12/19 - A week before, it was already beginning to look a lot like....



Got to wake up late and not be in the office for the first half of the day in the name of "inspiration shopping". As my coworkers and I were leaving a store to grab a bite to eat, we walked out into a snow flurry (really the first this winter). I love snow in the city...until it gets black and slushy that is. This will be my third winter but the novelty still hasn't worn off.

Going back to the office sucked.

∆ lord dog bird - the gift of song in the lion's den
(thought this was appropriate because of the jingle bell backup)



For weeks now i've been calling it the "swedish vampire movie". I read one review which said it was excellent but did not finish the review nor did I seek out any other reviews. Any time i have mentioned this film to someone, they themselves have not seen it but know of someone who did claiming it the best vampire film they've seen yet. So suffice it to say, i did not know much about this film other than:
1) it's swedish
2) it's about young kids and vampires
3) it's suppose to be really good.
I finally saw it this weekend and it by all means exceeded expectations.
Without giving too much away it's about a boy and a girl, one of which is a vampire, and their feelings of alienation and love. The film has the effectiveness of being equally beautiful yet frightening, violent yet tender, tragic yet hopeful and strangely funny at times.

Official film website here
NYTimes review here

p.s. - as the above NYTimes article explains, the actual title is "Let the Right One In", which is supposedly a line taken from the Morrissey song "Let the Right One Slip In".

Let the Right One Slip In


Went to the Whitney Museum of American Art this weekend and caught two excellent exhibitions.

As a pioneer of color photography, he is said to be one of the most influential photographers of our time. He is credited for raising the discipline to the rank of a major art and responsible for popularizing an aesthetic that was inspired by the everyday, the ordinary, and the mundane mostly of the South. Eggleston typically developed the pictures himself using a dye transfer printing process (pre photoshop and digital technology) that allowed him to manipulate and enhance certain colors to give them a distinctive saturated quality.

It's amazing how much of his aesthetic has been adopted by popular culture. His influence can really be seen everywhere especially in the art, print, and film worlds.

(via whitney website) This candid interview with photographer William Eggleston was conducted by film director Michael Almereyda on the occasion of the opening of Eggleston's retrospective William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A key figure in American photography, Eggleston is credited almost single-handedly with ushering in the era of color photography. Eggleston discusses his shift from black and white to color photography in this video as, "it never was a conscious thing. I had wanted to see a lot of things in color because the world is in color". Also included in this video are Eggleston's remarks about his personal relationships with the subjects of many of his photographs.

Winston Eggleston speaks about his father:
(via whitney website) During the interview, Winston provided a window into his father's life and background: he loves guns, but does not hunt; likes stamps, likes old rugs, and loves Bach. Most importantly Winston was able to impart the feeling of being along side his father while he photographed. He provides us with a context for each image and expresses an adoration of the photographs as only a son can.

The other exhibition was
Alexander Calder - The Paris Years: 1926-1933, possibly more inspiring than Eggleston retrospective. Will post more at later time. click on link above if you can't wait.



Caught an excellent show last night of 2 bands that have put forth, in my opinion, some of the top albums of 2008. Opener was The Tallest Man On Earth (Kristian Matsson, swede who is actually not that tall) and headliner was Justin Vernon, (extremely tall) hailing from Wisconsin whose band name is Bon Iver.
Excellent pics from the show here via brooklynvegan

Last summer, Bon Iver played a CMJ show to a scant crowd of maybe 15 at Piano's. I was there, maybe 5 feet away, watching a visibly nervous justin vernon play a beautiful heart felt set (like the wounds from the breakup of his old band and girlfriend were possibly still tender). It was an incredibly intimate show and sincere performance.
Last night, I watched him play before a sold out show at Town Hall and to my surprise the emotion was still there. No signs of nerves but still humble as ever. He has come very far in very little time. It’s the kind of success story that makes you nervous because you wonder if this upward trajectory to almost every music blogger's ”top albums of 2008” list, is almost setting him up for failure because there is so much expectation. Having seen him 3 times now, I don’t think he will fail or disappoint. His falsetto is capable of melting the iciest of hearts. If he’s in your neck of the woods, go and see for yourself...sooner than later. He’s only getting more critical acclaim and his shows will sell out.

Bon Iver myspace page

Since I’ve seen bon iver twice for free, what sealed the deal for me was the opener, the tallest man on earth. Yes, there are the comparisons to Dylan and the whole 60’s folk thing but you know what? He’s Swedish, plays the guitar effortlessly and has a better command of the english language than a lot of American musicians trying to do the whole folk singer-songwriter thing. And though his personal style is a contradiction to his music, appropriating from several different genres and decades with his uber hipster french new wave duds, greaser james dean hair and 70's sellack 'stache, the music is good ole' american folk through and through.

The tallest man on earth myspace page



In May, NYTimes wrote an article regarding how the federal government was considering proposal to allow loaded, concealed weapons in nearly all of the country’s national parks. Read it here

Well, it passed and here is op-ed article in NYTimes today confirming this.

Weapons in national parks where maintaining and allowing wildlife to propagate is of the utmost importance and where families bring children is a good idea?
That sounds about as safe and sound as a 'no income, no asset' loan.

midnight regulations make me very nervous...



Today was just a normal day when right around lunchtime, something (perhaps a water main) broke and flooded half the office within 15 minutes. It was kind of awesome. I made a joke to my boss that we would have to go home and though he wished in his heart of hearts the same as I, he would never engage in such wishful thinking when lo and behold an announcement was made that everybody was to go home!

I've wished for a snow day for 3 winters now and nothing!! Thanks to global warming I don't think i'll ever know that joy but, i guess that's why we have flooded office days instead.

So what to do when given what you've asked for? hot, spicy RAMEN!



Equestrian Bucket Tote
100% cotton canvas with cognac leather details. antique brass hardware
adjustable straps and inside accessory pocket
10" base x 14.5" height
made in brooklyn
limited edition

this was a little side project i worked on earlier this year.
I'm offering a discounted price for holiday season. e-mail honeyandtar@gmail.com for details.


A year ago i put up some shelves without using a leveler and instead of precisely measuring out where to drill I just eyeballed it. As a result, they're just ever so slightly off. No one has noticed but it drives me crazy and because they were a kind of pain to put up, i don't plan on fixing them.
Serves me right for not taking the time to use the appropriate tools but there's just something incredibly satisfying about eyeballing with drill in hand and thinking your dead on. Being dead on serves the ego well, definitely a nod to the testosterone in all of us.

Found this eyeballing game on a woodworker's blog months ago and meant to post it. Test your skills and play game here.



Since i was stuck in the city this past weekend, caught a movie and music show that i relatively did not know much about either.
Both excellent!

she's hard not to like unless you're a curmudgeon.

King Kahn & BBQ show...
pure rockin' goodness with a few risqué costume changes.

Couldn't find a free mp3 of "Waddlin' Around" but listen to it here on his myspace page.
love you so
i'll never belong


I have been known to be plagued with indecision ...and why is it when confronted with too many choices my brain feels like it's about to explode?
If you've some time to kill or doing mindless busy work I found this Radio Lab episode on Choice pretty interesting.
(bear with the annoying sound effects, content is good).



Headed up the Hudson to the lovely home of Ms. Johnson for Thanksgiving. I was lucky enough to be in the presence of people who know good food (2 of them working for Stone Barns, and another having worked for Slow foods). The hostess brined the turkey the night before and lay bacon strips over the skin as it roasted. BEST TURKEY EVER!!! so juicy, tender and tasty.
Was also introduced to Bagna cauda and cauliflower romanesco (possibly the most adorable vegetable out there).
Slightly intimidated, I contributed a Blueberry cream pie and Maple bacon butternut squash.
Hazel out ate all of us.



It's always a little sad when a tradition has to be broken and this year will mark the first time in 5 years that i will not be visiting old friends in SF for thanksgiving. The first gathering in 2003 was actually a "costume" party requiring all guests to come dressed as either a pilgrim or an Indian (pure genius). In a panic, the day of, i went to the nearest drug store and bought some poster board (strangely stocked only with fluorescents) and slapped together the above headdress with a stapler. As you can see it ended up looking more like Vegas than Pocahontas. Very bummed to be missing the SF gastric extravaganza (er... and the epic rock band sessions).

XO to all in SF!!


As the most gluttonous day of the year rapidly approaches, there's no better time to start being mindful of what foods we are buying, consuming and putting into our bodies. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with a Whole foods or Real foods, or farmer's market in the immediate vicinity. There is one lonely market called Urban Rustic that does stock up on organic and locally grown produce but lacks in selection and basics as well as being slightly more expensive than the Met Food that is so conveniently located around the corner from my apartment. Met Food does the job but I imagine that it is not so far removed from a grocery store in Poland. Most of the product labels are in Polish if that is any indication of what I am dealing with. Yes, I could trek over to Manhattan to purchase my locally grown organic produce but the reality of it is, it's just quicker and cheaper for me to go to the Met food. So the question becomes, why aren't organic, locally grown foods more readily available and affordable?

Which brings me to all this cabinet talk that the nation seems to be obsessed over. We all know that the pick for Secretary of Defense or State will be a very important and telling decision for Obama but what about who he picks for Secretary of Agriculture. It may seem like a decision stemming from the usual change of guard formality but really just as much attention and weight should be given to who is chosen for this position as it can and will directly affect our health, as well as environment and energy policies.

Enter Michael Pollan.
In recent weeks there has been a movement to endorse Michael Pollan which is taking the form of a petition to President-Elect Barack Obama. Pollan is an author, columnist, journalist, and activist whom is most noted for his book Omnivore's Dilemma. His area of expertise being agribusiness.

You may be wondering:
1) what does the secretary of agriculture do?
2) why this guy?
3) what does it matter?

The Secretary of Agriculture is head of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) which is, as defined by Wikipedia:
"a United States Federal Executive Department (or Cabinet Department). Its purpose is to develop and execute policy on farming, agriculture, and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in America and abroad."
Basically, the Department of Agriculture is responsible for (but not limited to) policies that affect what we eat in the US, what is grown in the US, how it is grown in the US which all cumulatively affect our health, the environment, and energy policies in the US.

I admit I have not read Omnivore's Dilemma but I did read this extensive and thorough Op-Ed written in early October by Pollan for NYTimes. It takes the form of a letter written to the highly anticipated President-Elect. In it he implores the next president:

"...to make the reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of your administration: unless you do, you will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change."

He begins by explaining how in the 70's, a crisis in rising food prices spawned an effort to make food cheap (hence a fast food nation), which changed the structure of government subsidies, strongly encouraging farmers to plant monocultures like corn and soy. The idea was that by bringing down prices in corn and soy, this would effectively bring down the price of other commodities. It worked but to sustain these monocultures, fossil fuels were implemented to take the place of human labor and petroleum based pesticides became common practice to maximize yield but all at the expense of eater and environment. He argues that our current system is based on cheap fuel intensive processes which leaves a huge and unnecessary carbon footprint. He also explains in great detail how the health, food and energy industries are interconnected. Pollan not only points to the problems, he also offers steps and solutions as to how to fix them on a conceptual level which could be indispensable regarding making informed policy decisions.

Next I would listen to Pollan on the Brian Lehrer show:

Here is the NYTimes article that Pollan refers to regarding melamine in US food chain supply.

Not unlike the Sub-prime mortgage crisis, everything is connected and Pollan makes a very good case on why we should care. We need somone who can connect the dots and will work with the health, environment and energy sectors to bring about effective change. It may be a long shot but if you feel the way that I do and think this administration should take a serious stand on reforming agriculture policies then join me in signing this petition to elect Michael Pollan.

Related links:
King Corn - is a documentary which began with the simple idea- finding out where our food came from. It follows the life span of the subsidized corn crop from seed to well almost everything we eat.
Just discovered- Aaron Woolf , one of the filmakers resides in NY, and opened a know-where-your-food-comes-from grocery store called........Urban Rustic!! The very market i mentioned in the beginning of this post. small world!

Slow Food International
- is good, clean, and fair food. The movement is founded upon this concept of eco-gastronomy – a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet.



Spent most of saturday baking a browned butter sage apple pie. Got out of the house to do some grocery shopping...



Life happens and friends go their separate ways but it's never too late to reconnect.
An old friend got in touch today and it made my day. So many good memories...
BH, it's good to have you back in my life.


Made a quick trip to the catskills which is always a good time.
Can't go wrong with good folks, Lagavulin, montreal seasoned steak, sage apple pie, 2 guitars, 1 piano and access to a sauna.