28 April 2011

limping along

Well, as my third-to-last week draws to a close, I find myself in an almost irretrievable state of overload. I have my French conference paper finished, to be turned in today, and will be turning in my final philosophy paper on Monday. That will leave just my philosophy conference paper to write in the last two weeks. Hooray for being on top of things!

Yesterday, in between procrastinating, working my butt off, and dinner, I had time for a quick walk with Jamie (who, unfortunately for all my lovely readers, refuses to be photographed). The newly blossoming dogwood trees, however, were certainly not so modest, and were much obliged to gussy themselves up for my camera:

Anyone who knows me knows, of course, that these are my very favourite trees, and their sudden blossoming yesterday caught me entirely by surprise. However, the last thing I need is another natural distraction before the end of the semester. :)

26 April 2011

quick stop-in

Don't have much time before class on this foggy april morning, but I want to stop in to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweet one-and-only, m. benjamin.
This man is not only my picnic-buddy, fellow aspiring chef, and companion in just about everything, he is also the someone whose art and life I strive to emulate in my own. I am so blessed to have this truly good man in my life now and forever... And I think he thoroughly deserves the mocha-hazelnut cake I intend to bake him for the occasion. :)

24 April 2011

happy easter!

Happy Easter, all! I awoke too early on the impetus of a faulty alarm, but the sunshine and the sound of birdsong floating in through my window compelled me to leave my bed, throw on some clothes and my rainboots, and take my camera out before the rest of the campus woke up. This warm, wet, bright weather makes me miss the West coast, though...

(a little fort someone built in slonim woods)

These last two pictures are of some cockle shells I've been meaning to photograph for a while, left over from a meal we made in Brooklyn. We had made pasta with fresh mussels and cockles ("cockles and mussels, alive, alive-o...") and I had never cooked cockles before--they're hard to come by on the West coast. They were so petite and colourful, I couldn't help but save a couple of shells to photograph.

I know my family is at home celebrating with a big breakfast, and I wish I were there with them. I did wake up this morning to a bundle of of big chocolate eggs wrapped in coloured foil, one for each member of the house. I don't know who left them there, but the mystery is a little bit exciting.

The Mister and I made this pasta last night, which was a major success, and will probably prove to be even better as leftovers. It was, indeed, one of the best pomodoro sauce recipes I've ever tasted.

Well, today begins the 24-hour schedule at the library, which officially denotes the beginning of the dreaded conference weeks here at SLC... I will do my best to keep this blog updated through that time, but I'm afraid I have little faith in my abilities to be diligent while I am writing conference papers. Many things will be happening during this time, though, so I will do my best... but, worst comes to worse, I'll be home in three short weeks, and that may suffice. For now, I am off to work and play on this beautiful Easter morning!

17 April 2011

the future of poetry / poetry of the future

Yesterday, as part of my college's poetry festival, I went to a panel with the above title. The last month or so has been a huge time of research for me--I've been thinking so much about where the creative universe will be headed after the huge meteor crash of postmodernism, and just how the art world will be recovering from the huge shock of it all. This research (unfortunately scanty for now, because although scads of critics have declared the end of postmodernism, almost no one has taken the time to define what will succeed it) will be culminating in a grand critical essay on my part, to be undertaken before my graduation from Sarah Lawrence. Logically, this panel seemed right up my alley, and I was expecting to leave it optimistic about the state of art, rather than entirely discouraged. But the panel, which consisted of the poets Vanessa Place, Christian Bök, K. Silem Mohammed, and Doug Kearney, was largely more concerned with poetry as yet another "conceptual" field.

Although it wasn't what I expected, and although I came out of the panel more frustrated than enlivened, I was still provided with a better view of my opposition's standpoint, and, to be fair, Doug Kearney and K. Silem Mohammed challenged the views of their peers in a very satisfying way for me. And, through the festival, I've been offered some wonderful opportunities to see incredibly talented poets--both established and students--so I certainly cannot complain simply because some of them do not believe as I do.

Also: new successful recipe, adapted from one I found on the Sunset magazine website:

cream of lettuce soup with spring salsa:

for the soup:

sautée two finely chopped leeks in butter (or olive oil, for vegans) until soft. add roughly two heads of lettuce, (we used one head of butter lettuce, one of romaine, and a good helping of watercress) finely chopped, and 1 quart of vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. once boiled, reduce to a simmer for several minutes until lettuce is soft. add salt, pepper, juice of 1/2 lemon, and a sprinkling of nutmeg, and whir it in the blender until smooth. add 1/2 cup of half and half (or rice milk, for vegan recipe), and heat to temp without boiling.

for the salsa:

combine 1 cup fresh green peas and 1/2 a fennel bulb, chopped to pea-sized with a handful of fresh chopped basil. dress lightly with a vinaigrette of lemon juice, garlic, salt, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. serve but the spoonful in top of the soup, or on the side. serve whole meal with garlic toast.

This made a wonderfully light, flavourful meal, and would be a great way to use up lettuce that's gone wilty (but not slimy) in the crisper. It would also be great served cold, or with grilled cheese sandwiches. We used rice milk instead of the half and half the recipe calls for (one of our guests is lactose-intolerant) which worked out just fine, although for those of you who are neither vegan not lactose-intolerant, half and half (or, let's be honest, heavy cream) would be incomparable.

I have one more reading to attend today, as the festival dies down, as well as old projects to finish up, and new ones to begin. I'm going to be beginning a new series of interviews here on ye olde blogge, the first of which should be up within the next two weeks--the series will be called "artistic synergies" and will be made up of interviews with artistic couples that feed off each other's talents and ambitions to further their own arts. More later!

15 April 2011


Today ended up being surprisingly cool, with that sort of bright diffused sunlight I imagine all tundras to possess. Good day for a walk with the old Nikon. And look at how beautifully this campus has "broken into blossom," as James Wright would say:

It seems as though every little tucked-away corner holds some brightly-coloured treasure--such colours I have never seen on daffodils or tulips. Even the dandelions and violets seem quaint. I love the knotgrass and the fiddleheads--there is something so wild and yet so quiet about them.

Tonight begins the SLC poetry festival, which should be amazing this year, as always. The Mister is coming into town for it, and so are our good friends J and Erin, who will be visiting tomorrow night. It promises to be a lovely weekend. Cheers to all.

14 April 2011

time for a remodel

I realized recently that it's coming on two years now that I've bee keeping this blog (rather un-diligently, I'm afraid), and since I'm not entirely the same person that I was two years ago, neither should my greatest connection with the world-at-large. So, welcome to "vivre sans bruit", a name which I may change in the next few weeks but, nonetheless, pleases me now. Same URL, brand new story. Spring cleaning all around.

I admit this frequently, I know, but I am a VERY BAD BLOG MOMMY. I can complain till the cows come home about how much I hate it when bloggers post infrequently, but let's face it, I am the worst of the bunch. But, I'm hoping that maybe a little change of scenery will fix that.

This next month is going to be a very busy, very fruitful one for me, and I will do my very best to keep this blog updated, even through the chaos. This weekend is the Sarah Lawrence Poetry Festival, and before I leave for California in May, there will be research projects finished, new ones begun, concerts and readings attended, birthdays celebrated, and spring to enjoy. But I've made a pact with myself to carry my camera around with me more frequently so that when the inspiration to blog strikes, I will be armed and ready with new, lovely photographs.

For now, I want only to direct my readers to some new links in my blogs list--I have been more than fortunate this year to become close with a community of creative people here in Bronxville and Brooklyn who share with me a very unique set of aesthetic tastes, living styles, and artistic ambitions, and, those that I could, I have added to my links. This spring has been a time of great creative growth and a flourishing of community projects that I have been so thrilled to be a part of, and which help me gain hope and faith once again in my generation's ability to rethink art as we have known it for the last fifty years. I will be sure to make announcements as each of these are finished. Unfortunately, I have decided to disable my poetry blog for now due to complications in formatting my pieces in an HTML context, but I am exploring new options on this front and hope to get it figured out for good over the summer.

So, here's to spring cleaning, and to new beginnings.

Love to all,