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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Like A Cow Without Her Bell

From Pedro Almodovar's The Flower of Her Secret:

Mother: What's wrong, Leo?

Leo: I'm going insane, mom.

M: You aren't. Your sister is, not you.

L: I am instead, like aunt, like granny. Insane.

M: It's because of Paco, isn't it? I knew it.. How bad, my child. So young and already like a cow without her bell.

L: A cow without her bell?

M: Yes, lost, bewildered, messed up, like me.

L: Like you?

M: I'm a cow without her bell too, but at my age it's pretty normal. That's why I want to live [in my village]. When a woman loses her husband, because he dies or he goes with another woman, she must return to her hometown. Go to the church, enjoy the fine weather with her neighbours, pray with them, even if she's an atheist. Otherwise she'll get lost, like a cow without her bell. My child..It wasn't easy for me to bring you up.

I wanted to post this dialogue mostly because it reminded me of all the post-heartache healing I did last year, and more particularly of some of the reading I did that helped me "recover". It's only until now that I am able to realize the gratitude I have for such trauma, in the sense that only events that shake you up to your most central core can crack you open, and make you more sensitive, and more able to fully perceive, wide ranges of experiences that the world provides you with. Thanks to PutiLupi Tasha, Women Who Run with the Wolves was instrumental in training me to realize this for myself, and I'm not ashamed to say it has a permanent resisdence on my bedside table. Leo's mother echoes Pinkola Estes's lessons, from her myths about homing or returning to oneself (elucidated by the "Sealskin, Soulskin" myth) to belonging as a blessing ("The Ugly Duckling: Finding What We Belong To") and types of prayer. Respectfully, I leave you with the author's general wolf rules for life on which she remarks, "But, over my lifetime as I've met wolves, I have tried to puzzle out how they live, for the most part, in such harmony. So, for peaceable purposes, I would suggest you begin right now with anything on this list. For those who are struggling, it may help greatly to begin with number ten" (Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run With the Wolves 460-461).

General Wolf Rules for Life
1. Eat
2. Rest
3. Rove in between
4. Render loyalty
5. Love the children
6. Cavil in moonlight
7. Tune your ears
8. Attend to the bones
9. Make love
10. Howl often

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Post-Camus, Pre-Antidepressants

Quite appropriately, I've decided to read Edouard Levé's Suicide as a follow up to Myth of Sisyphus. I was turned on to Levé's work a little late in the game after reading "When I Look at a Strawberry, I Think of a Tongue" in this season's issue of The Paris Review. However, I caught on just in time to enjoy the recent English translation of Suicide. I found this passage could serve as a good example of the deep meditations his somewhat discursive style of writing is capable of evoking. Albeit fiction, it's in second person, addressed to his deceased friend who has taken his own life:

You used to read dictionaries like other people read novels. Each entry is a character, you'd say, who might be encountered on some other page. Plots, many of them, would form during any random reading. The story changes according to the order in which the entries are read. A dictionary resembles the world more than a novel does, because the world is not a coherent sequence of actions but a constellation of things perceived. It is looked at, unrelated things congregate, and geographic proximity gives them meaning. If events follow each other, they are believed to be a story. But in a dictionary, time doesn't exist: ABC is neither more nor less chronological than BCA. To portray your life in order would be absurd: I remember you at random. My brain resurrects you through stochastic details, like picking marbles out of a bag.

- Levé, Suicide 34

Friday, May 20, 2011

Feeling That Trenchcoat

The rain is evoking 9 1/2 Weeks nostalgia. Not so much for the soft-core porn aspect, so much as Kim Basinger's outfits, amazing soundtrack and... the romance!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nice One, Steve!

Let me tell you something. That Steve Martin... He sure knows how to describe stuff!

"He had been knocked backward, but a previously untouched part of his heart kept driving him forward, fueled by fresh emotions emerging from the wound, unknown and uncontrollable. Lacey gave him a ravishing kiss good night, then he walked east to Central Park, where he flagged down a cab. On the way back to the Carlyle, his mental reenactment of their last kiss told him, yes, she loves me, and he once again saw Lacey as an illuminating white light, forgetting that white is composed of disparate streaks of color, each as powerful as the whole."

-Martin, An Object of Beauty, 186

While on the topic of Art and light in New York, check out the new Frank Gehry building downtown... What a beaut!


Raining under the Trevi Fountain with gelato

Moi en route a Sperlonga dans le train

Two girls, too fun

The boy that serenaded us with Oasis in his hoopty

Neta doing what Neta does best, wear leather jackets and act a tough cookie sans cigarillo

Accidents happen. Let's relax now and have a dance!

One more, just because this is my soul in YouTube form below:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You've Heard of Funnel Cake

... Well, mine is a fennel cake! This is my variation to a recipe I was introduced to in Rome as a torta de finnochi, but I was having this for dinner so I added eggplant to the mix, which was helpful as a base so that all the slippery fennel in the beginning- when you build the shape- has something flat and edible to bake onto. Secondly, I simmered the fennel in milk thoroughly before baking. The result couldn't have been more pleasing- the fennel was creamy and melted in my mouth like butter. And with the crispy cheesiness- it was heaven! I was very excited to eat this.


Let's get one thing straight, I never hate on LA even though it's not the primary place I want reside for the next couple of years. When I point out certain East Coast details I deem preferable for where I'm at right now in my life, it doesn't mean I'm remarking on Los Angeles as a whole because I know that LA, having been born and raised there, has a myriad of unique qualities that make it special- and really, a luxury. One point I've made when having this tiresome LA vs. NY debate at parties and dinners, is how personally it really is a challenge to stimulate myself culturally, artistically, intellectualstuffistically, since everything is so spread out. This obviously does not mean Los Angeles is devoid of culture, art, intellectual stuff... It just means that accessibility wise, it doesn't work out easily for many people. I feel you have to do a little bit of digging to find the gold, which isn't necessarily a bad thing considering you're in a place that I am pretty certain invented the adjective form of the word "chill" and single-handedly spearheaded the concept of formal casual attire. Now, if you have a freelance job, or no job, or unlimited gas in your tank- yes it's not as challenging, but I didn't have any of those, so my opinion is pretty strongly felt. I guess this was more a preamble on transportation systems than on artistic presence... Anyway, I came across this passage in Steve Martin's An Object of Beauty and smiled to myself because I know he gets it.

"There is art in Los Angeles that rivals New York's, but to see all of it you would need General Eisenhower to plan the attack. The Los Angeles County Museum is miles from the Getty, which is miles from the Hammer [actually, Steve, not really- these two are the closest in proximity], which is miles from the Norton Simon, which is miles from the Museum of Contemporary Art, and if the dots were connected on a map, you would see a giant circle running around the periphery of Los Angeles with no convenient route connecting them. The viewer of this map would realize that the best way of commuting among these five significant art museums would be by Swiss gondola or light aircraft."

- Martin, An Object of Beauty, 161

Monday, May 16, 2011

Office Style Still Life

A haphazard collection of goodies turned lunchtime, this is how I lived today. I bought freshly made rye bread from Whole Foods, some tarragon and some parsley, an extremely savory watermelon jelly with orange and for dessert I had that yummy lavender walnut honey truffle ball pictured front and center below.

Best's Back!

Best Friend was in town again. I've known this one since 1993 and on June 23, 2012 I will be her maid of honor when she marries Robert Stewart Young, can you believe? (Rob's middle name is not Stewart, but he looks as though he'd be named something like that)... I know I'm spewing out numbers like a leaf blower. We are nonstop laughs as a duo, unleashing a sense of humor that dates back to the fourth grade, and has truly endured the test of time. She is one of maybe three people I can yell criticism to and she won't bat an eyelash and three minutes later all will be hunky dory, much the same way that in fifth grade we would get into screaming matches, part ways and 10 minutes later I'd interrupt her Beverly Hills 90210 trance with, "So... you wanna go outside and play volleyball" And she'd be like, "Okay!"

Here, we are sharing a passionfruit tart and flourless chocolate cake for dessert at Falai

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Un par de greñudas

You may or may not (most probably not) have noticed the lack of Rome photos on Hecho/visto. I couldn't quite find a theme or sets to post besides the obvious, namely "I went to Rome". Since there were so many, this iMovie format seems to do the job a little more effectively. My present to Neta Mor:

Neta and Annabelle: Roma 2011 from Annabelle Quezada on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

More Myth (No Sisyphus Though)

Read in bed last night, but as luck would have it, blogged from the office:

"We turn our backs on nature; we are ashamed of beauty. Our wretched tragedies have a smell of the office clinging to them, and the blood that trickles from them is the color of printer's ink...

[Then he muses on things Mediterranean, classical & philosophical]

... Nature is still there, however. She contrasts her calm skies and her reasons with the madness of men. Until the atom too catches fire and history ends in the triumph of reason and the agony of the species. But the Greeks never said that the limit could not be overstepped. They said it existed and that whoever dared to exceed it was mercilessly struck down. Nothing in present history can contradict them."

-Albert Camus from the essay "Helen's Exile"

Monday, May 9, 2011

When This Whole World Starts Getting You Down...

... there's room for two right up on the roof (up on the roooooof). Farrah is busy and doesn't have time to make a meal... no time, there's never any time. She insisted she had no food, so I helped her out by cooking up a filling dinner with what she did have. The result: a creamy pea and sausage farfalle dish to which I added dill, wasabi, shallots and tiny bit of garlic. Thinly shaved parmesan cheese served as a garnish, and we ate this with a nice, milky colored sake. Miss Sabado will think twice before she says she has no food at home next time (wide grin).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dirty South (of Spain)... Can Ya'll Really Feel Me?

As you probably already know, I was in Andalucia for Semana Santa, which means a lot of beautiful music, a lot of blocked off streets, and a lot of excitement. I realized I've been slacking on the food photos, so I will try to insert some relevant ones here. There was a lot of bacalao frito in our diet, as well as tinto de verano. Upon arriving to one eatery in Sevilla, I noticed this woman had what seemed like a really refreshing, iced red drink before her. I assumed it was cranberry juice until I saw two other ladies with the same beverage. I figured that unless UTI's are rampant in the South of Spain, this must be the hot drink to order so I asked the waitor what it was and he informed me it was tinto de verano, basically a poor man's sangria (but the preferred drink to sangria by the locals) made with red wine and carbonated lemonade or 7-up. That's basically all I drank from that moment onwards.

Per Motek's recommendation, we had breakfast at La Campana:

A true highlight from Sevilla, the three cheese salad! This is what I call a Holy Trinity:

We spent many a night at La Carboneria, my favorite and most nearby bar with the best live music and flamenco. They had one large beer garden type space with a more intimate, IMHO quite magical, room next door. I genuinely miss this place:

What a Great Idea...

... it was to go to The Festival of Ideas! So many wonderful, inspiring works of art. My personal favorite experience was the massive projection onto the church on Mulberry St. The photos below only offer a modicum of a glimpse into this presentation, which I think lasted about 4-5 minutes. Nonetheless I have to provide you with some type of reference to this mesmerizing display where different themes and guises were projected onto the church's facade. Utilizing the church's exterior and its architectural elements, the front was transformed from some type of celestial body to an apocolyptic, disintegrating disaster to a robotlike machine to a zodiac clock to what I think was a giant stained glass window! All the while, a ginormous fire, text and other things were projected onto the wall directly across from it.

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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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