Sit. Stay. Good blog.

this space for rent

I’ve been writing some reviews lately over at yelp.com. It’s a great site and I’m getting great tips on where (and where not) to eat. There’s a forum section where yelpers can ask and answer questions about Kansas City. Recently, someone posed the following question:

“What is your favorite Asian Place… Indian, Thai, Korean, Japanese and Chinese.”

Good question…

My favorite type of Asian food is Vietnamese. I think Mr. Le’s does a pretty good job with that, and I love Sung Son’s combination of good, relatively inexpensive lunches with gorgeous atmosphere.

I think Swagat at Zona Rosa is great for Indian food – their lunch buffet is really good, and the regular menu is great, too.

For Japanese, I’m all about the sushi. I loves me some Sakura sushi train. I think Domo in Westport has some delicious, if a tad overpriced sushi, but I really love their salmon teriyaki bento box. The single best piece of Salmon nigiri I ever had was at Styx in the Legends shopping center, of all places. The temperature of the fish was perfect, and the rice was seasoned just right. I’ve only been there once, and it was more expensive than I like, but it was suprisingly good. Mr. Le’s, in addition to having great Vietnamese, has better than average (and hella-affordable) sushi.

I don’t go for Thai much, but a couple times a year I CRAVE the galangal soup from Thai Place. That stuff is sent straight from the heavens.

I don’t think I’ve had Korean food… someone give me some recommendations.

As for Chinese, I’m a sucker for Bo Lings. The atmosphere at the Board of Trade location reminds me of an airport lounge, and so it always makes me think I’m on vacation. The Zona Rosa location is much more open and brighter, but still warm and comfortable. I really like the Hunan Chicken. I did Dim Sum once about a year ago at the Metcalf location and had a great time. Maybe one day they’ll bring it to the Zona Rosa location – I’m far too lazy on Sunday mornings to want to drive a ways for brunch.

I always knew Mr. Rogers cared about me, but I had no idea he cared this much.

“Your picture of Stalin riding a Year3 Limited Edition Starflower inside a German concentration camp was both upsetting and historically inaccurate.”

I’m not exactly a meme person, but I really like this one:

1. Choose a pangram of your liking, the most common being (“The quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.” )
2. Write it on a piece of paper and sign it with your blog name or online handle.
3. Take a picture and post it to the flickr group, your blog, myspace, facebook or all of them.
4. Link back or trackback to this post: http://blog.logtar.com/2008/01/27/handwriting-meme-redux/
5. Tag five people. This part is why I am not exactly a meme person – it always sort of feels chain-lettery to me, and I hate chain letters. However, I’ll sort of follow the rules and tag Brian, Adam and Heather.

So the other night, when we were parking at Mr. Le’s Sushi, we saw this tow truck in the parking lot:

The door reads “Camel Toe Recovery” and they are based in Gladstone, MO.

My camera ran out of batteries before I could take a picture of the back window. It read… wait for it…

We’ll Dig You Out

I can’t make this stuff up.

This is why I can’t play Scrabble with kids anymore.

I was in fourth grade. We had this computer game where we flew a little space ship around the solar system and answered trivia questions like, “Who’s buried in Grant’s Tomb?” The second grade teacher came our classroom and said, “The space shuttle blew up!” I thought she meant that the little space ship in the computer game, which looked like a little space shuttle, had blown up in the game and now we were going to be able to access some super trivia level and wouldn’t that be cool…

It took me a few minutes to understand what she meant. I got it when they wheeled the TV cart into our classroom and we all watched Dan Rather explain to us, with the help of a toy space shuttle model, what had happened to the teacher we had been learning about and cheering on for the last several months.

That was twenty-two years ago today. People still want to go into space, but I’m more of the sort that wants to fund things like Hubble that allow us to see farther and clearer into the unknown. Do we really need to go to the moon again, or step foot on Mars? For what purpose? So we’ll have a place to go when when this planet is beyond repair?  I suppose if people want to go whizzing through the stratosphere on their own private dime, that’s their business. For now, though, I don’ think that manned space exploration should be the crowning achievement of NASA. Let’s just try to digest what Hubble sends back for a while:


Crab Nebula


Interacting Spiral Galaxies

Those are some crazy cool images, if you ask me. Lots more here, if you are so inclined.

Suppose you see a face in a Toyota
One day, and you fall in love with that face,
And it is Her, and the world rushes by
Like dust blown down a Montana street.

And you fall upward into some deep hole,
And you can’t tell God from a grain of sand.
And your life is changed, except that now you
Overlook even more than you did before;

And these ignored things come to bury you,
And you are crushed, and your parents
Can’t help you anymore, and the woman in the Toyota
Becomes a part of the world that you don’t see.

And now the grain of sand becomes sand again,
And you stand on some mountain road weeping.

Seriously, people: drink some damn water once in a while.

It’s been an odd couple of weeks around these parts. Much has been going on, and rather than do a long recap, I’ll just post some of the things I learned, in no particular order.

  • Risotto is incredibly easy to make. The other night, we made risotto with lemon, thyme and peas, and the next night we made it with butternut squash and mixed mushrooms. The third night, I had leftovers of both kinds, sort of a yin yang of grainy goodness.
  • Sometimes, it’s fun to cook for guests.
  • Sphincter of ODDI dysfunction is difficult to diagnose, treat and live with. Difficult, but not impossible.
  • Occasionally, a Guinness with lunch is a good thing.
  • Mushy shallots are hard to peel.
  • Contrary to what the nightly news tries to tell me, Robitussin cough syrup works wonders when I have chest congestion.
  • Mama’s on 39th (formerly Bell St. Mama’s) needs to hire more servers. Also, they make a mean omelette. Granted, I didn’t learn about their omelettes in the last couple of weeks, but I figure this is a perfect opportunity to extol the goodness of a number 54 omelette: ham, cheddar and mushrooms. They don’t skimp on the fillings, and when you add on some grits, toast, and pretty good coffee, you’ve got yourself a hearty lunch for a cold day.
  • With all the advances in medical science, they still can’t manufacture an IV machine that doesn’t sound like a 2-ton science fiction robot chugging along next to the bed.

All this knowledge sharing reminds me of the opening lines of Charles Olson’s Maximus, to himself:

I have had to learn the simplest things
last. Which made for difficulties.