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Friday, October 29, 2010

Nabokov Explains It All

... Vladi has just inspired a new label for the blog- words.

Sandwich War

The Cassavetes Fest continues...

This time to the taste of "Crazy Turkey" sandwiches. They should advertise that the honey mustard is spicy... And incredible! This sandwich is almost as good as the Godmother from Bay Cities- not quite, but comes dangerously close.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seekin' Haydn

Heading out to see the first concert of the Attacca String Quartet's complete Haydn series called "The 68"- a multi-year performance project referring to the 68 string quartets Haydn wrote over the course of his life.

*Update: I just got back from watching these guys, and I must warn my NY friends that I'll be forcing each one of you to check out their next concerts with me! These guys are something special. I'm insanely grateful for the opportunity to get to know them. Click here for more info on this brilliant, young quartet. And to someone who shall remain nameless, I will not be adding a 'g' to " Seekin' " in the post title because it is supposed to be a play on Hide 'n' Seek; adding a 'g' ruins the whole thing. Get with the program! Speaking of program... Here is the Attacca's for tonight's show, for those of you that like those sorts of details:

The "Sun" Quartets, Op. 20 (1772)

String Quartet No. 24 in A major, Op. 20 no. 6
I. Allegro di molto e scherzando
II. Adagio
III. Menuet
IV. Fuga con 3 soggetti: Allegro

String Quartet No. 23 in F minor, Op. 20 no. 5
I. Moderato
II. Menuet
III. Adagio
IV. Finale: Fuga con 2 soggetti


String Quartet No. 27 in D major, Op. 20 no. 4
I. Allegro di molto
II. Un poco adagio e affettuoso
III. Menuet alla Zingarese: Allegretto
IV. Presto e scherzando

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

PBRH's Are The New Popcorn

I am slowly becoming more and more obsessed with John Cassavetes. Last night I watched Gloria while chomping on mini crunchy peanut butter, ricotta and honey sandwiches, giving the Buns an excruciating play by play over BBM. After this, I finished watching Moonwalker and solemnly vowed to learn the dance sequence to "Smooth Criminal". I mean it's not impossible, and anyway I think the universe has been reminding me to do more "impossible" things... I've been bombarded with the same Alice In Wonderland quote in three different ways over the course of one and a half days. It was last transmitted by way of The Economist; within Benoit Mandelbrot's obituary, of all sources, I read:

"Fractal. Complex-number plane. Lewis Carroll, no mean mathematician himself, asked Alice to believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. These could easily have been two of them."

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Turning Into My Mom... Apothescary!

Although, I'm kidding about it being frightening, it's really quite an honor. I am my mother's daughter indeed! Her passion for flowers and herbs definitely trickled down into my DNA. I found a copy of The Language of Flowers in our laundry room the other day and I can't stop learning about the emotions or qualities different plants and flowers represent. Further investigation led me to discover that the supplement (chaste tree berry AKA vitex agnus-castus) I use from time to time was used in the Middle Ages to treat madness, insanity and epilepsy, and is still sold in Egyptian bazaars as a treatment to hysteria. According to my found catalog, fennel represents "strength" and being "worthy of all praise". Since this is something we can all use, I offer you this tempting recipe of Fennel Baked in Milk, courtesy of, for a resilient soul and a satisfied palate.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Not bad, not bad... A Peruvian joint that does not leaving you feel like you just ate enormous amounts of food, even though you very easily just did. Light on the tummy and the wallet.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

& - !

... walking, talking and hearing Bodge squeal the lyrics to "Goodship Lollipop." I enjoyed a relaxing day off with Bodge and Bluebs and tried the scrumptious Raleigh Bar below, a pecan-nougat-bacon-carmel variety that had both a chewy and a crispy texture. It was pretty good, although I wouldn't say $3.50 good, nonetheless I don't regret the slight splurge. It served its purpose at the moment. I practiced using my new pastel pencils by sketching Bodge's filthy backyard candles and salt and pepper shaker while watching his roommate drink a beverage from what seemed to be a small flower pot. Just the kind of charms I needed before resuming a busy week tomorrow. Glad I got some reading, exercise and friend time in. Very necessary. (One two, one two but wait I'm not through).. Get it? Salt n Pepa? That was a stretch and I'm well aware... Pardon.

I Whip My Hair Back and Forth...

I've perfected the art of makeup application on the subway, the delicate act of balancing a tiny mirror with my right hand as I twist open loose powder with my left index finger and right index and thumb, which also juggles a jumbo powder brush. I set down the base on the seat besides me while the lid containing the powder rests carefully on top of my makeup bag which is on top of my purse. We stop at 175th where a bunch of people enter the car, one girl with her iPod blasting what I think is Rihanna's "Rude Boy" certainly doesn't want to sit next to the smelly man with all the Daffy's bags... I know what that means, so I scoop up the base container of loose powder to make room for her, rest it next to the lid softly so the contents don't spill into my purse and try my best to finish this part of the job. Next come my eyebrows which I swiftly fill in using intermittent underground light to figure out where the shadows best belong. My face is already transformed... the eyebrows do the trick. Tiny bit of lipstick, curling eyelashes, mascara and presto.

In Spanish, mascara means "mask"- ah, the irony. It's always the last thing I apply. Such a personal routine marked by expressions that look like I'm "oohing" and "ahhing" with odd facial contortions, and an eye or two winking or squinting- there for all of the commuters to enjoy. One woman in particular is fascinated, the same way I was fascinated by a girl's routine last week probably (she had a great blush application technique). The guy across from me is gazing at my makeup bag's innards. I can't even begin to wonder what's going on in his mind, inspecting an arsenal made possible by Bonne Belle, Nars and other strategically chosen brands that in the end don't really matter. In a weird way, my makeup mastery delights me in that it serves as a reminder that I live "somewhere else" now. Yes, in LA car makeup application was an equally thrilling challenge, but with different obstacles- not poking my eye out with eyeliner on a sudden turn was replaced by keeping an eye out for a cop hiding behind a tree as I drove along with one elbow on the wheel. I've cried on sidewalks with nowhere to hide, seen many other people reassure me that I'm not the only one that does that, witnessed some of the most public feuds out on the street and now put my mascara on in a moving wagon in less than 10 minutes with a group of Westsiders watching. Privacy is overrated.

New York Minute

I missed the sun hitting these buildings so gloriously by like 45 seconds. I had it... And then I picked up my phone to answer a call, and the light was gone! Is it me or does the photo below have "you could have caught a great moment" written all over it? I think it's just me because I know how treacherously the sunlight left me hanging... Hmmm, my blog is slowly becoming less "hecho" y "visto" and more inner monologue. A funny from last week's New Yorker for you:

Man, Oh, Manicotti

An evening of Nick Broomfield's Kurt and Courtney, homemade stuffed manicotti with (also homemade) tomato sauce (Bluebs roasted the tomatoes in thyme beforehand) and mini mint chocolate chip and cookies 'n' creme cheesecakes for dessert. I haven't seen Bluebs in a while... I missed her and her beautiful house plants terribly.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Return of the Mac

The "Annabelle" below is so very mom blog of me... I was just tickled pink by the phrase "inundated with mediocre ones" in the previous post (why I gave myself dark brown highlights only God knows...) I used the leftover paint to make a giant chocolate carmel macaron devour me.

Rose Raspberry Lychee Macaron

I documented the treat in the event that it was mindblowing, and it was! My colleague surprised me with this beautiful rose flavored macaron, but it ended up being the queen of all macarons with its FRESH (not all syrupy and overly sweet) lychee filling and perfectly ripened raspberries. I've been kind of over macarons for about two years (since overdosing on the ones at Boule in Los Angeles and being inundated with mediocre ones left and right), but this one made me remember how amazing they could be!

Mi Viejito

I think I'm done with these guys even though they're not really finished...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mes Priorités

In an effort to practice reading in French this afternoon I delved into the wonderful world of Rousseau online for a bit, and wanted to share his famous opening to Emile with you:

Tout est bien sortant des mains de l'Auteur des choses, tout dégénère entre les mains de l'homme...

In more superficial news, should I splurge on a good ticket to see La Bête tonight? I'm absolutely itching to see it, but I also have a family to visit on the other side of the country, a wish listed trench coat, a pilgrimage to save up for, a residential move to make and a new dwelling to furnish. Decisions, decisions...

Sustaining the PEN American Center's Prison Writing Program

PEN’s Handbook for Writers in Prison features detailed guides on the art of writing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and screenplays as well as information on punctuation, cover letters, and a list of recommended magazines and journals that consider work for publication. This is an invaluable resource to any incarcerated writer. To date, PEN has distributed 20,000 copies of the handbook and continues to receive daily requests.

Please consider making a donation to the Prison Writing Program. Your support will not only help us publish future editions of the Handbook but will also help provide hundreds of inmates across the country with skilled writing teachers and audiences for their work.

This cause is very dear to my heart. As a member of the PEN Prison Writing Fiction Committee and a mentor of inmates, I can't tell you how important this program is. It provides self-esteem, hope and a voice to incarcerated men and women who have little hope in a very dark place.

I have found so many talents reading our submissions. So many men and women in prison have astounding talent and are just looking for an outlet. I ask you to help and give a few bucks to keep our program running.

Go to to find out more info!

Thank you for visiting my fundraising page! Donating through this website is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to support my fundraising efforts.

Many thanks for your support -- and don't forget to forward this to anyone who you think might want to donate too!

(I'm well aware that I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings has nothing to do with criminal justice, I just found the title appropriate *chuckle*)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holla for a Dolla

What happens when the moldy and expired rise up against the delectable, fresh foods in your fridge? In Natasha Subramaniam (Shrimpoe) and Alisa Lapidus's (Smeerka) new stop motion animation set to Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights, the answer is nothing short of magic. If you like what you see, then click here and help finish Zergüt!

ZERGUT TRAILER from Zergüt on Vimeo.

It Ain't Over Til... I Remember I Have Nutella

Got home early and had a very peaceful two hours before I went to sleep at 10:30 pm.
Drawing time (sketch below which I'll fix it up later, maybe even tonight!), Thai tea and smeary nutella on yummy bread (with a little bit of cinnamon sprinkled in).

I felt like hearing this first thing in the morning.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ma Salade Préférée

ÉPINARDS & AVOCAT! I'm addicted to the avocado and spinach salad with roasted pine nuts from Brasserie Cognac. The dressing, the cheese- absolutely perfect! And for dessert- Beethoven's Opus 131 as played by the Quartetto Italiano, an Americano and their double chocolate cookie! I am beyond excited to see the Brentano String Quartet play it live in a couple of weeks at Carnegie Hall, undoubtedly the most anticipated event in my near future!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Want To Make the World A Better Place?

So take a look atch self and make that... Change!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Orange Bread to Blue Steel

While reading on the HighLine I remembered Miss Manalastas now resides nearby.... I joined her for some yummy orange marmalade on delicious homemade bread and "Italian coffee" (just coffee made in a Bialetti) at a delightful spot below her house, after which we climbed up to her place where I met my soulmate, the dobro! This thing solves all of my problems! My feeble, quasi-arthritic left hand only has to hold a simple silver bar, not grasp weighty strings, while the other fingerpicks away... Anyway, all this to say that I want a pedal steel guitar more than anything in the world now.

I helped her and the man move things around their new nest, insisting the guitars stay in the corner (not like baby). I see below she is getting nervous about the set up... she does a "blue steel" sort of look when she gets mad I noticed.

I'd like to note that today I secreted this song she introduced me to. I silently expressed to myself that I wanted a mellow and different song with drums like the ones in Wordy Rappinghood and lo and behold, a shoegazey band I've never heard of delivered a lot of things I like along with my wish in the form of this tune:

... I will leave you with my current favorite song:

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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?


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