everything in moderation...

...but some things not at all. Non-destructive compulsions, however, may be indulged in moderately. Contradiction in terms, "moderately compulsive"? Probably.


I love adverbs. And I enjoy their copious use, at least when I'm doing the writing. I guess you could say I use them copiously (sure you could, if you wanted to be a sarcastic dick). But the way I understand it, as long as this is the case, I am doomed to be an amateurish writer. And yet, a couple of Google hits later in our Search Results, we find this intriguingly (that's an adverb) amateurish adverb smackdown, written by a "professional freelance writer". And exactly how surprising is it that it's amateurish, really? Let's just silently (adverb) marvel at the variety and relative complexity of human expression and call it even.


Did anyone really believe that the VDuck had been vanquished?

Turns out that this blog is a good way to, like, document your travels? And since I'm in America right now, here are some photographic moments that have occurred inside my camera over the past few weeks.


So I arrived here in unusually grey-skied Atlanta about a month ago, and hung out on Mara's parents' porch (which used to be our porch, how 'bout that) for a few days...

well, they let me come inside at night ha ha, and at that point I had a bite of strawberry pie just like Shoney's used to make (maybe they still do):

Then I went over to Steve's to do a whole bunch of audio archival work (750GB worth), after which we got the old, old gang together and did some successful recording and just plain comic frolicking...

That's my guitar/percussion station above (!), there are some pretty embarrassing items strewn about if you know what to look for (I'll give you the first one: violin bow).

Our carefully orchestrated recording sessions (not only musically orchestrated, but also from a chemical perspective...as the sober person, I was responsible for gauging when everyone else's intoxication curves met at just the right intersection of creativity and eh, impairment...then I would say, "Quickly...into the studio! 5cc of adrenaline for Steve, 50cc more Scotch for Soules, Stu? Where's Stu? etc.") were punctuated by bouts of equally successful hanging out on Steve's back porch...

and in a stroke of good fortune, Steve's oven broke at the very beginning of my 10-day stay, so we did ALL of our cooking on the amazingly precise Ducane man-grill pictured above. We cooked everything from cauliflower (40 minutes wrapped in foil) to couscous (6 minutes) on this thing, plus the more obvious victims: pork tenderloin (25 minutes over indirect heat), lamb kebabs (4 minutes per side), eggplant (3 minutes per side), and these awesome hamburgers (5 minutes per side) topped with real Vidalia onions, from this Dominican recipe (minus the sauce). It was all immensely satisfying.


Now since I was officially not blogging during this vacation, there were many excellent food explosions that I did not capture with my soul stealer of a camera. Memorial Day's cookout this past weekend, for example, was homemade BBQ: pulled pork shoulder with baked beans, cole slaw, and 17 other things, and it was done right. In fact Jeanie has been on an absolutely scary tear in the kitchen (warm blueberry cobbler yesterday)...it makes me even more proud than usual to be an honorary Tomanek.


Mmm, yes: Lastly, I should emphasize that this post does not indicate a return to regular blogging. I will be extending a tentative tentacle of Blogness every so often to catch up on shit, but don't be wasting your precious time checking for daily updates or anything, 'cause you'll be disappointed, and we don't want that. Please refer to the title of this post. Comprende?


My own Exercise in Advanced Cliché above reminded me of a fabulous short story I listened to during our tornado-related power outage last week at Steve's. There's really not too much to do in a big suburban house at night during a tornado-related power outage (you can't really go outside) except either 1) talk to each other (ewww!) or 2) huddle in a corner and wait for your laptop battery to die. Or maybe 3) drink, which I didn't do.

So while I did number 2 (!) for one of the five hours during which we had no power, I listened to some MP3s of some short stories I downloaded from the New Yorker. The nice twist to these recordings is that the stories are selected and read by other New Yorker fiction contributors. By far the best newish story I listened to was "Bullet in the Brain" by Tobias Wolff. It's only 4 pages (PDF), or 10 minutes long (MP3), the MP3 is read by T. Coraghessan Boyle (he also discusses the story before and after he reads it), so you should check it out. It takes such an unexpected turn in such a short span of time that you're left with an emotion that's an unusual mix of nostalgia and surprise. Plus it's not very amateurish at all.



Klary Koopmans said...

I can't believe I checked your blog (shows you what a freak I am, I guess) but now I'm so glad I did.
I want that burger.

MEM said...

Yis. You are a freak, but no more freaky than I, for I was actually looking at my own blog when you made this comment. We need help!

These burgers were really perfect, we did the linked Epicurious recipe but left out the red bell peppers and the chimichurri. Everyone pretty much thought these were the best burgers they had in a while, which is saying something because these guys eat a lot of burgers.