The Sometimes Blog


At first the quiet was unnerving. Around the world and all at once browsers stalled, then froze, then GPFed; screens flickered on and off; cursors stuck to their place; a torrent of half-regurgitated, self-reflective musings of millions dwindled very fast, then died forever instantly. Phones died; iPads died; WiFi SSIDs slipped away from this reality, one by one, like bored party guests, unapologetic and hurrying to the door.

We were alone with our thoughts.

It was unnervingly quiet. Normally we would raise a communal cry that would shake the foundations of the earth – like we did on that great Livejournal blackout of 2007, or the smaller, frequent ones on Twitter; but our means to raise such cries were all shut down. The media that would inform us of the tragedy died too. We turned with unfamiliar hands to radio and television but, for the first long minutes after it all flickered away, the old news reported old news. We were indeed alone. Some of us speculated whether this loneliness was how Man lived before – and, shaken, others turned to touch or talk to family and pets.

It was quiet – and then, after many scary minutes, an army of sounds invaded: neighbors’ conversations and the sounds of cars driving by and dogs exchanging howls; and televisions and radios all around, reporting old news. They were all there before, but useless, unheeded. With horror, we asked ourselves where all of that noise hid so far and, then, fearfully, if it would ever go back there again.

Minutes turned into hours, but nothing came back and nothing lived and no one would tell us what happened. We left our devices, dead, on tables, and looked up, and got out, and met IRL, and talked nervously for hours, and listened to neighbors’ conversations and television shows and dogs’ howls.

Can You Be Too Good At Cooking?

The six hundred and twenty-five dollars’ Modernist cuisine will get a cheaper home version, Modernist Cuisine at Home, which only costs one hundred and forty – or about 33 Big Macs.

I’ve only browsed through so far, and I can say that this project is a feast for some senses. It’s passionate, which is important. and it wishes to be definite, which is a sign of hubris. It also marks a trend in cooking which I thought I enjoyed: a serious attempt to understand food in resolutions which can only be called geeky.

But lately I’ve been getting a little bit of indigestion looking at some things people do. I can’t really defend this feeling – it is, after all, an issue of the gut – but it seems like there’s a big dose of greed. Food is enjoyed in moderation, and without it food is something else. Just the ink used in Modernist Cuisine, for example, weights 43 pounds. Molecular chefs offer food that’s too smart to eat and doesn’t evoke those little emotions that food evokes.

I’m not sure I’m on the right side of this. Maybe the thought of others being more geeky-obsessive than me just feels strange. In the meanwhile, if you’re really serious about cooking, you’d do very well with Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking.


Damnit, Steve

For some decades now, Steve Jobs was being Steve Jobs so we won’t have to. So now we have to – otherwise the world of technology will once again be ruled by those who “just have no taste, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas and don’t bring any culture into their product” – unregrettably successful but with “really, third rate products”.

My friend Tomer Lichtash wrote (or remixed) an iKaddish for Jobs. Lots of people payed homage to the dead genius, but of all of them, the only person who’s iMac I destroyed by spilling mediocre Grappa all over it was Tomer Lichtash. They say karma can travel half way around the world. If, by spilling said Grappas on said Lichtash’s iMac ignited the fuse that ended with Job’s demise, I deeply apologize.


I drove around and got to your house accidentally. So I sat there with the windows rolled down for the cold night and I looked at your windows, and they were dark. I turned the radio on, I smoked a cigarette, but I was uneasy. I changed the stations, I rolled another cigarette. I put the seat down and I thought perhaps I’ll stay there for the night, and I almost lulled myself down with a thought of how, three years ago, I waited down here on the nearby bench, drinking one of six beers I had in a bag I got from the all-night store, sitting across the street from you like I am now, looking at your windows as I do now, watching your silhouette as you were pacing the room, phone to your ear, trying to get hold of your shrink who was in another country. You told me to get out and I said no, it may have worked with other men but not with me, woman, and you went into a panic attack, and you were pacing, and you were crying, and I was standing there and there was nothing I could do.

So I took my keys and I waited outside and I was looking up the number for your shrink when she’s abroad with my phone on a neighbor’s wifi, and I texted it to you and I watched as you talked and I saw how your pacing eased and calmed as you did. And then I drunk the second beer, the third, the fifth, the last.

I thought of that night and it was a familiar country in my head, and maybe if the cold was less biting just then, it would have been enough, but I was still uneasy, and I got out of the car and I jumped up and down a little, trying to keep quiet and looking at your window. But that didn’t work, and so I got up to your place and broke in, quietly, and sat like a thief in my armchair in your dark living room.

I sat there, staring, betrayed, at your new drapes, twitching my legs and wanting to smoke. I took off my shoes, taking care to leave them neatly by the chair, and I went to your bedroom door and I almost sighed out loud with relief when I saw you were sleeping alone. I don’t know what I would have done that night if I saw you there with somebody. I sat there on the bed next to you, watching you breathe, and breathing with you, and then I lay down, and then I curled into a ball and watched you like this all night, matching a breath for a breath. And as the sun came crawling through the window I got up, very gently, and closed your bedroom door, and I made you a nice breakfast. Quietly as I could, and nothing too fancy. One piece of bread, very lightly toasted, one piece of bread toasted almost black, with the edges cut off, on the edges of the plate, and a simple salad — lettuce I ripped by hand because I couldn’t find a knife, and some cheese — tried to arrange them all nicely on the plate, and I put my shoes on and I closed the door behind me. I often think of it, and about many things like that, and of what you might be thinking to yourself as you’re eating those breakfasts.