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Fri Jul 28, 2017, 09:51 AM

Writing about food: David Sedaris' "Theft by Finding, Diaries 1977-2002"

April 17, 1981
Raleigh
Today I dug a ditch and later it rained, so I finished painting Lou Stark's living room. She paid me $20, bean-burger mix, and four turkey legs. One of them I took upstairs to Getchen's cat, Neil, who had been asleep on a blanket and wheezed with delight.

November 25, 1986
Chicago
I stayed up all night rewriting my new story, which is better now. I heated up a couple of frozen potpies and made some crescent rolls. ... I thought I'd take a break from typing and eat in the living room in front of the television, so I put the food on a tray and then tripped while carrying it. The potpies skidded across the floor and flipped over when they hit the baseboard. Rather than cleaning it up right away, I let Neil eat as much of it as she wanted. I just took the crust and continued on to the living room, where I watched a rerun of 'The Odd Couple' ... .

November 27, 1998
Phoenix
Ted's boyfriend James loaned me a cookbook called 'Imperial Dishes of China.' ... . In France I often leaf through recipes in search of words I think might come in handy. It's how I learned the verbs for 'to simmer' and 'to chop.' 'Imperial Dishes' is in English, but still I feel I came away with something. Here were instructions such as 'Rinse the lips twice in cold water' and 'Remove the penis and carve it into bite-sized pieces.' Mental pictures aside, it was disturbing to read such things in the form of a direct order. 'Scald the vagina and remove any remaining hairs,' for example.

March 26, 2000
New York
On the plane from Paris I heard a man say, 'The first thing I'm going to do when I get home is order a Big Gulp. I'm going to supersize everything!' He said he'd been thirsty the entire time he was in Paris, and though I'd never thought about it, if you're used to carrying a trash-can-size cup filled with crushed ice and soda, I suppose it would be hard to spend a few weeks in Europe.

August 29, 2000
La Bagotiere
This being France, I know I'm supposed to sit in cafes with thimble-sized cups of espresso. I'm supposed to return day after day until the owner finally consents to shake my hand and ask how it's going. But I couldn't have been happier than I was at my ugly little McDonald's. It was the coffee I wanted, with no fear that the waiter would ignore me. I paid immediately and didn't have to beg for my check.

July 22, 2001
La Bagotiere
Hugh is proudly cooking with things from his garden, so last night, along with our steaks, we had oddly shaped potatoes and deep-fried zucchini fingers. He also made a 1-2-3-4 cake, which calls for one cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of flour, and four eggs. ... ... I put on Joni Michell's 'Hejira.' It came out twenty-five years ago, when I was living in Mom and Dad's basement. ... For me it's ironic that, on a certain level, all my nineteen-year-old fantasies have come true. ... What's missing, what made the idea so incredibly romantic, was the instability, the series of boyfriends bound to run off with someone else the moment your back is turned. That's the sort of thing you write songs about, not zucchini fingers and a perfect 1-2-3-4 cake sitting in the refrigerator.

October 28, 2002
New York
We had dinner at Le Pescadou, a French restaurant on 6th Avenue. The menu was ridiculous and included such items as:
Seared Tuna Embraced by Sesame
Baby Pasta Ears Listening to Artichoke
Grilled Prawns Frolicking on Polenta

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Reply Writing about food: David Sedaris' "Theft by Finding, Diaries 1977-2002" (Original post)
betsuni Jul 2017 OP
underpants Jul 2017 #1
betsuni Jul 2017 #3
japple Jul 2017 #2
betsuni Jul 2017 #4

Response to betsuni (Original post)

Fri Jul 28, 2017, 09:55 AM

1. Is this a new Sedaris book?

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Response to underpants (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 28, 2017, 06:34 PM

3. Yes.

It's sort of depressing.

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Response to betsuni (Original post)

Fri Jul 28, 2017, 05:09 PM

2. Oh my. This is awesome. I adore David Sedaris. Since his diaries have been

published, I have reveled in the interviews produced by his book tour. He is a national treasure. I need to download the diaries SAP. Thanks for posting this.

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Response to japple (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 28, 2017, 06:41 PM

4. You're welcome!

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