Teaching folks Manners on the Orange Line post SEC Boston Alumni Party. #ramblings
From “Clearances,” In Memoriam M.K.H.
By Seamus HeaneyWhen all the others were away at MassI was all hers as we peeled potatoes.They broke the silence, let fall one by oneLike solder weeping off the soldering iron:Cold comforts set between us, things to shareGleaming in a bucket of clean water.And again let fall. Little pleasant splashesFrom each other’s work would bring us to our senses.So while the parish priest at her bedsideWent hammer and tongs at the prayer for the dyingAnd some were responding and some cryingI remember her head bent towards my head,Her breath in mine, our fluent dipping knives—Never closer the whole rest of our lives.
Christmas seems like it's coming soon this year. As I type this post, we haven't even played the Egg Bowl, and we've got our Christmas tree up. But since Thanksgiving came so blame early, well, can't get onto us. We waited until we got to the turkey before we put up our tree. And this year, we went out and hunted one down.
Oh, hey Thanksgiving, what you got going on this year? Oh yeah? Spices, Pumpkin, Bourbon? That's cool. Say, why you so early?
Found and tried this recipe thanks to Garden and Gun. It was pretty good, but I think it would've been even better if I'd gotten the right kind of pumpkin, and not just (honest to goodness) taken the pumkin off the neighbor's porch. They offered it up, sure, and they are getting a mason jar of this sweet, syrupy nectar, but I still think I could've manned up and driven someplace (a farm? Vermont?) rather than liberating a little guy who've been sitting there since well before Halloween.
To be fair, I only had 35 minuted until LSU / Ole Miss kickoff, so I wasn't able to drive all over tarnations looking for a pumpkin (though thanks to Penzey's I got all the right spices). Get you the real Cinderella deal and lemme know how it is. Meanwhile, I've got about a half gallon of this stuff to mix with. Which won't be a problem come Thanksgiving. I also found that it was a little sweet (dangerous) for my taste when mixing it in the ratio they call out. Proceed as cautioned.
from William Hamrick, Hot and Hot Fish Club, Birmingham, Alabama
1 ½ oz. Bulleit Bourbon
1 oz. pumpkin reduction (see recipe below)
1 dash of celery bitters (Hamrick recommends Bitter Truth or you can also substitute Angostura)
Pour bourbon, pumpkin reduction, and bitters into a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir generously. Strain into an old-fashioned glass with one large ice cube.
1 ½ quarts chopped Cinderella pumpkin
2 quarts water
3 cups sugar
7 whole allspice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
Scoop out the pumpkin seeds and pulp, then peel and chop the pumpkin flesh into small one-inch cubes. Add all ingredients in a non-reactive pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 40 minutes until reduced. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and place in an ice bath to cool.
I don't have much news this morning other than we got three (!) new prints good to go for all the folks shopping for the holidays.
A new one for Louisiana.
One for the District of Columbia.
And another one for Mississippi.
They're all good print, of course, but the last one is particularly exciting for me. We're going to donate 10% of the proceeds of that print to schools in Mississippi. Yup. Doing our best to do some good.
We go to an amazing church. With amazing people.
Our church is called Reunion and for the last several years, we've participated in Advent Conspiracy.
Very simply, Advent Conspiracy is all about taking back Christmas from unbridled consumerism and loving folks, giving relationally, worshiping Jesus, and spending less on cheap plastic gifts and giving more away to those who need it.
A couple of prints making it up on the walls of one of the nicest houses we've seen. This lady has sent in a few pics in the past, and her taste level is sky high. Making Arkansas look good, I'll say.
Sick mat job on that Yellowhammer.
This print can only be found at Garden & Gun.
Been meaning to write about our friends down in Chattanooga for a bit now. They have a food truck business. It's called Taco Sherpa. They make Korean Tacos in Tennessee. What? Something strange about that? Nope, not if you are Whit and Lindsay. International badasses. Family of mystery. Foodies and all around great people.
By Robert Wrigley
After the horse went down
the heat came up
and later that week
the smell of its fester yawed,
an open mouth of had-been air
our local world was licked
inside of, and I,
the boy who'd volunteered at twilight--
shunts of chawed cardboard
wadded up my nostrils
and a dampened bandana
over my nose and mouth--
I strode then
into the ever-purpler sink
of rankness and smut,
a sloshful five-gallon bucket of kerosene
in my right hand,
a smoking railroad fuse
in my left,
and it came over me like water then,
into my head-gaps and gum
rinds, into the tear ducts
and taste buds and even
into the last dark tendrils
of my howling, agonized hair
that through the windless half-light
hoped to fly from my very head,
and would have, I have no doubt, had not
the first splash of kerosene
launched a seething skin
of flies into the air
and onto me, the cloud of them
so dense and dark my mother in the distance
saw smoke and believed as she had feared
I would, that I had set my own
fool and staggering self aflame,
and therefore she fainted and did not see
how the fire kicked
the other billion flies airborne
exactly in the shape
of the horse itself,
which rose for a brief quivering
instant under me, and which for a pulse thump
at least, I rode--in a livery of iridescence,
in a mail of exoskeletal facets,
wielding a lance of swimming lace--
just as night rode the light, and the bones,
and a sweet, cleansing smoke to ground.
Hey! Wanna see me turn everything into something that looks like it is from the 70s? Or the 50s? Or blur the heck outta my sandwich?
No? Me neither.
I promise to try to take pictures of good things.
A rare bottle of the 2011 George T. Stagg, the winner of the finest spirit in the world, is slightly upstaged by a Kentucky print in the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston.
As most of y'all know, my day job is in advertising. As about 1% of you know, advertising has a complete language and award structure and bragging rights that are so far from the actual point of advertising that is just plain weird. In advertising, folks can win awards for work that looks beautiful, sure, but may not sell a thing. The concept can win even when a potential customer is left scratching their head not knowing which way is up. It isn't wrong, just a bit strange.
I find design, on the other hand, a lot more pure. Folks can look at something and say 'Does it look beautiful?' or 'Does it stand out?' or very simply 'Do I like it?' There's a simple honesty is asking a person if something moved them or inspired them.
Thing is, what I do with Old Try is a really good extension of what I do during the day. Should I get industry recognition for making things, so be it / awesome. So I was just about over the moon when I heard that we got into Print Magazine's 2012 Regional Design Annual. That's a magazine that I've really wanted to get into for a decade with my work, but nothing that I've done in advertising has warranted it.
I'd love to think the judge saw our piece and thought of his Momma and Daddy. That would be the biggest reward. Though a little bit of print in Print ain't bad, either.
WHAT THE ANIMALS TEACH US
By Chard De Niord
that love is dependent on memory,
that life is eternal and therefore criminal,
that thought is an invisible veil that covers our eyes,
that death is only another animal,
that beauty is formed by desperation,
that sex is solely a human problem,
that pets are wild in heaven,
that sounds and smells escape us,
that there are bones in the earth without any marker,
that language refers to too many things,
that music hints at what we heard before we sang,
that the circle is loaded,
that nothing we know by forgetting is sacred,
that humor charges the smallest things,
that the gods are animals without their masks,
that stones tell secrets to the wildest creatures,
that nature is an idea and not a place,
that our bodies have diminished in size and strength,
that our faces are terrible,
that are eyes are double when gazed upon,
that snakes do talk as well as asses,
that we compose our only audience,
that we are geniuses when we wish to kill,
that we are naked despite our clothes,
that our minds are bodies in another world.
Our friends Hal & Jen have made the decision to adopt. It came after years of prayer and struggle and wanting to grow a family but coming up, for one reason or another, empty. For years they dealt with heartbreak. And despite it all, they kept trusting that their family would grow.
Thing is, they are also wonderfully creative. And talented. And giving. Which is why they've started KIN.
In their words:
KIN is family.
And family means a whole lot to us.
There are many who grow up not knowing the love of a family, and that breaks our heart.
There are also many who live wanting nothing more than to be that family to a child in need despite the obstacles.
Adoption is expensive and not everyone can afford it. So when you purchase one of our KIN Leather Wrap Bracelets, know that you are making this adoption possible. And since we realize that this cause is bigger than us, when our adoption is complete, we’re committed to helping others do the same by continuing to partner with Bethany and fund other adoptions.
When you invest in others, you become family.
You become kin.
H&J have been approved to adopt and are just waiting on the Good Lord's timing, as they always have. Decided to adopt sure ain't easy. But giving money so that others can sure is.
Find you a KIN bracelet right over here.
I spent a week in Long Beach, CA in October for my day job. 14 hours a day, 7 days in a row. I did very little outside of work. Hardly saw the sun, while I was reading about fabulous autumn weather back East.
But, I did get out to a store around the corner from my hotel called The Academy. I was blown away. It's a little, simple place. They make things there. What they don't make in their store they make in their LA factory. I got some trousers ($48, are you kidding me? USA made for 48?), a chambray shirt ($42) and a madras tie ($48). For something just north of $150, I got an outfit, made by a guy, in a shop, in California.
They even make $140 jeans that come with a lifetime warranty. A bit steep, but I figure if they keep making stuff as well as they are, they'll be around that long to let you cash in the warranty.
I left so inspired and wanted to share them with you. You might not live out in the LBC, but if you get there, you should swing by and tell the fellows hello.
By Billy Collins
In a rush this weekday morning,
I tap the horn as I speed past the cemetery
where my parents are buried
side by side beneath a slab of smooth granite.
Then, all day, I think of him rising up
to give me that look
of knowing disapproval
while my mother calmly tells him to lie back down.