Gris Moves In - Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club Blog at - 192720

Lightly Toasted: Chronicles of the Friday Night Cocktail Club

gris moves in 
Aug. 29, 2010 7:10 pm 
Updated: Sep. 3, 2010 1:47 am
One of the great unlikely jobs I've had along a meandering path was something called "professional notetaker" at the University of Michigan. It was completely on the level. Sponsored by the university even.

The job was what it sounds like: I took notes in art history--and then punched them up into prose and sold them to the university bookstore, which in turn sold them to college students with priorities that did not include twentieth century art on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  M Go Blue!

It was great, though. Everybody won. Or everyone, that is, except the students who cheated themselves out of some good lectures--and probably the eccentric, large-floppy-hat-wearing professor, who taught to an empty room. Okay, so basically nobody won. But me.

And I loved it. I mean, it wasn't just a free education; I was actually getting paid for it. And the subject wasn't nuclear physics or principals of accounting, it was art.

One of the artists we covered that semester was Juan Gris, the Spanish cubist who, Wikipedia reminds me, really came into his own in Paris. It's fair to say that I remember next to nothing of what I wrote about Gris. It's kind of appalling. But I do remember one thing, something I wrote and then removed (on the advice of counsel, my editor, even then, SLS). The sentence was "Gris moves on." It added nothing. But while it may have been a pointless, meaningless phrase for the course book, for some reason it made us laugh; and so it has lived on as the title of a mixed tape and as a useful shorthand for describing something that doesn't really need saying.

The phrase has also, now, helped us to name our new grey kitten, the fast-becoming-friend of Wil'Wil' -- the surviving cat of the Wiles clan, who was lost and set adrift, heartbreakingly so, without her sister, the late, much adored Li'l Wil'.

And so, a welcoming toast for Gris (full name: Juanita Gris), the lively, happy, ambush-loving new addition to the Pride, who can never replace the girl we lost so suddenly. But who can help us all move on. For this toast, a Grey Goose martini with a spicy Spanish olive.
gris goes all glamour shot
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wiles discusses the house rules
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Aug. 29, 2010 9:58 pm
Oh my gosh, from one cat lover to another, she's a doll and I just love her name.
Aug. 30, 2010 4:54 am
A paid note taker whose product is sold in the university bookstore?? What a revelation! I'm familiar with students who work for learning disabilities centers, who take notes for a specific LD student, but not note taking for retail for anyone who happens to miss class -- good grief, what IS education coming to? Oh well, c'est la vie. Anyway, I adored all my art history lecturers -- the most fun, so I understand your enthusiasm for the job. And I love your blog, always. Great writing.
Aug. 30, 2010 5:05 am
Oh my, what a darling!! I could be a professional note taker, seriously, where do I apply?? I've been missing your blogs :)
Aug. 30, 2010 6:54 am
Lorem Ipsum, she is a beauty!! Lucky for you to have her, and lucky for her that she will have a wonderful, loving home! Kiss her for me :)
Aug. 30, 2010 8:08 am
Dear Mr. Ipsum, if your college notes were as lively as your blog, I would have paid big bucks to buy them. I love your style and delivery. Cheers to the clan of four-leggeds and heres to you in Seattle, you lucky guy, you!
Aug. 30, 2010 9:33 am
Gris is beautiful! Hopefully Wil'Wil' can find it in his heart to allow her to try to fill some of the emptiness left behind by the loss of Li'l Wil'.
Aug. 30, 2010 1:47 pm
Oh what a little cutie! I'm so glad for you and Wil'Wil', I'm sure she will help fill that void. I found when I had to let go of my Sam, his brother Frodo was so lost, he would wander from room to room wailing and looking for him for months. At least we can share our grief through words (more or less), but animals can't process that way. Life definitely changed for the better when we got another little brother for him to spend his time with. Take a million pictures now, they grow up so fast:) (yes, I have no kids, just cats:)
Aug. 30, 2010 3:46 pm
Please tell me Gris is named after Pinot Gris, because my kitty is named Shiraz
Aug. 30, 2010 8:07 pm
She's precious...I'm glad you found a new kitten for your home. Enjoy!
Aug. 31, 2010 5:55 am
aahhhhhh too cute!
Aug. 31, 2010 8:54 pm
What a beautiful little girl she is! I would fall in love with Gris at first sight. I hope Wil'Wil learns to love her too!!
Sep. 1, 2010 6:18 am
I am smitten with Gris! Don't tell our other kitties.
Sep. 3, 2010 1:47 am
Oh My! Lil' Gris has big paws to fill, but with that expression, she'll do just fine! Like everyone ^^ I WANT that job! Thanks again for your beautiful and entertaining writing!
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Lorem Ipsum

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Member Since
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About Me
My wife and I and our two devilish kittens live on Capitol Hill in Seattle. A few years ago, I got a masters in gastronomy. I'm a food/wine writer. I’m also blogging about cocktails.
My favorite things to cook
We cook fairly simple dishes using fresh local ingredients that we pick up at the Seattle farmers market. My favorite thing is making a nice slow-braised or long-roasted something on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I like cooking with wine (in the dish and in the glass...and in the cook).
My favorite family cooking traditions
My mom never liked to cook, but she did well despite herself. Her mother, my omi, was from Munich and made delicious rouladen, sauerbraten and other traditional German and American dishes. Always bins and bins of home-baked cookies at Christmas. Wonderful rye bread. And beer. Opa would say, "Brotzeit ist die beste zeit."
My cooking triumphs
We’ve made the signature timpano dish from The Big Night a couple times. And for Thanksgiving 2007, we made Turducken. My wife and I are always volunteering to cook the big holiday meals with the family. We mix a signature cocktail, and get down to it.
My cooking tragedies
I made Thanksgiving Dinner for myself once when I was snowed-in in Denver. I nearly burned down the neighborhood.
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