Although I’ve allowed it to meander from the proscribed path, this blog has its roots in the appreciation of food and wine and in the proper preparation and enjoyment of the same. In keeping with that idea, let me perfunctorily mention that chicken, corn, and black beans from left over tortilla soup combined with fresh chopped onion and green beans with grated cheddar and some taco sauce make a brilliantly good quesadilla.
So now this post about things that interest me and my desire to write about them is partly taken up with, for lack of a better description of the above, a recipe. So will this blog be going forward. There will always be recipes, wine reviews, commentary about restaurants, and the like, but posts on those subjects will in the future be interspersed with, well, whatever interests me at the time.
Did you know that Cyndi Lauper’s “Money Changes Everything” is a cover? It was written by Tom Gay of the Atlanta based punk band The Brains. Lauper could have easily taken Gay’s tortured rationalization, flipped the point of view, and cast herself as the victim but she didn’t. The song is all the more powerful coming from a woman. Flash forward to 2005 and her acoustic re-release on the album The Body Acoustic is sober, reflective, as if to say “We were just kids. What else could we have expected?” Little things like that interest me, but I didn’t write about it here because I didn’t think it fit the motif.
Free speech and the absurdity of speech codes, college football, the Oxford comma, science fiction, politics. I’ve held back from writing about all of these things here because, at least in my mind, mightstainyourshirt was a food blog (I may be writing soon about how much I hate the term “foodie”.) No longer.
A brief review of the last few months will show that despite misgivings, I’ve been drifting in this direction for a while. Partly because of my changing attitude toward the proper use of this space, but partly due to a desire to write more. Food and wine writing is thoroughly enjoyable, but it’s self limiting. Nobody wants to read about the rotisserie chicken and tabouli I picked up at Publix on my way home. They want a multi-step instructional bit on braised lamb shoulder and cauliflower puree with pictures. It takes a lot of time and money to produce such things. Seven hundred words on why Justin Bieber is such a dick costs nothing.
And I am hoping to write more. I’ve always enjoyed punditry in writing but for the past year or so I’ve become obsessed with essays as a form, reading at least a dozen a day. This blog is about to become my practice field.
Argumentative, demonstrative, humor, and to a lesser extent personal essays all have their charms but subject matter is less important to my current bout of curiosity than what binds them as a form and what makes a great essayist great. My working theory is that the best writers have a feel for how far to allow tangents and asides to deviate from their thesis without losing the thread of argument before reining them back in. But I like tangents, as anyone who has ever read anything I have ever written will attest, so I may just be eating out of a big bowl of confirmation bias.
So expect tangents. Also expect sappy “Isn’t he cute?” posts. I just got a puppy.