Seahawks Sweat-Soda (a Partial Repost)

bottlesandpac

That's Seahawks all-pro tackle Walter Jones selling it Perspiration in a Bottle Forgive me, I have never reposted anything, but the Superbowl opportunity smacked me in the face. These alluring beverages will not be available, except in stores that specialize in dusty sports memorabilia. I loved the inevitability of puns and wordplay when I was a kid, and so I thought the title of the oh-so-'60s musical The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd was an absolute laff riot. Still, though I could imagine what a crowd smelled like, … [Read more...]

“Dirt Always Wins” — A Story, Part Two

'30s girl injecting insulin

Sterile Technique There’s a curiously moving photo in a 1930s medical handbook put out by Dr. Elliott P. Joslin, who started a clinic in Boston that still specializes in treating diabetics. It shows a sweet Shirley Temple clone, almost 3 years old, the caption says, sitting on a wooden table and injecting her doll-like thigh with a needle and syringe that contains a dose of insulin. (A darling voice muffles an “ouch!”) She’s just a baby, yet she’s her own life-saving nurse. I became diabetic at 7 and almost died because the family doctor … [Read more...]

“Dirt Always Wins” — A Story in Six Parts

Stain wheel

One: Stains     Have you ever seen a stain wheel? It’s a practical novelty, die-cut layers of glossy printed cardboard that you’d have found in an old five-and-dime. Is something you love spotted or blotched? Merely turn the wheel to your problem: egg, gum, alcoholic beverages, axle grease, urine, mustard, glue, mildew, flowers, and the step-by-step stain solution, as it were, appears in a window. Similar wheels were made long ago for bashful young men who needed help in coordinating the colors of their suits, shirts and ties -- before they … [Read more...]

Pasta Vazool: The Conclusion

IMG_1296-500x500

    A Note to My Readers -- Part 3 In learning to cook, I find that I am learning to think, in recipe form. That's different from cooking per se, because a recipe is communication, a medium that's supposed to outlive a Tweet, or a chef. It's also not supposed to hurt you: Place the unopened cans — yes, unopened — in a pot of boiling water, perhaps on top of a washcloth so that they don’t rattle. Cover the pot and simmer for two and a half or three hours, taking care to replenish the water as needed to keep the cans submerged: … [Read more...]

Vazool

Brooklyn '50s street scene

A Note to My Readers — Part 2 His name was Harry. Don't think English king; instead, it's from the Yiddish "Herschel," although his three brothers, three sisters and many friends called him "Hashel." When I stared at my freckled, rusty-skinned dad as he watched Gunsmoke or smoked Chesterfields while having his cup of Chock full o'Nuts, I often thought of the Irish name Dinty Moore, the hash that came in a can. I'm watching him now as he drives the Buick Special -- bottom of the line, only three portholes -- on his weekend rounds through … [Read more...]

What Cooking and Writing Have in Common

Writing blocks

A Note to My Readers -- Part 1 When I was a youngster, I thought writing blocks were cubes with different letters that I could arrange into words. I'd do it horizontally, left to right, just as I had learned to print letters in penmanship class, or I'd do it by piling the blocks into towers and read the result from top to bottom. In that case, I'd have to lift the whole pile each time I added a letter, and if the word were too long it would topple. To prevent that, I tried to fashion my words from the bottom up, but I'd be stumped. What's … [Read more...]

Learning To Cook: Frittata

Potato, scallion, mushroom, sweet onion and Parmesan frittata

  Eggs, and recipes for eggs, are paradoxical. That shouldn't seem so at first. An egg will do a certain thing when placed near, or mixed with, another thing, and do that thing at a certain temperature for a certain amount of time. Which is what all ingredients do. But actually, as lucky four-year-olds know, eggs are full of surprises. Eggs are also full of doubt. Their clichéd purity of form is challenged by the slippery dualism of yolk versus white, which is why there's something sad, even destructive, when you take a fork or whisk … [Read more...]

Can Tweets Save Letters? The Postcard Solution

Sent to Miss Freda Fayman, Hall, West Virginia, June 30, 1913 (this and all postcards from collection of Jeff Weinstein)

  Can tweets, texts and email save the post office? Seems a foolish question, same as asking if Facebook or HuffPo could rescue newspapers. Congress has again been going postal about the semi-Thatcherized U.S. Postal Service, on the one hand not wanting to spend a sou to keep it going, on the other not willing to offend business lobbies and scotch that expensive Saturday delivery. Yet there was a time when a similar absurd idea really did work: More than a century ago, the tweetlike penny postcard, enemy to the ostensibly profitable … [Read more...]

A Repost Re: Photographer Milton Rogovin

By Milton Rogovin. Copyright and reprinted with the permission of the Rogovin Collection LLC and the Board of Regents at the University of Arizona.

"Out There" has been on indefinite holiday, but during this cheerful pre-election period of lies, greed, and cynicism, Daylight Magazine has taken the opportunity to repost a video slideshow (with an odd voice, mine) about a man whose life was an antidote to all these awful things: the late photographer Milton Rogovin. So I'm using this opportunity to say hello, "Out There" friends, and cheer you up with an appreciation of a life lived right -- rather, left. … [Read more...]

Frankenthaler Reminder (Tag: ‘Right-Wing’)

I haven't read each and every worshipful Helen Frankenthaler obit, but of those I have seen, only the Los Angeles Times version mentions that she was one of those responsible for gutting the National Endowment for the Arts, especially the visual part: eliminating direct grants to artists.  She worked with those who earlier had defunded those pathetic hangers-on, art critics. Frankenthaler was proud of her conservative stance, as this 1989 piece by her in the New York Times opinion section makes clear. A sample: "I feel there was a time when … [Read more...]