Monday, March 30, 2009

spring is here

And with spring comes champagne in the neighbors garden and a chance to rejuvenate the back yard and turn it into a positive entertaining space. This means the following weeks will include:
  • Raking the yard and applying a fresh layer of cedar mulch in the backyard, planting flowers and ground cover on the recently uncovered patch of front yard.
  • Planting the container garden. On tap for this year: herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, berries of some sort, peppers, and maybe a few wild cards for experimentation purposes
  • Grilling
  • Clearing out the old plastic furniture and picking out something a little more entertainment-worthy. Recommendations for how to do this without spending a ton of money are welcome.
  • Involving Banana in all of this to every extent possible
  • Spring Break without the annual NY trip — rising costs in daily life and uncertainty about the cost of summer camp and travel are putting a damper on the tradition... this year.
  • Final development and launching of the Lewis Ginter Recreation Association web site
  • Unmitigated excitement about the arrival of farmers market and pool season
  • Spring beers and the first summer beers
  • Rabbit. If I'm not getting to NY, we'll at least fill my rabbit jones with something like a Spanish rabbit stew. Suggestions are welcome!
  • A likely trip to Busch Gardens. Banana had such a good time down there with Mère that I might just have to give in and make the trip too.
  • Continuing the ever-present sorting and organizing inside the house too.
  • The annual spring/summer Banana clothing purchase
  • and grilling...

Friday, March 27, 2009

life (a Friday Fun moment)

Ah, well, it's been a hell of a week. Actually, 2009 has been a hell of a year so far. Equal parts up and down. Successes and rough patches. Ultimately, though, I take solace in the fact that the good moments have greatly outweighed the bad. Even without closure on the accident in court today, life still feels like it's getting some balance. It puts you in a quiet mood really, a Gillian Welch kind of mood.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fun stuff

Writing as a dad who has loved reading Where The Wild Things Are to Banana and as someone who vividly remembers loving it as a child, I was a little leery of a live-action movie of the book. If this trailer is anything to go by, however, it looks like Spike Jonze might just have pulled it off...

two years ago

Two years ago tonight, my friend Phil and I were sitting on my second-floor, back porch having a few beers and talking about work and music when two young men walked off the alley to rob my neighbor. One of them pointed a large chrome-plated revolver at her. When I yelled at them to leave her alone, he turned and fired two shots. One bullet lodged in the kitchen wall, and one bullet went through a two-by-four before hitting me in the shoulder. I blacked out when it happened and didn't know I'd been hit when I got up from the porch floor. My shoulder hurt, but I thought it was from the fall. It wasn't until I felt the blood coming out of the hole in my shoulder that I realized I'd been hit.

The next events follow a blurry trajectory of firemen from the station behind my house, police officers and detectives, and paramedics. There were neighbors and Phil. There was the ambulance and the oxygen and the heart monitors and the IV lines. Banana was upstairs asleep while all of this was going on and didn't wake up until much later. By then, my father had arrived to spend the night and get her to school in the morning. She still remembers being scared when she woke up and I wasn't there. And given my father's occasional mentions of that night and how much worse it could have been, I can only imagine what he must have been feeling.

The wound

The bullet lodged in the muscles between my shoulder blade and spine. It damaged muscles and nerves, but narrowly missed doing far greater — and possibly mortal — harm. It caused a hairline fracture in one vertebrae and set me on a course of physical and mental recovery that continues today.

As time goes by, I expected the impact to lessen, but it hasn't. This is in part because I can never forget that someone tried to kill me. That I am known as the neighbor/friend/guy who got shot keeps it alive in other people's minds as well. I've begun to accept that this certain grace or fortune that kept me lucky enough to be here is also something that will always be with me.

And while I can't wish the event away, I do wish for one thing: an arrest, a conviction, closure.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

brief political note...

I've patiently waited to see whether Geithner would prove to be a good choice for Treasury. I worried about the appointment of Larry Summers, however, and now I'm starting to worry about the whole venture. Rather than listening to Nobel Prize-winning economists, the Obama administration seems to be relying on the same wrong-headedness that has got us in this mess in the first place.

I don't pretend to know much about banking and economics, but I do know people who've lost their jobs and others who are struggling to keep going. I also know that my living costs are higher than they were a year ago and that my own (small) retirement investments are worth much less than they were a year ago. Will the plan being put forward really help us?

Recycling Old Writing — farmer's market edition

This piece was one of a few exercises I gave myself in 2003. It seems appropriate to resurrect as the growing season begins to get its legs...

The redux of bluegrass and acoustic music in recent years has spurred a number of critics to speculate that the popularity represents some deepset need in our post-industrial, suburbanized society to return to natural roots. One might make the same argument about the explosion of farmer’s markets, that our BMW-driving aging yuppies need to assuage their distance from the soil. Certainly they are doing more for the environmental movement, not to mention their consciences, by buying their organic mesclun greens and broccoli rabe from the growers themselves.

Wander through a farmers’ market on Saturday morning and you can’t help but feel like you are a part of a community. Parents bring their children and dogs. Twenty-somethings who only admit to shopping at WalMart as a last resort make plans for dinner later. Empty-nesters run into friends they only see at the market and they catch up on the accomplishments of their children. Eight weeks to eighty years, it’s a scene convivial enough to warm the hardest of businessmen’s hearts.
And the backdrop! At the best markets it couldn’t be more lovely. At the market in Fayetteville, AR—recently mentioned as a top attraction in Southern Living—one can buy basil, sock monkeys, framed photographs, emu oil, seeded plants, tomatoes, goat cheese, bread, lamb, candles, walking sticks, knit hats, squash, you name it—depending on the season. Most of the merchants do their best to present an idyllic display; bok choy is arrayed in a basket rather than simply stacked. Little is left to chance or mere commerce, even the make-up of the market itself. Vendors who sell very little are kept in while others are refused—all in the name of “the right mix,” and a fair share of politics.

A similar mix can be found at most markets, many of which are smaller versions of the original green market in Union Square. There one can buy a week’s worth of groceries for less than you’d spend in D’Agostino’s. Certainly the mix of vendors moves beyond food, but wandering through the market and fighting past the crowds around the first apples or corn, there is little question where the focus is.

The same cannot be said of the Fayetteville market or of the market in Blue Hill, Maine. These markets provide just as many retail options as they do farmers’ produce. Where the market at Union Square began as a way to bring fresh produce into the city, many of the markets one can find elsewhere are developed around two fundamentally flawed notions: first that community can be invented, and second that small-scale agriculture can be saved by weekly exposure.

The first idea grows out of our fundamentally American notion that a community can be created by the simple mixing of the right elements. Build the right houses, add sidewalks and a school and a park and POOF: instant community. Sadly it does not work that way. Fortunately, these markets do help develop a sense of community; neighbors speak to each other and there is a certain amount of interaction between the farmers and the consumers. Unfortunately the connection between the Volvo-driving mother and the farmer is no more organic or long-lasting in most cases than the relationship between that same Volvo-driving mother and the salesperson at the mall. It is as superficial an idea of community as the Upper-East-Sider who believes his adoration of the “O Brother, Where Art Thou” soundtrack gives him some insight into rural Southern life. It’s as if the guilt of environmental segregation, the culpability of not knowing where most of our food comes from can be mitigated by a nice head of broccoli, and oh what about that beatiful watercolor over there. Wouldn’t it be lovely in our bedroom? And while we’re at it, why not have a pastry. It is the mall food court, Eddie Bauer/Sierra Club edition.

My (now ex-)wife is, of course, quick to remind me when I bring up arguments such as this that I have little room to criticize. I grew up far from farm life; to me, agrarian society was a relic of the feudal era. She points to our friendships with many of the growers, bakers, and cheese producers at the market as an example of the holes in this argument. My counter-argument, however, is that my love of these markets grew out of a general appreciation for cooperatives and organic markets, and that the two are interlinked. The women who chirp over the beautiful flowers and golfshirt-wearing men with them would not, by and large, recognize the inside of a coop store. Were the majority of the people I see wandering through the markets to truly bring themselves closer to the farmers and a more integral relationship with the land, I might not regard the markets as a fanciful, idyllic mall. And it is this reaction that draws me to the second problem with the apparent explosion in the number of towns hosting farmers’ markets.

When Willie Nelson began Farm Aid in the nineteen-eighties, a small part of our popular consciousness was focused for a time on the plight of the family farmer. But our cultural attention span is short and I would wager that many people don’t even know there was such an effort. We are hardly taught to wonder why much of our produce arrives in our supermarkets off-season, thousands of miles from where it was produced at a massive, corporate-owned farming complex. And we hardly know what a real tomato looks like any more—witness the pink slab of mush texture that passes for a tomato slice in chain restaurants. It should be a ripe time for farmer’s markets to bring us back to the source of our food, right?

Unfortunately not. It will take a far more substantial movement to combat the need for convenience that drives our society. For every person assuaging his guilt by buying produce at the farmer’s market, there are hundreds who do not know that lettuce does not naturally come as a shrink-wrapped globe. For every farmer who harvests and displays a perfect basket of heritage apples, there are hundreds of thousands of people who do not realize that a Red Delicious is a wax-shiny imitation of its cousins.

Every little bit helps, of course. Still, I have to wonder whether a few markets can actually bring us as a culture closer to the soil. Is it really a real environmentalism, a reaching back to our agrarian roots, or is it merely a guilt-assuaging way to spend a few hours on Saturday morning?

Friday, March 20, 2009

comfort food and comfort days

One of my favorite meals growing up was pork chops and spätzen (or spätzle). I would eat huge quantities of them, and I doused them in salt despite my mother's admonitions to taste them first. Later, when I started cooking, spätzle were one of the first dishes I perfected.

Over the years, I have served them with Chicken Paprikas and various other delicious, fat-filled family dishes. What I never tried was a method I've read about — sauteing them in butter and oil after the initial boil. After last night's dinner, I realize what I've been missing all this time: comfort food perfection.

Spätzle are relatively easy to make — really just a blend of flour, baking powder, salt, a touch of nutmeg, two eggs, and either milk or water. The trick is forming the drops of batter and dropping them into the boiling water. I've tried ricers and I've tried colanders. Neither gets the same results as simply using a two-spoon technique learned from my mother. You take a bit of batter on one spoon and knock part of it off into the water. There's a rhythm to it. It's not a speedy process, but you end up with nicely formed spätzle.

Knowing how complicated my schedule can be and knowing that I wanted to make these anyway, I went ahead and prepped them the night before. The plan was to reheat them, but rather than just reheating them, I pulled out the old cast iron skillet and melted three tablespoons of butter and a touch of vegetable oil. I added the spätzle and turned over medium heat. The developed a perfect crust, a bit brown and a bit crunchy. Served with a caraway-coated tenderloin braised in beer and a spinach salad on the side, they were amazing. The only downside: some were a little too crispy for Banana's taste. Her loss!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

snotty noses and all

I've had occasion recently to consider the trade-offs I make as a parent. The shape of my life requires me to be ready to drop what I'm doing at a moment's notice. My ability to truck off to New York or Norway is essentially nil. Whole weeks can be thrown off by a PTA meeting and an extra project at work, and whole plans can be scuttled when I realize that Banana and I need a little more fun or down time. My dining decisions are defined by a six-year old's quirky tastes — though when it comes to that, Banana is better than most; and while I could feed her and eat something different later, I value family time at the table. My social world has mostly collapsed into groups of parents, and I'm so accustomed to having a slew of kids racing around that I feel like something's missing when there aren't kids playing in our friends' yards; in fact, my hope for this summer is to have more kids playing in our yard. My work life is punctuated by regular conversations about irregular schedules — a ballet pick-up gone awry, a day when school is closed, spring break, summer camp, and so on. I've even reached a point where I'd rather talk about kids and kid-related issues than most other topics — music, design, and politics aside.

Do I miss the days when I played pool all the time (and when I was on top of my game)? Occasionally. Do I miss the days when I didn't have to put dinners out in the context of saving for summer camp and travel? Sometimes. Do I miss having complete control over my time? Not really. Do I value my "adult" time when I don't have to be Daddy? Of course. Do I wish there were more of it? Not really.

The truth is I love the shape my life has taken. Even on the worst mornings when Banana is moving slowly and we get out the door twenty minutes late. Even in the roughest evenings when she's over-tired and tries to push my buttons rather than go to bed. Even when I have to skip a concert because tickets aren't in the budget and the logistics of rearranging schedules or hiring a babysitter just won't work. Even when I buy food that isn't finished or books that I know she won't read more than once. Even when I have to sit through another round of High School Musical. Even as I negotiate paying back the grad school loans I took so we could provide the best care and time for the first two years of her life. Even through all of these bittersweet moments, I never look back to the life I led as anything more than a spectator on the past.

I've crossed the point where I remember what my world was like before Banana came along. I've actually crossed into the territory where I barely understand the feelings of kid-phobes — those people who are delaying the leap to adulthood and parenthood, or worse still, those who simply don't like kids. I've crossed into a world where I not only like being a parent, I've accepted that it is a defining role.

It comes down to this: you listen to your kid reading a book and realize this is the same baby you tossed in the air six years ago, and you realize that nothing else in the world is as important as that moment.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

busy, busy, but not too busy for St. Pat's Day

Between life, laundry, work projects, pro-bono work, PTA meetings, and who-knows-what-the-hell-else, there just hasn't been much time for relaxing or slowing down. Thankfully, Banana has been remarkably helpful and good through it all. I will admit a bit of a shock for this morning when she wrapped her hair up with a rubber band to get it to be wavy before school. Better that little burgeoning bit of vanity and getting out of the house on time, I suppose, than wondering why the bed's not made, the dog's not fed, and wondering why we're twenty minutes late.

At least in honor of the day, I can put up a bit of Dervish. Saw these guys in Galway in 2001 and then in Richmond in 2006. Good stuff...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday Fun

Simplifying today. There's too much shit going on to do much more than simplify. Nonetheless, there's never an excuse for not putting out good music. Dammit.

Put this one up before, but it's on my mind. The Hold Steady.

Here's one by Lisa Hannigan. She performed it on The Colbert Report this week. I love the video for its pub setting and the light, fun acoustic performance. Go check her stuff out...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A morning in the life

2:36 — Wake up. Think the clock is lying. Try to retrieve paper. Go back to bed.
6:00 — First alarm goes off. Snooze.
6:08 — Look at clock and think of the things that need to happen. Roll over for two more minutes.
6:10 — Second alarm. Realize that I am exhausted from sleeping poorly and feel congested. Hit snooze.
6:15 — Roll out of bed and check in Banana's room. Her light is on, but she's still in bed.
6:20 — Ready to walk dog. Banana says she wants to sleep a little more and turns light off.
6:21 — Remember that ballet clothes are dirty and need to be washed for ballet today.
6:22 — Fill bathroom sink with Woolite and water. Soak leotard and tights. Head out with dog.
6:43 — Return with dog. Give him biscuit. Check on Banana, still asleep.
6:44 — Decide to let kid sleep while making coffee and taking shower.
6:47 — Perform a quick clean of the kitchen and work on soaking ballet clothes.
6:55 — Shower. Skip shaving for the sake of time.
7:02 — Water in shower goes very hot. Thank the stars that Banana is up.
7:05 — Out of shower.
7:06 — Kitchen. Banana. Yogurt. Granola. Bowl and spoons. Coffee.
7:10 — Dressed and rinsed ballet clothes.
7:11 — Pull laundry out of dryer. Toss ballet clothes in. Run on Fluff setting to pull water out.
7:15 — Chat with Banana. Make smoothie. Start pulling her lunch together. Kill ants.
7:20 — Go through piles on counter. Talk to Banana about weekend plans. Lose focus on counter stuff.
7:28 — Vitamins.
7:34 — Send Banana off to get dressed. Decide not to push her on putting her bowl in the sink. Best to avoid wrinkles.
7:36 — Check ballet stuff. Still very wet. Switch to low heat cycle.
7:39 — Change lunch routine and add TJ's Cheese Crunch snacks.
7:42 — Quick check of email and revised weather forecast.
7:48 — Banana still in robe. Advise her that clothes need to happen ASAP.
7:51 — Ask Banana which candy she wants for a treat in lunch.
7:53 — Negotiate with her briefly as she asks why the Christmas candy sunflower seeds are no longer in the candy-cane-shaped tube.
7:55 — Check ballet gear and realize I'll have to come back for it at lunchtime.
7:56 — Banana reminds me she has an extra leotard and tights. Feel silly for scrambling.
7:58 — Ask Banana to stop trying to brush down a cowlick and get socks and shoes on.
8:01 — Resist urge to yell when Banana goes on a search for a bag for the journal she is taking to school.
8:02 — Take bags to car and start it instead.
8:04 — Breathe. Take quick mental inventory of what I have and/or need.
8:07 — Twelve minutes past optimal leaving time.
8:08 — Lock door and follow Banana to car.
8:12 — Sign in at before-school care. Hug.
8:14 — On road to office. Breathe. Start listening — actually listening — to Morning Edition.
8:34 — Arrive at work.

Lost things, pt. 2

• The slotted serving spoon that came with my Crate & Barrel flatware
• One blue ice pack, lunch size
• Two styluses for Banana's art supplies

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

back in the day

There weren't many places like this left on the Bowery when I lived in the city...

This brilliant collection of NYC pics going back to 1885 comes via Neatorama. There are some great shots of the 1880s and 1890s and beyond.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Thanks to Greg at DaddyTypes for this trip down memory lane:

usability fail

Dear Hanna Andersson,

The next time you decide to redesign your site, please do a usability study on the new design. While you're at it, please make sure it loads in a reasonable time and plays nicely with Safari.

A Dad

Monday, March 09, 2009

a clever title could go here

A week ago, we were still watch the last flurries of Richmond's biggest snow fall since 1980. Kids and parents were tearing up the parks with sleds. Someone built a snow stegosaurus and a snow fish on the Monument Avenue median. Schools were shut for three full days. The temperature bottomed out at seven degrees.

Today, we're in the upper seventies for the third day in a row and suddenly trees are budding. Spring fever is as rampant as complaints about losing an hour of sleep to Daylight Savings Time. This morning Banana informed me that she no longer needed the comforter on her bed.

And somewhere a climate-change denier will claim this is all part of a normal cycle.

Monday Madness

I never got around to Friday Fun, so here's a bit o' the Eighties for a Monday afternoon. Enjoy.

Complicated Creatures

Last week, Banana mère called to talk about Banana. She's been more complicated than usual lately, and it had finally risen to the point we both needed to talk about it. Basically, she's turned whiny and occasionally defiant. She complains and debates. She tells me that I'm being mean. When she's tired and being told to do something she doesn't want to do, she says she'd rather be with her mother. It's a difficult, sometimes-unpleasant situation, one that often requires me to take a deep breath and let the comment slip off my back.

Even though it hurts, I have to let it go. Such comments and behavior are certainly worth monitoring, but it's often clear when and why the anger comes out. In the past, I engaged her when she said such things, and then I realized that her comments were just a device, a method to get her way as well as poorly-expressed feelings.

One thing I've learned about my girl is that she has a hard time critically verbalizing her thoughts and ideas. She's a brilliant artist and an amazing consumer of information, but given the need to express her feelings or thoughts in more than just the briefest of terms she tends to shut down. Her teacher even expressed concern about this in our recent parent-teacher conference. As verbal as I tend to be, learning how to navigate this personality trait has been difficult for me. The learning process has required me to find other ways to understand what is going on and how to tackle it. For example, when it comes to adding explanations to schoolwork, I try to find questions that will lead her to say more in her answers, and when it comes to complicated issues at home, I find a way to lead her to opening up her answers.

That said, we went through a similar cycle last spring when Banana mère was considering some life changes — new job ideas, new living situation. In this case, we are facing similar issues, and I understand now that Banana is a savvy little girl who may have picked up on such potential changes without being told directly. Her reactions to me and to her mother perhaps reflect inner fears about the future and her only way of "controlling" the situation.

It's one more adventure in patience and understanding.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Foodie Fail

One of the things I've enjoyed about living in Richmond is the number of excellent restaurants around town. With recent entries like Stronghill Dining Company and Café Rustica and excellent standbys like Can Can, Edo's Squid, Millie's, and many others, we don't lack for good dining options. My only quibble is that many of these places tend to run on the expensive side. While that neighborhood joint in NYC might have entrees hovering in the mid- to upper-teens, most entrees at these restaurants push the mid-twenties to thirty range. Thankfully, a number of restaurants have introduced small plates on their menus, meaning you can pull together a little more variety in a meal for the same tab as two entrees and a shared salad. The other recent development is the impact of the locavore movement on restaurants, with far more places pushing the farm-to-table model.

It was in this spirit, that we went to Mezzanine last night. Mezzanine is one of the latest entries in the RVA dining scene. The owners took over a space that had been cursed in the past and opened it up to create a pleasant, open space. They also took the local sourcing mission to heart and promised to focus the menu around locally-available ingredients and seasonal preparations. With a reasonably-priced wine list to boot, the place should be a winner.

Should be.

We were given our choice of tables upstairs. Though the space was warm and cozy, the noise levels seemed higher than they should.

Initial quirks aside, we dug into the wine list. It had a nice variety of bottles from $19 to $45+. We asked the waiter about a couple of bottles, and we went with his suggestion of the 2007 Marquee Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend. It was a nice blend with flavors of all the grapes coming through — or rather that was the waiter's rather vague description of it. It was well-rounded and had enough fruit and dryness to balance much of our meal.

When it came to ordering, the waiter explained that they'd recently turned over the menu so he couldn't describe many of the items. This became a theme in our ordering. The menu offered some standard openers — the requisite beet salad, the house green salad with local greens — and a wider array of small plates and entree choices than I would have expected given their goal of sourcing locally.

There was only one strict vegetarian item on the menu — a quinoa in curry with Dave & Dee's oyster mushrooms and grilled bok choi — but L decided to go with the small plate of crab cakes instead. We opted to split the beet salad because beets, microgreens, goat cheese, and blue cheese always seem wonderful. I opted for the butternut squash and lobster bisque and then asked the waiter's recommendation between a small plate of a 5 oz. grass-fed NY Strip with a grilled onion and ginger topping and a stuffed quail over seafood jambalaya. Our waiter's response was to tell me that he hadn't had either but that he had heard more people compliment the steak than the quail. I went with the prevailing "opinion."

The food arrived with amazing speed. While I appreciate this in a lunch joint where I'm getting out for under ten bucks, I worry when the meal will quickly push a hundred bucks if my lobster bisque arrives in literally minutes of ordering. Moreover, shouldn't a bisque in a purportedly high-end restaurant come with a more imaginative side than a package of Premium Saltines? That's the kind of thing I expect from Denny's. But how was the soup? It was okay. L is not a fan of heavy cream, but she agreed it had good flavor. It had the sherry flavor you'd expect from a bisque, but the lobster and butternut squash blended together so as to become indistinguishable. Midway through the bowl, I was also left wondering where the lobster was. Even a few chunks of meat would have been enough to bring the soup from passable to good.

Minutes after the soup arrived, the beet salad arrived. The cold beet salad. So cold, in fact, that it had clearly just come out of the refrigerator. So cold, in fact, that there was almost no flavor to the beets or the goat cheese. When I mentioned it to the waiter, he said that they had assembled it ahead of time and plated it when it was ordered. As for the presentation, the beets were thick with a thin layer of goat cheese between them, a very light helping of microgreens and just a few crumbles of very pedestrian blue cheese mixed with the candied walnuts on the plate.

At this point, I was hoping for redemption. I'd heard so much about the place and still had hope that things would improve.

When my steak arrived, my first thought was that it looked like a small ribeye rather than a NY strip. On top of that, it had the curious grid pattern that some chain restaurants apply to steak to make it appear grilled. The flavor of the meat was good, but the cut was tougher than it should have been. And while it was nicely done inside, the steak itself was not hot at all. It had either been grilled ahead or sat out for a while. At this point, I was hungry enough and had seen enough of the service in the place that I didn't feel like asking them to redo the plate.

L's crab cakes were small, but nicely turned out. The waiter recommended using another plate to eat them since the serving dish didn't provide enough space for cutting without mashing them into the sauce they each sat in. The crab cakes were mostly lump crab meat with very little filler. The sauce balanced the crab flavor nicely, but still at $18 I would have expected more than three very small crab cakes.

In the end, the bill with tip came to $98.14. The meal came to a huge disappointment. I could see all the potential in the dishes and in the other menu items I saw coming out, but there were far too many missteps. All in all, Mezzanine struck me as a restaurant cutting corners and doing the minimum rather than really pushing the envelope. Perhaps it was an off night. Perhaps the nights my friends have been there, the menu was in better shape or the kitchen staff was more attentive to what they were serving. Either way, my next hundred-dollar meal is likely to be some place I am certain will make the meal worth experiencing again.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

lost things, pt. 1

I went in search of my scarf again this morning. Yesterday, on returning to work I looked for it to hold back the cold, but without luck. This might be uneventful but for the fact that I no longer know where the other scarves I had are either. This would also seem uneventful if not for the fact that I feel like my life has turned into an inventory of lost things. I wish I had the eloquence of Elizabeth Bishop. to pull it into a villanelle that rattles the emotional cages as well. Failing that, a simple list of items I've recently thought of will have to suffice.

Three scarves
Spare car key and LED flashlight
McDermott pool cue (though I have a vague suspicion of its location)
Light brown merino v-neck sweater
Small cast iron skillet

Having titled this Part One, I intend to keep up a running list as I think of these things.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Blame it on the snow...

Or blame it on whatever you want... I just haven't been able to give the time to Impolitic Eye the past few days. There's been a lot going on. Stay tuned. I'll be back later. Maybe even later today.