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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Fuck Football (and my Landlord); Eat Chicken Instead

Ask me if I'm watching the game, why doncha.

Jen here. Been absent for a while, largely due to a combo of work mishegas, Stupid Older Parent Tricks, Asshole Landlord Tricks, and general exhaustion brought about by all of the above.

Before I get in to a generalized rant, let me tell you what I'm cooking while I'm watching the news and IGNORING the Big Advertising Session Interruped by Roided Up Freaks Beating the Shit out of Each Other over a Fucked Up Looking Ball:

Jen's Real Deal Original Jewish Chicken-Dealin' Family from the Bronx Chicken Fricasee:

1 fresh chicken--fryer or broiler (no roid monsters for this one) about 5 lb/2 kilos
At least 4 or 5 biggish yellow onions (the cooking type, not sandwich sweets)
About 4 cloves of fresh garlic
Paprika and/or paprika plus black pepper
Spice Blend of your choice (I used Tsardust Dreams from Penzey's spices)
NOTE: If neither is used, just use black pepper.
Chicken Fat, Olive Oil, or Ghee

Bigass Dutch Oven or other heavy smooth pot
a few clean plates
Plastic Bag

To prepare: Cut the chicken into the classic frying sections: leg, thigh, back in 2 pieces, whole wings, each breast in 2 pieces. Dry well. Set aside and slice the onions as thin as you can. Grate or mash the garlic on top of the onions.

In a plastic bag, put in at least 1 cup of flour--yes, it sounds like a waste but you'll need it to adequatly flour the chicken. Into the flour add your seasoning--at least 1 Tablespoon; probably more. Also add salt. Mix well and shake your chx 3 pieces at a time or so and set aside on a dry paper towel or plate. Now throw the flour out--do NOT try to save. If you have kids or a crew to feed, set aside and throw an egg in to make sorta spicy latkes/oilcakes WITH THAT MEAL--if you'r not using it immediatley, toss it.

Once floured, make sure your pan is hot BEFORE you add your oil/fat of choice. When it's NOT smoking but hot enough to sizzle a damp dab of your flour, gently brown the chicken. Don't crowd the pan and do it slowly, not on too-high heat. Have another plate handy. Turn after a few minutes--chicken should be browned, but not cooked, and some oil should be coming out of the chicken. REMOVE CHICKEN FROM PAN and SET ASIDE.

When all the chicken is browned and out of the pot, add a bit more oil if necessary. If you're not using an NFL-roidlevel oven stuffer, you probably will need a tad more fat in the pot. Toss in ALL of onions/garlic and give it a stir. Throw on more salt and whatever seasoning you are using (ie pepper, blend, etc). COOK DOWN the onions until they are soft and no longer have that sharp "oniony just cut" smell--should be soft and white but NOT brown. Put the chicken on top of the onions. Add no more than 1/2 a cup of water if it seems to be sticking. Put the lid on. Get the flame diffuser under the pot. 5 minutes later, using the stirrer and the tongs if necessary, stir the chicken GENTLY into the onions. Check moisture level. Turn the heat low and stir about every 10 minutes. When it's gooey and the chicken is sticky, not falling apart but very soft and gooey, it's done. Serve on rice or noodles with a green of some sort.

Lemme go stir my chicken; BRB.

Damn that's good. Diped some bread in the sauce--getting all thick and gooey...rice ready to go in the Rice Spaceship...anyway...

I still have to do my Feb. calendar, as I've been to busy to do such since. One thing that has kept me busy is Mom.

Now, I love my Mom. I was real happy when she said that she was taking an eco-tour to South America, even though I was worried about her--she has joint problems, and has already had her knees injected with the new gel treatment out there as opposed to full replacement.

Long story short: She slipped and fell and broke her leg near her knee.

And didn't really realize it.

And walked around the fucking RAIN FOREST with a BROKEN LEG for FOUR DAYS. When she first slipped, a helpful guide took out his machete and made her a crutch right there on the spot. She jokes that she now has a great souvineer. Yes, she took out emergency evacuation insurance; she just didn't think it was broken.

When she got back, it turns out that she broke the bone where the rear ligament joins the top of the thigh. It's not broke all the way through, and she's in an immobilizer as opposed to a cast, but still. I haven't driven in 10 years, and my Mom is insisting she's OK, but I'm in touch with the neighbors by her and making sure that she treats this one seriously. My Mom is one of those folks who will let something go from bad to chronic to OMFG get your ass to the ER already. So, my aggravation level is a little high right now.

Which, as you can imagine, did not make me the most sanguine when my Landlord confronted me, demanding to know who called 311 about our broken fire escape. Yes, you read that right. I'm on the top floor, but the middle floor is the one with the sort of ladder that drops down to get to the ground. You can't get off the 2nd floor fire escape without dropping the ladder.

Well, according to my neighbor, the ladder was fused/rusted/painted shut. She found this out when she got locked IN to her apartment when her doorknob literally fell off in her hands. She tried to get out via the fire escape and was trapped. She used her cell to call the LL who opened her door from the outside.

Now, she was too scared to call this in. My Landlord--who lives IN THE BUILDING--said he would "get around to it." Of course, he never did--he does everything half-assed and I always have to wait forever for any repairs.

So, as there's already been a few heat-related fires in the 'hood, someone (I'm not saying who) called this in to the DOB (Dept of Buildings).

Just my I was coming back from the store, I ran into my LL. Being grilled by the DOB inspector. My LL was like, who called this in? He was trying to tell the guy that the fire escape was OK, and I had to chime in and said, does the ladder work? I didn't want to mention the poor girl by name. So my LL stood there giving me shit in front of the inspector. The fact that my phone wasn't ringing after the guy left means that in fact it WAS broken--he was trying to say, oh, nothing is wrong, that tenant was too weak to lift the ladder, etc....

Fuck him. Makes me feel less guilty that I DID call 311 this AM for his doing illegal construction at 8 AM on a Sunday. I hope they nail his ass good.

To everyone who says "oh, oh, NYC doesn't need rent stabilization, if you don't' like it, leave!" : Fuck you. Everyone in my building (save the pig owner) would LOVE to but can't afford to. I'm fixing to do so this summer, G-d willing, but if my life hadn't been under a major star of change for the past 2 years it wouldn't be an option. The lady on the broken fire escape floor works for a nonprofit, and she couldn't afford ANYTHING within a 1-hour commute of her job (which is the DOL definition of "allowable relocation" for job acceptance issues RE welfare/unemployment). Commuting costs a fortune, also, may I add--get outside of the immediate NYC area and unless you have a car, you can't even get to the train/bus. Pigs like my LL know this and pretty much dare tenants to complain.

Fuck him.

I have a running bet with myself that after I (his steady-paying tenent) leave, he will do something that will result in at least one tenant dead. Mark my word.

Time to go stir the chicken...

Dear sweet Jesus/Allah/Buddha/GwanYin/YHVH that's good.

Anyway, I need to make my bed, do my calendar, figure out what the fuck I'm gonna wear to work this week (forgot that Superbowl Sunday is Laundry Big Day also--my biz laundry dropoff won't be ready till Tuesday), pay some bills, and decrappify my place for the week--all while trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour, given that I went to bed at 4 AM last nigt (playing Okami) and woken up at 9, but back to sleep and out till 1 PM...

So, tell me what you-all are doing instead of SuperBowling...

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