08.24.09: culture blotter {the bacchae @ shakespeare in the park, inglourious basterds}

there's a noble tradition of drinking one's way through classical theatre in our set. one of joe's and my first dates was the royal shakespeare company's staging of tales from ovid at the swan theatre in stratford-upon-avon (go big or go home, right?)...with a fifth of something or other (passed between many expats, not just the two of us). while tales from ovid would probably move along at a good clip without booze - it's ten punchy little numbers, and it's translated by ted "one of lauren's favorite poets" hughes - i was glad we brought wine to the bacchae in the park on friday. i know greek tragedies (like philip glass, who wrote the music for the bacchae) are good for me, but a girl can only take so much Arty Chanting (PITY...the LADY...who cut her SON'S-HEAD-OFF! ad infinitum). on a positive note, the women of the chorus were sexy and feral and frida-kahlo-by-way-of-williamsburg (and wore rompers far better than girls of that neighborhood do); they were much more pleasing to me than jonathan groff, whose pretty-boy dionysus was more of a pop star than a rock star (though the smear of red at his mouth did give him a nice look of lunacy, like heath ledger as the joker in the dark knight returns). on a sadder note, there were no baguette-stealing raccoons* at our performance (as there were at amanda's). next year?

on saturday we met up with george for inglourious basterds at the ziegfeld. it - meh. i'd like to get frothy about how the opening sequence was really promising and how tarantino really can build menace a bit like hitchcock does when he feels like it, or how the haphazard world war two backdrop should have been all slapsticky like la grande vadrouille and instead read like the unconvincing moment at the beginning of a rock concert when the lead singer tells the crowd in fill-in-the-town that he's in the greatest town in the world, but i sort of can't be bothered. tarantino knows that we know he's bright, and he uses that given as an excuse to slap everything from genius to first drafts on the screen. i thought christoph waltz as an ss officer was great, and that mike myers owes the filmgoing public a letter of apology; i think QT owes us a reservoir dogs or pulp fiction, and soon, for he's boring the hell out of me right now.

*ETA: man, even the times critic got raccoons!


101 in 1001 {II}: 066 take a photo every day for a year [underway as of 08.06.09]

day 015: 50th street

it's on, and it's challenging: i'm often tempted to get the day's photo out of the way with a footportrait or a glamour shot of my lunch. should you find yourself with an interest in the ways in which i avoid those, the ongoing set is here.

in other news, yesterday was our third wedding anniversary: i celebrated it by shaving off an important bit of my right knee, jostling the nick when i sat down to dinner, and bleeding gently into bobby flay's tablecloth for two hours. and they say monogamy is unexciting!

in other other news, i finished my last raymond chandler novel (playback), got tickets to tonight's shakespeare in the park (the bacchae), and scheduled a blood donation at a show down in chelsea in a few weeks. these are ensanguined times, internets.


midtown lightning

hell's kitchen in a thunderstorm - a hailstorm! - is better than a zen garden, and i could watch it for hours. my head is full of things i'll miss when we've moved down to the lower east side; that the view from our living room is often an album cover is high on my imaginary list.


is Wedding Afterparty* Photographer a thing? i would like to be that thing.

groom in repose, sarah

lesley, melissa, tony


day 010: jms, lmo in DUMBO

*receptions are marvelous as well, don't get me wrong.

08.05.09: the dirty dozen {twelve useful things}, part II

04 via the sacramento bee (via my mom), a recipe for homemade ginger beer! gaining the ability to turn things in our apartment into ginger beer makes me feel like a modern-day rumpelstiltskin, except for the part where your guessing my name would make me screech "the devil told you that! the devil told you that!" and tear myself in two* (god, the brothers grimm are excellent).

05 via 101 cookbooks (via jen, who knows a thing or two about marathons), marathon cookies. quoth jen,
keeping in mind that they are not actually cookies but rather are healthy, cheaper-than-clif-bars, make-big-batches-and-freeze post-run snacks, they are pretty darn good. i recommend them, and don't be put off by the fact that the recipe calls for beans. seriously. recommended tweaks: double or even triple the amount of dates it calls for, don't be shy with the lemon zest, and don't forget the aniseed like i did.
kooky japanese tea cakes have desensitized me to the sweet bean thing; i am intrigued.

06 via david lebovitz, absinthe cake.** you guys, my contribution to the last jersey barbecue of the season will be epic.

*speaking of tearing one's self in two, joe and i saw about five minutes of U2's rattle and hum on cable the other night - specifically, the five minutes when they perform "bad" and bono's wearing these terrible high-waisted pants with suspenders up around his ears. "i'd had no idea robin williams was in U2," joe said. "i was about to say that," i replied.

**did i ever mention how we smuggled two bottles of absinthe (one french, one czech) back with us after our honeymoon a few years ago? i was very proud of us, though i am a terrible liar and would have spoiled everything if we'd actually been questioned at customs. we were only the second-best smugglers of our wedding party, actually: my mother developed a complicated system of band-switching that enabled her to spirit a bunch of cuban cigars back to california. she actually wrote bogus letters home about how sad she was to have had to leave the real things behind: amazing.

imaginary reading group discussion questions

01 is it us, or is bono really channeling mork in that rattle and hum clip?

02 would you eat absinthe cake?

03 have you ever smuggled anything? were you successful?

08.04.09: the dirty dozen {twelve useful things}, part I

01 i feel like the last person on earth to get into dr. bronner's products - i mean, esquire pimped the liquid soap a month or two ago, and it was on display at our local american apparel - but in case you haven't tried it, man, hook yourself up with some dr. bronner's. it's cheap, it's eco-friendly (unlike the shockingly-effective-but-probably-evil scrubbing bubbles shower cleaner i still can't quit), it smells fantastic, and it really is multi-use (i've only washed dishes, clothes, and hands with it to date, but i'm almost ready to give it a try on my hair as well).

02 paul newman: a life (shawn levy). write-arounds (that is, pieces generated without a subject's cooperation) can be painful for writers and readers, but levy worked it out; when he learned that he wouldn't get access to newman, he dug up decades of existing interviews and cobbled them into a next-best-thing mega-monologue.* he also researched his ass off as a general proposition, and his work on newman's development with the actors studio, racing career, and philanthropy is meaty (he's a film critic for the oregonian, so his discussion of the films has some heft as well). some of the family scenes were a bit skimpy, but i was so charmed to learn, say, that newman would sneak off to the bathroom at restaurants and wash his salad (so that he could use his own bootleg dressing instead) that i didn't mind the occasional mystery. a fine read, internets.

03 rachel's baked zucchini fries. we don't have a big box of CSA veggies to dispose of each week this summer, since we thought we were going to be out of town for several weeks and i didn't want to waste the subscription. we do, however, have a habit of eating the same vegetable over and over until it becomes deadly boring, and i needed to transition away from brussels sprouts before we started to resent them. i made these for the first time on friday and had plowed through four zucchinis by sunday afternoon: yum. this weekend i'm all over her pasta with kale, lentils & caramelized onions.

and you?

*for his own edification, that is - not for the text. that would be frightening.