Archive for February, 2006

Joan Didion makes a peanut butter sandwich

Posted in hit bull win steak on February 28, 2006 by samsondoggie

A ray of hunger rankled my stomach. Hunger evokes an imperative of inner unrest sobering my mind. I open the door to cabinet in my apartment kitchenette. The door squeaks. Like my stomach. And I begin to scan for what some might term a solution, or a quick fix, or whatever pastile might answer my ailment. I read that food is medicine. I read that the first thing a sick person wants is a bowl of soup. When I was interviewing people in California about their childhoods, without fail, each one associated their past with food.

I think to myself that a lesser god in a lower celestial invented peanut butter. I plough my plate knife through lead clouds.

Wonder.Bread. Together, the words form less than the parts. Alpha and Omega, God and Mammon, Wonder and Bread. I read that children cannot recognize the taste of peanuts without the cue of the white spongy milled grain accompanying it across their palate for some many years. The bread absorbs the oils. Once cut, the bread seals at the edge.

These peanuts come from Georgia. The bread comes from mills in Minnesota. Did Carter and Mondale personify a sandwich?


The end is near

Posted in hit bull win steak on February 27, 2006 by samsondoggie

John made us proud this morning. I will write as opaquely as possible, but let’s just say that he made the Giant Step. No more diapers.

I was on the phone with Susie to hear a report on the details:

“You are going to be so proud of John,” she says. “He has a Big Announcement. John, tell us what you did…”

John stands up. He is ready to grab the phone. Like the rest of us, he walks while he talks. But first, he points at his product. Whereupon, he drops his matchbox car into the pot.

“Hold on,” Susie says.”
“Oh no! Oh no…” line goes dead.

What I have since learned is that a series of accidents followed. John picked up his car. Susie grabbed the car with a wipe. The wipe and the car went away. But Samson picked up a wipe from the pot. He dropped it on the floor. I think it spiraled from there.

Did you ever go to a dinner party that turned into eight people listening to one person provide their medical narrative?

Mennonites strike oil

Posted in hit bull win steak on February 22, 2006 by samsondoggie

What a just world it would be, if only Mennonites discovered oil more frequently. That is what happened over the weekend, though. Imagine how differently our political allegiances would shift. Instead of overlooking fundamentalist beheadings, we would be straining to demonstrate how to live simply.


Susie was going over some of the portraits made by Annie Liebovitz. Some thoughts:
Her portraits show beautiful celebrities, but they also show their humanity. Carly Simon has a bruise on her leg in her portrait with James Taylor. Robert Penn Warren’s chest sags. Linda Rondstadt, caught in an unglamourous moment in her California home, is less a star than just one of us. In fact, the relative absence of flaws in the appearance of Calvin Klein seems to reflect some shortage of character.
She spent a lot of time developing picture ideas. She conceived elaborate photo costumes for Mariel Hemingway, Whoopi Goldberg and Bette Midler.


Posted in hit bull win steak on February 20, 2006 by samsondoggie

Susie and I watched Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore on Friday. This is a 1972 movie starring Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, and Harvey Keitel. I don’t want to write about the movie or its significance or its stars, but instead to think about some passing reactions to seeing a film in a distinctly different time.
First, maybe it was the sun soaked views of a far more empty American West or the highly saturated film stocks shot for interiors in the movie — I don’t know what specifically, but images can evoke memories like few other things. I suppose the important aspect of the film is the landscape shots of their small station wagon wandering across a limitless horizon. The image is of small people in a world that seems very big.
People make fun of the 70s. Mainly, that fun pokes at clothes or music or other fashions. Alice, the character whose name makes up the subject for the title, wears clothes that would fit better with a little lycra and drinks beer from cans with peel-top lids.
But say what you will, the 70s had a lot going for it. After the chill of Silent Springand the OPEC embargo, people really shared a sense that they could do something about this big world, if they just got together and did something about it. And they did. They got together and did some things. You can see it in the laws they passed – like the Environmental Protection Act or the creation of a Department of Energy. You can see it in the President they chose — Carter — Or, you can see it in the light filled landscape sensitive housing that was popular back then.
It wasn’t all great — I think Generation Y will best them for public service and certainly people coming of age in the 70s consumed some products that are best left not emulated.
Thirty four years later, Alice and her son have finished their journey. We have, too. The world is no longer limitless. In fact, every day it feels as if it is growing smaller. You can choose to forget about it, wall up in an SUV and turn on your IPod, but can you really run from bird flu or President Bush’s surveillance? Nope! Globalization and its partner, digitalization, are the things that define this decade.

Rosie stands!

Posted in hit bull win steak on February 15, 2006 by samsondoggie

Rosie stood. She released her arms from a nearby rail and held a standing position. It was for the first time Monday, February 13th.

She kept her balance for almost 30 seconds, so this is something that she’s been ready to do for a while, apparently.

She does not bend her knees. They are stiff. She lifts her arms up high. She wavers between elated and terrified. Then she claps and smiles.

These pages will hopefully have art to come of the moment. It was recorded.

Rain on Diane

Posted in hit bull win steak on February 11, 2006 by samsondoggie

Why doesn’t it just turn to snow? It must be 38 degrees and drizzling today. My least favorite kind of weather. Today we need to get out. How and where? How about Hecht’s!

Good weather for bean soup. Good weather for chai.

Today would be a good day to go to a matinee on Connecticut Avenue.

Diane Arbus probably liked rainy days. She was that kind of person. You might see Diane at a county fair, but you had better hope that she did not want to take your picture. I can hear it now, “your momma’s so…., Diane Arbus took her picture.”

We have one of her books. I notice that Diane Arbus didn’t start taking photography classes until her late 30s, and didn’t have any assignments until she was 42. She only lived into her early 50s. When MOMA put on a retrospective of her work, it was sold out in various traveling exhibitions for seven years.

She is well explained by her criticism — “her photos are not about pushing the button,” to paraphrase Hilton Kramer, “but about the human process that took place prior to the shutter’s release.” The human process is one way of putting it.

But I wonder what actually transpired. Her subjects don’t look radiant. They don’t laugh. They look like they’re asking to have something repeated one more time. “What did you say, Diane?” The people in her pictures look uniformly taken aback — as if Diane had said something that made them stop, shudder, stare, or gasp. Her pictures have little to do with where they are taken. Some of her best portraits are in hotel rooms.

Clif Edom would not be pleased. I imagine some big crossed arms on Clif. That’s how Diane would photograph Clif. Looking unsatisfied.

Super Bowl Sunday

Posted in hit bull win steak on February 5, 2006 by samsondoggie

Super Bowl Sunday is poorly named. Maybe Super Big Blowhard Deal Sunday. Or maybe, Not My Kansas City Team again the year Sunday. Or maybe, What Patriotic Theme can we Adopt to Sell Beer and Gas Guzzling SUVs with Sunday.

But if you had to explain it to a person from the community formerly known as the Bruderhof, how would you describe it? (It deserves better than those descriptions.) And the hype needs to be explained as well. I have tried today to make a case for how this event is some kind of thing that unites us, that we all have in common, at a time when we are otherwise fragmented as a society. Also, that the advertisements are great.

What was Super today?

  • roly polies down the hill at Overton School.
  • Annie’s apple crisp
  • Getting an A1 Sunday article in the Salisbury Post on CRA-NC
  • new pictures of Rosie
  • Dark Beer Advertisement: players playing pickup football the way that drink their beer; darkly.
  • Sharpie click-pen Advertisement with Captain Hook.

Was your day Super?

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