The Land of Enchantment

"This really isn't like anything you ever saw — and no one who tells you about it gives any idea of it." -Georgia O'Keeffe to Alfred Stieglitz It was dark when we finally arrived in Santa Fe. More importantly, it was late, almost midnight, which made the city (with a population of 70,000, this is…

Cookies Galore

I had such high hopes for December. It was the month when I was going to sit down and compose blog post upon blog post. I was going to write about the Grand Canyon and New Mexico and finally share my favorite pizza recipe (it's got a Berkeley flair to it), as well as all…

Between Two Traditions

When I was still at the office, every day, around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, my coworker would inevitably ask me what I was making for dinner that night. It didn't matter what I told her--pasta, eggs, rice--she would sigh and say: "You're such a grownup." I would laugh and ask her if she…

The Business of Moving

--tomorrow is our permanent address  and there they'll scarcely find us (if they do, we'll move away still further:  into now -E.E. Cummings ("84") Moving, there's no doubt, is an ugly business. Ever so slowly, the life that you carefully built is dismantled: book by book, dish by dish, sock by hole-in-the-toe sock. There's a…

To Bohemia and Back

"Each of us narrates our life as it suits us." -Elena Ferrante (Those who Leave and Those who Stay)A little more than two months ago, for Labor Day weekend, the Greek, Elektra and I took a weekend trip to Carmel and Big Sur. Although it will sound incredibly hyperbolic, the trip was ten shades of…

Out of the Rabbit Hole

 We spent the last days...shut up in the shop, the two of us and three workmen. They were magnificent hours of play, of invention, of freedom, such as we hadn't experienced together since childhood. -Elena Ferrante (The Story of a New Name)I never meant to stay away for this long, but somehow this year I…

An Ode to Chocolate and Coconut

Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft. I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right,…