Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Typeface Families, part iii

Arial Baskerville wished she’d never signed up for speed dating. The first man to read her nametag asked if her parents liked Shakespeare. Arial, who generally felt more muffin toppy than spritely, tried not to cry. The second man asked if her parents liked The Little Mermaid. No, said Arial, wondering if it was his hair gel that gave him a kind of pedophile vibe. The third asked if her parents had been in the mile-high club. At that, Arial bolted, crashing into a rumpled but nice-looking man who’d evidently had the same idea. His name tag read Gill Sans.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Typeface Families, part ii

Baskerville has a thick old face, and his whole Roman-nosed clan seems stolid and button-down. A bit constipated. They bring to mind a mantel clock ticking off another dull Sunday with only tea to look forward to, and that at the stroke of six, not a moment before. Easy to read, you think at first; but their reticence seduces, and over time their true nature manifests. They are in fact not obese and dull but round and voluptuous. Their crisp seraphic hauteur belies a bawdy sensibility and a hearty appetite. These characters revel in a good swash and well-turned loop.

Image: Astrid Hampton

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Typeface Families, part i

The Morisons lived as if in times that were Roman – yet new. Stanley Morison embraced a Mediterranean fusion diet. His signature dish: a straight-up egg linguine drenched in olive oil from a bottle with girls in togas, and that would’ve been fine. But then he’d spray on this Thai fish sauce, an update, he said, of an ancient fermented fish recipe. Actually it wasn’t bad. But no one visited the Morisons a second time, not just because of Stanley’s rotting fish gut disquisition, but also because of the spray of serifs he’d leave hanging in the air as he talked.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bobblehead Ernie and the Pennant Race

The Blue Jays’ recent swoon coincides with a serious injury to my bobblehead Ernie Whitt, suffered in the course of an overzealous cleaning. (No blame shall be cast, at least out loud.)
      I’m not particularly superstitious when it comes to sports; sure, I lace my left skate up first, etc; but something about this was deeply unsettling. Coincidence? Bah. In a pennant race, it’s all hands, past and present, on deck.
      Catchers’ legs are notoriously fragile, but a few dabs of Goop and several hours in traction fixed Ernie up. He’s back. He’s swinging.
      Now over to you, current Jays.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Pane E Sciroppo di mais

Few images have stayed in my mind as indelibly as a scene from Franco Brusati’s Pane E Cioccolata. Here a group of illegal migrant workers living in a chicken coup spy on some Swiss skinny-dipping youth. They watch from their hovel, their faces covered in shit and pin feathers, enraptured by this vision of white pulchritude splashing about all flesh and sunshine and lazy dust motes. Nino feels the alienation most strongly and in an attempt at inclusion bleaches his hair. Eventually, he betrays himself when he roots for Italy during a football game.
     Like me at Holt Renfrew.

Image from F. Brusati’s Pane E Cioccolata (1974)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Gold Star

It’s well-established I'm shallow but “Gold Star?” Seriously? Gotta wonder what were the other contenders for this label?
     My Trump Schadenglee is wrecked by seeing it takes a dead son to trump Trump, and now on CNN dude in lecture mode about radical Islam is trying to trump the dead son’s Gold Star dad—“the threat, sir, is not from Swedish Lutherans named Anna and Lars.” So, where does this end? With people whose dead son got killed by heinous Swedish Lutherans named Anna and Lars to trump the Trump-trumper’s trumper? (In Swedish, yo, “Gold Star” is “Guldstjärna.”)


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pasta al packer

The rest of the spaghetti noodles
Half a Belgian endive
The rest of the crumbly low-fat goat cheese, maybe it’s crumbly b/c it sat out two hours during the packing of the glasses but whatevs, heat’ll kill shit
2 dried chili peppers
Walnut oil

Cook noodles. Heat oil in pan, throw in chopped endive. Clean fridge drawer. Remember endive. Stir. Dump in noodles. Add crumbled chili peppers, crumbly goat cheese. Wash Royal Doulton bunny bowl. Dry with same somewhat Windexy teatowel just used to wipe fridge drawer, oh well, price of civilization. Dump into bowl. Photograph. Blog. (Civilization.) Eat. Civilization.

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