Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"They say it came first from Africa, carried in the screams of the enslaved; that it was the death bane of the Tainos, uttered just as one world perished and another began; that it was a demon drawn into Creation through the nightmare door that was cracked open in the Antilles. Fukú americanus, or more colloquially, fukú - generally a curse or a doom of some kind; specifically the Curse and Doom of the New World. Also called the fukú of the Admiral because the Admiral was both its midwife and one of its great European victims; despite "discovering" the New World the Admiral died miserable and syphilitc, hearing (dique) divine voices. In Santo Domingo, the Land He Loved Best (what Oscar, at the end, would call the Ground Zero of the New World), the Admiral's very name has become synonymous with both kinds of fukú, little and large; to say his name aloud or even to hear it is to invite calamity on the heads of you and yours.
No matter what its name or provenance, it is believed that the arrival of Europeans on Hispaniola unleashed the fukú on the world, and we've all been in the shit ever since. Santo Domingo might be fukú's Kilometer Zero, its port of entry, but we are all of us its children, whether we know it or not."


(from here)

Basic vanilla cupcakes
2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups castor sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup margarine
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 180 C
Fold flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together
Add margarine, milk, vanilla and eggs, beat till smooth
Spoon mixture into paper liners, cook for 15 (mini cupcakes) - 25 (normal cupcakes) minutes

1 1/2 cups icing sugar
4 tbs milk

Mix the margarine into the icing sugar spoon by spoon till the mixture is smooth. Add milk and food colourings.

Chocolate chip cupcakes
Add as many dark chocolate chips as you want to the finished mix. Add 1-2 tsp melted dark chocolate to the icing

Cherry and almond cupcakes
Add chopped fresh or tinned cherries + 1/4-1/2 tsp almond essence. Add 1-2 tbsp of syrup from the cherries to the icing and top with almond slivers.

And even more cupcakes here!

Monday, July 5, 2010

La Haine

"C’est l’histoire d’un homme qui tombe d’un immeuble de cinquante étages. Le mec, au fur et à mesure de sa chute se répète sans cesse pour se rassurer : jusqu’ici tout va bien, jusqu’ici tout va bien, jusqu’ici tout va bien.
Mais l’important c’est pas la chute, c’est l’atterrissage."

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

A Short Dictionary of Misunderstood Words


Cemeteries in Bohemia are like gardens. The graves are covered with grass and colourful flowers. Modest tombstones are lost in the greenery. When the sun goes down, the cemetery sparkles with tiny candles. It looks as though the dead are dancing at a children's ball. Yes, a children's ball, because the dead are as innocent as children. No matter how brutal life becomes, peace always reigns in the cemetery. Even in wartime, in Hitler's time, in Stalin's time, through all the occupations. When she felt low, she would get into the car, leave Prague far behind, and walk through one or another of the country cemeteries she loved so well. Against a backdrop of blue hills, they were as beautiful as a lullaby.
For Franz a cemetery was an ugly dump of stones and bones."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Monday, March 29, 2010

light in dark places

Terrible scanner, terrible scan

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thinking about tangled black thread