Monday, August 31, 2009

In the middle of interrupting someone (and not for the first time) this weekend, I interrupted myself to note that I should go to Interrupters Anonymous. Which would be a great Boscht Belt routine, yes?
"My name is Liz and I'm--"
"HIIII LIIIIII--"
(etc.)
I really must stop doing this, although I am sure that only Dr. Marvin Monroe-style treatment would cure me, and maybe not even then. I do apologize.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Favorite, awfullest movie drunk scene...so brill

Monday, August 24, 2009

Today's best--and incomplete--dumb-ass Yahoo headline: "The Appendix: Useful and in Fact Promising." ERRRRR.....errrr? Promising...promisingly appendixxy? Wot? I also really want to push a comma in there somewhere. The actual thrust of the article is pretty interesting, although the best part would be the sidebar: "Top 10 Vestigial Organs." Now that is good journalizm.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scrabble terms, or if they're not they should be

vowelrrhea - way too many vowels among your tiles; a rack like AOIAAU or IIEOEEA

consonated - way too many consonants among your tiles; helpful collections such as NZNLDFB or CLRDGGP

cockblocking - when your opponent uses a spot you had your eye on, especially when they utilize a 3W or put down something eh when you had a bingo or high-scoring play

a groundhogday - getting the same tiles over and over, making it seem like the universe is trying to point out an amazing move you're just not seeing

bingophasia - missing a bingo that's right in front of you

bingogimme - all seven tiles arriving perfectly arranged in word form

anorbingosmia - having a bingo and nowhere to play it; also, not being willing to give up on it (stage one of K├╝bler-Ross model)

bonanza - another word for bingo

hollow bunny - long elegant words with no point value

depth charge - tiny words of great point value (XI, AX, ZA)

tile blindness - stubbornly, exhaustedly trying to make words like ELORGIN or XANARU work

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

unbelievable

Among the possible calm, reasoned responses to PETA's idiotic new billboard (what the fuck is your problem / are you really that fucking stupid / etc.) the one thing I keep coming back to is: do they really think there are no fat vegetarians? Do they really think this? Do they really think their support base is just thin people? And if so...why exactly do they think this?

Why do you think this, PETA? Are you (lazily) linking a moral imperative with body size? Judging by all their previous campaigns + this one the answer is obviously yes, but I wonder if anybody there (or people like Anthony Bourdain, who hates PETA but sounds surprisingly similar to them at times) thinks about what that means, at base. Not just in its fundamentally fascist implications, but for marketing and organizational functionality in general. Does this mean they miss chances to gather support from fat people in various ways? And if they just don't want fat supporters: are they happy to take fat people's money? Really?

It's the stupidity and narrowness of the assumption veg = thin that really amazes me. And the at-all-costs imperative of their sloganeering and its breathtaking implications that piss me off and scare me, frankly.

Bottom line: it's only people's dislike of their own bodies, of themselves, that allows campaigns like this to get to the point where somebody is handing somebody money for a billboard, much less get out of some pissy crack-fueled brainstorming session or however PETA came up with it. If they really know and/or don't care that a decent percentage of their supporters are fat, then this billboard is among all its other problems a tacit admission that they approve of the body hatred. And are happy to profit from it.

There are a lot of fat vegetarians. Just noting. Not I, but if I were one, I'm fairly sure this billboard would make me go eat a steak.

p.s. Billboard girl has a really cute suit!
Mangosteen juice: is it supposed to taste like suntan lotion?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Things I Don't Know How to Do
Vol. XXXIX
On the perils of songwriting

Sometimes the process of refining a tune in your head is indistinguishable from taking a melody that comes to you and gradually turning it from one you created into one that already exists. Which is kind of depressing. Tweaking and repeating a tune until it becomes "Bringing in the Sheaves" or "Lola." Or whatever. The process is also complicated by the fact that a good song often sounds like you might have heard it before just because it's good; also, most every song has actually been written already; also, there's nothing new under the sun; also, the human brain is thirsty and traitorous and brings up things from the back that seem new but are just in dusty storage. It's still fun, though: songwriting.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
(Ephesians 5:15, KJV)
What an unwieldy bit of thought that is! Most interesting.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I am just going to say it: whoever was spinning records at the McDonald's on Wabash in the Loop today was doing a great job. Dang.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Rattle Bag

• My taste in sushi is childlike, so bear with me, but: excitement! My local Japanese "fusion" joint (sort of pan-Asian, with a big dose of Cocktailian and thumping techno) makes my favorite sushi, kappa maki, in a way that turns out to improve on it tremendously. Which makes sense, as it is very simple, so differences loom large. I love plain cucumber maki, but have always found it a little unwieldy, with the nori/wrapping tension on the outside helping the insides to shift precipitously and hurry the eating--not experience the cucumber--the way I want to. This place makes kappa maki with the rice on the outside--sort of like this photo. I don't know if it's kosher or not (uramaki [?] style I mean, for just cucumber), but I've never seen vegetable maki made like this. The cucumber is cut very small, and the sushi pieces themselves are not too thick, so the whole thing has better physics: it falls apart more sensibly in your mouth, and the sesame seeds on the outside are the perfect touch. And the cucumber/rice ratio is better this way too. A small thing, but delicious. I had two orders of it with some chicken gyoza yesterday for lunch, and it made me hum.

• Air & Water Show is on this weekend. How weird (as ever) to live with the sound of jets and booming technology overhead and be so blase.

• I'm sure it's been remarked upon before, but it's interesting to watch Doris Day's first film and the snappy, Ginger Rogers-y character she plays--so different from all the various later Doris incarnations--especially as she sings "Put Em in a Box," which I think she debuted in this film, and directly references a song that would be the title of a later film of hers. It has a funny feel, to almost see her commenting on future Doris:

You know what to do
With good old "Tea for Two"
And the girl for you, the boy for me
Put 'em in a box
Tie it with a ribbon
Throw 'em in the deep blue sea
'Cause love and I we don't agree

Martha Stewart Living seems to have discovered the Midwest (from a design POV). Tis interesting to watch.

• Success: Makeshift pasta sauce using a knob (MFK) of Irish butter, a small amount of white cheddar, pepper, and a decent spoonful of Dijon mustard to help the non-emulsifying dairy emulsify. I heated the mixture in the bowl (mostly over the boiling pasta water itself), stirring often, then added a fair amount of whole wheat spaghetti. YUM. It had a sort of carbonara-like feel. I really like pasta dishes that aren't heavily sauced and let you taste the pasta--this was about the perfect ratio and a good match for the whole grain.

• Fav King of the Hill character these days: Ted Wasonasong. He makes me so happy.

• The word "literally" is being misused to the point of no recognition (exaggeration inflation management!), but abused in an even worse way is "iconic." OH MY GOD! It's used constantly, in every possible medium, relevant or not. ICONIC ICONIC ICONIC. This has a wild effect on the word itself, as it seems to be employed to mean "important"/"pay attention to this"/"whitecaps in a media tsunami"/whatever, and any literal (hah) or relational meaning it might have is diffused. It's just...feeb. All this over-codifying. I can't explain this right, but oooongh! (is the point)

• I am more or less a whole-hearted believer in integrative medicine, but some part of me can't help noting that the main functional difference between it and conventional medicine might just be lighting. Either the absence of serious flourescent lighting or a delay until it appears in the examination process.

• Unbelievably delicious: Stephanie Blythe's version of the cards scene from Carmen. My current goofy high-repetition yootoob opera-snippet. Her control and smoothness in the "en vain pour eviter les reponses ameres"...cor! Heartbreaking.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I love this song. And am endlessly tweaked by the daring, bizarre meter in tee-vee-AN-tenna-IN-the-back.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ativan-dialing: dumber and slower than drunk-dialing.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

We at the Cahiers pride on ourselves on cutting-edge criticism, so you know--hang tight.

The other night I engaged in the cinematic equivalent of cutting and watched Flashdance. Beginning to end, commercials and TV edits. I do stuff like that sometimes. I like to experience the bad. Get on in it.

There is special oomph in the bad film that has too much self-importance to be quite camp, even more oomph if it's a film that was crucial in one's own [artistic, sartorial, cinematic, consumerist] development. I can remember, even now, how it felt to see that film for the first time. Oh, the clothes.

Flashdance is horrid. It seems only more horrid now, but not delicious horrid. There's no real bemused affection to be had for it, or even for the people suffering through being in it. Well, okay, a little, but still--it's so aggressively bad. And superficial/visual. Almost venal. It's like a clinic in the Male Gaze. Plus the story has the bizarro Esterhaagendazs feel in which a woman thrashes pointlessly around a motiveless plot (not unlike Elizabeth Berkley in her shark week showgirls sex scene) seemingly for the purpose of boobs bouncing and hair flouncing and...what is this shit about again.

It's not just the director's fault: Jennifer Beals is completely awful. Her performance doesn't have enough collective juice to fuel a 30-second hypercut commercial montage, except that's really what it seems like she's shooting for (which would also be the director). It is just downright hard to watch. And it makes the scenes that aren't really her (body doubles, female and male) look even more stupid. WIGS MAKE EVERYTHING REAL.

Julia Phillips wrote about this movie that "here [the filmmakers] were, starting the decade by tripping over their shoelaces and each other for credit on something from which she might have considered having her name removed." Which brings up a crucial point: this movie is so 80s. A comment that an editor would not (should not) let me get away with, but really. It's SO 80s, in the sense that it seems to figure that with enough grey-sky cinematography and soundtrack it was all so deep we'd feel it forever.

Monday, August 03, 2009

quarante-trois

Randomly:

1. Keeping me up last night in the middle of major Restless Liz Syndrome (terrible insomnia this week): the origin of the quote, "The world is made for people who aren't cursed with self-awareness." (Bull Durham--duh.)

2. More wisdom from French-speaking people: "There are some aspects of our lives that we should just live it up to the universe."

3. I need to get Dita von Teese alone in a women's bathroom for five minutes and find out what she does to make her lipstick so perfect/long-lasting.

4. Onward and upward.