Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Honestly, I'm just glad that I'm not anyone's father.

1. I got a new pot for my jade plant, Sir Teacake Rochester of the Fall Creek Rochesters. Lots of room to grow. My sister's response to learning the name of my beloved plant:
"Teacake Rochester. You're like me, on crack."
I'm not sure if she means that she and I are alike in that we are both on crack, or that I am like she would be if she took crack, but either way I like it.*

2.  The first time I saw this video, I didn't like it. I guess it was partially defensiveness - "I don't want this to represent my nuanced experience of emerging adulthood! I don't have a briefcase!" I also resented the explicit reference to the fact that my life is a third of the way done. But every time I watch it I like it more and I am now able to at least enjoy it for what it is.

3. Here's another song about being 24. Kind of.
Lyrics here.

4. This article: TV Makes Girls Feel Like Crap About Themselves, But Does Wonders for White Boys

5. If you have a Hulu account (it's free) you can have new Ellen clips added to your queue daily.

6. The English language is missing some words. Like a word for when the lettuce in your salad is too big to fit in your mouth. Or the particular sensation of getting toothpaste in your eye. Here are 25 words that exist in English, but do in other languages. It was exciting to actually know some of these words. Who said you'd never come to any use, Japanese Psychology class I took sophomore year!

*Please note, neither my sister nor I have ever been, or are likely to ever be, literally on crack. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Don't listen to your jerkbrain.

1. The thunderstorm that cooled down the air making it a bearable temperature again.

2. The combination of leaves on the trees and Cornell students going home making it possible for me to change without worrying about being seen by the frat boys across the street.

3. There are a bunch of these, but I think this is the best one.

4. Why Do We Care More About Diversity On TV Than in Our Schools?


This bad ass nine-year-old.
6. A long overdue documentary about rape in the US military is coming out soon.

7. On the subject of violence against women, I really appreciate this piece about how rape culture affects even the most innocent interactions between men and women.
Men who want to flirt with women have to realize: Women live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety. It’s like having a mild case of hay fever that never goes away. It’s not debilitating. You’re not weak. You’re not afraid. You just suck it up and get on with your life. It's nothing that's going to stop you from making discoveries, or climbing mountains, or falling in love. Sometimes you can almost forget about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, subtly sucking your energy. You learn to avoid situations that make it worse and seek out conditions that make it better.
If a female stranger is wary around you, it is not because she suspects you are a rapist, or that all men are rapists. It’s because a general level of circumspection is what vigilance requires. Don’t take it personally.
If this frustrates you, try to remember that women are blamed for lapsed vigilance. If a woman does get raped, everyone rushes to see where she let her guard down. Was she drinking? Was she alone? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go to a strange man’s room for coffee at 4am?
A woman must be seen to be vigilant as well as be vigilant. If she is deemed insufficiently vigilant, she will be at least partly blamed for any sexual that violence befalls her. If she’s regarded as downright reckless, that “evidence” can be used to completely exonerate her rapist. If it comes down to a he said/she said dispute over whether sex was consensual, as so many rape cases do, the dispute becomes a referendum on whether the woman seems like the sort of reckless person who would have sex with a stranger.
8. To make up for the heaviness of #7, hang out with the calming manatee for a little while. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

here is the rain we saw

Losing a Language

A breath leaves the sentences and does not come back
yet the old still remember something that they could say

but they know now that such things are no longer believed
and the young have fewer words

many of the things the words were about
no longer exist

the noun for standing in mist by a haunted tree
the verb for I

the children will not repeat
the phrases their parents speak

somebody has persuaded them
that it is better to say everything differently

so that they can be admired somewhere
farther and farther away

where nothing that is here is known
we have little to say to each other

we are wrong and dark
in the eyes of the new owners

the radio is incomprehensible
the day is glass

when there is a voice at the door it is foreign
everywhere instead of a name there is a lie

nobody has seen it happening
nobody remembers

that is what words were made to prophesy

here are the extinct feathers
here is the rain we saw

- W.S. Merwin

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Where did you lose this interview?"

1. New music you should know about:
- Regina Spektor's new album isn't out yet, but you can listen to it here thanks to NPR
- Cold Specks' new album came out a few days ago and I'm all about it.

2. This girl is making change happen in the food her school feeds her by posting daily pictures of her lunch. Clever girl.


4. Today Baby and I got airbrush tattoos. I got an octopus and Baby got a frog. Or, half a frog. Turns out Baby is not such a fan of getting airbrush tattoos.

He did like this giant bottle, though:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


2. Will Smith raps "Fresh Prince of Belair."

3. Tadao Cern takes portraits while blowing a whole lotta air in peoples' faces. Brilliant.

4. Message from Chez I received tonight: "blog. and i love you."

5. So there's this cat, named Bub. Here is Bub's explanation for why she is the way she is:
"I’m not 100% sure, but I believe I have several goof-ups that make me especially amazing. I am a perma-kitten by genetic defect, which is why I have a deformed jaw (and why my tongue’s always flapping around) and probably why I have no teeth. I may also be a dwarf, because my legs are very short and bowed. Additionally, I am polydactyl on both my front and rear paws, which means I have extra toes, which make my feet look huge and awesome. My front paws have not one, but two opposable thumbs. I also have a really fat and long tail, and a long, slinky, serpent-like body. But please don’t feel bad for me, I know I look good, plus I’m extremely smart and happy as shit. PEACE."
Bub has this huge internet following, because she looks like this: 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

something simpler than I could ever believe

1. Baby has learned how to give very loud, very wet, raspberries. So proud.

2. Awesome subway artist Ming Liang Lu. 

3. Ellen keeps making my life better:
"If you feel like you're not where you're supposed to be, you shouldn't worry - because the next turn you take, it could lead you to where you want to go. And you have to remember that famous quote, I think it's something like: 'Life is not about the destination, it's about being rich,' or something like that."

4. Horse Feathers! Okay, yes, a lot of their songs sound pretty similar. But if I'm going to listen to an album in which the songs are all pretty similar, I want it to sound like this! The new album, Cynic's New Year, hits the spot.

5. I've made French Onion Soup before, and it's always good, but this recipe from the Powell House Cook Book is particularly fantastic. You know how I love anything roasted. I used Better Than Bouillon for the vegetable stock, so I didn't add any salt or soy sauce at the end because it was salty enough. Used dried thyme instead of fresh. Didn't have any dry white wine. I also added about a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar at the end. I topped it with toasted bread and melted munster cheese


4 or 5 large spanish onions, cut into thin slices
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 bay leaves
2 teaspoons fresh chopped thyme
3/4 to one cup dry white wine (optional)
8 cups basic dark vegetable stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Optional Garnish: croutons, grated Gruyere, swiss, or parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. In a large bowl, combine the onions, garlic, salt, oil, bay leaves, and thyme.
3. Spread the mixture in a single layer on rimmed non-reactive baking pans (one or two as needed).
4. Roast the onion mixture in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the onions are softened and lightly browned.
5. Remove from the oven. Add the wine (or some stock) to the baking pans, and stir well with a wooden spoon to deglaze (scrape up the yummy burnt bits).
6. Carefully transfer the roasted mixture to the soup pot. Add the stock. soy sauce, and little salt and pepper; cover and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.
7. Find and discard the bay leaves. Taste test, and adjust the seasonings as needed.
8. Serve with croutons and grated cheese.

6. I've been real into W.S. Merwin recently. As has our country, I guess. 

Just Now

In the morning as the storm begins to blow away
the clear sky appears for a moment and it seems to me
that there has been something simpler than I could ever
simpler than I could have begun to find words for
not patient not even waiting no more hidden
than the air itself that became part of me for a while
with every breath and remained with me unnoticed
something that was here unnoticed unknown in the days
and the nights not separate from them as they came and
    were gone
it must have been here neither early nor late then
by what name can I address it now holding out my thanks 

- W.S. Merwin

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mega Post!

1. I like to play a game where I try to figure out what kind of person someone is by the contents of their shopping basket at the grocery store. Today I hoped no one was judging me, because I bought:
- a cast iron skillet (a 12" skillet for $19!)
- ice cream (to go with strawberry rhubarb torte, mentioned below)
- ant poison (I'm tired of killing the ants in my car one by one with the Ithaca Monthly Meeting directory, but I don't really feel like locating their food source).

2. Yesterday I hacked my dad's e-mail so that I could change his NY Times password and read this article about child psychopaths. Totally justified.

3. The transformative power of music!

4. Don't let what happened in North Carolina prejudice you against North Carolinians! Check out all of these people who voted against Amendment One.

5. Street art by Alice Pasquini.

6. One of the best songs of the past 10 years, covered and made totally different. Not work/kid safe.

7. Maurice Sendak's yearbook picture. Bahahahahahaha.



from Foreign Summer

All up the road
The trees will miss you
When you have climbed their shadows.
Far from their embraces you will go on.
You will be happy.
Hope will have thought of you at every turn.
You will have the wrong key in your hand.  

- W.S. Merwin

10. My grandmother's strawberry rhubarb torte recipe: 

7-8 good sized stalks of rhubarb (enough to cover the bottom of the baking dish)
1 quart of strawberries (enough for two layers over rhubarb)
3 whole eggs
1 1/4 cups of sugar 
3/4 cup white flower
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Cut rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces and place in 9x13 baking dish (glass or ceramic). Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar over the rhubarb. Place strawberries over the rhubarb. Combine eggs, sugar, flour, salt, and vanilla and poir over the top of the fruit. Bake for about one hour or until the juices are flowing and topping is golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream, yoghurt, or whipped cream. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

all this unbridled joy has given me quite an appetite

Today started out as a kinda tough day. North Carolina passed an act banning same sex marriage (not that it was legal there in the first place), which is a bummer. It cheered me up a bit to see this video though, and know that queer & ally North Carolinians aren't giving up.

Then, President Obama went ahead and declared that he believes gays should be able to marry. This made me feel better. A lot better. I am forgoing listing other things I like so that I can explain why I see this as something worth celebrating.
Some folks are gettin' their panties in a twist about this, and it's a legitimate twist. Of course, those are just words on our president's part, while he has taken very few actions to back them up. Of course, the state of gay rights in our country is like this, with steps being taken every day to further discriminate against LGBTQ folks. OF COURSE I want our President to put his money where his mouth is.

But please, consider where his mouth is. To my knowledge, we have never had a sitting president express support of gay marriage. Here's the kicker: it's an election year. Obama is running for re-election, so everything he does now is going to be a political move. Think about it. The smartest political move was for him to come out in support of marriage equality. Our country is at the place where more people will support Obama for this statement than not. Something is going right. At some point, during all of the defense of marriage talks, gay teens killing themselves en masse, hate crime legislations getting voted down, Don't Ask Don't Tell getting repealed, something has shifted. This could mean something really awesome. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"Let me go pee before I answer that."

1. You can vote for my cousin again with one click.

2. I went to Indiana this past weekend, to see some folks graduate from Earlham and reunite with some of my favorite people. It was overall a really fantastic weekend. Here were some fun things:
- Long drive and bonding time with Will V. during which we started a band called "rewingbackburr" and came up with an album name and song titles.
- Two breakfasts at the Main Street Diner, and one at 5th Street Bagel.
- Buda using the 2nd book of the Hunger Games to open a beer.
- Five hours in the Super8 with Buda watching Ellen videos, drinking beer, crying, and getting temporary tattoos.
- Pizza on the porch of Rowntree.
- The reunion of the Party Police.
- Sitting in adirondack chairs at the back of commencement, eating double stuffed mint oreos, drinking kombucha, not caring very much about anything else.
- Not being in college anymore.

3. Maurice Sendak died today. I imagine that everyone and their mom will be writing about what Maurice Sendak meant to them. The answer is a lot. I'm not going to try to articulate it further, except to say that when you treat a kid like they matter, like an adult, they will remember you. I won't be forgetting Maurice Sendak any time soon.
You should, if you are able to, watch these interviews with Colbert, Part 1 and Part 2.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

million friendly gold huddlings

1. When sitting on the changing table without his shirt on, Baby plays his belly like a drum.


My Place
- Franz Wright

      for Beth 

Rain land, walnut blossoms raining
where I walk at sixteen 

bright light in the north wind 

Still sleeping bees at the grove’s heart
(my heart’s) till the sun 
its “wake now”
kiss, the million 
friendly gold huddlings
and burrowings of them hearing the shining
I hear, my only 
cure for the loneliness I go through:


I believe that one day the distance between myself and God will disappear.

3. Amazing artwork by Amy Dover.

4. This is from the internet, I have no idea who to credit for it, but I love it:

5. Tomorrow I'm driving to Indiana with Will V. for Earlham graduation (really mostly to see the Rowntree ladies that will be in town too). Road trips mean that I can justify buying candy from Wegman's pick-and-mix. Let me tell you about the candy section at Wegman's. It is magical. There is a toy train that goes along a track above it. And so many choices in bulk candy. Oh man. A great find today were gummy toy soldiers. I was a little anxious that the check out lady was going to judge me for buying nearly two pounds of gummy candies, but she was almost as excited about it as I was. Wegman's, I will miss you.