29 November 2010

little one

this is my beautiful new nephew ken. i don't get to see him until late march but i assure you he is incredible.

31 October 2010

floating in the toilet

we got back to matt's house the night before last and there was a small brown mouse half dead swimming in pee in his toilet. we don't know how it got there but flushed it three times to be safe. perhaps it's all the horror films we've been watching.

i made chana masala and the smell of strong curried spices wafted out the front door onto tree street. we played clockcleaner and spooky music out the window and matt wore a creepy mask to greet tiny children wearing fake muscle chest plates. one little boy came up to the house and forgot what to say so his dad whispered "trick or treat" in his ear so i would know he wasn't coming by to bring us the mail. i believe we presented a very intimidating house to the world.

i got two new jobs.

28 October 2010

running late

the other day matt had to use an example during a lesson on superlatives or something along those lines. he was talking about favorite songs and one 6th grader asked what his was.

"You know that song 'Holland Tunnel Dive'? That's my favorite song," he stated.
"Does Rhianna sing that?"
"No, it's by Implog, anyone ever hear of them?"

20 October 2010


"It's very nice to hear from you, but I don't like hearing you were fired. Let me fire the person who fired you!"

14 October 2010


i lost my job which only makes this year harder. going home tomorrow for a little bit

23 September 2010

fairytale in the supermarket

i moved into the third and a half floor of a west philadelphia house built in 1900. the half stands for my towering lofted bed. it makes my tiny room feel bigger, but i still haven't gotten around to procuring a desk and a chair so we sit on pillows on the floor below. i have a big window sill that needs plants and i can see into my neighbor's house but i try not to look in too much.

places butter has lived: maine, NY, NJ, pennsylvania

i work at a beer/wine/cheese restaurant in center city where i have to sort of dress up when i go to work. they are filling my brain with lots of wine knowledge and that's pretty cool. tasting things means you spit out things that taste good because you don't want to get too buzzed to realize what you're tasting. you also don't want to be drunk at work later.

we went to cape may last weekend for alex's birthday. his mother made us homemade blintzes with farmer's cheese and blackberry compote for breakfast and the agran boys sang barbershop for us music lovers, as alex's dad called us. the beach was perfect but the waves were a little too scary for me. this time of year brings dangerous currents and huge waves. careful!

24 August 2010

cling wrap

caitlin gave me new clothes just in time for this unseasonably cold front that has fallen on the northeast. matt is far off eating kansas city bbq and swimming in lake michigan while we are beginning to close the windows.

last night zach and i had a failed attempt at making mozzarella. for some reason it turned out more like a very dry ricotta, spongy and held together like mozzarella but tasting almost bitter like the whey we extracted from it. we drizzled clover honey on it, spread vindaloo sauce on other parts, ate it plain, tried it on toast, but it simply was gross. there is still one ball in his refrigerator which we are promising must taste different than the other one.

his roommate tim made gingersnaps that were puffy and softer than usual with bits of cloves and cinnamon stick that didn't quite grind up all the way. one batch had burnt bottoms but i swear they were still delicious. if you got a snap with a bit of clove or cinnamon you were deemed lucky.

i had too much fun in brooklyn the other day and it made me kind of sad.

19 August 2010

dream child

LITANY by Billy Collins

You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.

I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.

I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine."

13 August 2010


secretly or not so secretly, i don't actually live here. not yet at least. apartment hunting is so hit or miss. it involves a lot of waiting and decisions. one place was pretty nice but the room felt like half the size as a single in the olde back at school yet the price was somewhat standard for a room of a more appropriate size. i run into people on the street and people send me happy move messages. soon, i hope.

matt and i worked at camp and it felt like each day was a struggle. it was my first time with 6th graders and there are some pretty scary nightmares among the few pleasant ones.

yesterday we had margaritas at cantina - mango, cucumber, white peach. goat tacos and platanos. then we accidentally fell asleep and missed out on going out. so silly.

going back to ny tonight

02 July 2010

mama says

i went on a big trip and now i work many days a week at the train station selling cheese. i play with butter when i am too tired after work and the other day i lost her in my room. i worried all day but there she was hiding in a secret spot behind the drawers of my dresser.

it was just like this:

yesterday i witnessed someone finishing their book on the subway around 168th street. whenever i finish a book in public i look around as if others might be experiencing the same type of satisfaction that i had, even though it is impossible. but it made me happy that i saw her finish it, because that feels pretty good to finish a book.

i won tickets to istanbulive even though i don't care either way about turkish music. i just can't resist radio call in contests. the show is free, but i won't have to wait on line, assuming there might be one. i guess "winning tickets" isn't exactly the right way to describe not having to wait online to a free event. i might go after work on saturday.

25 May 2010


matt and my soon-to-be 14 year-old ancient dinosaur napping in new jersey

i graduated college, just waiting for my pocket diploma to arrive.

last week i rode bikes around with matt. we drank paulaner hef in rittenhouse square and ate robiola bosina with white peaches and pink lady apples. the baguettes in new york are cheaper. i'm pretty into amish maple yogurt from that company who's name i can't remember. it's sold all around the reading terminal market. good stuff.

my birthday edibles: thai food in south philly -> massaman curry with troegenator double bock & a hot fudge sundae from franklin fountain.

summer plans:

- my last day at murray's cheese for now is this saturday.
- this sunday galen, caitlin and i are leaving for our road trip to austin. we're going down the cost, possibly, camping on a beach somewhere with wild ponies. i can't remember the name. we might go to savannah. who knows. definitely going back to new orleans this time.
- going to hang out in austin until june 9th, then i'm going to oakland to see alana and have fun every day.
- flying into philly june 22, stay there for a few days, come home at some point. possibly pick up a few shifts at murray's until...
- july 14-aug 8 matt and i will be working at jewish sleepaway camp in milford, pa. best job ever
- serious apartment/job hunting in philadelphia will happen when i return.

30 April 2010

april 30, 2010


The rain is no more, but never
Did I stand at the border,
Where one leg is still
Dry and the other gets wet in the rain.

Or in a country where people
Bend no more
If something falls to the ground.

-- Yehuda Amichai

20 April 2010


two big exciting things this week:

on thursday, 4/22: white suns and satanized will be joining us for cheese club in the sin-ema at the student center. we must spend the rest of the budget so it's going be extravagant.

on saturday 4/24: the 29th annual school of natural and social science senior project symposium. beginning at around 8 or 9, i believe. free food. i will be presenting my project at 11:40 in the social sciences building here at purchase. here's my abstract. i figure i would post this for the 3 people who may stumble upon this and be curious.

‘Walk Right In’: Narrating Gendered Identities through Performance

My project is an analysis of gender-based pedagogical norms in jazz music education at Purchase College. Using observations in Purchase classrooms, I argue that personal narrative, or the way we make sense of who we are and where we came from, is often ignored in musical training. Specifically, I focus on gender identity in the classroom, everyday experiences, and music performances. I suggest that musical training requires more than the development of technique; listening to and creating music are practices rooted in how we embody experiences and transform them into narratives of the self.

12 April 2010


"...the school has gotten so much better in the past 3 years, and so far away from the freak environment it used to be..."


02 April 2010

gr8 ets

time to show off:

tasty things we made in philadelphia:

- simple garlicy pasta with kale & sundried tomatoes, lemon
- bourbon banana bread
- omelets with avocado, sundried tomatoes, goat chz, caramelized onions with red potato home fries
- banana pancakes with all sorts of jams, peanut butter/ devoured in the backyard
- cinnamon/brown sugar kettle corn
- wemadethem roasted red peppers with lemony/spiced black beans and roasted asparagus
- holes in one/eggsinabasket, fried turnip cake (law bok gow) with soy sauce/scallions
- root beer floats with whiskey/stewarts/coffee heath bar crunch ice cream
- popcorn with sriracha and lemon juice

tasty things we did not make:

- vegan brunch: tofu benedict with sautéed kale and roasted sweet potatoes / fake sausage with avocado topped with mushroom gravy served with a panko/coconut breaded king mushroom (at mi lah)
- $4.50 huge shared bowl of hand drawn noodles with both a tea egg & fried egg, cilantro, other greens at nan zou
- tarentaise with onion jam, birchrun blue with chocolate fig spread / schneider aventis, nameforgotten chianti at tria
- coca cola w cane sugar in glass bottle from mexico bought from bodega around the corner/ chinese sponge cake; v airy and moist
- $12 way-too-big (really) pitcher of frozen lime margarita, chips and an avocado salsa eaten on the street in the sun, shared btwn two people at cantina (drnk before show at upenn punk frat)
- guayabas now in season at the italian market
- matt's mom's leftover birthday cake w delicious homemade chocolate frosting; stolen bites from the fridge all day every day

29 March 2010


if you get to Philadelphia at some point, go to the Penn Museum. yesterday we went to see the exhibition, "Righteous Dopefiend: Homelessness, Addiction and Poverty in Urban America". It is a small presentation of some of the photographs, field notes, and analysis of the co-authored book of the same title.

The project reminds me of the ethnography Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment, which is about places in urban areas in Brazil where the mentally ill are cast off, invisible to the public eye. Righteous Dopefiend reminded me of similar themes, specifically in clandestine, "off-the-grid" nature of the communities. Both communities contain traces of abandonment, whether prompted through social pressures of economy, family, or the individual.

The anthropologists wanted to consider drug addiction and homelessness while avoiding spectacle as part of a "public anthropology" approach. According to the website on public anthro, the book series' goal is to "[address] important social concerns in an engaging, non-academic manner. Public, in this sense, contrasted with traditional academic styles of presentation and definition of problems."

"Righteous Dopefiend" at the Penn Museum

Righteous Dopefiend book (Bourgois and Schonber)
Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment book (João Biehl)

public anthropology

24 March 2010

i ALMOST put a sign on her door

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
-Luciano Pavarotti

that quote never gets old. even the overcast days are pleasant because the air is warmer in the spring and my ankles were jonesin' to feel the breeze. aiyana's making me schlep a turnip to philadelphia but it'll be worth it. plans include getting the garden ready, eating tasty things as usual, supporting aiyana with her participation in a viking parade at the printmaking conference.
the good life as usual.

my brother's wife is going to have a beautiful bilingual baby in the fall.

24 February 2010


i had the happiest weekend in a while, sleep deprived, working at murray's during the day. but i didn't care one bit. i discovered a contender for best bagel and it's located at pulp and bean in crown heights which is weird because they definitely come from somewhere else and that place has the grossest coffee.

i relived junior year at tim "smakin' tush"'s (thanks jess) XXX birthday in greenpoint after buying my dream instrument, a gibson UB1 banjolele. this nice english man drove me and my friend matt in a bmw to sutton street with "Victor" (the instrument.) tucked between my legs as we sped through greenpoint. i think we played spin the bottle and i was somewhat responsible for ipod drama. i think i danced to nine inch nails and i think i sang a little with galen in tim's room.

later in the weekend we went to "fundays with madam barry" at siobhan's house in crown heights. there was a show and tell and a "baths vs. showers" debate with taco + etc potluck. sourdough bread, avacados, dried cherries.

siobhan won the debate. Queen Bath.

now her friend ben is only allowed to take baths for the next month. he's gonna get real fancy.

17 February 2010


why update when that goodwin girl did it for me

lately: dreaming of leaving NY or affording NY

01 February 2010

the 2010 cheese season

one of the patch designs. by dan mcninch

14 January 2010


under the lime tree
on the open filed
where we two had our bed
you can still see
lovely broken
flowers and grass
on the edge of the woods in a vale
sweetly sang the nightingale ... "

opening to walther von der vogelweide's "unter der linden", translated.

i went to see photos at the met the other day. it was probably one of the highlights of the past few weeks. i got to taste many beers paired with many cheeses last night. the perks of my job.

the downside of everything is that i'm behind on my senior project, but who isn't, right?
right? right.

i was stuck in traffic on a bus for a long time on the NJ side of the george washington bridge and this stared back at me.

03 January 2010

my brother is marrying a japanese girl next march

aaron: sarah
me: ?
aaron: with an H
you hear the news
me: yeah your dreams have come true
aaron: i know frisky is moving to cuba!

01 January 2010

i'm sorry

new fears 12/31/09 (thanks sam branman), staying up all night to see blastoids at like 5:30AM.

i lost my ipod but found $20.

this is the song that i recorded with my friend zach. there are some mistakes here and there but that's ok for now. i wanted to embed it here but i guess i'm dumb and can't figure out how to do that. so here is a download link. sorry for the trouble.

i baked two loaves of raisin challah, braided in a circle for the near year. i also made some baked candied sweet and savory walnuts, almonds, and pecans.

this is an important year for everyone.