n i g h t i n g a l e s h i r a z / blog
ponte Sant'Angelo.

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not your mother's tourguide.

maybe they saw the light when she posted that luscious one about Cannavaro & Company wearing (very little) D&G.  (shameless note to the ladies:  fuller, extra-flesh versions can be found here and here; while the wish-you-were-here celebration shots from FIFA can be found here.  if only i were tracking outbound URLs...).
or maybe they know she wrote the book on Rome.
whatever.  it's a good thing Daily Candy knows how to get their fix.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[monday 31 july 2006 at 11:45:23] []


out of all the books i left behind while i was in Italy, i think Pablo Neruda's Memoirs is the one i missed the most -- and the most often.  not least because, every time i went to a reading, or anything remotely literary or writerly, or even just when i was deep in some conversation with a fellow lover-of-the-word, about what it means to write -- i longed for that passage he puts on the first page.  it's only half a page long, and not even an introduction, per se -- just a thought he offers you, before you start dipping like chocolate into the stories he tells about his life:

     In these memoirs or recollections there are gaps here and there, and sometimes they are also forgetful, because life is like that.  Intervals of dreaming help us to stand up under days of work.  Many of the things I remember have blurred as I recalled them, they have crumbled to dust, like irreparable shattered glass.
     What the memoir writer remembers is not the same thing the poet remembers.  He may have lived less, but he photographed much more, and he recreates for us with special attention to detail.  The poet gives us a gallery full of ghosts shaken by the fire and darkness of his time.
     Perhaps I didn't just live in my self, perhaps I lived the lives of others.
     From what I have left in writing on these pages there will always fall -- as in the autumn grove or during the harvesting of the vineyards -- yellow leaves on their way to death, and grapes that will find new life in the sacred wine.
     My life is a life put together from all those lives: the lives of the poet.

i have always believed that -- at all times in your life -- you should know at least one piece of poetry by heart.  one sequence of words that you carry with you everywhere.

maybe, it doesn't always have to rhyme.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[sunday 30 july 2006 at 15:38:21] []

why i need to move the radio setting from Montreal's Mix 96.

playlist for the last hour (and -- quite likely -- for most of the day, unless i get up from where i'm lying here having frothy spasms of pop epilepsy):

- Aint No Other Man by Christina Aguilera -- "do your thang honey".

- Buttons by the Pussycat Dolls (yes, those girls who sang the mindbogglingly mean and torturously catchy "Don't You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me") -- "i'm telling you to loosen up my buttons baby / but you keep fronting".

- Hips Don't Lie by Shakira featuring Wyclef.  i'm not pulling any quotes for this one.  i'm saving it (and Shakira's lyrics in general), for a post ALL its own.  stand by (or run while you can).

- It Wasn't Me by Shaggy (ah, the token "oldie" for the hour) -- "if she say you're not, convince her say you're gay" and  "hardly recollecting and then she'll go to noontime mass".

- Sexy Back by Justin Timberlake -- "I'll let you whip me if I misbehave".

oh dear.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[sunday 30 july 2006 at 12:35:28] []

recipes for strength.

so this week (in my daily bid to fend off the random descents into depression, drama and "did-i-just-make-the-second-biggest-mistake-of-my-life" doldrums), i am...  Doing Dinner.

yesterday i encored the quasi-grilled portobello mushrooms from Tamanna's visit, alongwith the same summer salad (thank goodness for clementines), and it was very excellent.

(monday i microwaved a jamaican-beef-patty.  but mondays don't count.  and anyway, it was good.)

tonight, i gave in to whimsy at the supermarket (i found a new place.  it doesn't seem to make me miserable.  yet), and bought steak.  then i promptly came home and Googled-up anything i could find that had anything to do with filetto, aceto balsamico and prugne.  if you're a long-time reader, you know where this is heading...

-- or at least,  where it was *dreaming* of heading.  even before i started i knew that the missing lardo di colonnata was no small potato...  in a manner of speaking...

as a first steak (and yes, this was -- really -- the first time i've ever worked with raw cow), i think it was alright.  for the most part, this is the recipe i didn't follow (because i rarely do).  and for the most part, i am not yet writhing on the floor from salmonella poisoning.


i miss cooking in Italy, because there your life is built around it, and it comes to you as naturally as wanting watermelon in the summer.

but i love my new kitchen.  and i think i might even like my very apologetically-electric stove.

at the very least, i have everything i need in terms of getting the ritual right: i found my momentarily-lost, favorite apron (aka "The Perfect Apron"); and i have my Microplaner, and my One Good Knife.  i have good music and good wine to keep me kitchen-company, and i have the smell of garlic on my fingertips -- unmistakably, unwaveringly, unapologetically -- the same all over the world.

for afterwards, i have home-made limoncello.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[tuesday 25 july 2006 at 21:52:12] []

another morning.

i get a heartwrenchingly, delicately wrought email about death and what it teaches you about love -- from a friend who's building the best kind of wisdom.

i re-read a recent email from an ex-boyfriend's sister -- about how hot it is there, about her two little-boy hellions ("Fra qualche anno questi due ci uccideranno in maniera ingnobile e darenno la colpa a noi."), and about what the family is up to ("Spero di ricevere tue notizie.  Anche ai miei genitori farebbe piacere sapere come stai.  Scrivi qualche volta anche alla mia mamma, se ti manca l'indirizzo mail fammelo sapere.").

i make myself a cafe macchiato in my new (and very red)  Morphy Richards espresso maker.  i miss Pino at the FAO bar and my daily capuccino cuoricino heart, but i am still -- simply-and-desperately -- grateful for the existence of Illy.

for the second time, i meet a neighborhood cat lounging on my patio -- this one is grey and has those wonderful tufts between her toes.  like with the other cat, i leave milk out.  when i come back i find that she has ignored the milk, and has instead left a little "present" for me on the fire-escape stairs.


[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[sunday 23 july 2006 at 10:01:16] []

what you find, unpacking the boxes from Carmine Street.

out of the many things i pull out of the art-and-mementoes box (a brass rubbing of Celtic dragons from St. Paul's in London, a picture of Auri and i -- aged eight and two respectively -- on the roof of Nani's house in Karachi, a stone gargoyle, a limited edition parchment broadside of Agha Shahid Ali poetry, a purple mardi gras mask from New Orleans) -- among so many things that are clearly me, i find a dull gold frame with flimsy magazine paper inside it.  it's a full page ad for the New School University, and for some reason -- i don't even remember doing it -- it has been torn out and framed and kept with all the things i wanted to have when i came back.

the page has a blue background, and there's a little white cloud floating behind the eleven lines of plain black text:

You are here.  Here where Andy had his fifteen.
Where Nikita slammed his shoe.  Where Ruth built his
house.  Rand her fountainhead.  Here, where Lenny
made laughter dangerous and Lou made walking wild.
Where 'Trane unleashed his Tenor.  Pollock his paint.
Y o u   a r e   h e r e.      W h e r e   J o h n   i m a g i n e d.
Here in New York City.  The very wellspring of creative and
intellectual discovery.  Ready to exorcise the ordinary.
To Cusinart conformity.  To claim your seat at the table
of giants and be greeted by a collective "Boo-ya!"
It's why you are here.  It's why we are here, too.

there is more than one city that i am in love with.
there is only one like that one.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[saturday 22 july 2006 at 14:57:40] []

whether or not you (are bothered to) know my personal politics.

this is just fucked-up all-around.

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[wednesday 19 july 2006 at 09:42:56] []

small annoyances.

i bought a copy of the Saturday (bumper edition) Montreal Gazette last night, and got into bed (alright, so it's technically an air-mattress; give me time) with all seventeen sections of it -- looking forward to the idea of waking up the next morning better informed, and maybe even slightly more intelligent.

i kid you not.  there was a total of *one* page in the entire paper, about the Israel-Lebanon issue.  one page.  four articles.  two of which were about the effects here in local Montreal communities (peaceful demonstrations outside the Israeli consulate, Lebanese travel agencies losing business, etc.).

so, in terms of information on what could be the next full-scale war in the Middle-East -- the kind that every single state in that region will want to get in on -- two *whole* articles.  this is the Saturday edition of the paper.  this is the "big" edition.

about the Zidane-Materazzi headbutt, i found FOUR in-depth pieces.  and they *weren't* all in the sports section.

what?  what is that?

[nightingaleshiraz] [?]
[Avenue Girouard, Montréal]
[sunday 16 july 2006 at 09:13:13] []