Thursday, April 7, 2011

golden dinners and milkfat

On Sunday I had the very great pleasure of seeing the lovely Neil while he was in town over the weekend. We discussed jetlag and stories and music and exercising to old books (I am convinced that Tom Jones--the Fielding, not the musician--would be an excellent companion on the treadmill. Neil put forth Tristram Shandy, which I think I would be more kindly disposed to if I hadn't seen Michael Winterbottom's film version when I was feeling sick and hallucinatory.), and he introduced me to Olga Nunes, who is a wonderful musician herself.

I've just been listening to the samples that Olga has up on her site, and now I'm really excited about her current project. LAMP is going to an album AND a series of art installations, stories, letters in bottles, and other happenings... How fun is that? Very!

* Random interjection: I just looked up Tristram Shandy on Wikipedia, and it says that it originally appeared in nine volumes, the first two published in 1759 and the next seven coming out over the following TEN YEARS. Ten years! Can you imagine waiting a DECADE to get your hands on an entire book? The cruelty!*

We went out to dinner with a bunch of really wonderful, really hilarious and excellent people, at Farina over on 18th, between Valencia and Guerrero. The food was decadent Italian, but very well done. Heavenly burrata and this dessert that was basically the sweet version of fried cheese, feather light and smooth. I consumed so much milkfat that I'm convinced my blood actually thickened and sent me into a miniature hibernation as soon as I got home and climbed into bed. I even tried a tiny bite of the prosciutto, since someone assured me it was the best to be had in the city and I had just lovingly described it in a story, without ever having bothered to taste it.

*Random interjection: Things I blithely described in this story without knowing (or remembering) what they taste like: prosciutto, Grand Marnier, chocolate cake with a Grand Marnier reduction poured on top, pomegranate juice, ash.*

The thing about going out to dinner with Neil is that you feel you are at a dinner party in a book, one of those that happen at long tables, outfitted with comfortable chairs under golden lamps. Everyone is good natured; everyone is sharp and funny. Stories, both clever and odd, are thick in the air, and the conversation ranges from Australian radio contests to the physics of wrecking balls.

And the best part is that this golden, brilliant dinner doesn't obliterate the ordinary heft of everyone. We all still possess our jet-laggy fatigue or faint awkwardness or brash naivete, but we sit in our comfortable chairs and have a grand time anyway.

It was a really nice Sunday.

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