bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
The subject line is from Carrie Fisher's Twitter bio. I learned of her death when I saw "Remembering Carrie Fisher" on a TV at Liuzza's, and one of the sadder things I saw later in the week was a sheaf of WizardWorld Comic Con flyers curled behind a machine or rack in a French Quarter coffee shop. The con is going on even as I type (January 6 to 8), but without Fisher, who had been listed on the top line of guests:

WizardWorld Comic Con flyer

I also saw two murals -- one on a wall with "RIP" prominent on wall, and the other on the door of the Krewe of Chewbacchus HQ. Friday morning, we spotted kegs being delivered for the second line parade to be led by the Leijorettes ("most ... are roller derby players").

Leijorettes HQ

A post I bookmarked while mentally drafting this one: TJ's goals for this year.

Speaking of fighting fascists, here's what Penzeys Spices has to say:


The stories of cooks, at least the way we see them, super-humanize. If it looks like you, or someone you know, are going to be standing in the way of the new administration, we need your story, and a recipe or two, and this time we can't wait until July. No doubt public school teachers will once again be on the front lines of the right's anger echo chamber, but we're thinking this time it won't be just teachers, and this is why we are asking for your help. This year, the list will be long, and we would like to get a leg up on any direction it could head. Clearly this time around the targets are the environment, immigration, gender equality, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, income inequality, and pretty much anyone who is in any way a minority in any shape or form.

If you, or someone you know, is on the front lines of one of these issues and have a good recipe or two to share, please contact us at editor@penzeys.com, and tell us a little about your background and your concerns. And please, don't think your experience needs to be dramatic, or that you need to have some sort of job title to participate. It's the every day decency of cooks that carries the day, not fame or celebrity.

And because you may well be first up on the block, if you are one of those pre-existing condition-havers that have had a brief period of almost normal life because of the Affordable Care Act, please get in touch with us right away. The people need to understand your experience. Once again, please contact us at editor@penzeys.com with a brief description of your story, and one of our gifted and friendly writers will get in touch. Please. We all need your experience.


Speaking of cooking, last night I scooped the Meyer lemon sorbet into smaller containers, and tonight I may proceed with this recipe for grapefruit-lemon marmalade. First, though, there is cleaning to do, but before that, lunch (a bowlful of leftovers, plus coffee dregs perked up with cardamom [from Penzeys], ginger, cinnamon, and coriander, with hot water and almond milk refilling the mug).

What are you cooking or dreaming about this weekend, loves?
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The Christmas Day service at First UU ("It's the Most Jewiful Time of the Year") included a dramatic reading of Lemony Snicket's The Latke that Couldn't Stop Screaming, led by the sabbatical minister with audience participation (congregants waving their arms and going "aaaaah!" on cue); a Dr Who reference (Rabbi Rami: I was hoping to watch the special tonight but my wife is insisting that we go out for Chinese); an extended Star Trek benediction in both Hebrew and English; and substantive theological points to consider, with the rabbi comparing closed systems (salvation-based) and open ones (hope-based). The quote I repeated to several other people later in the day : Johanan ben Zakkai's "If you are planting a tree and you hear that Messiah has come, first finish planting the tree."

Also: The thrill of hearing a professional soprano several pews behind me warbling through "Silver Bells" and other standards. The pleasure of petting my friend Victoria's therapy dog through the first half of the service. The hugging of friends and acquaintances and the talking about plans for dancing, performing, volunteering...

For champagne tea with my honorary mama, I baked potato wafers. The BYM and I heard someone very, very good playing the piano in the assisted living lobby when we arrived, and it was indeed her son, who'd brought along sheet music for several super-silly, wildly virtuosic seasonal pieces.

I was not feeling well enough to join the late-night crowd at Lipstick Lounge, but I did stay up to sort out a few things and to say a few more blessings...

second night

And, speaking of blessings, my thanks to all who responded to my Feast of Stephen appeal. I am full of gratitude. See you in 2017.
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Flint still does not have clean water, and Congress isn't inclined to do more about it.

So -- a proposal: buy Measured Extravagance or tweet about "Look at that, you son of a bitch" by the start of 26 December (CST) and I'll donate $2 per purchase/boost to the Flint Water Fund. Details here.
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People gathered from near and far,
In small groups and large,
To share their fears and grief
And the darkness in their hearts.

A year like no other, this was,
Testing us beyond what we'd ever imagined.
Day after day, week after week,
We found ourselves growing
And becoming sturdy
Because there was no other choice.


[I sang this years ago. Something I learned today: the ritual it comes from was co-written by a Unitarian Universalist and "a self-described Quaker witch" (source: http://indysolstice.com).]
bronze_ribbons: Andy Murray snoozing with his dog (muzz with maggie)
As I was leaving for work yesterday morning, a man and his dog were loping their way toward the park near the end of my street.

A woman driving by rolled down her window and held out a stuffed reindeer toy to the man. "Could you use this?"

The man shook his head regretfully. "It wouldn't last the day."

The woman smiled sadly. "Oh well. My doggie died, that's why."

I wish I'd been near enough to offer her a hug before she drove on.

Last night, at a holiday gathering at L27, I overheard the BYM replying to someone who'd apparently asked him to sum up his 2016 in a sentence. He said, "We bought my shop a building and our dog died."

That does cover the range.
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Just wrote a thank-you card to Kellogg's. http://maudnewton.tumblr.com/post/153905564012/todays-action-stopping-breitbarts-ad-dollars

Used some galangal from Penzeys in the cauliflower-potato soup I made tonight. "Online sales are up 59.9%, gift box sales up 135%" since their CEO gave Orange voters a piece of his mind a couple of weeks ago. He posted an open letter to other business owners/execs today: https://www.facebook.com/Penzeys/photos/pb.216397232833.-2207520000.1480654780./10154815494657834/?type=3&theater

Bronson Koenig: What I Found at Standing Rock

Rasheed Wallace: The Truth about Flint. This is from October, but in the words of the man himself:


I've been visiting Flint for the past year, so let me tell you the truth.

Some of the folks in Flint can't take showers because their water is still poisoned with lead.

They have to boil water, pour it into the sink and then wash in it.

Yeah, a grown-ass man has to take a bird bath. That shit ain't right. It's still going on today.

And it's not going away anytime soon.
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Seen at Target today:

'tis almost the season

Discussed at brunch today: the owner of Penzeys Spices speaking his mind about what happened on November 8. The comments section at Daily Kos is, for a change, one that does not require donning a hazmat suit to peruse.

For those of you who plan to place an order with Penzeys, there are coupon codes you may find useful.

Another way to speak with your dollars: contact your bank if it's one of the 17 funding the DAPL. Or, send supplies (including banners/sheets and spray paint): http://sacredstonecamp.org/supply-list/.
bronze_ribbons: (hooch boots)
  • Those of you reading this post on Dreamwidth can see a pair of boots in the icon. It is from an illustration [identity profile] trickofthedark.insanejournal.com drew in response to my fic "Those I Can Save." The character wearing those boots participates in resistance activities. So.


  • If you would like for the House Oversight Committee to insist on obtaining the PEOTUS's financial information, here's an action to take TODAY (Friday): https://twitter.com/FereJohn/status/799410740440375296


  • For those of you in the habit of exchanging gifts with me around the start of winter: if your plans aren't already set, it would please me immensely if this year you were to donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists' Gene Roberts Fund for Emergency Assistance.
  • bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
    The subject line is from a Yiddish poem by Bella Schaechter-Gottesman titled "Harbstelied" (Autumn Song): "When autumn offers baskets full of gold."

    Extraordinary selichot service at Congregation Micah earlier tonight. Before the service, I talked briefly with one man who said repeatedly that his partner had "dragged" him there, and a woman who had been a member for 14 years. The rows became full and more chairs were added. Some of the elements:

    Havdalah, with the spice jar passed around.

    Rabbi Laurie speaking about mature faith, the ability to endure uncertainty, traveling from fear to faith, the bar mitzvah earlier Saturday morning of a young man who had gone through two stretches of leukemia treatment.

    The musical "dream team" of Lisa Silver (guitar), Michael Ochs (guitar and accordion), and Batsheva (guitar).

    Andrew, a member, speaking about his parents dying within weeks of each other earlier this year -- one from a terminal illness, one suddenly -- and of his midnight-snack rituals with his daughter, who has left for college, as well as the networks developed and cherished by all three generations through their commitment to Judaism. He choked up within a few sentences into his remarks and gestured to his wife, who joined him at the bimah and held him throughout the rest of narrative.

    Rabbi Laurie telling part 1 of a tale about a king distraught over a crack appearing in a previously perfect diamond. A craftsman takes it away for a week, promising to make it perfect again...

    Batsheva animatedly speaking and then singing "Harbstlied," and later her setting of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" (apparently composed during a stay in Israel where a collection of Frost's poems was the only book in the house).

    Angie, another member, speaking about her work at Alive Hospice, about beloved people taken away by cancer (including the wife of the founding rabbi, whose earrings she wears and whose seat she often sits in at the synagogue), about surviving other transitions (including menopause), and about five things one should be able to say not only at the end of life but every day: Forgive me. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you. Good-bye. (I may be misremembering "thank you.")

    Rabbi Laurie: what happened to the diamond.

    The service ended with what is apparently a Micah tradition -- the congregation holding hands and singing "Hallelujah" in Hebrew:

    Cohen's Hallelujah in Hebrew

    Cohen's Hallelujah in Hebrew
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    Paying market - NonBinary Review - due by 1 November:

    https://nonbinaryreview.submittable.com/submit/54457

    Prose, poetry, visual art...

    (h/t @chidorme on Twitter, who was retweeting @celestechan2020)
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    Cathy Erway's The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island has been giving me the feels, as the hipsters might say. Among the dishes I've never heard of, there are dishes I've seen only my parents serve, and names recognizable to me in transliteration. Yet another book to revisit after Big Raft of Deliverables are delivered.

    In the meantime, I have cooked up a pan of pitimi, aka millet, and mixed it with some chopped red onion, and ladled the lazy woman's tagine from yesterday over it, along with some leftover yellow bell pepper and butternut squash and roasted orange slices. I will tackle the bowls of hot red peppers after my stomach registers that it has indeed been filled and I can don plastic gloves without said stomach's noises drowning out the kitchen fan.
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    bronze_ribbons: Kimiko Date Krumm fistpump @ Seoul 2009 (Kimiko fistpump)
    The subject line is not a direct reference to a gig that draws in Mirren and Field and Janney, but this passage I came across while looking up the Mirren clip, which follows a description of a frenetic day chez Colbert at work, which included micro-involvement in "every aspect of preparations" and the writer (Joel Lovell) marveling at Colbert's combination of focus and elation:



    It's a little after seven, and the sun's starting to set over the Hudson River. There are several bottles of expensive bourbon in his office, and he pours a glass for each of us and then sits down and exhales.

    "That was fun," he says. “What you just saw me do--the number of things you saw me talk to people about, the number of different things--you saw like four different tags on a single idea.. . . That's it. That's what liking process gets you to, the ability to process a great deal of information. And everybody in this building can do it. Everybody was jumping in. Everybody had ideas. Everybody was saying, 'What is an unasked added value that I can give the show?' And that is true joy. That's the joy machine."

    He used to have a note taped to his computer that read, "Joy is the most infallible sign of the existence of God."
    bronze_ribbons: Stack of Russian tins of fish (Russian tins)
    This morning's bathtub reading was supplied by the first 56 pages of the August issue of GQ, which includes Michael Paterniti's ode to Yotam Ottolenghi. This passage in particular caught my eye:


    The immediate impression of the trio [Ottolenghi, NOPI head chef Ramael Scully, and recipe developer Esme Howarth] made was of friendliness -- how well suited to one another they were, and how soft-spoken and solicitous Ottolenghi was.

    "Would you like some tea and cookies?" he asked, and without waiting for an answer he went rummaging to retrieve some. I'd been served so much Ottolenghi food by others, and now Ottolenghi himself was serving me cookies. This seemed to be the opposite of Gordon Ramsay. This was the opposite of the matador chefs and their brash opining. In fact, if you could say anything about Yotam Ottolenghi, you might say he contained multitudes: a sweet temperament and fierce intensity, iron discipline and wild creativity.


    In checking on whether the piece was online, I found a speech by Paterniti on storytelling, which includes this anecdote:



    I have an unofficial contest going with some writer friends, to see who can ask the stupidest question EVER without meaning to, and I think I recently won. I was interviewing the chef Yotam Ottolenghi in London, and at the risk of never being asked to go on assignment again, I'm going to quote my question, verbatim:

    So I'm just--butternut! Butternut squash, broccoli polenta, pearled lemon, that idea of, and sometimes this happens at the ridiculous high-end restaurant, the prawn did this, eat the whole flower, or whatever, just get that marrow, or whatever it is, up here, on the plate, all foamy, and this is what you’re doing without having to turn it into some sort of ridiculous cooky thing in these restaurants, like, maybe you could tell me: Why are we doing this!?


    Seriously, how can you answer a question like this? And you know you're in trouble when the response is, as it was in Ottolenghi's case, a very long silence, a polite but quizzical expression usually reserved for the platypus tank at the zoo, and then, with pity: I think I know what you're trying to say...


    As someone who dines on her foot on a regular basis and actively contemplates vows of silence every third day, I found this awfully reassuring.
    bronze_ribbons: Andy Murray snoozing with his dog (muzz with maggie)
    It is, according to the NashSevereWx chart, beyond "I need gills to breathe" hot in my here town right now (77 F dewpoint even with the sun down). I have been resisting the urge to go nap for hours in the bathtub or planetarium with great difficulty. But I have also discovered that an empty plastic Coke bottle (emblazoned with "What I like about you") can intone the A below middle C (give or take a half-step or two -- my piano is not A=440) when I whoosh it back and forth on my way back from some of the zinnias.

    Read more... )
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    theater

    10/7/16 22:14
    bronze_ribbons: yoshizumi flying off cliff (yosh37 yoshizumi off cliff)
    Via the NYT Cooking newsletter, as it happens: Slate's oral history of Angels in America -- http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/cover_story/2016/06/oral_history_of_tony_kushner_s_play_angels_in_america.html

    And from today's profile by Michael Paulson of Javier Muñoz:



    Why are you an actor?

    I decided in high school -- at Edward R. Murrow in Brooklyn. I just fell in love with the idea that theater can be a mirror, theater can be a commentary, theater can be powerful and can start a conversation that needs to happen. I started working for a childrens literacy organization that used theater to teach literacy in after-school programs, and that was another powerful thing -- suddenly the kid who really had trouble reading in class, or was embarrassed to speak out loud because of their accent, was inhabiting a character, using their imagination, reading and writing. That blew my mind.
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    The subject line is from a Paris Review interview of Yves Bonnefoy, who recently passed away.

    Bonnefoy's translations of Yeats's poems are on my bedside bookshelf. I quoted from the very first one I read at http://www.varytheline.org/blog/2011/12/15/a-few-old-socks-and-love-letters/.

    Also from the PR interview:


    What shapes the poem, what makes it what it is . . . that depends on causes which are within me already, and have been for a long time, although I am not yet aware of them. I will understand them only once the work is finished.

    I must point out that I can postpone the decision to start writing for years. It's when I'm at peace with the thoughts and the images that are generated by the previous book. I will not start writing again except when I notice that the last book is no longer sufficient to express or order my relationship with the world.
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    LAO

    9/6/16 20:59
    bronze_ribbons: snapshot of me in standing bow (Default)
    There are many formidable women in my life, and one of them is a vet who heads to the Virginia Women's Music Festival every year. She recently wrote to me about repairing a road:


    We dug out the soft dirt, built a wood & rock frame & filled in with 50 bags of Quickcrete. [Another woman] and I tried to stamp it with our assprints but couldn't get a good angle.

    oh damn

    3/6/16 23:00
    bronze_ribbons: cute critter with knife and ribbons (bribboned critter)
    French Wikipedia helpfully documents numerous translations of Sayers's Lord Peter Wimsey novels. They don't look simple or inexpensive to obtain (there certainly weren't stacks of them by the Seine or in Strasbourg as there were of Agatha Christie et al., never mind the current situation over there).

    090527 strasbourg 074

    I did hear about the translation of Gaudy Night (Le coeur et la raison) a couple of years ago ... and it has taken me this long to realize that the French title is exactly the same as the one used for Sense and Sensibility. Maybe in a few more years I'll use it as a carrot to coax my command of French up to some semblance of functionality.

    (I am grimly amused at the multiple AbeBooks listings for the French edition of Unnatural Death, which is hands-down my least favorite Sayers novel. Everything else is well out of range.)

    On a less grumpy note, I sowed zinnias yesterday morning, and tonight's thunderstorm has saved me the trouble of watering them.
    bronze_ribbons: Image of hand and quote from Keats's "This Living Hand" (living hand)
    I just watched a 12-minute documentary on Sandor Katz (whom my friend Lannae has mentioned a number of times) while sipping umeshu and hanging out with my dog.

    It is now time to move clothes from the washer to the dryer, and then, I think, to soak my feet and then turn in. Might skip the foot soak, for that matter.

    (I might be a bit fried.)

    FIGO

    Speaking of fried things, however, I am reminded of the calamari I ordered at FIGO while in Atlanta. It was served with fried lemons, which were delicious with the peach bellini.
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