Thursday, June 9, 2011

The limper ...

For this week's Weakly Review, I'm providing an excerpt from a blog post from five years ago today, taken without a lick of context:

i went to switch my loads and goatee followed me into the laundrymat.
"so, laundry day, huh?" he said. yanking khaki shorts and baggy t'shirts from the dryer.
"yup," i said.
"sorting is the part i hate the most," he said. almost as if he thought i'd asked "what part of laundry-doing do you hate the most?" which i hadn't.
"huh," i said. "me? i hate spending 20 dollars to clean 19 piles of boring clothes that all look exactly the same."
"oh. yeah. right. me? its the sorting," he said.
as he limped away, i wondered why it is always the guy with the creepy mustache and small pelvis who is the limper.

With that, here is what I made, watched and read this past week:

Curried Scrambled Tofu with Wilted Arugula: Here we have a tale of two taste buds. I liked this curry spin on fake scrambled eggs; Chuck ... not so much. Onions, garlic, Indian spices and crumbles of firm tofu with wilted arugula. I'd eat this all the time as something quick and easy. Trust me, not the photo.

Baked Falafel: This one comes from "Appetite for Reduction," where everything I make comes from lately. (Thanks, blog stranger, for posting the recipe). These are baked instead of fried and I made a little cucumber, garlic, dill, lemon juice mix to go with them and served it on arugula with cucumbers, olives, tomatoes and stuff. Damn fine food.

No-Cook Chocolate Torte: So this is the time that I made a dessert with avocado in it on the same night as S'Fire, who sent me the recipe. How fun is that?! I liked this. But I also kind of had avocado so stuck in my brain that I thought I could taste it. Once I got that out of my head it was good. A mousse top on a crust made of nuts and cocoa and coconut oil. Totally worth trying.

The Panic in Needle Park: Chuck piqued my interest on this one after he spent a night of test-driving movies by telling me the screenplay was by Joan Didion. This is the story of a young couple skulking around the underbelly of New York City in the 1970s. He's a functional junkie; She's a girl from the Midwest. He makes a living stealing, hanging out in the park and in seedy hotel rooms while she rides shotgun. Then she begins dabbling in his vices and things spiral. Totally good.

Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel by Rivka Galchen: This book is tricky. It gets hard to follow the chain of associations Leo makes that link different facets of the Rema case, but it is well-worth hanging in there and wading through it. Any sort of plot disinterest I had was more than made up for by what Galchen is doing and how she is doing it. There are some really lovely parts, usually starring Rema. And there are some interesting ideas about the way the mind works.

Full review here.

Cecil and Jordan in New York: Stories by Gabrielle Bell by Gabrielle Bell: Gabrielle Bell is my favorite of favorite graphic novelists. Her brain lacks boundaries and you get the sense that she can get real weird with herself. The ordinary moments slant to wonky digressions. Then, like in the case of "I Feel Nothing," the sort of bizarre encounter between a morning drinker who owns a trendy bar and the normal friendly girl downstairs, everything just goes back to normal.

Full review will be here.

Twins: A Novel by Marcy Dermansky: What if instead of the smart and practical Elizabeth Wakefield girl reporter, there was a Chloe, a hardworking, soon-to-be popular teenager stunted by her enabling? And instead of that rowdy, boy-crazy Jessica Wakefield there was a Sue with the tendencies of a low-level sociopath, crippling co-dependency and a lack of self control?

And what if, when you were introduced to them, instead of giddy hopefulness about getting into the elite high school sorority, these twins were worried about the sterilization practices of a tattoo artist at the local strip mall?

This is where Marcy Dermansky has taken her pretty blonde protagonists in her wonderfully awful novel "Twins." It's like she took "Sweet Valley High," plopped it in New Jersey and all-but doused it in pig's blood.
Full review here.

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