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Saturday, August 14, 2004

Niece 



She was getting so bored and restless in her chair, left to her own devices for minutes as the grown-ups lunched and talked about things that sounded boring. Acknowledging her with the camera was exactly what she needed, a reminder of her own intrigue and importance.

She can already point to where uncle is moving on a map ('washton dizzy'), and a few days ago while we were playing with a United States jigsaw puzzle, she put the piece for D.C./Maryland/Virginia right where Tennessee should have fit. She looked at the construct for a moment, pleased, then told me it was my turn to install a state.

My parents will be driving my furniture and other belongings up to the city after I've found a more permanent place to reside, hopefully in a month or so [now is the time when we all cross our fingers for a speedy Stafford disbursal]; I hope my sister comes along as she says she will, and that she brings her daughter, for I think that the little girl has finally reached an age of utter impressionability, capable of both fear and awe, the proverbial blank slate upon which experience is begging to be engraved, and we all know from the movies that, for a rural bon vivant, nothing quite encompasses all of those things like a trip to Metropolis. I think she will be enthralled by the scale of the open mall, the sheer numbers of people on the sidewalks, the density of habitation and industry, and, of course, the cherry trees (though I suppose that will have to wait until next year).

Back to pretending like I'm packing.

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Friday, August 13, 2004

Julia est morte 

Julia Child was the original gangsta of instructional televised cooking. Against her example, Emeril Lagasse has the skills of a high-school drop-out who took a few vo-tech courses to become an auto mechanic. She pioneered and represented a fluid ideal of conversationalism (that has since been appropriated by everyone from Martha Stewart to John Lurie) that served to mask knowledge with easily digestible (ha!) packets of anecdote and on-the-spot improvisations. Her style was without pretense, as even she recognized that, in order for American cuisine to approach cultural sophistication, one must look to the regions that have historically done it best.

On a less eloquent note, I think I ended up watching "Baking with Julia" the first time I smoked pot, concretely establishing my love of good pastry. She was quite the wordsmith as well, so enjoy a few of her epitaphic remains:

"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work into two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet."

"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then I just ate."

"Life itself is the proper binge."

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Thursday, August 12, 2004

Mas fino 



Today marks an amazing second burst of sweetly cooled Canadian air. God bless you, northern latitudes, for radiating away all of the heat and humidity that normally blankets us and replacing it with an incomprehensibly calibrated room temperature climate.

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Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Verständlich (thousands of years ago...) 

I'm going to make a suggestion to the population at large: whether or not you are an admirer of Cartoon Network's brilliant suite of Adult Swim programs, do yourself the tremendous favor and seek out the episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force entitled "Cybernetic Ghost Of Christmas Past From The Future."

Sure, you want to be all adult and deny your passion for animation, and, admittedly, ATHF follows an excessively free-association format, but, and I speak with utmost sincerity, just yield to this episode.

Also remember that an important aspect of watching comedy is how one primes oneself for the experience. Order humorous endeavors according to increasing magnitude, so that, for instance, one watches (most of) a terrible, bland installment of "Last Comic Standing*" immidiately prior to popping in the Aqua Teen DVD. This ordering ensures a properly calibrated sense of humor, analogous to sampling volatile odors before drinking wine.

Actually, in the case of my specific example, it more accurately allows one to experience something of a comic version of the bends. "Last Comic Standing" was so terrible (the producers obviously avoid showing the laughing crowd during acts, and on the rare occasions that such camera angles were marginally permitted, it was obvious that the crowd was bored, still, and out of sync with the laugh tracks) that I ended up pleading for something else. When the ATHF hilarity made its way into my bloodstream, I laughed so hard that I locked up, red faced and tear covered, in something I can best describe as a silent tension laugh, every muscle in my body clonic, trying desperately to simultaneously look toward and away from the television. In spite of the headache that followed, I was remarkably content, likely from the liters and liters of endorphins I squeezed out into my system.

In fact, I recommend that everyone watch this episode twice daily, with a meal, for general well-being.

*Certifiably the least entertaining show on television, only funny in an ironic, kitschy sense; do not watch for extended periods.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Burlesque 

I can't sleep, so, naturally, I get online and start trying to find listings for interesting burlesque theaters in the Washington D.C. area. Am I looking in the wrong places or is it true that dee cee is as burlesque-free as it appears?

Now I'm not talking your average strip club, those can be found anywhere at the drop of a hat. I want the corseted ladies who fancy elbow gloves, heels, and little else. I want the stage act, the 'concealed banner,' sobbing trumpets, throbbing bass drums, "where the strippers go insane"; girls with names like Francine the Tulsa Wildcat, Eartha Quake, Flash O'Farrell, Zorita and Nudema; most importantly, I want all of this without having to live in Los Angeles.

So please, please don't tell me I'm moving to a city with no burlesque.

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Sunday, August 08, 2004

Oh, baby 

Bet I get you naked by the end of this blog.

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