Serena Sutcliffe, on Penfolds Grange (a famous Australian wine):
The 1960 showed the great drive of peppery Shiraz, with orange, coffee and peppermint, all of which are Grange signatures. We had the usual discussion as to whether the 1962 or 1963 was ‘better’, but it is a pointless exercise as they are both show-stoppers. I found the melting aniseed of the 1965 seductive, the liquorice-filled 1966 a mite drier, the plumy 1967 redolent of candied tomatoes, the stellar 1971 all black truffles, the 1975 reminiscent of peaty tobacco, the 1976 full of mint and bitter chocolate and the 1978 evocative of Cuban tobacco and log fire.
Ordinarily I don’t pay much attention to wine writing, but I think what Sutcliffe writes here is kind of wonderful (even though, to readers who don’t encounter much “wine writing,” it may appear stuffy in quite the ordinary way).
“The economists didn’t just single out the U.S. for criticism; 70% of participants said the response of governments around the world to the global recession has been inadequate. “The Europeans or Japanese don’t seem to be doing near enough to kickstart their economies,” said Nariman Behravesh of IHS Global Insight. “It could be we’ve done all the right things, but the rest of the world goes down the tubes.” (WSJ)
Even as the numbers rise, the numbers fall. As the numbers fall, so the numbers rise. On one side, too little is being done. On another, too much. Between all of them, I sense a fog disappearing, a growing perversity—as if, secretly, this was starting to look more like an opportunity than a disaster. Continue reading
Posted in Amnesia, Barack Obama, Buddhism, Capgras' Syndrome, Continuum, Crazy Ideas, Deconstruction, Derrida, Faustian Pacts, Manifestos, Political Philosophy, Psychotic Behavior, Quiet Elation, Smells, Sounds, The Good and The Bad, The Power of the Powerless, What is Meaning?
Tagged empires in the clouds
Today we will discuss how to get the most from your dining experience. It’s a difficult subject to explore, because everybody has different ideas and standards for what creates a positive experience. While there are certain factors—quality of the food, for instance—that are out of your control as a patron, you can maximize what a restaurant has to offer using a few basic principles. While this may sometimes—not always—result in spending more money, it will also, more often than not, dramatically increase your feeling of satisfaction. Continue reading
Posted in Adventures in Food and Drink, Cities, Drink, Fancy French Phrases, Food, imaginary landscapes, Loud Elation, New York City, Qualia, Quiet Elation, Smells, Uncategorized
Tagged Appetizers, Dessert, Maximizing Enjoyment, Rhapsodic Musings, Spending Money, Wine
The debate tonight was an inspiring experience for me, and I have found it, maybe out of a sense of perversity, to be a largely uninspiring period of time. It’s been so long that I’ve heard any public issue addressed in a reasonable, honest way, that when it happens I want to slap my hands and thank whoever is responsible for having the simple courage to say what is true.
This is the most important lesson to be learned. That it is possible to say things that are true, and that anybody can say them. Truth has its contexts, and it has its nuances, and neither the world of politics and business-the macro world-nor the even larger and more finely nuanced world of personal life-the micro world-can be helped by anything but a fire to accomplish something good.
The problem with saying something like that is that you, the reader, and myself, the writer, both immediately question ourselves, saying “Is that naïve? Do I have any fire to accomplish something good?”
You create effects of quality in all moments of your life. You experience the world-its breakups, its defeats, its sunrises and snowfalls-as good and bad. This simple acknowledgment, of the universality of complicated experience, signifies in any of us willing to step forward a fire to accomplish good.
Maayan told me about seeking “balance” in the visual design of her magazine. Continue reading
Posted in Amnesia, Barack Obama, Buddhism, Costa Rican Jungle, Crazy Ideas, Democrats, Faustian Pacts, Freedom of Religion, General Relativity, imaginary landscapes, Infinity, Manifestos, Mighty Mekong, Nature, New York City, Paradoxes, Please, Political Philosophy, Politics, Qualia, Quiet Elation, Smells, Sunrise, The Good and The Bad, The Power of the Powerless, The Spectacle, theory, Vertigo, Vietnam, What is Meaning?
I read this in the paper. Some guy talking about his company selling music on little flash drives that go in your cell phone. Not a particularly good idea, since people already seem to have music on their phones (how?). But his explanation blew me away:
“I don’t have to convince you to buy anything; you already own it,” Mr. Schreiber says. “I don’t have to convince you to carry anything; you’re already carrying it.”
Did he accidentally proffer an a anti-materialist koan instead of slick-selling his product? P.S.–this would make an amazing fortune cookie.
Business Idea: intelligent and erudite fortune cookie messages.
Business Idea #2: fortune cookie messages that actually tell the future.
Business Idea #3: the future.
As part of the routine death-scramble to keep my head above water in New York City, I have taken a series of restaurant jobs. The latest is in an iconic French bistro in SoHo, where a bottle of budweiser costs $8. I find it so strange to find myself in an environment like this–one which I habitually avoid as a necessary evil of living in this city–that I have decided to write about the experience, to try to understand it as much as possible.
My journal entry from yesterday:
“Working in a busy restaurant usually feels like being attacked from all sides. Continue reading
Posted in Advantages and Disadvantages of Living Abroad, Capgras' Syndrome, Celebrity, Cities, Coffee, Drink, Fancy French Phrases, Faustian Pacts, Food, Literary Impressions, Mayor Bloomberg, New York City, Psychotic Behavior, Smells, Sunrise, The Spectacle, Uncategorized, Vertigo
On day three, we went from Taleb to Baclingayan, which is a short five-hour journey up and down mountains (just like every other day!). We stopped at Kasiniyan River so that Moros could catch a spear full of fish for lunch.
Posted in Abra Province, Crazy Ideas, Filipinos Are Some of the Friendliest People, No More Diesel Exhaust, Politics, Rice Terraces, Smells, Sounds, Sunset, Travelogue, Trekking
I used to make one dollar per page typing my dad’s poems on our Macintosh LCIII computer. This was OK money for a twelve year old in 1995. It sure beat the paper route that got me the computer in the first place. Most of his poems were around fourteen lines anyway, which turned out to be decent money. There were the few poems that were three pages, more verse than poetry, and I would try (unsuccessfully) to increase my fee for those.
Sometimes I would come downstairs from my room after a long night of playing video games and I’d head to the kitchen for a sandwich and another Coke. It’d be 5 a.m., and my dad would be at the kitchen table either reading the poetry broadsheet 5AM or working on something of his own. I’d mumble a greeting — after hours shooting bad guys, I’m slightly unable to communicate, much in the same way as someone who has been alone in the forest for weeks. He, still unshaven and in his bathrobe, would look up from his coffee and reply — lost in his world of words, not images. It puzzled me that he would devote every morning to words. Continue reading
Fair Warning: This post will offend some of our readership with delicate and/or vegetarian sensibilities. It’ll offend people with normal sensibilities. Hell, this post offends me. The immoral fourth edition of Adventures in Food and Drink continues after the jump. Enter at your own risk. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
What is begun is combined
Initially it is a mezcla
of cosas like corn and wheatflour
speckled like cinammon in white tabemono.
At the stage of five, we cook
and the ingredients vanish
into a fiery inferiority.
The majoridad of veces we are unaware
of eating but when the food is gone
we are aware of that.
So our personalities are smears on
una plata para la camarera to clear.
We start on the page but grow like vines
Off it into this taciturn dimension.
Addicted to these sorts of hallucinations
which even a squirrel wouldn’t be.
And this is the state we find ourselves in:
seeking forms to deny
that a squirrel could teach
me how to be a man.
On the night of the inkwell
not a boy but a moth
jealously masked, hovering
outside the closed post office.
I hope I am never forced
to replace those waking moments
when you rolled over to ask
what year is it? what country are we in?
And later I confessed I wouldn’t
have even been able to decide with certainty
if I was a person or an object
or even how to set about making
It is the measurement itself
that we are unfit for,
so the suit can never be made.
The string is pulled on la combinattoire.
It falls, and I am doubled again.
This problem precedes me,
though I run at day and walk at night.
My most successful trick has been
to hide in late hours.
My kimono is crossed over my body
in a Matadorian proverb of insolence.
If it were polite, we wouldn’t fear it
so therefore I infer that it is a leering fool.
But of course we have instructed it to behave this way.
Our final chastistement, meaningless,
with no opportunity for reform.