Rainmakers’ Vacation

The rainmakers have undeniably taken an extended holiday this summer, and the sparkling fountain surrounded by grapevine-shaded tables tucked behind Firehook Bakery offers a welcome retreat from hot city sidewalks.

in rain language
have not yet begun to stutter
in the cloud throat.
The thunder mouth is toothless
and lighting has not yet flicked
the spotlights on in the pupil
of the eye.
Until the stoves are lit,
sleeves will be rolled up on the arms of the sun,
another demonstration will erupt
in the clandestine curves of the girl
who in a Trieste piazza has wet
her lips with wine
and the summer will send gangsters
to repulse autumn’s gunmen
from the border of its waves.
—Ronny Someck

CakeWeddingAnn and Saul


The Art of Cooking


Julia McWilliams Child (1912-2004) would probably be horrified at the departure from classic cuisine depicted herein, but I post it in a spirit of unequivocal admiration for her blend of the classic and the unconventional that made her both compelling and beloved.

Today is the birthday of the woman who probably did more than any other individual to open the eyes and broaden the palates of American cooks. I recall my mother and her best friend watching reruns of The French Chef and using their families as guinea pigs for meals drawn from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. For which we were not entirely grateful at the time—children being creatures of habit—but which inevitably expanded and uplifted our tastes. Happy Birthday Julia, and merci mille fois.

Today is also the Feast of the Assumption, one of the the many holy days which the French honor in sacred traditional fashion: that is, taking off from work and heading out of town for some R&R (if they are not already there, it being, after all, the month of August). For a comic, please see Assumption.





This year, the evening of August 12th is the peak viewing time for the Perseid meteor shower. Congratulations, you lucky folk who happen to be in the mountains, on the prairie, at the beach, or in any location far from city lights! Set your alarm clock for midnight (if you are not still awake at this time), spread a blanket outside, lie down facing the northeast, and watch for shooting stars. Unfortunately this year the Perseids coincide with the nearly-full moon (of August 13th), so you may miss the faint ones. But even lying under a big golden moon at midnight is a treat.

For a larger picture and a little more about the Perseid meteor shower, please see Night of the Shooting Stars.


Move Eastward, Happy Earth

In honor of the birthday today of Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), I post this painting and poem—also suitably celebratory for Trish and Jason’s anniversary.


Move eastward, happy earth, and leave
Yon orange sunset waning slow:
From fringes of the faded eve,
O, happy planet, eastward go:
Till over thy dark shoulder glow
Thy silver sister world, and rise
To glass herself in dewey eyes
That watch me from the glen below.
Ah, bear me with thee, lightly borne,
Dip forward under starry light,
And move me to my marriage-morn,
And round again to happy night.

—Alfred, Lord Tennyson

CakeWeddingTrish & Jason