Friday, May 18, 2007

Who judders your guts?

I also spent some quality time with this:

"You're prompted to imaginatively inhabit these heaves of paint, investing them with your own sense of body; and yet how could you? That would mean casting off all your comportment, all your muscular control: you would be skinless, virtually shapeless. To approach these images judders the guts."

C'mon. Guess, don't google. Who judders your guts?

Right here. Ouch. That hurts.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Letter from Beijing.

I've been spending all my spare minutes reading "Letter from Beijing. Enemy of the State. The complicated life of an idealist." By Jianying Zha. Definitely my favorite New Yorker article in long while.

Now that I look at it, the letter is now almost a month old, but it's very long and I haven't very many spare minutes lately.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

break for lunch

Reading Terminal Market
Originally uploaded by canine devotion.
As you know, sometimes I set down my magazine and wander into the kitchen. Thus, Lindy's invitation, that we share our favorite portable snack, really got me thinking.

Ever since my parents decided that the school lunch* was a basically non-toxic time-saver for busy families, I've been happy to eat out a midday meal. Benj has all kinds of persuasive arguments about not reinventing the wheel, and divisions of labor and I tend to buy them. Lunches, I mean. In some times and places, street food or eating out or not cooking everything from scratch are less fraught than in others. And Philadelphia c. 2000, where and when I once held a 9-5 library job, was one of these less-fraught settings.

But even then, one summer when I was really trying to save money, and house-sitting in the 'burbs and commuting through Reading Terminal to my 9-5 job I came up with this little number:

The Very Resourceful Tomato Sandwich

- 1 absolutely fresh New Jersey tomato from Reading Terminal. Keep a knife handy. Transport the tomato in a plastic tub that will keep it from turning to mush in your bag.

- 1 packet of mayo begged, borrowed, bought or stolen from the Convenient Food Store.

- 2 slices of wheat bread toasted in the library's break room toaster.

- salt from the library's break room salt shaker.

The library also had an amazing roof deck attached to its perfectly standard break room, where I ate this sandwich. Sometimes I added cucumber.

*One of the school lunches was chicken noodle soup, half a PBJ and half a banana. My mother - who, as a treat, let me open the alfalfa sprouts when I wanted a snack while she was shopping - wasn't big on the dishes that people call comfort food so this is odd little combo, served institution style, was and is my comfort food. I used to make variations on it when I came home late at night in my teenage years, which leads me to one of my favorite things about the word "lunch," that it once meant a small meal at any time of day.

Other lunches I like to take include green beans and chick peas marinated in vinaigrette and tomato bread salads.

And the lunch I most frequently bought was from the aforementioned Convenient Food Store in the bottom of the big apartment building on the corner of Broad and Spruce. It's a veggie hoagie - hold the mayo, with oil and vinegar and that bizarre mushy white american cheese. It's divine and a fair bargain. [It's now my profile pic lots of foodie places.]

Also note: Mrs. Delicious on the delights of sandwiches you "eat over the sink."

I first learned about the existence of tomato sandwiches from Harriet the Spy. A book in which the household had both a (famous) live-in nanny and a (less famous) cook who made lunches and provided cake and milk.

Reading Terminal photo comes from canine_devotion at flickr. Veggie Hoagie is all mine.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

that is SO Obama

Apparently, Senator Barack Obama mentioned McFarquhar's New Yorker profile of him, "The Conciliator" (and gently corrected her characterization of him as such) at recent fundraiser. And I'm so glad there was someone there to blog about it, and put it in perspective, one Michael Dorf, Columbia Law Prof.

I haven't even read the profile yet. Or, rather, I started it and then Benj picked it up and so I heard about it second hand.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

the set-up

Reads, "Well, you can't say they didn't warn us." Gahan Wilson in the May 7 New Yorker. Pair with Anthony Lane's Spider-Man review. Except, the way I see it, he's the one exiting the theater, not me. Why does The New Yorker review such bad movies?

Pair with Paumgarten on (shudder) a restaurant called Morandi, "Tables for Two." Mike Twohy in same.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Wouldn't you know?

The New Yorker gets shut out of the National Magzine Awards and I get all huffy. New York Magazine indeed. Now that's a magazine so lame it doesn't even have it's own loyal-critical blog! (In all honesty I have not checked.)

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

good story well told

From a Gawker spy, "He [Gore Vidal] got a collective muted gasp when he said 'The New Yorker was a good magazine when Tina Brown was heading it...' But then went on to say 'And now (insert incredibly long pregnant pause) it's even better.'"

Ha! And the Gawker spy does a nice job recreating a spoken joke.