a dinner party

emily just finished a huge project at work so we threw a surprise dinner party for her—

colorful letters on computer paper, with stamps and drawings and colored with rainbow chalk, strung together on twine to say “congratulations emily” and hung across my living room. flowers in mason jars and scotch bottles. a huge multicolored mylar parrot we named bernie, “laying” a blue farmers market egg in a brown bag nest. a moleskine with a bookmark stamped with emily’s name and a heart that alex and i made with our thumbprints. the coffee table set with candles and flowers and and mugs of lavender rooibos tea and a pitcher of lemon water with party straws that looked like peppermint sticks, and cushions from the couch to use as seating.

there were no leftovers.

it was a perfect night, full of love and warmth and caring and belonging and joy and gratitude.

(and a killer soundtrack.)


the menu:

spring mix, roasted lemon brussel sprouts, toasted pumpkin seeds, chia cider vinaigrette.

wild king salmon pan seared and finished in the oven, with some delicious mystery rub that matt concocted, and sliced avocados.

steamed artichokes with a dipping sauce of grapeseed oil, minced garlic, minced basil, salt and lemon juice.

cold cucumber soup: chopped cucumber marinated with leeks, garlic, lemon juice, dill and salt and pureed with chicken stock, finished with grapeseed oil.


dinner party: a soundtrack

i let itunes shuffle and here is the magic it produced:


the equals — baby come back

ed askew — my love is a red, red rose (live, 1970)

hoots and hellmouth — the ache

sonic youth — sacred trixter

waterstrider — let them stare

moon king — appel

fatty acid — sax rush

gaby moreno — que voy a hacer

slava — file

johan blomgren — california sundown

sonia montez — learning to sing

sleeping at last — snow

jamaica — i think i like u 2

andy morris — wasteland

mister loveless – nineties children

the weeknd – lonely star

public enemy — everything (ft gerald albright & sheila brody)

sean bones — here now

yellow ostrich — mary

jeff buckley — last goodbye

pale seas — sleeping

pepper rabbit — older brother

hoots and hellmouth — ocean open wide #daytrotter

emperor x — rural pakistan

primo and hopeton – loving and kind

suckers — a mind i knew

terry malts — nauseous #daytrotter

great lake swimmers — changing colours

hotfox — the dollar theatre

jill sobule — sweetheart

borrowed beams of light — half life

yo la tengo — the point of it

the sea and cake — covers

father john misty — hollywood forever cemetery sing

quiet man — she stayed home

dave matthews band — crash into me [yes this happened, now please stop laughing]

TAB the band — she said no (i love you)

japanther — come back home #daytrotter

brother pacific — bite the bullet

sonny & the sandwitches — throw my ashes from this pier when i die

sun kil moon — sunshine in chicago

little ruckus — promise land

REM — pop song 89

maps & atlases — israeli caves

john holt — you must believe me

“Who Is the Patti Smith of Lena Dunham’s Generation?”

answered in user comments


The Good:

“There is no such thing as a modern Patti Smith.”

“So the millennial generation is now just being referred to as Lena Dunham’s generation? I dissent.”

“I figured the point of Patti Smith was that there was only one Patti Smith.”


The Bad:



“St. Vincent?”


The Ugly:


@in_my_ears playlist, august 1

van morrison – into the mystic

poison control center – some ordinary vision

yeah yeah yeahs – art star

lydia loveless – more like them

warm weather – a promise

bad bad hats – it hurts

nmh – king of carrot flowers pt 1

jamaica – i think i like u 2

fort frances – how to turn back again

brooklyn brothers – come on girl

wolves in the attic – pink mist

okkervil river – pop lie

wizard oz – i want to try

cosmonauts – emerald green

nick waterhouse – some place

ivan & alyosha – on my way

r stevie moore – california rhythm

nathaniel mayer – mr. santa claus

true mad north – sweetie

the lossy colls – secondhand store

poison control center – give it a try

i don’t think this is what bob marley meant


i made jam once in 2009—which was when i decided i hated making jam. i thought the use of powdered pectin was nonnegotiable, and using it meant measuring and caring about proportions, which is just not how i roll in the kitchen. i turned all of my mason jars into drinking glasses and abandoned all hope of ever having homemade jam on my breakfast toast.

last week, i had an over-abundance of farmers market strawberries on the verge of going bad, so i decided to see what would happen if i cooked them. i added some water and sugar and lemon juice and zest, and guess what—they turned into jam!!

since then i’ve had a hard time leaving the kitchen. do you know how many things can be turned into jam? here, i will provide a list:

meyer lemon cherry

meyer lemon blackberry

honey vanilla bourbon apricot

lavender nectarine

white balsamic strawberry

regular balsamic strawberry

heirloom green tomato

champagne grape

jam is now one of my favorite things to make, and there are many many more jams in my future. i’ve gotten some pretty great reviews so i’m open to peddling my wares and happy to take requests!

@in_my_ears playlist, july 14

someone still loves you boris yeltsin – think i wanna die

love is chemicals – let me come down

mates of state – maracas

smith westerns – case&point (basement recording)

wampire – trains

rogue wave – college

shovels + rope – keeper #daytrotter

beatles – get back

veronica falls – marion’s mix

gary war – born of light

bill baird – lost at sea

wings – band on the run

heartless bastards – late in the night #daytrotter

warm soda – someone for you

clean – in the dreamlife u need a rubber soul

sharon van etten – peace signs

lonelyhearts – autumn percussion

shrag – tights in august

umo – ffuny ffriends

do make say think – a tender history in rust

poison control center – church on mars

japandroids – the house that heaven built

breathe owl breathe – snow below

howler – back of your neck

wall of voodoo – mexican radio

@in_my_ears playlist, july 7

david bowie – the laughing gnome

lavers – meet me at the merry-go-round

the head and the heart – ghosts

parts+labor – rest

centro-matic – janitorial on channel fall

velvet underground – all tomorrow’s parties

cate le bon – what is worse

the radio dept – heaven’s on fire

the clovers – mr moon

jill sobule – a good life

gorgeous bully – not so lonely

terry malts – distracted

thee oh sees – I need seed

bee gees – children of the world

fatty acid – monday afternoon (a phone call)

grateful dead. just…all of it.