I and my (new) desk

Above: my new desk, given to me by Alfonso, means a lot to me.

“Though I always say, I and My Chimney, as Cardinal Wolsey used to say, ‘I and My King,’ yet this egotistic way of speaking, wherein I take precedence of my chimney, is hereby borne out by the facts; in everything, except the above phrase, my chimney taking precedence of me” (Melville, Herman. “I and My Chimney.” Putnam’s Monthly Magazine. March, 1856).

Herman Melville was remarkably fond and jealous of his chimney — so much so that it inspired a transgressive syntagmeme.

I and my desk: my new desk is a synecdoche for my vita nova here in Austin. The last year and a half have been filled with some amazing adventures but I am simply thrilled to be in one place again, to have a desk, and to feel purpose, meaning, and direction in my life again. My peregrination has happily come to an end.

Thanks for the wonderful desk, Alfonso! It has found a good home with me and I with it…

In other news…

Last night, I seared a beef filet and served with a red wine reduction, fennel braised in white wine, and pan-roasted fingerling potatoes.

Tracie B and I paired it with Dora and Patrizia’s excellent 2004 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Sanguineto). The wine showed beautifully: classic red fruit flavor, brilliant acidity, a little bit of delightful secondary fermentation, and balanced alcohol — a gorgeous manifestation of Sangiovese, terroir, and a classically Tuscan vintage. This is one of those wines that genuinely expresses its place and the people make it. I love it. (Thanks again, Lance, for finding it and turning me on to it!)


I and my chimney will never surrender.
— Herman Melville