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my name's Kirk. I work in visual effects for tv commercials. I have a big mouth. Please enjoy.

longer shit talking: nurble.com

shorter shit talking: nurble twitter

mail: nurbleATmacDOTcom

Sep 12

Forbes appears to have posted a new profile of David Chang, which I would probably have linked to even if it hadn’t terrified me:

David Chang wants me to put on a hairnet. He hands one to me as he pushes open a dented, unmarked door in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that hides the entrance to the baking operation of Momofuku Milk Bar–the dessert capital of his culinary kingdom. Inside, Chang’s addictive Crack Pie batter churns in industrial mixers and an endless stream of raw Compost Cookies slide by on conveyer belts. Even for the casual foodie, this is Willy Wonka territory–but I’m about to glimpse something even more elusive.

We walk by shelves of Ritz Crackers, Crisco and cornflakes to another scuffed door. “You’re only the fifth civilian to ever see this,” Chang says as he leads me to his windowless Momofuku culinary lab, where his team of food scientists and chefs are trying to invent new tastes for his growing restaurant empire. “I don’t know any other way to get my guys to embrace failure,” he says. ”I just want them to go for the big fuckup.”

There have been a lot of those in the five years Chang has run the lab. Hundreds of turkeys have been sacrificed in his noble attempt to create the perfect turducken. Experiments with modern gear to make ancient rice paper, rice noodles and rice balls were all disasters. Then there was the pressure cooker explosion that almost destroyed the place. “The top cracked in half–lima beans were going at 1,000 miles per hour . It looked like a grenade went off,” Chang says, as he shakes his head and laughs. “It was scary. I feel like something really bad could have happened.”

I’ve long suspected that Momo’s “secret” R&D lab was in my neighborhood, but I had no idea I was ever in any actual danger. Which makes this passage from a bit later on that much funnier/scarier:

I witness Dave Chang cook only once during my week with him. We are at Booker and Dax–Momofuku’s chemistry set turned cocktail bar (liquid nitrogen, centrifuges, rotary evaporators and a seltzer machine that could carbonate the East River). It’s cooking in its most primal form–adding heat to meat. In this case, Chang is blasting a salmon filet to demonstrate the Searzall, a Momofuku-made blowtorch invented by David Arnold, the mad food scientist who runs the Momofuku Chinatown equipment lab Chang declares too dangerous to visit.

The Booker & Dax R&D office is literally two doors down from a VFX shop I work for periodically, and I’ve often spied Dave Arnold through the storefront windows tinkering with all manner of weird shit (mostly drinks, to be honest) on my walk to and from work. Perhaps I’ll walk on the West side of Eldridge from now on.

Inside David Chang’s Secret Momofuku Test Kitchen


Sep 9

Sep 5

What do you think of the Williamsburg food scene?
[Howls and snorts of derisive laughter.] Look, I’m not an asshole, it’s just, you know, it’s a weird town.

First of all, let me stipulate that if you live more than six blocks from the corner of Grand and Roebling in Brooklyn, this probably will not interest you, BUT if you do, then you may already know that a) Stephen Tanner is, in fact, an asshole, and b) when Walter Foods and Commodore start fighting, nobody wins.

What’s a food trend you hate?
I don’t know if it’s a trend. I’ll say this: I can definitely think of something that I hate. It’s that TV show that’s on Vice called “Munchies.” That’s an abomination.

Why do you hate it?
Well, the only one that rang human was the one with Frankie or whatever from Best Pizza. That guy’s awesome. That episode is brilliant. He takes them to Sunday dinner at his parents’ house in Bensonhurst; he takes them to the pizza places he went to as a kid. He’s earnest. There’s not an aspect of that episode where he’s, like, “Okay, I’m going to go drink shots with a bunch of dickheads now.” He’s not a dickhead. The rest of the episodes are a bunch of fucking assholes that are celebrating themselves. They have one thing in common. They all say they were looking for something the community wasn’t providing. And it’s, like, “What’s that? A club of dicks?” They’re not providing anything. They’re isolating the community. I don’t give a fuck. I’ll name names. Like Walter Foods, and people who say “proper”: “I was looking to go somewhere and have a proper Man-hat-ton, and a properly cooked steak … ” What the fuck are you talking about? Dumbest shit on earth. You’re not doing anything for the community but alienating the people who have lived there for a katrillion years.

I learned a lot from this interview, and I think I really grew as a person as I read it. For example, I can now confidently define the word “hipster.”

hipster

[hip-ster] Spell Syllables
nounSlang.
1. a person who is hip.
2. hepcat.
3. a person, especially during the 1950s, characterized by a particularly strong sense of alienation from most established social activities and relationships.
4. a person who moves to a place and then condemns any person who moves to that same place even one nanosecond later to be interloping gentrifiers with no appreciation for or right to enjoy said place.
But that’s all fine. If Stephen Tanner wants to claim he’s lived in Williamsburg for “a katrillion years,” good for him. He looks twice as old as a demonic haunted tree, and it is in no way difficult to imagine him soaking up some shitty blow and a cut-rate beej at Kokie’s in 1999 (katrillion being an imaginary number, I’m going to go ahead and define it as 15 earth years) And we all know that, apart from cab drivers, nobody talks anything that happened in Williamsburg prior to 1999.
The real problem is that he has clearly watched every episode of the Vice Munchies show that he claims to despise, and that he obviously decided to hate the Walter Foods episode before ever clicking the play button. How do I know this? Because I’ve seen it too, I even wrote about it, and while I can suspend my own empathy and self-awareness for long enough to imagine what it must be like to watch the piece through the eyes of a dickhead, and I can see how one could deliberately take Danny and Dylan’s reasons for opening their restaurant in the worst possible way and ascribe horrible motives to them, I don’t, because I’m not asshole.
I too wanted to hate that episode, being butthurt because I left too early for the free meatball sandwiches being chief among the reasons, but also because I still kinda hate Vice. But a minute in and I’d lost the bile, because Danny and Dylan are nice guys and the restaurants they’ve opened are great places staffed by friendly, helpful, considerate, and extremely fun people that I’m proud to call my friends. So to make it through that entire episode, wait six months, and then tell a reporter how much you hate Walter Foods (or, more charitably, Walter Foods’ Vice Munchies episode)? That takes a level of premeditation and rage stamina that I just can’t sustain.
To listen to Danny and Dylan say “We wanted to open a place where we could get a proper cocktail” and hear two guys complaining that such things were not available in Williamsburg prior to their arrival is silly, and Tanner knows that. He knows that Danny has lived in the burg for decades (actual earth decades, not imaginary numbers of years), and that Danny had heard of Diner and Marlow and Dumont and whatever other places you needed to know about in order to get the nodding, drunken, worthless approval of Stephen Tanner. He heard what he wanted to hear, and then mouthed off about it. The reality is that being able to get a proper cocktail in a geographic area does not prevent you from opening another establishment that also endeavors to serve proper cocktails any more than having top quality fried chicken available eliminates the need to open a second place that also sells fried chicken. And if we’re just bickering over the use of the word “proper” or the preparation and sale of “man-hat-tons,” well, you can go back to your McDouble and your PBR, you greasy drunken weirdo, and I’ll try to bite my tongue the next time one of your bartenders sits next to me at Walters and orders a fucking dirty martini. 
Now, is Walter Foods sometimes “full of dicks?” Of course, Williamsburg is full of dicks, and it sort of always has been. Ten years ago (I hear, from cabbies) it was dick artists and drug dealers and squatters, five years ago it was dicks who had heard of and done everything before you and already become bored by it, three years ago it was dick condo buyers and dick French tourists, and now it’s dick Manhattan refugees who really do seem intent on destroying everything good and fun about Brooklyn. Before 1999, who knows, maybe it was dick dinosaurs or smug lizards or whatever cunty life form was capable of surviving in the pre-cambrian swamp that existed before modern day Brooklyn emerged from its murky depths. A Dick Ness monster, perhaps.
But anyone tempted to walk into Walters on any night and declare all of its occupants and staff to be dicks should probably first spend a solid 45 minutes at Stephen Tanner’s Commodore. The food is good, the drinks are strong, and, if you can get a booth, it can be a not terrible place to spend a small part of an evening… and that is the nicest thing I will ever say about the place, because most of the times I’ve been there the staff has been surly and unhelpful, the patrons sloppy and rude, and there’s been nowhere to sit. You can, and should, do better elsewhere.
Maybe start with Walter Foods. Hey, if you’re there, that’s one less seat for a dick, right?

Sep 1
Woke up from a nap and the whole internet is talking about this? Weird…

Woke up from a nap and the whole internet is talking about this? Weird…


Aug 30

Aug 28

molls:

There’s a preview of my Drunk History narration up on the Comedy Central website now if you want a taste of my bimbo voice spitting out information about one of the coolest First Ladies in history. Alia Shawkat and Bobby Moynihan killed it.

See the full thing on September 2nd, Comedy Central, 10:30 PM 

Bonus fact: Derek and I clicked while we were filming this (he didn’t ask me out until a week later) and I was so drunk that I was basically throwing myself at him the whole time. The following day my co-worker Morgan asked me how the taping went and I put my hands on my head and said, “I don’t remember any of it, but I think I’m in love with Derek Waters.” If this story didn’t have a happy ending, I would be mortified forever and ever. 

This feels like an important milestone.


Aug 22

When I own a restaurant*

When I own a restaurant it will be almost exactly like Walter Foods in Williamsburg, but it will be as if the service staff have just given up.

Bottle of wine? We’re just going to yank the sleeve off the top and pound the cork in with a ballpoint pen (or, as was suggested last night, open it with an actual house key).

Bottle of beer? You bet we’re going to open that shit with a lighter. YES AT THE TABLE.

Every once in a while we will saber open a bottle of champagne, for no reason, but whoever does it will also have to be smoking a cigarette. Will we do this outside, for safety? Probably not, depends on if there are ceiling fans or not.

Oh, they’ll still wear bow ties, but they won’t be tied or anything. And if everybody could be wearing sunglasses, that’d be great.

*I will never own a restaurant. Only crazy people open restaurants, and only the truly insane ones succeed with them.


Aug 21

Whenever I try to explain something technical to a producer

renderplease:

They’re like:
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Aug 20

Aug 15
Wait. That can’t be right.

Wait. That can’t be right.


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