Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Look (closely at) what I got!!! I'd like to thank the United States Government! And Jennifer M! Thank you!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I need laundry aversion aversion therapy.

Oh, by the way

I completely didn't feel the earthquake the other night. Not a quiver. It's entirely possible I was awake, even, when it happened, but I don't think I felt a thing. Granted, this building is shaking constantly from construction, but still. Alarming.

Because everything's a song lyric, ever since I keep hearing in my head when I read about it (such a fuckin great song):

(Boom!) Did you feel the bed break?
(Boom!) Did you feel the floor shake?
(Boom!) Did you feel the earth quake?
(Boom!) Now, quick, do you wanna take a break?
Innnnunnngh. Late-night informercials (when not Time-Life) are obsessed with the eliminative systems and completely...phobia-inducing. With no real data. Enough to make ya downright Howard Hughesian. Are we all really riddled with tape worms?

It's official: I think I really like idiotic lil fluffy dogs the best, the kind with ridiculous short legs. The newest? Miniature Spitzen. Oh so cute.

Long navel-gazing today revealed new connections between bikinis, karaoke and the social inheritence in WASP acculturation. The deracination continues.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

see more cute dogs and puppies

I am such a sucker for this photo...maybe it's just the amazing Photoshop work! or his little doggie tum and the way it's tilted or the ridiculous lil feets that don't even reach the ottoman. deadly. Great site too. All's right with the world (thank you, D).

Friday, April 18, 2008

Other Bizarre and Naughty Lyrics I'd Never Noticed Until Recently; One Today, One Earlier This Year

He can't satisfy you with his little worm,
But I can bust you out with my super sperm!
("Rapper's Delight")

Though a lady may be dripping with glamour,
as often as not she'll stumble and stammer when suddenly confronted with romance.
And she's likely to fall on her face
when she's finally face-to-face with a pair of pants.
("I'm Shy," Once Upon a Mattress)

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The last official bit of open space near my apartment has now been cordoned off preparatory to building a structure that will block all my light and air flow and bird traffic to the lake. And 90% of my view. Between all the construction around my building, the confiscation of the park, the one bit of open land, across from my old job for a smashed-in sliver building, the Spire, the condos built right up to the sidewalk cattywumpus to my building...I feel a little like a bald eagle and it's 1970. I may have to fly. Amazing people aren't buying air rights over the river and building condos there. This is that kinda awful weird urban claustrophobic sadness and impotence that makes people...weird. And partisan. And in the end none of it matters.

Whom is getting this money? Whom? Builders are in a race with the devil. Whom is getting it?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

da pope

Anybody else have their day soundtracked--really inappropriately--in their head by Prince? Some amazing lyrics in "Pope," if really kinda nasty, PARDON, SORRY, YOU WERE WARNED. Quite nasty. Not the first time they've appeared in this blog either. Am always quotin 'em one way or another.

I love the taste of unpredictable licks

A loop is a loop is a loop, uh!
A loop is a loop is a loop, uh! (Fuck that)
A loop is a loop is a loop is a loop is a loop is a loop is a loop

Your car got mags that be dippy dippy dope
But the whole damn nation got the same
Honey only flock 2 the bee - that’s the Pope
Not the President with government lame

Put me on a slow movin’ parliamentary hackin’ bandwagon
U will put me little ass in the grave
Every time U want it, I’ll be live - bring a date
I mean computer - when it’s over, press save

So U can be the President (Kick it)
I’d rather be the Pope (I rather be, so help me)
U can be the side effect (Baby)
I’d rather be the dope (U, U, U)
The Pope

U can be the President (Fuck that)
Rather be the Pope
Baby, so help me please...

grab bag

I am about to make chili con back-of-the-freezer-carne surprise. I took out all my frozen blocks of (pardon me) cow, except for a flank steak--wodges of organic ground beef, a steak or two, some chuck, I think--and am thawing it. Will heave it all into the pot with Carroll Shelby's chili spices and additional cumin/oregano and some chicken stock. Things can stay in the freezer too long. Let's get them out and participating in life.

Check out this restaurant that just opened in Nuremberg (website in German; in English). All my automat/Rube Goldberg/Chitty-Chitty dreams come true: everything automated. (What a horrid name, though, eh. 's Baggers. Ick.) "We have reinvented the Restaurant…and overtaken the restaurants of the first and second dimension (i.e. service and self-service restaurants). All good things come from above: freshly prepared, delicious meals and drinks ordered per touch screen are transported on metallic tracks directly to your table..."

What should the penalty be for broad-scale "Nessun dorma" abuse? I'm getting REALLY TIRED of being challenged as a snob because I can't get with Michael Bolton's constitutional right to mangle this aria. Classic rock fans griping about Puffy's use of "Kashmir" or Sheryl Crow singing "Sweet Child o Mine" in just the same way get more pop, since it's seen as an okay kinda snobbery. I know it's just life, a pretty song has a life of its own, but what can I say, I long for this aria done well and love it in context, where the person who made it put it. I have the same problem with "Send in the Clowns." I am settin myself up for a lifetime of heartache I know. But blech.

These are the BEST cookies. Back to Nature, swirls of choccy and mint cream twixt the cookies. Highly recommended.

An undifferentiated rant to the officious Miss Doggetts of the world: No one asked you to be Julie (or Cap'n Stubing or even Isaac). There is no need for a cruise director. This boat is way bigger than you know and you are trying to cruise direct, take photos and be in the photos, all at the same time. None of these are your job. Actually, you are a character in a mystery novel--an Agatha Christie on a boat--gunning for the starring role. Your largesse is not altruism; it's that you--not only want to be in the center of things--you want information. And that will get you in trouble. If you really want to be Lauren Tewes, put on some individuals, grow a Hamill mushroom, and work on a bad coke habit. Ahhh...I love sounding insane in all sorts of ranty/vague ways.

My membership as part of the female bourgeoisie is official: I reallllly want a Dyson Ball. ZOOOOOOOOM. Zoom.

Food Network rebroadcasting a lot of "Chefography" last week. Most notable? The cleaning-up of the R. Ray documentary. No relationship with older local newsanchor and no RR-haters (that I saw). Those programs are alarmingly press release-y in any ol case, but still. That station. For a station that is wholesale committed to the real, the tactile--FOOD, for christ's sake--it's really cagey about absolutely everything. It's very not real.

This is a photo of Doris Day wearing glasses!! Never ever seen one. Pretty cool, eh? (promo pic)

I watched Flushed Away the other day...quite liked it (I am pretty much an Aardman mark). 1) The use of Impact (? close--similar), plain white Impact, as credit sequence lettering, was really effective against the intense color palate of the animation--very pretty; 2) My fav, the hilariously French Le Frog: "Henchmen! We have a mission. Let nothing stand in our way. We leave immediately!" "But what about dinner?" "We leave...in five hours!"

That mean boot-sargeant guy on the Shaming Fat Celebrities Into a Temporarily Smaller Shape program--whatever it is called--might be going to hell, I think. I just can't support his right to harrass people like that, as though he's the hammer of God with right on his side.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Note: Nothing, nay, nothing, retains heat like cooked grits in a Pyrex dish. Downright volcanic. NASA ought to use em for insulation or something. Not only that, nothing coats to the dish and spoon like grits. They are tenacious, cling like glue. Turn into mortar as soon as they lose heat and don't want to unstick. Kind of makes you wonder why we send them through our systems in the first place...

But they're so yummy! I am eating some for lunch right now with a hunk of havarti I found in the freezer and lots of pepper folded in. Delish, cheap, will prolly fry up the leftovers for dinner.

Yes, btw, I am aware that many more things are going on in the world but grits and kitty-cats. I'm currently sitting on essay #709 about housekeeping and modern life, for instance (marginally more noteworthy), but I shan't let it out yet. I will say this, though. To acquire is human, to get rid of things...divine.
I confess that I sometimes don't have a clue why I have cats. They shed everywhere, they yak, cat #2 has horrid breath, they colonize every cardboard box that enters my home before shredding it into 1,000 messy bits, they have an unerring instinct for being where it's least convenient, they block my reading light, cat #1 drags her ass on the carpet, they molest my meals when they involve ham or bacon, they claw and destroy my furniture, they sit on me when I need to get up, they choose to express themselves occasionally by where they poop, they gouge every surface with their claws, esp. plaster/wood/laminate, they knock shit over, cat #2 tips over every glass of water I ever put out and knocks over the entire biography section of my bookshelves once a week, they beg for attention when I'm on the phone, they complicate housekeeping tremendously, I doubt living with them is good for my respiratory health and mostest of all I am was and always will be their litter bitch.

But they're so cute!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Rap that still makes me giddy. Monie Love's so amazin'. Excuse me but I think I'm about due / To get into precisely what I am about to do

If I never hear dopey ol Tyler Florence say ultimate ("OOOULt!-imate") one more time it'll be too soon. Food Network is WAYYYYyyy over their limit for that word usage. And in context...it's annoying. Kinda WWE. Meaningless. No matter what you say, your version of fried chicken, Tyler, is just another version. And I can't even watch the FN new bake-off "Ultimate" show with the amateurs...it's so micro-produced that nobody even cooks. Really doesn't work from a production standpoint. Blech. Sara Moulton on PBS I saw this weekend...good fer her.

Thank you, D. From punditkitchen.com.

Minor Bette note: How did I never notice...the print on her dress in the scene in Now, Voyager, with her mother when she, erm, does the old biddie in: I'm pretty sure it's a Morris print (blackthorn, I think). It's so unusual for Hollywood to not make wardrobe out of whole cloth (as it were) that I wasn't noticing it, but I'm pretty sure that's a Morris print, Liberty silk or something. Would make sense for a brahmin.

More evidence I am not running this show: Cat #1 generally doesn't care too much about human food, but due to some gateway drug nibbles of Easter ham last month, she's now becoming a pill. Does that cat-stalking thing where she walks up you like you're a mountain and the piece of bacon is the holy grail, intermediary squeals of pain from the mountain notwithstanding.

Reviews fom the bin of Changing Social Mores:
Goodbye, Again, based on the Francois Sagan novel. 1961 and this is what Yves Montand says to Ingrid Bergman about her young lover (loopy Anthony Perkins), when she challenges him about his Gallic dalliances with young girls that she is supposed to allow him in their relationship: "At least those are normal!!"

Bergman is supposed to be 40 in the story (she's actually 45 but looks younger than both of those) and Perkins 24 (he was 5 years older too). Always interesting to watch society agonize about something we don't care so much about anymore. Looks fey. The interesting -- and French -- thing about this movie: its ending and how in the end both men represent compromise. Montand does not change; at the end we see her disappointed all over again with him.

More reviews from the bin of a bit odd by today's standards: Doris Day and Richard Widmark (!!) in the kinda weird Tunnel of Love (1958). It's all about contemporary ideas such as adoption and pregnancy, with a weird Peter de Vries satirical angle, making fun of the suburbs, but in an unchecked way that feels maybe uncomfortable these days (adultery being hilarious..ish). Doris and Widmark: strangely good together! Too seriously stereotyped actors, making everybody nervous...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The latest in gastronomic literature, etc.

Isn't it just the dernier cri? Hahahah....psych. I did buy it recently, though. Whee! The bummer is that it's a real cookbook under the surface -- a different author actually wrote most of the recipies. I was sort of hoping it'd be chock-full of horrible smoothies with saccharine and skim milk dessert fake-outs and rye crispbread treats and vaguely carcinogenic food subsitutes of all kind. It's actually, bizarrely enough, not the world's worst cookbook. Has good advice about feeding one person, which I think is tricky and often ignored. Eggs and cheeses, etc. And nutritionally it focuses a lot on protein, which is kinda cool. It's swung around through all the 9,000 intermediate food fads to be halfway...helpful. Instead of finding this book completely ridiculous (it still is, somewhat), I found myself surprisingly touched thinkin about this generation of women tryin to make chic little meals on tiny apt. stoves...dunno how different it is from my life in 2008. Still trying to figure out how to feed myself without dying of boredom or effort/not go broke/keep ahead of the spoilage rate in the fridge/occasionally have others over without killing myself...

What it still also has, thankfully, are hilarious chapter dividers, illustrations, and lots of breathless commentary from the great Helen Hurling B. Lots of psychotic division between what you feed Him and what you yourself (the single gal) eat. Basics for the new girl cook, What to eat in bed, He's mad for sports, Foreign food is fun, Food for the affair, phases I - V... Foods to binge on during heartbreak, dips to make for when he brings his friends to watch the big game, Helen's personal breakfast smoothie recipe, which uses Gladys Lindberg's powdered yeast-liver mix...

If Thursday was for Doris, today is for Bette. Great lineup on TCM -- today -- now! (The Bride Came C.O.D., The Letter, Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Now, Voyager, All About Eve, Jezebel, Dark Victory, Dangerous, Pocketful of Miracles.). Her 100th birthday was last week; there was a great article in the Times by Terrence Rafferty about her that I thought caught a lot of what is so amazing about La Bette.

BTW I am really not feeling Rose McGowan on The Essentials. Was Molly Haskell too knowledgeable or something?

Strangest yootoob find in recent months. A high school marching band playing Leonard Bernstein's Mass. And yet...it makes some musical sense. Drums, horns.

I've been gilmoregirling again (reruns) and I have to say this. The two things they never got right: 1) Emily would never have attended Yale as they seem to imply; in fact, she couldn't have been able to, if she's anywhere near the age she's supposed to be. She would have gone to a Seven Sisters school, probably Vassar, since she was dating a Yale guy. 2) We would know Emily's maiden name.

Enemy mine: radicchio. I'm giving up on it. I hate it. I love lots of bitter, sour, tart, mustardy, pepper things, I just don't like radicchio. It's mean.

Husker du? I learned this song as a kid and sing it all the time, but since I learned it then I have all sorts of expected gaps in lyrics and oft-repeated mistakes that sound right to me now. Never occurred to me to look it up until recently (duh). This is such a great tune. How can you not love "little solar plexus meow meow meow"? Shan't swamp you with all the lyrics, but yay!

O Senor Don Gato was a cat.
(we always sang 'Senor Don Gato was a mighty cat,' I think)

On a high red roof Don Gato sat.
He was there to read a letter,
- (meow, meow, meow)
where the reading light was better,
- (meow, meow, meow)
'Twas a love-note for Don Gato!

"I adore you," wrote the ladycat,
who was fluffy white, and nice and fat.
There was not a sweeter kitty,
- (meow, meow, meow)
in the country or the city
- (meow, meow, meow)
and she said she'd wed Don Gato!

O Senor Don Gato jumped with glee!
He fell off the roof and broke his knee,
broke his ribs and all his whiskers,
- (meow, meow, meow)
and his little solar plexus
- (meow, meow, meow)
"Ay Caramba!!" cried Don Gato...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Doris Day Day

I hope everybody is ready for this national holiday!

On TCM today (CST):

• 9:00am -- It's A Great Feeling (1949)
When nobody at Warner Bros. will work with him, movie star Jack Carson decides to turn an unknown into his co-star.
Jack Carson, Doris Day, Dennis Morgan.

• 10:30am -- Lover Come Back (1961)
An ad exec in disguise courts his pretty female competitor.
Doris Day, Rock Hudson, Tony Randall.

• 12:30pm -- The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
International spies kidnap a doctor's son when he stumbles on their assassination plot.
James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda De Banzie.

• 2:45pm -- Teacher's Pet (1958)
A tough city editor assumes a fake identity to study journalism with a lady professor who's criticized his work.
Clark Gable, Doris Day, Gig Young.

• 5:00pm -- Young At Heart (1954)
A cynical songwriter upsets the lives of three musical sisters.
Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, Gig Young.