Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We baked, we cooked, we plotzed.
- butterscotch crescent rolls,
- almond cardamom bread,
- cookies galore,
- almond, pumpkin seed, and cashew brittle,
- spicy cashews with wasabi peas,
- a chocolate souffle cake,
- coconut cupcakes,
- roasted potatoes,
- maple roasted yams,
- roast rosemary pork,
- cauliflower au gratin, twice,
- salads galore,
- steamed broccoli,
- white bean soup with leftover roast pork,
- roasted pumpkin soup, thai-spiced,
- corn muffins,
- more roasted potatoes.
- four pineapples.
Monday, December 29, 2008
I am thinking about this stuff because the year is almost over.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Best of 2008, series three.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Best of 2008, series two.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Best of 2008, series one.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas Day in review.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Baking: an essay.
- yeast does not last forever, even when it is refrigerated. Shall I buy another economy size package of yeast? I believe I shall, but after two years, I will consider it spent.
- farmer eggs are the best eggs.
- currants are cuter than raisins.
- golden raisins are shinier and more glamorous than your usual raisin.
- gel-based food coloring makes very very very vivid icing.
- no matter how many kinds of sprinkles and sanding sugar and nonpareils and other assorted decorating doodads you happen to have in your pantry, you will always be missing some or another kind of doodad that would make a more perfect cookie.
- panettone is delicious, especially when the lemon zest you use in the dough is from a Meyer lemon.
- a pair of cookie cutters, a pear with a teeny partridge to sit atop it, bears only a metonymic, and yet still incoherent, relation to the partridge-in-a-pear-tree narrative.
- at Christmastime, there is an ancient cookie economy that reasserts itself in seasonal fashion.
- some people would have it that one can substitute a candle, an ornament, even a Christmas cd for the traditional plate of cookies in the cookie economy. This is a falsehood. Nonetheless, there is a new and competing ancillary-Christmas-goods economy vying against the cookie economy.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Messages from another universe.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Historian: [seeing a corner house with only the front walk shoveled]: Huh. They only shoveled the front walk. I know, a corner lot, that’s a lot of shoveling, but still--I lived on a corner lot for twenty years and I always shoveled both sides. By hand, no snow blower, which is probably why I’m in such good shape for my age.
Me: That, and your pure heart.
Historian: Yes, well, I think both are necessary.
Friday, December 19, 2008
- The kids, of all ages, are pretty cute when they sing, even the ones that think singing isn't cool.
- A mix of holiday and world and popular music.
- One of the best set of actions to go with "The Twelve Days of Christmas" that I have ever seen.
- The principal wore both a Santa hat and a red Hawaiian shirt.
- Way fun to see Singing Son in action:
Greeting song from lisab on Vimeo.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Scouring the webbery with your interests at heart.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
All right, already.
This, this was my breakfast.
O Tannenbaum, by God. from lisab on Vimeo.
Monday, December 15, 2008
My Christmas Tree: Sentences & Moral Epigrams.
Those who apply themselves too closely to little things, such as purchasing Christmas candles, a Christmas wreath, and butter for all the Christmas baking-to-come, often become incapable of great things, such as buying an actual Christmas tree.
We have not enough strength to follow all our inclinations to buy a Christmas tree.
If we had a Christmas tree we should not complain of the Christmas fervor of others, including their Christmas trees.
If we had no faults, such as the procrastination of buying a Christmas tree, we should not take so much pleasure in noting the faults of others, such as, I don't know, what Christmas-related folly have you committed?
(via La Rochefoucauld)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Who's listening to what?
- The Roches, We Three Kings.
- Benjamin Britten, Ceremony of Carols.
- The Beach Boys, "Little Saint Nick" (come on, I went to high school in SoCal. In the 70s.).
- Shawn Colvin, Holiday Songs and Lullabyes.
- a few no-name cds I bought that I really enjoy--New England Christmastide and some other ones (clearly I haven't yet busted these out).
- some awesome choir cds--singing son's choir, the Salt Lake Men's Chorus cd my friend Jonathan gave me, a beautiful cd with the historian's daughter's partner's choir of old.
- Stevie Wonder's Christmas cd.
- George Winston, December (for the depressive that lives in all of us, a little, at Christmas, right?).
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
A tiny dollop of joy.
If you want Poetic Pies, drop in a sensitive amount of mincemeat, then get a star-shaped cutter. Think pie in the sky - a little vision, like Dante gazing at Beatrice, (though I do not mean to compare Beatrice to a mince pie). If you want Post-Modern Pies, then dollop in quite a lot of mince-meat, perhaps audaciously slopping it over the edge of the case, and just cut out two provocative strips of pastry and cross them over the top – self-consciously artificial, but revealing all, like Michel Houllebeq. If you want a Bestseller Pie, then fill generously, but make a thick lid and seal the edges with fingertips of brandy. Dust with icing sugar.I am not necessarily a fan of mince pies, but I am a fan of Jeanette Winterson, and her website is a treasure. Roam around.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Is your house too big? A very short quiz.
(a) one week
(b) two weeks
(c) three weeks
(d) last Christmas?
2. Once you are down there, what do you find?
(a) the furniture has been rearranged.
(b) there's a retrotastic blue sectional sofa, perfect for Utah Jazz watching parties, should you ever get your act together and invite people over.
(c) your satellite dish, your television, and your other video implements are still in a tiff and therefore not speaking to one another.
(d) a small family of werewolves has moved in, and they've chosen bedrooms.
3. When you go into the room formerly known as college daughter's room when she was in 9th grade, what do you find?
(a) your friendly old Macintosh desktop, just waiting faithfully to be used.
(b) a petrified banana peel from the era of when the room (FKACDR) turned into the art room, thus people began making their film projects there (see (a) above).
(c) all sorts of paper and other project-oriented shenanigans piled everywhere.
(c) a Christmas bag from when soccer coach son slept there, filled with Christmas candy (gold foil coins, Kruggerands and pennies; foil covered chocolate balls), a lip balm (Burt's Bees), and a Santa Claus PEZ dispenser, complete with PEZ (raspberry flavored).
If you chose any of the answers to these questions, your house is almost certainly too big. Also, you almost certainly have too much stuff, and it's a fairly sure bet that you're a slob. And you may have raised a family with slobby tendencies. Some slobby tendencies. Finally, it's also possible that you may not follow through on projects and problems very well.
What is to be done? you ask. Why are you asking me? I live in a too-big house with too much stuff, and I am a slob with no follow-through.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The universe is sending me messages.
"Reporter Russell Cobb takes us through the remarkable and meteoric rise of Carlton Pearson, Russell Cobb takes us through the remarkable and meteoric rise of Carlton Pearson from a young man to a Pentecostal Bishop: from the moment he first cast the devil out of his 17-year old boyfriend, to the days when he had a close, personal relationship with Oral Roberts, and had appearances on TV and at the White House. Just as Reverend Pearson's career peaked, with more than 5000 members of his congregation coming every week, he started to think about hell, wondering if a loving God would really condemn most of the human race to burn and writhe in the fire of hell for eternity."
I shall find the dark grow luminous, the void fruitful when I understand I have nothing, that the ringers in the tower have appointed for the hymen of the soul a passing bell.The last knowledge has often come most quickly to turbulent men, and for a season brought new turbulence. When life puts away her conjuring tricks one by one, those that deceive us longest may well be the wine-cup and the sensual kiss, for our Chambers of Commerce and of Commons have not the divine architecture of the body, nor has their frenzy been ripened by the sun. The poet, because he may not stand within the sacred house but lives amid the whirlwinds that beset its threshold, may find his pardon.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
And now I will foist video upon you.
And now I will foist video upon you. from lisab on Vimeo.
Monday, December 08, 2008
I was of three minds.
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Craft Talk: Poetry, Revision & Research (in useful bullet points).
- American Heritage's excellent list of Indo-European roots
- Marcus Aurelius
- Economy of the Unlost
- Eros the Bittersweet
- the mythology of the Lotos-eaters, aka the lotosphagi
- a website about spiders
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Improve your life, immediately.
I was just reading over proof pages--as I do every deadline--making sure that no embarrassing typos slip into print, and I came across this doozy of an error from Kelly Marages' review of The Killers' new album (p. 50). In her reflections on "When You Were Young," easily one of my favorite songs of the last several years, Marages claims that "the heavy guitars and Springsteen style rang false." I immediately fact-checked this statement with Alan Greenspan, the Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, and Chuck Norris. They all confirmed my belief that (a) the so-called "heavy guitars" are crunchy and epic and extremely awesome, and (b) the "Springsteen style ringing false" comment is ludicrous because there was a highly respected voodoo witch doctor in the studio helping Brandon Flowers channel Bruce's incendiary verve. I'll go ahead and mark the change here on the proof page, but I wanted you to be aware so you can make a special grouping in the editorial masthead called "Contributing Writers Who Are Mistaken," under which Marages' name will appear all by itself.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Neighborhood lights from lisab on Vimeo.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
One thing I wish I had right now.
The two Elvi.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Oh, SURELY. Absolutely! Surely!
Because the process of submitting this manuscript [my other manuscript] has been lengthy—which is not unusual in the unfathomable world of poetry publishing—I have also been writing new work, which I now have compiled into a rough manuscript that I have been tentatively calling Surburban Ode or Suburban Elegy or Imploding Elegy. I plan to use the time during the sabbatical to revise and shape this next manuscript. The poet Jane Kenyon once said, “Poetry has an intensity about it, which is one of its loveliest qualities, but that’s also the thing that fatigues you when you’re working on it. There’s a pitch of emotion in poems that you must rise to. Every time you work on the poem you must rise to it again” (in The Language of Life, ed. Bill Moyers, 224). The open space of a sabbatical surely offers a writer a wonderful circumstance in which to prepare to rise to that pitch of intensity.
May I just say that my new work, rough manuscript, big pile o' writing, whatever you want to call it--nightmare? arrgh?--is flummoxing me. I need an extremely large table, and better judgment than I actually have, I think. Yes, a large table, exquisite judgment--or else a match. A match! That's the ticket!
That "surely" in the last sentence of that proposal--that kind of sounds like bullshit to me.