November 9th, 2009

Levis commercials feature Walt Whitman poems - including his voice?

Should Walt Whitman be used to hawk jeans? Well, maybe not, but at least these commercials are beautifully filmed and thought-provoking. And hey, crazy folk on the right are saying they promote anarchy, homosexuality, and fascism.

This commercial was shot in Portland. The agency is Weiden & Kennedy - I have partied in their fantastic office space [Full disclosure: so have a lot of other authors, for Wordstock.]

This commerical features what is believed to be his voice.

Was a wax cylinder recording made of Walt Whitman reading one of his poems in 1890? The cylinder seems lost to history, but nearly 20 years ago a scholar in Texas found a recording made in 1951 of a radio show that featured what the host said was Whitman reading one of his poems. There’s no clue to negate the idea, and people find it compelling that the poem is an obscure one - if you were going to dummy it up or simply have an actor record a poem, it would probably be a well-known one.

You can read more about this mysterious wax cylinder here.

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Which of these best PW YAs of 2009 have you read?

These are books Publishers Weekly named as the best YA novels of 2009. Which have you read? I have read Catching Fire, If I Stay, The Ask and the Answer, When You Reach Me, and Lips Touch. And I’ve got more in my TBR pile.

Going Bovine
Catching Fire
If I Stay
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Purple Heart
The Ask and the Answer
A Season of Gifts
When You Reach Me
Marcelo in the Real World
Tales from Outer Suburbia
Lips Touch: Three Times
The Uninvited

Which have you read?

Which of the ones I haven't read yet do you think I should read right away?

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Italian Sunday Gravy was perfect for a rainy Monday

Cook’s Illustrated, Sep/Oct 2009 (For a longer explanation for what to do, look for the mag at your library)

Hearty Italian Meat Sauce (Sunday Gravy) [This is a less complicated version than many. It still takes some time, but it is worth it!]

2 T olive oil
1 side of baby back ribs, patted dry, salted and peppered, cut into 2-rib sections
1 pound spicy Italian sausage (I used hot turkey italian sausage)
2 medium onions, sliced
1.5 tsp oregano
3 T tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2/3 cup beef broth
¼ cup fresh basil leaves chopped

Heat oil in large dutch oven and brown ribs and sausages. Remove.

Add onions and herbs and cook until onions begin to brown. Add tomato paste and cook until it darkens. Add garlic, then canned tomatoes. Put meats back in pot, cover, and cook in 325 oven for 2 and one-half hours.

Begin to make meatballs about an hour before the sauce is finished.
2 slices white bread
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg yolk
½ t salt
¼ t red pepper flakes
1 lb meatloaf mix [I used 1/2 lb ground beef +1/2 lb ground pork]
1 oz thin sliced prosciutto, chopped
1 oz Pecorino Romano, grated [I used Parm]
½ cup olive oil {I think I used less]

Put first 7 items in a bowl and mix well. Add remaining ingredients [but not olive oil] and mix again. Make into large meatballs [I made them about about as big as a quarter cup]. Brown meatballs in hot oil, and add to sauce in dutch oven to cook for 15 minutes.

Dress cooked spaghetti lightly with the sauce, plate, and add a meatball, a sausage, and a section of ribs to each plate. Serve remaining meats and remaining sauce at the table for those who want them.

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