Fresh Pepper?

*** abandoned ***

spice of life
Pushing 30.
Practicing law.
Saving for culinary school.

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salt of the earth links
G. Flasher
prarie b.
Sarah B.

Frank Bruni

old spice?



Sometimes they work

I'm a free-born man of the U.S.A.!

Transfer is available to the 1, 7, 9, A, C, E, N, R, Q and W trains.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Open Up Your Heart And I'll Set You Free

Earlier in the week, my buddy asked me what I thought of the Supreme Court decision not to review one of the most important patent cases currently pending. I said I had no opinion and really hadn't been following it.

Last night in a bar my buddy J-Mart wondered aloud, "Who sang that 'I Wanna Sex You Up' song?"

I immediately shouted, "Color Me Badd with two d's!"

I wish I had that enthusiasm for patent law.

Monday, January 30, 2006

My Hooptie Rollin', Tailpipe Draggin'
I am a pastry GODStupid kids fucked up a perfectly good photo
My grandfather has never been too interested in his family.

As a child, I wasn't allowed to drink his soda or eat his potato chips. You knew they were his because he used to write his initials on everything he bought. If you were at his house and you were hungry, my grandmother would cook you something.

He has boxes of pictures that I have always wanted to borrow but I'm still not allowed to touch his stuff. He gets very anxious if you even look at anything he owns.

I came up with a plan. Every Sunday while they cut up the dessert I make, I grab a handful of his photos and stick them in my bag without telling him. I take them home, scan them, and bring them back the next week. Sadly, most of his photos are of his motorcycles, televisions, and places he lived.

This week I made a few fruit tarts. I flavored the pastry cream with real vanilla beans and Chambord. While they were eating, I found a beautiful photo of my mother and my uncle as children sledding down a hill in front of an old car. It's one of the rare pictures where my mother looks happy as a child. When I scanned it in, I noticed that on the back of the picture my grandfather wrote, "Betty and Al's car they gave us a few months ago."

Like I said, he's never been too interested in his family.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

An Axekiller Adventure

Last week during a storm, a tree fell across one of the trails that I like to run and bike. So I tied my axe across my back yesterday morning and headed for the trail to remedy the problem.

I used to have a job in which I worked outdoors and learned how to swing an axe. I was 16 at the time and my boss said that he wouldn't let us use a chainsaw for liability reasons. Now that I look back on it, I think he just wanted me to learn and appreciate the old-fashioned way of doing things.

Yesterday I was pleased to discover that I can still swing an axe with surgical precision. And for a few moments there, in the woods alone with my axe, I felt like a man.

That is, until I got home and realized I had three blisters on my left hand which meant I had to wear gloves to roll out my tart crusts.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I've Been Drinking My Rum, A Def Son Of A Gun

Last night I made Bananas Foster for my family.

Bananas Foster is one of the dishes that I used to make when I lived alone in Manhattan if I brought a girl home after dinner and thought I might get lucky. It requires very little preparation and it's impressive because you have to flambé the rum.

And remember that if you think the woman needs a little more alcohol to get her in the mood, don't fully flambé the rum.

Last night I realized that the only licking that would happen would be the dog licking the bowl when I was finished. My life is over.

I never thought a dessert with rum, brown sugar, and ice cream could have made me so depressed.

Friday, January 27, 2006

On And On Until The Break Of Dawn

Yesterday I had to conduct a deposition, which means that I have to sit down with a court reporter and ask a witness a bunch of questions under oath.

When I realized that I had to fill another half an hour (strategic reasons) and I was almost out of questions, I did what any smart lawyer does: I took a break. I called the partner in charge of the case to make sure that I asked all of the questions we needed.

Then he said, "Do you think you have enough to go another half an hour?"

"Yes, I do," I replied. "But that's the first time a man has ever asked me that question and that's the first time I've ever answered it honestly."

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Got Every Man In Here Wishin'

An open letter to my friend who sent me on a blind date last night:

Dear Friend:

Are you insane?

That girl looked like a model. She was one of the most beautiful girls I've ever seen in real life. Don't you know how the league system works?

I was sitting in the restaurant actually feeling bad that I was wasting this girl's time. People at other tables were murmuring, "He must be rich or have a gigantic penis." I think the waiter thought I had a gun pointed at her under the table -- he looked directly at her and asked in a low voice, "IS EVERYTHING OK HERE?"

When I went to the men's room after the main course, I didn't expect her to still be at the table when I got back.

I didn't even try to kiss her at the end of the night because I just didn't think it would be fair.

Let's recap Fresh's life so we can get this right next time: Fresh makes decent money. Fresh lives in his parents' basement. Fresh is not that bright. Fresh is not eloquent and tends to use phrases like "cock ring" and "Astroglide" in casual conversation with your family.

But thanks anyway,

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Check The Rear View Mirror, Check The Gold Tooth Display

I interviewed with a company (not a firm) yesterday for the first time in my career.

The street was named after the company.

The company logo was carved into the shrubs in front of the building.

A sign at the reception desk politely warned that all visitors would be subject to search on their way out of the building.

My visitor's pass, which was to be worn at all times, read "ESCORT REQUIRED AT ALL TIMES."

I was shown the "new style" conference room, which had couches, bean bag chairs, and a conga drum.

When I asked my first interviewer what he liked most about his job, he paused for over ten seconds and said, "I have a really short commute."

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
This past weekend I made an orange custard tart with whipped cream and a banana walnut tart.

The whipped cream was flavored with Grand Marnier.

There are a bunch of kids under 5 in my extended family. I always used to tell the parents whenever I made a dessert that had booze in it, but now I just hope the little fuckers eat enough of it to pass out.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Wherever We Go, We Bring The Monkey With Us

I have a friend that is an endless source of dubious medical advice.

Friend: You should never taste your own semen. Your body will detect it as a foreign substance and then it kills all of the semen it has stored in your body.

Fresh: That's ridiculous. But if I thought that were true, I'd be putting a spoonful in my coffee every morning.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Iron League, Huh? Lotta Fights?

I went to a Trenton Titans minor league hockey game last night.

They played Def Leppard. They played Bruce. They played so much Bon Jovi that at one point they showed an entire Bon Jovi music video on the Jumbotron.

The girl selling beer had the longest, most ornate nails I've ever seen. And gold, lots of gold. She didn't check my ID.

There were many fights. There were many ejections. There was a lot of blood left on the ice. One player was removed on a stretcher.

I didn't have a hot dog, but I had a Titan Dog!

Everyone in section 117 received a free gallon of windsheild washer fluid.

A bunch of New Jersey girls skated around between periods and threw t-shirts into the crowd. They had exposed midriffs. They had a lot of makeup on. Their accent was so thick, they didn't pronounce the second "t" in "Titans." I loved them all.

Great, GREAT night.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Skills To Pay The Bills

This is a historic day. Today I am halfway through my student loans.

After 4 years and 5 months of practicing law, I have exactly $55,234.89 worth of student loans left.

I would like to thank my parents for letting me live in their basement, the many attorneys I have worked for in the past that have failed to notice how incompetent I am and continued to employ me regardless of my attitude and shoddy work, and the many women who have paid me for my cunnilingus skills over the years.

Ok, I made that last one up.

In celebration, I spent all day at work yesterday researching culinary schools. Can anyone cut me a check for 55 grand?

Friday, January 20, 2006

Oprah Does My Laundry

I was on a phone conference with a partner and opposing counsel yesterday. The opposing counsel was irate with our latest set of document requests.

Opposing Counsel: I can't believe you served us with this laundry list of requests this late in the game.

Partner: First of all, it's four requests, it's not a laundry list. Secondly,
what the hell is a laundry list? I don't make a list of my laundry, I just drop it off and they wash it for me. They don't make a list of it. What the hell are you talking about?

It was one of the few days at work I felt like I actually learned something.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

'Twas Brillig

My firm has a tradition where people bring in random treats for the entire firm. The person sends an e-mail around saying what they brought in. It's a nice custom and reminds me that I work for a small, friendly firm where most of the people are pretty nice.

Yesterday I made a batch of mini cream puffs for the entire firm. I even brought a pastry bag to the firm so I could fill the puffs first thing in the morning. I sent an e-mail around saying that there were cream puffs in the lunchroom. The subject of my e-mail was "O Frabjous Day!"

I did not get one "Callooh! Callay!" in return. Not ONE.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Today You Tell Me Something, Y Mañana Otra Cosa

I've been brushing up on my French lately because I want to visit Paris this summer. I have learned that I interact with many people every day who have English as their second language so I should use simple phrases that are easy to understand.

At the restaurant when the waiter asks you if you want another bottle of wine:
Hard to understand: I'm fine with the water, thanks.
Easy to understand: No.

At the gas station:
Hard to understand: Can you please direct me to the men's room?
Easy to understand: Bathroom?

At the bagel store when the girl asks what you want:
Hard to understand: I want to take you home, kiss every inch of your dark skin , put my hands on your ass and pull you into my face until you scream with pleasure in a language I don't understand.
Easy to understand: Large decaf -- cream and sugar.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Your Body's On Time And Your Mind Is Appealing

My friend Nutmeg was in town yesterday so I took her out to see the Bodies exhibit, which consists of a bunch of dissected human bodies in various poses.

At one point, I stepped aside for a minute and she noticed I was troubled.

Nutmeg: Are you ok?
Fresh: Yeah, I just got a little queasy back there.
Nutmeg: What was it? The cancerous penis?
Fresh: No, that fat girl bent over right in front of me and she had a horrible lower back tattoo.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Welcome To This World

Yesterday I was eating a lovely meal in Manhattan with my two brothers and a few friends when my buddy looked at his phone and said, "Hey, I have to go. My wife's water broke."

We paid the check and drove to the hospital in a hurry. I had the pleasure of driving so I ran a bunch of red lights and passed a bunch of cars on one-lane roads. Good times.

When we pulled up in front of the hospital my buddy said, "Give me your camera in case she gives birth right away."

I looked at my camera and thought, "But it's got pictures of the tarts I made this weekend! How am I going to post them on my blog?"

It was one of those "Oh my Lord my life is completely empty" moments.

I gave him the camera.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

The Girl Is Crafty Like Ice Is Cold

Yesterday in Toys R Us while waiting on line to buy my nephew a present, I noticed that the lady in front of us in line had an American Idol Barbie.

When I pointed this out to my mother, she said, loud enough for the entire store to hear, "I wonder if they have a porn star Barbie."

I said, "I wonder where I get my inappropriate sense of humor from."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I'm Big Bank Hank, I'm Everywhere

I've gained ten pounds since October. I wasn't too concerned -- ten pounds is nothing, right?

I got into the habit of taking my bicycle to the grocery store whenever I need anything. It's only a mile away and it's good for me and the environment.

Last night I had to make a grocery run when I discovered that we were out of sugar AND flour (I was making my sweet tart crusts for the weekend -- or pâte sucrée for those in the know).

On the bike ride home with 5 pounds of sugar and 5 pounds of flour in my backpack, I realized that 10 pounds is a lot of fucking weight. Shit, I need to start dieting.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Masturbation Is Sex With Someone You Love

I visited the Hustler store in Miami earlier this week. Taking into account my single status and the probability of spending the rest of my life alone, I skipped the slutty lingerie and went straight to the masturbation section. I ended up picking up some Jack Jelly to try out.

The commercial lubricants are great -- I almost invested in in Boy Butter the first time I tried it -- but there is something to be said for the thrill of being a teen and discovering something new that wasn't meant for masturbation.

Lubriderm has a nice, smooth feel and smells pleasant. But it wears out too quickly and needs reapplication.

Vaseline provides the best viscosity and never wears out, but cleanup is unpleasant.

Conditioner (do not add water) is easy to clean up but is not thick enough.

There was that unfortunate incident with Flexall 454.

Abolene may be the best thing you can buy in CVS: it's a solid makeup remover that melts into a creamy liquid on contact with the skin. Highly recommended.

Dish soap is pretty good but remember to put it back on the sink, it looks weird in the bathtub or bedroom.

Growing up in a half-Italian household you would think that I've tried olive oil, but it was expensive and I was afraid to touch it for anything not related to dinner.

When I asked some friends what they're used, they came back with these:

Pink once told me to use Vicks VapoRub, but I haven't tried that
out yet. But he's never steered me wrong in the past.

The Gargoyle, without hesitation, suggested Pam cooking spray. I'll have to add that to my shopping list.

My friend JR said that he likes Cheese Whiz in the new squirt bottle. "But," he said, "It helps with cleanup if you have a dog." I'm not sure if he was serious.

T-Nice wrote, "Pretty much anything that is somewhat of a liquid and can be found in a bathroom."

Horn said, "I tried honey once. It was absolutely horrible, the whole thing was in slow mo...if thats how it's going to be when I reach my 60's, I'll kill myself."

Finally, Red wrote me an e-mail saying that he had once used "Shit that is in Stretch Armstrong when he finally snaps from over stretching."
* * *
A few people came back with things that I've never tried like hair gel and toothpaste. It's amazing how we all grow up with essentially the same equipment and we all think of different things.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Mad At My Desk And I'll Be Writing All Curse Words
swedish design... American strength

I had an Ikea computer desk that I really liked. It was just the right size with just the right amount of storage. It had a pull-out platform for the keyboard and a swell drawer.

Unfortunately, I killed it. I violated the first rule of Ikea furniture: NEVER MOVE IKEA FURNITURE.

So I decided that instead of buying a new desk, I would build an exact replica of the Ikea desk -- only with real wood!

I took a trip to the lumber yard and loaded up on 1x10s and 2x3s. I built a computer desk which looks and works just the Ikea version, only mine is solid enough to withstand a mortar attack to my parents' basement.

As I was building it, I realized that the Swedish engineer who designed the desk would be very proud: "Solid wood! And more than one coat of finish! Steel hardware! This is what I wish I could build!"

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

But I Don't Go Nowhere Without My Jim Hat

How did my sister-in-law (technically really just my brother's girlfriend) become my favorite travel partner after just one vacation?

Here are some notable highlights from my other vacations in the past few years:
  • There was the girl who made me drive four hours to go to her friend's wedding in the middle of nowhere, and then in the hotel room after the reception refused to fuck me because I didn't pack condoms. We had been dating for 6 months. And she was on the pill.
  • There was the girl who got so drunk on Bourbon street that she kissed a perfect stranger right in front of me, then kicked a hole in the hotel room wall before passing out in the bathroom.
  • There was the girl who refused to drink the water in Puerto Rico (or any beverage with ice) for fear of illness, which resulted in my spending half of my vacation budget on bottled water for her.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

'Cause My Style's Like A Chemical Spill

A special vacation edition of dating advice from Fresh Pepper!

If you're talking to a hot girl on the beach,
and she's actually into you,
and she finds out that you went to the school she is currently attending,
and she asks you what year you graduated,

the answer is NOT:

"'01, from the law school. Holy fuck I'm old."

Monday, January 09, 2006

Word To Your Mother

My cab driver through Miami yesterday was an elderly gentleman with a thick Latino accent. As we drove to a restaurant in Little Havana, he pointed out a park where dozens of people were engaged in what appeared to be serious games of dominoes.

Cab Driver: This is where people play dominoes. Do not go to this park if you do not speak Spanish.
Fresh: I know a little Spanish. I know how to say 'su madre.'
Cab Driver: Do not go to this park.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

So I Continued To A1A Beachfront Avenue

It's always a good sign when you're out drinking with a group of people and you think, "Wow, I should probably sober up a bit. Pretty soon at least one of these people is going to need a lawyer.

"And I wonder how arrests are handled for Australian and Cuban citizens."

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Hotel, Motel, Whatcha Gonna Do Today?

I'm off to Miami for a few days with my sister-in-law. Unless my hotel has a computer, I will be back on Tuesday.

When I told my buddy that I was sharing a hotel room with my sister-in-law, he said, "How are you going to bring girls back to your hotel room if you're sharing it with your sister-in-law?"

I replied, "You obviously have a lot more hope for me than I do -- the only thing I wondered when I booked the room was 'How the hell am I going go three days without masturbating?'"

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mister Pepper If You're Nasty

Last night in a bar:

Hot Girl: What's your name?
Fresh: Fresh.
Hot Girl: What's your real name?
Fresh: Fresh.
Hot Girl: Seriously.
Fresh: Elrond of Rivendell.
Hot Girl: Are you Jewish?

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I Like Em Big And Round

Last night I did a little clothes shopping for my upcoming trip to South Beach, Miami this weekend.

Here's some advice: don't take a week-long pastry class a week before you go to a beach town that is so superficial it has a fucking diet named after it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Threw On The Bally Shoes And The Fly Green Socks

Last night we discussed the Gargoyle's shoe fetish.

Fresh: Can you get turned on by just a shoe?
Gargoyle: No.
Fresh: Have you ever had sex with a shoe?
Gargoyle: Do UGGs count?
Fresh: Actually, that sounds like a pretty good idea.
Fingers: If I go to Nordstrom, will they let me take UGGs into the dressing room?

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

But Now I Only Hit Chicks That Win Beauty Pageants

A female friend of mine wanted to set me up with a girl. She told my male friend that the girl was attractive and single. My male friend saw pictures and said that the girl wasn't attractive. My female friend insisted that while she wasn't a supermodel, she was just as attractive as me: she was my perfect female counterpart.

I was excited to see the pictures of the girl. I have no interest in dating ever again, but I was interested to see what the female equivalent of me looks like.

She's not attractive. And I saw a lot of pictures. All I kept thinking was, "That's ME? I knew I wasn't Brad Pitt, but damn. I wouldn't even fuck me."

Monday, January 02, 2006

Everybody In This Bitch Gettin Tipsy

I made a chocolate hazelnut tart and a frangipane fruit tart and brought them to my grandmother yesterday.

She broke off a piece of the hazelnut tart before I could even tell her what it was.

Nana: This tastes like rum.
Fresh: It's a chocolate hazelnut tart. It has 2 tablespoons of rum in it.
Nana: Will this get me drunk?
Fresh: Yeah, I'm trying to get you drunk so I can steal your collection of muumuus.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

There's Reason To Believe Maybe This Year Will Be Better Than The Last

You know you're old when fireworks wake you from a deep sleep at midnight and you think, "Why can't people celebrate this fucking stupid holiday QUIETLY?"