Saturday, June 27, 2009

Presto, it's pesto!

Basil loves the sun. While I languish in the heatwave, twelve continuous days near 100 degrees, the basil grows stronger. Grass dies, flowers wilt, all begging for water from the evening hose. Eggplants, peppers and tomatoes happily bloom. These plants, like their companions of basil and cilantro, crave the heat. They are fruits and leaves of a different climate, transplants in our Midwestern world. As summers grow longer and hotter, they thrive. Sometimes I am glad of this, as I grind up the garlic and pine nuts, stream the olive oil and add the freshly picked, wrinkled, fragrant leaves. My home smells like a Genovese kitchen. Global warming be damned, I'll just make more pesto.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

1987 was not so Bad

Today the news is full of Michael Jackson's death. While I was not his biggest fan, this terrible news takes me back. 1987 was my first year in "the industry". That's the year that music became a business, not just a passion.

"Bad" was far from my favorite record that year. 1987 brought us U2's "The Joshua Tree", Sting's "...Nothing Like The Sun", Lyle Lovette's "Pontiac", REM's "Document" and the guilty pleasure of "Dirty Dancing", all which still reside in the basement CD stacks. It was the year I turned onto Suzanne Vega, Los Lobos, Michael Hedges, Sonic Youth, Steve Earle, The Replacements and The Flaming Lips.

I had a hard time keeping Gun 'n' Roses, Phantom of the Opera, Bon Jovi, Beastie Boys, Def Leppard, INXS, George Michael, and Eric B & Rakim in stock. But "Bad", we had enough of. We were already talking about his so-called decline. The record was just not performing to expectation, at least not to that of our buyer's in New York. I had "Bad" coming out my ears and even after Christmas, CBS/Sony wouldn't take them back. They were hard lessons to learn. 1) Even if you are responsible, you are not in charge. 2) In most big companies, they don't want to hear anything from the front line, even if they say they do. 3) If your company's "in bed" with a vendor, ain't nothing you can do about it; there's something bigger going on.

So 1987 did have some great music. There was also Prince, Mellencamp, Robbie Robertson, The Smiths, The Cure, Geroge Harrison, Public Enemy, Sinade, Hiatt, Sisters of Mercy, Sonic Youth, Zevon, The Meat Puppets, kd Lang, the BoDeans and Bougois Tagg (anybody remember them?). And I learned many a lesson about corporate politics. So I guess 1987 was not all that "Bad."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


If I were queen, fireworks would not be relegated to a couple of holidays and the occasional (sorry Cards) home run. These midnight lights' magic far outweigh potential danger. Anything that stops a thousand people dead in their tracks to ooooo, aaaaaah and squeal like delighted toddlers should not be rationed mercilessly. We could have Roman birthday candles and anniversary displays. Every concert at your local "shed" could end with a bang; mom would know when to go pick up the kids. Some would say that the over use would render fireworks less special. I disagree. Does one tire of a single flames' entracement? Or get bored watching a campfire lick skyward? Does the Milky Way fail to marvel astronamers just because it's repeatedly visible? No. Magic does not lose it wonder, not if you believe. Stare into the night sky and believe.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ghost bird

Egrets stalked the road and adjacent field. It had been raining every weekend since Easter, fulfilling the old wives tale, and again nearly every day for two weeks. The Mississippi could no longer be held by its banks and it roamed where it willed, taking tiny creatures with it. You could almost hear the herons' laughter; dinner would be easy tonight. I parked where the asphalt was still dry, kicked off my sandals and waded silently down the road. Water ran like glass over my feet, it was still more clear than tea, neither yet turbid nor stagnant. Ahead of me, the egret stopped. Every click of the camera brought another turn of his graceful neck. We danced like this, both of us, wading and waiting, stalking one another until the rain began again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fall into The Gap

The Gap started it, blame them. Back in the '70's The Gap was THE place to buy jeans. Levi's. Real jeans. And when you walked out of The Gap, your jeans were in a nifty white plastic bag emblazoned with the Gap's logo and cinched with a cotton draw string . Everyone else had paper sacks. Grocery store bags, department store bags (sometimes with handy handles), specialty store bags, shoe store bags, they were all paper. It was a badge of honor to have a Gap Bag. You'd take something to school, anything, just to sling it over your shoulder and show that you were a cool kid. Soon all the "cool" stores were giving out plastic, draw string bags. Candies shoes (pre-Kohls, please!), Colonel Days, 5 7 & 9, if it was trendy, you got THE BAG.

Time wore on and bags de-volved. No more draw string, thinner, cheaper plastic and everyone was on the bandwagon. Even the 'Marts (K & Wal). Now they are everywhere, clogging landfills, endangering wildlife and filling up my pantry. What were we thinking?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

March of the penguins

They marched across the plate like a tiny, edible army. "O-Ee-Yah! Eoh-Ah!." I thought I heard them chanting like the wicked witch's Winkie Guards; quite frightening for an appetizer. Must have been their pointy little "hats".

A wonderful friend at my old job made them special for me on my last day there. We were the olive girls; open a can of black olives near us and you could kiss them goodbye. Considering my obsession with all things penguin, a more perfect gesture could not have been made. Not only that, but they were delicious!

If someone tells you they ate a penguin at my party, do not be shocked. Now you know the secret.

Friday, June 12, 2009


When your life changes, even if it is for the better, things spin. The world whirls around you, and when it stops, you keep whirling, like a mad dervish, carried on my a bizarre inertia. Routines are different, timing is off, I am preoccupied. It is a world trying to seek its balance. Change is like that. I'm happier, for now I'm wearier, and eventually, as any drinker knows, the spins will stop.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

On the bliggity-blog

Okay, I admit it. I dig the Hulu. How could I not check it out when the ads are so good? Long having forgiven Denis for his Fogelberg bit (but it was funny), I'm always a fan of Leary's sharp tongue, bad attitude and quick, excellent delivery. He's the asshole (his words) you can't help liking. As for Hulu? Well, I'm bad about not setting the machine to record, so being able to pop over to Hulu and see Steve & Paul on Jimmy Fallon is a good thing. Maybe as a clip, maybe the whole thing, maybe just move the slider over and skip to the best part and that's it. Works for me. Still more of a You Tube fan, but for TV, Hulu's got my vote for now.