Monday, November 12, 2012

If you like pina frittata ...


I get a text message from Chuck telling me that he and the Great Archivist are planning to walk from West Duluth to an art show smack-dab in the center of downtown. Walk? I ask. Yes, walk, he tells me. This is about the least surprising thing he could tell me. In fact: I'd only be less surprised if they said they were going to spend the whole walk communicating in an English-based non-language that they invented when they were 12.

About an hour and a half later I get a text message from Chuck telling me that they have made a stop at what I believe is D-town's only CW bar. The Great Archivist is sitting in a saddle. And now Geo Grl is there, too. I meet them there and I am impressed with the operator's commitment to theme.

Then we all go to the art show. We have one of the artist's paintings in a high traffic area of our home. He sees me and Chuck, we reintroduce ourselves and he smiles: "I never knew you two were a number."

I text a photo of one of the paintings to The Rock Star Amy Abts, who would certainly be at this event if she hadn't moved to Seattle. Maybe even running the wine box. Then I tell the artist, who has an anti-cell phone piece in the show, that I did this.
"I texted a photo to Amy!" I tell him.
"All over the world!" he says.

Chuck and I go to the DECC to see David Sedaris read. It's my fourth time seeing Sedaris and even though I'm not the hyper fan I used to be, I still get a kick out of his shows. When he stops for the Q&A, a woman in front of us growls all rock-star and loud-like: "CAN'T KILL THE ROOSTER."

After the show, we ditch into a chain restaurant for a quick dinner. Not only a chain restaurant, but a steakhouse. We're so hungry that I didn't even bother to reposition the car so the back tire isn't on the curb. Chuck gives the trunk a hip check, as though he can move the vehicle through the force of his thighs.

"Are you still serving?" I ask the host.
She looks at the clock and says "You have four minutes."
We pause.
"So ..." I say. "Does that mean you're oh-pen?"
She says "It's up to you."
We look at her.
"I think it's up to you," I tell her.
"I mean, it's probably going to take a little more time to get your food, but if you're willing to wait ..." "So you ARE open," I say.
"It's up to you," she says again.

The last time this happened, different restaurant, Chuck ended up with a hamburger so raw it still had grass in its mouth.

I think it's been at least four years since I've eaten steak. I'm probably wrong. Olivia Newton John plays on the sound system. Our waiter is professionally friendly and agrees that the butter at a rival chain steakhouse is really pretty good.

I order surf & turf and the turf trumps the surf. I can't complain about my cheesy hash browns at all. At first this dining experience had an air of irony. But sometimes the most ironic thing about irony is that it really isn't ironic at all.

So. That was Friday. Here's what else I made, saw and read.

DELICIOUS VEGAN FOODS

Roasted Red Pepper and Onion Frittata: So we have a well-worn copy of "Urban Vegan," except we only ever eat two things from this cookbook: roasted beets with wasabi vinaigrette and tri-color quinoa. Like, the cookbook falls open to both pages. So, instead of being all "Maybe it's time for a vegan slow cooker cook book, wouldn't that be neat?" I decided to see what was beyond these two, oft-prepared meals.

So I made this frittata! I can't find the recipe online, but it's red pepper, tofu, nutritional yeast, flour, baking powder made all pasty and baked in a skillet with an onion and garlic base. This is starving for dinner, but really good.

Seitanic Red and White Bean Jambalaya: So, I wasn't totally feeling this but that's just because I always forget that I'm not really into rice until I eat it. But otherwise, it smells good and Chuck thought it was deese and promised to eat all the leftovers. I liked it in theory: seitan, green pepper, onion, rice, a mix of seasonings, red and white kidney beans, tomatoes, etc.


Tortilla Soup: This has, like, every ingredient I like to eat all at the same time INCLUDING a handful of Tortilla Chips. Chuck noted that basically it's just like eating chips and salsa. I'll buy that.

WATCHING
Prometheus: So some science sorts get sent 2 years into space to find out more about how human beings came to be. Except, they aren't very science-y and make a ton of weird decisions about a) wearing a space helmet and b) playing loose-y goose-y with the curfew to get back to the main ship. I guess this ties into the whole "Alien" thing, and if you consider it along those lines, you will see the evolution of women's underwear. Sigourney's white tank top has evolved into a bandeau bra and low cut briefs. I would say neither is necessarily superior. They're just different. Also: We are revisiting the alien c-section.

GoonStiffler plays a dim thug with fists of steel who, despite weak ankles, is hired on to play for a Canadian hockey team and defend it's star player, a balletic skater who is all up in his own head after his most recent concussion. So this movie is pretty cute in a more violence concentrated sibling of "Slap Shot."

Reality Bites: Oh gah. This movie is like an exboyfriend that I can't even look at without a) getting shame shivers and b) wanting to tackle and play memory lane with. It's pretty embarrassing how much my life was directly influenced by this movie -- and continues to be. I spent all day Saturday wondering if I should get the Winona Ryder haircut.

Flashdance: I think I covered this one pretty well here.


Brief History of John Baldessari: After I posted a photo of Chuck's face covered with an I Voted sticker, one of my Facebook friends recommended watchings this quick 5-minute flick. It's totally great. A history of the artist John Baldessari, narrated by Tom Waits. Watch it: You won't regret it. "I will not make boring art."




READING
Desperate Characters: A Novel by Paula Fox: Sophie gets bitten by a stray cat and then spends three days worrying about whether the cat had rabies. In the meantime, her husband Otto is separating from his longtime biz partner and friend Charlie, someone throws a rock through a window, Sophie and Charlie sneak out in the middle of the night to talk about Otto, and the summer place is vandalized. This is a kind of great little novel from 1970.

High-Rise: A Novel by JG Ballard: People basically go feral when the luxury high-rise they  live in faces its first electrical hiccups. It's deliciously lurid. In the opening scene, a dude is cooking dog meat over a fire.

Full reviews for both of these will be posted at Minnesota Reads. (Unless Jodi gets disgusted with my 1970s obsession).

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