* Newflash: That's twice, now, in the space of a week, that I've actively disagreed with/been annoyed by the New Yorker. First, their idiotic Limning the Fissures epitaph, and now with their re-look at How to Cook a Wolf, which I had already written about last month in this blog entry in the same reviewing spirit (new austerity regime). I made a particular point to complain about Fisher's commentary....they choose to call it "delicious." Seriously...delicious?
* I made up for whatever lack of testosterone I displayed yesterday notwatchingsooperbowl by watching some of the Sopranos marathon on A&E. But mostly I was...cooking! Two solid weeks of squinting at the news since the last time I bought groceries has me on a newly ferocious Hints from Heloise tear about stretching every little bit out of every little bit. Great plans (even with a wonky stove) for flank steak and pasta e fagioli and anything else involving a can of beans. Last night's success? Sloppy joes. They turned out really well: faked out a standard sauce w/ brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, tomato, garlic, onion, etc...served it on buns with white cheddar. And strawberries for dessert, which for some reason (Feb?) were incredibly good. Actually, now that I think of it I don't know that anything could have been more sooperbowly unless I had actually made the sloppy joes with little pimento decorations and football flags on 'em or something. V. yummy, tho.
* A very interesting cinematic double-feature this weekend, between the two of which I am tempted to draw connections just because...you can. You could. One might. I don't think I'd seen Pink Flamingos since college. Er, House Bunny...I hadn't seen yet, but had wanted to, partly due to a semi-embarrassin' but deep commitment to the G*rls Next Door. Also just cause I wanted to. They were interesting stuck next to each other, no way around it. Mostly because they fit okay. Both of them are just thrown at you. Waters flings his movie at you (comme poo!), daring you to have a reaction. HB is flung in a big pile of cliches and set pieces and scenes and premises. If I had to guess ahead of time what they had in common, I probably would have been right; i.e., HB is an inheritor of--borrows--weirdness (PF) for frosting, for gloss (but is a flipped version of PF culturally). For sexy contrast. For an easy goose. I can't handle Pink Flamingos, by the way. That doesn't mean I don't like John Waters or even that movie itself, but it tries to shock and it does. It's totally disgusting. That's just fine all the way around, though. He's trying to shock, yes? I always figured he was just laughing and laughing at the people trying to be so cool nothing in the movie shocks them even as they were totally nauseous. Divine was such a star, that was really the best part. One of the best voices, ever.
* I don't think I have a better consumer-based relationship than the one I have with my cell phone provider. Why must everything else be so fraught? It's strange in a way, because I don't use my phone that often, although I guess that's part of it. But I wish everything was like this. I pay $100, get 1,000 minutes for the year. No bills, no monthly gouging, no rates based on usage. No junk mail, no solicitations, no pushes for upgrading. I just use the minutes as I go. I can use just a couple one month, and a lot the next and it doesn't matter. Minutes roll over after a year. I can use them anywhere in US. I'm not actually sure the phone co. even has my address--I did everything at the store when I signed up. All this leaving me alone is making me as fiercely loyal a customer as any advertising mascot ever did.
* I indulged in a little satisfyin fussy housekeeping recently and outfitted my sewing kit! I bought this old-fashioned sewing chest second-hand, put in my little collection of dog-eared and random supplies and decided it was finally time to buy things I needed like...a thimble. A seam ripper. I also got sturdy elastic thread (black and white), a magnetic pin cushion, some decent-sized safety pins, a piece of tailor's chalk, a new measuring tape that's actually big enough for my hips, a few other things like that. What they call "notions." Incredibly satisfying, cheap, and will hopefully help me with keeping clothes mended, mending being one of my actual housekeeping likes. I like the quiet, sitting-in-armchair feeling of getting something fixed. Plus, you know...I'm fuckin broke. Gotta fix stuff. Isn't the chest cute?
* I have now made my fifth? sixth? try at Anthony Powell's Dance to the Music of Time. I just can't get it started. Ever. Am I going to be one of those people who never reads it? It doesn't help that I have very glum editions that I'm trying to engage in. The covers (they are cheap paperbacks) are so bad I actually tore them off, a long time ago. They had daisies and bad drippy font choices--they looked like a 70s tampon ad or Judy Blume's Forever. Couldn't have been more off. So I'm left with these sad little fallin-apart paperbacks that I take out every few years and hope will be my gateway drug into all however-many volumes of the series, but it just never hooks me in. I've had them since college, when my dad gave them to me. I have to be honest...I find the books sort of impenetrably wordy, especially for ones that should be pullin me in for yards and years of narrative goss. Maybe when I'm older (wait, I already am). Hm.
* For those of y'all waitin for a resolution of the great Vanilla Issue, check out the latest Cooks Illus.