31 March 2008

31Mar- great essay on books, readers and compatability.
thanks to Christine for sending it to me.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Books

28 March 2008

28Mar- Lecture on Fitzgerald on April 14th.
So this is happening. I'm quite excited about it. To read more about Dr Bruccoli, here's an interview with him by Caroline Lord, editor of The Short Story Literary Review.
Short Story - Interview with Matthew Bruccoli

25 March 2008

25 Mar- plastic wine glasses at Target! ...
Up until now I've only been a fan of plastic wine glasses for their ability to withstand being smacked to the floor (which happens a lot in my house. It's a cat thing.) but today I saw these glasses at Target for a very affordable $2.99 each.

The restaurant has Riedels but for drinking at home I like to buy glasses at places like T.J. Max or Marshall's or similar stores. In today's increasingly wine-aware world, wine glasses that are good for the wine are becoming more available. A good sized bowl that tapers in to concentrate aroma is important to me. Also, the thinner the rim of the glass the better. And if I can get away with spending no more than $3 per glass then I'm happy because I know their lifespans with me are depressingly short. So to have all these things realized at my local Target store was thrilling enough to illustrate how nerdy I am.
But now I'm that much more mobile with good wine. We're no longer beholden to empty Pom iced tea glasses or the thick, clumsy plastic wine glasses when we go camping or canoeing. Travelling in general will now be easier. No more wine out of hotel room water tumblers and no more carefully (read:space consuming) packed nice glasses which, at any second, could be reduced to a confetti of glass shards. Yes, truly we are entering a golden age.

I liked the following article on wine glasses. Glass Distinctions - New York Times

23 March 2008

The above is an image from an animated short that warms my heart.
It's about 5 minutes, has no dialogue and is set to a pleasant tune.

La Chute de l'Ange
21 Mar - Beer poems.

These are a little late, but here they are:

Rondelet for the

Sam Smith Organic Lager
5% alc/vol $5.75

I should drink this
delightful, clean organic beer.
I should drink this
cold glass of malty, hoppy bliss.
It pairs so well and so sincere
with all the dishes I hold dear.
I should drink this.


Cinquains for the

9% alc/vol $9.75

So nice.
A yeasty nose
bespeaks this Belgian vice
as, too, that citrus note that shows

Belgian golden ale
to please the beer gourmand.
As crisp and taut as sun-kissed sail:


Parallelismus Membrorum for the

8% alc/vol $8.5

Its caramel warms my heart
when I tip its cold cascades.
Its bubbles brightly dash and dart
as placidity pervades.


Rubáiyát as an Aubode for the

Urthel Samaranth
11% alc/vol $11

I’ll miss this time with you, my malty love.
Regarding taste, you have no lack thereof.
And memories so fond will linger on
as bluish hues dilute the night above.

I sigh, oh, Urthel Samaranth, my dear.
You’re so much more than just a simple beer.
Than dark and complex notes and spicy nose;
than joy embottled: well-fermented cheer.

As dawn demands we go on separate ways
and eyelids blink at morning’s sunny rays
I hope to drink so deep of you again.
It’s only your return can soothe my heart’s malaise.

21 March 2008

21Mar-on pickled okra & chocolate covered sunflower seeds.

I take some degree of pride in having few true weaknesses, among which I suppose I should count pride. Even in the things I love I tend to be moderate, such as wine and chocolate. I’m usually able to walk right by a bottle of wine or a bar of dark chocolate and simply nod acknowledgment at it without feeling like I have to descend upon it with the gusto normally reserved for the freshly rescued castaway. Recently, however, I have discovered two consumables that challenge my resolve.

Pickled okra and chocolate covered sunflower seeds.
These seemingly disparate words thrown together in a pattern that made no sense to me a mere 6 months ago now paint the canvas that is my frailty.

One might think that a jar of pickled anything would last longer than three days but it seems that, once opened, these okras languishing in peppery, garlicky nectar call to me and I must answer. To eat them seems almost an ethical necessity and the slightly spicy, oh so sour crunch of each pod is thoroughly enjoyed as though its consumption were key to not only my happiness but that of the world.
And then there are the chocolate covered sunflower seeds. My first perception was how pointless to cover something so miniscule with but a wisp of chocolate but, like a swarm of bees, it is not the individual that subdues but the sum total. And the texture that a multitude of these teardrop shaped delectations imparts is almost caviar-like in its scope. A mouth full of smooth little potentials suddenly fragmenting into a nigh entheogenic flavor experience. The most economical way to purchase these are in a two-foot tall sleeve (from Cloud Nine on Gervais, where I also tend to get my pickled okra) which looks not unlike a giant version of those little plastic containers for eyeglass repair kits. This shape also facilitates the hedonistic chocolate covered sunflower seed delivery method of tipping them into the mouth, thereby sending a cascade that also creates a calming sound like little rocks tumbling over each other in a mountain stream. I do not recommend this method while driving as the motion combines the awkwardness of drinking a yard of beer with the distracting, eye-closing pleasure of a lover running their fingers through your hair and trailing their fingertips down the nape of your neck.
So should you ever, in your travels or daily life, run across either of these extraordinary items I would wholeheartedly suggest you do yourself a favor and buy them for me.

11 March 2008

11March- we will close on Saturday 15 for St Patrick's Day......

That information sort of slipped my mind. I suppose I took it for granted that everyone would presume we would be closed, which is a silly thing to take for granted. So, yes, we'll close up shop on Saturday for St Patrick's Day. (Perhaps less "for" St. Pat's day and more "to avoid" St. Pat's day.)

And while I've got your eyes, I wanted to send a general thank you out there to all of you who have have been patient and understanding with us on our crazy busy nights. We've had a recent spate of...personalities who have been less than composed and sympathetic regarding the limitations of our abilities. And while I accept their criticisms as largely valid demonstrations of their ability to tell time I must confess to feeling dispirited and bullied by their approaches. So thank you, valued customers, for balancing out the aggressive element with your understanding and easy-going ways. When the combative and vitriolic make us question our endeavors it's your good-natures, support, and loyalty that remind us why we've stuck around. You truly make our efforts worthwhile and we promise to work our hardest to continue to improve and, also, to fill our sentences with infinitives.
Thank you very much,