Thursday, December 28, 2006

for the literal: a recipe.


i've been enjoying my life immensely, onion cellar notwithstanding. the shows are regularly scheduled and going very well for what they are. people are happy. i show up at night, and during the day i am doing things i want. it's been so long since i have.

i sleep late, read late, go to yoga every day, let the mail continue to pile up and am shocked to find that i don't care as much as i thought i would...don't care about pushing forward, don't care about standing still, am simply happy to be where i am most of the time. this must be rare, i think, i should enjoy it.

i go to rob's apartment in harvard square and he pours the wine and spins the discs....old discs, seventy-eights that he's been collected for forty-some-odd years. bix beiderbecke, hoagy carmichael, the old jazz from way back when. his apartment is an old refuge, a dusty library of music and art, the cats who count. the other night was zappa night. i hadn't listened to "absolutely free" since high school. rob dug the libretto out of some hidden place. i sat listening and happy, nagged only slightly by the voice i've gotten so used to over the past six years "get up and go. there is too much other shit to do." "fuck you", i answer, "i sit and listen". we fight, that voice and i. through rob i met a wonderful francophile math professor named sandy who is letting me crash in an empty room in his harvard square house. i have a key and crash there when i don't feel like driving home to the south end. i eat scallops and mashed potatoes. i drink tasty beers during every performance. my belly is toned (from the yoga) yet substantial (from the beck's). it's gorgeous and i fondle it a lot.

as for MY apartment, the need to escape is easy to sympathize with. there are IMMENSE piles of cultural debris and barely any blank spots. i've been letting mail and "objet d'tour" pile up since about 2003, saying "i'll get to that when we get a break". out videotapes, photographs, CDs, books, press gathered from remote lands, books i've bought or been given, random everything is scattered. i got even lazier in this past six months, knowing i would have this time off. i would come home from tour and dump piles and bags thinking "january. I Will Deal." this wouldn't be so bad if i weren't the sort of person who didn't feel a compulsion to archive, save and savor. but every painting or drawing given to me must be photographed, shared and stored; every book must be read; every CD listened to; every press clipping dated and filed. i know, i know. i could liberate myself and throw it all away. i can't. i mustn't. i need a bigger apartment. as my friend marcus once said...."aahhhh i'm drowning in my own biology!" (this was right after: "i'm urinating in the fields of the zeitgeist!!"). he's my favorite poet.

i haven't played any real or new music yet. this comes after things are clean. it's also freezing in there. but songs are always in my head. i jot down lyrics on envelopes and leave them in a pile on the piano. my mind is sifting, shuffling, preparing to make new things. music things, book things, theater things. i miss thinking about art. i've spent so much time thinking about the business of the band that i'm very rusty.

i am still working on a long rambling blog about the onion cellar. and by the way, my friends, re: the last blog:

(pr-bl) n.
A simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.

there is no melanie. there is no zucchini cake. it was a metaphor, fucking. well, i suppose a parable doesn't necessarily have to be fictional. i should have elaborated. though i did have a lot of fun trying to distinguish between those who commented to further the metaphor, and those who actually wanted the cake recipe.

for those who are coming to the play in the coming days, just one request:
please make lots of noise. don't be afraid. the crowds (mostly the ART subscribers) can be mighty timid due to their expectations. help them.

oh and anyway: for my parable, i had wanted to find a weird cake that would still seem delicious. i googled "weird cake recipes". this is what i had found. mad love to barb, it's her recipe. if you bake it, please share with all of us the degree of it's actual deliciousness.


½ cup soft butter or margarine

½ cup vegetable oil

13/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

½ cup sour cream

2 cups shredded zucchini with skins on

2 ½ cups flour

4 tbsp cocoa

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

you may add chocolate chips if you like, mini’s or regular size, as much as you want


¼ stick butter

6 tbsp milk

1 tbsp cocoa

1 box powder sugar

1 cup chopped nuts, your preference

Mix margarine or butter, oil and sugar. Add eggs, vanilla, sour cream and zucchini. Mix well. Add dry ingredients, mix. Put in 9 x 13 or similar sized pan, greased.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cake is done in the middle


Bring the first 3 ingredients of frosting to a boil, then remove from heat and add the last 3 ingredients, and mix. Pour on hot cake. Cool cake to eat.





DAZZA said...

in all things bad there becomes good, just take a look at the 'Parable/Recipe'.

All things need ingredients, material & time to 'bake'.

But the oven door will open to one hell of a next CD.

Also coming from the uk to see the 'Onion'on the last night .... it will be special, thanking you, Amanda!

Noam Plum said...

Having scanned the blogger comments on your last post, I was a bit confused about the reference to people not understanding the fictional/symbolic nature of a parable - everyone seemed to get it pretty well. Then I remember that everything gets cross posted here and over at myspace, so I went to check out the myspacers' comments.

My my... It's like a whole 'nother world over there. Crazy how much a little shift of context and audience changes response (and everything).

At the risk of sounding snotty and elitist (traits I'm very much not a fan of): please don't change your blogging style to make it easily digestible by those who don't understand what a parable is or complain of things being "long as fuck". Complexity and an attention span are not bad things!

Anyway - hope the break is rejuvenating if not as magically productive as you tried to imagine it would be.

Andreas said...

it sounds like things are alright. that's good. enjoy drifting for a while before your next big move. be benjamin braddock for a little bit. it isn't a hard reference but if you get it, i won't feel so odd.

Anonymous said...

haha man
i suppose i skipped right over the "parable" part

Hunger For The Great Light said...

It's wonderful to hear that you are happy. You've worked hard to get here. Enjoy it before your next big thing. It's a rare few that make it to a point in their lives where you are right now. Have fun, but when the next big thing shows up and stirs things up, welcome it. We should all be so lucky as to have your adventures.

wasted_life said...

i've enjoyed your frequent posts tremendously...thanks again. you're a special person amanda.

Natalie Rose said...

I had fun too. I caught the "parable" as per the title, but I couldn't help hoping that it was a real situation as well. I don't know why, perhaps it's just me... perhaps I pay too much attention, or make things appear where there are none, perhaps it's a state of mind, but life always does ironic things like that to me. Sometimes in comes in the form of a book or song with impeccable timing, sometimes it's a tiny microcosm within my own life or that of my friends and family that reflects so accurately the bigger picture.

I don't know. Perhaps I'm feeling overly optimistic at the moment, but I really feel like if people just opened their eyes they'd find that life more often than not provides us with the tools we need to tackle (and sometimes even make sense) of the circumstances we land in. You just have to be willing to see it.

andrea said...

your life sounds really nice right now. being happy to be where you are must feel rejuvinating. and look, you seem happy with your body, even better.

things are all inbetween here. since the holidays are over i should start to have more time to do things that make me feel like myself again. i'm trying my hardest to make the most of my free time. i went to whole foods yesterday and bought tons of different kinds of juices and then stopped by a really good used bookstore and bought a vegetarian soup cookbook and today i went and bought a new tea kettle. tomorrow is my time so i'm gonna try out one of the soups. i'm trying to choose between 3:yukon gold potato soup with roasted garlic and red peppers, potato cheese and green chili soup, or gingered pumpkin-apple soup.

enough about me. this is Your blog afterall. i just felt required to share my good with you since your sharing yours with me and the rest of the blogging world. as far as people not getting the parable, well, i'm sure over half of that could have been because they just didn't read the title...or maybe they just really really wanted a cake recipe =) maybe i'll even try it one day.

here's to attacking the piles, and making new music and art. it'll all come together, one cup of tea at a time.

all my love,


Gehirnvampir said...

Oh Amanda, stop whining. *dry* Don´t you know know your fans are sitting reading your diary and shaking their heads in disbelief? It´s YOU who did the Onion Cellar, and even if they crippled it to unrecognizability, there´s still enough of you in it to make it just SO cool!

You surely know Margaret Atwood? If not, read "The Handmaid´s Tale" and "Oryx and Crake". You´ll love them...

When will you be coming back to Germany?? I decided not to go to Nine Inch Nails because I´d celebrate 2 or 3 of your concerts next time you come here.

You´re the only woman I´d consider kissing or more... *grin* Take it as a compliment.


"Man muss noch Chaos in sich haben um einen tanzenden Stern gebären zu können." (Nietzsche)



Beautiful_Wretched_Liar said...

My friend and I hope to see the play at the last showing(If the money gods will allow me to be able to afford two tickets). And don't worry, we are a very rowdy pair (in a good way, not in a "TAKE OFF YOUR SHIRT"-way). I am sorry but I am finding that reading the comments on your Parable entry are more entertaining than the actual post! (not really but they are quite interesting...). I hope that you are enjoying your well deserved break. If you need any boxes for storage let me know. And one day... MARK MY WORDS! I will be the first to post a comment on your blog.

Goodbye, and hello, as always.


Manda said...

I am pretty sure I feel like the most naive, ignorant person ever. I read the parable of the onion cellar twice, both times when i was suppossed to be studying for exams, and my head was in another place. I wrote you an email asking you to make me a chocolate zucchini cake. now that it's christmas break, and i've had time for my head to clear, i've realized what a moron i am. This is a parable, close to the likes of the stories i hear at school from the bible. After reading your blog numerous times, i've realized how much i have in common with you. I leave stuff for a long time, hoping it will go away, or someday i'll have time to fix it. My room is a disaster, like a tornado ripped through it. for my birthday, my mother gave me the signed berlin poster. i have yet to find a place for it. Mail from colleges have been pouring into our mail box, and i just toss them aside. i have been for months now. Do whatever you want. Life is best that way. I can't wait to see what this break is going to do for the dresden dolls. I can't wait to hear the beauty that is the dresden dolls. Good luck to you in the next couple of months. It sounds like things are going well for you right now.

rotten said...

This may sound selfish, but I love your new schedule...I go to work at 3 am and then come home, clean (very relaxing to me) and putter and then when everything is in order "check my inbox"...when you are on tour your blogs are few and far, shit!! practically frequently...but we are never happy...soon I will be jones-ing for a tour...the stomach sounds yummy

fivepies said...

There are only 5 frosting ingredients listed. The recipe refers to 6 (first 3, last 3). Is there one missing or should it be first 2 or last 2?

--eager to bake

atonalruss said...

As I sit at a borrowed computer in Doha, Qatar and read your post, I am happy that you are finding the time to breathe. It can be tough during a run like the OC. Bravo for Bix Biederbecke! I wish I had a 78 collection and record player. I had a friend who passed away last month who had the most amazing collection of jazz 78s. He'd talk about them for hours - and unfortunately I regret never having the opportunity to go and actually listen to them with him. He played in big bands in the 40s and has had quite an influence on me musically. So hurray to you for listening to those gems. See you on closing night. I'll be sure make some noise.

Bob said...
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banaraffe said...

Come to Iceland!

maia got new stitches said...

i thought your parable made perfect sense. i love this sentence, "his apartment is an old refuge, a dusty library of music and art, the cats who count."
lots of love and enjoy your stomach and spare time. NOT tyre.

Harry said...

Orson Welles had free reign on Citizen Kane and he created a masterpiece. The studio interfered with Magnificent Ambersons and it was a shadow of what it could have been. The devil wouldn't threaten or demand, he would wheedle and cajole; compliment and suggest compromise - and that's how he gets your soul, a little at a time.

I recently had my first book published, a photoessay of architectural ruins. Although a perfectly nice book, which has received nothing but favorable reviews, it was not what I imagined. Originally it was to be a larger format hardcover. Gradually it dwindled to a smaller softcover. Clever conceits of narative were sacrificed to limitations in length, and essential photos were sacrificed to the needs of the layout designer. Each of these changes caused me further anguish, dismay and frustration but, although I did what I could to salvage my vision, trying to force any issue beyond a point might have resulted in there being no book at all. The result: a book that is good, but which I will always believe could have been better.

What is the moral? I guess the first time is a freebie. Like ones first bad experience in amour, next time we'll know better. Next time I'll lock in the terms better. Next time I'll know when to dig in my heels and say "this is not negotiable." I hate to say it, but sometimes you may have to act like a dick or risk your vision. Fool me once, shame on you...

I feel your pain.

AvA said...

I suck in english, but I promise I'll do my best next time and read everything =)
So.. as I don't undrstand and read everything... I will say something I was thinking about..

Well, it's funny... and totally ironic, we say good things for people.. I mean... advices... things we really (or not really) think are good... things we should do... but people don't hear you, and you don't hear yourself. It's like talk to a mirror. You see you're talking, you see somebody hearing you... but nothing happens...
only stupid reflections
anyway, good luck for you, have a greeeeeeat new year.
Hope to see you guys someday in Brazil ^^

Ramsey said...
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Mary said...

Thank you for Truce last night. It was perfect. I'm so glad you have a schedule that lets you do normal things for awhile.
Love, Mary

rusty said...

I like to think I'm astute enough to spot a moral or lesson within a fictional (or not) story, but I must admit I'm flummoxed on this one. Was it something like "trying to please everyone results in that which really pleases no one" or, "the devil with the awesome kitchen's bargain is a fool's bargain" or perhaps, "tell the landlord to fix the broken stove or suffer the consequences"? Or is it that calling a description of a dinner party (and the ensuing ride home) a "parable" does not necessarily make it one?

June Miller said...

I don't think I paid close enough attention in English, sometimes.

My bad.

That cake really doesn't sound too bad, though. If I were more coordinated, I could probably make it.

Glad to hear the break is doing you some good, especially if it somehow involves tooth injury and beatboxing. I think you're pretty damn hardcore, at least.

lyrical lie said...

My comment wasn't about the cake, but I just read it over, and it could be as interpreted as being about the cake. But I think you just taught everyone that thought you were talking about an actual party a new word, lol!

J. De said...

I feel for you, I’m so sorry it turned out like that, and I understand. The irony is that I fell for you immediately when I saw you in Atlanta so much so that I dreamed I met you one night as you performed in an old Berlin-Noir Cabaret.

I'm in this weird place where on the one hand I would love to travel to Boston to see you perform this Carob Cake with the good frosting, but simultaneously, I wish I could transform myself into an internet mogul so I could (completely in secret of course) lavish you with money to allow you to create exactly what it is you want to create.

Amanda, you're an inspiration to us living our dull and normal lives out here in America and your frustration at not doing this Cake right is what drives you.

Hats off to you for not faking it. And only “howmany?” shows left, right?

J. De said...

And Just for the record, I used to party with Jonathan S. back in college and he was emotionally remote then too.

Ramsey said...

"I perfer the folly of enthusiasm to the indifference of wisdom"

-Anatole France

the Kate said...

Two nights ago I had a dream that you and I were shopping in a grocery store. You wanted to buy this magic cantaloupe, which was magic becuase some magic bacteria ate away the inside, and the user was supposed to rub the cantaloupe rind on their face. You didn't have enough money to buy it, though, so I bought it for you but woke up before I had a chance to give it to you. What do you think that means?

-Kate in columbus

J. said...
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J. said...
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juxtagon said...

I see your 'Parable/Recipe' and raise you 'Stone Soup'

Jose Ramon said...

It feel like a good piece to me of that pie
Nothing like a good chocolate piece for a broken heart

what bush does not get fat and viciversa
Yumm.. Yumm...Grrrrr

sexy said...