Monday, December 21, 2015

Super into this week: Pea soup, Janet Jackson and animal encounters ...


Things that happened this past week:
1. I had the worst sore throat in the history of my throat and stayed home for two days complaining about how much saliva hurts. It now occurs to me that strep is something to consider, but when.
2. We went to a birthday party for a trio of 3-year-olds at the zoo. There were animal encounters.
3. I thought I had been a victim of identity theft and then I realized that I'd signed up for Apple Care and forgotten and been charged for it. So now I don't have a working debit card because of the way I really jumped in there and took care of business with my bank. Way to go, Adult Me.

WEB SERIES
"The Bedford Stop"
I'm such a sucker for this kind of thing: In this case, it's like 3-minute episodes about twentysomethings living in Brooklyn. It's like "Tinder-brunch-Tinder-Tinder-Got-So-Drunk-brunch-Tinder" and it's fascinating.
Sider: I'm absolutely obsessed with Tinder culture. It's easy. It's fast-paced. It turns the whole game on its ear. The idea that these women could go on a date, technically, every single night with a new person. In one episode, a girl shrugs and is like "Whatever. Free dinner." FREE DINNER.

MUSIC
"Control" by Janet Jackson
We were in the middle of a dance party that started with "No Diggity," segued into "Shoop" and then was headed toward MC Hammer when I decided to veer left and listen to Janet Jackson instead. And then we just kept listening for as long as it took to Swiffer two rooms. Even though there is no place in modern times for this album, it's still fun to listen to. The voice is so sassy and insistent about its strength and independence. Then, randomly, there is "Let's Wait Awhile," which is achingly big-eyed and earnest. It has always been, for me, the theme song to Sweet Valley High, Book 23: "Say Goodbye." I think this album was playing every day of elementary school. It made me want to write a letter to my old friend Betsy.

FOOD
Split Pea Feel Better Soup
(I'll probably not be taking food photos anymore in my life. There is just no way to do it without looking like my meal jumped off an apartment building and landed on a plate 20 floors below.) But, this is the best soup I've ever eaten. If you make it, mind your herbs and seasonings. Don't approximate, they are crucial to the end, flavorful, warm-belly finale. Best if served with homemade gluten-free bread, made my someone else's dough-slopped hands.

TV
"Transparent"
This show is just so, so, uggghhh-noise. Aside from Mora, and sometimes not even her, everyone always does and says the exactly wrong thing and it's so messy and great. And I love Gaby Hoffmann and her character and love to think that everything she does and says has been informed by being the opposite of Kevin Costner, her earliest of costars. My favorite line, mid-Season 2: "I can't have real emotional intimacy with someone who hasn't suffered under the patriarchy." So serious. Anyway, I love this show better than anything else right now.

MUSIC
I've been listening to NPR's Songs We Love, which is a mix of like 31 hours of music as selected by public radio music people from all over. Then I've been yanking out my own faves from that list to make my own mix. It turns out I don't hate country music. And other mysteries.

WORDS, ELSEWHERE
Here's a column I wrote about taking Chacha to "The Nutcracker."

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