Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blogging secrets, and a taste of the old country

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. I have no time. I have no time to pore over dozens of child-lit blogs every day and keep abreast of the goings-on of my industry. I'm usually far too busy being a cog in that industry to spend much time on self-reflection. So all I really read every day is A Fuse #8 Production.

What I do do, however, is make Google do my reading for me. I use Google News Alerts to comb the intertubes for mentions of Babymouse, my name, Graphic Novels, Cartoons, and Comics. This gets me a number of results every day:

  • Stories about stand-up comics
  • Listings of new comic books and graphic novels available this month in X comic book store
  • Every fresh European-/Iranian-/Opus-related Islamic cartoon controversy
  • Press releases and stories about the Cartoon Network—in India! Virtually nothing about the Cartoon Network in the USA.
  • Irate newspaper readers writing letters to complain about a disrespectful editorial cartoon (and as a former editorial cartoonist, let me point out that those angry letters are the only reason that newspapers still put cartoons on their Op-Ed pages; without the cartoons, letters to the editor would nearly dry up)
  • A software widget called "BabyMouse" that disables your computer's right-mouse-clicks for when you're web-surfing with your toddler

It also, occasionally, gives me actual news about the outside world, and any bloggers who happen to utter Babymouse's name. (We're listening...!)

Thus, I find out about Laura Lutz's Pinot and Prose, which Fuse had mentioned but I had, in my lack of free time, glossed over. Now, Laura's gone and said the magic word, and appeared in my mailbox thanks to Google.

So I take a look at Pinot and Prose, mildly intrigued since my wife and I are foodies (my wife's a winemaker; she works in the Willamette Valley, AKA Pinot Capital of the World), and see this delightful bit that makes me long for the old country (i.e., Astoria, Queens):

When I looked up the café, though, I was bummed to find out that it was located on the Upper West Side. And those of you familiar with the NYC area will know what a pain in the arse it is to get from Queens to the UWS.

Ah, yes. Life in Queens. Known to Manhattanites as Outer Mongolia. I was always astonished that our fellow New Yorkers would take an hour subway ride out to Park Slope, or spend 45 minutes trying to get from the Upper East Side to the Upper West Side during rush hour, but never even think of taking a 10-minute subway ride to Astoria. I wonder what neighborhood Laura's in?

For you Queens expats, let me share a delightful recipe with you: via the Food Network, a recipe by Cat Cora (yes, the Iron Chef) for Avgolemeno, or chicken soup with egg-lemon sauce. It's nearly a dead-ringer for the killer chicken soup we used to get at Uncle George's on Broadway. My only alterations: add some carrots, and let it chill overnight. It was much more Astoria-ish on Day 2.


fusenumber8 said...

Whereas I, in my infinite self-conscious state, Google the term "Fuse #8" regularly on the sly. Fortunately I also read your blog when I've a chance, and don't need to locate you that way.

Thanks for the shout out!

Unknown said...

Unfortunately, I'm dreadfully behind on my Googling and only just discovered your shout-out to my blog. I appreciate it!

I'm in Forest Hills, which has sufficient food. Nothing has fantabulous as Flushing and Astoria, however. Jackson Heights is also up-and-coming on the culinary scene (as it's filling up with transplanted Manhattanites).

And you're in Portland, no? You don't have shabby food yourself (I got my undergrad in Salem and lived there for 6 years total). Oh, I miss the microbrews and Powell's... Powell's kicks The Strand's arse!