Monday, May 10, 2004


As I type this the first thunderstorm of the season is fulminating outside, menacing the darkness of night, giving the decent people who are asleep at this hour disturbed dreams. The clouds sailed in swiftly from the west, thunder getting louder with each clash, and soon the steady staccato sound of raindrops on the roof filtered down into my room. Sometimes the electricity flickers, but with my machines drawing power from battery backups, I fear not. Since my fledgling youth I have always found such storms compelling, as seen in a journal entry from the last millenium.

5/31/98 - During thunderstorms I always marvel at the dramatic power of nature, but also at the steadfastness of man and his creations. Earlier this evening I came home, and was walking towards the house carefully in the near complete obscurity of the stormy night. A rain was falling through blustering winds, making the environment seem very inhospitable. Blasts of lightning and crashing thunder were all about, making me feel small and vulnerable. As I approached the garage, the automatic light switched on, piercing the darkness. It seemed to me to represent man's stand against the dark of the world and nature.

When I was very young I had similar feelings during strong storms, marvelling at the fortitude of our house in its resistance to the assaulting elements. I remember building houses out of my colored blocks in occasion of such a storm.

Sunday, May 9, 2004


In the heroic style of food-writing, we have

Guest Entry #3:

Have you ever inhaled the scent of a just-picked tomato? Have you ever eaten a tomato like you would an apple? Those strange-looking pinkish rocks in most grocery stores are a mockery of the real thing: a deep-hued, wildly frangrant fruit that stuns with its flavor. When a woman takes a bite out of a sun-ripen Campari, her eyes will close, her neck will flush, and her face will tilt towards heaven.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Borough Market

In London there is a market called Borough Market where well-off farmers sell fresh foods to well-off customers. While there are always some gawking visitors, most people are there to purchase cheese, tarts and pastries, fresh fruit and vegetables, foie gras, gourmet meat and seafood, and bread, or perhaps a fancy sandwich from one of the increasingly numerous cooked-food stands.

The cooked-food stands appear to be quite successful as during every lunchtime the lines ("queues") snake through the market. Many of the butchers have now established a small adjunct table from which they all appear to sell a variant of the same three things: meat with sauce and arugula in a wrap, or hamburger or sausage on a bun. The smells of sizzling pork and beef - and the smoke - are highly intrusive, and mar attempts to smell the delicate tomatoes or yeasty bread. The lines block up already-narrow passageways, and the yuppies in the cooked-food lines (a highly different class of people than those who are there to shop) are usually there to grab a quick bite and rush back to work. Such patrons begin to eat while walking out of the market - most declasse - so that everywhere I go, the appalling sight of a person stuffing their maw is sure to be in my line of vision.

- Special Gourmand J.

Sunday, May 2, 2004

Guest Entry -- Pens

Welcome to Guest Entry #1 on Jesse's Blog.

Since Jesse does not update his blog regularly, I feel compelled to fill in for him in once in awhile - for the fans. I have been requested not to write anything "too girly". Too bad; my plan was to write about chocolate fondue and pedicures.

Actually, I will write about pens. For many students my age, there are few things that we have in our hands more often than pens. Some people do not notice or care about their pens; those people will use any writing implement laying around. I am not one of those people. I am particular about pens. I want my pen to roll in my fingers and glide across my paper leaving a thin, pure black line. Blue is too garish; globs, smears, or greyish ink are a betrayal. I use a pen to write notes and equations, things to do, and numbers to remember - practical things. My pen should be a pen of virtue.

- Special Gourmand J.