Mostly this is so that when I'm 89 I can rifle through my brain internet to January of 2012, remove my oxygen helmet and say: "What the hell was 'The Only Way is Essex'?"
So, here's the haps: Cooking, Watching, Reading, Not Reading this past week.
Sweet Potato Chickpea Stew with Quinoa: This was pretty good. I'm not sure it needs the quinoa, but I like quinoa so I won't complain. It's just a stew with delicious sweet potatoes. Always a game-changer.
At the grocery store the cashier asked me the difference between sweet potatoes and yams.
"I don't know," I told her. "I use them pretty interchangeably."
"Inter-what?" she asked.
"Interchangeably," I said.
"Oh," she said.
"I do know that if you eat a certain amount of sweet potatoes your skin will start to turn orange," I told her. Fact or fiction? Who cares. It makes for a fun nugget.
"Oh!" she said. "Maybe that's why some people are so orange!"
"Right," I said. "Like Snooki. HUGE sweet potato fan."
"Snooki," I said.
"'Jersey Shore'?" I prompted.
" ... "
Daytripper: In this non-linear graphic novel by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba, the protagonist Bras de Oliva Domingos dies at the end of every chapter. The obit-writer turned novelist is shot, he drowns, heart problem. It's very well done and art-wise, it's lovely.
Assassination Vacationby Sarah Vowell: Learning history has never been so fun! Sarah Vowell examines the assassinations of Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley while touring around to the most minute of landmarks, checking out the signs and the brain matter and the bloodied this and thats, as well as hitting monuments and memorials.
So conversational, so interesting, so smart and so fun. I'd let Sarah Vowell teach me about anything.
Ghost Lights: A Novel by Lydia Millet: I made it 100 pages into this story about a man who is sure his wife is diddling one of her coworkers and in a moment of drunken angst volunteers to go search for her boss, who has gone missing while on vacation in another country. All of a sudden I realized I wasn't reading so much as just staring at the pages of a book where words zipped past and I wasn't invested in anything that was going on. Abort mission.
"The Only Way Is Essex": This English reality show is about a bunch of young people living high personal drama in Essex. Lauren and Mark just broke up after nine on-again, off-again years, Sam and Amy are glamour models, which is like working for Maxim, but mostly means they work the door at hot new clubs. Dirk is a reformed player who has it bad for Amy. There is an old woman named Nanny Pat who always shows up at Mark's door with a hotdish and then segues into ironing his clothes. It takes about three episodes to understand English, but after that, cue addiction.
I started watching because of this article from Vulture about all that is wrong with "Jersey Shore." (On TOWIE they actually at one point show the key players watching an episode of their own show).
I have never watched an episode of Top Chef without mentioning a) Padma's arm scar (which would make a great band name) and/or b) Salman Rushdie. So finding this was a real treat. It's a dummies guide to Salman Rushdie.