tirsdag, januar 30, 2007

Dancin' Machine

Still too busy to blog, but never too busy to shake my booty for a wedding party...or simply for outrageous self-promotion.

And now for some miscellany:

Thankful for Defeat: One Story finally rejected my short story. It's about time! A great burden has been lifted.

Things I don't like paying for (Keep it clean, folks): wallets and garbage cans

Movie I'm Amazed Has Earned $413 Million Worldwide: Night at the Museum

My Most Hated Commercial Right Now: the DirectTV spot with Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future

mandag, januar 29, 2007

It Is Happening Again

Oh, man. I've killed the world's oldest person! I sent her that championship belt. Within a week, she's gone.

Now a Japanese woman sits in the crosshairs. Good luck to you.

søndag, januar 28, 2007


We had an '80s party in Elk River to celebrate Erin and Jim's wedding from last week. Grand time...though I've no time to post about it! For now, I'm just posting this one image. Oh, the prom dresses.

Bought a printer / scanner / copier / fax machine today. Found an accountant last week. Feel very professional and, of course, professionally frazzled.

lørdag, januar 27, 2007

Reason #438

Reason #438 I Should Not Have a Digital Camera:

Self-Portraits While Singing

This time it was to Wolf Parade's "Shine a Light." And I was probably singing aloud with the headphones on. My poor poor neighbors....

I look like I'm 1.2 seconds from getting shot or pushed out a window.

fredag, januar 26, 2007

Prelude to a Nerd

Saturday I have an '80s party in Elk River, Minnesota. I believe I'm going to go as a nerd, as in Revenge of the Nerds, though I don't believe that's much of a challenge for me. I'm a nerd, regardless. Huh? You want proof? Alright. Here it is:

(Costume? What costume?)

As part of my Friday eve, though, I popped by Frost (one of my block's locals) to hand Terry the third Arnaldur Indridason novel (who I know you aren't reading but you should be). It was a wonderful night.

Sol was a bit tired and testy, but fun nonetheless. And Terry is always a treat. Tommy's an unbeatable bartender (though please don't try to disprove me with a whooping stick). And I was amazed by the kindness, wisdom and humor of Erin, who told a great many really funny tales and asked welcomed "But why do you feel that way?" questions, to which I could not intelligently respond.

She's a grand soul. It was great to get to know her beyond a name. If you want to say something foul about her, evil dudes who might be reading this, fair enough, but please know I'll rip your face off. And I mean with my bare hands. Just ask the Harholdt Sisters. You insult them, you've got no face. End of story. So.

Such a night is welcomed, friends. (If you want to complain, please visit the Hulles.) We all need new perspectives in life. I adore that in my neighborhood I'm so consistently treated to them. This is such a good place to be.

I'm blessed in this way. Thanks, yous.

Happy days for the weekend and well beyond,

End of Days...I mean, Passions

I'm coming to terms, slowly, with the cruel world NBC has put me in.

Is this the first of seven vials to be poured upon the earth and signal the coming of the Apocalypse? Passions has been canceled. The End of Days--but please not Days--is nigh.


And to rub salt into the wound they are adding a fourth hour to Today! Thank god I don't watch tv during the morning hours; but if I did, and this is what really bugs me, they'd be there: Matt, Al, Ann and Meredith.

I quote Chuck Brown: "Ugh."

And now I must close my cape dramatically and retreat to my mountain lair.

torsdag, januar 25, 2007

Championship Belts

The world's oldest person just keeps dying.

On Wednesday it was Emiliano Mercado del Toro (115!!) in Puerto Rico. Before him was Elizabeth "Lizzy" Bolden (116!!) in Tennessee. (So close to Lizzy Borden! Nice.) Before her was Ecuador's Maria Esther de Capovilla (116!!).

So. Somewhere a person has inherited this title. And today I'm wishing a championship belt went along with it. Maria should have gone about wearing her Oldest Person Championship Belt. I think at her death it should have been flown to Tennessee and given to Lizzy. From there, off to Puerto Rico to award it to Emiliano.

And with Emiliano's passing the belt is removed and flown to Connecticut and placed upon 114-year-old Emma Faust Tillman (who is noted at the end of the BBC article about Emiliano).

>> Rocky theme <<

A Few Credits

* Joy: Thanks much for the wonderful (though slightly frightening) hitchhike story from Moscow. GAH!!
* MC: Thank you for introducing me to my new two-week crush, Maria Bamford.
* Carslon: You got the best of me on the Clijsters - Hingis match, indeed.
* Elbee: Thanks for the beautiful note the other day about the Family K and Erin's wedding pics and such. I owe you a response. This isn't it.
* Former Neighbor of Apartment 601: Your courteous presence is missed.
* Mouse: It's too quiet around here. Where are you?

tirsdag, januar 23, 2007


After writing this post I discovered that a mouse had been at the peanut butter on the living room trap without setting it off...while I was out writing this. Score one more for Mouse.

The mouse has gotten the best of me so far. I left snaptraps for him as I departed for Wisconsin. I set one outside the hole his pioneering ancestor had carved into the kitchen wall years ago. It’s tucked back in an awkward space between the long sink cabinet and the wall. About 8 inches wide. It generally holds a narrow bucket in which I keep paper grocery bags for recycling materials.

In his defense, the mouse has never once crapped in that shadowed space. And though I’ve seen him on the kitchen counter—this was back when I’d been out of town for most of a month and he must have believed I’d left for good—I’ve never found crap there either.

In fact, the mouse has never actually left a tiny log in view. He either suffers stagefright or he’s very fastidious as rodents go. Or maybe I leave a weird scent around the joint, which might explain why the girl across the hall, who had been leaving her garbage out there until I filed a complaint has now placed a minute (Dare I say mouse-sized?) little scented oil jar outside my door. (What the fuck!? It's like a cute form of harassment.)

And Then There Were Three…

This guitar is dirtier than Mötley Crüe.

I set three traps because I broke the fourth (well, the first) trying to figure out how to set it. I’m not a mechanical genius. I’m not even remedially skilled in mechanics. But destroying one trap helped me understand its design enough to successfully bait the surviving three with peanut butter.

I placed one by that hole in the wall, one beneath the sink (the most recent place I’d found him trying to set up shop), and one behind The Dustiest Guitar in the World in the living room. Behind that guitar is a base-board hole. It had been an entry point for mice.

Back when I was out of town for much of a month (September 2006), a mouse had grown comfortable in that living room hole.

So there I was folding my post-travel laundry. I looked pathetic in my boxers, shirtless, slump-shouldered and feeling a bit punched apart by a trans-Pacific flight. I looked so pathetic that a very cute mouse emerged, eyed me, and hopped into the room to watch me.

He was one of those short hunched mice, much more of a ball shape. He seemed to prefer hopping to running. He seemed to keep his front paws just off the ground, as if they were reserved solely for holding before him in gestures of prayer and kindess. He stared at me from wide, innocent black eyes.

“God dammit!” I shouted.

He hopped backed a bit. Eyed me. So I dropped my shirt and stood and looked for a book to throw at him. By the time I had selected one—because I was thinking about what books I didn’t want mouse remains on—he’d scampered back into hiding. Yet, he watched me from the hole. So I went to the kitchen and found Scrubbing Bubbles and sprayed it in the hole. I’ve not seen a mouse use that hole since.

The Traps Failed

This round only one trap seems to have been visited. It was the one beneath the sink, a trap so sensitive it had gone off by my initial closing of the cabinet once I’d set it.

The mouse had removed the peanut butter without triggering it. Or he’d triggered it, consumed the peanut butter, and, wheezing with laughter, reset it.

A defeated cK reconsiders his strategies. Though he had bagged a live mouse earlier this winter, as the top of the entry indicates the mouse has defeated another trap. This makes the score Mouse 3, cK 1.


søndag, januar 21, 2007

Downsville was Up

We had a lovely time this past weekend at Downsville, Wisconsin's Creamery Inn. That's about six miles south of Menomonee. You probably do not know either town. That's alright. But if you find yourself near it some day, perhaps passing along I-94, consider stopping. It's gorgeous out there.

We'd gathered for my sister's wedding. (It was also her husband's wedding.) The eK is now the eR. She's now a Raivala. Perhaps we will bill all family gatherings as Friends and Raivalas.


The inn was pretty cute. It had a gift shop (mostly local pottery goods and scarves) and a bakery with some kickass scones and fresh baguettes.

We had a bit of snow on the ground and the air was scented by the inn's numerous fireplaces. It was sunny for the wedding day. We woke today to a steady, quiet snow that fell upon the frozen lake.

I was perhaps the first of the party outside this morning as there were no tracks in the snow yet. It was a nice moment.

For the wedding we took over the inn. All the rooms were rented to us. There were two structures. Those of us in the primary building (which had a restaurant and bar) were given afterhours keys that worked the deadbolt on the front door. I'd expected doors with automatic locks. I was surprised to find we were responsible for making sure the front door was rebolted. No one manned the late-night desk. You can have that out there. That's refreshing.

So. Yes. A wonderful wedding. Great food (including a Kaluha cake, hey). The speeches from John (one of the groom's brothers) and my brother (the tK) were outstanding. Succinct, funny and touching. And the stories told around the reception were choice. And being that we were the inn some folks milled about in their pajamas. Shoes were shed. Ties were loosened. A number of people put casual clothes back on. One woman even remarked, "I'll be back. I've got to get rid of this bra."

I've an impossible amount of work this week, but I feel very good right now. And next weekend is round two of the wedding festivities: an '80s party in Elk River, Minnesota. It'll be epic.

lørdag, januar 20, 2007


I will be at Bon Vie this morning for coffee and french toast with crème fraiche, but you are welcomed to have coffee anywhere you please.

fredag, januar 19, 2007

Wedding Weekend

It's my sister's wedding weekend! Woo! This photo has nothing to do with my feelings about the wedding--I'm quite happy--but I did snap the photo during a flurry the other day and today my toes feel as cold as this scene appears.

Happy days.

torsdag, januar 18, 2007

Brass and Sass

About a week ago at Reykjavik Harbor Watch--one of my most favorite blogs--E posted three links to videos by Baggalutur. I adore their songs. Their use of horns is just joyous. Really. Please watch the video for "Gamlarsparty."

The moment they draw straws (about 1:50 in) is priceless.

And their video (and song) "Brostu" is just great fun. The ending 90 seconds includes a hilarious incorporation of people singing/speaking lines over the video. I fell hopelessly in love with one of those guests too.

Man. I just adore those dudes. Yay for Baggalutur and E!!


Sucker MCs beware! The mC is blogging now. Welcome, friend! Keep writing. I'm reading.

onsdag, januar 17, 2007

The Trash Heap

Why should my family not have given me a digital camera at the holidays? Because in less than a month I've taken over 1000 photos and burned through 8 AA batteries. Like Maria Sharapova, I've made every shot a power shot.

My across-the-hall neighbor's apartment, 1:40 a.m.

I'm thinking of the Fraggles (Gobo, Mokey, Wimbley, Boober and Red) and Fraggle Rock. I'm thinking of the Gorgs "Dumb" song. I'm thinking that I'm going to meet my neighbor soon because she has put another fucking bag of garbage in my fucking hallway.

I accepted it in the first few days of her tenure because she was cleaning and getting organized in her new digs. But now? She's one of us. The only reason my foot isn't in your ass, Garbage Lady, is because I like shoes. I like my shoes. You better hope I don't acquire some throw-aways.

Yes. It's 5 degrees outside right now. Whatever. This is winter and it's Minnesota. None of us are surprised. So put on some fucking wool and take out your fucking garbage. I will not hold back my language on this one. Why? I'm from Chicago. I'm totally willing to soil my reputation first. My pants and my fucking living environment will remain plague-free.

Now, on Fraggle Rock it was cute when the Fraggles would scamper through the Gorgs' garden to get to the Trash Heap, where the Trash Heap would dispense wisdom. ("The Trash Heap has spoken!") But when my neighbor's garbage stands sentry, I think only of the plague and a serious failing of hygiene. Knock it off, you!!

The Mouse

Photo snapped in my kitchen last night. Behind the stove. The mouse is in the upper-left corner. And, actually, I wish that was my kitchen tile rather than this "taupe" (read, "color of brown stains and wet dust" tile) underfoot.

So. A mouse, if not THE mouse, is back. I'm such a wuss. I really just want to talk tough. I want to talk about getting not just medieval but Black Dahlia on this mouse. But what I really want to do is act like I don't know he's there.

I mean, in Wisconsin, there's so little one can do. At the cabin, once the mice come in, they're in. They don't care what you do. The last night I was there, mice shat upon the salt shaker in the raised cupboard. Think about that. They got inside the cabinet, climbed up on a half-filled cylindrical salt shaker, balanced themselves, and shit. They did not shit on the shelf. They cut cable on my seasonings. They shit on the shaker.

That's the unicycle of toilets.

(Ah, crap. My neighbor is probably FedExing her garbage to me. She now knows I'll just shake my head and write emails about it rather than confront her. Damn this Scandinavian restraint!!!)

C'mon, mouse. Must I become a killer? Must I?

You're lucky my sister gets married this weekend. But after that, I have no excuses. I'll have to evict you. Or tie you to stone and drop you into a hole I've carved into the ice of Lake Como.

Do NOT make me do it, mouse. Do not make me the Idi Amin of rodentia.

tirsdag, januar 16, 2007


I love the man. Barack, I hope you enter the presidential race.

His latest video message (in which he leans strongly towards running and notes February 10 as the day of his official announcement one way or the other).

Senator Clinton: You've got to make an open decision too. (And, yes, I love her too.)


This is the cutest bottle of wine. Ever. Heather, did you give me this one? I still have the Imagery, Core and Madiran bottles you gifted. The Madiran, you'll recall, is the one with the blood-splatter font. Oh, that was good wine.

Cathedral Hill

This pillar always makes me feel a little sad. Give the girl a rest!

After a very long day--it was seriously longer than most days; I can't explain that scientifically, but it's true--I popped down the block to the cozy bar at Frost for a drink. I overheard the following uttered behind me. There were two people at the table but I only ever heard one. I thought maybe she was on a cell phone, but I think the man with her just spoke quietly. She said:

"No, no. I'm sorry. I can't invite you to my home. Sorry. I have plenty of friends, you know, but in 21 years in that house I've never had any of them over."

...Pause, as if something was being said to her.

She continues: "No, no. It's a we. We haven't had anyone over."



mandag, januar 15, 2007

Snow Day

It snowed last night. It's lovely. It makes so much work okay, really, to look out and see it falling.

No time now. I'm outsourcing the fun side of my life to my doppelganger. And please please please do not decalre a snow emergency, ye snow emergency gods, because parking in this neighborhood can be hell on those days.

I'll take the good with the good, thanks.

søndag, januar 14, 2007

Crossing Boredom

My pizza surveys its kingdom ahead of the Bears overtime victory. The world is alright just now.

Tonight: torn. 24 or Crossing Jordan? I know, you're like, "Is there an issue here?" Yes, there is.

I used to watch Crossing Jordan every Sunday because it was on just ahead of my bedtime so I'd be up for Monday morning work. Plus, with Jordan I don't feel the pressure to be part of a "television event." I need not worry about involved conversations on the matter out and about. I'm insulated from the responsibility of genuine interest.

I'm no good at following tv. Yet, I very much like having one.

Bearing Down

A color photo of a black-and-white photo in the winter light of Minnesota as diffused through a frosted window.

I adore Sundays in winter. I like baking a homemade pizza. I like the steadiness of football. I like watching Meet the Press. I like the sound and smell of the coffee percolating, and I like waking at 6 a.m., no matter what went on the previous night, to The Splendid Table on NPR then going into the kitchen to start the day by preparing dough while listening to Weekend Edition.

I went about it all patiently this morning, taking two hours (7 - 9) on the dough and base ingredients for the pizza: shallot, garlic, rosemary, roasted red pepper, hot pepper flakes, olive oil, green onion, shitaki mushroom, a minced chili pepper and a cute dollop of creamery butter. Later, I'll dice and salt the romas.

I did the dishes while waiting for the hot pepper-flake dough to rise. I showered while the red pepper sweated itself in a plastic-covered oversized mug. I swept. I scrubbed the sink.

Weekend Edition included a wonderful interview with Yo-Yo Ma, Liane Hansen (normally the host) sounding butchered by a cold and getting butchered (figuratively speaking) by Will Shortz during the puzzle segment, and a nice block of soundbites from the week.

Those soundbites, early on in the broadcast, are always one of my favorite points of the day; of the week, really. Puts things in perspective.

But I suppose any pattern will do that.


Today the Bears play the Seahawks in the NFC playoffs. For the most part, I'm able to regulate my blood pressure during a Bears game now, though it's taken 14 years of living away from Chicago television during football season to accomplish this calmer state. Yet, with the playoffs here and Rex Grossman's erratic performance, I can already feel the pressure building in my neck as I anticipate the game's arrival.

It's fitting that my living room radiator is huffing madly this morning.

But come gametime pizza will provide the steadiness. Or I'll wash the floor during the game to stay distracted. Or I'll frame the photo of baby Ryder that Elizabeth and Sasha sent. (Thanks for that, friends!)

Regimen will prevail. It's Sunday. It must.

lørdag, januar 13, 2007

Take that, Ronald!

Each time I drive back to Illinois I tap the roof of my car as I enter my home state. I enter, always, in the little town of Big Foot to which there is little more than the Big Foot Inn (my alternator fried out there once), a used car dealership, a graveyard and a pickle factory.

But these last few years of Illinois returns have been difficult because Illinois, like many other places, strokes about Ronald Reagan. Highway 14 entering the state in Big Foot was renamed Ronald Reagan Highway or something like that.

There's a sign. I glare at it. I'm unsure for that moment whether I like being back home.

Now that Gerald Ford has kicked the bucket, we're finding out a bit more about what he really thought of various administrations. Still swinging from the grave!

His thoughts on Reagan make me gleeful:

"It makes me very irritated when Reagan's people pound their chests and say that because we had this big military buildup, the Kremlin collapsed....When you put peace, prosperity and human rights against poverty, a massive unsuccessful military program and a lack of human rights, communism was bound to collapse....No president, no Democrat or Republican, can claim credit for those programs. I'll tell you who deserves the credit -- the American people"

"...[Reagan was] a great spokesman for attractive political objectives...but when it came to implementation, his record never matched his words"

"[Reagan was] probably the least well-informed on the details of running the government of any president I knew....[He] was just a poor manager, and you can't be president and do a good job unless you manage."

Perhaps this will finally end that self-important Republican campaign to put Reagan on our currency.

fredag, januar 12, 2007


It's very chilly today. I slept poorly. And AMC is showing Ronin AGAIN. Ugh.

onsdag, januar 10, 2007

Into the Bigger City

I rode the elevator of the Minneapolis City Hall yesterday with Mayor R.T. Rybek. He had his coffee. He seemed to have just acquired it. Apparently, even a mayor starts the morning like the rest of us.

Were I witty enough (to regret it) at that hour, I would have asked him if he also put his pants on one leg at a time, but instead, I said good morning. Prior to that, as we waited, he was very quiet, a bit serious-looking, which is probably something that comes from having people so frequently approach one quite possibly to be rude because politics makes one rude. (I'm certainly not going to mind my manners if those dipshits Norm Coleman or Michele Bachman are waiting for an elevator with me.)

But I said hello as the doors closed and we were two people trapped for the ride to the third floor.

He brightened abruptly. He said, "Hey." He said, "How are you?" I was well, thanks. I was.

See, people in Saint Paul are generally a little quieter. But we really love people. We're just a bit more quiet about it, at least when people are strangers. When they're friends, we get loaded and fawn over one another's undeniable greatness and embarass ourselves because we've got only one life in which to do so (and an eternity to be reminded of it by more publicly controlled relations and friends, and we know this and it humbles us).

So going to Minneapolis for a 9 a.m. meeting with a Minneapolis councilwoman to discuss sustainable design and the city's iniatives, I was very much like a St. Paul resident even though Chicago is my home city. I got frazzled by traffic between the cities (because the 12 minute ride was taking more than 20) and called my sister who is wiser about Minneapolis and she told me where there'd been and accident and that things would be okay.

Then, I got into the wrong lane around the lightrail tracks and missed my parking garage. And because I was forced to turn right, I got spun off in the wrong direction, panicked, took an immediate turn, wound up needing to turn even further away...but only because I panicked again and wound up turning into a buses-only lane. Dammit. I was trapped in that thing for like three blocks because the only other lanes on the street went the other way. I could feel all the eyes on me. I could hear the thoughts behind those eyes: "St. Paul."

Finally, I got righted, only to encounter two full garages. GAH!!!! About five blocks from the city hall, I found a garage with space but it took like 5 minutes to get up to a level with open spaces.

I ran to city hall. Along the way, I called to let the councilwoman know I'd be there shortly. An assistant answered. He said, "Okay then. So you're calling to tell us you're on your way." "Yes," I said, breathless. "I'll let the councilwoman know," he said. Dammit.

But I made it. I entered through some door that seemed important but was off to the side. No one was around. Not a single security guard. And as I made my way along the corridors to the meeting, I didn't find a single security guard. Nothing to indicate concern. Ever.

It's nice, I have to say, to still find public places where the public is not openly distrusted. We are fortunate here.

I've been to a Saint Paul government building with it's dramatically poor lighting scheme and imposing sculptures and security guards who aren't having a bit of fun in life.

But Minneapolis's city hall was clean and well-lit. (Hemingway would be proud, so long as no one told Scotty.) Even on the drive in, despite my panic, I'd taken a look at the downtown skyline and found it looking a hell of a lot less space-agey and weird than I normally think of it as.

It was just a good morning, I guess.

And the mayor's a nice guy. (My brother, the tK, related a funny story of the mayor showing up at a local college that was having a theme t-shirt day, and while he put on a t-shirt, he did the total dork-politician thing and tried wearing it over his shirt and tie.) And I conducted my interview and learned a few cool things.

It felt terribly cold in the city this morning but I was really happy to be there.

I ought to explore Saint Paul a bit more too. I've been here long enough to grow complacent about it. Honestly, I just don't give downtown much of a chance. But Kassandra is having people over for cocktails and then skating at the open rink by the Landmark Center this weekend, so maybe it's time to get to know downtown Saint Paul a bit more too.

Agreed: We probably ought to order it skating then cocktails. But this is Saint Paul. We'll do things our way. We'll build our courage, and then we'll happily make an ass of ourselves as we fall upon our asses.

Happy days,

tirsdag, januar 09, 2007

Art! Art! Art!

This is a painting by Johnny Taylor, a real person in Memphis, Tennessee. He's even got a Web site. Way to go, Johnny!

I'm full of love when I think of Memphis (though, admittedly, I'm still pretty angry at Tennessee for some crappy voting decisions in the 2006 mid-term elections!).

I love Johnny Taylor AND his work. I hope you'll visit his page and adore his paintings. And please let me note that I love his incorporation of the Morton Salt Girl in some of his stuff. My dad used to work for Morton so I grew up with all sorts of Morton stuff in the house with images of Morton Salt Girls throughout the company's life. Coasters, magnets, coffee mugs, even canisters of salt. The Shirley Temple-like 1920s girl. The reserved 1950s girl. The way-too-short-of-a-raincoat 1960s girl.


I also love Johnny's sister, Betsy. And I love Betsy's husband, Christopher, who (from Memphis, mind you) gave me some lovely directions in a pinch to the alumni hall at the University of Minnesota today after MapQuest gave me a headache.

And I love their cat Fanny Nipper...and their pug dog Mr. Tuppence...and their friends Lori and Jared and Hank...and the Lost Sounds...and...

This is interesting. Johnny? Did you live there?

Somehow, I don't think THIS is from you. But it could be.

Big Boy

Better put on some big boy clothes. I've a trade lunch-like thing to attend in Minneapolis. This is markedly different than a lunch trade.

Must. Buy. Lint brush.

mandag, januar 08, 2007

Thumbs Up for Jana!

While she'll probably use her powers of photography for good, whereas I use mine for a minutia of evil, I'm very happy today to find that Jana has started posting photos at her site! Or maybe she's just posting a photo and will never again.

But maybe.

A tired, article-whipped cK can dream.

Three things:

1. Why does my thumb look so weird?

2. That is a blanket behind my head; it's not a clandestine monk's robe. It's just very chilly in my apartment. Also, I'm not stoned, just sleep-deprived.

3. If I'm this pale now, imagine my pallor in March. You'll be able to read by me at night. (Reminds me of the Santamation in which the elf wants to be a dentist. The Bumble approaches at some point and the elf says to Rudolph, "Douse the light!")

It is frosty on the windows in the morning.


søndag, januar 07, 2007


It's Sunday, so pizza must be made. Ah, but yesterday was Saturday, so I had to do something. I made chocolate chip cookies.

While I very much enjoy both the activity of making the cookies and the rigorous taste testing that follows (research purposes only, of course), it underscores the true problem of living alone: portion control.

I was thinking about making veggie chili this week, but each time I make the dish, as much as I love it, it becomes more like "Five-Day Chili." If I kept recipe cards, I think that's what I'd call it.

Time to bag and tag some of these righteous cookies and find a few friends who will accept them.

lørdag, januar 06, 2007

The Drama Poo

For the Drama Mater, I've discovered some Drama Clean shampoo. Corporate swag!

fredag, januar 05, 2007

Goats, Paper Mache, and Trailer Trash

Sweden makes me happy. (The above pic is actually from the house I grew up in.) I even love Sweden's flameproof goats. You are all welcome to meet me in Stockholm in the third week of August.


Dining with a C-Class Family

Sometimes I consider myself a modern Rasputin, which is no compliment. Rather, it's an acknowledgement that I have an ability to suggest things that will benefit me and which others will sally forth on. (I'm not oblivious to the fact there are circumstances beyond my suggestion.) For example, I say to my mother, "I've always like this trivet." She says, "Take that home with you, okay?"

For example, I say to the Betsy when she says she and Christopher can meet me for brunch, "Perhaps I could bring some fixins and we could make brunch at his family's house so you can spend a little bit more time with them." She calls back in 10 minutes to say I should not bring anything.

Breakfast on them at their house. Lovely!

And it was. This was my second grand feast with the Cs, truly gorgeous people. Even the sisters showed up, Mips and Sara, the latter of whom loves films in which people get ground to bits, a fact that strikes me quite funny for she's such a sweet soul.

My sister joined us and Christopher cooked up some righteous omelets. I drank a full pot of coffee--at least--and a number of glasses of brut. And the stories were wonderful.

Once again, Mrs. C was cracking crazily. She'd had a container of Shake 'N' Pour pancake mix explode in her face not long ago and shared with us the complaint letter she'd sent to the manufacturer. Really funny stuff. It included descriptive lines of how the pancake mix had blown into her face and how the cap had blackened her eye. (It was actually Mips who reminded her to include the batter-in-face detail rather than just the blackened eye. It's awful to laugh at another's pain, but, c'mon: pancake batter splattered 'cross the face! Good catch, Mips--for you were the daugther noted in the letter for whom the pancakes were to have been made!) And then, in typical Minnesota fashion, she'd added lines such as, "Needless to say, I was not happy" or "Of course, I will not be buying this pancake mix again." What else would you say?

I'd cuss. I'd probably send them a letter on tape. It'd be useless. She at least got $30 in coupons from them. I hope she acquires something safer, like donuts, next time.

Other stories: We heard that at age 15 Mrs. C had worked at a bakery in Minneapolis and on her first day had been such a killer saleswoman, if not devastatingly naive, that she sold some poor fools the paper mache rolls from the window. It was a hot day even and the fake rolls had been sitting there in the heat, probably for days anyhow. And she sold them. You've got to have talent for that.

She also once launched poor Christopher into the Christmas tree. He was a tyke and she was on her back and tossing him about on her raised feet. Lo and behold she just sort of expelled him into the tree and onto his head. Poor bastard! Explains loads.

I'd write, "Jovial tales aside" and segue to another thought but there's no need to put the joviality aside. It was such good craic. Really good people, them Cs. And it was wonderful to get a few hours with C & B from Memphis.

I can sit grinning and listening to their tales for hours on end. And for the in-between times, I'm content to recall them.

There are so many good people in my life, and days like that are apt to devastate me with how crisply happy they make me. Thanks to all who attended the feast. Your energy, heart and laughter is appreciated.


Today, Friday, is mC's birthday. I haven't been sleeping lately--total 4 hours over the last three nights combined--but I hope to get enough beforehand to make it to Lee's for the mC and Trailer Trash bash.

I've got my in-the-footsteps-of-Fitzgerald look ready. (Lord. With that one lazish eye I always look like one eye is fake. I guess I like that question, but it still bothers me.)

torsdag, januar 04, 2007


I'm so very delinquent in writing about my excellent brunch out at the Carlson compound, but will beg off for another day on that. It's a nice Friday piece. Good energy for the weekend.

Dinner at the Gnome

Yesterday I met my sister at Fleur de Lis, a flower shop in my neighborhood. She picked out flowers for her wedding and then we met our brother and his wife for dinner at the Happy Gnome a few doors down.

Lovely time.

I drank white russians and ate the venison burger with carmalized onions and gorgonzola. The lingonberry aioli was a wonderful accompanying element. (Lingonberries!! Woo for the Swedes!) I wish I'd save the other photo of the burger, but in my hasty photo managing I deleted the wrong one. Ah, well. This serves well enough.

It won't get me a food photography job, but you get the point: Good eats.

onsdag, januar 03, 2007

Busy Busy Busy

Busy busy busy today. As such, I hope a picture really does say a 1000 words. And since they are photos from me, they should say a 1000 words with circling reasoning interrupted frequently by jarring tangents.

Scenes of my neighborhood from my New Year's Day walk:

The Indian Boy and Wolf (or is that Dog?) statue in the park at Summit and Western. Their silhouette is the symbol for the historic district signs on the street corners.

The statue of Nathan Hale at Summit / Portland / Western convergence. At night the bushes around this green are lit with white lights.

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