woodward book

David Folkenflik (who’s a very solid media writer, not to mention owner of a kick-ass last name) has a good piece up on Bob Woodward’s latest and his sourcing issues. I was surprised Sy Hersh and Geneva Overholser were willing to go as far as they did in criticizing ol’ Bob.

zaguan, cuatro leches

Three reasons all Dallasites reading this should, sometime in the next few days, eat at Zaguan, the Latin American bakery on Oak Lawn:
– The chicken cachapas, a kind of Venezuelan corn pancake stuffed with chicken and a cheese of undetermined origin, are supertasty. With a side of plantain chips, it’s the best comfort food this side of crawfish etouffee.
– It’s one of my favorite places in town, but it’s almost never busy. Your presence may someday be needed as a cushion against business failure.
– NEW REASON! On a trip there yesterday, I discovered their cuatro leches dessert. Oh. My. Goodness.
You probably know from tres leches cake, the delicious Latin specialty with the mouth-watering, impossibly moist texture. If you’ve been to La Duni (my absolute favorite restaurant in Dallas, a more upscale, Argentine-steak focused Latin place), you may have had their cuatro leches cake, which counts a dulce de leche sauce as the mysterious fourth leche. (That last link is a PDF of their recipe.)
I loooooove La Duni’s cuatro leches cake. But sometimes you don’t want the full La Duni experience. (Actually, I can’t remember ever not wanting the full La Duni experience. But I digress.) Sometimes you just want something quick. That’s where Zaguan’s cuatro leches comes in. It’s barely a cake, really — it’s a cake reduced to its bare essentials, almost devoid of structure. (Zaguan serves it in a bowl — it would have no chance of vertical survival without one. The thing’s almost liquid at times.) It really nails that mixture of cake texture on the micro level and sweet cream mouthfeel on the macro level. It’s almost like a condensed milk pudding.
(Yes, I did just use the word “mouthfeel” unironically.)
The best part of Zaguan’s cuatro leches: $2.95! Available to go! Seriously, people.

doc and the community

So I’m at my doc’s this morning. (Basic checkup, nothing major, don’t worry — no need to start prepping a crabwalk.com succession plan.) Anyway, my doc tells me he wants to check me out for a certain kind of drug-resistant staph infection. He says he’s been checking out all of his patients for it because “it seems like everybody’s got it in the community these days.”
Now, I live on the outskirts of Oak Lawn, Dallas’ predominantly gay neighborhood. My doctor’s office is smack in the middle of Oak Lawn. While no one likes to truck in stereotypes, I’d be awfully surprised if my doctor isn’t gay — not that there’s anything wrong with that! I mean, the man has a pet poodle who roams the examination rooms. Big hoop earring in one lobe, a lisp — the man fits the image. And considering all the “specialists in HIV therapy” signs around the office, I’d have to assume that he serves a largely gay clientele.
So I had to think: When he says “the community,” does he mean “Dallas inside Loop 12”? (Unlikely.) Does he mean “the Cajun blogging community”? (Doubtful.) Or does he mean the gay community?
There’s no good way to bring this up. Should I off-handedly mention some past heterosexual adventure? Should I pick up the SI swimsuit issue (!) he had sitting in the examination room and start saying things like, “Boy, look at the ass on that one! I’d like to hit me some of that“? Should I fake a musical appreciation of, I don’t know, Travis Tritt?
I just blurted out: “Just for the record, I’m straight.”
Doc looked a little puzzled. He paused and said, “Oh.” Then he told me we wouldn’t need to go ahead with the test.

random back from sf post

Why you should short Netflix. That said, they’ve done fine by me. A DVD they sent me got lost in the mail. I filled out a simple form on their site, and presto chango my account is credited. No grilling about DVD thievery, no assumption of my guilt.
Roy Orbison’s little known Confederate-spy period. Roy Orbison: Not blind, not albino.
I love it when journalists are willing to print obviously false statements just to give a story a feeling of “balance.” Take this story, for instance, about how a small Catholic college in Pennsylvania confiscated copies of the student paper because it featured a student column promoting condom use. Here’s the school’s P.R. guy:
“Ken Service, vice president for institutional relations, said La Roche [College] was not trying to stifle student expression or interfere with the campus press.”
Come on! You can argue the relative wisdom of confiscating pro-condom (ooh!) literature. But you can’t with a straight face say it isn’t “interfer[ing] with the campus press” or “stifl[ing] student expression.” It’s obviously those things. If you want to defend those actions, go to it. But don’t tell obvious falsehoods.
Have you seen Kill Bill Vol. 2 yet? (If not, you should. Quite entertaining, particularly in a large crowd, as I saw it Friday in S.F.) If you’re wondering where Tarantino got the black mamba information Daryl Hannah quotes in Budd’s trailer, this is it. “Their volatility is their greatest danger, particularly when cornered or surprised. East Africa’s famed snake expert C.J.P. Ionides cites a reliable account from Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) of 11 people dying in a fracas between shepherds and a single black mamba. One mamba that Ionides captured had killed seven villagers at the same spot. She lived out her remaining years peaceably at the London Zoo.”
Finally, bravo to Julie Bykowicz, whoever she is, for her letter on Romenesko. She decries unpaid summer internships (in journalism, but by extension in all industries). Her point: Only rich kids can afford to work all summer and not get paid for it, so unpaid internships give unfair advantage to rich kids. As a poor kid who couldn’t afford the White House intern/Harper’s Magazine intern/whatever route, I can tell you she’s dead on. She cites this stat: “A survey at a summer intern lunch…in Washington in 1998 found that more than 60% of these mostly unpaid interns had parents earning more than $100,000 a year. Only about 20% of all families of college students earn that much.” So you’re taking only the richest of an already pretty well-off bunch.
Anyway, I’m back from San Francisco. A lovely week. After the conference, ended up roaming the streets until 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Went up to Napa, drove up to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, then got to see Barry Bonds hit his 666th career home run. (Or, as I prefer to call it, his Satan homer.) Anyway, many thanks to the San Franciscans who put up with me, most notably providers-of-sleeping-space Jessa and Lisa.
Now, back to work.

first day in s.f.

Greetings from San Francisco. It’s a little drizzly, and I haven’t had a chance to venture beyond tourist-choked Fisherman’s Wharf yet today, but it’s good to be here. Had a lovely dinner last night with Jessa, Kristin, Kevin, Jane, MJ, and the sadly blogless Suzan, who collectively make up my West Coast Krew (415 Chapter). Today I got to enjoy the wonders of Caltrain, sample my first In-N-Out burger, try a place called Bob’s Sushi (a tactical error, I regret to report), and generally wandered around. Oh, and spent too much time in a Starbucks, soaking up wifi to finish a story for work. The edumacation excitement starts tomorrow.

sea ray and amc on kexp

Two notable additions to the KEXP streaming live archives: American Music Club (April 1) and Sea Ray (March 22).
(If you’re unfamiliar with KEXP’s live streams, the “Interview.rm” and “Interview.wma” files are the complete performance.)
Listen to the Sea Ray for a strong version of “Sister Gone” and to be amused at how much DJ John in the Morning kisses the band’s ass. (Deservedly, of course.) Listen to the AMC to be further convinced that their new album might actually be strong. (One exception: “Patriot’s Heart,” the tale of a gay male stripper with a smile in his underwear [!], sounds like a lyrical disaster in the making. Might work with Mark Eitzel’s vocals more in tune. Might.)
But in the interview, Mark sounds happier than I’ve heard him for a while, which is good to hear. It’s nice to hear him sounding upbeat after singing “Another Morning,” a song about his longtime muse Kathleen Burns. (MP3 here.) Kathleen was Mark’s ex-lover and inspiration for several AMC/Eitzel songs. She killed herself a few years back. Photo here (bottom of the page). If you want to read something heartbreaking, try this interview with Mark during one of his low moments. The interviewers didn’t know Kathleen had just died and started asking questions about her. (Scan for Kathleen’s name.)
By the way, two old AMC songs are now available on their web site: If I Had A Hammer (1993, one of my college faves) and Why Won’t You Stay (1991).

s.f. trip coming up

West Coast Alert: I leave tomorrow afternoon for a week in lovely San Francisco. (I’ll be at the Education Writers Association’s National Seminar. I’m even giving a talk on Friday afternoon, if you’re deeply interested in comparing teacher preparedness evaluation methodologies. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.)
While the conference will keep me busy for most of Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, if any crabwalk.com are interested in grabbing a beer, just drop me a line.
Running note: I have tentative plans to run this 5K race in San Francisco on Saturday morning. A fine cause, I’m sure. If you’re interested in running with, let me know.
Running note the second: I have more certain plans to run the Fort Worth Zoo 5k the following Saturday, April 24. Nothing like sweating amongst the monkeys. If you’re interested in running with, &c.
Finally, is it just me or is it rude to name a whole class of animal lesser? It’s just a self-image problem waiting to happen.