Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Redux

My brother was unable to make it home for Thanksgiving this year, so this photo-, cinema-, and orthographic recounting of the day’s triumphs and failures is dedicated to him.  Until Christmas, hermano

In The Beginning...
There were ingredients.  And they were beautiful.  Multi-grain and country loaves from Seven Stars Bakery; butternut squash from Allen’s Farm in Westport, MA; honey from Farmacy Herbs.  This was my first year prepping in collaboration with my mom.  I felt

And The Ingredients Became Digestible (well, most of them)...
My dishes:

1) Homemade stuffing made with diced apples, onion, rosemary, local honey, kosher salt and pepper.  Oh, and lots of butter.  My one gripe: I didn’t have any fresh rosemary on hand to use in this dish, like I did when I made this dish for Friendsgiving last week (to much approbation).  I substituted this dried rosemary/garlic blend instead and I wasn’t cray-cray about the results.  Neither were my relatives.  It made the stuffing taste...empty?  Lesson learned.

2) Butternut squash with local honey, nutmeg, dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and my secret ingredient: cayenne pepper. This was a hit, with a  kick.

3) Hummus from scratch (chick peas, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, tahini).  Another hit.
4) Sigur Rós, which I introduced to my mom and we spent the whole day enjoying. If five years ago you had told me that one day I would be listening to Icelandic post-rock in my mother’s kitchen while we cooked Thanksgiving dinner together, well, I  just may have believed you.  But, nonetheless, it was pretty smashing to mellow, create, and confect with mom. 

My mom took care of the rest of the spread (her juiciest turkey to date, thanks to a new tip about how to slice; spinach casserole, a personal fav; plain stuffing for my dad because he won't eat anything remotely exotic/creative; creamed corn; and pumpkin mousse from her culinary bible: Cooking Light magazine (this is not to be confused with her actual bible, which is a King  James)). Clearly she bore the brunt of the work. But we had fun, and my participation in the preparation precluded me from cleaning up 
afterwards (sorry Dad!) (sorry NY Times Style Guide!).

Friday, November 26, 2010

And then there were four...

Again, thanks is due to Mike Boissoneault at Providence's Black Lotus for my fourth tattoo (he also did my third).  My goal is to do three more before my 30th.  Side note: I could get tattooed on my inner arm all day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Poetry via Post-Rock: Flugufrelsarinn


Trace my silhouette –
easy once,
it was
broken lines
now aroused,
a violent cleanse

your purple crayon,
free from protocol
(those insidious hegemonies)
traipses skyward
an outline
an outlier
a bloodline

screeching through the ether
like the most beautiful
perfection dovetailing a
sonic dissonance

luminescent aubergine
cradles a newly crystallized ego,
free from buzzing
free from bruising
(an alabaster abortion)

your efforts,
in vain no more.
each fly caught
each i dotted,
by a stoic hand
no longer harried.

[ jh ]

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Every-thing's a-Better with a-Fruit

This has been a week of infusions for me. Inspired by a Local 121 tasting table at last year's Wintertime Farmer's Market at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket, I decided to undertake my first alcohol infusion. So you started with a small test batch, right Jeremy? In case things didn't go exactly according to plan?

Nope. Spent $75 on a large ball jar with spigot, $80 on vodka and had a pretty 'spensive 'fusing party in my kitchen. Ingredients? Three red grapfruits. Three bunches of bruised tarragon. Three litres of Absolut. After four days I strained half of the concoction through a coffee filter (thinking a cheesecloth might go a little quicker next time), preparing it for consumption (I'm thinking with soda water). Going to let the remaining half sit for three more days and see if I can taste a difference. Current thoughts after some preliminary tasting: use a smoother vodka next time (maybe Chopin?) so the vodka can be enjoyed on the rocks.

Next on my list was a little ditty I caught wind of while on the West Coast. This mediocre restaurant (see #5 here) had a giant vat of water sitting on the bar with cucumbers soaking in it. Next to Fiji, it was prolly the best water I've consumed. Can't be too hard to replicate, right? Actually, that's exactly right. Purchased a beautiful blown glass pitcher, one cucumber, and turned on my faucet. Two caveats:

1) The shelf life of this medley is about 3 days. Keep plenty'o'cukes on hand.

2) This pitcher + cucumbers-in-the-water made for a trickling all over my floor every time I attempted to pour. Remedy: a wooden spatula (it makes the whole act of pouring that much more performative, which is excellent for dinner parties. "Oh, allow me!"). Conversely: purchase the aforementioned $75 ball jar with spigot for use. Perhaps (or, most definitely) the sealed lid would prevent the water from tasting like wet sickeningly soft cucumber skin after 3 days. Or maybe I shouldn't use 3 week old cucumbers (has anyone noticed the serious presence of the number three in this blog post? Someone's going out to play his lucky numbers!).

3) There isn't a third caveat. But there's that eerie three again.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Poetry via Pop: Be Mine! (Acoustic)

Be Mine! (Acoustic)

Eversure & evergood unwind
'tween the perspirations
& intersections
& lying disrobed, legs elevated
my body, an "L"
segmented, not awkward
ninety degrees of innocuousness
fine'ly letting go things once perseverated
the cats sense the longing
& indulge in their prickling
you shift your glance toward
I'm cradling my timeworn relic
ancient in its newness
but the dust beseems
and remains --
your relic, so recently
shines & pulses
like a discarded placenta

They neverwere & neverwill be mine

[ jh ]

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Being Gay in 2011

This past Friday, I had the honor of attending the Youth Pride Fundraiser, Living Out Loud, at the Biltmore Hotel. This event – unbeknownst to me until my boss called me into her office on Tuesday with, “Jeremy, I don’t mean to engage in any profiling here, but would you like to attend this fundraiser on Friday night?” – was one of the highlights of my week.

Youth Pride, Inc. has always been this sort of nebulous beast for me – partially because groups like it did not exist in my pastoral suburban sphere growing up – and while I’ve sought to get involved, nothing ever really materialized. But being present at the event on Friday, meeting some of the pillars of Providence’s LGBTQQ community, and chatting with youth for whom YPI is a vital support, has galvanized me to reach out and connect to the community of which I should be an active vibrant member.

And if attending Living Out Loud was one of my highlights of the week, my highlight of the night was without question making the public debut of my breakdancing moves, to the unadulterated support of the YPI teens. Thanks gals and guys, for not judging a fledgling.

Some great folks I met (all photography by Krista Handfield):

Mark & Mark (& me)

Russell Ferri & Michael Fornier

Delia Kovac & Sarah

The YPI Crew

Friday, November 5, 2010

Poetry via Pop: Be Mine!

Be Mine!

Six dutifully measured steps
trail this spectre, incognito
soft words, wisps, emanate
like milkweed thrashed
and strewn

Steadfast in my sightline,
following the horizon and
panning left, waiting for the silent slip
the embrace of nocturnal umbrage

it’s not the easiest thing --

unraveling a wont heretofore enmeshed
but if this lifefire can descend slowly,

beckoning to the hoarfrost:
“come hither, pervade”

then so too shall I unravel

your scarf that once warded off the chill
now strangles unabashedly

[ jh ]

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Gratitude via Print

I’ve decided not to buy greeting cards anymore. From here on out it’s creation over consumption – a mantra I feel extends well beyond the confines of Hallmark. So to offer my thanks to those who donated to my half marathon, I created my own cards.

It was my first time delving into the medium of the linoleum block. It felt good. Advice I should have heeded, had I the tool: place a warm iron on a piece of cloth over the block to soften the linoleum. The room temperature block was a little unwieldy to my incisive carving tools.

The final product.

Now onto the envelopes. With a surfeit of East Side Marketplace bags in my apartment, that was easy. Plus, the bags have such gorgeous colors. I’ve gotten it down to a science now – 5 envelopes per bag. Groovy.

I needed a return address label. This was the most difficult to execute. Namely, because my grooves were never deep enough. I re-carved this block at least 5 times before I reached a depth that remained free from ink after rolling.

Finally, Ginny offers her paw to ensure the proper tension on the drying wire for my latest batch. Thanks, Ginny.

Poetry via Pop: Fire Bomb

Fire Bomb

It's not the ululations of this
swollen pumping mess
that concern me anymore,
nor the uncertainty of a spark
nor dream's banality

but this warm blood coddling me
crashing through tissue flaps --
these sanguine apertures

oxygen again flowing,
ebbing toward an inner shore
where once there stood a you

i'm alien, no longer frozen,
burning through a helluva memento
and i don't even own a microwave anymore.

[ jh ]