Saturday, August 26, 2006

Making a Comic Book, Part 12

Pride High also has other language versions in the works. Here's a look at a few pages of the Japanese version.

Cover


Page 5

Friday, August 25, 2006

Making a Comic Book, Part 11

The lettering process continues. Currently, I'm adding speech bubbles to the black and white images. As soon as Brian sends over the color version, I switch the B&W layer for the color. I love adobe photoshop!

Page 4

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Making a Comic Book, Part 10

We're now in the final production stage for Pride High. Brian is working on the color, and as each page is completed, I'll add the lettering like so:

Page 1


Page 3

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Frijoles Refritos

Known in English as "refried beans," the name in Spanish actually means "well-fried." Canned refried beans just don't compare to homemade. My personal version makes a few tweaks on the original (olive oil instead of lard, turmeric to aid with digestion, and a LOT of garlic), but at the end it still has that yummy, creamy goodness.



A
1 pound dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained (I had some extra kidney beans and mixed them in)
water, enough to cover the beans by two inches in a large pot
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp olive oil (this helps keep the foam down so you can do other things while the pot simmers)
1/2 head of garlic, minced (I LOVE my garlic press)
2-3 bay leaves

B
2 medium onions, diced
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp cumin seeds

C
2 Tbsp oregano
2 Tbsp cayenne (tone it down if you wish)

Bring A to a boil in a large pot. Let it stay at a hard boil until the beans begin to fall apart. This will vary greatly depending on how old your beans are. Mine only took about 20 minutes to get to this step. Turn A down to a brisk simmer and leave for 15-20 minutes. In a separate tall-brim frying pan, sauté B until the onions are translucent.



Turn off heat and add C. You could do this step once the beans are done, but I like to do this early to allow the oil to sit and really absorb the flavors of the cumin seeds. Turn A's heat back up to high and begin stirring and mashing the beans against the bottom and side.



After a few minutes of doing this, your beans should be more mash with some whole beans floating about. Some people try to pulverize every single bean into nothingness, but I'm fine with having some whole beans in there. Turn the B's heat on high. Turn off A's heat. Once everything is sizzling, dump A into B (remember, tall-brim frying pan!) and stir/scrape the sides and bottom.



As the beans fry, they'll get mashed up even more. Add salt to taste and serve over corn tortillas.

Frijoles Refritos with corn tortillas, guacamole, yogurt, and jack cheese

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Making a Comic Book, Part 9

Making a comic book isn't cheap. I'm hoping to eventually sell some ad space to offset the production costs. However, without a physical product in hand, it's rather difficult to market ad space. So for Issue 1, I decided to feature some free ads from groups I like.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Khichdi

Khichdi (khichadi/khichari) is at is most basic a dish made from rice and dal. The most common dals used are moong dal and masoor dal. It's not to be confused with the Anglo-Indian fish dish, Kedgeree, which is only loosely based on the original. Here's my version of this Indian staple:

A
2 Tbsp oil or ghee (I use olive oil)
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp hing
1/2 tsp whole peppercorns
2 crushed black cardomom pods

B
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

C
2/3 cup red lentils
1 and 1/3 cup brown rice *

D
4 and 1/2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cayenne



Sauté A in a large pot until mustard seeds just begin to pop. Add B and stir vigorously for about 10 seconds or so. Add C. Stir for about 20 seconds, coating the rice and dal well with the oil and spices.



Add D, stir well, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes.

* you can use regular white rice or basmati, but reduce the cooking time from 40 min to 20-25

Pantry Week vs Chinese Take-out

So I almost made it a week without buying any food at all. But I had to get chinese take-out! Vegetarian sweet and sour chicken with that blazing artificial red food coloring is my kryptonite! Still, 13 bucks on food for the whole week isn't bad!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wafa Sultan, Secular Syrian

The following is a video featuring Wafa Sultan, a secular Syrian with a great deal of courage!



A transcript for those unable to watch the video:

Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on the other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.

Man: I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?

Wafa Sultan: Yes, that is what i mean…

Wafa Sultan: Who came up with the concept of a clash of civilizations? Was it not Samuel Huntington? It was not Bin Laden. I would like to discuss this issue, if you dont mind…

Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: “I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.” When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims,and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to stop this war,they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula,which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels. My colleague has said that he never offends other people’s beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call ohter people by names they did not choose for themselves? Once he calls them Ahl Al-Dhimma. They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them “those who incur Allah’s Wrath,” or “Those who have gone astray,” and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others? I am not a Christian, a Muslim, or a Jew. I am a secular human being. I do not believe in the supernatural, but I respect others’ right to believe in it.

Man: Are you a heretic?

Wafa Sultan: You can say whatever you like. I am a secular human being who does not believe in the supernatural…

Man: If you are a heretic, there is no point in rebuking you, since you have blashphemed agains Islam, the Prophet and the Koran…

Wafa Sultan: These are personal matters that do not concern you. Brother, you can believe in stones, as long as you don’t throw them at me. You are free to worship whoever you want, but other people’s beliefs are not your concern, wehter they believe that the Messiah is God, son of Mary, or that Satan is God, son of Mary. Let people have their beliefs. The Jews have come from the tragedy (of the Holocaust), and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror, with their work, not their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. 15 million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims have turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a Mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims mus task themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Pantry Week

I'm going to see if I can go all the way to next Sunday subsisting purely on what I have left in the pantry and fridge.

I threw together a quick meal after my bike tour: brown rice with tempeh and sweet peas, seasoned with garlic, sesame oil, and soy sauce. No recipe really, as I just tossed everything together, then set the rice to cook while I took a shower.

Bike Tour of San Francisco

After waking up at 1:30pm today, I decided to reclaim the day with a 20 mile bike tour of San Francisco. I meant to do this back when I first moved to San Francisco back in August of 2004. Better late than never!



One of my least favorite intersections, 14th and Folsom



A quick pit stop at Rainbow Cooperative for some amazake to fuel my bike ride



The Main Public Library



The Farmer's market in front of the Civic Center



Market Street



Fisherman's Wharf



Embarcadero



Treasure Island



Teatro Zinzanni, a popular Italian dinner theater joint



Tourist Central



Alcatraz



Golden Gate Bridge in the distance



The sea lions



Fort Mason Park



Getting closer...



Surfers at Golden Gate Bridge



A sea lion playing with the surfers



The Pacific from Golden Gate Bridge



Nearing Marin



Marin County



Alcatraz from Marin



Oakland far in the distance



Downtown San Francisco just in view



More of Marin



Sea Cliff Coyote crossing



The Pacific from Sea Cliff



The wonderfully long, downhill ride to Ocean Beach



Golden Gate fading into the distance



A monument to San Francisco's Japanese-American immigrants



Marin from Sea Cliff



Another monument to the Japanese-Americans, though completely in Kanji



Ocean Beach



Ducks at Golden Gate Park



Downhill on 17th on my way home



I couldn't wait to take a shower. I was exhausted, and extremely cold due to the temperature drop in the Sunset (San Francisco's microclimates are nothing to mess with). Next time I'll be more prepared. But despite my exhaustion, it was an incredibly fun ride with breaktaking views. San Francisco is such beautiful city.