And, yup, they were there again.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
And, yup, they were there again.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tomorrow night, we're going to Burton's annual fall bash at Jake's house in Stowe. I'm actually quite excited about it. Last year, we had a blast. There was a skateboard ramp all lit up, live music, lots of people and good food. A group of kids was walking around all night trying to draw moustaches on peoples face with permanent marker. Nobody would let them do it, so I did--just to make them happy.
Jake's house is super cool. There's an underground passageway that leads from one end of the house to a barn on the other side. They have skateboards so you can skate from one end to the other. Or you can just walk, but you gotta watch out you don't get run over. That's where you find an underground soccer court and ping pong tables. There are lots of kids at this party.
That night we camped out in my car in a field. The next morning, we woke up to a misty landscape of rolling hills and lots of green. (It's so pretty out there, near the Trapp Family Lodge. You start thinking about the Sound of Music and get all nostalgic.) Hannah and Brian were camping in a car nearby. We knocked on their window and waved goodbye.
On the way home, we stopped at the Cold Hollow Cider mill in Waterbury for hot cider and donuts. This is the best time of year for cider and donuts. And it was the perfect morning. And we weren't the only ones who thought so. As we pulled in, we saw about 5 tourists buses sitting in the parking lot. We went into the shop and it was filled with touristy old people all buying Vermont crafty knick knacks and maple candy. I still had my marker moustache on and some of the ladies looked at me funny. It was only like 8 in the morning. What were they doing there at that hour?!
So, I'm excited to see what this year will bring. We're going to do the camp-out thing again in my car. More to come, I'm sure...
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
What to do with all those apples you just picked? Here's a recipe I adapted from EatingWell's Crunchy Pear Salad with my favorite cheese and fruit combo: apples and Manchego cheese (an aged nutty sheep's cheese from Spain). I like how the Manchego holds its shape and texture with the vinegar dressing. Or you can make it a Vermont apple salad and use white Cheddar instead. Leave the apple skins on for a splash of color.
2 stalks celery, cut into small 1/4 inch pieces
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large apples, such as McIntosh or Cortland, diced
1 cup finely diced Manchego cheese
3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Soak celery in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes and then drain. Whisk vinegar and honey in a large bowl until the honey is dissolved completely. Whisk in the olive oil. Add apples and gently coat. In a large serving bowl or salad bowl, combine the apples, celery, cheese, and pecans. Season with pepper and salt. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Today was still warm. The sun shone bright and wide upon the fields. But you could feel it ever-so-slightly—the subtle shift in atmosphere. It's fall. And suddenly, tomatoes have lost their glamour. I'm craving apple pie. There—I said it! I felt fall today and it made me glad.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The one last night was for a music album and entailed getting soaked in the cold rain, climbing on slimy muddy rocks in my heels behind the railroad tracks, and hearing Isaac say again and again, "Oh man, Steve's not gonna like these." I guess it was kind of fun though. This is the second time I pinch-hit it for Isaac when his model couldn't make it. The first time was a few years ago for the Colin Clary and the Magogs album.
The second gig is slightly more fun (sorry Isaac). I'm acting as a fit model for the new women's White Collection for Burton, coming out in 2008. Jesse White (Shaun's brother, who looks nothing like his brother by the way) is the designer, and he's going for a tighter, taller, more feminine silhouette for all those hip, fashionistas who don't want to dress like a dude in the snow. I got the job (through Col, I guess) because I happen to have the right body measurements for their size Medium. I'm doing it as a favor for Lorraine (she knows everything there is to know about making stuff fit the way it should) in exchange for zucchinis from her garden. Hence the chocolate chip zucchini muffins I made last month that I'm still milking out of my freezer and defrosting in my microwave one by one. Mmmm.
So, I get to stand there in the new samples, while Lorraine, Jesse, et al poke and prod until they get the details and the measurements figured out just right. That part's kind of weird, with everyone just looking at you, and it's hard to keep a straight face and be quiet like a mannequin. But they're all really nice about it and make jokes and stuff. Sometimes they ask me how the fit feels and I tell them. Then they take pictures and I change into something else.
That's all. Actually, it's kind of cool to get a glimpse of the sort of stuff Col does every day (he's a Product Manager for Burton Men's Outerwear). I saw a little bit of this when I worked at April Cornell, and it reminds me how cool it is to be involved in that kind of creative process and collaboration--even if it's somewhat removed.
Monday, September 10, 2007
This weekend, after spending an indulgent (but deserved!) Saturday evening at the Bearded Frog in Shelburne--where the best dessert was a Tahitian vanilla bean parfait with honeydew purée--we woke up Sunday morning to find that the wind had shifted ever so slightly. It was decidedly fall. A chill had settled in the air, and it was raining.
The perfect weather for sitting at the bar at Leunig's and sharing a cheese plate. This is the ultimate romantic date in my mind. Sitting at the bar makes it feel spontaneous--like the time in Paris, when it started absolutely pouring and we popped into the nearest café for warmth, and café, of course. At Leunig's, we get nostalgic when we hear the French accordion music, when we watch the barista steaming espresso behind the bar, and when we see the shoppers walk by with damp umbrellas poised and prim. It's Paris all over again.
This time, we got a fresh chevre rolled in chives, a smoked gouda, and a goats milk brie. They served it to us with plump grapes and berries, homemade cheese crackers, preserved cherries. And, of course, sliced baguette.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
She's no more than eight—
Smears white sticky sunblock
Onto her porcelain face.
Carefully drawn, Japanese eyes
Peer through the make-up
Like a little Geisha.
Tight Jewish curls topple
Down from the top of her head
Like a little child clown.
Is this what it is to be American?
To have a Jewish father, a Japanese mother,
To vacation at the seaside on Cape Cod,
And put sunblock on when the sun gets too hot?
Later, I look over and see the girl
Placidly pasting shapes into a paper sailboat
While the father sits nearby
Cutting them out for her with sharp scissors.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Ended up back at the Box late-nite. We even made some art ourselves, starring the illustrious Vanessa in one film, and Colin and Taylor in the other.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
For many youth, there's always an end in sight--end of semester, end of school-year, end of summer--signifying soon thereafter a new beginning.
I remember the first year out of college when fall no longer meant a imminent change, when life stages became nebulous and no longer relied on the scholastic calendar to shape its edges. I was uneasy at the uncertainty of it all.
These days I've come to realize that to make change happen in my life, rather than wait for someone else to tell me when and how to start afresh or new, I have to evoke the change myself. I still get caught up in calendars to guide me through the haze (New Year's resolution) but these guidances are short-lived.
No, the true life changes must come from within. They must be genuine. And believe it or not, timing has a lot to do with it, but not in the traditional sense that can be measured. Rather, timing in the sense of "right time, right place" that just allows things to come together.
* * * * *
I was thinking about changes on my drive home from work today. (I've been thinking about changes for a while now. Changes that need to happen. But I wasn't sure I was ready yet.)
Suddenly I came upon my favorite dairy farm wedged between the beauteous towns of Shelburne and Charlotte and noticed several cars parked alongside the road. This is not an uncommon occurrence since the views from this vantage point--of Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains--are spectacular and drivers-by are often lured to photograph the scenery.
This time, however, I wondered what everyone was looking at, and just as I did, I looked over and saw about ten feet from the road, a massive Holstein cow laying on her side in the field. All the other lady cows were grazing contentedly nearby. But then I saw the farmer was there kneeling beside her and I wondered if she was ill. It made me sad to think it. What will they do with her, I wondered, knowing full well what they would do with a sick cow.
But just as I passed this quiet scene, the very second in fact that I passed the slight man next to his heaving lady, I saw him fall back with a jerk--like a cork coming unstuck from the bottle--with the full weight and shiny placenta of a baby calf on top of him.
The poor old bag was giving birth, that's all.
Was this curious event meant to be a sign? I do realize the innate cliché of using a birth story to symbolize new beginnings. This is very unoriginal. But what really struck me wasn't so much the event of the birth itself, but the timing of it and the way in which it occurred--as though the energy of me driving by aligned perfectly with the cow's contractions and the farmer's struggles and the calf's shape to create a force strong enough to heave hoe that baby bundle to life.
The powers aligned, the physics inspired me, and the timing was perfect. At the same time that this seasoned mama cow's life is about to change for the season, so is mine. I'm ready for it.
It might be so subtle that only I can feel the shifting wind of change, but it will be there all the same--like the ever-present weight of gravity.