Tuesday, January 29, 2008

You can make a baby cry--but you can't talk him into it.

You can pour syrup on my head, but that doesn't make me a pancake.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Onion

My horoscope this week reads:
"Sure, the bear costume may have set you back a pretty penny, but just think of all the free tranquilizer shots you'll soon be getting."
Uncanny. Now tell me you don't believe in astrology.

In the same issue, Patton Oswalt is quoted as referring to the KFC Famous Bowl--that heap of mashed potatoes, gravy, fried chicken, corn and melted cheese that ought to appear in the dictionary next to the Yiddish term khozzerei--as "a failure pile in a sadness bowl."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I never thought I could be one of those people who post incredibly obscure cool stuff they've found on Youtube, yet here I am with a link to an Icelandic comedy sketch about Eartha Kitt.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I can't believe I haven't gotten around to posting the menu for the New Year's Eve dinner I made:

Fête de la veille de nouvelle année 2008
Chez Arthur et Bernard
Aves ses très chers amis Jimmy et Aggie

Hors d’oeuvres:
Rillettes de canard
Olives de Grèce
Amandes Marcona d’Espagne
Arachides “Emmenez-moi à l’ancienne Virginie”

Soupe aux petits pois et laitue de romaine avec son coulis de poivres rouges

Risotto au vin et radicchio à l’italien sur sa purée de carottes

Saumon poché avec sa sauce de safran
Asperges au gratin
Purée de céleriac

Sorbet de pomme vert

Soufflé aux épinards

Coups de hache d’agneau frites à la mode de Parme
Flageolets verts
Fenouil grillé

Assiette de fromage

Gateau simple aux poires avec sa glace “La surprise de Bernard”

Roughly translated:

Hors d’oeuvres:
Duck rillettes, Spanish almonds, Greek olives, Virginia peanuts

Green pea soup with red-pepper coulis and creme fraiche

Risotto of radicchio and red wine served on a carrot puree

Poached salmon in saffron sauce
Asparagus au gratin
Celery root puree

Green apple sorbet

Spinach souffle

Fried lamb chops
Grilled fennel

Cheese plate

Country pear cake with almond ice cream

Arthur was responsible for the unusually fine wine pairings.

The fish, which was about the simplest thing on the menu, was a disaster, and the souffles didn't work at all. The lamb chops, dredged in Parmesan before a coating of bread crumbs, are a very good dish. The rillettes, from Costco, was very good. Breakfast in the morning was very good: Scrambled eggs with andouille sausage and gruyere, fresh hot popovers, spicy beans made with the leftover flageoloets. (I like to serve blackeye peas on New Year's Day but I forgot to get any.)
Two nights ago I fixed a very good meat loaf with mashed potatoes with leeks mixed in, and kale--last meal before the kitchen tear-out which began yesterday.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I've been watching Hitchcock's "The Paradine Case" on cable and caught this amazing crypto-queer exchange:

Handsome Gregory Peck: I came on you quite by accident.
Gorgeous Louis Jourdan: But you wanted to come on me . . .

There's a very unusual feel to this film that must delight contemporary gender theorists: although it's about a woman who murders her husband due to her infatuation with another man, it depicts the men who bring her down as heartless and foolish. That kind of appreciation of moral ambiguity is very rare in Hollywood, outside of film noir. It's interesting to consider whether this alone qualifies the film as noir despite its sharing no other characteristics at all with the noir classics.

Friday, January 04, 2008

The New York Times reports today that Mike Goldberg died this week. These days he's not remembered so much as a painter as for being part of Frank O'Hara's circle, married to Patsy Southgate and the occasion for one of O'Hara's most perfect and characteristic poems:

Why I Am Not a Painter

I am not a painter, I am a poet.
Why? I think I would rather be
a painter, but I am not. Well,

for instance, Mike Goldberg
is starting a painting. I drop in.
"Sit down and have a drink" he
says. I drink; we drink. I look
up. "You have SARDINES in it."
"Yes, it needed something there."
"Oh." I go and the days go by
and I drop in again. The painting
is going on, and I go, and the days
go by. I drop in. The painting is
finished. "Where's SARDINES?"
All that's left is just
letters, "It was too much," Mike says.

But me? One day I am thinking of
a color: orange. I write a line
about orange. Pretty soon it is a
whole page of words, not lines.
Then another page. There should be
so much more, not of orange, of
words, of how terrible orange is
and life. Days go by. It is even in
prose, I am a real poet. My poem
is finished and I haven't mentioned
orange yet. It's twelve poems, I call
it ORANGES. And one day in a gallery
I see Mike's painting, called SARDINES.


He was 82. O'Hara, if he'd lived, would be 81 himself. Today this poem makes me sad; I'm thinking of everyone who's gone and replaced by names and words.