Winter Curatives

Nowadays the night descendeth at the delicate hour of 5 pm and next thing you know the hoarfrost is going to be all up in our shizz. The hoarfrost and the rime, not to mention the boreal winds. Well, you can rage, rage against the turning of the planet, or you can lock your door, turn on some Decemberists or Oum Kalthoum and enjoy its sweet, sweet and black frigidity.

Here are my own personal recommendations for daylight-savings-blown-to-hell discombobulation.

Coconut water–that sweet tropical elixir best sucked straight from a green coconut on a foreign beach. I know some of the magic is lost drinking it from an aluminum can at the laundromat, but  if you really think about it–fresh coconut nectar trickling down your gullet in the cold and gray is even more magical. My laundromat is patronized mostly by Chicanos and East-Indian-Americans which means, a few swigs of my Goya and it’s not too difficult to imagine we’re all at the beach together in Goa or Acapulco rather than sorting and folding our knee socks. I picture us all in Victorian-style bathing onesies (see Oct 5 post) because it’s less awkward in some ways. It’s probably more awkward in others and a lesson to us all that we never know when strangers are undressing us with their eyes, or even worse, dressing us up in very unattractive period costumes.


Mexican Street TacosCarnitas from the cooking blog smittenkitchen.com With slaw, and crema, and little lime spritzes. This recipe makes me want to grab someone by the lapels and shake them really hard and yell, “Holy Shit, You Have to Taste These!!!” until they taste them and say, “These are the best tacos in the world made in some white chick’s kitchen of predominantly German descent.” At which point I will grab them by the lapels again and bellow, “I know!!!!” And then it will be sort of awkward because I am still holding their lapels for much longer than is commonly acceptable and I have crema on my chin, while they are dressed semi-formally and didn’t bargain for all of this sexual tension, which is not sexual anyway. It’s taco-based tension. Oh, sweet Mother of Mary, they are that good. Instant transport to balmy Mexico.

Prints by Karl P. Koenig–an Albuquerque-based photographer who invented the gumoil technique for photographic printing. He travels all over the world lecturing and demonstrating this obviously bitchin’ method which renders photographs looking tarnished in an ethereal sort of way. If he uses cold press it’s inky-looking–you know, painterly– if he uses hot press it is more photographic. And then there is gravure which is like a whole ‘nother bag of apples involving metal plates coated with polymer which gives it an intaglio surface which…okay, I am totally just cribbing from his website. I don’t know anything about printing photographs. But I like the sound of it and I just visited Koenig’s studio with my 1.5 year old daughter who was too preoccupied with the socks she was wearing on her hands to give a shit about a gumoil. Why is Karl Koenig one of my winter curatives? Well, because much of his work does seem kind of grounded in winter, impressionistically recalling summer or unabashedly capturing the beauty of bare branches. And I just wanted to work him into my blog somehow, because he is a cool local talent.

I have many more winter curatives up my sleeve which I shall share with you forthwith. Well, forthwith-ish. Maybe next week. If you have any of your own magical cures for winter doldrums, gloom and cold, post them in the comment section. I haven’t even mentioned any good winter films, books, furs, sea chanties, pancake recipes, fire starters or herbal tonics yet. Also, my friend John wants to know the really very true non-fiction story of how I got kicked out of art school. Also there is non-existent cotton candy that yearns to exist. Wow, people. Do not believe that. That is a first class fallacy of logic and metaphysics both. Seriously. There is no longing outside of existence.

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2 thoughts on “Winter Curatives

  1. Nice! I love picturing you at the laundromat drinking coconut milk and imagining all your co-launderers in Victorian period costume. My winter curatives? Loreena McKennit’s “To Drive the Cold Winter Away” album. Fluffy striped socks. Fluffy cats, like sphinxes, on either side of me. Oh, and St. Dalfour’s organic Strawberry Black Tea. Of course, it’s 60 degrees here today, so ask me again when it’s 30.

  2. My winter curatives? Hot soup–preferably minestrone or chili or thai curry squash soup. Warm bread, fresh from the oven….a flowering plant sitting on the counter….a bike ride in the sunny cold morning (I’m imagining this one–see the comment about it not being cold yet here…) but I’m like Jennifer…it’s warm here, cold is a rarity, so these would be my “it’s in the 40’s and 50’s outside” curatives…

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