Archive for books

Book Bacchanalia

Posted in paris with tags , on March 17, 2012 by ana

For some time now I’ve been wanting to take a ceramics class. I have some ideas I want to explore. When I was in high school every Wednesday I would go to this art gallery/ceramics space in a beautiful old house and work with clay. Baking makes me want to work with clay again or maybe I love to bake because I miss throwing clay.

The last two days were such a tease! Gorgeous, take a long walk after dinner kind of days. Now it’s back to grey, and I’m procrastinating on the errands I have to do today. It’s cozy at the kitchen table with the windows all foggy and kcrw on.

Doing a little research on art classes this morning I came across the Parsons in Paris website. On their schedule from July to August they have a class called Perverse Library. It won’t tell me what it is but how fantastic would a course called Perverse Library be. Would there be girls running around in heels, seamed stockings, and pencil skirts reading Bataille to each other? Hardbacks, with worn spines that crack when you open them, filled with magical illustrations that cast spells upon you?  Would Titania roam the aisles and Alex and his droogs stomp about?  If one were to come across a perverse library wouldn’t it be here, in Paris and wouldn’t the librarian be Bettony Vernon?

 

butter, sugar, flour & eggs

Posted in 38 with tags , on November 18, 2011 by ana

This morning I am a wreck. There are days where I feel how my body is aging. They are the smallest, slightest shifts but nonetheless they are there. They are sort of like the difference between a hangover at 26 and one at 36. Thursdays are my longest days and I still feel yesterdays workday in my body today. I baked all day listening to Florence + the Machine, Other Lives, and Beirut. I made chocolate cakes, cheesecakes, ricotta pound cakes, profiteroles, sticky buns, caneles, coffee ice cream, english muffins, and rosemary shortbreads. I worked nonstop. Baking gives me this meditative energy that I really adore and I like how it sometimes leaves a subtle scent of butter and vanilla on my hands. I’m kind of obsessed with dough right now. I think it all started in Italy. I love how it can be wet or sticky or silky, how it can be forgiving or unforgiving depending on the ingredients, and how you have to throw your energy into it. I like that there is both science and history to it and an elegant simplicity as well. I know so little about it and it excites me to discover more.

After baking I changed from my flour smeared blue coveralls to my jeans and waited tables for six hours. When I got home from work I took a long shower, climbed into bed exhausted but couldn’t fall asleep. I ended up watching the tail end  of  The English Patient which was on tv. Every time I hear or read Michael Ondaatje’s words I want to crawl into them. I am seduced by them. I am inspired.  I am enamored. I saw him read once, with Paul Auster, just after September 11 at the Dia Center. His voice was magnificent- deep, sexy, sophisticated, and throaty. I had forgotten how beautiful The English Patient was. I didn’t like the movie so much when it came out but last night I could see how it did justice to the book, which is one of my favorites. I fell asleep thinking of the end of the movie and the quote below-

“We die containing a richness of lovers and tribes, tastes we have swallowed, bodies we have plunged into and swum up as if rivers of wisdom, characters we have climbed into as if trees, fears we have hidden in as if caves. I wish for all this to be marked on by body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography – to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience.”

– Michael Ondaatje