Wednesday, December 31, 2008

retrospect

oh 2008, i barely knew thee.

i don't know if i could come anywhere near summing this past year up with the fanfare it deserves, but maybe i'll try a bit. maybe saying that i've been re-introduced to a certain tucker jaymes speaks the volumes i'd have trouble articulating? i'm pretty sure i have the best friends in the world and this man definitely made them multiply (almost like rabbits, is that weird?).

highlights:
- patriots v. terrorists reredux
- chicago x2
- the purchase of my motobecane mirage
- duluth with some of the vixens
- doittoit and introduction of the above tucker along with the amazing ashley and all of their talented and lovely friends (who i'm pleased to introduce now as my talented and lovely friends)
- sunday dinner
- a visit from jesse/james
- both the stormy red stag block party and the rainy bryant lake bowl block party
- rooftop parties/debauchery
- danell and her talented band putting on rad show after rad show
- bikerides to the beach
- the 5th classy birthday party with nels
- MMAUOHSMP (i think that is the acronym...)

while all of the above was lovely, it kept me away from the two resolutions i made last year, so i'll make them again:
1. write more/every day
2. stick to that damn allowance

Monday, December 29, 2008

torched

December 26th, 2008 8:00 p.m.

menu:
roasted butternut squash and apple salad
venison steaks with a red wine and leek pan sauce
cheddar, chive and pepper biscuits

vanilla ice cream with a mulled cider and cranberry reduction sauce and ginger snaps

dow's reserve vale do bomfim

guest:
ryan lyle

ryan is not only a really cool guy, but he also has a torch that i have borrowed (for an indefinite period of time) to make crème brûlée and italian meringue. before heading out for the tim rally gold show (and yes, you really blew it if you missed this one), we had dinner at my place. i'm sort of embarrassed about the amount of venison i've eaten lately, but only sort of. and, i realize i should have made a torched dessert for the man, but time was short and i was running around my kitchen like a madman as it was...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I sentiero dei nidi di ragno

the second bookclub will be meeting on january 21st at 7:30 pm at my house to discuss the book the path to the spiders' nests, written at the unthinkable age of 23 by italo calvino. i don't want to talk about the books i've not written now that i'm two years old than he was and published.

i've called both magers and quinn and booksmart - neither have a copy in and cannot order it, but amazon and related booksellers have a plethora of editions available at low, low prices.

let me know if you'll be coming and bring a bottle of something to share...

Monday, December 22, 2008

i hate perfume



i don't know a bigger sucker for language than myself. i own this perfume and love it. how did i find it, you ask? read about it and having never smelled it, i ordered it from new york. christopher brosius is an absolute genius. i am almost out, in case you're looking for a last minute gift and want to make me swoon a little.

this wins an honorable mention and i'm using all my self control not to order a bottle...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MMAUOHSMP

see you there?

this is now the official plan

louisa says: so,
my plan is to win the lottery tonight.
lauren says: oh man.
louisa says: i have my winning ticket and everything.
lauren says: i'm excited about it.
louisa says: right?!
lauren says: if you win, i'm not coming in to work tomorrow.
louisa says: the first thing we'll do is make sure there are lots of space heaters for the party on saturday night
lauren says: yes.
definitely.
louisa says: then, we'll go to greece,
you and me.
lauren says: woooooooo!
louisa says: we might get a villa out there...
lauren says: i like the sound of it.
our cats will come,
louisa says: i figure we can come back once a month until it's nice out.
yup, they can each have their own room.
lauren: ernest would like greece.
louisa says: then, when it's spring,
we'll get really nice bikes
and come back to minneapolis!
lauren: WOOOOOOOO!
louisa says: we'll buy a 4 plex!
lauren says: yes!
louisa says: and you can run your bookstore/cafe.
we'll be well dressed, but casual.
lauren says: i'm loving this plan.
louisa says: we'll have great hair and personal trainers.
and ricky can rub us all the time in a non-sexual healing kind of way.
lauren says: OH MAN. BEST PLAN EVER.
louisa says: i think i will just hire all of my friends to do what they are good at, just like you said
louisa says: ashley can be my booking agent, tucker can keep my energy up, munzy can give me footrubs.
i might buy kiefer from janessa, think she'd mind?
lauren says: no, i think she'd be cool with it. i'm in love with that cat.
louisa says: or, i'd just genetically alter all cats so that they hugged.
i mean, why not?! i'd be rich!
lauren says: i'm in total agreement.
louisa says: then, we put lorin in our pocket and he comes around with us to all the best restaurants as our personal sommalier. i'm thinking that maybe a hiking trip in glacier national park could be nice in april. and then while we're out that way we could swing through san fran and you could visit jesse.
lauren says: yes! bike through wine country!
louisa says:then it would be just a hop/skip/jump to the alps of switzerland! we could learn to yodel!
lauren says: oh man! do it! do it!
louisa says: we could weave on giant looms! while we yodel!
lauren says: i could see nabokov's last house!
louisa says: yodelling! how do you spell that!
lauren says: no idea! can't stop the exclamation points!
louisa says:it's exciting though!
never!
i think we should probably also have a personal tailor
lauren says: that sounds like so much more fun than work tomorrow that i don't even know how to comprehend it!
oh yeah
louisa says:to make us fancy dresses!
you mean, oh yeah!
lauren says: a personal designer!
louisa says: emily's jewels!
lauren says: aaaaaahhhhhh!
louisa says: i'd hire someone to clean my litter box! well, my cat's litter box!
but, i would continue the vacuum duties! for i like to vacuum!
i would mow peoples' lawns! for free! just cuz it's fun! and they have day jobs and i don't!
lauren says: awesome!
louisa says: i may get a grill!
lauren says: yes! a big one! on the rooftop of the 4-plex!
louisa says: i meant on my teeth! grille?!
lauren says: i almost just peed my pants. no joke.
louisa says: it's okay! when i'm rich we'll have extra pants for you at all times!
also, fancy adult diapers!
lauren says: lifesaver!
louisa says: we'll have those too! i love hard candy!

Friday, December 12, 2008

In absence of starlight [james fowler]

when small,
mysterious lights form
from around the lake
to break against
the many drops of rain
and stay the darkness
in
a glimmer cast
over an off-white beach's
cold and clinging sands
forgetting a
few hidden leaves
tangled in the breeze
scraping, scurrying lightly
to somewhere maybe
across the fragile shore
as cars curve
around still
stand and stand
of trees revealing
only heavy fog,
chance glances
of you and
of me

but you and your skirt,
when the city sky line hides
in a horizon of
indifferent clouds,
sit
and stay the darkness
f o r a w h i l e

Thursday, December 11, 2008

the end of the great leviathan

good food, wine and conversation accompanied a fine discussion of moby dick. however, when it came down to deciding on a new book, we didn't quite make up our minds...

in the running are:
the savage detectives [roberto bolaño]
italo calvino - not if on a winter's night a traveller
a thousand acres [jane smiley]
the sound and the fury [william faulkner]
in america [susan sontag]
david copperfield [charles dickens]
ada [vladimir nabokov]
dead souls [nikolai gogol]
the executioner's song [norman mailer]
brothers karamazov [fyodor dostoyevsky]
the life and opinions of tristram shandy, gentleman [laurence sterne]
michael chabon - not the yiddish policeman's union

we decided that we wanted to read books that are on our list, but books that we probably wouldn't read on our own - many of the longer or denser books that are easier to get through not on one's own.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

VOWELS [christian bok]

loveless vessels

we vow
solo love

we see
love solve loss

else we see
love sow woe

selves we woo
we lose

losses we levee
we owe

we sell
loose vows

so we love
less well

so low
so level

wolves evolve

i need to re-watch groundhog's day.

the only good argument for moving to brooklyn that i've ever heard.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

the waldorf

my apartment building does not HAVE character, it IS a character.
EXHIBIT A: the above painting that hangs in the laundry room.

Monday, December 8, 2008

following suit,

it's funny, i've been thinking about this for a few days and therese beat me to the punch...

for the last several weeks, every sunday when i'm in lund's shopping for sunday dinner, i see these pre-packaged, peeled pomegranates for about $6. this baffles me. why in the world you would pay an extra $4 to let someone else have all the fun of peeling your pomegranate? i may be going overboard here, but part of the appeal of a pomegranate for me has always been the time and labor involved - it is a luxurious fruit and you cannot eat one in a rush. the popping of some seeds and juice-stained fingertips are a very necessary part of the experience for me.

speaking of sunday dinner, yesterday's delicious meal was complimented by something decadent. my first attempt at crème brûlée went quite well...

and, happiest of birthdays to my best of friends. i love you like tucker loves text messaging.

Friday, December 5, 2008

a girl could get used to this...

December 4th, 2008 7:30 p.m.

menu:
eggs with cream, spinach, brie and prosciutto
yukon gold hashbrowns
grapefruit and pomegranate salad
crusty garlic loaf

chocolate oblivion tartlets with kahlua whipped cream

earl grey gin and lemonade

guest:
aaron fryman

aaron happens to be an incredibly talented masseur and we came up with a deal: i make him delicious food (with a very specifically chocolatecentric dessert) and he gives me a massage. now, don't tell him this, but it is a win-win situation for me. yes, i will be doing dishes for the rest of my natural-born life, but i get to make a decadent meal, a ridiculous dessert and THEN I GET AN OUTSTANDING MASSAGE. seriously, by the end of it i managed to melt onto my couch and fall asleep pretty early.

anyone who may be interested in his services, let me know. his rates are really reasonable and he's open to bartering...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

fakelife

photo care of tucker jaymes.

it will never be the same

for reasons i do not fully understand, this website fascinates me to no end.

please, take a moment and share my newfound interest - make that obsession.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

let the right one in

this looks so amazing on so many different levels. i've heard/seen very little other than the trailer and a some positive words from friends, but wow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You Can't Get The Facts Until You Get The Fiction [Richard Jackson]

The fact is that the Death I put on in the morning is
the same Love I take off each night. The fact is
that my life slips out the back door just as I arrive.
Just now, just as I tell you this, while I am looking
for a little dignity under the open wound of the sky,
I am putting down the story of the two lovers killed
on a bridge outside Mostar. And the fact is love is
as extinct as those animals painted on cave walls
in Spain. The fact is, there is not a place on earth
that needs us. All our immortal themes are sitting
on the porch with woolen blankets over their knees.
But who wants to believe this? Instead, I am looking
for the right words as if they were hidden under
my doormat like keys. I would like to be able to report
that the 9 year old Rwandan girl did not hide under
her dead mother for hours. There are so many things
too horrible to say. And I would like to tell you
the eyes of the soldiers are sad, that despite all
this madness I can still kiss your soul, and yes,
you might say I was angry if it were not for the plain fact,
the indisputable fact, that I am filled with so much love,
so much irrational, foolish love, that I will not take
the pills or step off the bridge because of the single
fact of what you are about to say, some small act
of kindness from our wars, some simple gesture that fools me
into thinking we can still fall, in times like this, in love.

Friday, November 28, 2008

lovebirds


this is a picture of my mom and dad on their wedding day. five days after they met, my dad proposed and about two weeks later they married. my mom found her dress at the buckle. for a honeymoon, they went camping in northern minnesota.

last summer, at their 25 wedding anniversary, my mom cried and told me that she loved my dad more now than the day they married.

my sister, recently engaged, is currently wedding planning and, cupcake-like bridesmaid dress aside, it is a pretty awe-inspiring act to watch.

i'm going to be fitted for said bridesmaid dress on saturday... photos coming soon?

Monday, November 24, 2008

one hundred things i love:

following pbg's lead...


1. chosen family

2. vladimir nabokov

3. the smell of old hardcover books

4. motobecanes

5. nightswimming

6. kitten heels and pencil skirts

7. an apartment made warm by baking

8. rooftop access

9. hayrides

10. white figure skates

11. handknit mittens

12. horseback riding

13. crunching snow while walking

14. grocery shopping

15. minneapolis

16. priorat

17. toboggans

18. lazy saturdays

19. orchestra dates

20. the mississippi river

21. opera-length gloves

22. well-written short stories

23. sunday dinner

24. cat whiskers that gatsby has shed

25. star gazing

26. people like oak trees

27. oak trees

28. chinese lanterns

29. the midwest

30. art openings

31. paintings of ships in harbors

32. poetry

33. alphabetizing

34. champagne diamonds

35. brown eyes

36. apple orchards

37. spanish linguistics

38. blood oranges

39. cookbooks by rose levy berenbaum

40. typography

41. japanese magic realism

42. classy drinking establishments

43. comfortable reading chairs

44. fresh eggs

45. road trips

46. aptly named individuals

47. phonetics

48. reggaeton

49. mason jars

50. libraries

51. engaging conversation

52. big dinner tables

53. gmail chat

54. french new wave

55. men that cook

56. cable patterns

57. laughing until i can’t breathe

58. bengal spice tea

59. old movie theatres

60. peacocks

61. tire swings

62. craigslist missed connections

63. playing hooky from work

64. early morning sunlight

65. cat naps with my kittens

66. crosswords

67. earl grey

68. rose-flavored anything

69. semi colons

70. the smell of freshly cut grass

71. rose gold

72. russian literature

73. woodwink eyeshadow

74. fireflies

75. screen porches

76. hot, humid nights

77. authors of the lost generation

78. anticipation

79. dancing

80. red lipstick

81. station wagons

82. climbing trees

83. building forts of blankets

84. my bed

85. edward’s purr

86. dialogue-heavy plays

87. la belle vie

88. giving presents

89. freckles

90. cuttlefish

91. the madison farmers’ market

92. food blogs

93. saying words that end in –sps (wisps, wasps, crisps…)

94. halloween

95. sailing

96. secret admirers

97. handwritten letters

98. typewriters and the sound they produce

99. fresh lemonade

100. eating out

Sunday, November 23, 2008

that elusive whale

those of you those of you that are taking part in my possibly over-ambitious plan for december should be well on their way into the belly of the beast... this is not a short novel.

speaking of leviathans, i have recently finished (?) a short story and would love a volunteer or two (other than christian and louisa) to take a look at it and do a bit of editing. let me know if you're interested.

the snow late friday night was almost the best surprise of the weekend.

last night, instead of heeding tucker's siren song, i stayed in. while i'm sure i missed an absolutely lovely time, it served to remind me that not every moment must be spent in perpetual motion and that sometimes i am quite happy when still.

if anyone is asking you for advice as to what to buy me for the upcoming holidays, you can really recommend to them that they buy this (link removed as it doesn't function anymore); i am quite smitten. also, emily has some absolute gems up - and i mean that quite literally.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Secret [Jeffrey McDaniel]

When you were sleeping on the sofa
I put my ear to your ear and listened
to the echo of your dreams.

That is the ocean I want to dive in,
merge with the bright fish,
plankton and pirate ships.

I walk up to people on the street that kind of look like you
and ask them the questions I would ask you.

Can we sit on a rooftop and watch stars dissolve into smoke
rising from a chimney?
Can I swing like Tarzan in the jungle of your breathing?

I don't wish I was in your arms,
I just wish I was pedaling a bicycle
toward your arms.

boobiebrigade thank-you

november 19th, 2008 7:30 pm

menu:
jerk venison
carribean potatoes
chili truffle green beans

castell de remei ODA

asstd. berries with chocolate and cacao nibs

guest:
jonathan ackerman

this summer, jonathan was kind enough to help me organize a fundraiser for the 3 day walk for breast cancer - a bake sale at first ave that raised almost $700. embarrassingly, i just finally got around to his thank you. worth the wait? i think so.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Trouble - do not forget the capital T


this is me with my best friend.

i'm pretty sure i'd perish without her.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

last night

was absolutely lovely.

home from the bar and slightly tipsy, the view of snow falling on the interstate through the double windows in my living room left me breathless. i took a photo, but i doubt it will do justice to the quiet in those snowflakes.

this is what i have been craving: long nights of reading and writing and knitting and creating, not feeling bad about hibernating, walks in the crisp dark with only the sound of crunching footsteps to keep me company.

you heard them,

now listen to louisa, ashley and tucker.

they know what's best for you. no, really.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dear Birds [Mark Yakich]

Much is made of the size of your heart.
Or the way some of you pull an earthworm
To death. Compare for example, this portrait
Of my husband, the artist, three cocktails in:

Fish in the morning, fellatio in the afternoon,
Philosophizing after dinner. Sucking on
A hazelnut in haze and hard rain, he pulls off
It all: pain, politeness, and unemployment.

I admit, it does please me to think of him
Mourning my death. Tissue by tissue, he'll paint
The orange groves and narrow bridle paths.
He'll arrange colors like music that coats the ear.

So is heartache really a mistake? The question is
Realer than any answer can be: One comes upon
The hills and then the pills. But not everyone,
My little sugar skulls, can eat their mistakes.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Call me Ishmael.


last month, i went to the bryant lake bowl's bars and books for the booklove of my life, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and while I enjoyed certain aspects of it quite a bit, it was too large for me to really enjoy; i've never been one for patiently keeping my hand raised in order to make my point.

in order to get everything i want said said, i've decided to start a book group of my own. it will probably take place in my living room - maybe we'll even get a fire going in that fireplace of mine and there will be a couple bottles of wine involved. Moby Dick will be the first book to read (as i've been meaning to read it forever) and we'll be meeting december 10th at 7:30. so, get on it. you have a month. i'm waiting on your rsvp.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

me at work

christian: i'm going to get some tea
i have a headache
back in a few
me: okay
i'm drinking a beer.
christian: ha
that's right
you're not at work
me: no, i am.
working!
drinking beer!
i'm here 'til five.

also, voting this morning? made me a very, very happy girl. all the optimism in me cannot be contained by my cubicle walls and has something to do with the beautiful mash of english/arabic/spanish all over at my polling place. what was the only word in common in all three languages? OBAMA!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

i'm not the kind to tell you you've been blind

sugar skull does halloween

but you're so little, sam.
i had no idea you were so tall, tom.
even though it was taken prior going anywhere, this photo is worth all of the words there are to describe last night.
little sister.
tammy faye: devil spawn
"don't make me turn this car around."
killing it.
i like to laugh so long and hard that i can't breathe/pull a muscle.
calavera
dear tucker, i'm sorry i drunkenly wiped my face on your towel. p.s. your flats are hot.

Friday, October 31, 2008

juripalooza preparty

I feel now that gastronomical perfection can be reached in these combinations: one person dining alone, usually upon a couch or a hill side; two people, of no matter what sex or age, dining in a good restaurant; six people, of no matter what sex or age, dining in a good home.

An Alphabet for Gourmets [MFK Fisher]

October 30th, 2008 8:30 p.m.

menu:
chicken and dumplings
steamed broccoli
whole wheat boule

cranberry apple tartlets with a vanilla glaze

gin and tonics

guests:
juri sorso
louisa marion
tucker gerrick
peter b.g.
ashley ryan
mike munzenrider
(with a late appearance by one sam cassidy)

so, we may have been one or two more than six and it was probably slightly drunker than MFK would have imagined (not by much), but last night is the kind of night that i would like to have more of in my life..

happy halloween

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"I'm a book-a-decade kind of motherfucker, yo."

this man. i may be in love with this man.

last night i had the immense pleasure of seeing junot diaz speak. and, let me tell you, the pleasure was IMMENSE. sometimes, when you watch someone closely, you can see their thoughts forming and morphing into what finally spills out of their mouth. with mr. diaz, the closer i watched, the more suprised i became as he listened to the questions posed with such nonchalance that it was hard to believe he was even listening, yet he answered with such intensity and clarity that there was no doubt that has a filing cabinet for a mind.

his love of space - both real and imagined, combined with his firm grasp of both the spanish and english languages leaves one (me) swooning. his ongoing discussion with the crowd and himself of the idea of an artist was inspiring and left me wishing that a certain someone (christian) could have attended.

instead, i will paraphrase for him here the part that most interested me of his advice: a good piece of art is a particular piece of art - its generality is found in its particularity and one is left vacillating (sometimes within the same sentence) between feeling that the book is speaking directly to the reader and as though the reader is eavesdropping on the most private of conversations, yeah?

while fearing redundancy, i must again urge you to pick up this man's literary wonder.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ducktacos.pumpkinpie.sunrise

blackberry mojitos mean class,
as do peacock feathers and earl grey gin. cafe maude is my new favorite place to drop large sums of hard-earned money.
my pumpkin pie: first pie i've made and first pumpkin pie i've eaten. mmmhmmm.
sam and samophile.
pumpkins and their adorable carvers.
and (!), the sunrise i wake up to every morning out my apartment window.

This is what the good guys do.

Do you think that your fathers are watching? That they weigh you in
their ledgerbook? Against what? There is no book and your fathers are dead in
the ground.


this book, oh, this book. last night was one of those nights that had me setting arbitrary restraints: i'll stop reading when i get to page 175. no, when i get to 200... i'll be done at 1:45 a.m.

everything in it is so gruesome and redemptive all at once. mccarthy is an amazing storyteller. all the gore and all the sick in this book boils down to the idea that no matter how bleak life becomes you must live your life as though it has meaning.

a bit sentimental/cheesy? yes. a masterpiece? yes.


also, internet has been elusive lately. look for pictures of the weekend later tonight...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"The world needs honest men today more than it needs presidents."


this felt like a very poignant film to watch last night. i'm in love with both ms. hepburn and mr. tracy in pretty much everything they've ever done and this film is no exception.
also, angela lansbury makes an absolutely amazing villainess.