Monday, June 28, 2010

The only thing that you need to know about the World Cup

Look at these two photographs. Tell me that you don't want to see a movie about the US World Cup soccer experience starring Shaun Majumder. Not since Sarah Palin/Tina Fey have we had such a match made in heaven. Speaking of which...why isn't there a movie about the Sarah Palin run for the vice presidency starring Tina Fey? And yes, that is my second reference to Sarah Palin on this blog.I'm serious though. All I could see when I watched the USA play was Shaun Majumder running around playing soccer. It was very disconcerting.

Coupon culture

These stories where people eat while spending ridiculously low sums of money due to crazy amounts of coupon usage come up every once in a while on boingboing. Every time I read them I am momentarily fascinated and start thinking that maybe I should start looking at coupons. Please, take a minute and read what this guy did on day one. It's crazy. It's almost unbelievable.

And that is where it all breaks down for me. I think that there is something in my brain that doesn't allow me to believe that this is possible. So I don't bother doing it. I think that all I really need is one coupon success. One coupon site filled with...I don't for bacon and coconut milk and I'll finally force myself into doing something about it.

On a similar note, we stopped at Cost Cutters in Blaine last night on our way home. It's about 500 meters from the Truck Crossing Border. It's crazy. We bought...

2 pounds of Tillamook cheddar for 6 bucks.
2 containers of Hagen Daaz Ice Cream for $3.50 each.
2 giant bags of Gorilla Munch, Organic, Gluten Free corn puffs for 5 bucks each (they're 12 up here)
1 bag of sketchy looking beef jerky for $3.50
A bag of dried ancho chilis and a bag of california dried chilis for about a buck each. Huge bags!
A giant bottle of gluten free soy sauce for 7 bucks (12-14 up here)

Now, back to the coupons. I found this site that gives you lists of coupons. And the main problem is that I don't want to buy most of this stuff.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dude's Guide to Cooking Thai Quickly, Yo!

When I first got into cooking it was to pick up chicks. It work(ed). Now, in a town where the Teriyaki Roll is comprised of cold rice with pieces of breaded chicken fingers wrapped inside, my skills have naturally blossomed.

So, Recipe #1 is my evolving basic, quick Thai curry that can be tweaked with almost anything available. This is easy easy easy, and I wish I knew it when I first started cooking. I would have picked up more chicks.

Basic Thai Curry
1 14oz can coconut milk - I like Arroy-D brand, cheaper stuff is too watery.
1 tbsp curry paste (green, red or yellow). Thai Kitchen brand is fine.
1 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 kaffir lime leaves - shredded (use scissors) - I get these at Chinese grocers.
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I use the cubes)

1) Heat big pan or pot (which has a lid) at moderate heat (5).
2) Add 2-3 tbsp of condensed part of coconut milk. Add curry paste, mix together to ensure you have a consistent mixture without any clumps of paste.
3) Add remainder of coconut milk.
4) Add fish sauce, soy sauce and brown sugar. Stir. Add lime leaves and stock. Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer on low for ~20-25 minutes, depending upon what you add.

That's it for the basics. It now depends upon what kind of curry you want. I like to stick with two to three vegetables and a meat or tofu, and sometimes I will add caramelized onions as a topping. I serve it with jasmine rice.

Recommendations (add once the curry is simmering):

Green Curry
Paste - green
Veg - green pepper (add at end 5 minutes before serving)
Veg - mushrooms or eggplant
Meat - chicken or pork (add once you have the curry on simmer)

Red Curry
Paste - red
Veg - red pepper (same as above)
Meat - chicken, beef slices.

Paste - red + 1 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy is best)
Veg - red pepper
Veg - potato (cut into thin slices, these will take ~ 25 minutes to cook).
Meat - chicken or beef

An art film about how art films suck

I don't know what kind of press this thing is getting right now. But when I heard someone made a film about graffiti art, and that it was playing in Vancouver while I was there, I had to take a look. The long trailer tells most of the story:

But it doesn't tell the whole story. "Exit" is essentially two movies in one: the first half, as advertised, is a documentary on "street art," or really a making-of documentary about a strange French guy who was making a documentary on street art. But it takes a turn a little past halfway and becomes something different. A film about an art hoax? The film itself as an art hoax? The last half hour takes everything the rest of the film did and throws it into question. We know that graffiti art has always been hostile, at least implicitly, to established genres and forms of art: it's out on the street while they're scratching their chins in galleries. This film shows graffiti art taking on art documentary, an established form in its own right, and turning it inside out. It's amazingly well done.

It also connected a few dots for me: I didn't know, for example, that the Shepherd Fairey of those ubiquitous "OBEY" stencils is the same guy who made the iconic Obama poster for the 2008 elections (and then got sued for it). So the film also works just as a documentary, too.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

James Murphy says old people are okay.

I once tried to talk to James Murphy. I had a VIP pass to the LCD Soundsystem show in New York (because I'm just that important). I had a bit too much to drink though, so it didn't really work out all that well. It was actually really awkward because it was like me and him and maybe four other people. It hurts to get ignored like that. I talked to the singing/keyboarding girl instead. She was really nice. She guided me to another pub down the street where I ended up watching a Suns/Spurs playoff game with a Hasidic Jewish guy. I barely made it back uptown. I'm actually surprised I made it back uptown.

Anyhow...I read his interview in Pitchfork today. This loosely counts as culture. He talks about how old people are pretty much awesome and things created by old people are better than things created by young people (not quite). Old being thirty. This gives me some comfort.

So I just think it takes a couple decades to kind of clear your brain now. So it makes more sense to me that I could find my footing when I was 30 instead of when I was 19. It seems a little more clear. You know, novelists are older now. Things are happening later in people's lives. They're kind of living lives and then creating things about the lives they've lived. Rather than being an artiste at an early age and coming out with a ball of fire. That energy has been co-opted because you haven't immunized yourself yet against media. It's easier to get swept up things then take a couple of years to get over your, like, indie rock hangover. I'm scraping the fucking Quarterstick Records crust out of my eyes when I'm like, 27. You know, "Why am I playing in 5/7? How is that fun?"

Monday, June 21, 2010


Typically, if I walk into a show and see some girl up front with a laptop and a keyboard I go looking for a beer to dull my senses so that I'm slightly less aware of the sonic gut punches that are soon to follow. I'm sure that many a great album has been created this way but it seldom makes for an interesting show.

And that's what was so shocking about Bachelorette. With little more than the above mentioned equipment and a Windows 95 style light show, she killed it. Not in the "wow, I actually kind of danced!" sort of way. More in the "I could have listened to that shit for hours!" kind of way.

Each song would start with a basic drum beat and then she would slowly add layer upon layer over the next few minutes to produce a complex room full of sound. After the show, I "tracked down" the album (My Electric Family) and I've given it a solid amount of play time. The album is good, but it oddly feels like some of the intricacy and spectacle of it is lost in recording. Regardless, it's worth tracking down and keeping your eyes open for the live show.

Being There

I was introduced to Hal Ashby in this Slate article last year. I saw Harold and Maude shortly thereafter and it kind of weirded me out a bit. I put Being There on my list but it was tough to find and Harold and Maude didn't provide for enough motivation. We finally tracked it down at Limelight and I'm still grinning and thinking about it now.

The beauty of this movie is how current it remains. With the emphasis our current society put on "TV experts" and analyzing every word, action and picture to death, this movie becomes even more funny. I can imagine Sara Palin watching this film and wondering why she hadn't seen the cameras. Go watch it.

And then read the Roger Ebert review...only after though. It makes me feel better for liking this movie.

Also, particularly on point today, via boingboing, this article on how stupid people don't understand that they're stupid and the problems that this creates. Can't wait for parts 2-5.