I've gotten on a recent kick on Nabokov. It must be because I pass by the New York Public Library every day and see the large banner declaring the Nabokov exhibit inside featuring his butterflies. It seems that Nabokov was quite the lepidopterist. Fascinating!
So, today's quote will be from the only work that I've read of his, Lolita. I loved it. I fell in love with poor Humbert Humbert and his terrible penchant. Here is his "Wanted" poem, from chapter 15 of Lolita
Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Hair: brown. Lips: scarlet.
Age: five thousand three hundred days.
Profession: none, or "starlet"
Where are you hiding, Dolores Haze?
Why are you hiding, darling?
(I Talk in a daze, I walk in a maze
I cannot get out, said the starling).
Where are you riding, Dolores Haze?
What make is the magic carpet?
Is a Cream Cougar the present craze?
And where are you parked, my car pet?
Who is your hero, Dolores Haze?
Still one of those blue-capped star-men?
Oh the balmy days and the palmy bays,
And the cars, and the bars, my Carmen!
Oh Dolores, that juke-box hurts!
Are you still dancin', darlin'?
(Both in worn levis, both in torn T-shirts,
And I, in my corner, snarlin').
Happy, happy is gnarled McFate
Touring the States with a child wife,
Plowing his Molly in every State
Among the protected wild life.
My Dolly, my folly! Her eyes were vair,
And never closed when I kissed her.
Know an old perfume called Soliel Vert?
Are you from Paris, mister?
L'autre soir un air froid d'opera m'alita;
Son fele -- bien fol est qui s'y fie!
Il neige, le decor s'ecroule, Lolita!
Lolita, qu'ai-je fait de ta vie?
Dying, dying, Lolita Haze,
Of hate and remorse, I'm dying.
And again my hairy fist I raise,
And again I hear you crying.
Officer, officer, there they go--
In the rain, where that lighted store is!
And her socks are white, and I love her so,
And her name is Haze, Dolores.
Officer, officer, there they are--
Dolores Haze and her lover!
Whip out your gun and follow that car.
Now tumble out and take cover.
Wanted, wanted: Dolores Haze.
Her dream-gray gaze never flinches.
Ninety pounds is all she weighs
With a height of sixty inches.
My car is limping, Dolores Haze,
And the last long lap is the hardest,
And I shall be dumped where the weed decays,
And the rest is rust and stardust.
A.S. Byatt Home Page
A slightly out of date website, but some good archival information on the famous British authoress.
A.S. Byatt Salon Interview
limeade seas and bloody cobblestones
A fascinating interview on a daunting woman unafraid of writing about sex and feminism and the condition of women.
previous | index | next
May 7, 1999
Last Saturday, I went golfing with Mike. I neglected to write an entry back then, so I am sticking them here. I was in a frumpy mood and didn't really want to go out, but promised Mike a game of goofy golf, which I had been putting off.. and off.. and off.. for the past few weeks. It was sunny and a bit on the cool side, but nice. So, we found a goofy golf place in the phone book and drove there.
The place was kind of run down and crappy, but since it was a two-for-one deal, we figured why not. We quickly discovered that many of the holes were in terrible condition, some of the holes had awkward slopes and were built on rickety wooden boards that shifted if you stomped slightly on them. You only needed to get semi-close to the hole and stomp a little to drop the ball in.
I am a terrible goofy golf player. It makes me feel like I'm playing ping pong. I am awkward and want to hit the ball in ping pong in the same manner that I hit the ball in tennis. Fwoom! And I send the ping pong ball sailing across the room, much to my chagrin. I hit the ball in goofy golf way too hard. About halfway through the course Mike turned to me and said, "You shouldn't hit it so hard." It was like the clouds parted. "Oh yeah!" It was so obvious.
I started to play quite a good game after that. I lost the first game terribly, but won the second. Not out of my own skill, exactly. Mike played a terrible second game.
He did sink a hole-in-one though.
The winning shot!
This is my ball (the orange spot). I hit it so hard it bounced back to lie only inches from where I hit it. Pretty sad, huh?
Check out that form!
I had lunch with my coworker, Lisa, today at a "Japanese Tapas Restaurant" (their words) called Riki. She invited me to lunch ("Have you eaten yet?" "Nope." "Want to go out for lunch?" "Err.. sure!") and mentioned that she was up for sushi. Two days ago, I grabbed a paper menu from Riki and looked through their offerings and many of them sounded quite tasty. So, I suggested the place and she was eager to go.
The place was very cute, much cuter than East which is a block down. We sat down in the very back where I could see they actually had little Japanese rooms with the low-lying Japanese tables and chairs. Unfortunately, we didn't get to sit in those little rooms. Reserved for the fancy dinner crowd, I suppose.
I didn't know exactly what I should order, and they didn't have eel over rice (una don). Besides, I wasn't particularly hungry so I decided to order one order of eel and cucumber sushi, one piece of sea urchin, and a bowl of miso soup. A light lunch, with a bit of experimentation. I've never had sea urchin before, but with Lisa's enthusiasm (she's a very enthusiastic eater), I was willing to try something daring.
The miso soup was unlike any other miso soup that I had in the past. My bowl had some shellfish in it! Three or four small clams that added a rich flavor to the miso broth. I slurped it all up, deliciously. I reflected back at my days in Chambana where I first had miso soup at Asiana, a Japanese restaurant on campus. I always ordered the chicken teriyaki there, my boring routine self. The miso soup was barely passable, but on the colder days, I enjoyed its warmth. One day, Jim had me bring him two orders of california rolls. I brought them to him and he offered me a bite. It was my first taste of sushi and I loved it. I used that first taste to springboard my exploration of Japanese cuisine and I developed a strong affinity to eel over the past year. My coworker recommended that I try East's green river rolls, which is elaborate eel sushi (with cucumber, avocado, and egg). That exposure led to my taste for una don. I still am not interested in soba or udon noodles in my soup, but I enjoy ramen (what college student doesn't?). I have yet to try yakatori, but I will someday soon.
The eel was delicious, on the same par as the eel from East, except it was a bit more tender. The urchin was not what I had expected it to be. It had a texture that was quite slimy and looked like fine caviar held together by its slime. I could pinch it easily and it would separate into two parts. I decided to not eat it all at once, instead taking smaller bites of the large piece. The taste is metallic, in the same manner that a lot of oysters can taste metallic. However, it had a unique flavor all its own. It was cold and had a creamy texture. It went down my throat with the same feel as the creamy kumamoto oysters that I had once at the Grand Central Oyster Bar. Delicious.
So, all in all, I give Riki a thumbs up rating. The service was quite good, although it better have been since it was pricey. Well, relative to other places I've been. I haven't gone to any place that served eel sushi more than five dollars. I'm sure there are places where it is higher in the city.
Today, I took an interest in a movie that I once saw a few years ago and enjoyed. Angels and Insects. It is based on the novella Morpho Eugenia by A. S. Byatt. I went to the small Barnes and Noble today (two blocks north from my work) to see if they had that in. Unfortunately, no. I want to be introduced to her writing. I enjoyed the story told in the movie, especially the biological aspects to the story and the parallels it makes in the lives of the characters in the movie.
The passages that Kirsten Scott Thomas' character read aloud I'd love to see on the written page. There's something magical to her words and I want to see them. I've seen Morpho eugenia's butterfly. Now I want to see her caterpillar.
© Copyright 1999, Eileene Coscolluela