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.

chicken and dumplings
steamed broccoli
whole wheat boule

cranberry apple tartlets with a vanilla glaze

gin and tonics

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


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.

Monday, October 20, 2008

When Death Comes [Mary Oliver]

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse

to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When its over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

a friend recently returned this volume of poetry - i'm embarrassed to say that i had almost forgottten how much this poem speaks to me (along with so many of her poems).

again, sunday dinner: best start to any week.

let's combine beautiful metalwork with woodgrain - can you say love?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

tucker: "i'm half happy, half retarded about this gin."

autumnal activities, $2

cranberry scones (rose levy berenbaum is my hero) and mulled cider for breakfast.
my backyard - best backyard ever.
lying with a beautiful girl in between two rows of spartan apples.

what i'm trying to tell you is that it has been a lovely, lovely day. i want several more fall days like this, days that seem longer than twenty-four hours and involve some of the best people that live in this fine city.

if you've not read after the quake by murakami, consider it required reading.

Friday, October 17, 2008

grey days, gray eyes

damn, sam (i love a woman that rains) [ryan adams]
portions for foxes [rilo kiley]
glad you're here with me [papa m]
these days [nico]
pond love [mayday]
twin human highway flares [the mountain goats]
i felt your shape [the microphones]
california [low]
the songwriter [julie doiron]
she sends kisses [the wrens]
call it off [tegan and sara]
i can't stand the rain [ann peebles]
left & leaving [the weakerthans]
communication [the cardigans]
el mar [ely guerra]
heartbeats [jose gonzalez]
metal heart [cat power]
golden star [my brightest diamond]
lover's spit [broken social scene]

i've been listening to this, reading, and drinking earl grey on my couch with two kitlets on my lap.

if someone knows of a typewriter in working order that could somehow end up in my library, i think i'd love them forever.

sam cassidy played a wonderful set last night; rocket man made my night.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Black Box [Amos Oz]

With all due respect to Tolstoy I'm telling you the opposite is true:
Unhappy people are mainly plunged in conventional suffering, living out in
sterile routine one of five or six threadbare clichés of misery. Whereas
happiness is a rare, fine vessel, a sort of Chinese vase, and the few people who
have reached it have shaped and formed it line by line over the course of years,
each in his own image and likeness, each in his own character, so that no two
happinesses are alike.

not only does mr. oz write astoundingly beautiful gems like the above, but he speaks truths while doing it.

last night was bars and books. i enjoyed myself, but more than anything it has planted the idea of beginning my own book group that is maybe possibly smaller... anyone interested?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Y Dios me hizó mujer [Giaconda Belli]

Y Dios me hizó mujer,
de pelo largo,
nariz y boca de mujer.
Con curvas
y pliegues
y suaves hondonadas
y me cavó por dentro,
me hizó un taller de seres humanos.
Tejió delicádamente mis nervios
y balanceó con cuidado
el número de mis hormonas.
Compuso mi sangre
y me inyectó con ella
para que arrigara
todo mi cuerpo;
nacieron así las ideas,
los sueños,
el instinto.
Todo lo que creó suavamente
a martillazos de soplidos
y taladrazos de amor,
las mil y una cosas que me hacen mujer todos los días
por las que me levanto orgullosa
todas las mañanas
y bendigo mi sexo.

Friday, October 10, 2008

de verdad,

the first story in this book breaks my heart a little everytime i read it - in that way that you need your heart broken from time to time.

this letter confirms my suspicions that it is time to subscribe to the new yorker.

i wish i had a couple hundred dollars lying around for these (as well as for anything that emily has made recently).

the author of my current booklove is in town and i need a date.

i have the best friends that a girl could ask for and sunday dinner is the best beginning/end to any week.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sweetness [Stephen Dunn]

Just when it has seemed I couldn't bear
one more friend
waking with a tumor, one more maniac

with a perfect reason, often a sweetness
has come
and changed nothing in the world

except the way I stumbled through it,
for a while lost
in the ignorance of loving

someone or something, the world shrunk
to mouth-size,
hand-size, and never seeming small.

I acknowledge there is no sweetness
that doesn't leave a stain,
no sweetness that's ever sufficiently sweet ....

Tonight a friend called to say his lover
was killed in a car
he was driving. His voice was low

and guttural, he repeated what he needed
to repeat, and I repeated
the one or two words we have for such grief

until we were speaking only in tones.
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan, stays just long enough

to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark
source. As for me, I don't care

where it's been, or what bitter road
it's traveled
to come so far, to taste so good.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


allina clinic, downtown minneapolis, 9:35 a.m.

jovial, old, russian man: are you my translator?
me: no, i'm waiting for an appointment.
he: oh, you look like you speak other languages.
me: actually, i do - i speak spanish.
he: ah! yo habla españa un poco. de donde es usted?
me: soy de aquí, pero estudié en españa por un año y ahora soy traductora.
he: i was in the russian army and the kgb taught me a little spanish on my way to cuba...
me: wow, really?
he: are you married?
me: no, soy soltera.
he: eres demasiada bonita para es soltera.

he went on in pigeon english/spanish to tell me about his family and how they all left him and moved here, so he had to follow "or else, who would watch the babies?" he never wanted to leave his motherland.

also, a wealth of knowledge on cuba in the 50s.

he thinks i am too pretty and too old to not be married with children. the kgb is now conspiring with my mother?

Monday, October 6, 2008

What more sci-fi than Santo Domingo?

if you have not yet read this book, i must insist that you do so immediately. christian just described it as "epic and real and small, all at once" and i could not agree more. the swagger and intelligence of his prose delights every part of me (and yes, i may be a sucker for both the spanglish and the footnotes...).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

life: it's sweet.

i am currently sitting in kopplin's with louisa eating an apricot soleil and drinking the best cappuccino i've had in the midwest. i have a new haircut. i had a delicious breakfast in my living room with sam. i am twenty-five today.

in other amazing-ness, i've had my kitlets two years as of yesterday. happy anniversary to the twin, furry loves of my life.

The Great Gatsby

Sir Edward

two of the finest, most handsome felines one could hope to cohabitate with and they're both all mine.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

October Arriving [Charles Simic]

I only have a measly ant
To think with today.
Others have pictures of saints,
Others have clouds in the sky.

The winter might be at the door,
For he’s all alone
And in a hurry to hide.
Nevertheless, unable to decide

He retraces his steps
Several times and finds himself
On a huge blank wall
That has no window.

Dark masses of trees
Cast their mazes before him,
Only to erase them next
With a sly, sea-surging sound.