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.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Life Ain't Nothing But a Funny, Funny Riddle
Wait, aren't jokes supposed to be funny and riddles are supposed to be puzzling?
Here's what I liked about spending yesterday in Baltimore:
  • When I asked the lady at the Camden Yards ticket window for "two tickets, best available," she typed what appeared to be an essay into her keyboard, waited about two minutes and said, "What price range?"
  • Some guy on Eutaw street, upon seeing my Johnny Damon shirt, yelled, "Hey, Yankees! You must totally hate your own guts!"
  • The O's fans chant the "Oh-wee-oh" from the Wizard of Oz. I felt like a monkey.

Here's what I didn't like about spending yesterday in Baltimore:
  • After singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," everyone sings "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." Say what you will about Shea, but you just can't beat Lou Monte's Lazy Mary: "C'e na luna mezza'o mare..."
  • For a team nicknamed the O's, there was a dearth of "O face" jokes. Of course, I did my best to remedy this oversight.

You're a Fake Wearin' Sucker Whose Gold Got Rusted

I spent most of my haircut yesterday trying to decide whether I should be concerned that the man cutting my hair was wearing a bad toupee.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

I'm a Uptown Shopper, You a SoHo Nigga

As a kid, the parents took us to the grocery store every other week to do the shopping.

To me, back then, it was the grocery store.

It wasn't until I went away to school that I realized that my parents didn't live in a great neighborhood. This was evidenced by, among other things, the fact that the family grocery store was a Pathmark.

Lately I've been going to Stop & Shop, which is clean and pleasant. I may not have grown up rich, but at least we didn't go to C-town.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Flip It, Baby; Flip It Right
My Flipmode squad is dangerous
I know that when my dad held me in his arms as a baby, he wanted the best for me because he has always made every sacrifice in his own life to provide his entire family with a better life.

I'm also pretty sure that he didn't think I'd be living in his basement and baking tarts every weekend when I was almost thirty years old.

Yet, he always supports me and encourages me no matter what I choose to do.

Last night I burnt some butter and sugar I was melting on the stove. I got caught up trying to assemble all of my ingredients for two pineapple upside-down cakes and I forgot about the pot on the stove. I threw out the contents, opened a window, and started over.

Just as I was cursing at myself for wasting those ingredients and forgetting about the pot, my dad walked into the kitchen and said, "I don't know what you're cooking, but it sure smells good."

Thanks, dad.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Let's All Roll a Blunt and Get Fucked Up

I bought a pack of cigarettes in Manhattan this morning.  I dropped one on the ground outside of the bodega.  I left it there while I lit my smoke.  Homeless people usually pick up dropped cigarettes and smoke them.

A girl walked by, saw it on the sidewalk, and passionately smashed it with her shoe.

Why would you do that?  Why wouldn't you leave it for someone to smoke?  How much did this girl hate cigarettes?  Are the homeless not allowed to have any pleasure in their lives?

I was so stunned, I barely managed to curse at her as she walked away.


Obtuse, Rubber Goose, Green Moose,  Guava Juice


"You know," said the Girl, "You're the first guy that turned off Sportscenter when I went out for coffee and turned on the Fairly Oddparents."


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Go To School Every Day, Always Time To Get Paid

I spent some time earlier this month talking to a representative from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. He recommended that I go to dinner at L'Ecole, the French restaurant run by the school.

I went last night and the restaurant was a total disappointment. The chicken was tough, the salad was flavorless, and the lobster bisque was completely overseasoned. Lesson one in any culinary school should be: don't overpower lobster.

I took my friend Lips because I wanted an honest opinion on the food. She's very direct and doesn't mince words.

When the dessert came after four increasingly bad courses, I was hopeful. I watched her taste her ginger ice cream with rhubarb.

She took a bite, tilted her head inquisitively and said, "What's that soap you use to
clean wood floors?"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Once Upon A Time Up In Jersey

Last night I went to the Devils v. Rangers game in the Meadowlands.

On the way in to the arena, they were handing every person a small packet with CheerStix™, those loud inflatable sticks that are popular at sporting events. I put the packet in my packet in my back pocket and forgot about it.

In the first period my buddy Fingers asked, "Hey, should we inflate those things?"

I said, "I wouldn't put my mouth on anything you get in New Jersey."

Halfway through the game, I noticed that almost nobody in the place had inflated them. I figured that it was because New Jersey residents don't feel that they need any help being loud.

When John Madden scored his third goal in the third period, everyone in the arena threw their package of uninflated Cheerstick™ on the ice.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Touch It, Bring It, Babe

I went to the Taste of Chinatown festival over the weekend.  Most of the Chinatown restaurants set up tables outside and were selling samples of their dishes for $2. 

At one restaurant I craned my neck over the waiting horde to see what they were serving.  There was a stack of small bundles wrapped up in bamboo leaves and string on the table.

The Girl said, "They look like Chinese tamales."

I said, "I'm sure they're not tamales."

I got to the front of the crowd and asked the demure Asian man selling the bundles what they were.

He said, "They're Chinese tamales."


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Damn Right It's Better Than Yours

The Girl: Good night.
Fresh: Good night.
The Girl: ...
Fresh: ...
The Girl: ...
Fresh: ...
The Girl: What was that sound?
Fresh: I was just finishing my strawberry shake.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

It's A Hard Knock Life

I had dinner with some of the Girl's friends last night. The Girl was raised in a substantially different income bracket than I was and it's hard to carry on conversations with her rich friends.

The woman wore diamond earrings, a diamond necklace, three diamond rings, five bracelets, and a Movado watch.
  • She complained that we were one minute late before introducing herself or saying hello.
  • She complained that her husband bought a Grand Cherokee but she thinks it's too big.
  • She complained that when she has her baby her live-in nurse will only stay with her for two weeks.
  • She complained that the only house she liked during her house hunting trip last weekend was "only seven eighty" but it had a pool, hot tub, and sauna which she felt would be too much work.
  • She complained that she couldn't drink or try the bourbon pecan pie because she's pregnant.
  • When she ordered the grilled chicken, she told the waiter that she is "really seriously allergic to shellfish." The waiter replied, "There will be no shellfish on your chicken, ma'am."
Finally, she complained that her brother is squandering the family fortune on sushi and drugs. Next time, I want to have dinner with that guy.

Friday, April 21, 2006

I Hate To Wake You Up To Say Goodbye

A partner I work for closed the door to his office yesterday after I sat down.

"Are you leaving the firm?"

I said, "Not today."

I thought that he was concerned about my happiness. I was glad somebody was concerned.

He said, "Look, I understand that you have some issues with this firm and you're not entirely happy here. If you want to leave, that's fine. But I can't have you just coming in here and taking a mental holiday for the next few weeks while I'm giving you work. Just give me plenty of warning when you leave."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Whole Yay Area

Last week I spent a few days in San Francisco.  The first thing I did when I got my rental car was scan for the local rap station.

I was stunned at the amount of slang that went right over my head.  I would need a glossary just to understand those songs.  I've never heard of most of the artists.  And when one song bragged "I've got my Vans on but they look like sneakers" I wondered aloud, "Does he mean those skateboarding shoes?  They still make those?"

They also say "nigga" on the radio out there.  It is always blocked out here in NYC.  It was actually kind of disappointing that they allow that word, it has lost some of its power.

During my entire stay in San Fran, I didn't hear one 50 Cent song or one reggaeton song. 

It's amazing how different tastes are even within the same country.  It's amazing how big this country is and how little I know about it.  I'm glad whenever I get the opportunity to experience other regions of the country.  But I wonder if a life without reggaeton is even worth living.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Big Hands, I Know You're The One

I have big, strong hands. They are good for back rubs and kneading dough. If you're putting together a team for a tug of war, I'm your man.

My hands are not good for touching the more sensitive parts of a woman. But I've always thought that I make up for this in other ways.

Last night while lamenting on women I've known who had no manual skills, I asked the Girl, "Did you ever date a guy who was just useless with his hands?"

Without thinking, she quickly replied, "Besides you?"

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sharp As A Nail, Witty As Can Be And Not For Sale

A legal recruiter called me at work yesterday to try to get me interested in a job opening.

"Actually," I said, "I interviewed for that job over a month ago."

She said, "How did it go?"

Monday, April 17, 2006

Ain't A Damn Thing Changed Boy, Protect Ya Neck
These two symbols should NEVER go together, John Deere equipment should never be rented
I spent yesterday helping my brother dig out a portion of his foundation to seal up some cracks. He rented an excavator to help complete the job.

There was a big lilac bush in front of his house directly over the property line. When I expressed my concern about it, he said, "I asked the neighbor and he said it's ok if I just run it over. He said he hates that tree."

I don't believe in killing plants if it can be avoided, but I was mostly concerned that the neighbor would change his mind and cause trouble over a dead bush (the attorney in me is not dead after all!). I begged my brother to let me tie the bush up with some twine so we could work around it.

When my brother's friend showed up, my brother said, "Yeah, we're going to get started right after my gay brother is finished tying up the lilac bush."

Sunday, April 16, 2006

I've Got Rhythm, I've Got Rhyme, I've Got The Girlie With The Nice Behind
AND she's hot
When I left for San Francisco last week, I gave the girl one of my digital cameras. I asked her to take some hot pictures while I was gone, hoping to get some steamy pictures of her to keep me company next time one of us goes away.

I got the camera back today with two pictures on it. Both pictures were of a flourless chocolate cake she made.

She said, "Well, that's what you always take pictures of. I thought that's what you wanted."

Actually, I was kind of proud of her.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

California Love

Yesterday was my last full day in San Fran but I didn't really feel like I had the full California experience.

Then I met with the inventor.

I've met with a ton of inventors in my time. Usually we sit in a conference room with a cup of coffee and a wipe board. But this guy was different.

I went to his house in the hills. We sat Indian style on his carpet (he had no chairs) and sipped herbal tea while he explained the various microchips and schematics on the floor in front of him. Classical music played in every room. During a break, he explained why I should become a vegan.

It was the most California meeting I've ever had.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tell Me When To Go
Not recommended while drivingI swear, I got these crabs from a hookerOh yeah, those are Double Doubles

Last night I finished work early and called my friend who used to live in San Fran.

Fresh: Hey, I've actually got time to have dinner by myself tonight.
Friend: Do you want to know the best seafood place in San Fran?
Fresh: No, I just need to know where there is an In-N-Out Burger in downtown. I
can get seafood in New York.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nah, I Don't Think So

After raining most of the day yesterday, the sun came out at 5 p.m.

So, instead of taking the client out to dinner solidifying both his relationship with my firm and my future with the firm, I blew him off and drive across town to see the Giants.

When I got to the ballpark, there was a sign saying the game had been canceled due to rain. It was bright and sunny outside. The woman at the ticket window said the field was too wet. When I asked her how long it had been raining, she said, "Since January."

Are these people not prepared for rain? Is rain a natural disaster? Isn't this San Franfuckingcisco?

Every time I travel I'm reminded that everyone on earth outside NYC is a sissy.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Going Back to Cali

Some initial impressions of San Francisco:
  • The trains on the fucking street are strange.
  • I took pride in how well I cut people off in traffic and ignored the homeless' requests for change. I'm from NYC, SON.
  • The local paper is 46 cents. That's fucked up.
  • It's good to watch local news that didn't use the word "terrorism" even once. Of course, the words "mudslides," "earthquake," and "levee" were prominent.

Got Busy In 'Frisco, Fooled Around In Fresno

I'm in San Francisco this week for business. My flight in was delayed three hours for rain.

But on the plus side, the television in my hotel has a strange feature: when you first turn it on, for less than a second, it plays porn sounds. Trust me when I say it's the sound of a fake female orgasm, nobody has heard that sound more than I.

Once that one second has passed and the picture comes on, it's menu encouraging you to buy some movies. Interesting tactic.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

One, Two, Three; In The Place To Be

The Girl asked how many people I've slept with. She wasn't happy with my complete refusal to discuss the matter.

Actually, I'm quite surprised that she doesn't think my number is one.

Her opinion:

The number of people you have been with should be openly discussed. It says a lot about who you are, how you treat sex, and how you've treated sex in the past. It puts your current frame of mind into perspective, and reminds you that your current partner has had experiences (or inexperience) that might influence the way he or she acts with you. Part of being in a relationship with somebody is trusting that they won't judge you, and that they might even try to understand you, or at least accept the choices that you have made in your life.

My opinion:

The number of people you have been with is irrelevant to your current relationship. I've never cheated and I'm disease-free. I don't want the Girl to consider herself "number five" or "number thirty," I want her to know that what we share is special to me -- she's not just one of many. Nothing good can come of the number exchange: it only leads to jealousy and resentment.

So, should couples discuss how many people they've slept with?

Monday, April 10, 2006

Clothes Off, Face Down, Ass Up, Come On
Trouble making friends?  Have you tried a chocolate ganache tart?This guy got crazy with the vintage chart

This weekend I took the girl out to the Post House, a steakhouse in Manhattan, to celebrate my big raise.

I think I spent a year's worth of the raise on the dinner alone, but it was worth it.

After dinner, we went to see Red Light Winter, an Off-Broadway show about "erotic fixation." A sign on the way into the theater warned that there would be nudity in the show.

We were seated in the front row of the theater on the left of the stage. I said, "Wow, I didn't realize I bought front row tickets!"

The girl replied, "This is great, but we're a little off-center. I hope all of the naked people face this way."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Don't Mean To Offend Other Citizens


I'm worried about my relationship with the Girl.


The Girl is out of my league.  Way out.  And it's not fair.


Every time we're out in public I keep waiting for the dating police to interrupt the date:


"Excuse me, Fresh but we're going to have to break you two up.  This girl is way too attractive for you.  She's thin and beautiful.  Have you seen your hairline?  You don't make that much money.  You don't even drive a German car.  Apparently, she's suffering from some vision loss and serious self-worth issues.  We just can't allow you to flout the dating rules in public like this.  We have leagues for a reason.  Now go home and cry, sissy."


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Forget My Momma's Birthday And It's Tattooed On My Arm


Fresh:  What's with all the flowers on the other desks down the hall?

Assistant:  Birthdays.

Fresh:  What did I get you for your birthday?

Assistant:  Cash.

Fresh:  Do you want me to get you flowers instead next year?

Assistant:  What are you, an idiot?


Friday, April 07, 2006

Now We Rock The Party, And Come Correct
Yesterday I spent the entire day preparing our key witness, the inventor, to testify at his deposition today.
It took me the first hour of the day to explain to him why he can't "plead the fifth" in response to any questions.
Today should be an interesting day.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Work All Night And A Drink Of Rum
Wedgehead was impressed with the THREE Stanley Cup banners
Last night I went to watch the Devils smash Sid the Kid and the Penguins. When they started playing "Day-o" my buddy asked me who sang it.

Fresh: Harry Belafonte.
Fingers: Wasn't this in some shitty eighties-
Fresh: Beetlejuice. I wish my head was filled with useful information.
Fingers: Yeah, but you know so much useless shit. What actor played
the guy who had the watch stuck up his ass in Pulp Fiction?
Fresh: Christopher Walken. That doesn't make me feel any better.

Then Crosby got thrown into the box for unsportsmanlike conduct so I screamed, "GOON!"

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Fuck The World, Don't Ask Me For Shit

At 8:30 am yesterday, I felt incredibly altruistic for having filled the candy dish in my office with a huge bag of Easter-themed mini chocolate bars.

"I'm a nice guy," I thought.

At 10:04 I started to feel some remorse for having eaten every single one of the mini Twix bars out of the bowl.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Can't You Smell That Smell?

On Saturday night I helped my mother babysit my cousin's kids. They're fun, even though one of them was a little sick.

On Sunday morning my mother and I woke up unable to move due to a severe stomach virus.

At lunchtime, with my mother and I lying on the couches unable to even watch cooking shows on television because we were so nauseous, my father decided to cook three pounds of Italian sausage. He didn't actually eat it, mind you, he just wanted to leave it in the fridge so he could heat it up for dinner a few nights this week.

I had to muster all of my strength to wrap myself in a wool blanket and sit in the backyard just to get some air.

For dinner he made himself kielbasa and onions.

Monday, April 03, 2006

On The Mic I Score, Just Like The Yankees

At the end of last season, I renounced my loyalty to the Mets due to the third-world conditions in Shea Stadium.

This year, I've decided to become a Yankees fan.

I decided against the Phillies. I went to a Phillies/Mets game last year and when the Phillies started losing in the fifth, the fans chanted, "E-A-G-L-E-S! EAGLES!" Then they all left. I don't want to be one of them.

I decided against the BoSox. Last year, Bosox fans were everywhere: "My uncle spent a summer in Rhode Island so I've always been a big BoSox fan." Suddenly, everyone who went to some shit school anywhere in New England was a BoSox fan.

I turned down the Nationals because of the big "W" on their hats. I can't wear the same hat as the president.

Yankee stadium has large beers and vendors who are eager to take your money. And the other day when I was wearing my Johnny Damon Yankees shirt, the Girl said, "You look good in navy blue."

Better than bright orange and bright blue? Really?

But the most important reason I'm becoming a Yankees fan: it's like dating your ex-girlfriend's hotter friend across town.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Say My Name

For the first time in my life, I actually met a fellow blogger yesterday. Sarah and I went to the Shake Shack, the trendy place to stand in line in NYC.

After waiting in line to order for one hour and then waiting for our food for forty minutes, Sarah seemed tense when our order was almost ready.

Fresh: Are you going to elbow your way through to get our order when they call our name?
Sarah: No fucking way, you told them our name was 'Fresh.' I don't want these people to think I gave that stupid name.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Enormous Cream, Fuck A Dollar And A Dream

stairway to heavensomething this enormous and this pink just CANNOT be badand a frangipane fruit tart as a bonus
As I was making a four-layered cake with mixed berries and whipped cream flavored with fresh raspberry puree, my mother came into the kitchen to supervise.

Fresh: What should I do with the extra cream?
Mom: Are you kidding? Plaster it all over the sides. It will look good.
Fresh: 'Plaster?' Is that the French term?
Mom: How about 'kiss my ass,' what's the French term for that?

My People Just Stay Alive

Last night as I was reading in the basement, I heard both of my parents laughing uproariously. After this continued for a few minutes, I figured I should go upstairs and see what was so funny.

My mother was laughing so hard she had tears on her face. She said, "Oh, Fresh, you've got to see this.

"This is one of those 'I Shouldn't Be Alive' shows. These idiots just keep getting hit with more avalanches, and some 7-months pregnant woman decides to go rescue them but she gets the plane stuck in the snow and she gets stranded too. These people are idiots. It's hilarious!"