Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vegetarian Food Porn

(Don't be shocked! Food Porn is a legit term -See Food Porn Daily for evidence.)

Racy terminology aside, I don't think camera phone pictures are worthy of Food Porn status. That said, I was particularly fond of the salad I made tonight and felt compelled to photograph it. Most ingredients were from our garden and CSA at Clearbrook.

Included: arugula, blueberries, Polymeadows feta, barbecue-marinated tofu, sunflower seeds, avocado, and cucumber.

For Dessert: our own blackberries with Wilcox's Sweet Cream ice cream.

We had a few raspberries, but before I could take a photograph, Monsieur Scooty Beags inhaled them. (I was tending Fray-monster in the sandbox.) Shameless foraging beagle.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Something to Brood About

I like to have things to mull over when I travel. Whenever we camp at Lake George (something I've done for the past seven years, at least), I think about Georgia O'Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz had a family home on Lake George, and for a while O'Keefe accompanied him there.

His photographs of her melt me-a photographer intensely in love with his subject - or if not love, bewildering admiration (Is there a difference?). She was a capable subject - though growing up I only saw pictures of the sun-damaged southwestern O'Keefe, in her prime Georgia was, well, HOT. According to Stieglitz's biographer Richard Whelan, when they first got together "they were like two teenagers in love. Several times a day they would run up the stairs to their bedroom, so eager to make love that they would start taking their clothes off as they ran." Crazy kids.

Though much of the camping trip will be spent blissfully chasing a one-year-old across the rocky island, I hope to steal away on a few solo kayak trips - looking for loons and imagining the pristine turn-of-the-century landscape Stieglitz loved.

Future reading: Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George

Photo Source 1
Photo Source 2

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Vermont Update

One thing I like about Vermont summers - you can go swimming during the day, and be wonderfully cool at night. Vermont is the only place I can imagine being comfortable in a bathing suit and fur coat at the same time (a fur coat would be a little bit of a faux pas for a veterinarian's wife, no? Luckily I'm not into sporting furry carcasses.)

The garden is blazing - swiss chard, spinach, arugula, and romaine are growing faster than we can keep up with. Early raspberries, cucumbers, and zucchinis have been detected. We threw a few scapes in our omelets tonight. Fray found blackberries while dribbling her new USA mini soccer ball in the backyard.

The Dogtor is building a chicken coop. We did manage to squeeze in a healthy bit of World Cup footage today - and are trying to figure out how we'll watch the hotly anticipated Germany v. Argentina match on Saturday (holy offense!!) ...because we'll be camping at Lake George with nine of our best friends. I am already advocating that we take the boat into town and find a television/vuvuzela...and then retreat back into the wilderness.

Now - signing off for night swimming...

Photo Credit - Alfred Eisenstaedt

Friday, June 25, 2010

In Praise of Sports Guy

Right now, my inner-butch is crying - or wait, what would an inner-butch do? swear? okay - my inner-butch is swearing because there are so many awesome sports moments going down this time of year, and she can hardly watch ANY of them due to work and life in the baby-zone. USA's 91st minute goal - missed it. Portugal versus Brazil - missed it. Wimbledon (and even a second of the epic Isner match!) - missing it. Le tour - coming soon - will miss it.

The NBA draft - missed it. But wait! BILL SIMMONS. There are so many comic achievements in his 2010 NBA Draft Diary...his riffs on Cousins, Aminu, Avery Johnson's voice, Karl Malone's '85 outfit - incredible. Some highlights:

If there was ever a year to roll the dice with Cousins, it's 2010. We have a crapload of head-case momentum right now....ESPN's graphics guy gives Cousins "MUST IMPROVE: MATURITY." Knew that was coming and it still made me laugh. That was like giving Ben Roethlisberger "MUST IMPROVE: OFF-FIELD CONDUCT."...By the way, I love whenever someone defends a head case (like we've seen with Cousins this past year) with the "He doesn't drink or do drugs" defense. Oh, even better … so he's NATURALLY a head case?

6:45: Atlanta takes Damion James, the Texas scorer who has a hygiene fetish and showers four times a day. (Not making that up.) He's the Bizarro Pau Gasol.

More importantly, didn't we learn from the 2010 Finals that you can never have enough of this formula: "Ron Artest + live microphone"?

I love Bill Simmons -his encyclopedic knowledge and stream-of-consciousness trivia - I don't care if it makes me an "everyman" kind of sports fan. Everywoman. Whatever. I wish there was a Bill Simmons diary for every sporting event...ever. There.

Photo Credit

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Sweet Seduction of Self Promotion

Whenever I post writing updates to blogs, alumni newsletters, or my facebook status, I feel like Macy Gray at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards - a shameless self promoter. I try to own that and accept that it's part of being a writer.

A while back I saw a quote from the band MGMT - something about "we don't want to play arenas...it's not our mission." They took a lot of heat for that we-don't-want-to-be-mainstream sentiment, or maybe for wearing skinny pants, tribal cumberbunds and brocade jazz shoes, I'm not sure. (Disclaimer - I did really love their first album. I'm still figuring out my feelings about the second - I guess I'm just the kind of mainstream dork they were trying to shake off.)

When I was first starting to publish, I would say to my mom - Please don't tell anyone about my work. She'd say: Megan, you do want people to read your stories...right?

I'm still not sure I can answer that question with a definitive YES. Part of me wishes I could publish in fine journals anonymously. But at the end of the day, most (not all, I admit) literature is made to be read, and music made to be listened to. Consumable byproducts.

So, with that said, you can now pre-order the 2010 edition of New Stories From the South - edited by the illustrious Amy Hempel - which contains work by yours truly.

Photo Credit

Monday, June 21, 2010

Big Hair, Awkward Swagger

I have week-long obsessions that turn into affinities; this week's is vintage Tina Turner, circa sixties and seventies. I subsequently revisited less vintage Eighties Tina, and her What's Love Got to Do With It video - and realized some similarities with my favorite Winehouse video, Tears Dry On Their Own. (And yes, I should have been working.)

Video-to-Video Similarities:
1. Big Hair - Epic, epic, inimitable big hair!
2. Awkward Swagger - Both look stiff and in need of yoga, but rock distinctive street swagger
3. Street Walkin' - Tina and Amy purposefully take to the streets to sing about love
4. Pan-Like Qualities - Like an urban Pied Piper, both women attract movable flocks of hipsters

Sometimes, walking in cities, I feel like I'm filming a low budget music video. I think this fear was initially baked into my subconscious through too many viewings of the Wilson Phillips "Hold On" video - and this is shooting fish in a barrel - which is what would happen if a Hallmark card married Robert Redford's Sundance Catalog. (Talk about Pan-like qualities! Sexy bowl cut alert!) See 2:49 mark for evidence of street-walking/singing compulsion.

Conclusion - if you're ever accompanying me in a city, and notice I'm beginning to walk assertively, and move my lips - you know what my imagination is up to.

Photo Credit

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bike Shopping

I've been shopping for a bike for almost a year now. The routes I bike are mostly dirt roads and highways, leaving me with the question: mountain bike or road bike? (For months, almost everything I looked at had flowers on it. What makes bike designers think that women want giant hibiscus flowers on their bikes? For chrissake - I'm 30, not 5.)

For a while I thought, okay, I'll do a hybrid - but a student of mine implied that only old ladies ride hybrid bikes. So, you know, that's out. One day I will rock my Old Lady Status, but not this year.

While in Key West, I developed a significant bike crush. We caught sight of this guy a time or two before we got a full on video, and he happened to cruise by just as we were exiting the drag show. It was like catching a unicorn. Words cannot describe the glee we felt. (I felt?) And neither can my (truly awful) dance moves.

But what made me happiest was that this dude pimped out his bike for FUN - he wasn't trying to sell a damn thing - he was just cruising around in all his sparkly, funk-tastic glory. God bless him.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Key West Drag

Good Sport Award goes to....THE DOGTOR. He - not unenthusiastically, mind you! - took me to a drag show while we were in Key West for a veterinary conference. And poor Dogtor - he is so wildly handsome that the queens only had eyes for him. I practically had to stand on my barstool to get them to take my money.

Five minutes into the show:
Me, screaming over loud music: THIS IS AWESOME!
Dogtor is silent.
Dogtor: I can't get over it.
Me: What?
Dogtor: I can see makeup on her mustache.
Me: Oh.

Our absolute favorite was the Britney/Janet Drag enthusiast - but we were so captivated/intimidated that we only managed to snap a few seconds of video. During the Janet medley, she took us straight to 1993's IF with over-methodical-we-could-see-her-counting choreography...it was like x-rated cheerleading camp. And we couldn't turn away.

GREAT FUN! Those girls WORK - and clearly know their way around a MAC counter.

Monday, June 7, 2010

David Lee Roth and White Noise

"What good is knowledge if it just floats in the air? It goes from computer to computer. It changes and grows every second of every day. But nobody actually knows anything." -Don DeLillo, White Noise

White Noise is certainly one of those books that catalyzed my sense of what a book could be. I think of DeLillo fondly every time a piece of pop culture crap lodges itself inside of my brain matter like shrapnel and won't let go - and this week's shrapnel is David Lee Roth's Gigolo.

I can't stop singing this song. I put it on my running mix, thinking if I listened to it long enough, the itch would be scratched. It wasn't. I looked up the video. Now I'm intrigued - unfortunately, disastrously intrigued - by Roth's pop culture skewering and gyrations in a pair of chaps in front of the "Censorship Bored."

It's so overacted (coke-fueled?), hyper-sexed, cheaply produced....Roth is such a slapstick, charming raconteuse. I wish it wasn't so interesting...fat horn players emerging from ghastly lit outhouses? the bebop and skat?

Sunday, June 6, 2010


For many years of my childhood, I wanted nothing more than a metal detector. Luckily, my parents saw that such a gift would strip what little facade of coolness I had, and the detector never materialized.

Growing up, we had a beach place, and I'd watch crazy old men hover over the sand with their metal detectors and sifting pans. Maybe it's why I became an anthropology major in college - I love old stuff.

But finding a shipwreck from the 1600s? That's like 13 year old Megan's dream. And 30 year old Megan. And every Megan in between, if I'm honest.

Photo Source

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Footage of Hot Chicks!

....under a heat lamp, of course.

Fray and I went to check out the chicks at Whitman's - where we helped our friends collect the Silkie Bantams that we'll share. I'm obsessed with Silkies - they have the sweetest nature.

I also have a new chicken crush: White Crested Black Polish Chickens. Pretty much any Polish chicken brings the funk, and I can't wait to have a few. Any chicken with a wild headdress or pantaloons...I basically want a yard full of George-Clinton-Chickens.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rogue Goats and a Garden Update

The seeds are sprouting and the starter plants are well rooted - we've got a few more tomato plants and sweet potatoes to put in the ground.

We're trying new trellises, pumpkins, strawberries, and kohlrabi. The old reliables are also in place - heaps of lettuces (spinach, red romaine, mesclun mix), cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, beets, zukes, beans, kale, cabbage, brussel sprouts, tomatoes, and corn. Our raspberry patch is looking a little sad, but we'll see where it goes given a little more time.

The goats broke out of the pen last week and ate a good number of the lettuces and kale plants. Note to self - test fence - spring is an inopportune time for rogue goats.

Run, Rabbit, Run

My friend Kathy Fairley (who hand-makes really awesome custom jewelry and gorgeous silver baby spoons) has captured some phenomenal photos of the bobcat in her backyard.

The bobcat is exquisite - and Kathy also captured the cat's prey on the run. It sounds like a sublime moment - and one I hope to have - though I'm not sure I'd have the composure to take such fine photos with the adrenaline rush...

In Praise of Rhubarb

I try to make a few rhubarb dishes each spring while it's in season - usually a rhubarb/strawberry crisp. (I increase the topping by 1/3 - and serve in a 9x13 dish instead of individual custard cups.)

We're planting rhubarb and should get some next season. I love the ruby red stalks - and any rhubarb compote is amazing on Wilcox's Sweet Cream Ice Cream. Homemade rhubarb jam is ridiculously good on wheat toast.

Since I was serving last night's leftover lasagna, I decided to make a good dessert. You should always have at least ONE thing you're excited about at dinner.