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Showing posts from September, 2016

Ozarka Sparkling Natural Spring Water - Watermelon/Lime Flavor

Not that I have ever yearned for the combination of Watermelon and Lime, but I was in Houston airport, needed some fizzy water in my life and the other option was Perrier...and sometimes you just need to go out on a limb. Thus I discovered Ozarka* Sparkling Natural Spring Water. 
In the artificial flavor universe, Watermelon has got to be one of the most disgusting, right up there with banana. But this water got the job done, proving that even a spring water from Florida* -- a state which unless I am mistaken is home to swamps, sand, saltwater, and Jurassic period type heat -- can be punished enough to taste refreshing.

*Could they do more to make this name sound like the female villain from a 70s Superman film? I think not. And yes I realize the Ozarks are mountains in Arkansas, where this company was founded.
**Despite what it says on the website I distinctly remember the label of my bottle said something about Florida

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

New Yorker Fiction Review #145: "Choking Victim" by Alexandra Kleeman

Issue: May 2, 2016

Story: "Choking Victim" by Alexandra Kleeman

Rating: $$$

Review: Were there but world enough and time...I could read this story three times and ruminate on it for a week and then come up with a trenchant, thoughtful, incisive critique that would make you want to run out and read this story. Instead, you're left with the following bullet point listing of my rambling, sleepy thoughts as I sit stuffed from the enormous pork chop and handful of vieux carre's (it's a cocktail...get with it) I had at Meat and Potatoes tonight, and as I try and get caught-up on my New Yorker reviewing, a hopeless, thankless, and ultimately at this point impossible task:

This story is a sort of tableaux depicting a day in the life of a lonely, alienated, 30-something stay at home mom raising her first infant, and a portrayal which I think would resonate with anyone who has had to raise a child, but mostly with mothers. Also a meditation on facing early-middle age (early 30…

New Yorker Fiction Review #144: "Waiting for the Miracle" by Lara Vapnyar

Issue: April 25, 2016

Story: "Waiting for the Miracle" by Lara Vapnyar

Rating: $$

Review: Started off pretty slow and took me three (3) tries over a week just to get past the first page, but once I did the story finally started rolling. Gonna do this review in bullet points as I have been accused of being overly prolix in my reviews. My accuser? Myself.

A great story about those magical, cinematic first few days that happen when a person moves to New York City. And if someone is lucky enough, like the main character Vadik in this story, something pretty interesting happens to make it remarkable, other than just him wandering around the city drinking in bars randomly trying to talk to people with limited success and getting too drunk in the process (ahem).There is a trace of something really interesting and "meta" in this story about the way we perceive ourselves, as when Vadik daydreams about wandering the streets of Manhattan in a tweed blazer and stopping into a bar …

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …

Water Reviews: Whole Foods Mint Sparkling Mineral Water

Water:Whole Foods Mint Sparkling Mineral Water

Source:La Galvanina, Rimini, Italy

Rating: four drops (out of six)

Review: A functional, everyday mineral water with a great joie de vivre. This water makes a great employee: It arrives on time, does it's work cheerfully, and stays late when it has to. It is fun and likes to gossip but it knows when to shut up and get to work.

Discovered this surprising gem over the summer in New York City, when I was working on curing the same mini-hangover that my two bottles of Saint-Geron finally pushed into oblivion. Finally got to try this again today under somewhat less dire circumstances.

The minty-ness of this water makes it kind of like drinking toothpaste. But somehow it works. It works, I tell you! I'm debating buying a case of this stuff so I can drink it every day. Along with the minty, toothpasty-ness (how many more words can I incorrectly add "ness" to?) comes an extremely refreshing and cleansing kind of zest. It has a vigo…