Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snacks, Both Caloric and Invigorating. Nourishment.

In the name of all that is holy, someone remove these cookies* from my house. I made them before an event -- and then ate so many I had to make more. Vanity urged me on: Come on, this was the best this time around you can't NOT serve it.  And then the event was smallish, or people were magically restrained. And there they waited, in their unassuming beigeness, within their little tin. I thought to freeze them...but no. I decided to check on them and pried off the lid. Mapley butter fumes wafted up, like they do from evil cartoon food, luring kids into witches' homes. Well. Maybe just one. Or two. Or four. Which is really eight, what with the sandwiching.

And me with the remote working, shackled to the computer, listening to the fridge sounding off like it's going to be laboriously ill all over the kitchen floor. Despite the unappetizing noises from my belabored fridge, I think of the interesting tidbits within...Meanwhile it's venturing into the damp-cold neck of the season, where I have even more excuses to not go for an outdoor run. Helllloooo, Dark and Flabby Winter. And so, we meet again... The dishpan grey not dissipated by sparkly tree lights (though they help). 

*These are originally from The All American Cookie Book, by Nancy Baggett, which rocks. Other recipes solid, but luckily less addictive.

I worked at home all day yesterday. Peered out through the living room window periodically, though nothing was coming, or staying.  Any street activity? Nope, nuthin' much. Even the squirrels were keeping a low profile. Had a few extra cups of tea later in the day, to separate the hours. Even forgot about the mail, though I usually look for it -- and as you know, I mainly get crap catalogs.

What would salvage the day? Snacks. Yes, after all that: snacks. In this case, of the less caloric and more stimulating sort.  

Oh wondrous stimulation, distract us from the Winter's tiresome yawning maw!

A few hours past mailman time, the rusty mailbox popped into my head. And here! A present from the day (or more specifically, from dear CG): three Richard Buckner CDs and the newest Adele. Plus a nourishing card. The card stands on it own -- and you know I'm fond of symbolism. I asked another good friend why listening to Richard Buckner doesn't depress me --  even when I am depressed -- and even though his songs frequently tell of love lost, lives ruined, desire paired with alienation -- and his reply went something like this,

"I think it's because no matter where you are, I don't think it's possible to plumb the depths of where *he* is~~ That, and he's so frickin' talented." He originally introduced me to his music, through The Hills (Spoon River Anthology, set to music-- cool, hunh!).

His music is like a day where the rain is steadily coming down. Maybe at first you were disappointed by the weather, but you open a few windows beneath overhangs and the slight, slight chill is pleasant. And your home feels cozier for it. It's a quiet day, with undertones of longing, which you observe as much as you feel. The witness of the passing day has its own importance. Maybe you'd have someone else near, but only someone you knew really well, who could enjoy the quietness. What the heck am I even talking about? Why didn't you stop me? I think I was listening to the above YouTube link too much. I haven't listened to all *THREE* CDs yet (the bounty! the bounty!) And now I have put Bloomed back on. The opening song Blue & Wonder makes me think of Summer, in a dry heat. And that mandoline! Clearly I need to just listen more. Which I will...

By evening I got to feeling a bit penned up and ventured to the neighborhood bookstore (a few remain, knock on wood) to get outside of myself. More snacks! First, a bit of bizarre: 420: Stories, by Lou Beach.

Here's one:

"Zuma Pedley hailed from Lubbock, came to L.A. in '02 with his guitar, some songs, and an ugly dog. He didn't think to change the world, wasn't built that way, but thought music might lessen the burden of those with hearts. He was looking for an army of smiles, but settled for a girl with corn hair and a bungalow in the hills, grew tomatoes. The dog is still ugly."

C'est fini! They're all oddities, packaged in a slim, pretty red hardcover. With collaged illustrations-- apparently Beach is primarily an illustrator, with CD covers and appearances in Wired, the New Yorker, etc. I figure this will be good to dip into during my low concentration times, for remaining days at Rust Belt Market. 

I discovered that Lane Smith's new picture book is gorgeous, magical. The illustration combines quaint delicately lined pen and ink figures, with lush (photoshopped? painted?both?) topiaries telling the past life of the boy's Grandfather. Check out a book trailer for Grandpa Green here.

On that note, the whole picture and children's book promotion on Youtube had pretty much escaped my notice until Ginger posted the minimalist and quite fun teaser for Jon Klassen's "I Want My Hat Back." It's like a whole new land to explore! In a search for another Klassen book, I happened across "White is for Witching," by Helen Oyeyemi. I challenge you not to be creeped out.  Even MORE paired down, and quite effectively done. "Where is Miranda? Miri is gone, just gone..."

Also bought: The Essential Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks. One of my first favorites:

My Worst Habit

My worst habit is I get so tired of winter
I become a torture to those I'm with.

If you are not here, nothing grows.
I lack clarity. My words
tangle and knot up.

How to cure bad water? Send it back to the river.
How to cure bad habits? Send me back to you.

When water gets caught in habitual whirlpools,
dig a way out through the bottom
to the ocean. There is a secret medicine
given only to those who hurt so hard
they can't hope.

The hopers would feel slighted if they knew.

Look as long as you can at the friend you love,
no matter whether that friend is moving away from you
or coming back toward you. 

Well, I can't really think of a better way to end than that. A super early morning tomorrow, so I best go to bed. Good night, All.



  1. A cookie rescue -- hmmm... perhaps - on the heels of "no cake is safe"... a second book in the making?

    Was looking through NPR to find a nice collection of funny, slightly acerbic holiday tales (I need cheering up this time of year - or at least to hear of very human stories of how the holidays really go down so that I can keep it in context), and all I had to do was to tune into your wonderful blog.

    So in keeping this shorter than my last comment/post "thank you" - as always - for your brilliant writing.

  2. Hee! Well, one must finish the first book...first.

    Glad I could help! And honestly, I think more of us than not need periodic boosts during this time... A note of clarification: I hope you didn't think I was criticizing the length last time around -- teasing, yes-- criticizing, no. You write just as much or as little as you want! Thanks for sharing :)