Monday, January 20, 2014

Taking out the recyclables on the evening of a holiday when the next day's alternate side of the street parking has already been suspended

Walking home from the corner grocer just now and passed the Mayor’s house as he and Chirlane were putting out the recycling for tomorrow’s pickup.  Bill said, “Evening, brother.”  I flashed on the fact that my boss of the past eight years said to a number of us at a dinner last year that he’s never in his 50 some odd years taken out the trash before - “there had always been someone to do that.”

I also wondered whether the Mayor's recyclables would get picked up tomorrow, since alternate side has already been suspended for snow removal prep come the storm. I've seen the de Blasio recyclables sit out at the curb for days, just like everyone else's in these situations...

And then a year and a half went by in which

I posted nothing...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Clam pie with fava

And why not?  Fuzzy photo, but it was delish.  Next time we'll try going the Franny's route, mit sahne, rather than having the creaminess come from the grated cheese and the clam liquor.  (For years I thought mit schlag meant "with cream".  Well, same thing, I guess, sort of - with impact!)

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Puddinhead Wilson has long been one of my favorite books.  I came across this poster for an 1895 dramatization of the book in the Library of Congress' performing arts poster collection.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Purpose of National Security Policy, Declassified

Steven Aftergood's post today on Secrecy News, The Purpose of National Security Policy, Declassified.
“The primary objective of U.S. foreign and security policy is to protect the integrity of our democratic institutions and promote a peaceful global environment in which they can thrive,” President Reagan wrote in National Security Decision Directive 238 on “Basic National Security Strategy,” which was partially declassified in 2005.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lines composed over three thousand miles from Tinturn Abbey

In Lines Composed Over Three Thousand Miles from Tinturn Abbey, Billy Collins writes:
I was here before, a long time ago,
and now I am here again
is an observation that occurs in poetry
as frequently as rain occurs in life
and much of the rest of the poem is about
But the feeling is always the same.
It was better the first time.
This time is not nearly as good.
I'm not feeling as chipper as I did back then.
Which, I know, is an awfully common feeling.  More common than rain.  But I don't feel it.

Tonight we're seeing Ian and Chad

Monday, September 17, 2012

One year on, 82 years on...

I've been reading Isherwood, and made a note to myself to copy out the section below.  Then, coincidentally, today's the one year anniversary, marked somehow or other, of Occupy Wall Street, and the helicopters were buzzing all about my office window.  So how could I not paste this here?  PP 48 of the New Directions copy of the Berlin Diary half of Isherwood's Berlin Stories:
We all three went to the balcony of Clive’s room.  Sure enough, the street below was full of people.  They were burying Hermann Muller.  Ranks of pale steadfast clerks, government officials, trade union secretaries - the whole drab weary pageant of Prussian Social Democracy - trudged past under their banners towards the silhouetted arches of the Brandenburger Tor, from which the black streamers stirred slowly in an evening breeze.
"Say, who was this guy, anyway?” asked Clive, looking down.  “I guess he must have been a big swell?”  
“God knows,” Sally answered, yawning.  “Look, Clive darling, isn’t it a marvellous sunset?”  
She was quite right.  We had nothing to do with those Germans down there, marching, or with the dead man in the coffin, or with the words on the banners.  In a few days, I thought, we shall have forfeited all kinship with the ninety-nine per cent. of the population of the world, with the men and women who earn their living, who insure their lives, who are anxious about the future of their children.  Perhaps in the Middle Ages people felt like this, when they believed themselves to have sold their souls to the Devil.  It was a curious, exhilarating, not unpleasant sensation: but all the same, I felt slightly scared.  Yes, I said to myself, I’ve done it now.  I am lost.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Giuseppe Torcivia's heroic pasta con sardi dinner

May I list all the food G made for dinner?  I'm not sure I'm able.  Pickled eggplant, smoked olives, pickled peppers, fresh figs wrapped in ham, bresaola dressed in olive oil and lemon, mystery salami from San Franciso that made me weep, sharp cheese, shrimp pate, fried artichokes, battered &  fried sage leaves, eggplant fritters, spinach and egg pancakes, pistachio rice balls, squid-ink rice balls, bruschetta a la Norma, cuttlefish in dark red wine sauce, cured salmon with scallions and olive oil and lemon, cold tomato soup, pasta con sardi.  For 16.  Served under a tent in a wild storm.  Woof!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mushroom activity in the crack between kitchen and patio

Gore Vidal

Credit: Jerry Cooke/Time & Life Pictures — Getty Images

I've always been fascinated by Gore Vidal, from Myra Breckenridge through Palimpsest, Burr, the huge collected United States: Essays and his public persona.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Omaha, nice!

No, this is not the most representative photo we took on our jaunt last week to Omaha and Lincoln, but it is the only one with a robotic child-controlled spacecraft, so what the heck.  Hey, we liked Omaha a lot!  Jackson Street Booksellers is now on my short list of all time favorite bookstores.  La Buvette!  M's Pub!

Up in the Bensen neighborhood, where we took this pic, we had the oddest experience.  We had lunch at the Omaha doppelganger of one of our favorite Brooklyn local spots.  Lot 2.  Same name.  Just about the same typography.  Same food ethic.  Similar dishes.  One brick interior wall and same color blue paint.  It was pretty bizarre.  No, they don't know about each other.  I took a pic of the Omaha front door and sent it to the folks in Brooklyn.  A search for the wormhole has begun.  Are Lori and I the only people in the world to have eaten at both?  Seems unlikely, but...  Brooklyn web.  Omaha web.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

High Wide and Handsome

High Wide & Handsome (Reprise)
L. Wainwright III
Album: Hide Wide & Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project

INTRO (2x): D  G  A  G  D

D                              G
High wide and handsome, that's how I like livin'
A                              G               D
High wide and handsome, that's how life should be
Low skinny and ugly, that's for other people
A                            G       D
High wide and handsome suits me to a tee

Em                   Bm
Song wine and women, they're my three favorites
G                            Bm
Beer gin and whiskey, that's five six and four
Em                     Bm
Saturday night, I like eatin' and dancin'
  G                             A
I sleep all day Sunday so's I'm ready for more

High wide and handsome, you can't take it with you
High wide and handsome, that's one way to go
Let's live it up, might as well we're all dyin'
High wide and handsome, let's put on a show

INTRO out 

At Country Tabs.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Low Commitment Projects

Macinwi sent me a link to Low-Commitment Projects (specifically to Sandwich Artist) a couple of months ago, and I've just gotten around to clicking through it...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Diving into the wreck

I first read this in, what, 1976 or so?
I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body
We circle silently
about the wreck
we dive into the hold. ...
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to the scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.

When I was poet laureate of the United States...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear diary, where I been?

No where much.  Where the weak are eaten, mostly, and a quick trip to DC.  Lota been to Sundance and back.  Been working working working.  Floundered in the midst of a half dozen books and finally pulled myself out by the bootstraps of The Sense of an Ending and Flaubert's Parrot.  Have been enjoying some home made vermouth a la Yvette can Boven and been slicing the bresaola.  Almost bought an electric slicer but settled instead on the big honkin' Victrinox Forschner hollow edged knife.  And I have a pork belly working, too.  Burned last year's seasonal stalks and saw that the bulbs and mint and a few other early-risers are saying hello.  Saw in the times today that I'm three years younger than Cindy Sherman.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bresaola, phase 2

Glistening, but about as firm as a well done piece of meat, the bresaola emerges from two weeks of curing in salts and herbs.

The, washed & dried, it sits on a rack for 2 or 3 hours, before hanging to air-dry for the next three weeks at maybe 60 F/

Start sharpening those knives.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Coteghino Fasciato (Spiced Pork Sausage or Cotechino Boiled in a Wrap)

A nice piece of coincidence: one of the books we bought ourselves for Christmas is an extract translation of Pellegrino Artusi’s 1891 opus, La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bene (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well), published now as Exciting Food for Southern Types, by Penguin, and in it is what I’ve transcribed below, which I read last evening while still digesting the D&G’s New Years Day dinner feast of the cotechino that we made last Friday.  (Long sentence!)

Coteghino Fasciato
(Spiced Pork Sausage or Cotechino Boiled in a Wrap)
 I will not pretend that this is an elegant dish, but rather one for the family, and as such it does the job perfectly well, and indeed you could even serve it to close friends.  Speaking of close friends, Giusti says that people who are in a position to do so, should occasionally invite their close friends to get their mustaches greasy at their table.  I am of the same opinion, even if the guests will probably proceed to speak ill of you, and of how they were treated.
Skin an uncooked cotechino weighing about 300 grams (about 10 ½ ounces).  Take a large, thin cutlet of lean veal or beef weighing between 200 and 300 grams (about 7 and 10 ½ ounces), and pound well.  Wrap the cutlet around the cotechino, tie it all up with twine and put on the fire in a saucepan with a bit of butter, some celery, carrot, and a quarter of an onion, all coarsely chopped.  Salt and pepper are not necessary, because the cotechino contains plenty of these ingredients.  If you plan to use the sauce on a first course of macaroni, add some slices of untrimmed prosciutto or some bacon.  When the piece of meat is browned all over, pour in enough water to cover it halfway, and throw in some little pieces of dried mushrooms; simmer slowly until completely cooked.  Strain the sauce, but add back the mushrooms, then use the sauce, along with cheese and butter, to season the macaroni.  Serve the cotechino as the main course, keeping it wrapped in the cutlet but removing the twine, and garnishing it with a good amount of its own sauce.  
It is a good idea to thicken the sauce for the pasta a bit with a pinch of flour.  Put the flour in a saucepan with a bit of butter, and when it starts to brown pour in the sauce and boil for a while. 
A side dish of carrots goes very well with this dish.  First boil the carrots until two thirds done and then finish cooking in the meat sauce.

Saturday, December 31, 2011


10 pounds of cotechino made yesterday @ D and G's for New Years Day dinner.  Woof! thumbtyped

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chris Hedges, OWL, the human amp

I've been lazy or busy or both and haven't made my way up to the park for close to a month.  I watched this earlier this morning and I started wondering what it might feel like to be part of the chorus.  There's the juice of it, the usefulness of it.  There's also the message, which you might or might not agree with, but you still deliver.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

So, Macinwi wants to play the uke...

... and I've been thinking of great three and four chord songs that might help.  A little Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain?

Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
recorded by Willie Nelson
written by Fred Rose
In the twilight glow I see her
G7                      C
Blue eyes cryin' in the rain
As when we kissed good-bye and parted
  G7                   C     C7
I knew we'd never meet again
Love is like a dying ember
C             G7
Only memories remain
Through the ages I'll remember
G7                      C
Blue eyes crying in the rain
Now my hair has turned to silver
G7                       C
All my life I've love in vain
I can see her star in heaven
G7                      C   C7
Blue eyes Crying in the rain
Someday when we meet up yonder
C                          G7
We'll stroll hand in hand again
In the land that knows no parting
G7                      C
Blue eyes crying in the rain
G7                      C
Blue eyes crying in the rain