Thursday, November 5, 2009


Why a toaster oven? Duncan Blitz split three hunks of cornbread, buttered them, and slid them in the toaster oven. DING! browned and melted, one for him, two for Eric, who was just waking up. Hot coffee, strawberry kiwi yoplait, and toast with gruyere slices and marmalade. Did you invent this, Dad? I don't know, said Dunc. I like it for breakfast, but I bet English people eat the same thing, but with cold toast. Eric: Why do English people eat bad food? Duncan: Because they come from an island where not much grows, and they're Puritans?

Hey, do you want to go out to lunch, or should I pack you something for the bus?

Let's stay here, said Eric.

Duncan made two tuna sandwiches on white, with lettuce, no onion unless Eric would chop it. Milano double chocolate cookies, gummy worms, Utz pretzel sticks, snack pack tropical fruit, mandarin slices. a bottle of ginger beer.

Two great days together. Duncan tried to remember, there was something he meant to tell his son. Witch hazel wipes: "By the way, I don't have hemorrhoids. in case you were wondering. sorry if it's TMI." "That's ok dad. they're not just for hemorrhoids."

and thanks, Duncan said, but not out loud, for showing me your tatoo.

catfish dinner, collard greens, sam adams seasonal brew
pizza: fresh tomato, mozarella and basil, garden salad

chicken tikka
lamb biryani
drinks from the fridge

calories: 2025
hanging out together: priceless

Friday, September 25, 2009


I was agitated; the Atavan hadn’t kicked in. I prayed my family would forgive my stupidities. I missed the sky. I slept too deep and decided to drive down to the Baja to see Duncan Blitz.

I picked up a 1-week Mexican insurance floater, packed the cooler and an extra pair of jeans, and drove. In Tijuana I filled the cooler with Tecate, Corona and Negra Modelo, bought a couple of tiny tacos de carne asade from a street vendor, noticed the Prius was neither stolen nor smashed, got in and drove. In Rosarito I stopped for camarones a la plancha and a cold beer. I skipped Ensenada, and took the highway through Maneadero, past the spot where I hit the dog. That was thirty years ago and I still feel bad about that dog, but terrible about Hal, who I won’t see again till the afterlife, if.

After the turnoff to Punta Banda I stopped at a roadside stand for 2 jars of olives, a dozen tamales of pork with red chile (an olive buried inside) and a half dozen sweet tamales of corn (cinnamon and a raisin inside). Behind the table the heavyset girl with the glasses and the business smarts had given way to a new heavyset girl with glasses. Probably her granddaughter.

I cranked up a Norteno station on the AM radio, and popped open a cold one for the 20-minute drive to the cove. Punta Banda was still undeveloped, so it was easy to spot the VW next to Duncan’s cabin.

“Hey!” from the opening door. “I was just listening to the game; it’s seventh inning siesta,” he said. I brought in the cooler, and my spare jeans. The cabin was tidy and neat.

The Dodgers lost, improbably, to the Nationals, who won with a sac fly to right in the bottom of the ninth. We decided to check out “La Bufadora,” the blowhole that snorts a tower spray of water from between the rocks. I bought a chocolate con churros but resisted ashtrays, tshirts, painted guitars, ceramic Porky Pigs and Wall-Es at the souvenir stand, and thought about getting my stubby hair braided.

I was still thinking about hair braiding when we decided to walk back from La Buf, to Gordo’s. We sat on the patio, sipping margaritas, and watched the sparkling sea. “Toss a bit of me in the bay, when I’m hay, will you, Dunc?” “Sure,” said Duncan Blitz, looking out at the clear blue swell.

Dinner at Gordo's:

margaritas, frozen, salted rim
guacamole with fresh salsa
dos coronas, with lime
fish tacos, rice, beans, salad
otra cerveza, por favor

dessert: tequila, with salt and lemon

Friday, September 18, 2009


His line plopped in the sea, and Duncan Blitz reeled it in. Nothing. Another toss, whirr-zizzz, he reeled it through the sparkly blue-gray chop. Nada. Tres Equis in the can, XXX, you don’t see it in the US much. Phhht! Duncan tugged on the Mexican light beer, still cold. He checked the tiny hook, good for small-mouthed fish, cast across the little cove, and reeled. Duncan Blitz was having a very good day.

At home he woke feeling some degree of lousy. But here in the Baja, Duncan felt fine. He could pull up his drawstrings and stand on the patio, to sip a coffee, practice tai chi, or squint at the bay, waiting for a whale to surface, or not.

No Signal, said his cellphone. 4:35PM said his watch. Peace said his brain.

Something hit on the line, and Duncan set the hook. He cranked the spinner, feeling the live shimmer and tug. When he had it near the surface, Duncan lifted the tip of his rod and saw his fish. A nice fat little bass. He had it for dinner with rice and beans, corn tortillas and fresh chopped salsa, with a can of tecate, still cold.

I was dancin’ with my darlin', sang Duncan, working his way through the tune on the accordion he inherited from his mother. Yes I lost my little darlin’ the night they were playin’, the beautiful Tennessee Waltz,

The beautiful Tennessee Waltz.

Clouds rolled over the starry sky, the breeze shifted off shore, and Duncan Blitz had the feeling that tomorrow was going to be a very good day.


Breakfast: café con leche, maria cake cookies, huevos con chorizo, rice and beans

Snack: local green olives, cerveza modelo

Lunch: pork tamales (red chile, olive inside), sweet tamales (cinnamon, raisin inside)

Dinner: chicken roasted on the wood fire, beans, tortillas de harina, sweet corn, fresh tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped onions, cerveza Bohemia

Snack: nescafe

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Giants crickets

Beverly Barkowitz was hooked up to an IV machine that went click, click. She started dreaming about giants crickets, and a large iguana. Too creepy, thought Bev, who woke to hospital noises that sounded like gang-bangers having a party.

Bev phoned Duncan, who tried to reassure her. Then she opened an audiobook on her iPod and slept in and out of narratives by Neil Gaiman.

Bored by day, Beverly Barkowitz rested and healed, healed and rested. She pulled a little thread from her nose.

It was a cockroach.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Duncan Blitz invited Beverly Barkowitz to the movies, she was from the generation that discovered Julia Child. Barkowitz loved Julie/Julia, so did Duncan. After they went to a three-course pris fixe:

He ordered:
spicy crunchy shrimp,
tiny roast chicken
banana bread pudding

She had:
rockfish spring roll
atlantic salmon, with nicoise olives cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas
and finished with
bittersweet molten chocolate cake

the next day, Duncan went on a clear liquid diet.
clear broths
coffee (no cream)

orange juice
cream soups or any soup other than clear broth

Duncan was so hungry, he could eat anything. He was starving for a cookie, a fish, a salad, a peach. He could eat the tar off a driveway.

Italian Ice

Duncan had lemon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

95 degrees, 95% humidity

Duncan Blitz chopped a baby cuke with iceberg lettuce and sprinkled with wine vinegar, olive oil and salt. Reheated mac chese. Cherry tomatoes from the balcony farm. Jasmine tea with brown sugar and cream? frozen double chocolate milano cookie, cold water.
that was breakfast.
lunch: Cake Love

Monday, July 13, 2009

marash family drives up medical costs, obama declares

duncan thought he'd stop by the hospital to see my husband, who was toughing out a skin infection. He brought a care package.

Hospital Diet:
breakfast: warm coffee-colored beverage
5 packets of white sugar
formerly warm, still lumpy cereal
low fat milk
is that a pancake?
juice flavored orange juice

Duncan's Care Package:
hot espresso with half and half and sugar
warm flaky croissant with butter, choice of marmalade of blackberry jam
graham crackers with fluffy white marshmallow and dark belgium chocolate squares (aka: c-ration s'mores)

lobster roll, extra mayo
crunchy romaine salad dressed in garlicked oil and fresh lime juice, salt and pepper
bistro fries, aioli sauce
ice cold tecate, in the red can
chilled sweet red watermelon
cold thick dark-chocolate-frosted warm chewy yellow cake-love cupcake


In the long run, darkness always wins. That's why darkness is such an arrogant bastard. And arrogant bastards disserve no quarter. Darkness disserves steady resistance and constant derision. So...Fuck You...Darkness!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


and all your friends say Fuckyoudeath, Leave my Friend Amy Alone

death wants me

to wobble towards its side.

Fuck you, Death!
Go away!

I am firm in the World!
My husband anchors me here.

my children love me
the world's better when
I'm in it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Duncan Blitz was on a tear. He rolled out a pie crust and filled it with fresh blueberries, vented his mom's way, with a foil smokestack. He made an enormous leafy salad, and a gigantic fruit salad and chilled them with the champagne.

He made 2 bowls of guacamole and chips (crushed avocado and salt, no garlic onions, other embellishments that are not guacamole), fresh salsa (tomatoes, cilantro, salt and jalapeno) garden radishes, nuts and fruits.

He put six burgers on the grill, and six dogs. He had six small lobsters, ready to steam, split and serve with drawn butter. He'd serve the baked potatoes still in their foil. His, salted with butter.

Have a beer, he said to his guests as they arrived.

Everyone was hungry, except Kiran, who had worked that day in a tv news factory.

Kiran Khalid is on the FREELANCE PRODUCER DIET, New York City.
Kiran: inhaled a slice of cheese pizza, thin crust of course (you are what you eat!) from the Original Original Ray's Pizza in Greenwich Village. Afterwards, I was tempted to verbally berate myself but happened to glance at my cameraman's bulging belly and thought better of it.

then upon learning that one of my colleagues had dropped the ball in promoting my friend Reza Aslan's upcoming appearance at an undisclosed event, I consumed a baby ruth in about three bites.

And now I'm debating whether another trip to the snack machine might help me deal with my paycheck, or lack thereof.

omg! and now my assignment editor just took up a collection to start a pb&j bar!
$1 gets you into the ingredients he's bringing

Kiran, said Duncan, you've got to get over your dislike of lifer cameramen. Champagne?

Monday, May 11, 2009

the caked and baked diet

ativan, zofran
peanut butter and jelly mini-sandwich
coffee with milk
coffee with condensed milk

baked potato with butter and salt
mini- cupcake


tea time:
stare at pretzel, nibble
consider peppermint


Thursday, April 30, 2009

beverly barkowitz

duncan's assignment editor, had colon cancer. everything she ate, was digested through her diminished system; a semi-colon.
beverly was most fond of baked potatoes; easy to digest.
beverly was totally terrified of tiny calamari; picture a tentacled obstruction.

Beverly Barkowitz is on the cancer battle diet;
pre-breakfast; toast with butter and marmalade and sliced asiago cheese. coffee with whole milk.
breakfast; lasagna. coffee flavored ensure.
lunch; pretzel sticks, oatmeal cookies, gatorade.
dinner; oysters on the half shell, veal sweetbreads, molten chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream
after dinn; coffee with condensed milk, ginger snaps
midnight snack; cream cheese and jelly on bagel. tea with milk and brown sugar.

Monday, April 13, 2009

duncan does not have cancer,

he never did.
i have cancer. i lost 25 lbs.
when's the last time you weighed 117, asked David. 9th grade?
my tumor, in its mason jar, has its own life now, its cells are examined on slides, by the pathologist.
do you miss me, tumor?

cancer diet:
pre-breakfast: hot tea, country wheat toast with butter, marmalade, brie and emmanthaler

breakfast: cafe au lait
poached egg
chinese barbecue spare ribs with duck sauce and mustard

lunch: lamb couscous,
moroccan chicken-almond pastilla
gingered iced tea

snack: chocolate ensure

dinner: butterfly shrimp sauteed in olive oil, lime dressing
tossed salad with goat cheese vinaigrette
duncan hines double chocolate fudge brownies, no nuts

late snack: french vanilla ice cream float with coffee ensure

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Duncan Blitz stopped at the post office for his mail.  Pee-pee-peee-peep peep peeee, said packages somewhere in back, awaiting pickup.   easter chicks, by mail order!  
There was still time to find riding buddies for Sunday, and invite them back for supper.

duncan's renewal dinner:

shrimp cocktail

steamed artichoke with egg-lemon sauce
white bordeaux

grilled baby lamb chops studded with garlic
baked potato with butter and salt
leafy salad 
red shiraz

tyrannie of cheese platter

mousse au chocolate bunny
marshmallow peeps


Tuesday, March 24, 2009


candy is comfort, yummy and sweet 
link to: all's well in candy land

2AM, and Duncan was prowling around his home.  He checked on the kids, put on his barn coat, and went out with his big dog Wylie to look at the sky.   
The Big Dipper was straight up.   Orion gives way to Scorpius,  here comes spring.  Goodbye winter, so long Milky Way.  We'll wait till we see a shooting star,  thought Duncan.    

A green meteor silently fired across the corral.  Duncan went in, and threw some logs on the woodstove.


morning coffee:  cafe au lait with Twix.  

breakfast:  cocoa puffs

lunch: deep-fried Snickers

happy hour:  gummy worms, 2 margaritas

dinner:  Pez, chocolate cake.  candied ginger.

night snack:  Milky Way

Saturday, March 14, 2009

no guts

oww, wow-wow, pain in the gas.
i gotta break a big wind.
it's okay, says my husband. i lived in new jersey.

breakfast: poached egg, toast, goat cheese, cafe au lait
lunch: no
dinner: romaine salad, fried rice, from take-out container, middle shelf of fridge
dessert: chocolate ice cream, melty, in milk, with sliced banana.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

palette poverty

i'm waiting to taste food, to know whether i'm hungry and when I'm full. i eat random food i don't enjoy, the food i cook tastes like crap, and i end up with the feeling i've swallowed a large purse.

amy is on the try it diet:
breakfast: tea, toast w jam, sugar smacks w 1% organic milk, half and half optional
snack: taramasalata with warm pita
lunch: grilled sausage with chopped onion, relish, dijon mustard
tea time: espresso with splenda
snack: danactive
dinner: pasta, fruit salad
after dinner mint: prune juice

Friday, February 20, 2009


refers to a relative lack of spontaneity and content. ("Late-Onset Depression"-- e medicine)

Duncan Blitz sat.

Spring will come, he thought. True spring.

(now what?)

Monday, February 16, 2009

gallery opening: what should i wear?

Hope says I should look "stunning" for her show.

Instead of choosing my outfit, then adding shoes from Payless,
This time I'll start with the boots.

Fabulous boots, ankle or high,
I'm shopping for great ones.

Then I'll find something black to wear with the fabulous boots and,
I'll be

Monday, February 2, 2009

are hangnails a vegetable?

It's only good to lose weight when you exercise it off the right places.
Fading away on the liquid diet is not losing weight, it's losing a bra size.
Did anyone keep their "Littlest Angel" bra?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Duncan Blitz was on a liquid diet, he'd been sick and was mending. Duncan steamed baby peas with butter and salt and drank the pot liquor. He melted cookies n cream ice cream, picked out the chocolate chips, drank the vanilla and pressed the cookie dough through a sieve. He cooked a 4-lb roast, carved it and sipped the drippings. He sauteed onions, beef and potatoes, simmered with parsnips carrots and turnips, and sieved the broth. He went out for miso soup and decided tofu is a liquid. He took home wonton soup and served the soft steamed wrappers to his dog Wylie. Duncan Blitz cooked a delicious sweet potato soup, but it wouldn't liquefy and didn't qualify. He considered ordering a pizza, margarita, to lick the oil.

Comforted by the memory of recent meals, Duncan thought about eggs-bene-with- smoked salmon not bacon, the english muffins sopped with hollandaise and perfectly poached warm runny eggs, that was meal #2. A veal chop with potatoes and garlicky blackened string beans, that was meal #1.

Duncan's pleasure center was dominated by one multi-sensory memory: salted cashews. Crunching salty oily noisy tasty cashews, whole and split. crunch, crunchy cashews. Every neuron wired for a serving dish of crunchy tasty cashews...