Monthly Archives: December 2004

Memories are made of this

I finally got my hands on a copy of The Gallery of Regrettable Food. To my surprise, I actually have seen one of the booklets Lileks is talking about, The Joys of J-ello. My mom still has a copy.

The scary thing was though . . . I’m reading the book and chuckling because a lot of the food is truly, truly awful. Except. Every once in awhile the recipe booklets Lileks was snarking on? Had it right. There’s a reason a lot of cooks use things like Dr. Pepper or Coca-Cola when they cook a ham. If it’s good enough for Alton Brown, it’s good enough for me. And I’ve heard of using it in pancakes too. Supposedly, it creates a lighter batter. Not sure I would use two bottles, but it’s really not that out there as a suggeston.

The other thought that occurred to me is that the one, and thankfully only

Sandra Lee is keeping the sad tradition of scary looking food made out of condensed cream of mushroom soup alive. If you’ve ever watched her trainwreck of a show, you’ll realize that she’s the younger, prettier, and much thinner version of Aunt Jenny. True, she doesn’t stick to one brand, but like Aunt Jenny, Sandre Lee is all about brand name shortcuts and old-fashioned sexist propaganda.

Food for thought anyhow.

A reality show where talent is a must?

Yesterday afternoon, while I was ironing, I happened to catch three episodes in a row of Project Runway. For some reason (the host is also a supermodel) I thought it was just a knockoff of America’s Next Top Model, which though highly entertaining is really a travesty of itself. Watching a travesty of a travesty of a travesty–not so appealing.

Turns out I got the concept wrong. It’s a show about fledgling fashion designers. They start out with 12. Each week someone gets eliminated. Big prize is a spread in some fashion rag, a 100 grand, and a “mentorship” with Banana Republic’s design team. Not sure what the last is all about, but anyhow. It’s a surprisingly good show.

For starters the contestants have well, talent. Not only that they’ve either got degrees in design or they have design businesses. So unlike ANTM which has drugstore clerks from East Nowhere who merely dream of a career, these people know what they’re doing.

To be sure they’ve picked a group of designers who have the drama element down, but it’s interesting, the one contestant who seemed to think she was on Survivor? was in the bottom for two episodes until she realized she needed to concentrate on herself and her work.

Makes for a nice change.

Things I don’t care to see on my television screen

My favorite reality show has got to be the Amazing Race. It’s probably because I like reality shows that combine “reality” with something weird like travel or interior design, but that’s another blog entry.

I realize full well that reality TV has about as much reality as a program with a conventional fictional narrative played out by actual actors, but still. They do screen these contestants, don’t they? Who exactly thought it would provide entertainment value to watch a hyperactive creep abuse his wife? The woman flinches every time he comes near her. That is so not right.

Yeah, I know they edit these things, but there is no way anyone is going to make me believe it’s okay to shut the trunk on another human being’s arm and not apologize or that it’s okay to act like a total yutz to everyone because you didn’t get your way.

Merry Christmas to me!

To my great joy, I received my copy of The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – Extended Edition on Friday. It’s taken me the past three nights to watch the movie and then watch both the cast and director/writer commentaries and I haven’t even seen any of the documentary extras yet.

My verdict: so, so worth it. The deleted footage addressed a lot of my major criticisms with the theatrical release. It also added so much more complexity to the story. Jackson and co. evidently excised it because they wanted to move the story along deciding to sacrifice the plotlines of the secondary characters. I can see why you wouldn’t want a theatrical film over four hours, but I have to wonder if they didn’t lose the wrong material.

Taking stock

A friend of mine is nearly as compulsive a film fan as I am. She was making a list of things to rent or buy and since I owned several, I volunteered to lend her my copies. After some discussion, I decided it would be easier to give her a list of what I owned.

There is a reason why it’s not a bad idea to go through your belongings every so often.

Even when everything is in order and in sight, it’s easy to get so used to seeing something that you start missing the trees for the forest.

Let’s just say that I have a fairly extensive collection and leave it at that.

Comfort reads

This has been a not so enjoyable month with my car. First some loser dinged it one night and I had to replace the fender to the tune of $500. Then my exhaust system went. Last Friday I had a flat. This Sunday? Well, my radiator went. Another $500. Plus, I managed to break a dish, cut myself on the fragment, and then I burned myself with an iron.

A friend of mine says this is because Mercury is in Retrograde. I’m willing to go there.

Anyhow, tonight I have plans to put my feet up and sit back with Lucia in London. I’ve read it many, many times, but it always makes me smile. I need to be smiling right now.

Mercury better get out of retrograde PDQ…

Death of the personality

Caught The Life and Death of Peter Sellers last night. No idea how accurate any of it was, but what a really good film. I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t theatrically released.

I had read somewhere prior that Sellers once admitted he really didn’t have a personality, which I never quite got. He could create this marvelous array of characters so completely–how could he not have a personality of his own? I think for the first time I understand what he meant. Of course, with the caveat, that I’m basing my newfound understanding on a biopic.

Still, a good film. Performances were all spot on.

Lacking Integrity

Caught Survivor last night. Once again the participants get caught up in a debate about integrity, honesty, and morality. I refuse to believe that it’s okay to throw out all your ethics to win a game–regardless of the monetary awards. Having said that, if a contestant does that, then please don’t turn around and whine about how you’ve held onto your integrity and how it’s wrong to lie.

I have to start watching some better TV. I really do.