I’m enjoying a beautiful sunday morning here in paradise, with some iced espresso in an ol’ jug, wondering if it will rain today.
We got our first CSA farm share box yesterday. It was full of such exotic treats, such as stinging nettles, which I of course remember from my childhood and not in terms of something you eat. Also in the box: sorrell, mint, oregano, spring garlic, lettuce, leeks, green onions, radishes, spinach, chard, bok choy, asparagus.
For dinner I boiled some red potatoes, then sauteed them in a little olive oil with the spring garlic and the green onions and the oregano. I added cayenne, sesame seeds, salt, pepper. Then I put in the sorrel and the spinach until it wilted. In my cool cast-iron I grilled the asparagus with salt and pepper. WHOA. Taste explosion inside of my mouth. Sorrel! Whoever even heard of such a thing! But it is lemony and spinachy and delicious. I ate so much and then I ate a whole tomato.
Today I’m going to eat those radishes.
I cracked my pickled asparagus and am sort of disappointed and sort of pleased. It’s super salty, but at the same time, I did successfully create pickled asparagus, so it’s kind of win/win (I also like salt). The old man will be the true test, as his love for pickled asparagus, as previously noted, is intense.
I have been doing good work, picking them up and putting them down, getting an article in shape to present to this crazy summer seminar I’m taking, reading my Hector guys and charting down where they disagree with each other. It’s pretty cool, actually, because you’re thinking, “oh god, these guys are all like 80 years old and they know music theory because they got a PhD in it at CAMBRIDGE in the NINETEEN FIFTIES and I think I’m going to tell them something about Hector they don’t already know?” But then you see that they disagree with one another all over the place, even down to what seems to me to be kind of “the basics,” such as, you know, “where the recapitulation in the first movement is.” Realizing this has made me feel better (I am notoriously bad at recognizing recapitulations, except for the comically obvious ones like Beethoven beating you over the head with an electric cattle prod, and even then I’m like, “….is this the tonic?”), although I still will never be able to say something like “ha ha, obviously here his voice-leading is egregious” the way they do. WHATEVER. There’s more than one way to skin a cat.
I’ve been really enjoying the HuffPo’s Sunday Talk News Roundup LiveBlog.
“Apparently, Fox got an email from someone suggesting that Alcatraz be retrofitted as the new GITMO, and Wallace responds by saying “San Francisco Democrat Nancy Pelosi says no way,” as if Pelosi is being NIMBYish. Would it have killed Wallace to point out that Alcatraz is a MUSEUM? Is it really a serious idea to say that terrorists cannot be housed at a Supermax prison INSIDE A MILITARY BASE, but OH GOD NANCY PELOSI, THAT MONSTER, is standing in the way of “NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM 3: HOLY SHIT, WHY ARE THERE TERRORISTS AT THIS POPULAR TOURIST ATTRACTION, THIS IS CRAZY, RUN BEN STILLER, RUN, WHY DID THEY DO THIS, THIS IS GODDAMN BONKERS!””
People who humorously exploit the “raging all-caps” style of blogging, perfected, in my opinion, by David Rees, will always get at least one thumbs-up from me.
I just read “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz, and I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend it to all book-loving humans. It’s fantastic and beautiful and weird and funny and sad. The narrative voice is unlike anything I can remember encountering before. It’s good!
Now I’m reading this immense (983 pages! Longer than Simon Schama’s history of the French Revolution!) novelization of the Holocaust. I forget why, because that description does not sound like something I’d be interested in reading, for a wide variety of reasons. Oh yeah, I read a review of it in The Believer that piqued my interest. It’s written by a Frenchie (imagine translating shit like this, it must take ten years!) and is from the point of view of an Eichman-like Nazi dude. I expect it to be pretty gross and disturbing, and the fact that the character with whom we are expected to identify is a Nazi probably wouldn’t get it made into an Oscar-winning American film, but The Believer tends to be smarter than most people I know, so I’m going to give it a shot. I do have a deep love for the immensely long novel, my inability to finish 2666 notwithstanding, and it’s a love I’ve been largely unable to satisfy since grad school began and my head was dunked under a vast waterfall of required nonfiction reading. But the fellowship year is nothing if not one’s final hurrah of sorts, because, truthfully, you just can’t work on your dissertation for 10 (or even 5) hours every single day, and since you don’t have a job or anything else meaningful in your life aside from your weekly CSA delivery, it’s actually a great opportunity to get sucked back into the reading habits of adolescence. Flashlight under the covers, “Lonesome Dove,” mom coming in at midnight and taking your flashlight away.
I love being on fellowship. I love it so much that I’m going to continue doing it next year, even though I did not win a fellowship.
Watched “W” last night, finally. It’s weird, it seems like that movie would have been much huger if it had come out right about now. When it came out, I and many people I knew were too burned and bummed to want to pay our hard-earned cash to sit in a theater for 3 hours obsessing over the biggest narcissist in history. Now, now that the world has turned an infinitesimal centimeter away from Utter Darkness (knock on wood), now that the immense weight I’ve carried on my shoulders for 8 years has lifted (slightly, but still), I feel more able to cope with a psychological dissection of He Who Shall Not Be Named. I found the film intensely disturbing, specifically the scene near the end when Laura comforts him by saying that “people have no idea how hard it is for us” and then telling him the Broadway production of “Cats” is coming to town, which cheers him up immediately. Josh Brolin is a true force of nature. And it is fun to see Elizabeth Banks, who I have mainly always known as a Stella buddy (Wet Hot American Summer; Wainy Days; Stella; etc.), act in kind of a major serious role. Also George from Six Feet Under was a great elder George. Rob Corddry was in that movie! What a weird movie. It was just such a weird movie. What does it mean that that movie even exists?? Our nation will be in therapy for a generation, and Oliver Stone kind of got the ball rolling, with all those weird fantasy dream-sequences of young George screaming GET OUT OF MY LIIIFEEEEE at George senior. Um. Can the vast blight of recent American foreign policy (or rather “foreign policy”) really be boiled down to a guy who wants his daddy to love him? What hath God wrought?
I kept wishing George senior would just say, at some point early in the beer-swilling years, that he was very proud of little George, and that George was his favorite son. Then all of this could have been averted. Then I’d think, “wait, this really happened, THIS ISN’T A MOVIE, it’s all too late,” which depressed me. Also Richard Dreyfuss will now haunt my nightmares forever. “Well I’d say yours was the bigger boo-boo, Colin, you could have been president.” “Fuck you.”
Then the old man came home from Chicago, exhausted and raving and stinking to high heaven. He took a shower and put on his brand new underpants. I took a melatonin and put on my old lady sleeping eye-mask and we went to bed and talked about theater. And now it’s Sunday, the Lord’s day, and I am continuing my compare/contrast session with all the Berlioz guys, secretly hoping that when Gary wakes up he’ll want to go for a walk with me.