I'm pretty worthless as a cleaner. But when I tackle a big project, I have to take everything, put it in a central location, scrub the shit out of surfaces, and then start throwing things away with the reckless abandon of a person who thinks there is room in landfills for everything.
Three days later, you could totally eat in our kitchen. In other news, the floor cleaner I used smelled like the kind of deodorant a nervous boy would wear on your first date.
I also started running again, drank my weight in Coors Light, went to a used book store, ate a lot of things out of carts, watched a fraction of Superman at Movies in the Park, and decided that in the upcoming weeks I will watch Woody Allen's complete works.
On Friday night, Chuck and I stopped at an ATM in a sort of remote spot. When we came up the escalator, a teen-aged kid was propped in a corner. He asked us for a cigarette, and Chuck shrugged as if to say "Don't got none."
We kept our eyes on him as I took out money. He eventually stood up, walked around a corner, and disappeared. A few seconds later, two other dudes his age came around the corner. This seemed exactly the way a robbing would play out. One of those "But I can only take out 300 dollars a day!" tales that ends badly. We beat a hasty retreat.
In other news:
Tomato and Cheese Pie: This is a quiche-like mix of ricotta cheese, tomatoes, and basil and it's just as good as you would expect something called "cheese pie" to be. I didn't make mine pie-shaped. It was super good, easy, and a good leftover.
The Angel's Game This is the kind of book where you can hear men’s shoes scuffing across a wood floor in an empty mansion filled with candles and secret passageways. Where some people take long lunches filled with wine and cheese, and when they settle in with a good book, the spine creaks.
Full review here.
Success by Martin Amis: In one corner, we have Terry, a tragic character who is convinced that the universe has conspired to make sure no woman will ever sleep with him. His teeth are bad, he's shedding hair, and he is in constant fear of losing his job in sales. In the other corner is his foster brother Gregory, beautiful and bisexual, a gallery worker who flounces around London living the high life and wearing a cape.
"Success," Martin Amis' third novel, follows a year of their lives as roommates in a flat better suited for one.
Full review will be here.
RENTING MOVIES FROM ITUNES SO I DONT HAVE TO LEAVE THE HOUSE
Notorious 2008: This Biggie Smalls biopic required one hand on the Wikipanion, so Chuck could dole out information we'd have known if we were paying attention in the late 1990s. Things like "That's Lil Kim." Or "Oh, you're right. Tupac was West Coast." Damn this movie was good. I was finally able to weep for Big Poppa. I'd love to see this from the perspective of Tupac sympathizers, though.
Rachel Getting Married 2008: This movie has a very strange effect: While watching it, I was bored for long stretches. The entire thing is shot in long, seemingly unedited scenes. The grooms dinner speeches go on and on and on, and because Rachel is marrying a musician, there is basically a variety show as part of the celebration. Meanwhile, it's about Kym, on leave from 9 months in rehab for her sister's wedding. Throughout the weekend, Rachel and Kym square off: The former wanting her wedding weekend to be about her, the latter like "hello, I'm going through the steps right now, so as my maid of honor toast, I'll apologize publicly to my sistah." The best part is when Debra Winger and Anne Hathaway exchange blows.
It's much better in retrospect.
WHEN TIVO RECORDS A HANDFUL OF WOODY ALLEN FILMS
Interiors1978: This film is the quintessential drama. Three sisters -- a successful writer, a middling actress and a malcontent -- under the umbrella of their mother, a severe updo'd beige afficianado, who becomes unhinged during a "trial separation" from her husband. Stark sets, long monologues, and it seems like an easy adaptation for a stage. Mary Beth Hurt looks exactly like a grown-up Beezus Quimby, and delivers the ultimate line "She's a vulgarian!" about the no-pretenses colorful character her father marries. I loved it.