June 24, 2010

Love Sonnet XLV - by Pablo Neruda

My heart breaks to read Pablo Neruda's poetry.

Love Sonnet XLV
by Pablo Neruda

Don't go far off, not even for a day, because--
because--I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair: Dual-Language Edition (Penguin Classics) (Spanish and English Edition)

June 15, 2010

Another Brock in the Wall

Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (Live)

June 10, 2010

Another Brock... Georges Braque, Artist

"Georges Braque (13 May 1882 – 31 August 1963) was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art movement known as Cubism."

Pronounced as "Zhorzh Brahk," this Brock is attributed with saying, "Reality only reveals itself when it is illuminated by a ray of poetry." Had he not died before I began writing, I might have suspected he considered that after reading my reviews. 

He also said, "Once an object has been incorporated in a picture it accepts a new destiny." Was he there when I drank Slim-Fast (review)? 

I like the way he thought.

Viaduct at L'Estaque, 1908, Oil on canvas 72 x 59cm

Georges Braque: A Life

June 08, 2010

Why I Don't Write for the Onion

Readers of this or my other blogs have occasionally suggested I write for the Onion, either as full-time staff or as a freelancer. Great idea, but they won't have me. No, no, no. It isn't that they have rejected or shunned me. It is a policy of theirs simply to keep all writing internal, and their current staff is full-up.

It might be, naturally, that even if they did accept outsiders, my humorous and satirical writing would not meet their standards. Stories like Kellogg Cereal Inflates Health Claims and Massive Flow Of Bullshit Continues To Gush From BP Headquarters do set the bar high.

You could, of course, drop them a note. Lots of contact information is below. Do not spam them (Really, I mean that. It just isn't nice, and I fully support them.). Just share some love.  If you happen to regularly subscribe or read them online, let them know.
How can I become a writer for The Onion?
All editorial content in The Onion and The A.V. Club is written by staff and there are currently no writing positions available. Any freelance material sent to The Onion will not be read and will not be returned. Should The Onion seek new talent in the future, a call for submissions will appear in our newspapers and on our website.
(they said it officially on the Onion website.)
New York/Editorial
212-627-1972 | Fax 212-627-1711

Chicago/Corporate Headquarters

212 W. Superior St., #200
Chicago, IL 60654
312-751-0503 | Fax 312-751-4137


3001 S. Lamar Blvd., Suite A - 102
Austin, TX 78704
512-383-0370 | Fax 512-383-1772


1490 Lafayette Street, Suite 205
Denver, CO 80218
303-399-8922 | Fax 303-399-8924


1661 N. Water Street #501
Milwaukee, WI 53202
414-272-1372 | Fax 414-272-3555


602 W Main Street
Madison, WI 53703
608-256-1372 | Fax 608-256-2535

Twin Cities

212 3rd Avenue North, #445
Minneapolis, MN 55401
612-370-1372 | Fax 612-333-0444

Washington DC


June 04, 2010

Lido's Caffé: Great Coffee, Amazing Service As Barista Discovers a Cubano

Cubano, I said. Can you you make a Cubano? The last barista I asked said no. My hopes were low, but as this is a bustling cafe 250 miles east of Brockeimia, almost in hard knocks Chicago. I delivered my request recognizing one barista introduced me to it, and he was new the idea. It could happen. The possibility to do the miraculous always exists so long as those involve don't know it is impossible, I concurred with myself. Yes, maybe she can.

'She' was the enthusiastic, effervescent Dana, a barista at Lido's Caffe, I met while weekending and meeting a business contact. Delightful in all ways.

"What's that?" she said, pointing out she took seriously her role, and loved learning new coffee recipes. Can't recall hearing a barista inquire like this at a Starbucks.

I explained the easy way of making a Cubano: Two shots espresso, with a bag of sugar atop the ground beans before pulling, with a bit of whipped cream. There's a fuller, more complex way, but this would do well enough on a hot May day. I did not have much time.

"I'll try. Tell me how I do." She did, and I did, and I'm saying it again here.

Perfect. The intensity of the Lavazza beans used (and sold). (Not all Lavazza beans are equal: read my review of one choice.)

Nice Reversal, Compared to Judgmental Neighbor
Dana's positive view pleasantly contrasted, delivering so much better than the bitter person managing visitors at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace House around the block. She pointed out with horrid discrimination her distaste for the politics of Oberweis Dairy (buy from them just to show closed-minded people cannot suppress good ice cream or coffee). (Later, I did try Oberweis's ice cream, and found it equal to the best I have had.) My guess is she is against non-hormonal dairy products or possibly the free speech of an owner. I had been advised that Oak Park was unique in Illinois to be among the most free thinking, but not in this case. I, and my guest, turned away from the Hemingway Birthplace in disgust, and worked our way to the very delightful Lido's. In coincidental irony, Good Night, Good Luck (about Joseph  McCarthy's fearful anticommunist blacklisting) was on TV tonight. It would seem the ghost of Joe McCarthy lives on and receives unwitting guests at a prolific American author's home. 

I'm more equal opportunity than that. 2010, not 1950.

Back to My Cubano Espresso
Dana landed it. She landed it in her first try. Not that a Cubano is difficult, but she not only tried, but she tried with willingness, without pretension or guile. It does take the essential skill of making a good double espresso. Not all baristas can accomplish this. Dana did.

There really is a Lido, I learned, straight from Italy. That's his first name. Lido Petrucci. A real guy. No silly coffee shop affectations. Just a real guy trying to make a few bucks selling good coffee.

That he uses Lavazza (an Italian brand) made sense, and any coffee aficionado would agree he made the right decision. Outside of roasting his own beans, it is a dependable, high-end bean and brand. Local roasters might have freshness on their side, but not always consistency.

Big place, with a room in the back where bands often play. This night, a blues band was playing, but my time would end long before then. Too much sun bakes a Brockeim.

As I left, after lingering outside enjoying the air-borne brush of lilacs and a Venezuelan restaurant next door scenting my people watching, Lido himself offered (and I accepted) to take my cup.

Lido's offers more than coffee, but that's all I had. Gelato, pastries, some sandwiches and more, but that is left for another reviewer to discuss. Great service, great coffee. That's what I know Lido's offers.

When will I be here again? Only the wind knows, and I am from, and go, where it blows. But if I'm near this strange little town of freedom and folly, I will. However, for now, duties as king of Brockeimia require my services and time a long way from Dana's Cubano.

Lido's Caffé
122 North Marion Street
Oak Park, IL 60301
(708) 660-0060

(Disclaimer: The cafe did not know they were being reviewed until I was leaving.)

(review originally posted on my Coffee Love blog)

See this in the Chicago Tribune's Triblocal.

June 01, 2010

New Look to Brockeim.com

A bit of a redesign at the mothership. Cleaner, easier to use. Forest green background. What do you think?