Sunday, December 30, 2012

best sounds {2012}

marimbas + minimalism in a field
punch brothers at town hall
iron and wine at ravinia
2012 was themes on a variation of not being in school: exploring what happens when monday and thursday mornings aren't devoted to symphonies, when i don't have excerpts to shed, when genres can collide and people can pee on stage. it was fantastic and eye-opening and i can safely say that despite a popular belief among the percussion studio during my last year of school when i spent more time eating burgers than playing cymbals, i won't be quitting music any time soon. the following list includes just a few of the musical experiences that demanded my love this year.

playing six marimbas in a connecticut field: full on strawberry rhubarb pie, sore from the morning's game of racquet ball, and slightly drunk on the groomsmen's absinthe, five of my favorite friends and i played six marimbas for the hippie wedding of someone else's dreams.

lost in the trees: on some sort of freak accident {i had nary heard of this band}, i checked out their album a church that fits our needs from the library over the summer right before i left for europe. it stayed on repeat, through trains and planes, from berlin to amsterdam and back again, and it never lost its ability to make me bop my head or be calm.

dog days: the internet can tell you what it was like to experience the full production. but being able to play those vibe parts and release all kinds of stress during the 11-minute bass drum roll at the end was something i want to do again and again.

mason bates + cso in mercury soul: raging and dancing to mixed meters and cat calling my dad, the so now alternative to the usual dad concerts of sitting quietly and watching a symphony.

feist at radio city: when, with every fiber of my being, i danced out all of the crazies from my life. and then ran up on stage to hug maria and kyky and didn't even get captured by security.

harmonielehre in a london parking garage: we've all seen a better harmonielehre {right? right?}, but we saw it in a parking garage with a beer and it was one of those things you wouldn't have ever thought of to do, but you're happy that someone else did. 

roomful of teeth: it's just so new and exciting and futuristic, like, 2014, like people can do that with their mouths and diaphragms? stfu. i love dancing to roomful of teeth in a roomful of candlelight with no one to judge me but myself. 

punch brothers at town hallthe best date i ever asked myself on.

iron and wine at ravinia: perfect summer songs with a perfect summer picnic and perfectly wonderful friends.

san fermin: i'm not biased because bandleader ellis asked me to play glockenspiel with him. you guys, san fermin has so many amazing sounds. in a few weeks, the first cd will be released, and it is so fantastically beautifully fresh. it gives me so much excitement to even play like five glockenspiel notes with them.

gabriel kahane: i'm not biased because we have a shared interest in dumplings and, i don't know, twitter. how i love his songs and the stories they tell, the sound world makes me so happy and nostalgic for things i've never experienced. his album where are the arms definitely holds a space on the soundtrack for the chapter of my life titled "molly moves to brooklyn."

wolfgang rihm's dionysus: my first berlin opera experiences were like eating at roberta's after a decade's worth of jean-georges. different, younger, grittier, but equally as awesome, if not awesomer, than some of the monstrous american productions i'd been used to prior to this year. dionysus had this soprano that sang the highest notes i ever done heard and they were so great.

at the ballet: i saw two ballets this year that had obliteratingly beautiful music: in year of the rabbit, it was sufjan's "year of our lord," and in two hearts, it was nico's breathtaking score. in my next life, i would like to be a justin peck.

eggboy: when i was a wee one, i used to dream of dating a hunky guitar-playing man who wrote songs about me but then i gave up on that dream when i decided that all of those types are douchebags but then i retracted that belief when i met eggboy and now he writes songs about me and i cry and they're my favorite songs ever and i'm not just saying that because they're about me and our bike rides but because sometimes i hear a lyric or a melody and i can't believe that they came from this boy that i get to date {!!!!}.

playlist: for a little sampling of some of my 2012 favorites, or at least of those that were available on spotify, here is a little playlist

more fun sounds: birdie chimes in john ford's the broken heart
feist at radio city
more fun sounds: a private performance in dubuque, iowa
mason bates + dad perform in da club
wolfgang rhim's dionysus

Saturday, December 29, 2012

best meals {2012}

my most favorite eating experiences these days are about the company, the setting, the sometimes less-than-glamorous situations that provide a good challenge. while this year i engaged in some pretty fantastic tasting menus and pete wells-approved dishes, the best meals were so much more than that. and at the same time so much less.

there was the eccles cake enjoyed at sunset on a train platform in belgium with the male nurse en route to rotterdam,

and the one where conversation demanded three languages and hand motions over berlin's best pizza with the stranger milania from sicily.

there was the curbside lentil soup at the portobello market with one of my favorite food photographers of all time {who took that first photo above},

and then over fruits and croissants on rockaway beach, in a little cloud of flies, eggboy and i enjoyed our first real meal together. had he known that "fruits and croissants" is a lyric in one of my most favorite songs?

a pickled herring sandwich at the place on zoutsteeg, in amsterdam, that opened in the 1800s, the strawberries from strawberry season in germany that were washed in the pouring rain and enjoyed in the pouring rain.

there were a few monstrous meals: multi-hour productions, the plates and plates of conversation, perfect friends, shop talk: yardbird, the purple pig, st. john bread and wine, myers + chang. all of those family occasions. i could die during these meals.

occasionally meals happened that were best remembered by my camera and that probably involved more laughing than talking: lucky burger. midnight meat pies to christen my new apartment. krokets at febo {the subject of one of my proudest blogging moments}.

obviously there's a sublist for pizza: a summery night of grilled pizza with my hometown girl friends, midnight squash pizza with eggboy, one life-changing pizza at brooklyn central that seems to have been removed from the menu, a pizza topped with all kinds of fennel enjoyed in the presence of a champion pizza dough thrower at my new neighborhood fave, krescendo.

and then just here are some dishes i dream about regularly:
the bossam at danji
the brussels sprouts at parm
mum's morning pies.
the scotch egg at myers + chang
the hot salted beef bagel from beigel bake
the mad dog shot at karczma

...i fear i could go on forever. i've never been good at choosing the best. but what we've learned here is that a stale muffin could make the cut, if only enjoyed with the right people and badass conversation.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

sweets scenes and sister stoop on a snowy christmas

on christmas eve day, stoopie and i executed a four-course sweet tasting for santy claus. {santy claus, benji, santy claus! so goes my all-time favorite/only favorite faulkner quote.} it began with an amuse-bouche of almond-pistachio nougat and then launched into almond + cinnamon + meringue biscuits in anticipation of what if santa is gluten free? marzipan oreos came next. meaning, i just threw a bunch of marzipan and almond extract into the mixer as i was making the filling. they are at least seven times better than the candy cane joe joe's i stole from roommate megan. the champion of the tasting, however, was a little coconut layer cake that stoopie made and that we covered with tiffany's-colored marzipan and marzipan evergreen trees. {consider it practice for when i find myself making stoopie's wedding cake next year.}

it completely paid off. i think i'm santa's favorite. he brought me a hello kitty rice maker. it's exactly what my kitchen needs. i hope it speaks japanese to me as it cooks me fluffy rice in the shape of kitty cats.  


Friday, December 21, 2012

for you, those happy little moments

one might happen the second you wake up and realize you can go back to sleep,
or in the instant before you bite into a croque monsieur or a marzipan truffle. 
you might experience one as you're painting your nails sparkly gold or watching football on a snowy afternoon or when three of your internet friends retweet you.
maybe all it will take is a smile or a dumpling or a pretty colored door,
maybe it won't happen until after something sad has passed.
it might happen when you're chopping vegetables and accidentally drop an onion on the floor and realize that you must pick it up immediately otherwise your doggies might eat it. {because that means you're at home, cooking with mum!}

whatever your happy little moments may be {even if they involve bananas or political conversations}, i wish you extra ones this holiday!!

happy holidays, everyone!!!

i'll soon be headed home to chicago. see you after a little break of dumpling parties and gingerbread house-making!

love and bagels,


the above photos were taken in my neighborhood and they're part of a little post i did for brooklyn exposed. check out more of them here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


there are way too many leftover menorah candles in my heroes of the torah cup for any good hanukkah-practicing half-jewish brisket-eating human to not be embarrassed about.

my diet consists of cheese, bread, and anything with colorful jimmies. like the sprinkle cookies i made yesterday, like the milk bar cake balls that rob delivered me.

the morning lends no time for a percolator: but why do you need one when you can just dump a cup or so of instant grounds into lukewarm water and be bouncy for 20 entire hours?

the floor of my room cannot be seen under the layers of clothing that are scattered {artfully} across it. 

exercise is acquired by running to the timpani, and then to the xylophone, and then back again. squats to play the darbuka, curls for the tambourine.

there are two songs that saturate my head on repeat: aaron roche's "trash," and san fermin's "methuselah."

it may be time for me to fly home. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

soundcheck cookies!

this morning i'm on double cookie duty, packing up cookies for the first rehearsal of sumeida's song and for the san fermin show tonight! i'm super excited but i don't have time to write anything else because i took way too many minutes playing with colorful jimmies and cookie dough and also ellis says i have to look cool for the show tonight but i haven't a clue how to do that. you guys, how do i look cool?! halp!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

rainbow cookies.

{a supposedly fun thing i'll never do again.}
making these cookies was like going to juilliard: it was really very fun and enjoyable, but tell me i'll have to do it again and i'll run upstairs to my room, hold my stuffed penguin, assume the fetal position, and breathe real fast/cry/shake my head real fast and repeat "no" a million times. i mean, i should have known: eight sticks of butter? a dozen eggs? $30 worth of almond paste? what the hell?!

and had my friend, the viennesoire man from the bakery down the street, not been here helping me, how ever would i have acquired a bowl large enough to hold all of that* or had the emotional strength to do that flippy thing with the pans to get all of the layers on top of one another?

*in fact, using the bath tub wouldn't have been out of the question.

as yummy as the outcome was, it was the most stressful cookie i ever did make. i should have known better, i should have done more research, but there's something unkosher about seeing a recipe for one of your top four favorite cookies and not trying it out. 

oh well. 

you live and you learn not to trust the recipe with the eight sticks of butter. 
and you get a little fat in the process, but you also make new friends in that new band you're playing glockenspiel with.


p.s. if, for some sick reason, you're still wanting to make these, this version is nicely divided into a half batch of the version that i made. i'd highly recommend this. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

how the mensch stole christmas.

here's how this apartment does chrismukkuh:
decemberists sing-alongs
bacon latkes, kimchi latkes
fancy dresses
a vintage apron
candy cane elephant ears from your friend, the viennesoire man
multi-racial gingerbread transgenders
gingerbread replicas of well-known political figures, complete with m & m sex organs 
rainbow cookies that took two entire days to make
rainbow christmas lights strung on the hanukkuh bush
enough christmas lights to light all of brooklyn
spiked hot chocolate with homemade almond marshmallows 
the kind of epicn-ess that only happens when people arrive at your door with things like home-brewed honey liqueur, a fiddle, and the best pimento cheese on the face of the planet.


Friday, December 14, 2012

the chrismukkuh list

well, hanukkah came and went, didn't it? like, i barely even had time to put my non-existent halloween costume away. but it doesn't matter that this list is coming late because it's pretty much fictional. my real chrismukkuh list includes things like computer software, lighting devices... we don't need to get into it. so here's just my list of fun cool things that would take a time machine or an alternate universe or just a faster metabolism to make happen:

empire mayo: imagine the kind of pimpy b.l.t. i could make with orange clove mayo or the white truffle mayo. the rolls-royce with phat rims b.l.t., that's what.
a chicken coop: you'd think we'd have figured it out by now, with the amount of dozens of eggs that this apartment goes through on a daily basis. but just think how much easier life would be with little eunice, errol, and ewan laying their little hearts out in a mustard colored coop up on the roof.
a rooftop amphitheater. 
an easy bake oven: or rather, an entire wall of my apartment lined with them so that melissa and i can open the easy bake bake shop.
a summery boozy brunch at longman + eagle, in chicago: complete with a stoop, a mr. stoop, and a pbr with my scrambled eggs.  
for the 96th street taco truck to materialize in south brooklyn.
for hot dogs and marzipan and all things fried cheese to be at the bottom of the food pyramid.


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