For *wheeze* what it’s *cough* worth:

1. Whitey – Remember back when it was cool to say that you were looking at a condo you couldn’t afford? Remember, also, when you walked into one of those “lending” offices and told them you made 35k a year and they told you, “Hell yeah, you can afford a house! See, your payments will be right around the $650 rent you pay each month!”? Ah, wouldn’t it be nice if your payments didn’t shoot up to around $1800 a month for no apparent reason two years later? The joys of the free market, right? The market will guide itself, indeed…right into the fucking gutter.

2. Cough Cough – Using PDAs (that many other people touch and slobber on) at work and having a child in kindergarten (filled with touchy and slobbery kids) add up to three separate colds since December 1, 2007.

3. Old Crow Medicine Show - When it comes to music, I like to view myself, always, as a growing boy. Being the dude who only listens to late 80′s Metallica forever and loves his mullet has always been a fear of mine. Suffice it to say, I’ve loved experimenting with my ears. This has allowed distinct periods of time when I listened to, for instance, terrible funk a la Limbomaniacs (sample lyric: “When butts are headed in my direction, I slip around back for a closer inspection. I size them all up with no sign of detection and I swoop on in and I make a selection.”), all manner of really boring electronica, and truly embarrassing grunge. However, despite all the failed romps in musical mind-expansion, I do come across some absolute gems. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m saying it again: Old Crow Medicine Show makes my life a little easier to live. Their brand of old-timey Americana is engrossing and refreshing. They’re a band that makes me glad that I experiment as much as I do. I implore you, go forth and listen!

4. Gladiatores – When writers go on strike, things such as this are given birth. I feel like I’m 13 again when I watch it and I act like it, too.

5. Just For You, Randy – I’m a fan of pork. It’s basically the most delicious meat out there (and I’m not talking about that shit in your grocer’s refrigerator case – I’m talking about the good, real stuff raised with care and, arguably depending on your view, ethics). Over the last year or so, I’ve experimented with various ways of preparing pork mainly in either Portuguese or Spanish dishes. Yeah, the Iberians, they love the swine, too. And, man, do they show it. How about America, though? Why is ham so pedestrian here when cured pork like Prosciutto, Jamón Serrano, and Presunto exist? Why is American ham so……blah? Enter Peter Kaminsky’s Pig Perfect: Encounters With Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways To Cook Them. Kaminsky’s book is beyond methods of preparing pork. Indeed, it is about a journey to find amazing pork and the age-old methods of preparing it. To my surprise, there are ham producers in America that do take care in the time and patience required of a good ham. It’s just that various government rules prevent many of them from profiting from it or even selling it at all. America has strange food laws that basically cater to large corporations while smaller, artisan-minded folk (read: local and fresh) can’t get a ham in edgewise (call me a foodie libertarian – hands off my food!). No wonder everyone thinks a ham is a ham is a ham.