Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Metropolitan Diary

I don't usually read the Metropolitan Diary in the New York Times, for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who has ever read it. But this story turned up last fall, and every now and then I think of it. It always makes me smile.

It was a beautiful Sunday, so I went to sit by the pool in Central Park with my dog, Tonka. We were relaxing and taking in the sun when Tonka suddenly lifted her head and stared a few benches down, where an apparently unremarkable middle-aged man with a large bag had just taken a seat.

Then I saw a large raccoon climbing up the far side of a low fence behind the man (this must have been what Tonka noticed). It got to the top of the fence, reached out, and tapped the man on the shoulder.

The man turned around, said, “Oh, I didn’t see you!” and then found what he was looking for in his bag: a sandwich, which he gave to the raccoon, who took it, climbed back down his side of the fence, held it in his paws, and ate it delicately.

The man looked up to see me staring.

“I didn’t see him,” he said to me, apologetically. “That’s why he had to tap me on the shoulder.”

Read it on the NY Times website.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Oatmeal; X-Files

The way our apartment is constructed and located, with relation to other apartments and the local prevailing winds, we don't usually get other peoples' food smells.

We often get laundry detergent smells from the laundry room, which is one floor down; lately we've been getting some kind of sweet flowering bush smell, which is very nice; but we don't smell other peoples' cooking.

Except this morning, which for some reason brings with it the smell of *something* frying in butter. Probably eggs or potatos or both -- in any case, I haven't smelled this smell for MONTHS and it's making my delicious oatmeal breakfast look a little spartan in comparison.


Lately I've been on a sort of nostalgic X-Files kick, and I've been systematically working my way through the early seasons of the show via my netflix account. I did all of season one months ago and then took a break from it. Last month I tore through season 2 and now I'm well into season 3.

It's been interesting, because I hadn't really revisited a lot of these early episodes since I saw them for the first time when I was 12, 13, 14, 15, etc. Watching them now, my current impressions are almost overwhelmed by the echo of how I felt when I saw them for the first time as a teenager.

I remember going to bed the night of the Season 1 finale so moved by the scene where Scully holds Deep Throat as he dies in that empty, nighttime street, that I couldn't get it out of my head for WEEKS. I have drawings of that scene in old sketchbooks.

I remember, from season 2 to season 5, which is when I went to college, watching almost every single episode with my friend Mimi, who lived in my neighborhood and taped episodes for me when I was out of town. I remember her dog barking at scary moments in the show, scaring the bejesus out of us as we sat in her darkened living room eating pickles and potato chips.

There were many weeks where the thing that got me from Monday to Friday was the promise of a new episode at 9 on Friday night.

What I didn't remember is how clumsy and obvious the direction and writing of a lot of those early episodes is. There have been episodes I simply couldn't watch all of -- the cringe factor was just too strong.

But it must be said that seasons 2 and 3 are uneven -- there are some eps that are strikingly sophisticated, even by today's standards. Humbug, Clyde Bruckman, etc, even some of the mytharc eps. Last night I watched Nisei and 731 (or whatever it's called) again for the first time in many, many years, and I was struck by how nuanced Gillian Anderson's performance was, and how beautifully photographed the entire story was.

I was also struck by how very attractive everyone was. Scully is about as beautiful in season 3 as she will ever be; ditto Mulder; and Skinner... even Skinner is sexy. I like it when he does that thing with his jaw.

Anyway, it's been a fun way to revisit an old favorite. Lots of memories there; nearly all of them happy ones.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Vegan riches

So, Perry is vegan, and although I am merely vegetarian, we do keep vegan at home (sort of like keeping kosher, except without the God).

As a result, certain categories of food feature very prominently on my grocery shopping lists -- beans, rice, greens, pasta, and fruit.

We eat a lot of fruit.

Represented here on the "fruit table" we have bananas, tomatoes, apples, pears, kiwis, mango, lemons, and quinces. The cantaloupe is on the kitchen counter; the strawberries are in the fridge.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I can has cheezburger?

For anxious lolcats everywhere, some good news: