Forecast for the Future

"Every individual without exception bears a potential writer within himself. The reason is that everyone has trouble accepting the fact that he will disappear unheard of and unnoticed in an indifferent universe, and everyone wants to make himself into a universe of words before it's too late. 

Once the writer in every individual comes to life (and that time is not that far off), we are in for an age of universal deafness and lack of understanding."

- Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Sometimes It Snows In April

April snow in upstate NY

Home and relaxing, sorry for the lack of updates... still feeling weird over the lost computer data (aka life knowledge) and trying to meet the needs of family and friends trying to get their hands on some Beaumont time.

Of course, the falling white flakes make me and half of the rest of America born pre-85 think of Prince's masterschmaltz classic "Sometimes It Snows In April", the closing number of 1985's Parade (my somewhat less traditional choice of favorite Prince album).

Best/worst life moment related to this song: driving in a car on the way home from a fake date with an already-boyfriended crush, I put on Prince to demonstrate some musical diversity beyond my expected übercrackerdom tastes. I started with "Kiss", the sparse funk classic widely regarded as Prince's best, if not most well-known, single. Being the tenth track on Parade, we soon made it to the end of the album... at which point I busted out the falsetto and begin singing along to this arresting and way melodramatic song about love and loss and death. To this day I cannot imagine what overcame me to convince myself it would be a good idea to do that, and I would only be more shocked had it not been the second time I'd done such a thing for a girl who I hardly knew (diff songs). I didn't ask at the time, but I'm fairly sure that both women were at least mildly horrified; though, incidentally, both moments were the beginning of long relationships...

Anyway, here's a version of a French group (unknown to me) called Native performing it. Despite the fact that I would likely hate most of Native's output, this song, which already pushes Prince's cheesefactor to its absolute max, seems almost perfect in the hands of such schlockmeisters. My mom says: "Umm, it sounds kinda like religious music... I don't know why you're listening to it." I say: "I am strangely unable to stop listening."

NATIVE : Sometimes it snows in april - Taratata

French group NATIVE covering Prince's "Sometimes it Snows in April"

Here is the actual mp3 which, yes, is unquestionably superior:
Prince - "Sometimes It Snows In April"

And here's an 8 minute MTV Unplugged clip of Prince riffing around, making his way to a brief bit of the song at 6:34.


Finally, on last weirdsoul music-related topic, here's a video of the lead single from Jamie Lidell's new album Jim, which dropped in stores and on the mp3 store yesterday. The song is called "Little Bit of Feel Good" and it continues in the nouveau vibe. I love this strange, beautiful man. Enjoy:

Hoping that when I get home tomorrow night it is sunny and 71 degrees in New York.

Digg this

Monday, April 28, 2008

Week 17: Relaxation and Catch-up

Sixteen weeks of Hyperliving have now concluded and I am finally on vacation. Not from Hyperliving, of course, but from my "real job"--my first vacation of any sort since Christmas.

I definitely need some rest from the breakneck pace of late, so I've decided that this week's Hyperliving is going to be to relax as much as I can and, more importantly, to complete the two Hyperliving weeks that I didn't quite complete: Week 8, Beck, and Week 9, Thank-you Letters. I will finally finish these two tasks this week and come back with the next month of activities at the end of the week.

Also, since I've just lost my computer, it means that I've lost my Hyperliving masterlist of ideas. Seriously. I have a lot of them in my head, but I will mention at this time that I'm again soliciting suggestions from anyone out there, so let me know via comments or email whatever's on your mind.


Digg this

Computer Aliveness: Hard to complain right now...

I have just acted more impulsively than is usual for even me--as the devasting reality that I may have just erased my entire life of the past few years in digital form begins to set in slowly, the thought that I was also without computer began to take hold of me and savage my emotional well-being. And so...

I bought this new fella tonight--a 2.4 Ghz MacBook Pro. I feel spoiled.

It is the fifth computer I've had as an adult but my first new one since I got a Dell Dimension 4100 Pentium III 800 mhz desktop (256mb RAM) in August 2000 to take with me to school--running Windows ME and looking for love. I don't know why I still have this tower, but here it is:

My next machine was a used laptop I received in December 2002 to take with me on my semester abroad in London. It was just weak Celeron processor running Windows 98 SE and had only a cd player, but it did me well for a while. I'm pretty sure this computer is floating around my apartment somewhere but I can't seem to find it anywhere.

After that I got my next computer in September 2005, for $100 from the university where Princess Icy worked. They were upgrading all of their units and throwing out the old ones, so they offered all staff the chance to purchase one for $100. Though this machine was probably from 2002 or 2003, it was a Pentium 4 1.7 ghz with 1 GB ram and two harddrives totaling 120 GB. And most importantly, it ran Windows 2000, meaning that, unlike the other two, it could run iTunes. Up until this point I'd been relying on other people's computers to maintain my ipod, but finally I could control it all on my own. Here it is now below; it ran perfectly until just a few months ago when it began shutting off spontaneously and now, as of last week, seems to have kicked the bucket for good:

There it is at the bottom; note that the monitor is the same 17" monitor I got with my Dell desktop in 2000.

Finally in October 2006 I received "the life-changer"--my very first Mac. For $500, I purchased from a coworker of Shrimp Cracker a nearly 3 year old G4 1 ghz 12" Apple Powerbook with 1.25 GB ram (max) and 120 GB hard drive space (max). Here it is below in darkness next to the bright magic light of my new friend.

This machine literally changed my life. Though already aged when I received it, this machine finally brought me forward in the world, and its previous owner had souped it up enough to extend its lifespan years past the store purchase life. I began carrying this computer everywhere, using it for everything. It brought me immense joy and helped me feel finally like I'd been able to "center" my digital existence in a way that felt natural and right. It also converted me into a full-on Mac man.

I knew that eventually my romance with my G4 would fall apart, but even as recently as Friday it was still going strong and I hoped to have more time with it.

But you can't control the wind--I know that clearly enough. And now I have a new machine, and it's amazing and I am a lucky (though impoverished) boy. The start of a new era.

Digg this

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Computer Deadness: Maximum Sadness

(Note: This is not my computer, though mine is indeed smashed)

Expect a little upcoming interruption in Hyperliving service: my dearly beloved computer died last night--I left the cord in a precarious position in the middle of a walkpath and it was tripped and my computer was yanked to the ground, smashing to its seeming death. It immediately shut off and now when I turn it on, it makes the "Apple sound" but the screen just turns gray and nothing happens. Sadness.

Ironically enough, I just last week bought a 320 GB external harddrive to back everything up, but hadn't yet done so. I said to myself just on Friday when I was riding my bike home that, "I really need to do that on Sunday". The depressing result of my delay is that I may have lost 68 GB of music with hundreds of carefully crafted playlists. Equally important is the loss of all of my precious photos, which carefully document my life from September 2006 to the present. Some of these were taken by others and which I can get back in various ways, but most I can't get back and the rest, about 1500 or so, were photos I took this year for Hyperliving and otherwise. Finally, though there is less of this, lost is all of my non-Internet saved writing... including about 15 fresh pages on Beck I wrote this spring (as well as all of the 150 b-sides/etc making up my mighty Becklog).

I feel pretty devasted right now because I've finally stored my entire life--especially the last year and a half--on that little silver rectangle and it seems like I might have just lost it all.

The short of it all is that I now am temporarily without computer, as my aging P4 Windows 2000 desktop just died last week as well (though not nearly as tragically). I am a finger-trigger away from buying a new one with money I truly do not have (Apple credit cards?) so maybe i'll have something in the next few days... but for the time being I am alone in the world without binary comfort.

I'll check in soon with the rest of what's going on in Hyperliving coming up, though sadly won't be able to post the rest of the photos from the past few days.

Digg this

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Week 16, Day 6 Bike Exercise: Bridging New York

I will update in greater detail when I get a chance, but here's the brief on yesterday:

- Left the house for work around 7:52, biking there via Queensboro/59 St Bridge
- Arrived at work at 8:26

- Left work at 6:49 to meet coworkers for a departing colleague's good-bye drinks at Trailer Park on 23 St
- Headed to Union Square North for Critical Mass bike event at 7:28
- Took photos and left Critical Mass at 8:03

- Biked home via trip over Brooklyn Bridge--last of four main bridges to travel by bike. Traveled at leisurely pace, stopping for photos/views along the way.
- Arrived home at 9:11

Total trip: 17.3 miles

Below is the tripmap and ridiculous in a not-very-interesting way video of half my trip biking over the Brooklyn Bridge. My legs are getting tired.

View Larger Map

An incredibly bumpy ride over the Brooklyn Bridge from Jeffrey Beaumont on Vimeo.

Digg this

Friday, April 25, 2008

Week 16, Day 5 Bike Exercise: Slowly conquering

On Thursday I biked to work via the Queensboro and then biked home down 5th Ave to the Williamsburg Bridge, stopping at Ave C btw 5th & 6th to check out Recycle-A-Bicycle to maybe buy a bike (no luck).

View Larger Map

Another great day of biking, in BEAUTIFUL weather.

Digg this

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Week 16, Day 4 Bike Exercise: A 3 Boro Tour

View of Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge from the Manhattan Bridge

I had to be at the office at 8 am for an event this morning--also meaning that I would need to be wearing a suit, so I decided that I would put off my bike-riding as a post-work activity.

I decided that the parameters for my evening ride should include a trip at least as long as the two 5.9 mile legs to my office and back. As I began thinking about possible routes, I was reminded by a friend that I still needed to sign up for the 5 Boro Bike Ride, which I've been saying for the past six weeks that I really want to do.

Unfortunately, when I went to go sign up I discovered that the Bike Ride in fact sold out on April 4. However, this immediate disappointment gave me inspiration for tonight's ride: a 3 boro tour, which included:
- beginning at my house in Williamsburg,
- running through Queens to the 59th St bridge,
- over that to 2nd Ave
- down 2nd Ave>Christie all way to the Manhattan Bridge
- over that and around lower Brooklyn and make my way home.

View Larger Map

On the Pulaski Bridge from Greenpoint to Queens

Overall the ride was about 13.9 miles and I had a great time. We left around 7:05 pm and got home around 8:35. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, we rode for long enough and at the right time to experience late hour sunlight, and then transitioning into dusk, sundown, and then night time. Everything about the ride was fun and only left me thirsting for more.

Me attempting to liveblog on Manhattan Bridge (didn't work)

A few thoughts I had durng the ride
- I really need to buy myself a decent used roadbike--the one I have works but it's really old and out of shape and I think a better one would make this experience even more fun that its already been
- Riding in Manhattan is WAYYY different than riding in Brooklyn--wayyyy more serious. I've had lots of experience driving cars all across New York, I think way more than most, and I can attest at how crazy and bad most drivers are here--but holy shit, cruising down 2nd Ave today was like a whole other level. No one uses turn signals, people swerve and weave in and out of lanes constantly and, of course, drivers seem to have no regard whatsoever for bicyclists on the road--basically it's a dangerous shitshow, and I'm very glad I was wearing my helmet.
- Next time there's a transit strike, I'll be ready (praying that it's not in Winter again, of course).
- I think a huge reason I like biking more than running is the simple fact that you get to alternate between work/coast as you're going along, which I think is crucial to someone who's still pretty much uncommitted to exercise (let alone the "total body punishment"of serious running).

The best part about the whole trip is that as we began to near home, I felt like I could have kept going for another hour. Maybe next time I will.

Digg this

Week 16 Liveblog Biking: Dusk on Manhattan Bridge

enjoying a beautiful evening going over the manhattan bridge.

Digg this

Week 16, Day 2/3 Bike Exercise: Voyage to Manhattan


Monday was sort of my off-day this week, as I had to be in Manhattan at 7 a.m., so I only biked briefly after work, but it wasn't very substantial. I will either go with six bike days this week or else make it up Sunday. However, I continued to enjoy my return to non-vegan foods by making tacos with the leftover ground beef from the burger making on Sunday. Yum. (Also, two nights of cooking dinner--duh whoa!).


Today was the day that my bike exercising really began, by riding to work. Here's the map:

View Larger Map

Before today I'd neither ridden a bike over one of the NYC bridges nor ridden in Manhattan before, so it was some big steps for me. I also decided that since I work in Midtown, it would make the most sense to take the Queensboro/59th St Bridge rather than the Williamsburger. This was great except that my past trips to Queens had been limited and I knew I was somewhat uncertain about how to get to the entrance of the bridge--and you can see from looking at the map above that it took me a minute to figure out the best way to go.

The trip from my house to my office, according to Google Maps above, appears to be about 5.9 miles, which a good pre-work bike distance. I left the house around 8:38 and got to my desk at 9:13, which I thought was pretty solid considering that my chain went off the deraileur, I wasn't sure where to go, and I stopped to take some photos on the middle of the bridge over Roosevelt Island. When I got to the office, I was a little sweaty but not so bad and I had brought a full change of clothes so I was good and fresh as new as soon as I'd changed. Before going up the elevator, the security guard in my building (not the regular dude) asked, "Do they let you bring your bike insde?" I just shrugged and said, "Sure, of course".

The day went by slowly but I felt buoyed all day long by the energy of having accomplished my ride-to-work goal. I left work at 6:36 and stopped before beginning my journey home to take this photo of protesters picketing outside the horrible bar that Dan and C and I visited on Friday:

The trip home was slightly faster, though it felt considerably more so, if only because I was no longer scared about finding the right way or being late for anything. I got home around 7:10 and felt good to be alive.

Digg this

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Week 16, Day 1 Bike Exercise: Round about Brooklyn

Sunday was a pretty good day.

I woke up in a bit of a funk, but the dark clouds subsided after I cooked my first non-vegan meal of blueberry pancakes, bacon, and dairy'd-coffee for me, Doorknobs and our houseguests. The luscious milky goodness of everything touched deeply in my heart; in some way, each bite of food felt like a revelation. The experience of eating "normal food" again after a week of self-imposed deprivation definitely felt of a piece with listening to music again after the torture of Hyperliving's Week 4 of Silence.

After breakfast I dawdled about the house before returning Bessie to her home. Unfortunately a lot of things were on my mind and I began to drift back into a melancholy doldrums. Though it was supposed to be the beginning of Meetings Week, getting my ass kicked in basketball the day before had made me feel self-conscious about being out-of-shape and so I decided to make a last-minute decision to restructure the week's Hyperliving to an exercise activity. Since I'd been on a few semi-decent bike rides recently to different parts of Brooklyn, I decided that biking would be the perfect way to do it.

Bike Week Begins

Knowing that E-bad is a biketrip lover, I asked her to begin the week with me on a nice Sunday afternoon excursion. She suggested that we ride down to Brooklyn Bridge park and watch the boats for a bit, which sounded perfect. Here's the map of our trip (click on the map to see public Google Map):

View Larger Map

As you can see, the total ride was just a hair shy of 9 miles. Which is pretty short ride in the scheme of rides, but a solid lengthy one for me (as someone who basically never bikes). I had a really great time and could tell that my idea for the week was a good one.

After we got back, we invited some friends over, including our respective new roommates, and had ourselves a nice barbeque of beer and burgers. E-bad and her new roommate Em-Jo got then got a fire started and I broke out the camera to begin practicing some more black and whites:

E-bad and Matt act out a scene from The Tempest

Even without the sleeves, he looks like he's ready to destroy

"Ok, so, a rabbi walks into a bar and orders a beer..."

Digg this

liveblog: bike to work

Digg this

Monday, April 21, 2008

Week 15, Day 7 Veganism: Wrap-up

Could hardly wait until Sunday rolled around and I'd be able to eat this bacon...

Saturday wrapped up my week of veganism, and it went by relatively painlessly. I woke up around 10 and leisurely floated around the house, drinking coffee (with soymilk) and reading the Wall Street Journal outside in the backyard. At noon, I took the upstairs dog with me to McCarren Park and fetched my old furry friend from her own home and walked the two of them around the park before decamping in their demarcated dogzone for some play time.

I stayed at the park for about 90 minutes before good friend M Jaffée came by to say hello and request my involvement in soliciting a pickup basketball game, at which pointed I headed home and wrote this brief blog post about sunshine and dogs and basketball. Basketball was great, and I brought the two dogs with my and chained them to the fence to watch the game, though Weegee spent most of the time booing my poor play.

This is pretty much all I ate on Saturday, coupled with a few beers:


- Tao Hu Hor, from Cheer's Thai. Bean curd skin topped with mushroom bambooshoots, basil sauce and spinach. Basically, this was the single gross/terrible thing I ate all week.

- Amazing vegan cupcake from DPC

I wish I could say that I felt like all I wanted to eat is tofu... but I went to bed that night dreaming of the bacon I would eat the next day.

Digg this

Week 16 Change: Meetings to Bikes

Due to a variety of current circumstances, I've decided to make an executive decision to change this week's Hyperliving week from "Attend a Meeting Daily" to "Get Bike Exercise Daily". I decided yesterday that I'd been feeling incredibly slothful as my running has (surprise!) once again gone into remission. I've been generally biking a little lately, including a few longer rides, so i've decided that I'm going to try and shoot for a solid hour or longer of bike exercise each day... including riding my bike to work in Midtown each day.

I'll let you know how that goes of course. It should be interesting, as I've never even ridden my bike into Manhattan before.

Digg this

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Week 15, Day 6 Veganism: Booze and Zombies


Friday was weird and kind of shitty, though it ultimately blossomed into something nice. It began well thanks to some good coffee w/ soymilk and then a gift of two amazingly tasty vegan cupcakes from my friend Dan as a get-through-veganweek gift she picked up for me from Snice. The work day to follow though was largely terrible for a variety reasons; I didn't eat any lunch because I was first upset and then busy, and then the day was capped off with a ridiculous and laughable multi-hour meeting that was destined to be replayed as an episode of The Office.


C and an unnecessarily camera shy Dan

Thankfully the mood picked up as soon as I left work, as I proceeded immediately with Dan and her friend C to a ridiculous "bar" near my office on the second floor of an Indian restaurant. We drink colorful, noxious drinks with terrible names like "Aphrodesiak" until happy hour closed and then proceeded on in search of food in the great wasteland swathe of land that is Midtown.

At first we tried to go to this Japanese restaurant, tucked away in a basement on I think 49th St. It looked great but the wait was 45 minutes so we went off in search of a Mexican restaurant nearby called Toloache that had the added bonus of also having a great margaritas.

We had a few margaritas at the restaurant (the combination of post-work adrenaline and too many drinks make the details a little blurry, which is why the photos I took are also terrible) and then scoured the menu in search of something I could possibly eat. I ultimately settled on an "Ensalada de Jicama" (jicama-avocado ravioli, mixed greens, orange, meyer lemon avocado radish, marcona almonds, leaf-oil vinaigrette) and fried plaintains. I also ordered rice and beans but didn't eat them partially because I wasn't hungry and partially because the beans had cheese sprinkled on them.


We had a great time and it was definitely an important and necessary way to unwind after a ridiculous day in the office. After a few more drinks, Dan turned in to get some rest before an early morning rise for a weekend trip and I went on to meet other friends for... an absurd movie called Zombie Strippers, featuring none other than former porn star Jenna Jameson and 80s horror star Rob Englund (aka Freddie Krueger).

This movie was as bad as you'd imagine that it should be, although made far more bizarre by its flabbergastingly heavy-handed insertions of pseudo-philosophy--including Jenna Jameson's character reading Nietzsche between strip sets (!!!), a town setting of Sartre, Nebraska (pron. "Sar-tree"), and direct references/quotes/paraphrases to Descartes, Hume, and a number of others.

Suffice it to say that the film was terrible, but it was admittedly more entertaining than many other terrible films I've seen. See the trailer below for some bits of it, though remarkably enough the actual movie was far less dramatic and far more terrible than what you see here (as well as far more poorly produced).

Check out what Jenna's reading if you can

We then went to a bar in Soho and hung out until finally coming home. I topped the night off with salt and vinegar chips and a sandwich from Hana down the street, of eggplant cutlet, sprouts, avocado and spinach.

All in all, the day turned out great and I had completed my sixth day of veganism--only one to go.

Digg this

Week 15, Day 5 Veganism: Revisiting Old Favorites

Thursday, in brief:


- Coffee, with soymilk (starting to get used to this stuff I think)


- Leftover Asparagus/Red Quinoa from previous night


Dad and stepmom were in town for a night on their way home from a trip to D.C. and Gettyburg and we went to get Thai food at Cheer's, the Thai food restaurant next door.

In the 3.5 years that I have lived in Williamsburg, I have almost definitely eaten from Cheer's over 100 times, making my way through most all of the items on the menu. There are still a few though which I've never tried.

My stepmom tried to stay on my vegan train by ordering garlic tofu, and my dad got tom yum soup and a chicken dish. I ordered spring rolls and tofu pad thai, though I later realized halfway through the pad thai that it probably wasn't vegan at all--small pieces of egg in it. I tried to avoid eating all the eggs but I hope that there wasn't anything else "not ok" in this dish and that I didn't push the rules too badly. Feel free and call me out here if you think I fucked up really badly.

Cheer's backyard garden area

Stepmom and Dad

Fried spring rolls, yum.

Tom Yum soup, which I couldn't eat

Stepmom's Garlic Tofu

Dad's chicken dish (can't remember which it was)

My tofu pad thai


After Dad and stepmom went to sleep, Doorknobs and I went out to catch the inaugural weekly party at Hangar Bar being thrown by friends Evan C and Cameron.

Campsleaze mans the decks

I brought the camera along in hopes of getting some further tips from Ben D, who would be there as well. Since the light inside was so low, he recommended that I use that evening as a chance to begin experimenting with black and white since I'd have to use my flash. He showed me how to set the camera to black and white and manually input some settings adjustments to tailor the results, and then walked me through techniques and methods of getting the best results while minimizing excessive flash glow.

I took many photos, and here's three of them, only two of which I like and are focused properly:

Ben D to Doorknobs: "I even pretty much did everything for him and look, he still isn't getting it right."

If I didn't know these three, I'd be certain something else was taking place than what actually was.

This is the look I get when it's time to go home.

Digg this

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Week 15, Day 4 Veganism: Friends Make It Better

Genuine doghead draft

Here's the first of many overdue updates of the past few days of veganism.


Ms. Sweeetheart Fever, Almond Queen

Wednesday was a great day. I came home after work looking forward to a lovely evening of deluxxx vegan stylings in the company of great friends. Among the many friends joining me for dinner was my favorite Californian, Ms. Sweeetheart Fever, who planned to not only eat but also cook our fantastic meal (check out her own foodblog here and linked to the left). But first, a great story about the day.

The day was in and of itself pretty solid, but it was brought to a level of beautiful ridiculousness around 1 pm, when I received in the mail a box of bacon I had special-ordered from a farm in Tennessee. The hilarity about me getting this bacon is probably obvious, working on a number of levels. It came from Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams in Tennessee, a family-owned business producing some amazing meats through a prep process of pork "slow cured using salt, brown sugar, and sodium nitrite and typically aged 9-10 months." I am without doubt a bacon epicure, and I found out about Benton bacon when at Ben D's house a few weeks ago studying photography. Of course, despite my love for cured pig, I have never in my life ordered or even considered mailordering for it, so the facts that I a) went ahead and ordered it, b) had it sent to my office, and then c) received it smack in the middle of a week celebrating non-animal product foods is really just too much. The meat-loving coworker with whom I share an office already thinks I'm crazy for doing this entire project, and she thought my vegan efforts this week were even more so; but nothing else so far has topped the look on her face as she watched me tear open the cardboard box on my desk and begin pulling out pack after pack of juicy, luscious bacon. I spent the rest of the day in half-anguish over the fact that I wouldn't be able to eat any of it.


Fuck Midtown. My day on Wednesday was pretty busy, with meetings all morning and afternoon, and for lunch I couldn't be bothered to be creative or exciting about my choice, so I went with a rather flavorless salad, again from Global Kitchen. Ingredients: spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, balsamic vinigrette. Boring.



Sooooz came directly from work and brought along the "Worm Condo" she'd picked up during work to begin her summer composting.

Carrying the box of bacon on the train home was almost too much, and by the time I got there my brain was overrunning with craziness. Luckily, my friends began arriving soon after and I relaxed a little and got excited again about vegan pleasures.

When discussing food choices for the night with Ms. Sweeetheart, she stressed an important point which I'd largely ignored during my previous Hyperliving week of cooking in February: "We should just make some easy one-pot sort of stuff, because the more time we spending eating / talking / laughing about stuff the better. A twenty minute meal should be plenty." My therapist had me pegged when she told me that I should constantly remind myself that I should always expect that things will take about three times longer than what ever amount of time I think they should take, and Hyperliving Cooking Week was the best example of that, where, with the exception of one night, every meal began late and took ridiculous amounts of time to complete. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but when you're having friends over to share the evening, it's definitely better if you aren't tied up in the kitchen the entire time.

Here is the meal Ms. Sweeetheart chose, from the 101 Cookbooks blog (which she highly recommends that any foodies should check out).

"Tasty Asparagus with Red Quinoa"
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 or 2 14-ounce cans of chickpeas, drained
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch segments
3 cups pre-cooked brown rice >> 3 cups red quinoa
1 cup almond slivers, toasted
fine grain sea salt

Ms. Sweeetheart decided to make a few substitutions to the recipe. One change, as you see above, was substituting the brown rice for red quinoa, which was a nice choice given that I'd never had quinoa before and it was a food staple recommended to me by many vegans in preparation for this week. The other change was more accidental: the recipe calls for seasoning the asparagus with a tahini sauce, which would have been great, but unfortunately, even after a city-wide search tahini sauce was nowhere to be found. Seriously! Sweetheart and Doorknobs canvassed grocerias in Manhattan and the 'Burg but no one seemed to be carrying our sauce backbone, so Sweeetheart and E-bad put their heads together to improvise an alternative based on the meager seasoning possibilities available in my apartment. Ultimately they settled on a mix of lemon juice, nutmeg, ginger, 3 cloves of garlic sauteed in soy "butter", and two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and it turned out great.

Also joining us for dinner were Becca and my great friend Sooooz, who brought dessert and did much of the sous chef preparation.

Here's some photos of the process:

Red quinoa cooking on an open fire--went on first as it takes about 15 min to cook

Soooz at work on garlic

Asparagus, chopped by Soooooz

Onions, also chopped by Soooooz

A little lonely garlic clove

Pre-sliced almonds, preparing to be toasted

Almonds, post-toasting

Chickpeas, beginning to cook

Fully-cooked red quinoa (weird right? Looked to me like wooly-mammoth fur)

Nearly completion: asparagus and onions mixed in with the chickpeas

And finally, the dish (served best with canned Budweiser, of course)

Chatting post game on the question of meat or not meat

Doorknobs definitely prefers meat


Dessert, as I mentioned, was prepared by Sooooz, and it was fucking GREAT. She made vegan cupcakes and, honestly, they were incredible. I was shocked at how moist and delicious they were and all 12 of them disappeared almost immediately. Yay to Sooooz for giving the perfect ending to a special meal.

The last cupcake standing

Digg this

Hyperliving Google Calendar, Click + to Subscribe