Saturday, December 24, 2016

Arms and the man

  Not so many hours ago, a
  rather loud head-of-state-
  to-be picked a quarrel in
  our language, with a mag-
  azine for its opinion of a
  with his name on it. We're
  all on notice, to beef up.

It didn't always happen, of course, that the arbiter of life and death on our minor little coil would plump for enter-prises blustering his name. We'd have said, lustering, but the neologism would have emptied the room, of anyone cognizant of the difference between a clip joint and statecraft.

  This is Christmas Eve, and
  we are circumspect where 
  the foibles of consumption
  are concerned. But it is
  as good a time as any, to
  reiterate a belief of long
  acceptance, that any child
  who hustles his weaknesses
  is incongruous as a hero.
  He's every bit as apt to
  adore our enemies, cave to
  our clients, and call for
  the middle of morning tea.
  You'd think he had lost, 
  or knew he did. 

Dance studio
  Betty Lasker, photography

Dinner at home in Washington
  Photographer unknown

Study for our masthead
  Ivan Terestchenko, designer
  Tassos Paschalis, photography

While other people do important things

 you don't always
 have to be there


  Luca Finotti

  Joost Vandebrug

  Stanley Kubrick

Friday, December 23, 2016

Suppose it were Friday cxx: Great party

  Somewhere between being
  happy, and fluent in be-
  ing amused, the face ac-
  quires a stylish guard,
  an ornament of bone or
  horlogerie to deflect a
  search as with a shield.
  It doesn't always work.

  The beguiling expedient

  shows a little wear and
  tear, this time of year,
  but who would ever tell
  the hour of its leaving?

iv  Joost Vandebrug 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Waffling well

  It is not unprecedented, in
  this week of the calendar,
  for souls even as stern as
  ours to drift out upon rev-
  eries inspired by our cul-
  tures' adaptations of the
  fruits of the field as well
  as the vine - dried, confec-
  ted, fermented, fresh; and,
  allowing thus our guard to
  drop, to latch upon a treat.

Having cast my lot against
I can not expect much mercy 
anymore, toward how I handle
breakfast. I think I get the
flag, in other words, but I'm
not so sure about the amplifi-
er. Why the incorrigible must
seem delightful at that time
of day, must be how the waffle
got its reputation. 

Still, we do wince at infidel-
ity to expectation, enough to
shift Michel Roux's brilliant
notion for breakfast, to that
late night sphere of nightcap
snacks, when most of the wit-
nesses have found their way
to the other side of the door.
For, if breakfast is indeed
the feast of greater triumph
for our finest cocktail hour,
at least the waffle could not
care less when it is served.

What occasion could be more
practiced in the art of in-
dulgence, we needn't ask of
Christmas Eve, which proves
there is at least one night
a year when anyone's blog is
relevant -- and what is any
amplifier worth, that can't
exploit the sounding board
of the groaning board of in-
gredients beyond expected

Waffle Sauce Café et Drambuie

             In a small saucepan, warm 1 cup maple syrup,
             then add 1 tablespoon instant coffee, dissol-
             ved. As soon as the syrup is hot but not boil-
             ing, take the pan off the heat and whisk in
             1/4 cup vodka and 1/4 cup Drambuie, not too
             vigorously [perish the thought, Ed.]. Cover
             the sauce with plastic wrap and set aside in
             a cool place. Before serving, gently re-heat
             and stir in 8 coffee beans, freshly crushed.

Michel Roux
  Sweet and savory,
  classic and new
Kate Whiteman
Martin Brigdale
  [Glenfiddich Prize, 1997]

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


The gentle hardware we once
used, against our temperate
Winter, fails now to defend
against a savagery absorbed
with our destruction immed-
iately. His flatulent pride
is a lunge against our qui-
et habits of learning, hab-
itats scattered with just a
few thousand printed pages,
due for critical recital in
a calm he can not tolerate.

Who will miss the lock, now
his invasion's so official,
against which ardour's leap
is only a reflex of what we
meet each other for, again?

    How many times, Tacitus?
    How often go we down the
    road so paved by tenors,
    laughing at the thought:

    Plunder, slaughter, dis-
    possession:  these they
    misname government; they
    create a wilderness and
    call it peace.

Edmund Keeley
A Wilderness Called Peace
  A Novel
Simon & Schuster, 1985©

i, iii  m-ban

iv     Joel Andrew

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Yeah, they thought this one through real good

    America's little Electors had
    a blast yesterday at College,
    restoring us to autocracy's
    genius for Due Process, re-
    viving Executive calumny for
    citizens who speak ill of The
    Tronald, by tweeting them to
    the Dump, and letting loose
    to threaten, mock, revile and
    ostracize the intemperate from
    his preciously smart councils.

    Next time they open a College,
    who will be there to choose?

Leonard W. Levy
Origins of the Fifth
  The Right Against
Oxford University Press, 1968©

i  Andreas Lindquist

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Last evening?

I loved the house today. All
afternoon, the aromas of the
slowest sustainable braising
of veal cheeks in a mirepoix
of carrots, celery, shallots,
onion, garlic, anchovy paste,
clear beef stock and a gagli-
oppo from Calabria gave us a
thought to crush some pine
nuts for a pesto, for a light
course of pasta first; and so
the basil, in its brightness,
floated gently above the ten-
derness simmering on the hob.

                         It's not even a nut-
                         it's a little seed -
                         but its place in
                         cooking, in at least
                         one instance, is

To this day, the Presidency
of the United States had not
been mislaid. It would be the
last evening, the authorities
advised, when it would be pos-
sible to say this. Tomorrow
would be soon enough, to see
if they were right. This day
would be for Sunday dinner's
blessings to fill the house,
and guide us to a happy rest.

Marcella Hazan
  and Victor Hazan
  I pinoli
Scribner, 2016©