01 8 / 2014

When you move, you find things. Check me out: sticker-faced, claw-fingered hooligan in pajamas that say: “team.”

When you move, you find things. Check me out: sticker-faced, claw-fingered hooligan in pajamas that say: “team.”

31 7 / 2014

Everyone loves a duck face. I’m packing up our apartment to move, so I have to capture a series of important selfies before relinquishing this homemade mask and other bits of ephemera to like-minded foragers / the trash.

Everyone loves a duck face. I’m packing up our apartment to move, so I have to capture a series of important selfies before relinquishing this homemade mask and other bits of ephemera to like-minded foragers / the trash.

30 7 / 2014

Word salad on 7th ave in Brooklyn, diverting to me because word salad typically is, and because of the emphasis here on my name. (Also: Elation/Transgression/Empelion. It’s great.) The poor photos I blame on the length of this particular salad and the brightness of the afternoon. The last words are “popular CEO.”

Word salad on 7th ave in Brooklyn, diverting to me because word salad typically is, and because of the emphasis here on my name. (Also: Elation/Transgression/Empelion. It’s great.) The poor photos I blame on the length of this particular salad and the brightness of the afternoon. The last words are “popular CEO.”

29 7 / 2014

Tomatter pie. Until we develop the technology to transmit smell experience wirelessly (or with wires, for that matter), you will have to take my word for it about the aroma of this pie. Will it be soggy? Too weird? Tomorrow never knows.

Tomatter pie. Until we develop the technology to transmit smell experience wirelessly (or with wires, for that matter), you will have to take my word for it about the aroma of this pie. Will it be soggy? Too weird? Tomorrow never knows.

28 7 / 2014

An active driveway on a lazy Sunday. Today is the day for yesterday’s tomato pie.  It’ll be a goodbye pie, a southern-style and cheese-laden pie, and I hope it is delicious. For now, while the dough chills, I will write letters.

An active driveway on a lazy Sunday. Today is the day for yesterday’s tomato pie. It’ll be a goodbye pie, a southern-style and cheese-laden pie, and I hope it is delicious. For now, while the dough chills, I will write letters.

27 7 / 2014

Having spent the morning dawdling over coffee, penning short postcards to the interior of this country, and poking at the cats, I’m gearing up for something productive this afternoon, and I’m looking at recipes for tomato pie. 

Maybe it will be a quiche (I have a surfeit of eggs) or a galette, or something with a cornmeal crust (just because). But don’t you think it’s time we all sat down together for savory summer pastry and the pleasure of each other’s company?

I learned the word “galette” on a summer day when I was 17 or 18, on a trip to Des Moines with my mom. We dined in style at a small (now defunct) cafe called Chat Noir, tucked into a grand old residential neighborhood, en route to a musty, shadowy used bookstore we liked.

I had a novel (to me), delicate, and gooey cheese and mushroom galette about which I have fantasized many times since. To have a gooey cheese something in Iowa is no strange thing, but to have it seem fancy and cosmopolitan was uncommon and revelatory.

My parents and just about everyone else in town ended summer with an overabundance of tomatoes, which they ate in bacon sandwiches and preserved whole or in the form of salsas, chili, etc.—but never, to my recollection, did they bake them into pie. 

The list of things I’d do differently at 17 or 18 is too long to contemplate, but under the culinary subhead of that list I’d add: eat more galettes, and bake tomato pie. Fortunately, it’s not too late. 

26 7 / 2014

Have I written about Friedrich Liechtenstein’s unforgettable “Supergeil" grocery-store advertisement? I can’t remember; but whatever’s been said about him is worth saying again, and today’s New York Times offers more info on the wonderful character (modern-day “ornamental hermit”) that is Herr Liechtenstein. 

Since I first heard and watched Supergeil, I have returned to it in my mind many times, hoping thereby to dislodge another earworm, or just to feel good. Seeing Liechtenstein (here and here, too) reminds me of how I compulsively watched The Big Lebowski during a particularly anxious period in college—how, for whatever reason, a jubilant, carefree, bearded weirdo can make me feel like everything will be okay. 

25 7 / 2014

Today has been lovely, full of sunny walks, conversation, and two noodle meals.

But my eyelids are heavy, and all the beach photos of the internet are calling out to me. I want to dream away under some other sky.

Is the desire for new places a vain one? Sometimes I worry about being overfond of novelty. But we are changed by difference, by even small struggles, by the difference in perspective of just a few feet, or inches.

Are you, too, “in the mood for mood”? Read this (or listen to it). 

24 7 / 2014

Creepy, out-of-place embroidery on the wall of the old watering-hole near my office. Did the helmeted man save the baby from a burning building? What is he about to say into that walkie talkie?

Creepy, out-of-place embroidery on the wall of the old watering-hole near my office. Did the helmeted man save the baby from a burning building? What is he about to say into that walkie talkie?

23 7 / 2014

Have I told you about high fives? For a long time I performed very poorly at them, very poorly, and nothing kills a high-five mood like a limp-wrister or a hesitater. I was the latter. But Mr. Z set me straight a few years ago, with some patient lessons. It’s a good thing, too, because my bosses love a good high five, and I feel the skill has bolstered my career success. 

But I’m newly enthused about hand-expressed enthusiasm today because of this thrilling short video from Grantland, on the origin of the high five. There is an origin, and it’s a great story!

Go watch it, and relish your next gesture of mutual victorious glee. Give me one when we meet again. I probably won’t flinch!