The quick-hitting track is unmistakably Jane Addiction, and was inspired by true events. “Etty [Lau Farrell, Perry's wife] had a girlfriend and this girlfriend, as all people do, really wanted a mate, and I think she shortchanged herself an awful lot in life,” Farrell says. “She’s a good-looking woman, she had a career, but when it came to love and romance, she sold herself short all the time and she would reach out to guys that we would scratch our head like, ‘What is she doing with this guy?’ She said, ‘I feel like he’s my soul mate.’ Any time she’d meet a guy she’d say, ‘I feel like he’s my soul mate.’ So I wrote this song.”
And it sounds like a video is on its way:
Farrell already has a video concept in mind for the single. “I want to make something that would go viral; you can have a sense of humor and a creative young man or woman and put together a video. I said, ‘Think about the dating services, how wacky they are. Let’s do a parody of [an] online dating service: quick, simple, inexpensive, hilarious and compelling,’” he says. “So that’s what we’re doing. I think it needs visual stimulation to go along with it.”
By Albert Burneko
It seems fair to say that meatloaf does not enjoy the very best reputation among foodstuffs. You tend to think of it as something harried parents make, and when their kids ask what’s for dinner and are told, they say, “Aw, meatloaf?” and then smother it in ketchup and glumly pick at it with their forks for a while before asking to be excused so they can go misspell things on the internet. It’s necessity food. Functional food. Sad food.
There are a few different reasons for this. The simplest is that people often screw meatloaf up, primarily by trying too hard to make it something other than a big loaf of meat, starchy filler, and flavoring ingredients. The most depressing is our deep-seated cultural loathing of things that are good. The most perverse is meatloaf’s traditional popularity: Everybody’s parents made it; everybody got bored of it; everybody associated it with their harried parents and boring Chore Food; everybody abandoned it as soon as he or she could; everybody rounded into adulthood, got over their post-adolescent need to appear to have only the very most refined tastes, thought, “Damn, meatloaf is fucking good,” and then, “Damn, I don’t know how to make meatloaf,” and then, “Damn, I wish I was my mom so I could make meatloaf for myself,” and then, “Wait, that’s like a paradox or whatever”; and then everybody had a depressing grilled chicken breast with steamed fucking kale instead.
And friends, that is a goddamn tragedy. Because when you step away from the conception of meatloaf as a depressing undifferentiated protein mash for sad people, here’s what you see: a big, greasy heap of rich red meat, roasted crispy on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside, filled with all kinds of tasty additions and topped with whatever the hell you like. A hedonistic, decadent indulgence, right? Slavering caveman food! Refinement flung to the dogs!
We like meatballs, we like hamburgers, we like things that are bigger than other things, and meatloaf is essentially like those first two things only a little bit different and a lot bigger, especially when you make one that is obscenely, nigh disturbingly large, as we are going to today. So, let’s reconsider meatloaf. Also, let’s have some fucking meatloaf.
Now, dump four—yes, four, damn your eyes!—pounds of meat into the largest bowl-like vessel you have. Meatloaf isn’t called meatloaf by accident: the generic wordmeat gives you some wiggle room to account for your own taste and preferred proportions. It’s common to use a mix of beef, pork, and veal for meatloaf—veal for juiciness and gelatin (which gives a good meatloaf its soft, moist texture), pork because pork is most of what makes life worth living, and beef because someone has to do something about all these damn cows all over the place—and that’s what I recommend, too. How you go about assembling that combination, and in what proportions, is entirely up to you, but you absolutely cannot go wrong if you buy four pounds of your local grocer’s or butcher’s prepackaged “meatloaf mix” or “meatloaf blend” or some such, which is typically mostly beef, plus smaller, roughly equal amounts of pork and veal.
Or, hey, get four pounds of ground chuck if you want. Or two of chuck and two of ground turkey, for the sake of pretending that you are attending to your physiological wellness with this giant greasy log of pulverized meat. Your meatloaf will be dramatically drier and crumblier this way, and not as flavorful, but it will still probably taste good. (But, really. Put some veal in there. It’s evil and you’re going to go to hell for it, but it also tastes like it is worth eternal damnation.)
So now your bowl is full of ground meat. It’s time to add other things to the bowl. That’s awfully broad, and we’re going to get more specific about exactly what things to add in just a moment, but first you need to know this: A terrific, not-so-secret rule of thumb with meatloaf is that you want one whole cup (or damn near close to it) of Things That Are Not Meat for each pound of meat in your meatloaf. So if you have four pounds of meat, you want four cups or so of Things That Are Not Meat. Things That Are Not Meat have the effect of preventing the meatloaf from turning into a dense, chewy, rubber tire of a meal, and also, conceptually, help you feel better about calling it a meatloaf—made from something not so dissimilar to dough, bread-like or cake-like when completed—rather than a giant meatball or a meatheap or a meatpile or a trio of sad farm animals that wandered in front of a riding lawnmower and shouldn’t we have a funeral for them or something.
So, what to add? One big onion, Spanish or sweet or white, diced small—that’s about a cup of Things That Are Not Meat. A few cloves of minced garlic—this is a negligible addition to your Things That Are Not Meat, so we won’t count it because I dislike doing math with fractions more than absolutely necessary. A half-cup or so of minced carrot. Whisk three eggs with a fork in a small bowl or mug, and pour ‘em in there. Two glugs of milk. And, finally, two and a half cups or so of bread crumbs or (fun!) saltine crackers out of which you bashed the ever-loving shit with a hammer or some other implement of violence while they cowered helplessly inside a sturdy plastic bag and made vain amends to their merciless cracker gods. Or, uh, croutons are good too.
(A note here: You can scale back the starchy ingredients a bit if you want to add some chopped bell pepper or celery or friggin’ kale or whatever-the-hell instead. Don’t make the mistake of scaling them all the way out, even if you think that doing so is going to make your meatloaf more healthful in an Atkins-y kind of way or more meatily macho or whatever dumb idea would prompt you to consider such a thing. The starchy ingredients are key.)
Now, season your unconstructed loaf. Be generous with salt, black pepper, and paprika. If you want to throw some crushed red pepper or cayenne or thyme or parsley in there, have at it. Don’t go nuts. If I see you dumping fenugreek in your meatloaf, we’re quits.
That’ll do for the ingredients. Now roll up your sleeves and knead that big gross mass of crud with your dainty bare hands until the ingredients are just barely mixed together. Gunning for an even distribution of Things That Are Not Meat in your meatloaf will be the death of it: you will end up with a dense, tough, bottomlessly depressing protein boulder, and you will sob as you eat it unless you are a British person, in which case you will think that all it lacks is a nice cup of hot dirtwater to dip it in, and also that there is a second “i” in aluminum. What you want is for the ingredients to be mixed together just well enough to form a coherent mass in the bowl—no loose pockets of onion or bread- or cracker-crumbs, no puddle of scrambled egg at the bottom of the bowl—and that’s it. Be very gentle.
So now you have a large meaty wad in a giant bowl in your kitchen, and it looks like Moby Dick’s brain, and it’s kind of making you uncomfortable, and you want to know what to do with it. Generations of your forebears made the grave mistake of squeezing this wad into a deep, narrow, form-fitting loaf pan, where it would stew in its own rendered juices and come out mushy and partially dissolved, rather than baking and forming the nice brown crust that anything that calls itself a loaf is required to have. You will not be following in their footsteps. Instead, you are going to hand-mold this thing into a vague, charmingly idiosyncratic loaf shape on an aluminum foil-lined hotel pan or roasting pan or rectangular cake pan that is big enough not to squeeze the loaf on any side. (Don’t use a shallow cookie sheet here. Four pounds of meat are going to release an awful lot of liquid, and you don’t want it overflowing into the nethers of your oven.) Again, as with the kneading of the ingredients, be gentle with your loaf. Don’t roll it around or press it roughly or squeeze it. Just gently form it into a loaf shape. Hell, if you used a big round bowl to mix your ingredients, you could just upturn it onto the baking pan and admire the rustic, impressionist hemisphericity of your creation.
And now, cook this giant thing in your preheated oven for, oh, about 90 minutes. If you have a fancy thermometer, you can call the meatloaf done whenever the middle of it gets to around 160 degrees. Or, you can be less of a dork about it and wait 90 minutes, prod the thing with a fork, go, “Eh, it’s probably done,” and move on to the next paragraph.
So your meatloaf has formed a nicely browned crust and smells incredible and it’s all you can do to restrain yourself from climbing into the oven with it. Is it time to eat? No! First, you must open the oven, squirt regular old by-God ketchup all over the top of the meatloaf, and then cook it for another 15 minutes. Some people like to use tomato paste or diced or sliced tomatoes here, acting on some woefully misbegotten notion that anything coated with a half-gallon of regular old ketchup is insufficiently fancy for discerning palates. Those people are stupid. Ketchup tastes goddamn incredible on meatloaf, which is meatloaf and not fucking steak tartare, so put some goddamn ketchup on it and quit being a twit. In 15 minutes the ketchup will have darkened attractively, and the meatloaf will be done.
Oh, so juicy. So soft and savory and crispy-on-the-outside and, er, ketchuppy. Enjoy. Put what’s left in your refrigerator (in, like, the biggest airtight container the world has ever known); tomorrow, hew a thick slice from the wonderful brown mass, sock it between two pieces of regular old sandwich bread, and wash it down with a can of cheap beer and a grin wider than the outside. This, friends, is not bare, dismal nutriment. This is rich, meaty, glorious food! Food to be eaten with a smile, if perhaps not with a scepter.
So It looks like we are all set for another four years of Obama. This isn’t as ground-breaking as my prediction that the Dodgers would trade for Adrian Gonzalez (Yes I posted to Facebook that “A-Gone” was on his way back to the West Coast at about 12:51 on August 31… Hours before it was hinted at online and at least a day before it became official.) But this Irish bookmaker has me beaten:
But if gambling isn’t your thing, this personal letter from the Commander in Chief to a little girl that will surely bring a teat to your eye:
Happy Voting Day!
Holy Cow. The Karate Kid turned 51 yesterday.
I can’t believe that “Daniel… with an L” is eligible for AARP membership. It just doesn’t seem right.
Also from last week:
Axl Rose broke his hip.
Andrew McCarthy and Judge Reinhold sat in the park and played cribbage.
And the boys from Duran Duran ate dinner at 4:40 every afternoon.
By Albert Burneko
You go to a ballpark or amusement park or carnival and ask for some nachos, and you get a plastic tub with three compartments: a large one holding a fistful of tortilla chips, and smaller ones holding, respectively, molten cheese-food and a tablespoon of canned dog food that you are obliged to pretend is chili. You dip the chips in the toppings: a dunk in the chili, then a delicate maneuver in which you try to get some cheese onto the chili without the weight and surface tension of the pool of cheese pulling the chili off the chip altogether and creating a brown chili-cheese stew that somehow manages to diminish the appeal of both components. (Unless, of course, you’re one of these people who uses a plastic utensil to mount dip on a chip, which, I will have you know, is illegal in 48 states.) And apart from the uncomfortable sense that a grownup has no more business eating these things than leaping into the bouncy castle at a 6-year-old’s birthday party, they’re delicious.
Similarly, you go to your friendly neighborhood Tex-Mex chain and order nachos, and you get one of two things: either an ineffably sad plate of tortilla chips covered in slightly rubbery melted cheese and sliced jalapeños, or a tray containing the mulched remains of a trio of crunchy tacos that have been attacked by a chainsaw-wielding maniac. In either case, it’s abundantly clear that you’re not being served some ambitious culinary venture. Nachos, for better or worse, are just chow, for tasting good and eating a lot. And in either case, they’re delicious.
This is the wonderful thing about nachos (well, OK, the second wonderful thing, after eating them): When you’re working with tortilla chips and melty cheese, things can only ever getso bad. The worst plausible plate of nachos—bland cheese, stale chips, sharing them with Jim Gray—is still compulsively eatable to an absurd degree. And, sure, the converse is true—even the very best plate of nachos isn’t exactly the finest thing you’ll ever eat (unless, of course, you are a British person)—but unless you’re piling radioactive waste on your Tostitos, you’ll likely never have a truly bad nacho in your life.
What does this mean for your own nacho-making efforts? (I guess this is where I should tell you that you’re making nachos.) It means you essentially cannot fail. Your nachos, even if they are nothing more than a fun-sized bag of Cool Ranch Doritos into which you accidentally spill a jar of Old El Paso queso dip, are gonna taste good. Bonanza! Now go to the store and get some nice ingredients, ya bum.
Here’s the thing. Yes, you can choose to drape a rubbery sheet of American cheese-food on top of some Fritos, stick ‘em in the microwave for 45 seconds, and have a tasty snack, and if that’s what you want, go for it. But, you can do that any time. This time, let’s pretend we’re making an actual meal for grownups instead of something for hyperactive toddlers to eat with their filthy mitts. Why not? You’re not going to regret it. The worst realistic scenario still ends with you eating a plate of tortilla chips covered in melty cheese.
* * *
Here’s one way to make wonderfully tasty nachos. It’s not particularly ambitious. In fact, it’s quite conventional. It is a safe venture beyond microwaving a plate of American-cheese-topped Fritos, but stops 10 miles short of asking you to buy a duckling and force-feed it corn for a year so that you can harvest its foie gras, slice it atop some home-roasted tortilla wedges with taleggio cheese and black truffles, and call it Les Naches des Flouveauxor some shit. It’s a launching point for your own pleasurable futzing. Try it. Have fun with it. Make your own additions. Put some chopped mango in there. Go nuts. Think to yourself, “This is gonna be a bad idea,” and then marvel when it is not.
To begin with, acquire some shredded chicken. This may be accomplished several different ways. My recommendation is that you top some boneless, skinless thighs with onions, garlic, a heaping tablespoon of tomato paste, and spices, cover them with beer, leave them to simmer for a few hours, and then shred them with a fork, but if you wish to buy a rotisserie chicken of indeterminate age from the warmer at your supermarket and pull it apart with your hands, that’s your prerogative. Truly, it’s going to taste good either way, because you are going to put it between tortilla chips and melted cheese. But, really, if you have the time, do the simmering-in-beer thing. (You have the time. Do the simmering-in-beer thing. It tastes incredible. Don’t be a jerk.)
Now, spread some tortilla chips on a baking pan or cookie sheet. The temptation here is to pile as many chips on there as the vessel will hold, but you must resist. There are few things more depressing in life than finding a layer of naked tortilla chips at the bottom of your nachos, after all the glorious toppings have been consumed (one of those few things is the realization that you are going to eat them anyway), and this is what happens when you use more chips than will comfortably form a single, only mildly overlapping layer on a cookie sheet or baking pan. If sticking to that single, only mildly overlapping layer means that you wind up with extra chips, you can always break out a second pan (if you have one), or save your leftover chips for the next time you neglect to stock your home in advance of a hurricane.
Now, working liberally and with no particular concern for perfect evenness, top the chipswith, in order: shredded chicken, black beans (from a can), sliced black olives (from a jar), chopped scallions, corn (yes, dammit, corn), sriracha (yes, dammit, sriracha), a shamefully excessive amount of shredded pepper jack cheese (like, fucking piles and piles of it, just all the shredded pepper jack cheese there ever was, great obscene scoops of it that you cradle in your hands and hold up to display them to the heavens that are powerless to stop you and you make an evil moo-hoo-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha sound and let the cheese rain down upon the chips and pretend that you are the Snow God casting judgment upon the unfaithful), and then also some sliced pickled jalapeños. You add these last so that the heat-averse may pluck them off and set them aside without disturbing the eventual Great Blanket of Melted Cheese. Also because they look cute atop the towering, faceless white drifts of pepper jack.
There will be more things to add, but now it is time to pop the nachos into the broiler until the cheese is all melty and bubbly, but not until it is burned. A few minutes, maybe? Stay close by. Don’t let the cheese burn. A little bit of browning is OK, but burnt cheese is unforgivable.
What you have created at the exact moment that you remove the steaming tray of nachos from the broiler is a near-perfect foodstuff, and if you wanted to stop there and sit on your kitchen floor mechanically shoving nachos into your gaping maw in a state of visible arousal, no one could blame you, although there is a fair chance that they will give each other the side-eye and shuffle toward the door, never to return, the Puritans. However, now’s a good time to add some things that don’t belong in a hot broiler, in the following order:
Fresh salsa or pico de gallo. It looks pretty, tastes great, and is wonderful. If you made your own, gold star for you! But if you bought a tub at the supermarket, that’s perfectly fine, too.
Guacamole. Well, a simple version, anyway. Avocado, chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt; mash these together in a bowl, and pile great heaping globs of the result across the cheese-field of your nachos.
Sour cream. A few healthy dollops here and there.
More gorgeous ruby-red droplets of sriracha. “Ooh, that’s not reeeeal hot sauce! Mew mew mew!” Shut up and put in on there, OK?
More finely chopped cilantro. It smells good and it tastes good, and it will help you weed out the genetic weirdos for whom these things are not true so that you can coldly and cruelly excise them from the circle of your acquaintanceship. Also it looks good. All agree on this point.
* * *
And … there. Your nachos are complete. Use a spatula to separate portions onto plates and serve them with cold beer. If you happen to lose your capacity for conscious thought among the gooey, greasy, glorious strands of stretchy melty cheese shortly thereafter, that’s perfectly understandable—but if you don’t, spare a moment to congratulate yourself for having taken the impossibility of failure as an invitation to do more, and not as permission to do less. You hero, you. You’ve earned this feast.
Albert Burneko is an eating enthusiast and father of two. His work can be found destroying everything of value in his crumbling home. Peevishly correct his foolishness firstname.lastname@example.org.
Behold the world’s most comprehensive guide to Trick or Treat Trades…
By Jamie Butow, The Bakersfield Californian
As I was diverted around the two-car crash that closed the intersection of Stockdale Highway and Coffee Road Monday morning, I had no idea that what transpired there earlier would consume my day, and this column.
Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Californian reporter Rachel Cook posted a story on the crash on the BakersfieldCalifornian.com breaking news blog noting that 18-year-old Breana Webb had been killed early Monday morning when her car was hit by a suspected drunken driver heading the wrong way on Coffee Road.
It didn’t take us more than 30 seconds on Facebook to see that Webb was a former student at Frontier High School. Her profile, minus a few photos, was private.
So I went to Twitter and found Webb’s profile, which was open for anyone to read.
The first thing you notice is her profile photo — a young woman biting candy off a candy bra of another young woman.
And then there’s the last tweet sent about 12:30 a.m. Monday, just about three hours before the crash:
“Dude. Me & Jessica rule at drinking games.”
It’s at this point I can only sit at my desk and stare at the computer screen.
A young woman is dead. Her family and friends are in pain and they are publicly tweeting about their sadness, grief and contempt for the other driver. Police took Martin Juarez, 33, into custody following the crash.
Her friends want Juarez to serve life in prison for drinking and driving. They want him held responsible for Breana’s death.
But in examining the social media profiles of Breana and her friends, another side of the story starts to take shape. Their public profiles display them as the young adults they are — their time divided between school, athletics, putting up Halloween decorations with their families, and partying all night with their friends.
“We all gotta stop drinking and driving. It’s stupid and were losing people cuz of it. That should be enough for us to stop,” one of Breana’s friends later posted on Twitter.
I’m not here to lay blame at anyone’s feet. I expect writing this column will generate comments and emails for bringing this to light. I understand.
I’ve done my share of partying. The difference is that 20 years ago there was no social media site to post on, no detailed web history of our lives.
In 2012 there is a new field to play on. Social media has opened our lives in ways we never imagined. While the police department is investigating, and unable or unwilling to release more information, people are turning to sites like Facebook and Twitter to learn what happened. On Monday, we learned a lot on Twitter.
We learned the names of the two friends in the car with Webb, Jessica and Tyler.
We learned that Jessica was home, and asking her friends to come to her house Monday morning after the crash. Jessica even posted her address on Twitter. Californian reporter Jason Kotowski went to the house to talk to her but was told to leave.
We learned that Tyler was seriously injured. There has been no official word, but based on friends’ tweets, fears of nerve damage have been ruled out and it looks like Tyler will be OK physically.
We learned there will be a fund-raiser to help Webb’s family with funeral expenses at 5 p.m. Friday at the Park at River Walk.
We learned Breana’s friend Cassie organized a candlelight vigil held Monday night. We learned Cassie’s phone number.
We learned where Breana was Sunday night, and that the person whose house she was at was using Twitter to invite people over to drink. “I got an address if youre trynna drink,” he posted late Sunday night.
We learned the address of that house. No one answered the door at the southwest Bakersfield house when a reporter visited Monday.
We learned from the host’s Twitter feed that the last thing he said to Breana was, “Drive safe. Bye.”
Then we saw his agony unfold on Twitter as he learned about the crash later that morning.
We read dozens of posts from teenagers swearing they would never drink again.
Scrolling back to tweets from Breana and her friends over the weekend, we see references to sex and drugs, and photos of parties.
I held my breath and thought of my own 8-year-old. I thought of something happening to him and how my heart would break. I swore to continue to teach him about what can and can’t be seen online, and how to use social media responsibly.
I thought of all the job candidate resumes I’ve moved to the “no” pile even before I ever spoke to them. Their social media profiles spoke for them.
I thought about the ladies in the Intro to Social Media class I recently finished teaching at the Levan Institute. Many of them took the class to keep in touch with their kids and grandkids.
I showed them how to find their kids and grandkids on Facebook and Twitter. On Monday while reading tweets from Breana’s friends, I saw messages like “14 grams of bud, 3 grams of wax and two handles of Bombay sb is about to be wiiiid …” and “I have tape on my nipples.”
All public. All out there for everyone to see.
One of the teens connected to Breana is 17 and pregnant. Her profile photo displays her bare belly, with the tagline, “My son is my everything.” Based on her tweets, it appears she’s taking classes through independent study. She adores her younger sister, and is desperate for her son to be born (every mom can relate to that last month of pregnancy). She tweets about having had to recently grow up and get her “s*** together.”
I saved screenshots of a lot of this. It’s part of my job as a journalist.
I sit here, knowing that what I’m writing will anger some people for shedding a negative light on these teens. But my hope is that it helps parents see what their children are doing, and shows us all how transparent and permanent our lives are online.
About two hours before the crash, Jessica tweeted, “whenever Breana & I play drinking games together we beat ass. and if we don’t, it’s a close ass game.”
Nothing can undo any of this. There is never any chance to go back, but we can do better going forward.
Jamie Butow is the community engagement coordinator for The Bakersfield.com Network, a social media junkie and the mom of an active 8-year-old boy. Email her at JButow@bakersfield.com. Follow her at Facebook.com/JamieButow2, Twitter @JamieButow, and on Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc…
So kill me… I enjoy reading food blogs. But the latest post from the guy that brought us the Bacon Weave Pizza and Deep Fried Lasagna doesn’t feel quite right. I don’t think the King would like it very much if you were to steal Whopper and Chicken Sandwiches with out taking part in his survey. Maybe I’m wrong? Or too old to get how this isn’t illegal? C’mon… I used Napster back in the day.
I guess this doesn’t really matter to me anyway. I can’t even take advantage if I wanted to. We have no Burger King in town anymore. It has been shuttered in order to bring us a certain “Gay-friendly” chicken place.