Friday, September 26, 2008

Poetry deficit and The Lincoln Cafe

I have a poetry deficit.

I know, there's a lot of deficits going around lately, but this is a really really serious situation. I've sworn off pop music, country music, all reality TV (including American Idol), talk radio, the news, and Desperate Housewives. That's where we get our poetry, people. No one sits around at night with class of red wine reading Pablo Neruda it to their loved ones and then discussing the prose. What the hell is wrong with us???? Around here, the moment Tori steps off the bus, it's a flurry of constant activity punctuated by dramatic moments including tears over whos turn it is to use the red paint and why someone got the last drink of orange juice and where are the blue crocs....

And then I collapse on the couch beside my already snoozing love for fifteen minutes before I crash at 9pm.

No. Poetry.

Which leads me to the point of this post.

The point is that even if you (like me) NEVER GET TO EAT AT THE LINCOLN CAFE. (I'm not bitter.) You can still go to their website, sign up for Chef Matt's weekly emails, and have a little poetry injected into your chaotic, romance-less, snoozing by 8:30pm every night no matter what life.

Let me give you an example:

"ALSO, at the cafe this weekend we're doing Angus Ribeye, big ones, with Jasper Hill blue, beautiful butter lettuce, a reduction of Sangiovese,(Luna,) crushed peppercorns, applewood bacon and local country mashed potato. I know it's not all foamy and stuff but it's a really great weekend dinner. Also, Jidori (look it up) chicken with riesling (Esterlina) poached pears, butternut bread pudding, rosemary jus and mustard hazelnut salad. And Lochduart Salmon with romesco, house cured olives, (thanks to Ian forsending me those from the L.A. farmers market in April '07,) pancetta potatoes, and pickled eggs."

He has a really lovely serious girlfriend. S0 don't even think about it. And like most men, even if he did not have a really serious lovely girlfriend and you weren't married with children, and even if you did manage to make him your man, he works all of the time. And like most men, a year in, he'd be snoozing on the couch with not a clue about something interesting to do this weekend. You'd be planning every outing, packing every bag, and picking up his dirty socks from every corner and crevice of the house. This would be your only hobby. So shut that little voice in your head right up.

However, you can get his poetry emailed to your inbox about once a week and then you can fantasize that you eat in his restaurant sometimes.

Go. Sign up.

And for the love of all that is holy and right.

Stop watching Desperate Housewives.

"If you or your wine-swilling friends wish to signup for his regular Lincoln Wine Bar email newsletter, please send an email from the account you wish to receive the newsletter to, with the word "subscribe" in the subject line. You will be automatically added, and your life will automatically take on a lovely bouquet of blackberries, spice, and worn leather.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vieux Fark Toure and Munnelly courtesy of Legion Arts

We spent last night in Greensquare Park listening to Vieux Fark Toure of Niafunke in Northern Mali. CSPS (legion arts) of the recently flooded Oak Hill neighborhood is offering soggy Cedar Rapids our first annual Landfall Festival of World Music.

Colin and I put three of our children, a bag full of picnic food (BLT'S!), a couple of blankets and 3/4 of a big bottle of red wine in the car Monday night to check out Munnelly, an Irish folk band. Legion Arts snagged them on their way to a gig in New York. I couldn't help but wonder if Munnelly was wondering where in the world they were. Cedar Rapidians aren't as expressive as the Irish according to the accordian player who begged the audience (in a thick irish accent) to GET UP AND DANCE. Luckily, the children did so with great passion and energy. I discovered that it is impossible to feel sad, unlucky, down in the dumps, or grouchy while a chubby irish man plays the accordian like his life depends on it. We had such a perfectly lovely time that I promised we'd return Tuesday night.

So last night at about 6:45 as I sat on our blanket eating pita and hummus and watching the kids wiggle and stomp to a drum beat from the other side of the equator, I fully expected a baby elephant to wander into the park. There's something about being enveloped in sounds coming from unfamiliar instruments that can make one feel like they are not quite at home. The kids didn't seem to mind. In fact, we listened to Vieux Farka Toure in the car on the way home and I agreed to some after-school dancing for Victoria when she gets off the bus today. With the moon roof wide open, we drove home more slowly than usual while Zoe hollered above the drums, "da stars mama! yook at da stars!" I am currently on a quest to find those ankle things with bells for the girls. That's going to be a good time.

Check out the website at for a sample of what was going on last night in the park.

One of the guys that runs CSPS opened with this comment, "I have been asked if Cedar Rapids really wants a World Music Festival and I answer, of course they do! They just don't know they want it yet!"

Amen to that.

I didn't know I wanted Irish Folk Music and an African Dance Beat in the park this week. But I really really did.