This Is Strange

March 13, 2018


What’s with the disembodied hand trend on the cover of cookbooks?  Two of the most popular cookbooks in recent years feature them; in fact, the covers look suspiciously similar to one another in more ways than just that one.  So, what exactly is happening here?  Why do I find this a little bit… scary?



This eerie similarity is not enough for me to not want these cookbooks, though, just for the record.




March 6, 2018

So I started an homage to great similes elsewhere (cough cough).  This one below is too long for me to incorporate there, but is still excellent, for so many reasons.

Yeshua’s kingdom apparently exists in ever-changing resemblances. He does not say what it is, only what it is like. It’s like a tiny seed. Like something inside you. Like a pearl you’d give everything to possess. Like wheat growing among weeds. Like the camel climbing through the needle’s eye. Like the way the world looks to children. Like a servant making good use of the master’s money. Like getting a day’s pay for an hour’s work. Like a crooked magistrate, who has fixed the case in your favor. Like a narrow gate, a difficult road, a lamp on a stand. Like a wedding party. Like a wedding party where all the original guests have been disinvited and replaced by random passers-by. Like yeast in dough. Like a treasure, like a harvest, like a door that opens whenever you knock. Or like a door you have to bang on for hours in the middle of the night until a grumpy neighbor wakes up and lends you a loaf. The kingdom is––whatever all those likenesses have in common. The kingdom, he seems to be saying, is something that can only be glimpsed in comparisons, because the world contains no actual example of it. And yet the world glints and winks and shines everywhere with the possibility of it.

~Francis Spufford , Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense



February 20, 2018

“Rabbi Baer of Radoshitz once said to his teacher, the ‘Seer’ of Lublin: ‘Show me one general way to the service of God.’

The zaddik replied: ‘It is impossible to tell men what way they should take.  For one way to serve God is through learning, another through prayer, another through fasting, and still another through eating.  Everyone should carefully observe what way his heart draws him to, and then choose this way with all his strength.'”

~Martin Buber, The Way of Man

A Tweet

February 13, 2018

Whenever I am scrolling through Netflix and I see one of their own productions in the “trending now” or “critically acclaimed” sections, I’m like, “Ugh, bragging like that is so unseemly.”

I Miss All the Good Shit

February 7, 2018

From a Daily Beast article published in 2014:

Marni Kotak sits on a gold-painted twin bed, wearing a gold satin nightgown, with matching bedsheets covering her legs. She’s scribbling in gold ink on a cartoonishly large notepad, an expanding list of the day’s emotional fluctuations. It’s a small room, littered with gold-painted everything: chairs, desk, exercise machine, dumbbells.

It isn’t Kotak’s apartment, but the microscopic Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn, where I have come to see Mad Meds, during which the 39-year-old performance artist will document her “personal struggles with her own mind, the US medical system, and the pharmaceutical industry as she attempts to withdraw from psychiatric medicines.”

Kotak has only just begun weaning herself off a cocktail of anti-psychotic, anti-depressant, and anti-anxiety medication. She started the pill-popping regimen—a combination of Wellbutrin, Abilify, Klonopin—in February 2012 after being treated for postpartum depression. A medicine cabinet stuffed with empty pill bottles provides an informal tally of the drugs she’s consumed in the past two years. When I arrive, Kotak is surprisingly relaxed, telling me that, at the moment, she’s only suffering from “mild anxiety and achiness.”


This woman is a genius.  The birth of the child which kicked off the postpartum was also staged as a “performance,” although that choice I find a bit less exciting.  Anyway, I’m a Marniphile now.

A List

January 25, 2018

of foodstuffs eaten in Penelope Fitzgerald’s The Blue Flower.  I skimmed back through to compose this list, so I might have missed some, as I remember there being more when I first read the book; still, I managed to catch a few gems, such as cow udder soup (how much would you have to get paid to try that?)


White rolls

baked goose

cabbage soup

“a nice smoked eel”


soup made of beer, sugar and eggs

another made of rose hips and onions

another one of bread and cabbage water

another of cows’ udders flavored with nutmeg

dough mixed with beech-nut oil

pickled herring and goose with treacle sauce

hard-boiled eggs


boiled potatoes

pickled raspberries

200 oysters

the ears snout and strips of fat from the pig’s neck boiled in peppermint schnapps


pickled goose legs

black ham

fruit liqueurs

sweet cakes

Stewed pigs’ feet

plum conserve


Literary Lookalikes

January 24, 2018

Ken Kesey:


As portrayed by a young Gene Hackman:


Class Subjects

January 22, 2018

… at NYU’s Center for Experimental Humanities.


the 1990s


anti-colonial pedagogy

bad women

John Berger

the curatorial


David Bowie

(Among others, I’m assuming)


January 17, 2018

Friend’s email titled: I want to work at this company solely because of the name


Speak Truth to Power

January 16, 2018

AC: Honestly, I feel like you know your youth is over the first time you buy from Everlane.