I swear, I am the world's slowest packer. I don't know why I can't just decisively throw clothes in a suitcase & be done with it. Anyway. I'm off to the South... this is my little pre-trip trip, sort of a pilot if you will, for the big, serious, Southern leg of the Chinese Restaurant Project (which will happen sometime later, perhaps this fall if the stars align properly). This mini trip is more about vacation & my cousin's wedding than it is about Chinese restaurants, but I didn't let that stop me from bringing all my sound gear & 2 Holgas & obsessive census maps & so on & so forth, all of which may explain why packing was such a difficult task. Oy vey!

I'll try to blog from the road, but no promises, especially since the one thing I'm not bringing is a laptop.


Always nice to find another blogger geeking out on Chinese food, photo included! I wonder if other Chinese restaurants in Philly have cheese steak rolls?


Much too soon... Gloria Anzaldua passed away on Saturday, at the age of 61. I remember when Borderlands was first published, I read it with an enormous thirst because I needed those ideas so badly; we all needed them so badly. All these years later I can't even articulate what those exact concepts were, because they have become so completely interwoven within my understanding of the world & my place in it. I guess it's time to go back & read it again. I am so sad that this brilliant warrior has fallen.


I should also mention: you can read some very satisfying fiction by Dan Leone too.


This is a week late, but: Dan Leone has been writing Cheap Eats for TEN YEARS now! I love Dan Leone! He's always the first thing I read when I pick up the Guardian. There is no other pleasure in my life quite like the pleasure of reading his column. (I have lots of other pleasures, just none that are like Dan Leone's writing.) It's a little scary & wonderful at the same time to contemplate how much influence he's had upon me & everybody else around here who reads him devotedly. Mere mortals like me can only aspire to have such an impact upon the community, to provoke so much happiness, & to write such excellent stuff on a weekly basis. Rock on, Dan Leone!


The Mills MFA show as a whole definitely kicks ass (have you ever heard me say that about any MFA show before?), but the reason why you should drop everything & go see it, multiple times if possible, is Freddy Chandra's installation. Talk about sublime... this work is an act of profound generosity. The craftsmanship alone is reason to be grateful, but then there's the beauty, the way it transcends its own concepts of architecture, time & light. I'm thankful for all of it.

Even better than yesterday's entry on the sublime: Whipped Cream Structure with diagrams & microscopic images & everythang! Do you think that whipped cream is its own little sublime universe? Seems very possible.... Abominations such as Mock Whipped Cream are in an entirely different universe, of course.

Then there's the infamous Cool Whip which is also its whole own universe. Not a sublime one though.

& just in case you wanted to know, here are some things you should never substitute for whipped cream. (They say for food sex, I say never for any reason.)


I've been paging slowly through the hot-off-the-press Wes Mills book (from Printed Matter) & pondering the concept of the sublime. Donna asked me what I meant by sublime. In my first feeble attempt to answer this question, I caught myself sounding like those tired old discussions of what defines erotica vs. porn: "I can't explain it, but I know it when I see it!" Fortunately, this explanation is a lot more articulate. A lot.