In other news:
Dumplings with Chickpea Gravy: I've been wanting to double back to this recipe ever since I made it in the spring. When the blogger originally posted the recipe, she forgot to include Nutritional Yeast and when she saw that I'd made it was like "Ohhh! I hope it wasn't gross" or something. I'm paraphrasing. Anyway, so this time I made it with Nutritional Yeast in the Gravy ... and honestly, I think I liked it better without. ?? Oh well. It's still good. Hearty. Comfort food.
French Onion Soup: I ad-libbed this one for the most part, which is not to say I've done anything that fantastic. It's just onions, broth, cheese, toast, blah blah blah. But it was fun to just dump according to whim. My version ended up being about equal parts garlic and onion. It was excellent.
Out: A Novel by Natsuo Kirini: Four very different women are friends-by-proximity, working the night shift in a box lunch factory in Japan in Natsuo Kirino’s slow-broil thriller Out.
The ringleader is the all-powerful Masako, with a mysterious past, and a distant husband. Kuniko is weak and garish, drawn to name-brand knock offs, a heavy coat of foundation, and recently abandoned by her common law husband. Her debt is matched only by her bad ideas. Yoshie is in a spin cycle, widowed and charged with changing her aged mother-in-law’s Depends. She has two daughters, both are assholes. And Yayoi is young and beautiful with two small sons and a philandering husband, Kenji, who sucks pretty bad at gambling.
One night, fresh from a beating and the news that he has lost their savings, Yayoi strangles her husband with her belt in the entryway to their home. She solicits Masako’s help.
I liked this one. Full review here.
Whiskey Heart (American Fiction) by Rachel Coyle: In the opening scene of Rachel Coyne’s debut novel, the mysterious narrator Kat is having Ala-tween memories of growing up with an alcoholic father and a mother who was fiercely devoted to him. After bar close, her mother would pack the kids into the Chevy and drive around looking for him, in one case even scooping him off another woman’s front porch while the woman wailed from inside the house.
When she comes out of a car coma that started down south — Kat is back in the rural Minnesota town she fled years ago, having not returned for her father’s funeral or her older cousin Tea’s funeral. The latter being a more serious violation than the former. It’s Kat’s relationship with Tea that is at the crux of the novel.
I thought this book was well-done. Full review here.
Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen by Jason Sheehan: In Jason Sheehan's food memoir "Cooking Dirty: A Story of Life, Sex, Love and Death in the Kitchen," the kitchen grunt turned writer sets out to present an honest look at what happens behind those swinging diner door. If Sheehan was a rock star in his former life -- which started as a dishwasher at a pizza joint, and spanned hotel dining rooms, the Waffle House, Irish Pubs, and all-night eateries between Rochester, New York and Tampa -- he was the sort of ill-behaved rock star who urinated on the plants in the lobby and stubbed cigarettes on the bony ass of a barely legal groupie.
This one was good, too. Although for some reason it took me like a month to read. Full review will be here.
The Uninvited: One of those fresh-faced girls with cute hair returns from a stint at a local mental institute after a big fire, the death of her sick mother and a never-explained wrist-slitting incident. In her absence, her mother's former nurse, a pretty breasted do-gooder has moved into her father's bedroom. The girl and her sister are suspicious of the nurse's motives, and coupled with some weird messages from the dead, they set out to figure out who this woman is. Turns out, she's a killer!
I enjoyed this one 100 percent. It was just hokey enough.
Sometimes I wonder if various Widower Support Groups have ever considered fighting back against their portrayal in horror films as clueless men who are easily seduced.
Carrie (Special Edition): Believe it or not, I had never seen this movie. Here are some thoughts:
1. This could be a 20 minute film and lose none of the context if they sped up a bunch of the slo-mo shots.
2. Full frontal nudity in 1976 sure was a different kind of full frontal nudity than exists today.
Aside from that: enjoyable, of course.
Turning Down Water For Air (Remixed)James Yuill: One of the best things to happen to modern music is that every band I like sounds like vintage Depeche Mode. Like pre-Black Celebration Depeche Mode. It's a good time to have ears.
I heard this guy on this week's episode of "One Tree Hill." He's an English folklectric singer. If that isn't about the best genre, I don't know what is.
If you like "Just Can't Get Enough" or "All I want to do Is See You Again," this guy is doing it.
[While watching the movie "Carrie"]
Chuck: Your title of your weakly review is going to be "Carrie is so very" isn't it.
Chuck: That's the only reason you even wanted to watch this, isn't it.