Mo’s bacon bar and two cords of wood

July 21st, 2009 | Other Projects

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A friend of mine was at the SF Dyke March the other week, and wandered into a wine shop where she found this fancy chocolate bar. Bacon, chocolate and Mo in one tasty package. It’s exactly as delicious as you might expect.

Here’s a movie of two cords of wood being delivered yesterday.

130 Responses to “Mo’s bacon bar and two cords of wood”

  1. Ellen O. says:

    Ah, the wood again. The years keep coming, don’t they? Good thing we have seasons.

  2. Ellen O. says:

    What would it be like to listen to that video with your eyes closed, not knowing what it was?

    (And with Alison’s comment edited out.)

    Industrial music?

  3. boredtotears says:

    Alison, thank goodness you’re back! On behalf of all of us who adore you, please don’t leave this blog for so long. If we wanted to know what Duncan or Maggie or anyone else has to say, we’d visit their blogs. We come here for YOU! I know you’re hard at work on your new book, but can’t you just drop us a line, saying what’s on your mind, every couple of days? Pleeeeease?

  4. Bacon and refined sugar in one package? They’re probably not fair-trade cacao beans, either. Somehow, I don’t think Mo would eat that.

  5. I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL for so long. I had some family stuff to deal with. But even aside from that, I have to confess, I haven’t been feeling very much like blogging lately. Or even reading the blog.

    I’m not sure why. But I suspect that whatever need I’ve been trying to fill via these quasi-intimate, quasi-confessional blog posts over the past couple of years must be getting met in other ways.

    Well, perhaps not quite, since I just did it again by telling you that.

  6. Ellen O. says:

    Re #3
    Boredtotears — get thyself to Facebook. You’ll stop being bored real fast.

    Meanwhile, Alison, I’m glad to know you are getting you’re meeting your needs in less quasi ways! Hope things with the family are okay.

    Don’t worry about the blog.
    Stack wood, sketch lines.

  7. hairball_of_hope says:

    Stack wood.

    Sketch lines.

    Eat chocolate. Bacon optional.

  8. NLC says:

    does that really say “haut chocolat”?

    groan…

  9. Acilius says:

    Well, I like to know what Maggie, and Duncan, and the rest of them have to say. And I do visit their blogs!

  10. Sharon Lee says:

    A bit like watching paint dry though I wish I had 2 cords of wood of my own delivered.

  11. freyakat says:

    Alison, I second what Ellen O. says.

    Stack wood, sketch lines, do whatever you are moved to do (and don’t do whatever you are moved to not do….).

  12. Heidi says:

    I’ve seen that chocolate bar in the stores and have not been tempted. I think bacon is fine and all, but I don’t quite understand why it’s so much the rage these days. I’ve noticed it’s trendy to like bacon lately. Why? Is it because people like to be bad?

  13. June says:

    Vosges is actually a really cool company. It’s woman owned, I think the owner’s name is Kristina Vosges. She was a chef who turned to making interesting/experimental chocolate. I think the best are her chocolates with strong spices. If you’re in NYC, she has a store in SoHo.

  14. June says:

    Nope, on Googling, her name is Katrina Markoff and she named her company Vosges after the region in France (she studied at Le Cordon Bleu).

    http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/who_we_are

  15. Ready2Agitate says:

    A respite she took
    Ourselves we kept occupied
    All are free to choose.

    Welcome back, AB – I hear ya, and even thought you were busy living life – with family, with Holly, with the woods, with New Yorkers & Harpers. Hope you’re having a good summer. My latest food love? Cucumber, mint leaf, and goat cheese sandwich mushed inside a pita pocket. (You ken call me Mo :).

  16. shadocat says:

    I for one welcome boredtotears’ honesty. I think a little dissention in the ranks can be a good thing from time to time. And while I love reading other blogs and the conversations posted here, it’s nice to hear from the author once in awhile. To tell the truth, there have been many times when I just checked to see if there was a new entry, and when none was found, I just skipped reading and went to something else. There are lots of interesting blogs out there; I recomend checking those out before wasting much time on facebook.

  17. hairball_of_hope says:

    @R2A (#15)

    Good haiku.

    I wonder who the “Mo” in Mo’s Bacon Bar is. Do you suppose Katrina Markoff is a lurker on this blog and has been following the bacon trail?

    The real Mo, of course, would munch on a fair trade carob tofu “fakin’ bacon” bar. Maggie once described a vile carob tofu dessert as the lesbian-feminist political equivalent of kashrut. Definitely a Mo thing.

  18. therealadena says:

    Heidi: One answer is provided in former FDA head Dr. David A. Kessler’s new book. It’s fascinating (I’ve only just started it)

  19. Ian says:

    AB, I imagine your need for the confessional aspect of blogging is probably being more than met by pouring all the gory details of your love life into your new graphic novel.

    PS Sheesh! How much wood do you need in summer in Vermont? Are you planning to build “Mo-ah’s Ark” to ride out the flooding from the Arctic ice melts? (Should I apologise for that awful pun? Hmmmm).

  20. Mad Scientist says:

    @EO #2
    Check out this video…(close your eyes and listen)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mThJMWlAKG4

  21. Martha says:

    This morning it was fun to listen to Jane Vandenburgh speak about how much she enjoyed Alison’s graphic book review of her book; “A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century.”
    I had forgotten about it. Ms. Vandenburgh’s delight filled her voice as she talked about how perfectly AB had caught bits of her life.

    http://www.kqed.org/epArchive/R907211000 It is an hour long interview.

  22. Feminista says:

    #15 Ready: I agree w/HoH re: the Haiku. And your sandwich sounds delicious. Middle Eastern food is esp.great in hot weather.

    We’re in our second heat wave this month,so tonight I made:

    Feminista’s Easy Tropical Smoothie

    Place in blender and whirl together until smooth: bananas,mango chunks,orange juice,yogurt,lime juice,vanilla,ginger and nutmeg,garnished w/mint leaves. No need for sweetening. Experiment w/quantities of the above depending on personal taste and # of servings needed. Makes a great quick breakfast,brunch item,or snack.

    Tips:
    1) No time to make banana bread/muffins with those rapidly-ripening ‘naners? Peel,place in freezer bag,and put ‘em in the freezer. Use as
    needed,including the above.

    2)Use frozen mango chunks from Trader Joe’s,if you’re fortunate to have one nearby. Much easier than wrestling with a whole mango.

    And now for some more (somemores?*) Mo puns:

    Keb Mo (Kevin Moore):(famous jazz musician,real person)

    Mo’Better Blues (actual Spike Lee film)

    *Somemores are classic U.S.camp food: roasted marshmallow,topped with chocolate squares, sandwiched between two graham crackers. Last had ‘em about 5 years ago.

  23. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Feminista (#22)

    Your smoothie sounds wonderful. I rarely have fresh mango in the house because I don’t like mango wrestling. Bananas are so much easier. Never thought about frozen mangoes, or freezing the excess in chunks.

    I sometimes make a spicy mango salsa/chutney (not sure what to call it) to go with grilled fish. Mango, serrano chile, red onion, flat leaf Italian parsley, sometimes I add tomato. Sweet, savory, and hot. Great with grilled mahi-mahi or salmon.

    S’mores… last time I had them must have been 8-9 years ago at “Mommy and Me” weekend at Girl Scouts camp. After the kids got all us geezers stoked on the sugar high of s’mores, they challenged us to have a hula hoop contest among ourselves. Thank goddess for ibuprofen. Oy. Somewhere in the universe there are photos of all of us making total asses of ourselves. Blackmail material. :).

  24. j.b.t. says:

    I’ve had the Vosges bacon bar and it rocks. Super yummy!

    Heidi – Bacon isn’t “bad.” The whole animal fat is bad for your heart idea (also called “the lipid hypothesis”) has been pretty well proven incorrect. You could check out Gary Taubes bood “Good Calories, Bad Calories” for more on that. (Bad title, I know. But he is an award winning science journalist and the book is incredibly well documented.)

    Of course, I am concerned about the *quality* of my animal products – want them naturally raised, humane, etc. Though I admit to relaxing my standards when it came to the bacon chocolate bar. I relaxed them at the MN State Fair last year, too, when I had the “Pig Lickers” – bacon dipped in chocolate. Forgive me, I have sinned.
    But it was soooo delicious.

    J.

  25. Ready2Agitate says:

    Good point shadocat re: dissention (#whatever above) (sorry – was that rude?) So yes, it *is* nice to have a fresh entry from AB to keep us wildly zig-zagging into free association topical terrains. And it’s great to hear from voices that tend to drift away by the time the thread reaches over 250. (Speaking of which, Ginjoint, where u at, girl?)

  26. Alex K says:

    When the truck raises its bed and the wood slumps out you have two sorts of feelings. First — “Wow! I am SO PROVIDENT!” Second — “Oh, crap. Now I have to stack all that.”

    Mind you, anyone who is burning that expensive year-old split stuff rather than heating with slabwood can afford to slip a couple of teenagers a twenty each to get the logs off the lawn.

    How much did that truckload run you, AB? With slabwood, out in western Pennsylvania, used to be most of the cost of a $250 load like that went to the hauler. The sawmills almost gave slabwood away, particularly in spring and summer. About ten, twelve years back, though, I got a pickup truck. Then every time I drove up to Amish country I’d bring back a load of slabwood at $10, $15. The stacking and the cashflow both were easier to manage that way.

    Burning logwood. Mm-MMM. Well uptown. Wonder what Lois would think of that.

  27. ksbel6 says:

    Chocolate and bacon together has never really sounded that good to me, but I’m not a huge fan of chocolate, so maybe that is why.

    I too agree with boredtotears and shadocat. Where are Ginjoint and jayinchicago? I find it funny that periodically daily posters say something along the lines of, “we need different opinions or this will get boring.” Then those same folks attack any difference of opinion.

    @hoh:while my comment a few posts back about teachers’ salaries would indeed be self-serving, I think when there is more money involved, more people would be interested which would create competition and better teacher quality. I stay in my small town position because the life suits me better. Everyone here knows me. I get much angrier stares and confusion in big cities where I’m more likely to surprise some people.

    As for the Facebook comment, I’m pretty sure the poster was just pointing out that AB quite frequently puts up new pictures and fun little games to play as part of her status.

  28. hairball_of_hope says:

    @ksbel6 (#27)

    I agree with you on the teacher salaries. Amazing how the bankers say they need to pay ridiculous bonuses and salaries or they won’t be able to retain their top talent and Congress buys (and funds) this, but the same argument made about teacher salaries is decried as a “special interest” in the same halls of Congre$$.

    What’s your opinion on the issue of mandatory pedagogic requirements for non-teaching majors to become teachers?

    In our hunt to find new jobs, one of my colleagues (dual major, EE and math) looked into teaching in NY State. He was surprised to find that even with the shortage of math and science teachers, there was pretty much no flexibility for non-teachers to enter the profession without first taking a bunch of classes.

  29. Andrew B says:

    NLC… “Haut chocolat”… Isn’t that what you drink after you’ve been skiing in les hautes montagnes? And as long as I’m being groan-worthy, if you click through to the Vosges Chocolates web site, you’ll see that this company which exists to sell expensive candy bars has a “mission statement”. Should you choose to accept it…

  30. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: requirements vary from state to state (which is a problem when teachers try to relocate) so I do not know about requirements in NY. In MO there is such a shortage of math and science teachers that anyone with a degree in those areas can obtain a provisional 2 year certificate. During those 2 years the person need only pass a standardized education exam (called The Praxis) in order to get their full certification.

    As for course requirements, there are only 3 undergraduate education courses required if you have a degree in your subject area. For the most part I consider actual education courses to be outdated, too much theory, and VERY easy. Unfortunately, universities make tons of money off of those courses by putting them online for easy access to folks wanting to change career paths. They do little to no good when it comes to actually creating good teachers. Teaching is an art, and the only way to get good at it is to do it. Most of the professors teaching education courses haven’t actually been in a classroom for at least 15 years, and there have been a few changes in our society since 1995 :)

  31. lurker-no-longer says:

    (Ian; post #19 above): Ah, Ian, you are so obviously not a Vermonter! Hopefully one needs no wood in the summer,though this chilly rainy summer may have been a different story for some. However, one does need to get wood delivered (unless you cut it yourself), let it sit in the sun and rain for a month or so to season, and then stack it before winter. Unless of course you are able to afford a dry cord, which already has been seasoned for a year or so; it’s often $50 or so more per cord. I was also wondering how much that two cords went for… it sounded awfully dry to me as it was clunking out of the truck. Dry wood has more of a “clunk”, while green wood has more of a “thud” sound to it.

    All over Vermont now there are giant piles of wood in back yards. I actually love the chore of stacking wood, and there is nothing so satisfying as having a couple of beautifully stacked cords of wood under cover before the snow flies.

    As they say, wood warms you 3 times; once when you split it, once when you stack it, and once when you burn it.

  32. Heidi says:

    @thereadalena (#18) I’ll have to put that on my reading list. My fascination with food is unending, so I like to read about nutrition.

    @j.b.t. (#24) I’m concerned with the quality of my animal products, too, and try to stick to organic and naturally raised meats. And I know there’s a big difference in nutrition depending on how the animals are raised. But I have a hard time not believing that bacon is bad! On the other hand, plenty of old farmers have eaten bacon every morning of their lives and lived to be ancient. So I’ll try to keep an open mind until I’ve read more about it.

  33. Timmytee says:

    What–no maple syrup in the chocolate bar? (big wink!)

  34. Ginjoint says:

    Yo, I’m here. Thanks for asking! I haven’t posted recently because one, I’m in the process of packing to move (the move is next Monday); two, hiring (and dealing with the fallout of) contractors for some work in the new place; and three, I just haven’t had much to say. (I didn’t have time to read The Little Stranger, so I couldn’t participate in that discussion.) I’m moving from one condo in Chicago to another, closer to downtown. The new place has wood-burning fireplaces, so those cords of wood look great to me right now. I haven’t even moved in yet and I’m already on the condo board president’s shit list, due to the contractors not following proper protocol. Several impassioned emails were exchanged. Oy.

    Alison, I think Ian nailed it when he said you’re fulfilling your confessional needs with your work on the new book. I mean, talk about intimate.
    Back to work, packing and sorting. I miss y’all.

  35. Alex the Bold says:

    Alison, you make Vermont sound like the biggest adventure in the world. Exotic chocolate, trucks dropping firewood. You’ve got New Jersey beat seven ways to Sunday.

  36. Alex K says:

    @34: Well, dang. So that’s what’s been keeping you busy!

    I truly HAVE missed you. Do you mind being tagged, if only by me, as the voice of the wry community?

    Here’s hoping that the new place makes your life easier, and more fun.

  37. ksbel6 says:

    Wahoo for a note from Ginjoint…just one quick question…how’s the crush? :)

  38. Ginjoint says:

    Well, thanks, Alex! I’ll have to share the “wry” with my coworkers – they’ll appreciate that, having to listen to me all day. Ksbel – the crush? Not so gud, akshully. You see, I met her as…hm…I’m trying to get the right words here…I think the word is “fiduciary”? As in, I met her as part of her employment; I’m a client of the bank she works for. I don’t want to give out too much personal info here, but she’s kind of my contact person at the bank. It’s a kind of delicate position. So, do she and I have a “fiduciary” relationship? Am I using that word correctly? I know there’s fiduciary information, but I’m not sure about this use of the word.

    Anyway, a few weeks ago she started to sort of pull back. I was (and am) hurt and confused. My therapist thinks she realized she may have overstepped her bounds, and then got frightened. I’m currently mulling over what to do. I really do miss her. This reaching out to people – for friends, for sex, for anything in between – can suck mightily! But for now, I’m undaunted. Onward, ho!

    Dammit, wait. That sounds like I just called myself a ho. Wevs.

  39. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ginjoint (#38)

    Welcome back girl. You have been missed. Good luck with the move.

    Fiduciary… absolutely there are fiduciary relationships. Definitely proper usage on your part.

  40. Kat says:

    Okay, I know I’ll get kicked for this one (and yes I know why it’s awful and wrong in every way) BUT:

    Ginjoint:
    hos before bros, yo.

    :)

    (sorry. sorry. sorrysorrysorrysorry!!!)

  41. j.b.t. says:

    Yo ho ho! :)

  42. and a bottle of rum.

  43. Ready2Agitate says:

    Hee!

  44. Ready2Agitate says:

    Interruptus! The President of the United States (POTUS) speaks about the arrest of Harvard scholar Skip Gates – wow!

    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2009/07/obama_cambridge.html

    OK – back to hos, bros, bacon, rum, maple syrup, and hot throbbing D’sTWOF (welcome back Gjoint).

  45. Ginjoint says:

    Kat: Always! But, gin before rum.

  46. Renee S. says:

    Time flies when you’re having rum…

  47. Dr. Empirical says:

    Speaking of absent friends, has anyone heard from Deena in OR lately?

    Last I recall, she had just successfully renegotiated her mortgage to enable her to keep her home. Then, she dropped of the face of the Earth.

    I hope she just got bored with us!

  48. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ginjoint, Renee (#45,46)

    Sitting in a bar in Madrid sometime in the 1980s, I ordered a Cuba Libre. A Cuba Libre is Spanish vernacular for a rum and Coke.

    The bartender asked me, “¿Ron o ginebra?” (“Rum or gin?)

    Not sure I had heard him correctly, “¿Ginebra?” I questioned. “¿Ginebra?”

    “Ginebra.”

    I quickly assessed the idea of trying some strange Spanish gin I’d never heard of mixed with Coke. No risk-taking here.

    “Ron! Ron!” I replied.

    I happen to really like gin. I drink it straight up, over the rocks with a twist of lime, or at most, mixed with tonic. But in the 25 years since this encounter, I have never been game enough to experiment by mixing gin with Coke.

    I’ve also never encountered a Cuba Libre made with anything other than rum. Granted, other than this incident in Spain I’ve only ordered it in the US, Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico, so maybe my imbibatory (??) experience is limited.

    Or maybe the bartender was messing with the foreigner. Maybe he has a scorecard of stupid extranjeros/extranjeras he’s convinced to drink gin and Coke.

  49. Heidi says:

    I’ve tried gin with Coke, and I feel that gin really belongs with tonic, and Coke with rum.

  50. Kat says:

    Gin and coke???? ew.

    Gin and lime. all ya need…..

  51. judybusy says:

    I’m glad boredtotears commented. Sometimes the comments section feels as though it’s evolved into a quite clique-ish space. It’s kind of like coming to a party to a new friend’s house. There are already about 8 very interesting, already-acquainted people. They give a token wave. It’s a small place. You and the other three guests try to make conversation, but the group is loud, funny and like, I said, really interesting. So after a while, you just end up sitting back and taking it all in.

    This is what the comments are like for me most of the time. I don’t comment a whole lot, because many times someone’s already said what I might have, typically in a funnier/more erudite way than I can. I am much more lively in person, and I lose lots in translation!

    But, I still come back and read nearly everything, because people write so well and I love the esoteric nature of the blog.

    Sometimes, though, I wonder who else isn’t speaking up and what would happen if the regulars sat back a bit and let some space happen for others to join in.

    You know who else I really miss? Silvio Soprani. She always had the sharpest insights, and her voice was so gentle. I miss her, even though it’s been about two years.

  52. Ginjoint says:

    On my lunch break from packing – God, I can’t believe how much crap I own. (I’m remembering Carlin’s “Stuff” routine right now.)

    I’ve tried mixing gin with Coke when I was out of tonic and desperate. It was horrible. I also once had a bartender make me a gin and seltzer water, as he was out of tonic. He didn’t say anything, just handed me the drink. *Gak.* He actually thought I wouldn’t notice!

    Dr. E, I echo your curiosity re: Deena. She was a sweetie – I hope all’s well her way.

  53. Ginjoint says:

    Silvio! Yes! I too have wondered about her. I hope she’s O.K. too, and still jammin on her accordion.

    Judybusy, I really like it when new folks post. However, after thinking about it, I know I haven’t been as welcoming as I could – as in, I enjoy their comments but don’t always post an encouraging reply. I’ll work harder on that.

    I understand boredtotears’ frustration, but I don’t think there was any need to call out Duncan and Maggie like that, just for being regular posters. That was mean. Even when I disagree with them, I’m still glad they’re here. Now I’m shutting up.

  54. hairball_of_hope says:

    What happened to Jana CH? Surely there’s room for more opera on this blog.

  55. judybusy says:

    And Jana’s quirky signatures, something along the lines of “so saith….”

  56. Dr. Empirical says:

    Ginjoint: The Zweig hypothesis, as formulated by Dani Zweig, S.M.O.F. goes thusly:

    “If I keep putting things in boxes, and don’t run out of boxes, eventually, I’ll run out of things.”

    Let us know whether your experiments support or refute the Zweig hypothesis.

  57. ksbel6 says:

    My current favorite drink is Jim Beam and Sprite. It is just more fun than 7 n 7.

    I too miss Jana CH’s fun signature lines.

    Hope the move brings positive vibes your way Ginjoint. I’m coming up on having lived in my current house longer than anywhere else my whole life. Kind of cool to think about.

  58. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Dr. E (#56)

    If Ginjoint’s stuff is anything like mine, it will expand to fill all available boxes, thus demonstrating the principle of maximum entropy. She may never prove or disprove Zweig’s hypothesis.

    Actually, given a set of n boxes, my stuff always seems to require n+1 boxes. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum.

    I never did get myself a little Ganesh to stare at while engaged in the entropy-maximizing n+1 time-sucking activity of sitting in front of the computer monitor. Hmmph.

    (… goes back to looking at her n-1 paystub, thinking about how good it will seem in comparison to the nil paystub …)

  59. hairball_of_hope says:

    Misspelled. Ad nauseam.

    (… exits the auditorium via her favorite architectural feature, the vomitorium …)

  60. ksbel6 says:

    @hoh: if you can show it is true for n and show it holds for n+1, then by mathematical induction it will be true for the entire set. Therefore, if you know ahead of time that you will require n boxes, you need only have a friend give you that one extra, and you will always be set for packing :) Go math proofs, go!!

  61. shadocat says:

    Ginjoint—I’m not sure boredtotears meant to be mean by mentioning Maggie’s and Duncan’s blogs. Maybe I’m wrong, but when I read that, I took their mention as a “for example…” She could’ve mentioned any blog of a frequenter here. Of course I could be wrong—just sayin’.

    I too, miss many of our old friends. Speaking for
    myself, there are lots of reasons I don’t comment as much as I used to:

    #1-I just got busy. Work, health and family are taking up more of my time.

    #2-My big mouth. I’ve written some hurtful things in the past, and divulged more than I wish I had a few times. Not sure if I would take these things back, but I do want to measure my words more carefully in the future. And…

    #3-Sometimes I feel intimidated. Maybe that says more about me and less about other bloggers, but there it is. What if I have an opinion that might not be accepted? What if I make a joke that gets taken the wrong way? What if I’m just not smart enough to keep up?

    Just of few of the things I’ve been thinking about lately. Back to lurking for me (not forever, just a little while).

  62. Gabi B. says:

    ICK. After reading, on this site, everyone lusting after bacon and maple syrup I found this choc bar at my local Central Market. I like the idea of mixing sweet with salty. Many cookie recipes call for a small amount of salt to help highlight the sweet. But this bar was awful. The salt overpowered the whole taste even obliterating the bacon flavor. It is rare I meet a chocolate I don’t like, but this was bad.

  63. hairball_of_hope says:

    Gabi’s review of the Vosges bacon bar as haiku:

    Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bar
    Too salty – can’t taste bacon
    Ruined chocolate

    I like sweet with salt
    Bacon, salt, and chocolate?
    Ick, that was awful!

    Bacon chocolate
    Cord of wood is tastier
    Watch out for splinters

    (N.B. I had to look up the pronunciation of Vosges to make sure it was one syllable, my French is abhorrent)

  64. Ian says:

    Gin and cranberry juice is rather good, and gin and orange works surprisingly well. However, by far the best is gin and bitter lemon. I like to think of it as the drink Dusty would’ve had behind the Green Door …

  65. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Ian (#64)

    I’m not familiar with bitter lemon. Is this a carbonated beverage? I wonder if it’s available on this side of the pond.

    I like sour citrusy stuff (I occasionally eat lemons), so I might like gin and bitter lemon.

    Gimlets are good (gin and lime juice). Vodka gimlets are also good.

  66. Kate L says:

    hairball (#65) and Ian (#64)

    Bitter Lemon? WOW, does that take me back. To the mid-1960’s when Schweppe’s (the ginger ale and tonic water people) produced a version. I had it without gin or vodka or anything else that was adult, since I was only 9 years old! As an adult, though, I looked for Schweppe’s Bitter Lemon for DECADES without success! I found it a few years ago, then it disappeared again. I figure it must be like Fresca – the grapefruit soda that disappeared from U.S. grocery stores for several decades, because Canadians were hording it.

  67. Kate L says:

    On a hunch, I looked up Bitter Lemon on Wikipedia. It actually has an entry! Turns out that quinine water makes it bitter, lemon makes it lemony. I swear to God(dess), here is the last sentence in the Wikipedia entry:
    “Bitter lemon is no longer readily available in Canada.” Ha!

  68. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#66)

    Oooh Fresca, I forgot about that stuff. I liked it as a kid. I don’t remember bitter lemon, I probably would have liked it too.

    Carbonated bevs aren’t part of my usual diet. Occasionally I have a ginger ale, tonic, or seltzer. Once in a blue moon I have a root beer. Cola? Only with rum, and that’s very, very rare.

    Oh for my youthful liver and its Olympic-caliber enzymes, which allowed me to party all night and then go to work with just a shower and a two hour nap separating the party animal me from the alert and sober me. How did I ever do that?

    I’m a cheap date these days. One drink gives me a buzz, two drinks put me to sleep.

  69. j.b.t. says:

    The Vosges bacon bar is NOT ick!!!!! :)

  70. j.b.t. says:

    I miss the real Mo, who would no doubt disagree with me on the bacon issue.

  71. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#67)

    Does that mean bitter lemon is basically tonic and lemon? I drink tonic and lime (or lemon) in lieu of booze when I’m forced to socialize at the hotel bar with work colleagues.

    It’s part of my road warrior survival strategy. I make those happy hour visits as short as possible, and then I get the hell out of the hotel lounge to do something more enjoyable than watching folks drink lousy drinks and listening to them repeating the same war stories.

    Anything is better than sitting there. I’d rather wander the aisles of a supermarket than sit in a hotel lounge. Hell, I’d rather watch my laundry spin around in the washing machine than sit in the hotel lounge.

    Ugh.

  72. Ellen O. says:

    I guess my fur stands up when people ask artists to pull themselves away from their work. Perhaps they don’t understand how distracting and disruptive writing blog entries, caring for family, and getting the daily chores done is for creative progress.

    So I was politely dissenting the dissenters and suggesting a Facebook page if one is bored. If you have dynamic, thoughtful friends on Facebook, you’ll be greeted with endless articles, notes, photos and discussions.

  73. Anne says:

    A “cord” of wood? The North American measuring system is soooo quaint (not to say antiquated, but that would just be rude). Is it how much wood you can fit inside a twisty phone cord? Looks like a long cord, too.
    Wikipedia says 1 cord is 128 cubic feet (3.62 m3) – I guess if feet were cubic, you could fit 128 size 22 in there.

  74. NLC says:

    Strictly speaking a cord is “A 4X4X8 stack of wood stacked tightly such that a squirrel may pass through but not the cat chasing it.

  75. Ian says:

    @hoh #65: Here’s the Wikipedia entry on bitter lemon, HOH:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_lemon

    It does say you can get it in the States, although goodness only knows where. You could probably get close to it by mixing carbonated tonic water (that contains quinine) and cloudy lemonade?

  76. Calico says:

    #19 – The wood needs to dry a bit and “cure” – otherwise you have a big. smoky problem in the wintertime. It needs to be stacked properly before fall rain and the inevitable snow.
    Also, during some years, good non-green cordwood is in short supply, so it’s always good to stock up early. : )

  77. North American Rebuttal says:

    From the Online Etymology Dictionary:

    cord
    c.1300, from O.Fr. corde, from L. chorda “string, gut,” from Gk. khorde “string, catgut, chord, cord,” from PIE base *gher- “intestine.” As a measure of wood (eight feet long, four feet high and wide) first recorded 1616, so called because it was measured with a cord of rope.

    So, it’s Greek and European rather than North American. Oops.

    Alison has said as many times as she needs to that this blog is an incidental, shifting part of her life, and those who continue to think they can make demands of her time and attention because she is a writer are indulging in a romantic delusion whose charm has long since faded.

    I’m particularly tired of the sullen 8th grade resentment expressed by some who come to a literary blog and find they have to *read* things longer than a tweet, or encounter opinions different than what is repetitively expressed by their own insular crowd. Don’t want to read, or encounter a difference of thought? Then go to all the other sites where Alison’s brand of intellectually omnivorous love of ideas and language is not the definitive personality trait of the blog’s founder.

    Boredom indicates shallowness on the part of those expressing it, and is never the responsibility of others.

    Get off Alison’s back. She’s working for her living, not feeding your ego.

  78. Calico says:

    #52 – Sometimes Deena in OR posts on Josh F.’s Comics Curmudgeon site – I post there fairly frequently, and she popped up with a post about a ago.
    (I think it’s the same person!) : D

  79. Kate L says:

    Ian (#75)

    Bitter Lemon wasn’t cloudy – it was clear as a bell!

  80. Calico says:

    #78 – Crud, I meant about a week ago. Sorry!

  81. Ian says:

    @KateL #79: Oh. Well, it’s kinda green here, like cloudy lemonade (note, I am partially colour blind), besides cloudy lemonade always tastes better than clear IMHO.

    @North American Rebuttal #77: I don’t think the poster boredtotears was expressing boredom with AB and demanding new posts, but rather with an ongoing conversation between relatively few posters in the discussions below AB’s posts. Personally I find those conversations fascinating, but that’s just my own taste.

  82. Anne says:

    Of course “cord” is not American… it’s just that everyone else gave up on a system that implies knowing how to multiply by 12. Even the Brits with their pounds, shillings and pence (thank queen for decimalization).
    Gotta love NLC’s definition – now that makes it worth having a wacky system.

  83. freyakat says:

    We all have different tastes, which is great, but:
    I too vote for “ick” with this particular Vosges bar. (I sometimes splurge on other Vosges bars at
    Zabar’s, where they are in the scheme of chocolate things ‘pretty expensive’ rather than ‘insanely expensive’.

    I thought that the total effect of the bacon ended up being a wishy-washy taste of salt — which can be wonderful in chocolate bars — and a weird hard-rubbery chewy sensation.

    Piggies, I apologize to you for having tried this out. (I don’t usually eat bacon because I’m pretty Mo-like in terms of food and also because even thinking about bacon reminds me in a sad way of how much I like live pigs.)

    Although come to think of it, who knows what Mo would think….

  84. Kate L says:

    Ian (#81)

    Green? Well, This WAS over 40 years ago I’m talking about. Bitter Lemon – in memory as clear as a bell. I have a lot of memories from those days, like the time I accidentally refused to shake hands with President Lyndon Johnson at the capitol buuilding.

    Hey, good news! I think a woman geology major from the 70’s just moved in across the street! I’m talkin’ tool belt and everything! ;)

  85. Kat says:

    Kate L,
    My friends all loved your “wow, there are a lot of women geologists here” line (re: the stonewall/pride discussions).

  86. rinky says:

    @freyakat Yes (sigh) what would Mo be thinking. I miss her

  87. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Freyakat (#83)

    I just came back from Zabar’s a few minutes ago, with my pound of custom blended coffee and chocolate bars in the bag. I didn’t even think to look for Vosges, I bought some Lindt bittersweet. I considered the Scharfen Berger, but decided I didn’t want to spend $10 for two chocolate bars. Spent the money I saved on chocolate on the nova on bagel special in Zabar’s café next door.

  88. Renee S. says:

    @ hairball

    sounds divine…

  89. Kate L says:

    Kat (#85: Women geologists – related).

    Thanks! That reall IS what I thought to myself as I sat at that San Francisco restaurant, btw! As for today… my new neighbor with the toolbelt and I locked eyes for just a moment as I walked past. We smiled. I’d like to get to know her, maybe talk about igneous and metamorphic rocks. We could become… friends.

    I just got caught up on the discussion about Dr. Gates and the Cambridge police on an earlier blog. Here is an interesting story about recent racial profilings in the United States that was posted today by ABC News in the US. Some of the accounts are eerily similar to Dr. Gates’ experience. One of them happened about 48 hours ago. And, I am continuing to watch the usual conservative media outlets in the United States, with an awful anticipation like watching a car wreck in progress, knowing that sooner or later one of the overpaid commentators will be just a little too forthcoming about their opinion of black men like Gates and Obama.
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Health/Story?id=8166716&page=1

  90. Kate L says:

    Another thing that I’ve been thinking about the arrest of Dr. Gates in Cambridge is this… police in the United States often have video units in their squad cars. By all accounts, many policemen had arrived on the scene in Cambridge by the time Dr. Gates was arrested. It is possible that the Cambridge police department has video of the entire incident. If so, it would establish whose version of events – Dr. Gates’ or the arresting officer’s – was the correct one. And if that video exists, why haven’t we seen it? Police departments all around the country are not shy about turning videos of arrests over to news organizations when it suits their purposes.

  91. zeitgeist says:

    Good point, Kate L. I’m waiting to see that video, too.

  92. Feminista says:

    @Kate L: I hope things are looking better for you,and you’re getting the support you need actually as well as virtually.

    Namaste.

  93. Alex K says:

    @90: Ah, Professor “You don’t know who you’re messin’ with!” Gates. Piece after piece of paper on his walls to prove how smart he is, and he mixes it up with a cop. (Cue WIZARD OF OZ sequence in which the Scarecrow is given a diploma rather than a brain.) For an educated guy, Prof, you sure are dumb.

    Finely honed perceptions that cop had, by the way. Harvard professor, eh? If so, the abuse should have run “You don’t know with whom you are messing!”, the officer no doubt reasoned.

    Upon which conclusion the handcuffs left the belt.

  94. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#89)

    Reading that set of racial bias incidents recollected in the ABC News story reminded me of the incident experienced by John Hope Franklin on the eve of his Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in 1995.

    Franklin was a ground-breaking historian whose book “From Slavery to Freedom” remains a seminal work in African-American history.

    Franklin held a party at the exclusive Cosmos Club the evening before the award ceremony (N.B. Franklin was the first black member of the club).

    A white woman came up to him and handed over her coat check tag and askd him to retrieve her coat. Franklin informed her that he was a guest at the club, and any of the *uniformed* members of the club staff (and they were all uniformed) would be glad to retrieve her coat.

    http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2009/mar/26/nation/chi-obit-franklinmar26

  95. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate (#90)

    That is an EXCELLENT point about the video. Even if the video did not capture the incident because much of it occurred indoors, there might be audio that was captured.

    If Dr. Gates’ behavior was as disorderly and “tumultuous” as the police officer claimed, surely the mike on the police cruiser would have picked it up.

  96. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Alex K (#93)

    Cute. Reminds me of the joke about the good ol’ boy redneck who goes to Harvard and is looking for the library.

    (Imagine good ol’ boy sounding like Gomer Pyle, Harvard man sounding like John Houseman)

    Good Ol’ Boy: Excuse me, can you tell me where the library is at?

    Harvard Man: Sir, you are at Harvard. At Harvard, we speak the King’s English. If you are seeking assistance in locating the library, you must not end your sentence with a preposition. Rephrase your question and perhaps I can assist you.

    Good Ol’ Boy: Okay then… Can you tell me where the library is at, asshole?

  97. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Renee (#88)

    What’s most divine? The coffee, the chocolate, or the nova on bagel? BTW, the Zabar’s café nova/bagel special is the best-kept secret bargain in NYC. It’s a pre-made sandwich (boo), but for $5.95 you get nova on a bagel with cream cheese, a kalamata olive, 8oz. of fresh-squeezed OJ, and a cup of coffee.

    Plus you get the opportunity to sit at a community table with some really classic Upper West Side characters. I don’t eat there enough to be considered a regular, but I recognize the regulars, and they are an entertaining bunch who engage all around them into conversation.

    If they had a blog, it might sound something like this one.

  98. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#84)

    Toolbelt and everything, eh? You could offer to go over and help reshingle her roof, or clear her plumbing clogs, or something.

    Time to start working on your cooking repertoire. And your pickup line. Somehow I think “Hi, I’m metamorphic, you’re igneous, I think we’d go great together” might not be a good opener. :).

  99. Renee S. says:

    @ HOH yes. all of it.

  100. Renee S. says:

    @ Kate #84 and HOH #95

    Kate could bake her a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” cake with a rock hammer hidden inside of it…

  101. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Renee (#100)

    Uh, a hammer INSIDE the cake? Only if the neighbor is an inmate looking to break out of jail. I think a picture of a hammer done in decorative icing, or the cake cut out in the shape of a hammer, might be more welcome.

    Years ago, I had a colleague who baked amazingly creative cakes. They were always highly decorated and often in the shape of everyday objects. She made a cake for her mailman in the shape of a mail truck; Oreos for tires, and the postal logo done with icing.

    She made me a birthday cake in the shape of a computer monitor and keyboard. The keyboard used M&Ms for keys, but she flipped them over to the blank sides and used icing to make the QWERTY keyboard on the M&Ms. The cable connecting the keyboard and monitor was made of licorice.

    For kids, she made cakes in the shape of teddy bears, airplanes, and other toys. Her former boss, who had been an engineer on the Mercury and Gemini programs, got a cake in the shape of a rocket, done in the black/white paint scheme with NASA logo.

    She also made some body part cakes, but those never made it into work, for obvious reasons.

    I wonder if the Erotic Bakery is still in business. They used to make body part cakes (and yes, I had one once for my birthday).

    How about Kate baking a 13×9 sheet cake, and decorating it with marzipan rocks tinted to look like the real thing, and a marzipan hammer? I think some tartan plaid done in icing might be a nice touch.

  102. Dr. Empirical says:

    I don’t care how “tumultuous” Prof. Gates’ behavior was. I don’t care if he was waving his dick in the air! He was in his own home, and informed the cop that he was not welcome there. The cop should have left.

    @Alex K: Which is not to say that what Gates did wasn’t stupid.

  103. Well, speaking of cakes, here’s a perfect opportunity to direct you all to see Pam Isherwood’s (known as Pam I. here) AMAZING hand-decorated cakes here. And do check out her photos as well on the rest of the site.

  104. Re Skip Gates, I’ll recommend DDay’s post at Crooks and Liars, Actual Facts About The Henry Louis Gates Case. Synopsis for those who don’t want to click over:

    Massachusetts state law defining “disorderly conduct” is quoted and explained. The only part that could possibly apply here is “tumultous” behavior (a very subjective definition), a term which appears repeatedly in the arresting cop’s report and was clearly the intent of his actions once Gates had identified himself, i.e., to coerce Skip outside so he could theoretically claim that portion of the law was being violated.

    He does this by refusing to give Gates his name and badge number unless Gates comes outside. If this isn’t deliberate behavior designed to give this cop a chance at revenge, I don’t know what is. Either you give the requested information, or you don’t. Let’s all learn from this lesson.

    It sounds as if there may be an audio tape, not sure. That may well be from a video camera on a dashboard not in line of sight of the front porch.

    To quote from the above post: “The decision to arrest is telling. If Crowley believed the charge was valid, he could have issued a summons. An arrest under these circumstances shows his true intent: to humiliate Gates.” Also: “It creates a chilling effect among the public not to call out bad behavior in law enforcement or raise your voice in any way.”

  105. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie (#104)

    Pam I’s cakes are WONDERFUL. I love her retro cakes, the gramophone and the typewriter. She and my former colleague could form a partnership with their baking and creative skills.

    The computer birthday cake was for my 30th. The photos were taken in a computer room, and some of the technology in those photos makes me feel oh so old because now it is so retro. Such as the one gigabit towers of disk storage that were over six feet tall and weighed roughly 1000 lbs each, standing next to the nine-track open reel tape drives. I ponder that thought, slightly over 20 years later, as I stare at the 16Gb flash drive I keep in my pocket, looking for a good deal on a 32Gb flash drive.

    (… goes back to looking for the penny on the gramophone cake tone arm …)

  106. Alex K says:

    @103 (Dr Empirical): Most of the comment that I’ve read states that once Prof Gates had shown residence-specific ID, the officer should have left as requested.

    During a suspected break-in, identifying someone who claims entitlement to be there as indeed lawfully entitled to be there…can be tricky. Even when residence-specific ID is shown.

    Example 1: I keep my Arizona DL when I move to Wyoming, get a new one there, return to Arizona, break in at my old address. Cop arrives for report of break-in. I flash my (ex)-residence ID, the cop leaves….

    Example 2: My wife / partner, via a protection order, has recently had me evicted. She is on the floor of an upstairs closet, bloodied, bound, and gagged. Cop arrives for report of break-in. I flash my (ex)-residence ID, the cop leaves….

    Neither scenario has a happy outcome, eh?

    Establishing that a person with a residence-specific ID indeed has a right to be inside that residence can require a good bit of radiotelephone work with the station house. And a good bit of time, whilst keeping an eye on the suspected housebreaker. Maybe that’s what Prof Gates wasn’t letting Sergeant Crowley have. Maybe he wasn’t letting Sergeant Crowley do his job. Maybe that’s why the officer asked to have Prof Gates taken out of the picture… Lotta maybes. Fraught situation.

    And the sanctities of home = castle are swept away very easily, aren’t they, if either “hot pursuit” or “suspected crime in progress” can be alleged?

    Prof Gates was perhaps lucky not to have the house searched, the drawers emptied. Rage evokes suspicion. Not only that, rage often is repaid, as may well have been the case here, in rage.

    “Yes, officer” and “I’m sorry, ma’am / sir” are the only truly safe phrases for anyone, white or black or brown or green, to use around a cop.

  107. Renee S. says:

    @ HOH #102 I certainly wasn’t serious about the hammer inside the cake. Just mixing welcomes with tools as a funny idea.

  108. Renee S. says:

    @ Maggie # 104 love those cakes by Pam I.!

  109. Dr. Empirical says:

    Alex K: Any thug with a gun (i.e: cop) can imagine a scenario that, in his mind entitles him to do whatever the hell he wants, whenever the hell he wants. That no more justifies his action than George W’s imaginary scenarios justify his torture of hundreds of hapless civilians.

    Gate’s established his bona fides. Harvard Security verified his bona fides. The only acceptable response from the cop was for him to say “I’m sorry for disturbing you, sir.” and leave.

    “He might have had a nuclear bomb, Osama Bin laden and the Lindberg Baby upstairs.” is not an acceptable alibi.

  110. Feminista says:

    In other news:

    I attended,along with about 400 others,Bonnie Tinker’s memorial service this afternoon. Organized to the t,as befitting a long-term activist,the speakers,music,poetry and program all were excellent.The outpouring of genuine emotion from family and friends was heartwarming.

    So even though it was sad to see someone cut down in her prime (a truck ran into her on her bicycle),and tears were shed,the memories of her multi-issue work were touching and funny.

    Saw lots of friends and acquaintances,too,always a pleasure.All of the former members of the Red Emma Collective were there;their house in the early 70s was near my current home. Fortunately,all of the Red Emmas got to see Bonnie 6 weeks ago,as she had organized a reunion. This was a collective in the true sense: they shared clothes,stuff,and money.

    The women of Red Emma helped further my feminist and leftist consciousness the spring/summer of 1971 that I met them. By the fall,I’d transferred to the Univ.of OR in Eugene,and within the next two years became co-coordinator of University Feminists and involved in the formation of a women’s studies program.

  111. Alex K says:

    @110 (Dr Empirical): Oh, my Lord, the Lindbergh baby! Hadn’t thought of him for years…

    I agree entirely: Cops cook up absurd scenarios in order to provide the filmiest of excuses behind which to break the law.

    Yes, you’re right — Prof Gates had ID, the university police said “It’s OK”.

    But maybe Sgt Crowley wanted, being as the person involved was Prof Gates and all, being aware (sure as eggs is eggs) that every one of his actions in this dust-up would be chewed over again and again — to do things by the book, to tick all the boxes as a way of putting his behaviour beyond administrative reproach. And maybe to tick all the boxes on the CSI report form meant going through the formal radio checks. Once the trooper has pulled you over for a dead headlamp, even if your licence and registration are visually in order, she still asks her dispatcher to give an official all-clear before she lets you drive away, nessy pah?

    And again, maybe Prof Gates was getting in the way, loudly and vulgarly (“yo’ mama!”) of carrying out the formal check. Just maybe. Lotta maybes here. Maybe that audio – video recording of the encounter will emerge to answer some of them.

    Speaking of “eggs is eggs”, I’ve spent so long in proofing this text that my free-range brown for this morning is now well beyond soft-boiled. (Dang.) Preserves on the toast then, not egg-and-soldiers, and egg salad for lunch. Flexibility in circumstances of stress and the unexpected, and above all, good humour, eh, Sgt Crowley? Prof Gates?

    Time to head upstairs, to say to Osama that he can come out now — attention has been diverted elsewhere and little Charlie needs a nappy change…

  112. Alex K, sounds as if you are implicating Bin Laden in the Lindbergh kidnapping.

    I wouldn’t be the least surprised. But also wouldn’t be surprised if it had been Cheney, in a fit of pique because he wasn’t allowed to send tanks into Buffalo…

  113. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Maggie, Alex K

    By now the Lindbergh baby is an adult, and he’s playing bridge with Osama, Judge Crater, and Jimmy Hoffa upstairs.

  114. hairball_of_hope says:

    Last week, Obama invited three country musicians to perform at the White House: Alison Krauss, Bill Paisley, and Charley Pride. There was a session with local high school musicians before the concert, and during the question-and-answer period, one of the students asked Krauss what has changed since she has become famous. Her reply, “You can’t go out without a shower any more.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/arts/music/22country.html

    I thought of that line while reading all the posts about Skip Gates’ encounter with the Cambridge police. Actions and words which might be inconsequential for unnotable folks become huge deals for people who happen to be deemed noteworthy.

    Consider this… Gates had just returned home from the airport after a long plane ride from China. He was tired. He was jet-lagged. He had likely suffered through bad airline food, cramped seating, idiotic Customs clearance, and lots of waits on long lines. I imagine all he wanted to do was get home, take a hot shower, and crash in his own bed.

    He arrives home and finds the front door was jammed. He finally gets in via the back door, his cab driver brings his bags inside, he pays the guy, and figures he can now relax. Then the cops show up. You know the rest of the story.

    I’m sure Gates was not at his best. He was tired and cranky. The cop was a jerk. And then he gets arrested in his own house, and becomes the unwitting center of a media circus.

    That would make me want to crawl under a rock and never come up for air.

    Fame and notoriety must be odd things to have to consider in one’s daily life. Krauss says she can’t go out without a shower. Carrie Fisher wrote about her mother, Debbie Reynolds, saying that at home she was “Mom,” but she couldn’t go out in public without all the dressing, makeup, etc. that defined her as “Debbie Reynolds” because that was what the public expected of her. It prevented Reynolds from being an ordinary mom to Fisher, no quick trips to the local ice cream shop, for example.

    That must really suck. Especially if your chosen profession isn’t about you and your persona. It’s somewhat understandable that a person in the performing arts such as a musician or actor has to consider being a publicly-identifiable person, and may have to be more aware of personal grooming, image, and behavior in public. It’s likely a more difficult thing to adjust to when one is a writer or academic who does not make a living by standing in front of a crowd performing.

    Gates straddles both of those descriptions. He’s publicly recognizable, but his profession isn’t about himself. Yet he managed to get caught up in a media maelstrom just the same.

    I think about AB at the Pride dance last night. She’s publicly recognizable, and not just in her local city. Does she ever feel weirded out about being scrutinized by total strangers? If she dances with someone, or exchanges a glance with someone not her partner, does word spread? Does that change her behavior in public? Is she self-conscious of her public image? Does she not dance because of her public recognizability?

    Her art allows us all to conjecture and imagine about her life, and how much of her is in each character. Fun Home and this blog explicitly reveal details about her life. Her new book in progress is sure to reveal more. It’s one thing to live a self-examined life, quite another to live a life examined by others.

    I wonder how becomng a public figure changes things. Does it make the person more reticent to engage in idle chat at a public event, lest it be publicized or taken out of context? Does it make the person wary of people seeking to befriend her/him? Does it change the writing itself? Does the act of writing change the person?

    For me, writing often involves self-examination, even when it’s not about me. In writing this post for example, I’m analyzing my own feelings on being recognized and scrutinized by others in public. (It gives me the creeps.) I’m also thinking about various aspects of my personal relationships. I find that the act of articulating my feelings, the very act of putting them into words, often gives me the “a-ha” moment of insight that at once clarifies the situation and spurs me into action. Writing is sort of like a virtual therapy session. Without the expensive bill at the end of 50 minutes.

    I wonder if AB is going through that right now as she writes her next book.

    My hat’s off to AB for being able to open so much of her life for scrutiny by others, although I suspect the real payoff is in organizing the nebulae of her life into a coherent internal narrative.

    (… swigs the last of her Zabar’s coffee before showering and heading out into the world …)

  115. Ready2Agitate says:

    Notable that articles reference Gates’ attire – preppy polo shirt tucked into khaki’s, etc. I can’t help but think – well thank G-D he wasn’t wearing sweat pants and a hooded sweatshirt – well then!

  116. hairball_of_hope says:

    @R2A (#116)

    It’s been a classism vs. racism battle in the media.

    Imagine if Gates were wearing a baseball cap. Or baggy pants. Or some article of clothing deemed “urban,” whatever the hell that means. I’ve see white kids in Indiana wearing “urban wear,” and you can bet your bottom dollar that wouldn’t instantly cause them to be labeled criminal suspects by the local PD.

  117. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L

    Off-topic (is there such a thing?)… actually, revisiting an old topic…

    Looks like GAO and Congress might be revisiting the DUMB idea of putting an infectious disease lab in your backyard:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR2009072602857.html

    Quoting from the article:


    The Department of Homeland Security relied on a rushed, flawed study to justify its decision to locate a $700 million research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas, according to a government report.

    The department’s analysis was not “scientifically defensible” in concluding that it could safely handle dangerous animal diseases in Kansas — or any other location on the U.S. mainland, according to a Government Accountability Office draft report obtained by The Washington Post. The GAO said DHS greatly underestimated the chance of accidental release and major contamination from such research, which has been conducted only on a remote island off the United States.

    Love that quote further down in the article… “They call it ‘Tornado Alley’ for a reason.”

    Revisiting an old haiku…

    Tornado alley
    That’s a great place for this lab
    Nothing could go WNORG.

  118. chriso says:

    You haven’t tasted chocolate and bacon together until you’ve had my dark chocolate and bacon cupcakes!

  119. Ready2Agitate says:

    chriso – ya just got yerself a bucketload of fans from this blog! (er, myself notwithstanding, that is ;).

  120. Kat says:

    @ Hairball (#115)
    re: coffee

    A friend from NYC just told about a coffee place there where they roast and grind the beans for your cup right when you order it…..have you heard of the this? The name has slipped my mind (we were partying when the topic came up and I think those brain cells have been killed)

  121. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kat (#121)

    I can’t imagine *roasting* beans to order, it takes about 20-30 minutes to roast green coffee beans, depending on moisture content of the beans and desired roast intensity. Grinding beans to order might make more sense. Haven’t heard of it, but I will sniff it out (follow the coffee aroma!).

  122. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kat (#121)

    Was your friend talking about a café which uses the Clover machine? It grinds and brews to order, and costs about $11K. (The machine, not the cuppa joe!)

    Café Grumpy uses the Clover, and it’s nearby. The customer gets to choose from a selection of beans. At least that’s what they say, I haven’t sampled the brews myself. I’ll have to check it out and report back.

  123. Kat says:

    Um…..no, I think it had a name that referenced a factory…..Coffee Plant? Apparently there are these huge tubes everywhere that suck up the beans, send them to the roasting machine, then shoots them in another tube to the grinding area….

    I think it’s somewhere near the Village?

    It sounded pretty impressive

  124. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kat (#124)

    Found it. It’s called The Roasting Plant, and they have two locations. One is on the Lower East Side on Orchard St, the other is in the West Village on Greenwich Ave. Looks like a visit to the Village location is on my ‘To-Do” list.

    http://www.roastingplant.com/about/

  125. Kat says:

    Let me know if it’s as crazy and unbelievable an experience as my friend said. He did warn that it’s quite noisy.

  126. Erin says:

    It was so funny to see a huge pic of this wierd bacon bar up on your blog-i work at Whole Foods and someone ordered it so I just tried that exact bar yesterday…Strangely tasty I might add!! Instead of the saltiness of a nut it has the saltiness of bacon, and suddenly the actual bacon flavor hits the palate as if you’re chewing on a sweet piece of well done bacon. Very wierd :) and yet pleasing. :D

  127. freyakat says:

    Hi Kat and HoH,

    I just checked in with this posting and found yet another ‘errand’ to do during the upcoming weeks.
    Gee, how come I didn’t know about the Roasting Plant? I have a friend who is a bit obsessive about roasting his own beans, and he will just die when he finds out about this place.

  128. Kat says:

    Freyakat, my over-caffeinated brain is sparking and tingling at the thought of this place…..don’t know why I’ve become obsessed (most inconveniently, since I live in CA!!).

    Anyone who makes it over there MUST tell me aaaallll about it!

  129. Ellen O. says:

    Exiting my plane at O’Hare, what was I greeted by but a wall of Vosges Mo’s Bacon Bars. I bought one for my brother and his boyfriend who are bacon and chocolate fans.

    Without this fine blog, an excellent sharing opp would have been missed. Thanks!