Saturday, July 4, 2009

1. Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro is an intoxicating cinematic confection that will most certainly be on my "Top 3 movies of 2009 List" (9.5 out of 10).

2. I have been looking forward to the release of the DVDs of the first season of Eastbound and Down for quite a while because I so enjoyed Danny McBride's performance in Pineapple Express. I watched it, it was funny and I will rent the second season once it's available but I don't plan on watching the first season again (6.8 out of 10).

3. I'm a sucker for anything that has the flavor "fruits of the forest" because aside from being tasty it makes me feel Romantic and lady-like in a Bronte kind of way. I recently purchased 365 Brand Fruits of the Forest Fruit Spread from Whole Foods and found it to be too reminiscent of Welch's grape jelly, lunch ladies and crustless white bread. (4.1 out of 10).

4. Charles Ray's Ink Line at Matthew Marks Gallery (523 W. 24th St., closes July 10th) is spectacular, moving, thoughtful, and funny (9.3 out of 10).

5. Williamsburger (342 Wythe at S. 2nd) has nice waitresses, passable hamburgers, and embarrassingly flaccid french fries (3.1 out of 10).

Thursday, July 2, 2009


For some reason, I really like looking at rats in the wild. The first time I ever saw one was at the Bronx Zoo, in some bushes, and I think the idea of seeing a new animal that wasn't meant to be there was just too cool for school. So, I don't mind them quite as much as most people do. I even think they're kind of cute, although I don't think I'll ever get over that gross tail.

Given my interest in them, I decided to go to a lecture by Dr. Robert Corrigan, who is an expert in rodentology and a very funny, interesting person. I learned that rats really aren't so bad, and that they're very adaptable to many situations, and that Norway Rats are the only kind found in New York City. Apparently they almost never bite (Dr. Corrigan has handled them for over 20 years and was only bitten once) and are very resourceful, and never try to eat babies (like in Lady & the Tramp). Also, they eat cockroaches. Cool.

After I left this lecture, I decided that it was okay to think that rats are cool and to try to get a closer look at them when possible. I've seen them on the surface or on train platforms a few times, and I'll be honest, I prefer them in the subway on the rails, because there's less of a chance that they will attack me (apparently there's very little chance of them attacking, but still). However, this morning at exactly 12:13am, I went to have a closer look at a rat near the top of the stairs of the subway at Clinton-Washington station. I falsely believed in two things: 1. that the rat would run down the stairs if startled and 2. that I would be protected by the nonexistant wall that was the bars separating me and the rat by about 20 feet. However, when we startled the rat into running, it did not go down the stairs. It went straight under the bars and at my ankle, where I flailed, screamed, and nearly stepped on it as it brushed my foot.

I've basically decided never to wear sandals again.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The American Girls Cookbook

I love cooking. Unfortunately, I'm not so great at doing it myself (particularly when I come home from work), but I adore the concept. The whole process of it, from gardening to serving, enthralls me, and I want to participate in every part of it. I like to eat homemade meals and I love reading about other people cooking.

My parents weren't particularly big about cooking, and so I think my love of it came directly from one place, Pleasant Company. I have to say, they've sold out a lot recently, but back in the early 90s, they were just about the greatest thing ever, and I loved just about everything that came out of it. In particular, The American Girls Cookbook.

This book taught me a love for place settings (Samantha), deviled eggs (Molly) and saffron (a pretty enormous mistake with Kirsten). It also taught me the joys of reading about food, and is one of the few cookbooks that I've ever been able to follow perfectly. Perhaps now that I'm able to read books by Julia Child, Irma S. Rombauer and Alice Waters, I should move beyond this book, but it will always be the one that started a life-long love affair.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

COOL: Here Is Where

I just saw an article on an interesting new project, Here Is Where. Amateur historian Andrew Carroll is traveling across the country to help identify places where small, interesting events occurred, to bring notoriety to the events and the locations. Some examples: a train station where Lincoln's son was rescued from death by John Wilkes Booth's older brother, and the hotel where Langston Hughes was discovered. These are some small events, of course, but not unimportant. Having someone devote his time to finding out about these just warms my heart, which also aches for itty bitty interesting things. In fact, this project seems to be just ideal for Small Reviews, which is all about taking little things and displaying them for you.

Monday, June 29, 2009

COMFORTABLE: Minnetonka Moccasins

I've wanted a pair of moccasins for a while now, and while shopping for running shoes at DSW, I found the perfect pair of Minnetonkas, which I proceeded to purchase even though I'd promised myself I would never shop again. Turns out that I made the right choice in buying them.

At only $36, these are already one of the most comfortable pairs of shoes I own, and they honestly match everything, so I pretty much can't think of a pair of shoes I own that I like more, except maybe my Birkenstocks. Right now, I'm enjoying wearing them with plaid shorts and polos, so I can look extremely preppy in an ironic way, but I think these will outlast that phase and become my new shoes of choice no matter what the outfit.

I'm so glad to have finally found a Birkenstock equivalent for the winter!