Friday, October 31, 2008

Studs Terkel, RIP. Champion of "history from the bottom, up."
i just don't understand why everyone is so confident about the election. i want it buttoned up, too. today's gallup poll shows obama with a good lead, but what if west coast voters stop voting after races on the east coast are called, or what if....what if...what if...?

here is one way you can help document the day, sent to me by one of my students.
From my friend, Kay:
I'm leading a tour of Green-Wood Cemetery accompnaied by a Haitian trumpet band this SUNDAY, NOV. 2 for All Souls Day. It's part of the project I'm doing this year called Days of the Dead in Brooklyn. Meet at the entry to Green-Wood Cemetery at 5th Ave and 25th Street in Brooklyn at 4:00pm on Sunday. The program includes a tour, Haitian music, and sharing memories of beloved dead. If you have never been to Green-Wood, it is amazing. Beautiful and quirky and huge and intimate-- all at once!

NR train to 4th Ave and 25th, then walk down to 5th Ave and 25th and you'll see the entry to the cemetery--

Don't forget Daylight Savings change--FALL BACK on Sunday--

Thursday, October 30, 2008

i'm feeling fried today--watching a good writing day slip through my fingers.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm scared.

I've decided that I'm giving giant bags of gummy dentures/teeth as baby shower and wedding presents. You've been warned.
NYC-folk, you will also be voting on Proposition One. In discussion, the NY League of Women Voters could not figure out any cons to Prop 1, only pros. Here is the rest of the ballot. If you have any other links, please send word (Actually, the senate and judicial vote is for my district. You can click on the last link [ballot] and put in your own zip code). It appears you are only knocking off one judge--you are voting for 8 out of 9... can anyone shed some light on this?

Friday, October 24, 2008

I am subletting my apartment, beginning December 24. Large, sunny, and on the park--e-mail me, if interested. I will be gone for 1 month, possibly longer (1-5 months).

Tomorrow: a bitch n swap at 1 PM.
It was a year ago, today, that a fire truck slammed into my car on the highway. Several months later, Juno's truck flipped over the side of the highway, upstate, and she is alive and well, too. We got so lucky.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

dance class followed by pickled cucumber soup. those were the three glorious hours i was not at my desk today, between 10 am and 12 am. i also picked up swedish fish across the street and a cup of coffee. i am trying to rid myself of the sleeping pills and coffee, but i feel terrible.

This is the work of the very talented Sara Woster, who was a student of mine several years ago. She is raising money to support women in the Congo, and will paint you a picture for $27. If you want her e-mail address, please let me know. She writes:

Women for Women International has held a fundraiser for the past few years called Run for Congo. I cannot and will not Run for Congo, but I can Paint for Congo.

From now until the end of November in exchange for a small donation of $27 you can receive from me an 8 x 11 original painting on paper that will make the perfect holiday gift for somebody you either love, or are obligated to buy something for. You provide the subject matter or a photo of somebody or something near and dear to your heart and you will receive a lovely, original painting from me. Go to Target, get yourself a frame, and you have given somebody a thoughtful gift while helping to save the world.

samples of my illustrations on Flickr for anybody who may not be familiar:

William Gass, painted by Phillip Guston (1969)!--part of new Yaddo exhibit at NYPL.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

new york art book fair
i am especially excited about micah lexier's collaboration with christian bok.

not much to report here--shit is coming
come over on election day, if you want to watch/listen/grit/eat/drink.
come over in the next 13 days if you want to sit and make phone calls together.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

students' oral history projects this year: security guards at the metropolitan museum of art; black female motorcycle riders; nearly extinct el salvadoran language; managers at starbucks; taiko drum group...
Charles Blow needs to brush up on his interview skillz!

Wednesday: Deliver [all female cast in remake of Deliverance]
i was shocked to learn about mccain's health yesterday--four cases of melanoma and a suicide attempt. i missed any mention of this before yesterday. i fought with my landlord on the phone over the election. he's coming to work on my apartment on sunday, but we made a pact not to talk about the election, until after november 4.

Monday, October 20, 2008

a california trip is overdue. if prop 8 fails, i'll be out west for a wedding very soon. more singing people in costumes on grass, please.
...So it was both high-time and all but forgotten, this unfinished business, when a quasi-literate couple from Kentucky showed up in Middle America, 81 years after Joanna Southcott’s death. In 1895, they claimed they were, together, the seventh messenger of God. In other words, they said We are that missing baby, now split into two parts: female and male--despite the funny math (and the funny science). They traveled for seven years, had two children, and wrote a 781-page book. This would have been a funny tag line in the history of religious esoterica had it not panned out as it did—had it not propelled one of the most successful social experiments in American history. That Kentucky couple went on to Benton Harbor, which is where I first heard of Joanna Southcott.

Little engravings of Joanna made their way across the Atlantic. They came bobbing on boats or were slipped through mail slots; they came with the devoted and also the forsaken, who sought the panacea.

Inside a boxy brick building in Michigan, a picture of Joanna in a bonnet rests on a mantel, in a room that appears to be growing large desks at various angles: four are pushed together to form a large island in the center. This heavy block is covered with stacks of white paper, fixed in spots with a tub of peanut butter, a bouquet of peacock feathers, a checkbook, and a pink stuffed animal. A large copy machine, built like a tank, rests on one side of the room and spits out all documents in cyan-blue.

Olafur Eliasson's installation [from ungtbld]

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sauteed Cauliflower, as featured here
From The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters
4 servings

Clean the leaves from:

1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower

Remove the base of the stem with a small, sharp knife. From the top down, cut the cauliflower into 1/4-inch slices. (If the cauliflower is large, cut in half for easier slicing.)

Heat in a heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat:

2 tablespoons olive oil

Once the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the cauliflower with:


Let the cauliflower sit until it starts to brown a bit before stirring or tossing. Cook, continuing to stir or toss until the cauliflower is tender, about 7 minutes total. Don't worry if the cauliflower starts to break up; that is part of the charm of the dish. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil

Variations: When the cauliflower is a minute or so from being done, add a couple of chopped garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley. Garnish with a handful of Toasted Breadcrumbs (page 63). A classic Italian dish adds the parsley and garlic along with chopped salt-cured anchovies and capers, hot chile flakes, and coarsely chopped olives. This is delicious on pasta. Sprinkle with fresh-ground cumin, chopped garlic, turmeric, and chopped cilantro during the last few minutes of cooking.

From The Art of Simple Food, by Alice Waters.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

debate fact-check

I just want to say Holy Effing Shit!, my friend Salvatore's book was nominated for a National Book Award, yesterday. In so many ways, this is good news for writers everywhere. As my friend Emily said, "my faith in the publishing world is renewed." I couldn't agree more. I still feel moved to tears by the nomination, and inspired. Salvatore started his novel shortly after high school, and finished it 10-ish years later. It's hard enough to write a book, but the publishing world gives you about two months on the shelves to sell well, once it goes out into the world. Here is his description of writing the book longhand, before manually typing it on the typewriter, throwing out the first 600 pages. Congratulations Salvatore and Graywolf!

Other finalists:
Aleksandar Hemon, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead)
Rachel Kushner, Telex from Cuba (Scribner)
Peter Matthiessen, Shadow Country (Modern Library)
Marilynne Robinson, Home (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Salvatore Scibona, The End (Graywolf Press)