I wish I had a magic printer that could make copies of the images I keep in my brain. I'd make a food file and record all the meals I ever ate, or the good ones at least. I could stick the firewire plug up my nose or under my tongue and bzzzzzp out would come glossy prints of my mother's gloppy creamed chipped beef. And the preschool birthday party when some girl named Dong wouldn't give me one of the red sugar roses from her birthday cake and I wanted to punch her in the nose. I remember the cake perfectly. I have hundreds like this: bright red pistachio shells rolling around on the nubby black rubber floor of a car. My legs were short and dangled from the seat; my father's fingers were stained red. And I remember the darkened interior of The Phoenix, a Greek restaurant where we ate dinner with my grandfather every Wednesday night. They had a blind piano player and a lounge singer who looked like Ricardo Montalban. Before the food came I ate package after package of Club crackers smeared with butter. And my grandmother's huckleberry cake—how did she do that, exactly? If I tried to recreate it now we'd all fight about it. I wish I had a picture that could prove I was right.
Venezia's puts Mama to work doubletime. Venezia's, the Rio Rancho pizzeria, now has an Albuquerque location at 3908 San Mateo NE (you know the place, it's been a Dairy Queen, a doughnut shop and a hot "dawg" joint.) The business is a family enterprise that was run by Frank Venezia from the late '70s until 1995 when the founder closed his restaurant in order to focus on concession sales at Tingley Coliseum and the flea market. In 2000, the second generation, brothers Aldo and Renato, decided to get back into the family business (they put in hours working at the Rio Rancho restaurant as kids) and reopened a Venezia's at 1690 Rio Rancho Drive SE.
What is this thing? A colleague (all right, it was Film Editor Devin O'Leary) recently discovered this mysterious gadget in a bin of kitchen items at a yard sale. The sellers had no idea what it was and Devin paid less than a dollar for it. Since then we've been tossing it around the office and none of us can figure out what it is. We've modeled it as a codpiece (hysterical but impractical) and imagined using it to whip cream (too floppy), beat rugs (too flimsy) or scale fish (plainly ridiculous).