BUT NOW WE DID so hey - I am on a softball team. I am pretty good.