this past week i was en route to my haircut, parked my car, turned around and the entire lake was filled with sailboats. i love duluth minnesota. also, today kicks off birthday week. by this time sunday i will be 33 and probably face-full of a karaoke microphone if all goes according to plan.
in other weekly news:
blackberry cornbread tartlets with ricotta cheese: i found these berry nuggets of goodness in vegetarian times. simple. fun. tasty. healthy for a dessert. yumbo. RICOTTA! some kind blogger posted the recipe. make this.
READING THE INTERNET
mnspeak: the state's premier hate-commenters [and some smart people] descend on my story and try to discern the race of the person who robbed me.
favorite comments include:
rt quinlan's is an irish bar [only compared to dubh linn]
and it's in duluth! [yes]
i haven't had my writing dissected so thoroughly since fiction writing 101 workshops at st. thomas.
minnesotareads: jodi, who has personally turned the internet into a very fun playground, has added a big toy with a slide. this site contains book reviews, profiles and event listings for author readings. i plan to contribute as soon as i finish a whole book. until then, she posted a Q&A where i answer some very difficult booky questions. [had to email her to explain the one about fehrenheit 451, which i've read, but was still over my head.] FYI: i planned to link to this site before she posted my Q&A.
the wave: chuck, a local artist, was featured in this week's local entertainment guide. he gets more famous as we speak.
tinfoil viking science: steve, one of the more depraved bloggers to ever own a computer, writes fantastically disgusting things that are always, always, amazing and filled with puss and cockroaches. you don't know if it's true, but you suspect it is, and if it isn't, it's scarier. he makes internet appearances rarely, and it usually includes fire bombing my last six posts with comments. his latest piece does not disappoint.
"the hills": lc finds another dull pretty boy to blink rapidly about; audrina celebrates her birthday and lo proves time and time again that she was put on earth to make the wait staff at the country club cry into her lemon wedges and water. worst start to the season ever. i'm hoping i haven't outgrown this show.
"the wire" season five: i haven't experienced such a feeling of loss at finishing a series since i watched "six feet under" from start to finish. this has wedged its way into my top three, jostling for a spot with the aforementioned and buffy. so much random. so easy to relate to. and character who plays baltimore's mayor looks like our mayor.
thomas carcetti is strong on schools, and his race for governor.
this photo of don ness was taken without permission from here. but since the original photo was commissioned by and included chuck, i decided it was okay to use it.
MEALS TAKEN IN PUBLIC
bellisio's: all summer i have been clamoring for some al fresco dining at bellisio's and so that is exactly what we did to celebrate our second anniversary: a patio and the no-holds-barred bellisio's experience.
we started with a wine flight -- no. 13 to be exact -- two reislings and two gewurztraminers. then we got a bottle of riesling and a cheese tray that had a smooth buttery brie, something that tasted like a soft cheddar and a blue cheese that tasted like feet and basement "in a good way," we agreed. with grapes.
this led to another bottle of wine and entrees. i ordered lobster ravioli framed by grilled shrimp, per jcrew's recommendation. the creamy sauce is so loaded with flavor that i could only manage two bites before slumping in my chair stuffed, drunk and defeated.
chuck suffered a similar fate with his puttanesca. i only had a bite, but that bite was spicy and fantastic. chuck says it was "intense."
i tried to take a commemorative photo and could only create this:
then i said to our waiter: "how are you at calling cabs?"
this was among the greatest duluth nights of my life. i eventually slept 13 hours -- waking once at 6 a.m. to feed t-bag and think: hmm ... i can feel the wine slowly leaving my body. but by 1:30 p.m., i could have easily listened to someone hammering nails without wanting to strangle them with the loops on their carpenter pants.
ESSENTIAL RUNNING MIX
awhile back chuck made a really great 48-minute mix for pure enjoyment. unbeknownst to him, it is better than any running mix i have ever made. he's a natural.
since i frequently run into the "whats on your running mix" queries to readers on various blogs, i'm including this 10-song wonder. i'd never heard the majority of the songs before they came to me in the form of a playlist:
"it's the love" by the breeders [probably the weakest song, actually. kind of annoying and whiney and something i'd never listen to outside of a treadmill. also, a natural earworm. but it works for running.]
"cheap and cheerful" by the kills
"our life is not a movie or maybe" by okkervil river [no song has ever made me feel more like i was in a john hughes movie. this is actually my new favorite song.]
"saturdays" by cut copy [i like to picture myself in rollerskating in blue spandex with a pink braided headband and permed blonde hair.]
"one pure thought" by hot chip
"can i get low" by junior senior vs lil' jon [i have a hard time not dancing to this.]
"couleurs" by m83 [this song sounds like something out of 'bill & ted's bogus journey'. completely instrumental and once again, i've choreographed some pretty kicky moves in my head that i'll never try to do for real.]
"olio" the rapture
"indie rokkers" by mgmt. [my favorite song of the summer]
"highly suspicious" my morning jacket [not necessarily my favorite mmj song, but is great on this mix.]
SLOWLY READING A BOOK
"all the sad literary men" by keith gessen: i feel no need to differentiate these the three main characters in this book, since Gessen didn’t. Sam, Mark and Keith’s stories are each a chapter long and almost every chapter left me wondering “wait, who the hell is this again?” All three men are the sort of somersaulting naval gazers in ratty cardigans that are so hot when you are 22 and boring and pretentious and humorless when you are 28. Their voices are the same and their problems are versions of each other’s. They are unable — maybe unwilling — to be satisfied.
I didn’t notice until too late that the Table of Contents lists the character charged with each chapter. I could have used that decoder ring.
There is one fantastic chapter about Sam, wait, yes, Sam, who is working as a temp and obsessed with the dwindling number of googles attached to his name. He literally calls google to see if this number can be fudged in anyway, and invents a scam for his friend in IT to make it happen. His friend doesn’t want to touch it, google being a powerful enemy and all. Then some stuff happens involving a sex columnist. This chapter alone was great.
my full review is here.