Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Famous Zucchini Soup

Since I mentioned it in this piece, "Moral Dilemma of the Week: I Found a Wad of Cash," I figured I may as well share the recipe.

Hardly gourmet, hardly complicated, but dammit it's delicious.

(Plus since step 9 of today's piece by Julie Feinstein Adams reminds us that BLOGS NEED TO BE UPDATED, well . . . here you go.)


About 6 medium zukes, cleaned and cut into chunks
1 chopped yellow onion (medium to large)
olive oil
3 tablespoons of chopped garlic (or more. I go with more).
3 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock (low-sodium because most national brands put the dreaded MSG in the full-sodium version)
1 cup of milk/lowfat milk/unsweetened soy milk (I prefer the soy in this)
Chili flakes
Parmesan cheese.

Put olive oil in sauce pan with onions. Cook 3 minutes, slowly stirring. Add garlic. Cook for another 15-30 seconds. Add zucchini, a pinch or two of salt, pepper, and chili flakes to preference; still stirring, cook until zucchinis begin to get tender (3-5 minutes). Add broth; bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 20 min. Take off the heat. Get your immersion/hand blender; blend until smooth or mostly smooth (I like some zuke pieces still floating about in there). Add milk, stir. Parmesan to taste. Serve hot OR cold, delicious either way.

PREP TIME: Maybe 10 min.

COOKING TIME: About 30 min.

You're welcome.

Monday, June 13, 2011


While we've made a habit of mostly publishing magazine-style articles, Q&As, essays, and opinion pieces, OO has not published much fiction. Sure, we've published parody of dubious humor, and we've published a serialized fictional story in graphic (i.e., comic book) format in the form of Apocalypse Meh.

But today marks our first publication of fiction in its most-traditional form: a prose short story. Now I know 5,000 words of fiction is a tough sell for the short attention spans of the Internet crowd (of which I am one, of course), I'm really very pleased that Tami Levin submitted "Snow Globe" for publication consideration. It's really a fine story and instantly one of the finest things with which OO has had the pleasure of being associated.

(And, on the subject of the short attentions of the Web audience, I'll defer to Winston Rowntree, of the Subnormality Web comic, who once told me: "In terms of the arts I’d consider “conventional wisdom” to be a fairly obvious oxymoron, and I think so would anyone who has the intention of creating something genuine as opposed to something that nobody will make fun of.")

Thursday, May 12, 2011

People of Wal-Mart Video . . . Spiritual Successor to Trader Joe's Commercial?

It's definitely filled with less love than all-time classic "If I Made a Commercial for Trader Joe's" -- but this video by Jessica Frech seems to me to sort of be the spiritual successor to Carl Willat's TJs-centric masterpiece. Clever wordplay, visual jokes to go along with it, catchy tune, and DIY aesthetic . . . okay, it's kind of mean, but hard to turn away.

Check it out for yourself below.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Man, I love anthologies, especially of the comic book variety.

I'll admit they are exceedingly difficult to review, since each story is likely to be of a different quality (oh, Pop Gun and MOME, how I love thee . . . but there's always one or two stories that plod). But they are also a ton of fun, especially if you are in the mood for a short, done-in-one kinda story, either a bunch or one at a time.

In fact, I was super excited to accidentally discover that comic book fantasy anthology Elf World, which was a one-off from a few years back, has resurfaced as a quarterly book, and number two is about to come out. Check out info here. The original was like a breath of awesome (I talked about it on SFist a little like a million years ago).

So that's a nice surprise. Currently attempting to earmark 12 bucks to buy the new series.

Another nice surprise is that OO contributor (writer of the Apocalypse Meh! comic and semi-frequent looks at the world of comics) Jonathan Westhoff is organizing a kickstarter campaign to publish an anthology. It's basically a sampling of stories from creators that met on the 11 O'Clock Comics forums, the online presence of a quite popular podcast.

I was inclined to like it because Jon was involved, but just checking out those sweet samples on the kickstarter page made my jaw drop, jest a little bit.

So, if you like anthologies, good art, and publications that really capture the spirit of comics, definitely check out Elf World, and seriously consider a donation to Jon's kickstarter campaign.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Marvel Comics for Free? There's a Catch

(*you gotta drink some Starbucks)

Gosh, this is really interesting.

We wrote in November about the roll out of "Starbucks Digital Network," where Starbucks customers can access Wi-Fi along with content from several partners for free while doing so.

It looks like Marvel Comics is joining the party, allowing Starbucks patrons to browse comics through Marvel's Digital Comics Unlimited service.

The Marvel DCU is usually $10/month, equal to about five cups of Starbucks drip coffee, or maybe three espresso drinks (though year-long commitments currently go for about $60/half off).

You know I love to criticize SBUX, but this actually seems like a great move for both parties. I think people would in fact indulge in Starbucks for a Marvel DCU preview, and those used to spending so much on coffee, not to mention people that are online and enjoy reading, seem to be a great target market.

Looks like I'll be visiting Starbucks again pretty soon--the partnership starts April 23--just to check out the MDCU interface and catalog. Might be fun to see how the Hulk looks on my Droid.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Starbucks' New Trenta Monstrosity Rolling out Nationwide

It's true! We told you last March about the testing phase of Starbucks' extra-large Trenta size; now word's come out that the 31-oz. beverages will be widely available.

Yes, this represents the further denigration of SBUX into a business catering to the lowest common denominator, but of course going the instant route with Via was really the point of no return in that regard. For anyone overly incredulous about this, let us remind you: Big Gulp, at 32 ounces, is still bigger; naturally, the Double Big Gulp, at 64 ounces, is even more egregious.

It's still being billed as "cold drinks only," but I'll stick with my "The customer is always right/Starbucks is the new 7-11" line of logic in thinking hotter drinks will follow within the year. The Trenta size will be about 50 cents more than a Venti according to reports.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Goodman's Bastard Machine Is Back; We All Win

America's most readable TV critic is relaunching at his new home. Tim Goodman, formerly the best reason to read the San Francisco Chronicle/SFGate Web site, is now the best reason to check out The Hollywood Reporter. His blog, The Bastard Machine, lives again in a slightly flashier form; do yourself a favor and check it out . . . HERE's his first post since relaunch (Jan. 4).

Monday, January 3, 2011

One of the Most Horrific Things In Existence

This 10th anniversary commemorative Sept. 11 coin is more of a slap in the face to those that dealt with 9/11-based hardships than anything else. How tacky.

When the Criticism Outshines What it Critiques

This essay on Savage Critics by Abhay Khosla may be the favorite thing I've read in months. No disrespect intended to Misters Morrison nor Burns; what I've read of the works Khosla dissects are good to very good. But the critique is just great reading, even, I suspect, for people only mildly familiar with the subjects.