4/15/2003

i finished artemis fowl today, and you're right, fred, it's pretty comparable to harry potter (in the best sense). have you cracked the code yet? it's nice to see smart writing directed towards kids. sometimes i'm really afraid all meaning will be lost in the ever-expanding morass of "like" and "you know" usage. i'm especially afraid for myself. fowl was just what i needed to pull out of my reader's blight, and thrilling tales is proving to be a good follow-up, just 1.5 stories in. i found chabon's intro compelling, and it resonates with the book review in the may issue of harper's, "our essays, "ourselves." the second story of this, the latest installment of mcsweeney's quarterly, is "the tears of squonk, and what happened thereafter," and it is thrilling indeed. i've had some insatiable craving for saltiness and sourness lately, and i've been indulging at russ & daughters (e houston, near ludlow) and the pickle guys (grand and essex). the pickled herring i picked up yesterday is so, so good. really unctuous and that puckery-mmph taste. yeah. mmph. the PG's have these tasty pickled grape tomatoes which have a nice brightness to them. i'm not sure what they're leaving out of their pickling brine, but most of their wares taste like that. sort of clean. maybe there's a faster turnover so the vegetables spend less time pickling? in which i dig a little deeper into the new york experience: went to my first-ever yankees game last night, and perhaps because i came fully expecting to be bored out of my mind, i actually enjoyed myself. we sat high up in the tier behind home plate -- great seats, except for the gale-force winds that immobilized my extremities. (is there some sort of meteorological law that stipulates that it be ten degrees colder and windy as hell within a stadium? methinks so.) yankee stadium is a neat little microcosm. a sort of quasi-ideal version of new york. (yes, including the drunken louts who flail about and heckle to no end. tim claims to be such a lout.) there was a sizeable showing of japanese spectators, out to support matsui, i gathered (so adroitly!). baseball is kind of weird, in the way that all spectator sports are weird. sort of a glib statement, i know, but there's something at once empty and reassuring about america's favorite pasttime, and i can't quite articulate what it is exactly. does anyone else find this really disturbing? let's turn it over to farmer winnie now: as you can see, the herbs are faring well. i'm not entirely sure if that's a chive stalk on the left, or if somehow some grass seed got mixed into the soil. do chives actually sprout like that? and how come there's only one? i think we've got some tarragon in the foreground and thyme in the back. verbile: i like the word "morass". the adjective form of "morass" is "morassy". how great is that?

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