Posts Tagged ‘asparagus’

Manet, Asparagus, Prius

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

Edouard Manet is my favorite non-American 19th century artist.  Even his  lesser works, his tossed-off pieces, his sketches and studies, his failed works (when reach exceeded grasp), intrigue me, as they reveal even more than his masterworks the turns of a brilliant mind. 

Here is a still life:










It is said the original purchaser was so pleased with the painting that he sent Manet a bonus on top of the agreed price.  Whereupon Manet sent him a package containing two items:  a short note saying, “There was one missing from your bunch,” and an additional panel for the happy collector to delight in:









A fine story to share, and a segue to an update to last week’s blog posting of a bunch of cell phone photos.  I inadvertently omitted the following  photo — a picture that may prompt, in some, a contemporary bout of salivation:  



Yes, this is an actual, unretouched photo of the display in my Prius, snapped at the end of an 87-mile road trip last summer. It was a combination of city and highway travel, and the car achieved an MPG of over 70.  What helped?  These things: 

Never going over the posted speed limit, not ever, not even a little, which demanded a painful self-restraint.   

Taking my foot off the gas whenever a distant traffic signal turned red.  (I did this only on stretches where the road was uncrowded and had a passing lane on the left, since most fellow drivers hate your guts  for slowing down, since the point of life is to hurry up and to get to a stop, right?) 

Not gunning the gas but gently accelerating when a light turned green. 

Trying, overall, to be a more conscientious driver.