Yesterday I stopped being consumed by cigarettes. It was so sudden I didn't notice. I realized around midday that now I have room in my brain for other things -- like reading. I'd been unable to read for the past week, doubling back to repeat sentences and paragraphs and puzzling over what everything meant. I tried to rebuild my attention span by reading Granta, committing to just small chunks of thoroughly absorbing tales. That worked. It's a good issue that had me reading more than skipping around.
As a celebration, I committed to a short novel I started reading awhile ago and then ditched for no real reason. It has an asshole narrator and I'm delighting in it. Sometimes I really love the loathsome. (See also: Bret Easton Ellis).
Also as a celebration, I bought a pair of punk rock boots, keeping the thought What would Courtney Love Wear in the back of my mind. I fell short of the CL-standard. Mine are more like: Two-off boots Courtney Love's stalker would wear when she tries to crawl in the bedroom window, dab some of CL's perfume behind her ears, rip her T-shirt, mess her hair, smear her lipstick and seduce a lights-out Cobain in the dark by pretending to be Court.
Anyway, here is what I've made, watched and read. This isn't a very satisfying collection.
Sweet-ish Meatballs and Gravy: About five-ish years ago I was just learning to cook and instead of honing my knife skills and learning the art of balance, I decided it was time for me to skip a few grades and try making Butternut Squash Ravioli.
This entailed: The mushing of various foods to insert into the ravioli; negotiating wet wonton wrappers; boiling these homemade raviolis that all split open once the water started rolling; while simultaneously doing something with a frying pan, butter and sage. It all ended with me in the fetal position, crying, and a pizza on the way. Chuck ate the remains (cremains?) and said it tasted good (and never mentioned the part where it looked like something you'd find on the sidewalk outside of a bar). Anyway, I knew the truth.
I thought that once again I'd blown passed my skill level. This meal requires multi-tasking: steaming the tempeh and boiling the potatoes and making slurry all while texting your friend to tell her that, yes, you can see her 7-year-old son's trapezius muscles when he does that shirtless gun show pose of his.
So my firsts batch of (un)meat balls turned out globby and ugly and my second batch burned a little, but once I packed the mixture tighter, set aside the book I was reading while monitoring the stove top, and watched what I was doing, it came around.
Really good, really different. It's got a good autumn flavor with the cinnamon and nutmeg and allspice. And anyway I wanted to MAKE A MEAL anyway instead of just cutting stuff up and throwing it into a pan. So this was a good time. As always: Taking horrible food photographs.
All Good ThingsThis is totally a Lifetime Original Movie but with real actors -- Ryan Gossling and Kirsten Dunst -- instead of actors who look like real actors except with different hair or noses. Boy from money meets girl without big money background. They marry. She doesn't know that deep down he's a little whack from that time he saw his mom kill herself. Bad things happen. It's deese. Observation: I think that Kirsten Dunst might be the actress who is best at simulating the act of falling in love. She can really make her face explode. She always looks like sun is shining on her.
Blank City: The world of underground movie-making in 1970s NYC. Daddy like.
Mallrats: I've never seen anything anywhere on the internet about this, but here is the truth: There is some weird brown and white checked pattern theme that is going on in this movie. Shirts, tiled floors, etc. If someone knows Kevin Smith, could they ask whether this was intentional or whether this is just what happens when you make a movie in the 1990s?
Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir by Bill Clegg: Another well-off, good looking dude gets all crazy on drugs and then goes on a wicked bender that ruins his life. Temporarily. It's like most addiction memoirs, but maybe more well-written. Full review here.
The End of Everything: A Novel by Megan Abbott: Two young girls are besties, one goes missing, a whole bunch of really complicated relationships surface. Whoa. I liked Abbott's book "Dare Me" better, but this is probably the more complete and sophisticated work. Although I think that if you read more than two books by Abbott, you will learn there are a lot of ways to describe teenaged girls, their smooth legs and how they smell like fruity lipgloss and lotion. Full review here.
BONUS PHOTO OF US LOOKING MEAN