Friday Five Redux
- A year ago… a man and his art:
Well not his art… This is “Crusher” by Simon Birch as installed at 14th Factory. A lot of art folks hate this sort of work… art made for selfies and they hate folks who deign to take their selfies with it. I understand their argument in terms of taking your photo with say the Mona Lisa, but when experiencing the Crusher you are the thing intended to be crushed. You have a place within this art you are a co-subject and the image created is yours and yours alone.
And my experience of this piece is twofold. both staring at 300 pitchforks aimed at me and of the disassociate image of that moment.
2. We lost Donald Hall this week. You can’t very well love words and hail from New Hampshire and not have been near the orbit of Donald Hall and Jane Kenyon. I found him a very natural reader and enjoyed him very much but it was always his reflections on Jane and his life with her that echoed most, and echo more truly as my marriage matures. I love this piece from Poetry magazine:
Third things are essential to marriages, objects or practices or habits or arts or institutions or games or human beings that provide a site of joint rapture or contentment. Each member of a couple is separate; the two come together in double attention. Lovemaking is not a third thing but two-in-one. John Keats can be a third thing, or the Boston Symphony Orchestra, or Dutch interiors, or Monopoly.
Be in relationship intentionally, it works.
My wife likes bringing back interesting things from her travels and likes finding things for me to try that challenge my palate… from her most recent Irish excursion comes a spirit that blurs the line between Irish whiskey and Scotch… asking the question: What would Scotch be like without though really weird fruit notes? What would Irish whiskey be like if it were a bit more challenging?
It’d be smoky but not over powering with lovely caramel notes opening up after the burn. Really enjoyable.
5. The Mac and Cheese Pancake from the Oasis Cafe in Stillwater, MN
We drive out for breakfast and I fully intended to get the salmon benedict… but Megan spotted this on the menu and I said it outright: it would be against my ethos to not try something called the Mac and Cheese pancake.
This is a hubcap sized pancake containing standard issue elbow mac and cheese and chopped bacon topped with cheddar. I tried it with maple syrup, plain, and with the add-on sausage gravy. I really wish I could have tried it with some dijon… that’s a lot of carbs….
But it was surprisingly tasty. There’s a variety of textures to keep it interesting and the sharpness of the topping cheese and the saltiness of the bacon do a lot to cut it… but it felt a lot like an Anthony Bourdain moment, the waiter sort of laughing when I ordered it (“It’s…. it’s a lot”) the owner checking in and making me try the gravy (“hang on you need this”) and the older gentleman who had to lean in over my shoulder at the counter and ask,”what in the world is that?”
I only managed half but it was worth it.