The drive home

When I left this morning, I had eaten breakfast on the terrace, in the sun. The view was of a small touristy town in Spain. It was sleepy in the morning, but was often overrun by tourists by midday.

We left before they even began the steep winding path down the mountain.

Four hours later, we had begun our ascent in the Parc de Cevennes. A large swath of dark grey clouds came forward like a marching army. We approached the cliffs, they formed an amphitheatre of rock, and then passed through a hole and into the tunnel. When we came out there was a place to stop. We ran in as it had started to rain. We bought sandwiches and when we turned around, a large gust of wind hit us and the rain blew in hard. 

For the next few hours we were in and out of rain, even as we passed the Millau suspension bridge, its elegants sails reaching high.

Coming up through the centre of France, we noticed the sharp change in temperature. People were wearing sweaters, shivering, over shorts.

Now home, I can hear the sound of raindrops on the roof outside my window.

@2 years ago with 1 note
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darkness

It’s almost midday and I need to turn on a light in my apartment.

@3 years ago
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Uncle Boonmee and Valhalla Rising

How do critics tackle a film that essentially speaks about what cannot be spoken, cannot be translated into words? That Uncle Boonmee either provokes wonderment or boredom is curious indeed. A few words on the inevitable old argument that there are those who are sensitive, those capable of sustained interest, those who’s conception of reality is far from the mere objects, those whose sense of metaphysical blah blah blah. Ok. Enough. That doesn’t really address it, I think. Boonmee barely has a story but it has the story that is the real story. It addresses the very arbitrary barrier between the banal and the unusual; and it does so with an economy of text and an excess of imagination.

On another tack, Uncle Boonmee is also an exercise in style and content working hand in glove. Which brings me to another film others have lavishly spread the appellation boring: Valhalla Rising. This is a surely a film made to alienate almost everyone. It’s essentially a Herzog, a Don Quixote sent to burn in hell by Nietzsche; and it’s most alienating aspect is that it is filmed like a Ridley Scott car commercial. The type of public that will like these horrible digital effects are the exact opposite of those that would go see a rather challenging non-mainstream film; the type of public that is flocking the Herzog and Kiarostami would never be caught dead advocating any film with this kind of over-burnished post processing overkill.

But that’s a real reason to care; a real reason to tip the hat! Here is a real auteur. Someone who understands the inherent aesthetic grammar of an art house film and still sticks to his tacky roots. Were the world be more filled with sympathy for these eruptions of madness, we wouldn’t have to suffer through the moribund discussions surrounding Hollywood faux geniuses (yes, Christopher Nolan. You do make me want to vomit).

@3 years ago
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Pink

Go counteract that morbid post, I find myself drinking a lot of pink grapefruit juice these days. Really quite refreshing!

@4 years ago
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All I do is eat

I’m hungry. I’m lying in bed. I can’t seem to get out. What to do? There is a pot of boiled rice on the stove but what I’m really craving is blood pudding, breakfast sausage, eggs and hash browns. What I’m really missing is a good shot at a heart attack.

Yesterday, I ate some ramen noodles with two poached eggs and broccoli, rice with greens and shrimp, carrots with cancaillote, smoked codfish liver with bread and finally, raw cookie dough. The day before I ate green fettucini with shrimp and basil, a natto sandwich, and a pomegranate. The day before that I ate chahan, Louisiana red beans and rice, Fried mahi mahi with spicy coconut on rice, four heaping teaspoons of peanut butter with jelly. All of these meals, save the Louisiana red beans and rice, came from my kitchen.

The question needs to be asked. Where is all of this food going? Why am I not running a restaurant? How long before my heart attack?

@4 years ago with 1 note
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I have stayed away from the whole MJ kerfuffle. I always loved his music and his dancing, and this never waned with the years, and so there’s nothing to mourn. What I did find very moving was Jermaine’s statement to the press.

@4 years ago
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juliasegal:
thank you internet! thank you graffiti!

juliasegal:

thank you internet! thank you graffiti!
@4 years ago with 418 notes
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affairs of the heart

are ill suited to airplanes, airports and nosy side passengers. It amplifies those voices in the basement that like to holler and bang pots, driving me to distraction. Floating in and out of consciousness with the subtle reminder of the body in the form of cramps, the sound of the air pressure sucking out waste products in flight, the casual flickering of whatever film is playing in front of me while all around the crazy compactness of it is growling constantly in grey noise, these are all very bad things for my brain. Some part of me is getting disintegrated in the displacement and I pray to heavens I can recover all the bits again.

But now I am back home, in this aged exquisite corpse of a city, digging into a carton of a cigarettes that cost me less than dozen oysters, bloodying my eyes with sleep deprivation and wondering how late it needs to get before I can grab a beer and pick up the phone.

Why do I even say I’m home? What is this place?

My home, the home of the heart, is somewhere nestled in the crook of arm, feeling him sleep with the weight of a leg thrown over my hip.

So I am homeless, again.

@4 years ago
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Why I agree with the strikers 

Everything I wanted to say about why I think the French strikes are not only important but positive has been said, and said better than I ever could, right here.

@3 years ago
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finished

In the last week finished Stephen King’s The Girl who Loved Tom Gordon and Casares Asleep in the Sun. Girl gets lost deep in New Hampshire wilderness; man gets progressively more paranoid when his wife gets shipped off to a psychiatric hospital by the local dog trainer. King writing so invisibly you can’t tell you’re reading; Casares writing so lyrically you laugh and cringe at the same time. Another great week of reading. Small victories against the Paris rain.

@3 years ago
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Still alive

That’s right. I’m still alive.

Malgré la manque de présence virtuelle, je continue. Malgré les accidents de montagne, les accidents conjugales, et mon instincte suicidaire, je suis là.

Pourquoi?

@3 years ago
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Complain Complain.

I’m going to say it quickly. I have been depressed and might still be in the throes of it. It’s odd how the thing just sneaks up on you, and then catches a hold of your life, paralyzing normal actions. You know, you know, you know…. Of course you don’t. How could you. Oh, you might. I’m not sure. I used to think it was laziness, or lack of willpower. There’s no doubt that there was an element of that earlier. But now it’s something else. It’s a dragon’s egg hatched into a cloud, except I’m in the centre and I’m not sure how gravity works.

@4 years ago with 1 note
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How does one begin to find the great family of food lovers? In little steps that grow to be giant when looked back upon. One of these steps, not long after I had discovered a copy of MFK Fisher lurking in the bottom shelf of my parents’ bookcase, was the viewing of Mireille Johnston’s remarkable food series, A Cook’s Tour of France.
In one great scene, Mireille, whose name means Mary of the Sun, walks through a green luscious field in Provence. She says “You wouldn’t believe this but I’m standing in a field of fresh basil. This is true paradise to me” I can’t really explain what mysterious electrical vibrations must have started at that phrase but they have haunted me since. What was basil, and why did it fill the writer’s mind up with ecstasy?
The combination of elegance, wit and simplicity that Mireille brought to each of her tours, the warmth she exuded, and her undeniable love of food was like a summons to me; a ringing of bells, and, to be dramatic, a personal cry to my heart.
It is with great happiness that I have found this series again. Merci Mme Johnston. Merci infiniment.
_______________
John Whiting’s Obituary is an excellent place to start for more information on Mireille Johnston.

How does one begin to find the great family of food lovers? In little steps that grow to be giant when looked back upon. One of these steps, not long after I had discovered a copy of MFK Fisher lurking in the bottom shelf of my parents’ bookcase, was the viewing of Mireille Johnston’s remarkable food series, A Cook’s Tour of France.

In one great scene, Mireille, whose name means Mary of the Sun, walks through a green luscious field in Provence. She says “You wouldn’t believe this but I’m standing in a field of fresh basil. This is true paradise to me” I can’t really explain what mysterious electrical vibrations must have started at that phrase but they have haunted me since. What was basil, and why did it fill the writer’s mind up with ecstasy?

The combination of elegance, wit and simplicity that Mireille brought to each of her tours, the warmth she exuded, and her undeniable love of food was like a summons to me; a ringing of bells, and, to be dramatic, a personal cry to my heart.

It is with great happiness that I have found this series again. Merci Mme Johnston. Merci infiniment.

_______________

John Whiting’s Obituary is an excellent place to start for more information on Mireille Johnston.

@4 years ago with 1 note
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@4 years ago with 1272 notes
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Strange melancholy morning, filled with fossil reading, Salinger, and a pervading sense of unease.

As I was walking from work yesterday, near nine with light still in the sky, I found myself opening and closing my book repeatedly, nervously, next to Abel. The temperature shift around six, from cool rain to stinging sun, was destabilizing. I felt fragile.

Here was a path I had taken before and yet it’s quiet shuttered windows all seemed unfamiliar. Behind those white lids were dark octopus lipped people, rolling around on plastic lace, and listening to music that would rhyme with a leaky tap.

The seesaw carrying two children had springs that swung too violently. I hated the sound of my shoes.

But now, looking back, I hear the false chime of birds from my alarm. It’s time to leave, isn’t it?

@4 years ago
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