Friday, May 29, 2009


ya! feeling slightly hungover.  let me tally the drinks, cuz I am not sure of the number.
home: split a pizza port saison big bottle. this sentence may not make sense to you.
magpie cafe: sudwerk marzen for 4.50! it was sweet and not good. their food seems to be good, but their beer and wine list is muy terrible.
show: could i really have only dranken 2 beers? was it three? the fact that i can't remember probably means three.

this is like an old school heckasac post. enjoy.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cooking From The Heart

So, I have my biggest story yet currently out in the News and Review.  I am proud of it, but pretty bummed it didn't make the cover.  I really thought it deserved it, more for the wonderful accomplishment of these two friends than for any angle I took on it.    I loved Sami and Sheng's book.  It made me cry a couple of times, which I can confidently assert no other cookbook has ever done.  I have also used it to cook from twice now, with delicious results.  Because of them I now keep a jar of MSG in the cupboard for seasoning.  I thought I'd post some pictures, since the SNR didn't have much room for photos.

These photos are my favorites.  This one was taken in the 80's.  It's Sami dressed in traditional Hmong clothing, with Sheng's mom and dad, and Sheng's sister, Little Sami.

This photo was taken in Laos in the 70s.  It's Sheng as a baby, and her mom and dad.

 This is Sheng today.  The first stop on our shopping trip was B and S market.  It's a Hmong market.  I know that there is at least one other Hmong market in the Sac area.  She is holding up a bundle of Hmong herbs.  They sell a bunch of different types all bundled together, which is quite convenient.
This market has lots of other products, and they sell meat, as well.  I picked up a package of the huge Hmong sausages that you see at the New Year's celebrations, too.  They are pork sausages with a lot of cilantro and lemongrass.  They're great.
Then, we went to A&A Market on Stockton.  This part got left out of the story.  I believe A&A is Vietnamese.  I had never been into this particular market.  It has a really nice, clean-smelling meat and fish section.  This is Sami and Sheng picking out bitter melons.  Last night I woke up at 3:30am craving the ground pork with bitter melon that they made at our feast.
At B&S, I picked up this papaya shredding tool for five bucks.   That huge platter is just two green mangoes. You really only need to buy one to serve 2-4 people. Hmong food is very healthful and economical.
Here's Sheng filleting a striped bass for larb.  She made this look easy, and when smiller and I did it at home, it was excruciatingly hard.  Sheng had a tip to just buy cheap knives at Asian stores (like three bucks) and throw them away when they get dull.
Speaking of knives, these are handmade Hmong knives.  The biggest ones are for like butchering pigs and stuff.
Here's Sami, wearing an apron that has a nice example of Hmong embroidery.
I already posted this photo, but I'll post it again because I really like it.  The toenails on the chickens kill me.
Here's Sheng chopping the chicken.  I would like to get one of those stump chopping blocks.  The one at Cheung Hing is awe-inspiring.  And totally sanitary, I'm sure.
Here's Sheng's husband, Leo, sqeezing the lime on the fish larb.  This guy is awesome.  He's super funny, and so relaxed for a guy with six kids!  Maybe that's why he's relaxed.
This is box elder, from the Yang's backyard.  It's in the larb recipe.  I'm still not sure if you can buy it in stores.  I need to keep looking.
This is Sheng's daughter, Francis, with her baby cousin.
Chopped herbs and bitter melon.
Here's the nab vam, which I mention in the article.  This dessert was addictive.  I ate so much of it at home that I finally had to pour it out because I was making myself sick.  I tend to do that with coconut desserts.
Sami and Sheng, cooking together.
Right after this the SNR photog, Shoka, arrrived, so I didn't take many more pictures.  The food picture in the article is really nice and pro.  This was my picture of the whole feast.
You can buy the cookbook at the Avid Reader, and the ladies are going to be on Insight with Jeffrey Callison on June 12th!  I'll remind you to listen.  I tried to sweet talk my way on the show but it didn't work.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

big ol show

Do you know about the big ol' show on Thursday?  Remember when the Black Dice played at Retrofit, way back when?  Well it's way back when all over again because they are playing at Retrofit on Thursday, with Wolf Eyes and English Singles.  I happen to know that people are traveling from as far away as the Bay Area for this.

And then on Friday the stony warriors, The Ancient Sons are playing the concert in the park.  Now's your chance to circle dance in front of the stage with no shame.  Dance like no one's watching.  Then you can go to the Funcastle and attempt to not look like such a swirly dancing dork.

Saturday the madness continues with the Lootenanny.  Hmmm....could someone send me the flyer to post?  I had it, but I must have deleted it.  Then, at Javalounge we have the monumental lineup of Pizzas, Four Eyes, Bananas!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

friday cruise

So, we drove to Nevada to go camping, but then when we got there, Jamattack and I were having so much fun sitting in the car and being totally sober and fasting, that we decided it would be more fun to just turn around and drive back home.  I like nothing better than just a nice, leisurely cruise to Nevada and back on a friday.  I did get to see the Four Eyes in Placerville and they were the best!

For Biz's graduation, we went to Miller Park.  I think you can agree that no one's ever partied like this before.
Then we saw Nessie!
This dude cruised by and jammed for a little while.
The Best Present That Biz Has Ever Received
I decided not to keep my picture off the site anymore, so there I am on the left.  Identity revealed.
Did you know that you can be fined a thousand bucks for an open container?  That's something I learnd this weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yoga Hell

There are a lot of things I like about this article, but first on the list is Ms. Grace Slick.  This yoga class sounds like Hell to me.

I am going to cap off an unexciting week on heckasac by not posting tomorrow because I will be camping.  Monday of course is a holiday, but pop fans of all stripes (heh)  should remember to check out Gregory Webster (ex Razorcuts) at Record Club.

Belated Happy Birthday goes out to GW, Happy Birthday to GBomb, Congraduations to Biz, I'm bummed to miss your party but wait until you see your present (smiller don't forget to bring his present).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

clearly we should ban sidewalk seating

Jeez, I got caught in traffic and sent around this wreck yesterday, but I had no idea it took the whole building down!  Thank God it wasn't Harry's.  That guy has suffered enough.  Watch the video to see how nuts the building looks.  As usual, the Bee comments are RIDICULOUS.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


OK, so I had a minute to re-read your suggestions about the taco truck issue.  Here's a link to the NY Times article.  Here's a link to the website for the L.A.-based organization.   In L.A. the taco truck owners have formed an organization and have also brought legal challenges against the ordinance.  Here is a passage from a newspaper article last September:

On Friday, September 19,2008, Judge Dennis Aichroth of the Los Angeles Superior Court, in Division One of the East Los Angeles Courthouse heard arguments from both side in the so called “TACO VENDOR ORDINANCE CASE.”

Previously, on August 27, 2008 Judge Aichroth had declared Los Angeles County Code Section 7.62.070 “unconstitutional” on various grounds, including ambiguous language, restraint of trade, not for the “public safety,” etc.  The arguments on September 19th related to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office seeking to have the Judge reverse his decision.  The motion made by the DA was for “Reconsideration” of the decision.

After granting the District Attorney the right to file certain “Declarations” by Deputies of the Sheriff’s Department, along with “Exhibits,” the Judge announced that he was NOT CHANGING HIS ORIGINAL ORDER of August 27th, holding Section 7.62.070 of the Los Angeles County Code UNCONSTITUTIONAL.  The TACO VENDORS were represented by Attorney Philip C. Greenwald.  The DA was represented by Deputy DA Steven L. Gates.

According to the website, the county decided not to appeal (Stupid blogger and your stupid autoformatting of fonts!).  I liked Snufkin's idea about contacting the La Galeria Posada board, but I don't really know anything about that organization, and their website doesn't have any info, besides basic contact stuff.  Does anyone want to draft a preliminary letter?  Can you think of other organizations we could contact?  It seems like there has to be some legal involvement, and I have no idea how we would get money for that.  Maybe some taco-loving attorney would take the case pro-bono?  That sounds like a great TV movie idea.

Here's a letter from that website:

Thank you for responding to our concerns regarding your recent ordinance affecting taco trucks in Los Angeles County. As residents of Northeast Los Angeles, we wholeheartedly support a thriving business community that includes “brick and mortar” restaurants. While we understand there are many conflicting interests involved, we are concerned the measures passed by the board of supervisors do not best promote the health and welfare of our community. Forcing hard working men and women, who we object to being classified as “peddlers,” to move too frequently to earn a sustainable income is not an effective means of addressing the health needs of the community. If the aim of this ordinance is the health of the community, you might consider stepping up inspections and more diligent enforcement of existing health codes. If the aim is to improve the welfare of the community, find a compromise that allows more established businesses to reasonably coexist with nascent restaurateurs and other local business owners. Criminalizing these vendors, for what previously was essentially a parking violation, fails to acknowledge the reality that these vendors are an established institution of Los Angeles County and provide an affordable option for families unable to afford sit-down restaurants. Additionally, the culture and community created by taco trucks is enormously beneficial to a neighborhood’s welfare, as it brings people out on otherwise abandoned streets.

If you truly feel that the honest and hardworking families who work in these taco trucks are detrimental to the community under current regulations, we would urge you to find a compromise that better serves your constituents as well as your business interests. A healthy compromise, that allows restaurants to compete without eliminating taco trucks from the landscape, could include preventing the trucks from parking within a specific distance of an open restaurant. Please consider how this ordinance will affect all of your constituents before removing something so loved in our neighborhoods.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Micah Kennedy

Micah's memorial service was really, really beautiful and very moving.  It was a wonderful tribute to him.  It was so great that everyone could come together at the de Necochea's in a relaxing and comforting and loving atmosphere.  I'm so glad I could be there to share that with everyone.

Friday, May 15, 2009

bowel loosening news

Hello, friends.  I failed to call attention to Cosmo's excellent, jaw dropping, eye opening, mind rending, heart breaking, bowel loosening article about David Taylor and his oh so special relationship with our city.  It's like we're living in crazy town.  How can these deals be legal?  We are so lucky we have a local reporter who is committed to reporting stories like this.  The lead in for the local news yesterday was about Jay Leno's final guest list!  Ay yi yi.

Also, I just read yesterday in last week Bites column (also by Cosmo, as has now been revealed) that the city is spending 90 grand for a feasibility study to find out if they can move the zoo to Sutter's Landing at 28th and C.  While that is obviously utter folly and I'm sure they will conclude as much, I'm glad that some action for this park is on the city agenda.  I hope that includes paving that part of the bike trail.

There is a fun-sounding event happening at The Hub warehouse tonight.  MOM 7 inch release with a bunch of bands, food from Joshua Ploeg, and DJing by DJ Mike C.! Stoked.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

perfunctory post

Thank you the constants!  That was really fun.

I loved the Lost finale!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the constants are my constant

So, does everyone who cares know about The Constants playing at Luigi's tonight before the Lost finale?  This is the best!  I'm really excited.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Micah's memorial

Micah Kennedy's memorial is this Saturday.  It's at his friend John's house and anyone who wants to go is welcome.  John has a bit of land so there will be room.  There's going to be food and drinks.  Here's the information on it, from John:

 Saturday, May 16th at 1:00 at 1729 Diggs Park Drive Sac-95815, following private service at St.Mary's Cemetary. Bring a dessert or a bottle of wine and a blanket in case not enough chairs.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Dixon May Fair

Baby Grand, English Singles, Still Flyin' (featuring members of Personal and the Pizzas) at the Blue Lamp tonight!!!!!

Also it's second saturday, so don't forget to go see Daniel Johnston art at the Verge!

On wednesday I FINALLY checked out the Market Club, prompted by Liv Moe's review in MidMoe.  They have daily specials (broasted chicken on thursdays, and thursday is also the only day they offer potato wedges, which are only ONE DOLLAR-it's reminded me of El Chico's broasting-attention Biz!)

This blurry pic is a tender corned beef sandwich, mucho grandma style.

Dixon May Fair!  Taxidermy competition.  How did this person get an otter?  Is that legal?
I call this picture: snuggle wuggle time

This pig was trying to eat his own award ribbon.
bunny face or bunny butt? you decide

BBQ beef sandwich
cat desecrating the flag
This cat has a super funny expression and the name of the painting is "cat concentraiting"

I zoomed in for this, and you can actually see Cheap Trick better than I could.  They were good, but it was funny how lazy Rick Nielsen is about jumps, and he would get on top of his amp but it was clear he had a step stool behind it to get up and down.
I like this art project.
And I knew there would be Twilight-themed art.  This one was titled "Robert Pattinson", although I don't know why he would be reading Twilight.  I guess it's supposed to be the actor preparing for the role, and not the vampire character.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

They're driving me insane!

Cheap Trick tonight at the Dixon May Fair!   We have an extra ticket for 30 bucks, does anyone wanna go?  Check out that poll I have going on the right.

OK, so I guess we should get going on this taco truck thing.  Here's my thoughts:
1)Name- P.O.T. T. -preserve our taco trucks?  I'm serious, is that all right?  I mean save our taco trucks seems natural, but SOTT as an acronym is not as good.
2)How do we find out what actually went down at the meeting?  Like, what restaurateurs raised the issue, how long did the council deliberate, etc.?
3)I think we need to have a two-pronged attack
a) other world class cities have these trucks, using the portland success with it as a main point
b)we're messing with the livelihood of these people.  I guess we should do interviews with the people who are going to lose their income.  Other stories have touched on this, so perhaps we could just present that to the council, or we could gather more.
Or do you guys think the city isn't going to enforce and it's not really going to matter?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

taco truck tattoo?

Sac in the ny times.

Thumbs up for Anvil: The Story Of Anvil.  Who knew that the main dudes in the band are two sensitive Jews?  It was really touching to see them play afterwards.  A special night.

OK, so the taco truck thing.  In addition to the SNR story, Edible Sacramento had an informative piece on it.  What can we do?  Those of you with knowledge of the working of city government give me some insight.  I want to do something.  I'll collect signatures.  I'll put together a power point that shows all the taco trucks in their beloved Portland.  I'll shave my head and paint a taco truck on it.

What's up with this Fiscalini cheese?  Have you guys had it?  Where do you get it?  Is it as good as Oprah says?

Monday, May 04, 2009

Holy shit!

I read this crazy enthusiastic review of the documentary Anvil: The Story of Anvil in the New Yorker that made me want to see it, then I was surprised to see it was playing at the Crest and was going to see it tonight and just now I looked on undietacos and saw that Anvil is playing live at the screening tonight!!!!!
The End

found footage

This picture is a clue to my rather tiring and exciting weekend.  Unfortunately, it led to me missing the Knock Knock and Four Eyes show.  I'm sure it was the best.  

I was lucky to catch the Found Footage thing at MOBS.  I had no idea what I was in for and I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard.  I will probably have to buy their other videos.  When they tour for their next video everyone has to go!  Maybe I'll interview them, too.  It was cool to see how packed MOBS was.  They have hung in there and it's finally paying off.  Here's a preview of one of their previous ones:

Friday, May 01, 2009


I'm ready to finish with these pictures and get back to bitching about stuff like WTF the city council is going to shut down taco trucks?  Hell to the no.  And also IMPORTANTE!! as my mom would put it in an email:

Knock, Knock
Who's there?
Knock Knock
Who else?
The Four Eyes
For real?
Yes, this saturday at Luigis with Missouri Mule

So when we were in Montmartre, we saw these two black cats on a fence sillhouetted  against this crazy orange sky, and smiller grabbed the camera really quick and got a perfect picture of it!  Looks like a painting, right?

The best tourist thing we did was go to the catacombs, on mattyrob's recommendation.  We waiting in line for an hour but it was worth it.  Also, there is a crepe truck nearby that we kept going back to during the hour.  You're not supposed to take flash pictures but I was a jerk and took a couple
It's so creepy and fun!
Cheese porn.  That's camembert au calvados on the left, and mont d'or on the right.
We went to the Clignancourt flea market, which is every saturday, sunday and monday.  It has a big Denios part, and then a big antique part.  Stuff online will make it seem like it's rough, which is a joke.  Not like I'm some big badass, quite the opposite, but it's about as rough seeming as Denios.
My favorite thing to do was sit on the Seine and drink.  There was a good wine shop across the street from us, with a dude who spoke English (he had even been to Sac before), and this was one of his recommendations.
So pretty!  We were really lucky with the weather.
A little known fact is that in contained within the zoo at the (Al) Jardin du plantes is the only known ewok in captivity.
More flowers I forgot to post yesterday.
On the left is brebis.  That wedge was like 8 euro, I kind of tripped when I saw the price.  On the right there is livarot, which smells like manure!  It's good.
There's a really excellent French craft beer store right by the Pompidou called La Cave A Bulles.  He has a ton of French brew that you will absolutely will not be able to get anywhere else.  That's the owner, Simon, on the left.  He is a super sweet dude and speaks fluent English in a charming accent.  Both times we were there he opened beers and gave us tastes.  We wished we could have had longer to hang out with him.
Also, the beer is super cheap!
Here's some pictures of the bands from the wedding.  Rantouls!
Unnamed project! Or did they have a name?
Rantouls from the rear!
Some of my favorite pennants from the wall.

This is my absolute favorite.  Why did it take so long for these two great things to come together?