Sunday, August 20, 2006

Housefrau’s Packing Tips: I Have None

Moving day is a week from tomorrow. The nice thing about packing is that I don’t have to clean anything. The bad thing about packing is that I have to pack.

Some ruminations on the nature of owning things seem in order, but my heart’s not in it. Perhaps the unpacking process will produce an insightful musing on the complex relationship we have to our things, how owning something is also a way of being owned, how the domestic realm both shackles us to our couch cushions and at the same time offers the freedom of eating off frisbees.

But for now, packing is just packing. The only way I’ll ever get all this stuff in boxes is if I simply accept the inevitability of owning five different types of spoons and choose not to worry too much about whether it’s appropriate to label a box “kitchen stuff” if it also contains shoes.

Maybe next time I do this I’ll be organized. This time around, I’m just glad I saved the boxes for the marionettes.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Housefrau's Pretention Party: Poetry!

After Bernadette Mayer

After the Price Chopper
Intervals of tomatoes
Pink the knife.
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx “Don’t cut yourself!”
He cries. Fer chrissake.
Nobody sez that
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx To the Price Chopper.

Sunday, August 06, 2006


I've been out of town for the last ten days, visiting Portland, Oregon (with five days of driving through other states of the union about which the less is said, the better [I'm talking to you, Wyoming]). I had thought I might blog from the hotel, but when it said "free wifi," it failed to include the phrase "that is so slow and unreliable that you may consider jumping out the window; oh, wait, we forgot to mention that the windows of the rooms don't open." In fact, the wifi at the hotel was so erratic that it made me concerned about the effectiveness of the free condoms they so thoughtfully provided with the toiletries.

At any rate, I'm glad to be back in my own poorly-kept house, surrouned by my own personal filth. It's nice to think that I can at least trace the origins of the stains around here.

The exciting news is that I'll soon be frauing a different house--we rented a place in Portland.

I'll keep you posted as the packing nightmare commences.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Housefrau’s Recipe Box: Some Sort of Sandwich!

Time for recipe-swapping! After all my moaning about the concept of dinner, I went and cooked one after all, and it was tasty.

This recipe starts last night. The LP was having trouble sleeping, and I was none too drowsy myself, so I decided to list all the possible things that would be good on a sandwich. I got quite a long way into my Dagwoodian dream when I had a sudden inspiration for a simple yet delicious dish.

Housefrau’s Made-Up While Drifting Off to Sleep

Whole wheat buns
Some chicken breasts
Some almond butter
1 apple
1 onion
Some ghee or olive oil

First, broil some chicken breast. I’d tell you how to do that, but I am frightened of raw meat, so the LP handles that part. So, I dunno, look in a cookbook, probably.

While that happens, caramelize the onion. I’ll tell you how I did it, but you might want to get a second opinion, as, although caramelization did seem to happen, burning happened more, so maybe my method is flawed. At any rate: put about 3 Tbsp. ghee or olive oil in a pan and make it hot. I turned the number-dealie to 4, if that helps. Slice up the onion and put it in there. Then leave it there and stir sometimes. Try to turn off the heat before the mess is utterly charred—20 minutes or so, but probably less.

After all that’s done, slice the apple into thin-ish slices and toast the buns in that greatest of devices, the toaster oven. Spread a bunch of almond butter on the buns, slice the chicken, and layer chicken, apples, and caramelized onions on the buns.


I was pretty sure this would turn out to be one of those things that I think is going to be some sort of wild taste adventure, and then it is, but less of a watching-Indiana-Jones experience and more of an actually-going-throug-the-awful-things-that-happen-in-an-Indiana-Jones-movie experience. But, lo and behold, they were gooooood. I imagine endless variations could be created.

Had I known they would be worth sharing, I’d have taken photos of the whole thing. Instead, all I have to show you is proof positive that these things were fucking tasty:

By the way, the plate is a Sherry Olsen, who is both a terrific ceramics artist and a very nice lady. Go. Buy. Now.

Aborted Dinner

Earlier this week I made dinner. The menu:

1. Rice soup (which is rice that for some reason didn’t absorb, like, any of the water it was cooked in, even though the rice itself was plenty soft and cooked)

2. Suspicious salmon (which is salmon I was supposed to broil, but that I was scared of because it had been in the fridge for three days and smelled like fish, which, okay, I know that it is fish, but it smelled really, well, fishy)

The LP came home and I gave him a choice: eat this dinner I had made (and yes, I was going to actually cook the suspicious salmon; I wasn’t suggesting we eat it raw) or go get something a bit more fully-formed.

Tough choice.

This has been happening a lot these days: I begin a meal in good faith, but somehow I can’t seem to finish it. Not that I destroy it (though that is a regular feature of five o’clock at my house), but somewhere along the line I just sort of lose my belief that this endeavor I’ve undertaken has any sort of merit or authentic reality. I just can’t seem to see these substances in pots ever becoming what I might recognize as a meal.

Cleaning is another problem. I might get halfway across the living room with my dustcloth when I suddenly cease to believe that I’m actually doing anything. The act of dusting becomes like playing a video game—several hours spent saving the princess, and what have you got to put on your resume?

My life at times begins to seem a series of gestures made to mark time for a non-existent orchestra.

And at the end of the day, I’ve lost the tune that, properly hummed, might have resulted in dinner.

“Dinner.” It’s a funny concept. I am often drawn to the idea of “eating close to the earth,” as they say—of walking into my (non-existent) garden, yanking out a carrot, and stuffing it in my mouth. Eating food, not a meal. The realm of dinner has very little to do with food. Dinner, my darlings, is theater in which one eats the props.

I’m thinking I'd like to do dinner differently. Serve plates of beautifully-arranged plastic foods, take to rubber steaks with fork and knife, take sips of synthetic wine between breaths of describing my day.

Then chug a tasteless protein shake from a paper cup and toss everything back in the drawer.

Ritual accomplished, nutrients consumed, and I can turn my mind to the next philosophical housefrau paradox:

When I remove the wrinkles from this blouse, where do they go?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I just added a NabMe button (on the right, below links) in case any of you want to make my bunny sing.

Note: I tend to drop everything I'm doing and rush instantly to the bunny when it makes a sound, so the more messages I get, the more likely I am to drop an entire carton of eggs into a hot, open oven. And you know what that equals?

Material for blogging and possible eviction.


Housefrau Pretention Party: Poetry!

The Life of Jorge Chavez

Are you going to write my life story
says Jorge Chavez.
He’s putting my raisins in a sack.
Is it an interesting story?
I’m buying two tubes of hair gel.
One will make my hair curly,
the other will make it straight.

Are you going to put it on the internet?
Jorge is holding my wallet, which I gave him
because my Sooper! card is attached to it
by a ring.
It entitles me to Sooper! savings.
He’s wearing a name tag but he tells me his name

anyway; he’s told me his name
before, as well as his address.
Jorge tells Manuel,

She’s going to write my life story.
We live in the same town but on opposite sides.
Manuel is putting my bread in the same sack as my lightbulbs.
he says.
I spent a full five minutes contemplating
the difference between rice milk and soy milk.
I’m not really a Sooper! shopper.

She’s a writer
says Jorge Chavez.
Now I see the blue carton go in the sack,
I regret it.

The Life of Jorge Chavez
says Jorge.
He looks me in the face and he’s
My ice cream is melting.

Who links to me?