July 1, 2012 § Leave a comment
He split half an oreo, not the way advertised, not by separating one side from the other, but by cracking it as Jesus might have broken the bread. This way there’s little doubt both of us have an equal amount of cream.
Mozzarella is made from buffalo milk. It tastes best when he’s a piece of my hair around a little finger with the thoughtful hunger of the Miser over the truffula silk. Those Italian fromageurs have lassoed the moon, oui, yummy, and soaked it in dew.
Blue was my favorite color when I was small. I remember distinctly taking a blue carton in the cafeteria queue, neverminding what percentage of fat that color represented. The frozen food chef on the other side of the aluminum counter rebuked my decision, told me I needed red.
So raw milk tastes like soupy ice cream. My first taste rests so là là! in my mind… that part of the mind that can make the taste buds imagine things that aren’t there. If milk was such all about and everywhere. If cows would always be feed what they were meant to eat. Soupy ice cream.
I read the entire series of The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney when I was in eighth grade, but found that I only liked the books up until the mystery had been resolved. The legal and social issues to follow the rehabilitation of her biological family were so anti-novel. This might have been my introduction to postmodernism.
June 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
In 2008 I canvased for the Democratic Party. By comparison, this electoral year I’ve been little less than present. This is due, partially, to my geography. I was following the French elections intensely for the weeks proceeding Hollande’s inauguration, which left little time to check NYtimes.com on a daily basis for the latest on the Romney vs. Obama front.
Yet the French elections have been decided for over a month now. Where am I? In truth: disenchanted. A jaded lover. Obama seduced me marvelously the first go-around, and I still remember his talking points as admirable ambitions. Unfortunately, what he said and what he’s done with my vote… c’est pas pareil. He’s proven himself malleable in the hands of les grands entreprises, fondant, easily dispersed and rendered ineffective. (Please, people, our power lies in concentration. Not in appeasement.) I’d the uncomfortable sense of betrayal, especially regarding environmental and energy policies. (Uncanny similarities in Obama’s and Cheney’s energy independence strategies are detailed here.) Given my other option, I seriously considered ignoring the elections completely this year and reveling in my ex-pat status.
Fortunately, cette petite idée wasn’t on the table long. Are my options only, really, Romney or President Obama?
The truth of the matter is, yes, in a way, if I’m to take without question, major media coverage. Here’s an unfortunate connection: those candidates granted press time are not there for free. By what magic a particular candidate finds the public’s eye can be best visualized as a trick in Mr. Monopoly’s top hat. (From my brief stint in a journalism program, I learned that major media is actually quite claustrophobic. Concentrated. With Midas money.)
The golden gods do not like Jill Stein. Who is this? Someone running for president? Why yes, and here’s something else: she has my vote. Dear reader, if you’ve been with me for awhile, you might remember my post circa summer of 2008 when I listed why I was voting for Obama. A major component of this list was headed, “I Dream in Solar Panels.” Environmentally conscious energy remains a major issue for me, as we are living, after all, in an era of unprecedented consumption. (For some visualizations of this consumption, I encourage you look at Chris Jordan’s photography and This Is Not Sustainable.) Energy is not only high in demand, the vast majority is toxic. Jill Stein, who is a physician as well, points out that cleaner energy models are not only an economic necessity, but has direct implications upon public health.
It’s imperative we understand that humanity cannot expect healthy, fruitful lives on a crippled land. We are of this world. Furthermore, the same cost-reducing incentives that have companies fracking have them growing wheat and cows in a juicy chemical smorgasbord. There has been little to no chemical oversight (as most are protected as “patents” and “intellectual property”) and the public has more or less let this slide since the reincarnation of agent orange as a pesticide since poison never looks very threatening. For all we know of this Iocane voodoo, we do know that it’s odorless and tasteless. (Yes. Please cue Battle of Wits from Princess Bride ’80s babies.)
I’m over it. I’m over this violence. So I went looking up one of the few political parties that takes our environment seriously: The Green Party. I’m lifting the following from Stein’s People’s State of the Union:
What we usually call “the environment” is really another word for Mother Nature’s economy. A business model that destroys our forests, our fisheries, our topsoil, our water supplies, our health, and our climate – is a business model that will inevitably collapse upon itself. And an economy that is addicted to ever-increasing supplies of oil is not only doomed, it is a national security disaster just waiting to happen.
The Green Party is inevitably bound and tied to greener environment = healthier economy, and is it ever. The future lies in renewables. The countries most able to realize this with be the most puissant. This sector has the potential to create entirely new markets, with jobs that demand less physical peril and more intellectual effort.
Additionally, Stein is willing to give local contingents the ability to act as best suits what faces the immediate community. The key here is that she would like to decentralize. Being a localist myself (and this is something that I adore about France: their pride in the immediate community) I’m excited to see a candidate who doesn’t pretend that Washington can possibly oversee the success of each and every city in the union. (On New-Deal-esque job creation):
Full Employment Program will create 16 million jobs through a community-based direct employment initiative that will be nationally funded, locally controlled, and democratically protected against conflicts of interest…This program will not be run from Washington D.C.. Our job in Washington will be limited to insuring that you have a say in how this program runs. Local communities will be responsible for putting this jobs program into practice through a process of broad community input and democratic decision…
A local focus not only reconnects us, as citizens, to our community, it gives us more economic freedom. I won’t get on my don’t-shop-at-Walmart soapbox here, but this initiative follows similar logic: if money rests with the community, that community has a future. Raise your hand if you want a future.
(Fighting temptation to make a pun about Dr. Stein healing what ails you. Just opened a bottle of wine.)
Salut. Here’s to you… and to breaking up the famously undemocratic two-party system.
June 24, 2012 § 1 Comment
The air of Saint Jean de Luz has been on round-about my lungs and following le petit Renault through a thousand little forests back inland. I haven’t shaken the sand out of my bag.
“In Cannes,” he said, “they import sand for their beaches just before the festival. Really, truly, Cannes doesn’t have any sand.”
“Ah bon? From which beach are they lifting all that sand?”
“Some other nook in France I’d imagine.”
“Pas le Caribbean? ”
“Je ne crois pas.”
“Well that’s a relief anyway. Yet maybe they should simply move the festival to that French nook with the right sand.”
“That’d never go down.”
“No. Yet. You never can say for certain.”
“I can say that this sand is Saint-Jean de Luz-iane.”
“Ah oui. Tout à fait.”
And I sat down in front of the mirror to survey the sun damage proudly noting the golden burn on my upper half, at least, was line free. Hell yes France and her topless beaches. Happier still to find I’d never undo what the sun has done here. He served me little salt cakes on a semi-glacial current that was so Wes Anderson bluey-blue I could have bottled its color to make some sweet cream icing later.
I walked into the sea slowly with an idea that I might acclimate painlessly. C’est folle. Here, round about my breasts, I realized that you simply have to turn off the mind and dive. Les vagues, tout frais, m’ont embrassé. Oh that smell. And that taste. It’s salt… won’t let me sink.
In every restaurant so close to the sea, if say, said restaurant does things the Basque way, oysters are served in their shells still gasping for air. You take them like tequila, with lemon, head cutting back to take it clean.
“Ils sont encore vivant?”
“N’y pense pas.”
(And lick your fingers when you’re done.)
June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
Black dress. I love you. You’re always so game for whatever I want to do. You go with glass, you go with steel, you go with cement and wooden bar stools. You even go with green grass if its cloudy enough out.
You go with champagne and you go with mojitos.
You go with my smile at her most sober and you go with my drunk laugh, that one where I awkwardly tilt my head back in a roll and all the lights look globular.
You go with Nietzsche and you go with Capote and you go with Tarantino and you go with Aristotle.
Woody Allen makes love to you with every film he’s made.
You go with red roses and ruby earrings and ripe cherries.
Daisies. Airy potato chips.
You would go with Venus if nakedness didn’t go better.
You go with love and you go with hate and you go with indifference.
(Oh starry night, save me from the latter.)
June 20, 2012 § 2 Comments
This time around, there were little means by which George could defend himself. In the same sort of helplessness he felt when faced with someone who believed in god, he heard himself fudge up his personal definitions – licking his thumb blending le cerne. Maybe he no longer had lines in his mind. Maybe he only had color.
So it was left unsaid that he’d studied cartography and spoke three languages fluently though whose to say that this knowledge would have changed the way Mr. Caraway thought of him. Is it truly possible, in utter honesty, to represent himself unabashedly himself, exhibiting his self evidence tangibly to Mr. Caraway and expect it to remain true in his hands? In his hands, god, my little man will be subjected to to all sorts of foreign fingerprints. I’ll keep him, thanks.
As far as Mr. Caraway was concerned, George knew numbers and didn’t mind working weekends. Caraway also imagined that George must have missed out on several necessary life experiences. George agreed with this silently.
June 15, 2012 § 3 Comments
L’avant veille de la nouvelle année, that would be four days before my plane landed in Paris, I found my phone in the gutter. It’d seen, at that point in the evening, perhaps three or four tires in their turn carrying the weight that comes with Toyota, dinner and a show, dresses hitting there at the knees and there at the elbow. (We were partying in Salt Lake City.) The screen was webbed with cracks in the glass (is it glass really?) and some sections completely pulverized to shiny sand. As someone addicted to Instagram, this made me sad.
Granted, I’d planned on buying another phone once in France (which I did… it does its thing), but there’s nothing like having a 2.5in by 5in of wireless in your pocket. I picked up the phone in a manner that I used to pick up the dirty grease rags in my father’s car garage, gently shaking the shiny sand away from my tiny wrist. I found some packing tape and wrapped it around the phone to keep what remained of the glass in place. I turned it on and imagine this: it worked perfectly.
It works perfectly, but it is undeniably disfigured to the extent I’d rather not humiliate anyone by putting it in the public’s eye, whipping it out for a picture of tonight’s dinner and white wine. So my time with it as been a decidedly solitary one, times when little to no one is around to inspect its imperfections and ask awkward questions about its past.
Voilà: I call this collection “L’œuvre d’instagram solitaire.”
June 14, 2012 § 2 Comments
This time last year, I’d just finished The Odyssey with a group of embodied inspiration (ahem. Jessamyn.) It took me a good month or so afterwards to work up the love for running again. As I explained to a friend not too long ago, the end of the race had me sliding in my own blood on the way down. Played it off at the end, like NO BIG DEAL this is what blisters do.
My body started sweating to something new (I think around this time I was taking my first hot yoga classes) and running found itself delegated to when-I-feel-like-it… maybe this week, maybe not. Maybe I’ll just go and get a glass of wine instead and talk to the summer flies.
Thanks to the incredible beauty of surrounding flora and fauna, I’ve started running more consistently again. With the express purpose of making people jealous, I created a little video of une petite partie du parc. This was also a good opportunity à montre what I’ve been learning.
(Its description on Youtube reads: Read an article that recommended running sans music from time to time… to tune in to your natural rhythm. Etc. Found it was harder to quiet my head. Oh Rimbaud, forgive my unforgivable accent.)