Saturday, August 9, 2008


home is the crook of that arm
breakfast sounds
the steering wheel turning the corner
the broken chair you won’t stop sitting in
a coffee cup that doesn’t match
to covet the same object and then share
the hair of a hug
a finicky light switch/doorhandle/appliance
the memory a scuff in the floor evokes
a catalogue of smells
being where you would’ve called
having your place on the couch
under covers, too close to see where eyelashes end and eyelids begin
knowing your way, middle of the night, to bathroom
running in wet grass
holding hands
a tree house
wanting to be nowhere else
feeling like someone

by Cristina Paul

Simple Spinach

Plenty for 2 who aren't fooled by the raw food hype

3 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots
2 Tablespoons butter
12 ounces of organic baby spinach (or 2 of those nifty, ready-to-go bags)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1. Place the shallots in a large skillet pan. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat and sautee the shallots until they soften and become translucent - about 5 minutes.
2. Lower the heat to low and place all of the baby spinach in the pan and cover the skillet with a lid or with another pan. When the spinach begins to wilt, add the salt and Dijon mustard, stirring until all of the spinach is wilted. Don't overcook!

*Spinach is an iron rich food. Two types of iron can be absorbed by the body: heme and nonheme iron. Grains and veggies and most meats contain nonheme iron. Iron is more readily absorbed by the body when combined with vitamin C. Unfortunately, spinach also contains a chemical called oxalate which decreases the body's ability to absorb iron. Nevertheless, spinach still provides us with many nutrients and has high levels of calcium - Popeye's guns are a testament to this veggie's awesome power.

Recipe by Cristina Paul

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blah-Blah-Blahg: Food For Nought

The ethos of uptight here on the east coast has infiltrated the most unlikely spaces - yoga studios. So I went to my first yoga class in Beantown and I got some very funny looks as I was setting up my mat. No, I wasn't facing the "wrong" direction - although many yogis were miffed about the fact that the studio had recently switched the orientation of all the classes. You have no idea how a 90˚ reorientation can completely fuck with people's inner harmony! I (being the crazy Californian that I am) love when teachers alternate the directions of their classes, but I guess creatures of habit that inhabit Boston can't handle that sort of spontaneity. I digress; I wanted to discuss the strange stares. I didn't have a massive booger stuck to my chin and I did shave my armpits... what they were in a huff about was that my mat was not lying within the boundaries of these perfectly-placed, annoying little strips of tape on the floor. Some poor bastard (not plagued with OCD himself but probably held on a very short leash by a type A individual) had created, with tape, an outline for each yoga mat. God forbid the idea of someone accidentally touching their neighbor or feeling the hot breath of a fellow yogi or, even worse, smelling another human's sweat! This initially felt like less of a yoga class and more of an exercise in staying in line. I was fully prepared to salute and give somebody twenty. I nearly ran out of the studio before beginning the class, so disturbed was I by the territorial urge to keep people under control, in their place, and out of yours. Namaste - no more stay.

On the subway home, I was relieved when a fellow commuter with a total disregard for personal space and propriety picked his nose with a sense of satisfaction that we generally get only when alone in the shower, inhibition-free. I wish he were in attendance at the yoga class. Perhaps he could have inspired a little bit of the light-heartedness that a good nose pick or even an acidental fart allows us to feel - knowing that after all, we are just humans doing our human thing.

This was my favorite poem on nose picking as a child and perhaps an east-coast-appropriate response to the tremendous hand-nose coordination that I bore witness to:


Inside everybody's nose
There lives a sharp-toothed snail.
So if you stick your finger in,
He may bite off your nail.
Stick it farther up inside,
And he may bite your ring off.
Stick it all the way, and he
May bite the whole darn thing off.

- Shel Silverstein