Tag Archive | "Stuff to Live For"

The West is Dead: Conservation Meets Classic American Work Wear


In an effort to starve the Plains Indians, the United States government sanctioned the extermination of millions of bison. By 1889, the American Bison population had been decimated, their population falling from over 60 million to 1,091 in less than a century. Today, the west is dead and the wild bison are all but extinct. By purchasing our products you are contributing to the preservation of our remaining Wild West.

The West is Dead garments are inspired by classic American work wear and are focused on raising awareness for the conservation of the remaining American Wild West.


There are so many unique details about these garments that make them special.

Especially notable is the limited run of the Chambray shirts and Henleys due to the vintage dead stock buttons found in a single barrel in the back of an old fabric house.

Another unique detail is the combination of 6 uniquely stamped donut rivets, 4 of which spell out “The West is Dead” around the coin pocket.

The unique factors of these garments are endless.

All garments are handmade in the USA

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Interview with Matthew Waldman of Nooka: We Are Already Machines

By Pablo Breton | FacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

Matthew Waldman is a New York based artist and designer most prominently known for creating Nooka Inc., a lab dedicated to exploring universal communication via form, language and fashion. Founded in 2004 and best known for its patented timepieces, Nooka continues to provoke deeper thought on fashion and everyday objects.

Alert readers may have already noticed my near-obsession with Nooka from the first moment I saw their stuff at the Class Hollywood Trade Show, where I posited that Pac Mac had been put into a blender as part of their signature look. This made me both sad and happy. (I also explained, briefly, time travel.)

I have also enjoyed their signature scent and this cool wallet.

Nooka Mercury Glow-In-Dark Sunglasses

Like I said: obsessed.

IFDaily: Your watches remind me mainly of a cipher: a puzzle with an open-ended solution. Do you like puzzles in general? Do you see time (or physics) as a puzzle, and is that reflected in the design?

MW: Physics is quite the puzzle, even the specialists can’t agree or find unifying principals yet. Time, to me, is not a puzzle, it’s just the side effect of living in a 4-dimensional universe. Also, I’m not terribly interested in puzzles like sudoku or crosswords; I’m far too impatient a person to get into any.

IFDaily: As a musician, I’m a bit obsessed with the future of music. The far future. What will music sound like in 500 years, if the human race still exists? 10,000 years? 5 million years? If you grew up in the 16th century, the music of John Coltrane would seem unthinkable, just pure noise. But obviously such a thing is appreciable by the human mind, once it’s found and the context is established. So it stands to reason there are more, “unthinkable” forms of music and art that exist, in a sense, all around us, but we can’t see them. Or maybe they truly haven’t been created yet (the intuitive explanation), but I guess the point is that some new ideas seem obvious, and some take acclimation and context (certain delicacies; jazz), but the evolution of new ideas is not only possible, it’s inevitable. What possibilities do you think exist for the future of art? How can we get there? And: do you see (or hope for) any specifics?

Nooka New Zub Zenh

MW: I think no matter how far in the future [or past for that matter] you go, we will maintain the ability to appreciate all musical forms as harmonics will not change. I think the main areas to be explored are within the mind itself. Manipulating how music is experienced in the brain itself will create new technologies and ways to enjoy music. Synesthesia is now treated as a medical disorder, but I can foresee a world where one can choose which set or senses to engage for any experience. It will open up a multitude of new art forms and ways to interpret and enjoy audio and visual stimuli. Even on a simpler level, genetically altering the human to hear a wider range of frequency will expand the palette for aural expression, and this too is exciting.

IFDaily: According to General Relativity all time has already happened. We’re more like an eye, roving over a swirling pattern in wood. Time seems to move, but in fact it’s already etched, beginning to end, with parts revealed to us incrementally. As a result — because each part of the pattern is, in fact, shaped by the whole — we experience echoes from the future as well as the past. Our future, in a sense, is always shaping our present. I wonder how you could make a watch that suggests echoes from the future. But as a broader (or really separate) question, how do concepts of physics and time shape your designs artistically in general (not just with watches).

MW: If I had access to the technology I would certainly be right on it! I guess Nooka really does look like a bigger company than the reality! I am intrigued with the idea as an art project, so give me some time on that. I am quite obsessed with physics as a subject, but my designs are more informed by a search for a universal language. For example, the time pieces are the product of an exercise to find a universal interface that transcends the language and the math. For example, the fact that time is expressed in base-12 while one’s banking etc. is done in base-10 is lost on most people. Instead of trying to be pedantic with math, I chose visual language as my tool. So though higher-based math is used in physics, it is way beyond my brain’s abilities.

IFDaily: In The Future Perfect, Walter Abish wrote: “The immediate future, the immediate, immaculate future, lies mapped out in the brain cells.” In Future Shock, Alvin Toffler wrote: “Future shock is the shattering stress and disorientation that we induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a time.” Which is it, do you think? Are human brains capable of creating an ever-better future using technology / our imaginations, or are we doomed to become more and more alienated from our own humanity? Should be become more alienated from what we’ve considered “humanity” so far, and strive to be something even less animal? Or do we then risk becoming machines ourselves? Is there a middle ground?

Nooka New Zub Zirc

MW: I do agree that the future is mapped out already in our brains. Have you ever read The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin? It’s a story about a man whose dreams alter reality and he becomes a speed addict to avoid sleep when he sees the imperfections of his dreams negatively affecting mankind. And what happens when his psychiatrist actually believes this phenomenon is actually occurring.

I believe that it is the collective dream states that drive all human advancement whether artistic, biological or technological, and it is the imperfections in the collective dreams and personalities that cause all the problems in the world. On the other points, I don’t think we are any more alienated from our humanity than people were in any other point in history; there are always optimists and pessimists, people who experience connection as normal, those who see it as spiritual and those alienated by it. To me, technology is part of nature. How is a skyscraper any less “natural” than a beehive? Humans source the materials for the skyscraper from the earth just as bees do for their hives. Really, we are already machines. The carbohydrates in our food are much like the hydrocarbons in our machines fuel. I don’t make a clean cut distinction. Also, not to over-complicate the discussion, but I believe this potentiality exists in the very molecules of matter itself and not just the human mind.

IFDaily: I haven’t read that particular Le Guin, but I’ll check it out. I recommend Ubik by Philip K. Dick (if you haven’t already read it). Any new product announcements or news, or anything else you’d like to mention? (Fun personal plans, for example?)

MW: We recently expanded our glow-in-the-dark range to include sunglasses and our redesigned AO (asset organizer), which is fun. I’d love to remind everyone that we produced a fragrance that very much follows the themes above, mainly as a challenge to see if I could tell the nookafesto story of optimistic futurism in a sexy scent. So support a crazy independent design entrepreneur and buy one of everything on nooka.com! I may launch a kickstarter page to raise money to hire an assistant and team to develop a truly global language [Esperanto 4.0!] As universal communication is an obvious obsession of mine. Always lots of “noo” stuff to talk about!

IFDaily: Thanks!


Shop Nooka

Nooka Asset Organizer

Nooka Strip

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Nixie: Ultimate Fashion Watch

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily


Nixie at Project Ethos Fashion Show

For video above, go to the 2:38 point approximately to see the Nixie in action.


ACCORDING TO MY INSURANCE POLICY, there’s approx. $12,000 in musical gear somehow lurking around my tiny apartment.

(No, I won’t give you my address.)

So why, when I left the apartment the day after getting my Nixie, was I most anxious about leaving the watch vulnerable?

I’ve been through a few watches as part of my search for the ultimate, head-turning fun accessory, and I’m pleased to say the Nixie watch by Cathode Corner represents the end of my search.

(Pardon the pictures of business-looking guys wearing the watch on the site. The Nixie is obviously a serious, “make a statement” party watch: doi.)

Nixies are small vacuum tubes created for 1950s computer displays, which is part of what gives the Nixie watch its appeal. Think retro-Atari vibe, but even earlier and more ironically aw350m3. The watches are also hand-made by a guy in Arizona, which means you can’t get them in stores. (Yet.)


The Nixie features 12 or 24-hour time display mode, is easy to set (just unscrew the top case), and the case itself is durable, lightweight aircraft aluminum, hard anodized. An O-ring seal keeps out water, dust and dirt. The strap is a standard 20mm size, available at any fine jeweler. (So you can replace it with one you like better, if you so will; but no one really looks at the strap on this.)

Basically the way the Nixie works is, it flashes the time at a certain angle you pre-set (don’t ask me how this works exactly: you just tap a button to set the angle you like). It flashes hour, then minutes, the seconds, which will tick if you “hold” the watch without moving.

According to Nixie, with daily use the CR2 battery will last 4 months: unless, like me, you keep looking and marveling at it obsessively, in which case it will probably last a few hours. But CR2, 3V batteries only cost a few bucks on Amazon (you can even buy them rechargeable), so don’t fret.

Also, although Nixie B-5870 type tubes are no longer made, there are still plenty around (being that no one really needs them for computers anymore), so broken tubes can be replaced.


Cathode Corner is a very small company run by a buy called David Forbes in Arizona. Basically the Nixie is his hobby, so far. Which means when you buy a Nixie, you’re essentially buying an electronic piece of art.


Honestly, the main function of the watch is to amaze everyone who sees it.

Typical comments from strangers you will hear are: “Woah.” “Amazing.” “Now that is a killer watch.” “Totally, totally sick.”)

I don’t think the watch needs much more hype than that.

Nixie at THV|PR Fashion Night

(p.s. My favorite part of the video above is where it says the watch is “not for a dainty wrist.” I assure you my wrists couldn’t be much smaller, but I am very comfortable rocking the watch, as well as some other, less amazing, but even bigger watches I own.)


Nixie Watch Website

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Five Snobby Cheeses for Non-Snobby People: Part 2

By Pablo AvionFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

Put a goat on a shoe! Put a cheese in a wormhole in space!


Of course there are more than five amazing cheeses to try out there, but more than 5 things at any one time are just overwhelming for me, and I probably only know 7 things about any subject anyway, so this will have to do.

(Note: Links below are just ideas; you can buy these cheeses pretty much anywhere.)

From less to more adventurous, they are:


1) Brillat Savarin – Brillat Savarin is a triple cream Brie, which means, much like Dr. Who’s Tardis, somehow, impossibly, three times as much cream has been packed into the cheese as is possible according to the laws of physics, resulting in a spacetime event in which part of the cream must “fold” into an unseen dimension.

The physics of a triple cream Brie can thus be expressed by this simple, unintelligible mathematical formula:



Alas, no, the Webs told me “triple cream” is just a cheese that “contains more than 75% butterfat in its dry parts, which means roughly 40% fat overall,” meaning you die instantly. No big woop.

Fancy Description
“This triple-cream Brie is one of the world’s richest cheeses. It has a light downy white rind and cuts like butter. Milky aroma with light lemon sour tones.”

Real Description
Like some kind of crazy weird cream that’s somehow better than ice cream AND butter. BE SURE it comes completely to room temperate though (1-3 hours), because otherwise it just tastes like nothing, and you sort of blew it, dude.


2) 3 or 5 Year Aged GoudaYour cheese fell behind the bedside table, where it sat during the entire 4 years you were in college, and then that 1 horrible year you lived with your bf / gf (until you realized that one of you was neater than the other, and one of you wanted to teach in Japan).

In any other scenario, when you rolled away your bed, you would scream and frantically dial 911 to have someone come remove the food item, but this time you realize it looks much better and delcioius-er than before. This could only happen in the world of cheese.

Fancy Description
“Deep caramel in color, crunchy, flaky, and meltingly smooth on the tongue, a true cow’s milk Dutch Gouda bursts with flavor. The hint of butterscotch at the finish is a signature of this Dutch treat.”

Real Description
Damn it, that sort of nailed it. This is like the nuttiest thing in the world, with carmelized areas that taste like little bits of candy. Crazy. Note: I recommend sampling the 3- and 5-year versions when you’re in the cheese store, and seeing which you like better. Keep asking for samples until they start slanting their eyes, then look offended and split.



3) Midnight Moon by Cypress Grove – Insane in the Membrane! Wait that’s Cypress Hill, whatever. Lame joke.

My new favorite cheese. Man, I can taste it just looking at it.

The crazy thing about Midnight Moon is that it’s not some traditional French cheese with a storied pedigree stretching across 16 generations of families, toiling away meaningless lives out of a grim sense of duty in the Auvergne — though that would be pretty sweet.

No, it’s just made by some kind of cheese geniuses in California. As much as I appreciate some people being “over” Cypress Grove, fortunately I don’t have the luxury of that kind of cheese sophistication, so I am still gleefully excited by it.

Fancy Description

“Aged six months or more, this pale, ivory cheese is firm, dense and smooth with the slight graininess of a long-aged cheese. The flavor is nutty and brown-buttery, with prominent caramel notes. The wheel is finished in a beautiful black wax. Made in Europe exclusively for Cypress Grove Chevre.”

Real Description

Goat-y, nutty, sweet, creamy: this cheese just has it all.

Midnight Moon is like that shirt that you actually wear because you’re more comfortable in it than your “best” shirt. In other words, there’s your “official” best shirt, and there’s your actual best shirt. This is that actual best shirt.



4) Roquefort Papillon – If you don’t like blue cheese, you should probably walk softly around this cheese, in case it notices you. If you do like blue cheeses, you’ll find the blues you once liked were but ridiculous toy cars, feeble facsimiles, and now you’re driving one of those big cars with the stickers all over them, hopefully in Le Mans.

Best in small doses, or tossed in a salad (as I was introduced to it in France), it’s the most “extreme” of blues, a crazy high-speed downhill snowboard into penicillium roqueforti (stuff that makes blue cheese).

Fancy Description

“Produced using the unpasteurized milk of Lacaune sheep which graze on the thin, yet rich grass of the Causses in the heart of France. The curds of this cheese are blended with penicillin molds harvested from rye bread baked specially for this purpose. The wheels are aged on oak planks in natural limestone caves for an average of 150 days. The result is a tangy, complex blue cheese with balanced saltiness and an arresting assertiveness.”

Real Description

Like a blue cheese bomb. Like eating perfume. Sort of scary, but you like it. A little salty, so try before you buy.


5) Bonne Bouche – This one is totally new to me, suggested among others by owner Glenn Harrell of Say Cheese Silver Lake.

This is my new favorite “wow” cheese. And apparently it’s another creation of some U.S. cheese geniuses, this time Vermont Creamery, who I would already know about if I wasn’t so darned ignorant.

I think it’s worth quoting the entire Fancy Description, because it’s quite interesting:

Fancy Description

“This hand ladled, ash-ripened cheese was first introduced in 2001. Bonne Bouche literally means good mouthful and is a French term used to describe a tasty morsel.

“Bonne Bouche is made from pasteurized milk and set in tubs for lactic coagulation for 24 hours. The following day, the cheese curd is carefully hand ladled into moulds and drained overnight. The cheeses are then unmoulded, ashed and moved into the drying room and then into the aging room where the controlled environment is cool and humid. The entire process takes seven to ten days before the cheeses are packaged in their individual micro-caves.

“Bonne Bouche can be enjoyed fresh or aged up to 45 days. As a young cheese, the rind has a distinct geotrichium flavor. The texture is mild yet still acidic like a fresh chèvre. As the cheese ages, it becomes softer and the rind becomes more dry and piquant.”

(Bonne Bouche picture: Martina Hemm, The Foreign Kitchen)

Real Description

Somehow you ended up with a pet goat, and it slept all night long on your shoe. Which you’d worn earlier in the day, when you’d been walking over a field that burned the night before, having your “poet’s meditation.” Oh, and the goat also got into something tangy, chalky and the goat is a wee bit sour (because it’s a goat, bless it).

Then, having ripped up the pages of your latest epic poem in a frustrated poet’s rage, you decided — to express your angst at the vagaries and imbalances of this mortal frame — to try and eat the shoe, even knowing full well the implications.

But inexplicably, it was amazingly delicious, and your faith in the inevitable universal good was restored.

Well, some of those taste points sort of danced through the dim theatre of my mind as I sampled Bonne Bouche at Say Cheese, but I think it had achieved proper temperature and was nicely ripened.

The one I brought home is much tamer, which I’m bummed about, so I’m going to wait a month and then leave it out overnight.

Yes, I will even buy a goat, if necessary.


Part I: Cheesemaking and Fancy Cheeses

More “Stuff to Live For”

Main picture: Martina Hemm, The Foreign Kitchen


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Nooka Perfume: We Are On a Space-Age Autobahn

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

I think it’s only fair to start this review by giving you an idea what kind of sick individual you’re dealing with.

As a guy, I can do that quite easily, simply by listing my favorite scents, which no respectable guy would do. (Most guys, bless ’em, probably have no such list. Or if they do, they wouldn’t tell you.) But I don’t give an F (I care only enough to type the letter “F”: now that’s casual).

(Next I want to mention that, lest you think I’m some rich mofo, and now would like to come borrow some bread, I have never actually owned any of these perfumes. Sorry friends, I only covet them in stores.

Wait, is there a girl in the audience? I mean, I’m really rich: ignore the car.)

My Favorites:

L’Eu Guerriere (means “warrior water”: only joking; oh no, I just looked it up and it really does!): Woody, musky, resinous due to “olibanum,” which is apparently a less biblical word for frankincense – $120



Serge Lutens Chene (does not mean “Serge Lutens’ dog,” that’s chein, thankfully): Oak, beeswax, rum, dried fruit, spices and wood – $140





Bois Blond by by Parfumerie Generale (no, Parfumerie Generale is not the French equivalent of Rite Aid, although it does sound like it, doesn’t it? Actually I don’t know what Parfumerie Generale is, so … maybe I’m wrong or right again. Though it costs $110, so probably not):  Cedar, grass, hay, blond tobacco, amber, musk – $110



Le Vetiver de Lubin (“Lubin’s Vetiver.” Don’t worry; it’s not a euphemism, and Lubin won’t make you touch it): Vetiver, clove, nutmeg, bright tobacco, red cedar, myrrh, frankincense, pepper – $95




(Also, “eu de toilette” does not mean “smell of toilet,” which I thought it did as a kid. And if it did, it really shouldn’t cost $100. Am I right, people, am I right?)

I also like Gucci Pour Homme, but I feel less special for mentioning it, so I won’t. Whatever.


Maybe all of those smells above are intended for guys; I’m just too lazy to check the websites now, and never asked. But if you’re a fellow fellow, you probably also noticed that most of these scents are woody, masculine and make you look like you’ve been slurping down ‘roid shakes. Oh, they don’t? Well, let’s all demand that imaginary $100 back, and maybe we’ll get it for once. (Am I right, people, am I right?)

But all of this empty rhetoric and also soul-nourishing pabulum really just brings me to:


According to the box: “Nooka eau de parfum is the next generation of precious liquids. It expresses the wearer’s multi-faceted individuality, and is cased in a custom gem bottle. Nooka communicates a universal language that transcends defined opposites. A synergy of scents, both familiar and foreign, instinctive and original, mental and physical that come together as one: Japanese yuzu, sprinkled with pink pepper; polished steel wrapped in vintage leather.”

I don’t know what steel smells like when it’s wrapped in leather (otherwise I’m well aware that steel smells like hay-covered marshmallows, doi), but I’ll bet it’s real classy. (I’m seeing a chichi jewelry safe from SkyMall.) But Nooka is the brainchild of New York artist Matthew Waldman, whose Nooka brand is famous mainly for colorful, sculpted, futuristic watches, eye wear and other stuff.

So expect the visual, from the almost Ghery-like sculpting of the bottle to the pale kiwi tint of the liquid inside that recalls some sort of Vulcan liqueur (click link).

Now on to the scent:

The perfume itself was developed in conjunction with perfumist Pierre-Constantin Guéros.

Let me start by saying the competition above is pretty heavy-hitting, so I was very pleasantly surprised at the complexity. Nooka has a multi-faceted dry, woodsy, leathery smell that reminds me just a tad of Essence of John Galliano, a ridiculously expensive candle by Diptyque.

(Oh, I haven’t told you about my candle obsession yet? Oh well.)

“Gloss paper accord” is one of the more intriguing notes mentioned. The more I use Nooka, the more I do smell it. Intriguing indeed. Each day I like this Nooka scent, more and more.

Now, in lieu of a string of adjectives, such as those I’ve seen in conjunction with this fragrance (“coriander, tonka bean, gloss paper accord, cypress bark, musk and pink sand accord“), I’m now going to do the unthinkable: smell, close my eyes and tell you what I see.


IT’S EARLY EVENING (the edges of the sky are dark purple) and I’m on some sort of light rail, traveling parallel to a raised autobahn that appears to be deserted.

The landscape has complex geometric buildings (so it’s a little like TRON, except it doesn’t suck), and it’s uncommonly quiet, both inside and outside the train.

A disheveled man with a soft, oiled leather briefcase is sitting next to me, asleep, with some sort of folded paper cube (I think it’s a computer) turned off beside him. He doesn’t seem concerned about possible theft.

Across from me a French girl is quietly sipping lychee tea with boba and her Japanese friend is smiling faintly while peeling a fairchild tangerine.

Everyone seems a little peculiar at first, until you realize they’re very relaxed, or perhaps mentally quiet in a way we don’t see much in our too-busy present.

The air outside the window is dry, and smells vaguely of chalk, and further down the compartment, someone is smoking vanilla tobacco in a what may be a clay pipe. (I guess that’s safe in the future.)

It’s just so quiet.

And I like this place.

I really, really like it.


Nooka Website

More “Stuff to Live For”

“Pac Man Died ‘N Stuff”: Read about time travel, Nooka watches and founder Matthew Waldman at IndieLookLA

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Five Snobby Cheeses for Non-Snobby People: Part 1

By Pablo BretonFacebookTwitter
Editor, IndieFashionDaily

Part II: Put a Goat on a Shoe, Put a Cheese in a Wormhole in Space!

I have this crazy theory about cheeses: sort of like my belief that bigger watches aren’t a fad, but will soon be commonplace. (Okay, maybe not as big as the Diesel: but they’ll probably be around the size of the Nixon.)


My “cheese theory” is that most people really want to “get into” cheeses.

But they end up in that big cheese store, or staring at a bunch of expensive cellophane wrapped wedges and think, “Agh, I have to find out more about this, one day, when I have time.”

But of course there are more important things to do, that time never comes, and that’s why you go to so many parties with slices of supermarket-chain Swiss, the token, too-cold Brie, or Camembert (not a huge fan, myself), or blue with apricot pieces in it (not bad), or worst of all the nut-rolled cheese log (okay, not terrible, but it doesn’t look great and, you know, we’ve all had it so many times).

Now there are some people who are a bit afraid of cheese, and this article isn’t addressed to them. If they’re happy with their Kraft American, or Velveeta, more power to ’em; my theory is that no one has to do anything, and that with the exception of lying, stealing and worse, most things aren’t actually crimes, so: so what. Some people want to wear comfortable clothes instead of stylish clothes, and I think that’s great. One day I plan to wear jogging suits and slippers everywhere, and I hope you’ll be okay with that, then. Live and let live.

But for those who keep putting off “getting more into” cheese, I’d like to share my random cheese journey.


Now I may not be the cleverest human, and I can’t run really fast. (I do like to write songs, for what that’s worth. Yes, I do realize no one will click that link.)

But if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s getting in way over my head. And so it was with my “cheese adventure,” which I began last year.

I started with a mozzarella-making kit I ordered from cheesemaking.com.

I had this misguided fantasy of moving out to a farm and living a “simple life” that in actuality would probably drive me completely bonkers. At the suggestion of my gf at the time, I even bought Little House in the Big Woods and read it, so if you ever wondered whether or not I was afraid of being considered girl-ish, you now know, against better judgment, sadly I have no such fears.

I think I flubbed the first batch (milk was too pasteurized, or something), but the second batch went well, so I decided, as usual, to bite off more than I could chew, rather than do the logical thing and ease my way up.

So next I tackled a blue cheese and a Camembert, with kits from thecheesemaker.com.

The blue (which went through a terrifying process of growing blue-white hair and releasing ammonia gas, then turning an alarming grey and green: apparently this is all normal), turned out too salty and dry, but the Camembert came out spot-on, like a store-bought cheese. Unfortunately I’m not nuts for Camembert: I like blue. Oh well.

After that I figured I was now less intimated by cheese, and “discovered” there was a Whole Foods in Pasadena that had cheese plates in a tapas bar setting that weren’t too pricey. The cheese selections were fixed, but I gradually found out that, if you tip enough, they’ll let you custom-make the plate from available cheeses.

My cheese adventure was on.


Part II: Put a Goat on a Shoe, Put a Cheese in a Wormhole in Space!

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