Monthly Archives: June 2009

The Vast Bering Sea

Sleeveless in the basement

Each night I head out from the safety of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to the violent and unpredictable waters of the vast Bering Sea. I do this from my couch, usually while eating Nerds and with my feet covered in Gold Bond medicated powder, sipping a can of Schweppe’s Diet Gingerale. If a rope gets looped around my ankle, the crab pot will pull me off my perch and to the bottom of the ocean. Certain death, unless I am wearing a survival suit. But I don’t own a survival suit. So I’m thinking of getting a sleeping bag suit, called a Selk Bag, to wear on my Deadliest Couch. That way, if I roll off, I can sleep on the floor.

Saving up my money for a Selk Bag

This weather is probably too hot for a Selk Bag, so I have a few months to save up my money. This sleeveless black teeshirt emblazoned with a skull and crossbones will do. For the summer, I am a Bering Sea pirate.

The Taste, Part Two

Rocking the Lava Lounge teeshirt at the Taste of Cambridge

For the second year in a row I was part of the Taste of Cambridge team.
Last year it was chef EZ, the Future, the Maverick and me. The Maverick left the restaurant soon thereafter. At that event, the Future had to re-cut Maverick’s lemons smaller. A bad sign, foretelling dark times… On our team this year was chef EZ, the Future and Big John. Big John is moving to the west coast and this will be his last weekend at the restaurant. I guess the Taste of Cambridge is a good sendoff.

The ECG team at the Taste of Cambridge

We made El Salvadorean pork tacos. Grilled pork shoulder chopped into carnitas, then marinated in lime juice, garlic and cilantro. Curtido accompanied the pork on the tortilla; that’s a pickled cabbage slaw with jalapenos and pineapple. Two salsas that we make in house, a touch more cilantro and a squeeze of lime finished each taco. The fellas did not offer me a cooking whites so I kept my distance from the action. I served (and sampled) the food and talked to the public. At one point I dipped out the booth and ate oysters and sliders and pizza and more sliders. It was glorious.

El Salvadorean pork tacos ECG style

After weeks in remission, the sun came out in the early evening. The news of Michael Jackson’s death spread like wildfire through the crowd… from the twitterers and the flat screens and the smart phones / passed mouth to ear through the throngs assembled. It was possible to step back and watch this happen, like a ripple of information through the human waters. The DJ picked up on it and began playing only Michael Jackson songs, and the Taste of Cambridge morphed into a memorial dance party. The smoke of the grills lingered over the crowds and it started to feel like summer.

The Big Witness

Eliot cleaning his wii mote

Shaquille O’Neal has been traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the future, he will be on the same team as Lebron James, “the Chosen One.” The fans in Cleveland are called “witnesses,” to the Chosen One’s greatness. Shaq is now “The Big Witness.”

Wii Motion Plus and me

In the midst of a lap around Fresh Pond, Eliot asked me to be the best man for his wedding this November. I want to be known as, “The Big Witness.” After the run, we bought Wii Motion Plus controllers and played Grand Slam Tennis for hours. The Motion Plus makes the Wii Mote comical, unsightly, bulbous. Eliot had to clean his Wii Mote with a Chlorox Wipe because the dankness of the basement had settled onto it. He was worried about H1-N1. We found the most tennis success playing doubles together as the Williams sisters.

Small Dog Big Dog

Little wally sniffs to introduce himself

The humidity was stifling on Saturday. My head felt like it was in a vice. As if the barometric pressure was inside my skull (I guess it kind of is…) It seemed likely that eventually a hard rain would fall, but it never did. Grey and humid. Not a good look for the summer solstice. Now I find out the Portuguese parade will likely be called off Sunday because of the rain. The bad weather is New England’s super villain so far this summer.

small dog and big dog happy together

The best part of my Saturday night was meeting little Wally. Wally is a wiener dog, brown. I am wearing an Old Navy linen shirt, also brown. Little Wally is alright with me.

Submarine Capital of the World

Bubbles and newlyweds

My friends Mackie and Lauren were married yesterday in Groton, CT… the submarine capital of the world. No subs were spotted off the coast, despite the blessing of high visibility and blue skies. After reading their vows they walked the aisle and everyone blew bubbles. Unaccustomed to weddings, this blew my mind. It was so great to have the whole Yakaitis family together. This wedding was the closest my life has ever come to resembling a Godfather film. And I mean that in the best way possible.

By the lighthouse on Avery Point

Please visit my Facebook page for all the pictures taken of the Yakaitis clan. One thing you won’t see in any of my pictures… Tim splashing chocolate from the chocolate fountain onto Ruth’s cleavage and then motor-boating her, with Bull standing by, slightly shocked by his brother’s behavior. SOMETIMES lines get crossed at Yakaitis gatherings. Perhaps that’s one reason why I love hanging with them so much. I don’t want to give the wrong impression; the vibes at the wedding were way positive. I felt like I was ten years old again at the neighborhood block party.

And I danced all night.

Les Genies Vous Parlant

On the street in central sq

On the way to Cape Cod, Genevieve told me of a book about the in-between lives of souls; the journeys and growth of the soul before the choice to reincarnate. It was a conversation that had started miles before amongst new age books and crystals. I spoke of a recent dream about my mother. In the dream, I held my mom’s hand and told her about how I feel the strength I have found is somehow the same energy as that which destroyed her. That those two things are the same thing and my life will reconcile her death.

In Truro, Genevieve and I watched 13B, an Indian horror film in Hindi with English subtitles. It was four hours long. At the Thai restaurant that night, the fish was to be “cooked until irresistible.” Right before it hits that point the chef, taking great pains to resist, pounds the counter and yells at the waiters, “Now! Get it out of the kitchen!”

8,000 Calorie Diet

Digesting 8000 calories

This is what I ate on Sunday…

bowl of yogurt and granola
Diet Gingerale
1 Liter of Sparkling Water
3 eclairs
1/2 a jelly donut
8 quesadillas with cheese, peppers and onions
32 oz. pink Bring It Gatorade
32 oz. dark red Focus Gatorade
8 oz. grilled sirloin with huitlacoche butter
3 eggs over easy
double order of potato – poblano hash
1 nacho chip
12 oz. ginger beer
3 pieces bread with pimento cheese
1 crawdad leg
bowl of shrimp etouffee
2 jumbo shrimp with grits and barbecue sauce
3 fried oysters with tartar
8 oz. fillet of fried catfish with parsley potatoes
2 oz. brisket with hominy mashed potatoes
seared greens
coconut cream pie
strawberry shortcake
french press decaf coffee
12 oz. caffeine free Diet Coke

Woodpile Stoic

Fuel for thought

In the backyard before another Saturday night. Sometimes the kitchen has their meetings out back, on the woodpile.

A dome piece

The June rain is relentless. The salad bowl is my future umbrella.

Easton’s Beach

My good friends Liz and Kris got married on Friday. Half the restaurant took the day off for the wedding. For those who could not take off, check out the pictures on my Facebook page.

Liz looking so good in her wedding dress

The ceremony was down in Newport, Rhode Island, at Easton’s Beach. There was a carousel for the kids. I rode it by myself, on one of the inner horses.

The groom and the best man

They made me get off because it was time for dinner.

16 1/2 34/35

New shirt and tie

I was all over Cambridge today running errands. The “16 1/2 34/35” refers to my measurements for dress shirts. I bought a blue one today for Liz and Kiki’s wedding this Friday. I will probably wear the same shirt to Lauren and Mackie’s wedding next weekend. Its important to look nice at weddings, which is why I’m trying to talk myself out of wearing black Converse slip-on shoes that are covered in small grey anchors. They are very “Deadliest Catch.” I will most likely end up wearing them.

Minor accomplishments this week… I successfully litigated Jerry the Shark for use of the user name EastCoastGrill on Twitter. The restaurant is not just hustling and bustling, its tweeting now as well. That’s fun. Versus Jerry the Shark brought out my street attorney side, which was fun too. The poster for my sister’s 2010 R language conference is shaping up. She is going to display the full size poster on buses in Europe this summer.

When it rains I sleep a lot! My hair is a little shaggier and I’ve been wearing my RZA teeshirt the past 3 days.