Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

serious TVish ge-mish ge-mosh

I saw NY Rep Charles Rengel on Charlie Rose the other day....awoke from a nap, and there he was, with his old-fashioned but familiar and tough and responsible/ethical political rhetoric. In that sleepy vulnerable state my heart unclenched about 150% and I thought...maybe we are going to be okay. Maybe the fight is not all wheel-spinning.

The reason that hippos are Their LITTLE FLIPPITY TWIDGETY WIGGLEPUSS ears. Tiny expressive fluttery ears at the intersection of enormous sculpted tonnes of flesh. The scale is insane. And yet it works. The ears are tiny punctuation, transition, at the join in the shape of the animal, but also saying...hello! Little flippity ears! Wee flags on a cruise ship.

Isn't it odd that there are at least two movies out there that feature somewhat yicky close-ups of Alfred Molina's moist lips to make plot points? Enchanted April, where they are the locus of Josie Lawrence's frustration with her clueless, demanding, hidebound, middle-class husband (pre-transformation), chewing away thanklessly at the meal she's provided, and then Chocolat, where they seem to want to symbolize his release from his bourgeois cage of denial and descent into pleasure (post-transformation) as he lies in the window of the chocolaterie after his orgy, although really that latter movie is so smug and simplistic it's hard to give it even that much credit.

Last week on DinersDrive-insandDives they went to a good, very standard-issue Chicago-style restaurant (burgers, Italian beef, Polish, etc.). He was oo-ing and ahhh-ing over the crowds and the food (it looked great), and I found myself full of an unusual, for these days, sense of relief. Because that place is one of like 25 I know of, right off the top of my head, which are that good/crowded/yummy/full of food like that in Chicago, and I didn't have the usual thought of yeah, well, it's the last of a breed, or just one of too few of something, or a place that's too much promoted and I worry there's no back up. There really are bizillions of places like that in Chicago, and THANK GOD. LOTS of people here know about garlic juice.

Speaking of Italian bif (why, how do I like mine, you ask? Dippednopeppersnochiz, thank you), I had *the* most amazing pizza from Rizzata's, my local joint, the other day. I get pizza from them pretty often, but I have now squawked fussily enough about delivering it hot that they're getting pretty good at it, and this was just EPIC. Sooooo thoroughly hot, right out of oven, tender all through the crisp crust, just the right cheese and sauce and pepperoni... It was GOOD, empirically good, za. Not just for delivery za or downtown za or Chicago za, I mean, it just rocked my world. Highly recommend that joint. I was impressed.

No job + clean kitchen + onset of cold weather = more cooking. I'm trying to decide how to deal with the (I've suddenly discovered) 18,000 chicken breasts in the freezer in a wholesale fashion, but some recent things to note, heavily chocolate-related:
  • Success: a leftover 1/3 c. of flakes/dust from Schokinag drinking chocolate added to oatmeal/chocolate chip cookie dough. Very good indeed. I basically now always want oatmeal with my chocolate chips. So good! Mini chips work best. And regular oats, definitely. Can't be quick-cooking.
  • Best way to cook 1-bowl brownies, I now think: In a very solid high-sided circular 9" cake pan, with a few milk chocolate chips thrown in. Comes out perfect every time at 35/40 min. Good crispy edges, but not too much. One-bowl brownies are not a *super* cheap dessert (building blocks are spendy--bakers chocolate, butter--compared to my usual wacky cake that involves vinegar and cooking oil), but so simple and pleasing, thank you XB. Good thing to know how to make.
  • Yummy mock bolognese/stroganoff, a la not thinkin about it too much: In a pan flung a few lardons of frozen bacon, frozen organic ground sirloin, a lil tomato sauce, Worchestershire, balsamic, oregano, sage. Cooked until...not uncooked, kind of shreddy and thick. Tossed with mini penne rigat (very good pasta choice for many dishes), a little cream cheese to loosen (hence the strog)....yum!
  • Continuing to find that if you put any chops or cuts of meat in a your enormous Le Creuset frying pan and sear them in a little butter, add a bottle of beer or cider, a big spoon of grainy mustard, and maybe a little honey/balsamic/Worchestershire, it is always good. Beurre maniere is good for the sauce, citrus of any variety (one time I finished them in the oven with a pat of butter and slice of blood orange on top), whatever herbs turn ya on, I've even thrown a dollop of grape jelly for a little sweetness if the beer's too bitter, but basically 1 bottle of something + 1 spoon of grainy mustard is enough. With brown/wild rice...yum.
  • BTW it's now officially cocoa weather, so make sure you stock up! I'm pretty much a Hershey's girl, but the Scharffen Berger cocoa...really luxe. And remember that one of the perverse rewards of soy or rice milk (soy esp) is how frothy you can get the drink.

I make a (kinda stupid, ineffectual, but whatever) point of rarely saying "Oh, I love that commercial." It's mostly perverseness. I know advertisers want me to, companies want the buzz, even if I don't buy anything, but I ain't gonna give it to them. Me no commodify my nothing! This has been building, though: I have to say...I LOVE THE CANON DOGGIE COMMERCIALS with Maria whatshername!!!! LOVE THEM!!! I love when the dog says, "No...YOU come on!" Love it love it love it. Gawd help me. They can't show those enough. Watch that link!!!!!

How does Nigella get her sweaters to stay on/stick under the bubs/follow the tum like that? I can really see how she needs them to do that, to not trail her cardies in the puddings, Busty ladies wanna know.

This is a book, not a blog entry, but: I'M TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW KEITH MOON DRUMMED. His gestures...if you watch footage of him drumming, what he did and WHAT SOUNDS CAME almost might think he was (drum-)synching. He was FULL of all this gratuitous and oddly-directed, non metronomic, gesture, at least his arms. And yet he was thundering out all this stuff. His touch, despite the constant Animal-like flurry of motion, almost looks LIGHT. It's frothy, frostingy, flurry-filled. Bizarre. He comes at all his high-hats with his sticks really oddly-held, like he's just swiping at them in weird gentle touches from above. I've been trying to figure this out since I was 16 and I am glad I am now saying so, because I know what I see and I know what I hear and they need to be better knitted together for me. I love his drumming, don't get me wrong. Just full of unreconciled visual/aural information. His drumming...with that cherubic face, it's bizarrely sweet. Innocent. Not thundering grohl monkey-arms clubbing. It's so weird.

There must be a term--from liberation theology or something--for the stage that society perceives/wants to keep whatever persecuted groups in, until an understanding of their worth/need for retribution becomes large-scale accepted. The early/opening/learning/beginning stage that goes on too long. That is...I'm glad Carson whatshisname from Queer I is doing a show empowering fatties, but will we ever in my lifetime get to a point where WE'RE NOT STARTING FROM SCRATCH? Where it's not brand-new all the time? Where people don't consantly have to be convinced of its necessity (fat acceptance) over and over? They're not, btw, we're not even really that far in this world. But still. Fuck. Do I have to be happy every time a celebrity comes out with clothing for the (oh so superbig) size 14s in this world?

Best thing about Fabulous Baker Boys (check it out): Beau Bridges. He's not moody and doesn't push his hair out of his face in that incredibly sexy way that Jeff B does, but I am convinced that his performance is actually the most daring and galvanizing in that film. And underrated, 'cause he's the schlumph. Oh, he's good, though.

On HGTV they were featuring a guy's house who was a major arts & crafts collector; EVERY piece was a Stickley or somebody. Everything. It was beautiful, as were all the beautifully framed pieces of art, but way too much on a room-by-room basis. Too much psychic pressure, too much unrelenting dark wood. It actually seemed fragile, not sturdy, in such concentrated amounts. The hilarious part? In one uncommented-upon segment, the owner's cat crossed the room stinkeye-ing the camera. Heh. Totally hilarious. Begging...pleading...the question: how the hell do these things coexist? My cats would turn a living room-full of Stickley furniture into toothpicks in about a week. Tear it up in a day. No way that cat wasn't declawed. Wearing a buzzy color around its neck. Something.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

One Reason I Feel Different From Everybody Else

A slice of "fall"/"harvest"/"Thanksgiving"/"apple spice" cake is put in front of ye and you probably...ooh and ahh. It has apples and walnuts and dried cranberries in it, and a dusting of powdered sugar on top. You see the description on the menu and think oh I want that, you see a photo of it in Gourmet and think oh I'd like that, it's put down in front of you and you think oooh wow that looks good.

Every single thing about cake like that makes me recoil in horror. Every texture, flavor, interaction of texture, I find just gross.

However. This is not about food separatism, but if you put all the elements of the cake in front of me--a pile of nicely-chopped Granny Smiths, some roasted walnuts, the plain cake with nothing in it and just a dusting of sugar--I would LOVE them. That would be my idea of heaven, I'd be oo-ing and ahhh-ing and feeling so well-fed and expansive and excited. Together, though....yick.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Portrait of two kitties fighting the Bissell SpotBot automatic carpet spot removal system. Heh.

oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god
Flocked clothes hangers are one of the great inventions of the last 10 years--I'm in love. However, just two words: CAT FUR. The hangers are full of static electricity and...yoo doo the maf. Hrmph.

Strangest mish-mosh ever

1) I learn over and over: YOU CAN ONLY START FROM WHERE YOU ARE. Because that's true. You never know where you may go from there, but still...ya ain't starting anywhere but right here, right now, jebus jones. Maybe the problem is the word "start"; nobody wants to think they are "starting" oh, say, their life's work, every single day (hour, minute). But I guess we are.

2) Latent materialistic longings (neg. interpretation)/love of antiquities (honest yet positive interpretation) combined with an existential when if not not now entitlement surfaced with huge *blurp* last week. Things 2 note:

- I think I love William Morris' 'African Marigold' design more than almost anything, only then it's immediately subsumed by another (usually a plainer one, 'Tulip & Willow' or something). They just make my heart hurt.

- Silver has gotten expensive. Not sure whom to blame about this, but it's heartbreaking to realize you are competing against people who just want beautiful old things for scrap (!). The silver I love the most, most of the time, is severely severe, old, and therefore the most spendy, and therefore I can paddle around in the...salt cellars area. Heh. Which look really beautiful and clean, but are really .58" across and minimally helpful. But anyhow, oh do I love, the simpler the better (boxes, cigarette boxes, capstan inkwells). I don't know to explain this--it's not wantiness, it's like it makes my heart hurt and my head dizzy. One of those seriously closely-held, unbelievably strong feelings that feels stupid with any air/light on it, but that's who I am. I have no words for the pleasure that things I like bring me. (Tea strainers? Bizarrely expensive. Goddang, what the heck.)

- Have decided for the mo, after an very educating surge in eBbayyitude, that what I need to it to regroup and get some great silver *books*. Learn more, scratch the itch with pictures, etc. No way to be in auctioning but ruthless, btw. Without end up with 'silver' box of pretty but questionable origin such as the one I look at right now.

3) I was on a three-month sick leave this year for treatment of lymphedema (look it up). I ain't gonna make myself a martyr to laundry when there are so many people worse off than I in this world, but I had to wash a batch of lymphedema bandages today, the way I did every day while I was in treatment and was really reminded of BLEAH! What a hassle it all was.

It turns out this condition, especially now that I am out dealing with this on my own, would be much easier if I were German or Italian. It is only really about maintenance, nothing else. Keeping it in check is about getting massages (that I can't afford) and being in a pool (which I'm still figuring out). In those countries, they are much clearer on how you treat lymphedema (it was invented in Germany) and you can just kind of...go there and get treated. It is so much easier there to have treatment be part of your daily life without having to hugely stiff-arm of the rest of your life and spend too much $ and deal with hassle. I have to make that life for myself here. I have to be an Europaische in Bush-land! With Cobra!

4) Is it possible for your subconscious to earn PhDs? I am working on a couple.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Cat #2 with the white tuxedo front (Hermy) was chewing on a red ball-point pen last night. I was so hypnotized watching her huge polydactyl paws manipulate and hold the pen, all 14 toes or whatever, that I didn't notice right away when she chewed the point of the pen and red ink went everywhere! She looked like a thug in a 70s cop show with an unconvincing squib exploding over their white T-shirt. She was quite hilarious, running around, licking her (red, pink) front. Poor pain in the ass Hermy.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

fatties on Miami Ink

On Miami Ink tonight they are featuring two people I am acquaintanced with from bouncing around the size acceptance community. One is a great woman named Deidra I met at a NAAFA convention involved with Big Moves who gets a tattoo by the ever-fabulous Les Toil, whose work I love and adore; the other is a guy, an FA (fat admirer for all your civilians), who gets a groovy chubby girl pin-up girl tatt on his arm. Nobody's seen how the episode got cut, but size acceptance is supposed to be woven within it in some fashion, thematically. I really hope it's good! I will be squalling loudly if it is to let the show know I liked it.

Looks like the one-hour episode is on at 9 CST on the Learning Channel. There's also another older episode after, but I'm fairly sure the stuff I mentioned is only in the 9 o'clock ep.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sometimes Sweeps Rocks

Turner Classic Movies is doing the greatest thing for November: every night this month there is a guest programmer, which means that the movies really get mixed up from their usual programming, you get to see some great films, and peer enticingly a bit into people's heads about films (Renee Fleming, Neil La Bute, Thelma Schoonmaker, Mark Mothersbaugh). Tonight is three incredibly hard to argue with choices from (yick) D.Trump-man: African Queen, Gone Mit der Wind and Citizen Kane.

All you do is go to their front page and click on their (as ever, super-fabulous graphic) on the first page and see what's on for that night/that person. That's my idea of the right kind of power/fame: being asked to be guest program TCM! Oh, 'twould be so delicious.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Maxxxassholesxxxim magazine has named their "Five Unsexiest Women Alive" list, Sarah Jessica Parker being at the top. I don't even want to repeat some of what they wrote, it's such a hostile mix of mean magazine list-writing gone nuts/male gaze woman-hating/the stuff you hope guys don't say in locker rooms but they do and it's so much worse than you think/casual postmodern misogyny/'hilarious' celeb-bashing and cannibalism of the very young female focused contemporary variety. Everyone in the list--whom I would guess all exist in the same 25-lb weight range--is too skinny or too fat, too horsey, whatever. Amy Winehouse's skin is "openly hemorrhaging," Britney has 23 lbs of "Funyun pudge," Madonna is "Willem Dafoe with hot flashes," Parker is a "Barbaro-faced broad"; "pull down your skirt, Secretariat."

Fuck them. What possible virtue can there be in eviscerating womens' looks like that? From a godly distance like that? There is a snideness, a meanness, a personalized exasperation to the tone of the piece--God, stop shoving these ugly women in our face--that is begging to be whipcracked into place. It takes my breath away.

In some ways, though, this list is no different than their very popular 100 Hottest list. Nobody wants to admit it, because it makes our ogling seem mean and excluding, but it is. This is how that list is built, these are the exclusions that "shouldn't" have slipped through into fame. You could even say that Hottest 100 list is not the 'cream of the cream' these days but the zero sum 100, period (this sounds kinda nuts, but it feels right). Good-looking women are all just variations of these famous people.

In another way? (this sounds bad) I understand the feel of that list. Especially because as a fat woman, I basically don't see anybody like some of the people I really think are beautiful out there in fame-land, and so yes: among the women they tackle are people whom I always have thrust in my face as beautiful whom I would not necessarily call so (although the point is that's true of all the people they talk about). Either way I understand better than most, as someone who doesn't qualify at all, what the rules are about how to fit the (very very narrow) beauty ideal. I could write a meaner list than Maxxxim. People wouldn't think so, they'd think I don't "get" it, but that is not the problem.

In some ways too this about earning fame and having fame these days without a studio system for protection, yet with much increased marketing and guessing at what the public wants. In some ways this is about how images are created through photography, not recorded. In yet another way this is sort of about the clash of women's fashion ideals vs. men's sexual ones. Women like Parker for being such a style icon, yet most women out there chafe under the insane fashion demands and trip in the high-heels from Sex in da City. And on the other hand, the most conventional babe is aging out of the boy shorts from Muxxim shoots as we speak... Ah, real women. Where do we fit in all this.

Which is why this is still really about how MaaxxiM are pigs! Yich.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

For those of you waiting in your nightgowns crosslegged for the universe to bring you more DorisDayiana, the culmination of a big publishing year is arriving soon in the form of But Not for Me (saddest bio title ever!!), a new biography of Doris, a heavily-researched book by D. Kaufman. This month also brought a book from a former assistant and earlier this year was Considering Doris Day, which I GOTSTA read. ALL ATWITTERS. New info? Not?

I really like the new Mary J. Blige song...makes you kinda wonder what she could do with more pop, in a way. Eees good! (Unrelated R&B news: I never knew "Love Under New Management," the Miki Howard song, was about Gerald Levert! Wah. Sad.)

I seem to be triumphing over cold (after about a solid week of misery) with that happy sense of immortality...the kind quickly dashed by the cold-related mess, but still. I survived!