August 30, 2013
Late August, given heavy rain and sun
For a full week, the blackberries would ripen.
At first, just one, a glossy purple clot
Among others, red, green, hard as a knot.
You ate that first one and its flesh was sweet
Like thickened wine: summer’s blood was in it
Leaving stains upon the tongue and lust for
Picking. Then red ones inked up and that hunger
Sent us out with milk cans, pea tins, jam-pots
Where briars scratched and wet grass bleached our boots.
Round hayfields, cornfields and potato-drills
We trekked and picked until the cans were full
Until the tinkling bottom had been covered
With green ones, and on top big dark blobs burned
Like a plate of eyes. Our hands were peppered
With thorn pricks, our palms sticky as Bluebeard’s.
We hoarded the fresh berries in the byre.
But when the bath was filled we found a fur,
A rat-grey fungus, glutting on our cache.
The juice was stinking too. Once off the bush
The fruit fermented, the sweet flesh would turn sour.
I always felt like crying. It wasn’t fair
That all the lovely canfuls smelt of rot.
Each year I hoped they’d keep, knew they would not.
July 27, 2013
mo decided to help himself to a toy last nightoddest thing to wake up to.
July 21, 2013
i want to be this bitch’s friend
July 8, 2013
i promise this is not turning into a korean cooking blog,
but my last minute decision to make this dinner paid off so well
that i took a picture.
in my bathroom.
because it has the best lighting.
so if you’re not interested in hearing me nerd out on korean food,
come back tomorrow when i’ll have a sock to show you.
starting on the left working clockwise:
1. spicy stir-fried pork – dwaejigogibokkeum – 돼지불고기볶음
notes: i accidentally used pork belly so thinly sliced it was like bacon, just unsalted; thank you korean grocer for stocking this product that will now be a permanent fixture in my fridge. i also only had white sugar and used less hot pepper flakes because my green chili was so big.
(that’s what she said)
2. kimchi fried rice – kimchi bokkeumbap – 김치볶음밥
notes: i used brown rice because that’s what i had. i thought i was using up the last of my super fermented kim chi (3+ months) but i found one final jar in the back of my fridge, a happy thing since i need to make this again. i skipped the sea weed and sesame seeds because i didn’t have it and i forgot, respectively.
3. maangchi’s easy kim chi – mak kim chi – 막김치
notes: this is my go-to kim chi recipe, and i always make changes. i never add squid since a) i don’t have access to fresh squid to pickle and b) i’m not yet ready to move past my western food brain to eat pickled squid. i always skip the leak and sub in shallot, mostly because i don’t want to clean the leek. frequently, i skip the carrot. the important thing is the proportion of the kim chi paste itself which is . . . it’s just a perfect flavor. best ghetto winter lunch is warmed up chicken stock from a box and a big ol’ scoop of kim chi, but i’ll eat it with pizza or straight up from the jar, over the kitchen sink, shirtless, the epitome of ‘bachelor’.
4. cubed radish kimchi – kkakdugi – 깍두기
notes: i think i may love kkakdugi even more than i love kim chi. but it all depends on the radish. this time, i got a great quality korean radish, but in my experience, it’s easier to get good quality daikon. they’re the root vegetable equivalent of kissing cousins anyway, and as far as i can tell, there’s no difference in flavor. the major difference with this batch is that, instead of following the recipe, i just used left over kim chi paste from my last batch. it turned out amazingly nonetheless. i’ve never tried it with the radishes i grew up hating (the little red ones the fraggles were always eating), but maybe it’s worth a try?
for any of you not familiar with korean food,
or for any of you who are not adventurous eaters,
the easiest/safest thing to make here is the pork.
the flavors are totally addictive (sweet/salty/spicy)
and the spice level is easily moderated for those with a delicate palate. (i would skip the pepper flakes and/or the green chili pepper, but you absolutely cannot skip the hot pepper paste a.k.a. gochujang a.k.a.
고추장 a.k.a. crack that needs to go on everything)
does anyone else out there like korean food?
July 7, 2013
July 1, 2013
my first ever stand-alone class went so well. so so well.
better than i have even hoped it could!
i was a good teacher.
they were good students.
doing good work on day one is really rare.
and while i was literally beset with the feeling
that i was going to vomit and take a huge dump in my pants,
i cannot emphasize enough what a boon that class was.
June 30, 2013
pretty bad anxiety.
for the most part,
it’s not too big a deal.
i’m 28 years old now (ugh),
so i’ve had a lot of practice dealing with it
the only thing i need
is to withdraw from the world.
though, that’s become less effective since i became a phd student
as i have work to do literally all of the time,
and getting down with my inner hermit
mostly just makes me feel guilty.
another thing that makes me feel better
is doing something small but special,
bring a little beauty into my life,
the expensive ice cream
going to the movies
things i used to take for granted when someone else was paying.
or things from previous iterations of my life that i miss.
like the iced coffee veronica used to make
when we were roomies in pittsburgh.
which is what i decided to make.
tina bought me some wicked good coffee during my visit,
i can make simple syrup, and cream is easily acquired at any hour.
this would be the perfect way to start my day tomorrow
when i have a dreaded deadline
and my first stand-alone.
as i lay in bed
my unmentionables tumbling away in the wash,
(going commando is not an option for the first day of class)
i opened my windows to let in the summer air
and willed the chemicals in my brain
to level the fuck. out.
then i got this little whiff of something,
something that smelled kinda like cotton candy.
i thought that a bit odd but kept watching netflix.
a few minutes later, a whiff of toasted marshmallow.
that’s what it was! a neighbor must have been toasting marshmallows!
the smell of “toasting”
quickly turned to “burning”
and in that moment i remembered
the simple syrup i put on the stove
maybe fifteen to twenty minutes earlier.
this is why i can’t have nice things.
and why i’ll be going to starbucks in the morning.
May 3, 2013
May 2, 2013
in keeping with things related to dogs that make me happy . . .
May 1, 2013
i firmly believe that all my happiness originates from the my mailbox.
recently, i’ve received a few things in the mail that have made me happy, but today’s arrival takes the proverbial cake.
this postcard art was made by jen cooney.
jen is, what i would call, a bar friend,
one of those people you see at the bar
and run into each other at all the same events
because you travel in the same, small, queer circle of people
though, for whatever reason, you’ve never really hung out
and your interactions have been largely limited to complimenting one another on the fabulosity of our outfits. believe you me,
you have not lived until you have seen jen cooney
in space face.
she put up a notice on facebook that she was doing mail art
and if anyone wanted one, to just send her their address.
i was a little reticent since, as i’ve said,
we weren’t very close back in the burgh
and i’ve been gone now for two years now.
but my love of mail prevailed and i sent my address.
best. decision. ever.
i tell you what,
this postcard makes me miss the queer community in pittsburgh.
whereas many people loathe the bubble-like insularity of such a small city, i miss those moments in the streets (or whole foods) of chance encounter throughout the city, that nod of acknowledgment that, yes,
we were both shaking a tail feather last night in the same place
and i may have been a hot mess but at least i looked fabulous.
there’s nothing like that here.
somehow, this image perfectly captures the essence of my life
and provided exactly the smile i needed to finish out finals week.