Monday, January 3, 2011

Surprise yourself ...

We had a straight-edge New Year's Eve for the first time, at least for me, since I was about 17. We both wore the closest thing to pajamas possible and went to "Black Swan." Back home for meat and cheese and math: We could potentially consume upward of 2,400 calories of crap and still not touch the multiple beers/post-drinking Taco John's super sponge tallies of previous years. Plus, then we could be super self righteous the next day while the rest of the internet dragged dead limbs and moaned about kick drum brains. (I still slept until 2 p.m. on Saturday, but it was recreational not medicinal). We went drunk hunting, a walk to the West Duluth Entertainment District, but turned back before we got to the action when it felt like the wind was making Swiss cheese of any exposed skin.

Happy New Year, y'all. I got big plans for the 11s. I'm not big on inspirational posters of shiny stadiums and sweaty runners or scenic vistas. But I really like this concise bit by Neil Gaiman from last year. It's the "surprise yourself" that keeps running through my head.



So. What I did this past week.

FOOD
Hoppin' John with Collard Greens: What a nightmare. Making this was ridic with disasters ranging from a lack of clean cooking utensils to inadequate counter space to forgetting to make the rice and having to dash some into the microwave at the last second -- a kitchen appliance I don't really dig using. Then, of course, I burned the rice into something that looked more like a rice cake. The fake meat didn't firm up, so it was like flacid bacon in Play-Doh colors.

We salvaged it, though. Chuck dug out all the meat, and gave it extra time in the pan. I threw away the rice cake and decided we'd go without. And it ended up being some pretty good food.
The photograph, however, sucked worse than even my low standards for food photography.

MOVIES
Exit Through the Gift Shop: This is the best film I've seen in too long for me to remember. It was like the TV shot out a spray of brain glue and I couldn't take my eyes off the documentary about a would-be filmmaker who chronicled the hits of street artists in LA before eventually developing a logo and some glue and making his own mark and then eventually with this BFD of an art show that rivaled superman graffiti artist Banksy's art show. But his art is derivative. But people are digging it. Which means maybe this isn't a documentary, it's a mockumentary. But it's Banksy, right, so who knows. Awesome. 

Breakfast at Tiffany's: I think it's hard to focus on the Holly Golightly of the film when it is so easy to see the insufferable Holly Golightly of age 40.

Black Swan: I love the culture of ballet. The legwarmers, the music, the hair, the music and the way dancers exist in this box, hyper aware that their bodies aren't just soul vessels, but their bodies are the art, and so they deflect the external. Cakes, for instance. It's beautiful, it's gritty, it's painful and gross and fascinating. This movie is a great mix of all of those elements. Plus, Winona Ryder unintentionally provides some great comedy.

I Am Love: Let me preface this by saying this is a good movie. A wealthy Italian family with a textiles business. Grandpa announces he's passing the company on to his son and grandson at his birthday party. Poor, restless Tilda Swinton, meanwhile, falls for a super clever chef friend of her son. Antonio seduces the shit out of her with food. In one scene, she's at his restaurant with her mother-in-law and daughter-in-law and is served a dish of vegetables and prawns and her dinner guests fade into the background. Tilda is spotlighted going comically orgasmic over the food she is eating. She saws away at the prawn. Her damn near roll out of the sockets. She chews. She's so lost in this food. It's super hokey and self-conscious and feels like mocku-porn, except with a fork. Also: the soundtrack is really distracting. Other than that, it is a pretty interesting way to spend two hours.


BOOKS
I'm still reading "Infinite Jest" with an EFT of two more weeks. I'm chronicling this in a super non-literary way here


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