31 March, 2008

"I've come to look for America..."

"Kathy," I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
"Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I've come to look for America..."
-- Paul Simon
A traveller. Perhaps that's it. Though my travels hardly feel worthy of comparison to those of the greats-- Rosalind's full circle to and from Arden, Bilbo Baggins' there and back again. I am no explorer like Vespucci, not romantic enough for a gypsy nor pious enough for a pilgrim. Ahh America. How I had forgotten you, and how I longed to remember. Was blind but now I see, (as they say). And though I know I am no great traveller of Shakespearean or Historical proportion, I share with them and with us all, a cardinal desire: all I have ever wanted is what we all long for-- a place in the world. A home. 

I feel perhaps like Marco Polo in Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities... In Calvino's book, the great explorer Marco Polo entertains an aging Kubla Khan by recounting tales of 55 cities he has visited in his travels. As Marco Polo continues to impart his experiences, he, willingly or un, revels connections between the cities that leave the reader left to wonder whether the accounts of his destinations actually represent different aspects of a single city; a unique and unrivaled place, in Polo's case, his beloved Venice. 

Marco Polo thus embodies two classic symbolic travellers. First, Odysseus: the one who, either by force or by choice, denounces a home he does not realise he loves. He thus condemns himself to a life of wandering and homeless-ness, slowly losing sight and memory of the only place he longs to return to. 

"Memory's images, once they are fixed in words, are erased," Polo said. "Perhaps I am afraid of losing Venice all at once, if I speak of it. Or perhaps, speaking of other cities, I have already lost it, little by little."

Second, Dorothy: the one who seeks adventure abroad, only to discover their heart's desire was "in their own backyard" all along. 

"Each deserves a different name; perhaps I have already spoken of Irene under other names; perhaps I have spoken only of Irene."

Have I assumed myself the former only to discover I am, in fact, the latter? What bliss that truth would be! Have I travelled the world long enough? Have I in fact discovered home was always there, patiently waiting for me to earn and deserve it? Observing Calvino observing Venice is a reminder of how often the controlled, measured world of knowledge and assumption fails us. So much of life resists the facts. As Khan discovers: imagining a"Venice" is imagining yourself. And though an unsettling exercise, it is necessary, perhaps. I believe my trip to America and Home, was precisely that.

Welcome Home Al. 
I will return shortly. And new. 

"...what he sought was always something lying ahead, and even if it was a matter of the past it was a past that changed gradually as he advanced on his journey, because the traveler's past changes according to the route he has followed: not the immediate past, that is, to which each day that goes by adds a day, but the more remote past. Arriving at each new city the traveler finds again a past of his that he did not know he had: the foreignness of what you no longer are or no longer possess lies in waiting for you in foreign, not-yet-possessed places."
-- Italo Calvino

22 March, 2008

The Reese's Peanut Butter EGG.


Easter is not really a celebratory holiday, (even though it is the the most important religious feast in the Christian liturgical year), the crucifixtion of Christ is doesn't really get people jumping in the aisles, but hey. And the non-religious aspects of it have crept in like so many other traditional holidays, to open the season up to all people religious and non-religious alike: the celebration of Spring, accompanied by pastel-colored candies and chocolates galore, as well as a mythological rabbit bearing chocolate symbols of the equinox. (By the way, did you know the modern English term Easter developed from the Old English word Eastre, which itself developed prior to 899. The name refers to the goddess Eostre, who was celebrated at the Spring equinox? Amazing.)

Anyway! Now. Even though Easter is verrrrrry early this year (The Paschal Full Moon was early, thus the first Sunday after spring became Easter Sunday), and the 12 inches of snow Detroit received lat night isn't very SPRING-like, one can still enjoy the most important, the most momentous arrival of the Spring Season (and no it's not the new Vera Wang line). DRUMROLL PLEASE...


Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are magical, there’s just no question about it. We all have happy childhood memories of indulging in rich, peanutty treats at Halloween, birthday parties, or pressed into Christmas cookies? Yet I testify that Reese’s only reaches its apogee of peanut-butter-goodliness but once a year; hold onto your hats people, for Reese’s Egg season is upon us. Ohhhh yes.

That’s right. When the rest of the world watches for blossoming flowers and baby ducks, some of us know Spring has arrived when the stores stock a certain type of egg. An egg that promises sheer joy and decadence, all for under a dollar.

What is it about the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg that makes it so vastly superior to other incarnations of Reese’s cups? It could be the perfect peanut-butter-to-chocolate ratio (some scientists claim that more chocolate is better); however, true Reese’s devotees usually agree that the savory, rich peanut butter ought to be the dominant flavor.

Perhaps it’s the shape of the egg. The inviting, soft curves are somehow more appealing than the standard, sharp-edged sides. Though the edges are very very tasty, doesn’t it always seem like little points of the cup always stick to the paper? NOT the egg - it just slides off that little tray and sighs its way into your mouth. [*sigh*]

Some people explain Reese’s Eggs’ irresistibility with the freshness factor. Well, how long ago do you think those Eggs were produced? We know they can’t have been made more than a couple of weeks ago (it wasn’t too long ago they were producing Valentine’s hearts, remember).

But really, the reason is irrelevant. The fact is, Reese’s Eggs are MADE OF MAGIC, and one of the most Candy Addictive pleasures of Spring. Thus, I honor the Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg with my highest praise and recommendation. Try them, and just try to get enough of The Egg, and you will see what I mean. Enjoy. Mmmm...

13 March, 2008

"Project C" ... an update...

It's official.

Dates and locations confirmed.
The principal cast.

[insert squeal of glee here]

Not in the press yet, so I can't reveal tooooo much. But I frustratingly offer you a cryptic image for you to agonize over.
It's a clue.
A tipoff. A hint. A conundrum, if you will.

Because sometimes it is fun to be a tease...
... in fact, sometimes it's really fun.

More to come.


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