Thursday, June 7, 2007

last post of the night

I need to go to sleep. I am exhausted, but I am worried about my daddy. going to see him ASAP. all I have to do first is 1) finish my interviews, 2) send in money for the speeding ticket I got the last time I drove through mississippi, 3) take my car to the dealership for a check-up, and 4) gas up and split town. thanks everybody for being so sweet this week...

street songs and more

new issue of wax poetics available now. check the website for downloads and more cool stuff.

blast off

on npr today, the fabulous kitchen sisters visit the hidden kitchen at nasa for this story about space food.

2007 hurricane season

let's hope it's a quiet one... interesting piece in thursday's new york times, right here, about the folks who can afford to buying second homes for evacuation. cajun country and hattiesburg, mississippi are both looking good. seven days into the season, and so far - for the gulf coast, at least - all is well. this forecast, found via a google search, is kinda scary.

I like the monkey's logo best

a swastika for the new world order

no wonder the rest of the world hates the UK and the USA... but does it really cause epilepsy?

when oprah met cormac: "he's no salinger," troy patterson reports

slate's troy patterson weighs in on the not-so-apocalyptic with a play-by-play here. mccarthy, patterson opines, "resembled j. peterman's idea of a wise ol' ranch hand: bright blue work shirt, handsome chinos, and boots that I don't think I can afford."

per his description, "cormac crinkled and twinkled - avuncular, patient, not entirely unsassy. he spilled forth the twang and soft grit of his voice in a seducer's hush you wanted to lean into."

oprah, not to be upstaged, slips into a "pretentious jessye norman intonation," wearing "a sky-blue v-neck and lipstick of a fuchsia shade perhaps deliberately de trop."

spill your scrabble tiles back into the box, my friends - with all these SAT vocabulary words, tp's gotta be the big winner tonight.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

crestwood high school, class of '87

today, I had to fill out a form for my high school reunion - I'm going with my best friend lynn. we had our own reunion easter weekend, when we got together at my folks' place down in gulf shores, alabama. anyways, I had to answer two questions and send in a check for $75 (who knows how much I'm gonna spend on clothes and a complete, panic-driven make over before the reunion itself rolls around a month from now). the questionaire was tough - it's hard to write an answer that's not alternately too humble or braggadocious, and one that still manages to sum up the last 20 years of life. I left out the thousands of beers I've drunk, the heartbreak, and years of banging my head against the wall, and somehow came up with this:

Q: what have you been doing since high school?
A: I didn't get to graduate from crestwood, because my family moved (dragging me, kicking and screaming, the whole way) to memphis, yennessee in october 1985. suprisingly, I never left elvis' hometown. after graduation, I dropped out of college after a few weeks, working at various record stores and music labels until I embarked on a career as a freelance journalist. since 2000, I've written about music, food, and southern culture for such magazines as blah blah blah. when I interviewed duran duran a few years ago, my first instinct was to call lynn ellis, julie wolffe, and kelley turner! my first book, waking up in memphis, was published in 2003. I occasionally work in the film industry - I've gotten credits for work on movies like black snake moan and 21 grams, and I just finished production on a documentary called respect yourself: the stax records story, which will air on beulah and mingo.

Q: what are some of your favorite memories from high school?
A: partying with leslie marsh and lisa and erika przybylinski in eighth and ninth grade, and hanging out with lynn and the gang at metroplex and 688 club every weekend in tenth grade. going to hear bands like ban k.a. camping out (without a car, because we were too young to drive) for U2 tickets with erika and christen montgomery. coach gann!! bringing a copy of iron maiden's "the rime of the ancient mariner" to english class. living down the street from tori pater. the great letters and photos julie, kelley and lynn sent after I moved.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

mo ryan on cormac on oprah

via jay on the goner board:

"he really responded to the idea that this book came from his love for his son - that’s definitely oprah territory. but so much of what mccarthy ended up saying was sort of banal - we should appreciate what we have, having children 'wrenches you out of your nap,' and so forth. and she was so astonished that he didn’t care about money or book sales. 'you are a different kind of author!' she said. yeah, possibly too different for oprah to really connect with."

more from maureen and patrick reardon on the chicago tribune website.

music biopics

great story in today's new york times about Hollywood's current crop of music biopics. coming soon to a theater near you: la vie en rose, about edith piaf, todd haynes' dylan biopic I'm not there, el cantante, and the joy division biopic. in the works: zoey deschanel as janis joplin, don cheadle as miles davis, and mike myers as keith moon. hopefully these will be better than the sienna miller/edie sedgwick debacle factory girl...

Monday, June 4, 2007

cormac on oprah - tomorrow

cormac will be on oprah in less than 24 hours. on the same episode - bono?!?! and michael moore. oprah, girl, don't fuck this up! I'm praying for ya! more news here.

fresh and delicious... and on paper.

maybe I need to 'fess up and change the focus of this blog to the culinary arts. there's just so much to think and say and read and do when it comes to cooking right now... last week, I got a ton of amazing food-related books in the mail - I am currently salivating over the flexitarian table: inspired, flexible meals for vegetarians, meat lovers, and everyone in between, a few new ones from jane and michael stern, how to pick a peach: the search for flavor from farm to table, and the fascinating looking african american foodways: history and culture. I'm also eating, eating, writing up some food stuff for the memphis flyer's annual summer food issue, watching the new spate of prime-time food competitions on TV, and worrying about my daddy, who's back in the hospital...

all hail the sushi king

the zen of fish- which is about the history of sushi in japan and the US - inspired me to pitch a story to the memphis flyer about
jimmy ishii, the south's sushi king. the indomitable justin burks (who took the "octotower" photo at left) and I sat in on ishii's sushi-making class at the viking cooking school last thursday, where I learned how to make regular rolls (spicy tuna and cucumber and crab) inside out rolls (california rolls), and hand rolls. it felt incredibly satisfying to eat my handmade creations - now I've got to shadow ishii at one of his restaurants next week, and interview "zen of fish" author trevor corson.

oh, jackie!

all you need to know about mr. jack oblivian, in an interview published here. interview by rich tupica and photo by theresa kereakes.

pimm's cup

do you have that one recipe that's your ultimate test? for me, lately, it's a pimm's cup, served new orleans style, with 7-up, lemonade, and a cucumber slice. the recipe in denise gee's southern cocktails: dixie drinks, party potions, and classic libations - published by chronicle - got it right. I'm not sure what to think about the fussy version in the advance material I received this weekend for the hearty boys' cookbook talk with your mouth full - it includes apple slices and san pellegrino limonata, but no 7-up. oh well - I'm not sitting at the napoleon house drinking either right now, just sipping a late-night iced latte while I try to focus on an as-yet-unfinished 850-word assignment with perry mason solving his mysteries in the next room... to read more about the history of mr. pimm and to get the recipes for various versions of his fabulous cocktail, go here or here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

happy dairy month

according to this article in the food section of today's new york times, june is national dairy month - and dairy alternatives month as well!

as kim severson writes, "we are, each and every one of us, standing together on the threshold of national surimi seafood month. june is also the month to celebrate papayas, iced tea, frozen yogurt, candy, soul food, steakhouses and applesauce cake. and whether you eat turkeys or simply admire them, prepare to party. june is turkey lovers’ month, too. at least 175 days a year are set aside in recognition of some form of food or drink. this puts a lot of pressure on the average eater. the week of july 15 alone starts with tapioca day, moves into fresh spinach day, national caviar day and national daiquiri day, and ends with national junk food day."

happy eating!

and for more reading, check out the indispensible chase's calendar of events.

in with the truckers and the kickers and the cowboy angels

sign this petition to help get gram parsonsinducted into the country music hall of fame.

roky erickson DVD

earlier this month, I was fortunate enough to witness roky erickson and the explosives sonically destroy a capacity crowd at the sixth annual ponderosa stomp. now, I just got news that palm pictures will release you're gonna miss me - the definitive documentary on roky, on DVD, this july 10th. special features include 90-plus minutes of roky rarities: uncut performances of starry eyes, bloody hammer, right track now, don't slander me, and cold night for alligators, footage from roky's emancipation hearing, and more.

a ding dong for ping pong

I spent the last hours of memorial day playing singles and doubles ping pong. when I lived in atlanta (5th-11th grade) in the '80s, we had a table in the basement, and my cousin shawn and I would play "anything goes" - hands instead of paddles, intricate shots off the wood ceiling framing, double- and triple-bounces. who knows, maybe I could've been the next marty reisman. this piece by nancy franklin, published in the new yorker a few years ago, whetted my appetite for the game; last night's battle royale solidified it. craigslist, here I come!

fahrenheit 64101

anyone read this article about the used bookstore owner in kansas city, who burned a ton of unwanted books over the weekend?

booksignings this week

at davis-kidd booksellers tonight: thomas schmitt and arnold perl signing simple solutions. wedneday, ann hood signs the knitting circle. thursday, richard courtney signs buyers are liars and sellers are too!

and don't forget to visit burke's book store in its new location at 936 cooper street in cooper-young.

ugly betty

according to this, the first season of ugly betty is coming to DVD on may 31st. what a great show - the season finale was one of the best primetime TV episodes I've seen in forever...

burn, k-doe burn!

big article on antoinette and ernie k-doe in usa today. wish I was at the mother-in-law lounge right now!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

on this date in 1919

obit -
wealthiest negress dead

mrs. cj walker, known as new york's wealthiest negress, having accumulated a fortune from the sale of so-called anti-kink hair tonic and from real estate investments in the last 14 years, died yesterday morning at her country estate at irvington-on-hudson. she was proprietor of the madame walker hair dressing parlors at 108 west 136th street and other places in the city. her death recalled the unusual story of how she rose in twelve years from a washerwoman making only $1.50 a day to a position of wealth and influence among members of her race.

estimates of mrs. walker's fortune had run up to $1,000,000. she said herself two years ago that she was not yet a millionaire, but hoped to be some time, not that she wanted the money for herself, but for the good she could do with it. she spent $10,000 every year for the education of young negro men and women in southern colleges and sent six youths to tuskegee institute every year. she recently gave $5,000 to the national conference on lynching. born 51 years ago, she was married at 14, and was left a widow at 20 with a little girl to support. she worked as a cook, washerwoman, and the like until she had reached the age of about 37. one morning while bending over her wash she suddenly realized that there was no prospect on her meager wage of laying away anything for old age. she had often said that one night shortly afterward she had a dream and something told her to start a hair tonic business, which she did, in denver, colorado, on a capital of $1.25.

if only honore de balzac were around to write about this...

today's new york times has a great story on burt and linda pugach today. apparently, there's a new documentary - appropriately called crazy love - about the pugaches. for those of you who don't know the story, linda was burt's mistress in the late 1950s. they broke up; she became engaged to someone else. he hired a trio of thugs to throw lye in her face, an act that left her disfigured and eventually blind. burt served 14 years in the pen, writing linda love letters all the while. a year after his release, they were married. I guess true love runs deep...

a genius exchange between the couple, as documented in ruth la ferla's piece:

hung alongside her suits, chain belts and ruffled blouses, was a collection of fur chokers she made herself from scraps of pelts. “I have to be doing something with my hands constantly,” she said.

"like punch me in the mouth,” her husband interjected.

“if I could find him I would,” she said.

cleaning out last night's cobwebs

last night, I drank two beer and four margaritas while watching a yardful of kids run around. this morning, as soon as I could get my eyes peeled open, I staggered into the kitchen and hugged my illy espresso machinewith both arms. actually, I wasn't too hung over, but I definitely needed a non-alcoholic pick-me-up.

in the US, gourmet coffee consumption has increased exponentially over the last decade. thanks to the starbucks chain, which has made “latte” and “frappuccino” household words. while high-end coffee shops aren’t as ubiquitous in memphis as they are in west coast cities like san francisco and seattle, they are definitely gaining ground: downtown, empire coffee, quetzal, precious cargo, café francisco, and newcomer bluff city coffee vie for thirsty customers, while midtown drinkers have otherlands, java cabana, high point coffee, and the deliberate literate to choose from. in germantown, there’s gloria jean’s, the java company, and more, while east memphians can belly up to the bar at the ugly mug, geekers, the original high point coffee location, and the café inside davis-kidd booksellers. factor in the eight starbucks outlets that dot busy intersections around town, and you’ll begin to feel the caffeine buzz.

but a coffee a day can get expensive – which is why many caffeine lovers - including me - are opting to brew their own at home. nearly every coffee shop in memphis – including high point coffee, otherlands, and quetzal – offers either whole beans or ground coffee for sale; both high point and quetzal also offer specialty blends via mail.

starbucks coffee and regional favorites like community’s coffee with chicoryand café du monde’s french roast are available in area grocery stores, while gevalia kaffeoffers a home delivery service that includes a twelve-cup stainless steel coffeemaker with your first shipment of grounds.

my grind of choice comes from italian importer illy a casa, which recently introduced a high-end espresso membership program that includes a sleek francisfrancis! X5 espresso machine at just a fraction of its $750 retail price, along with a monthly delivery of pods, whole beans, or ground coffee, conveniently billed to my credit card. does working at home justify the expense? today, after two cafe au laits sipped while watching patricia neal shatter lonesome sundown in a face in the crowd on TCM, my answer is a resounding hell yes.

Friday, May 25, 2007

word of the day - covetous

covetous, as in I want this, just one example of the cutest stuff ever, available at seamripper. found via print & pattern. check out the "fun" stuff, including downloadable desk calendars, recipes, and a holiday shopping list. I am not only covetous of miss seamripper's store - I am also covetous of her talent!

cov·et·ous [kuhv-i-tuhs]
1. inordinately or wrongly desirous of wealth or possessions; greedy.
2. eagerly desirous.
[Origin: 1250–1300; ME coveitous < AF, OF; see covet, -ous]

—Related forms
cov·et·ous·ly, adverb
cov·et·ous·ness, noun

—Synonyms 1. grasping, rapacious. See avaricious. Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

recycled newspapers

are now available at the container store.

were you a teenage popsicle?

I decided that tonight's the night to break out these tovolo popsicle molds and try 'em out. I've got a pineapple and lots of fresh berries, and, after reading this recipe at chowhound, I'm gonna get out the blender and get to work so that I have a freezer full of popsicles ready for memorial day. in the meantime, doesn't this book look good?

this just in! mccarthy-winfrey date set

june 5th. cormac on oprah. the proof is in the pudding, er, this impossibly fuzzy, postage stamp-sized photo. go here for the details. and, for the record, I love oprah! and cormac! I just can't fathom those two worlds colliding.