Thursday, January 31, 2008

A little window into Stella's psyche.

Yes, yes. I her you thinking to yourself, isn't every single post a window into her twisted and yet somehow not terribly compelling inner workings? Ahh, but this one is about FOOD.

Okay, gather your ingredients: 1/4 yellow or white onion, 2 TBS butter, a littleish steak - cheap is good, you're gonna slice it into bits, a hoagy roll, some cheese if you want, minced garlic or in a pinch, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and - this is really important - a bottle of au jus concentrate. No scoffing. Also, if you want to add a token 1/2 a green pepper, I won't stop you. Same goes for a dash or two of Tabasco.

Firstly, make sure your knife is sharp. Then use your sharp knife to slice the onions and the steak very thin. Cut the steak against the grain, it'll be tenderer. Throw half your butter in a hot skillet, let it melt, and then toss in your onions and steak. Meanwhile, put a sweet potato in the microwave to nuke. A small one will be done in about 5 or 6 minutes. Okay, back to your mess in the pan. When your meat is well-done, add your seasonings: s&p to taste, a clove's worth of garlic, and a tablespoon of the au jus concentrate. Stir constantly for another minute or two, then take out of your pan. Deglaze said pan with 2 TBS of au jus concentrate and 1/4 hot water (just out of the tap. No whining) until it simmers. Pour it off into a conveniently located decorative dish, or a custard cup, which is what I prefer. Put your skillet back on the heat. While it warms up, butter your hoagy roll with 1/2 TBS butter on each side. Yeah, you read that right. Sprinkle it with garlic powder if you have some laying around, but if not, no big deal. Now put those butter side down in your pan. Toast them until the buttery part is crispy. Okay, then bottom of the roll, a slice of swiss cheese, your onions and steak (and peppers if you weren't too lazy, like I was), top of the roll. Squish liberally. Put your custard cup of au jus next to your sandwich, cut into your sweet potato and dot liberally with butter and sprinkle with salt (or brown sugar if you're daring). Think about a salad. Decide against it. Pour a gigantic glass of Cabernet that you've had sitting around for a few weeks, actually about a glass and three quarter's worth, but who wants to go back for a refill? Alternate dipping your sandwich, sipping your wine, which is okay for sitting so long, and taking tiny bites of caramelly sweet potato. Make a big mess splashing au jus around. Roll your eyes at the debris in the kitchen. Lament the lack of pudding in your house.

This is best consumed while listening to Elvis Costello.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

And some Junior mints and a Cherry Coke, please

Since you guys declined to add anything, except of course for the marvelous Princess Japonski, I had to go and find the other rock and roll movie clips myself. There are still a few that I haven't added, most notably a clip from Purple Rain, but let these few amuse you.

It's a love song, really. This whole movie is about the price of fame, but I particularly like this delicate little piece from Spinal Tap:

Some actors have uncanny ability when it comes to mimicry. Joaquin Phoenix's Johnny Cash is more homage that imitation, but Jamie Foxx's Ray Charles is eerie. "We gotta get that on wax!"

We could talk for a really long time about how I am obsessed with boys with blond pompadours, but I think it can all be traced back to this movie, this clip in particular. Lou Diamond Phillips plays Ritchie Valens as a young man fully aware of his fate, which I never quite bought, but I paid about ten thousand dollars buying into Brian Setzer's spot-on Eddie Cochran:

Laurence Fishburn as Ike Turner was magnetic and frightening. This clip really illustrates the kind of power the man must have had. From What's Love Got To Do With It, with Angela Bassett as Tina Turner:

Who's That Girl is not a great movie. It's not even really a good movie. But Madonna is allowed to basically play herself, and the opening credits are divine, mostly because I love animation. I only wish that it was the title song instead of Causing a Commotion:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Popcorn, baby!

I got bored with the last Mixtape, so I'm divering my attention to something related, but more fun for me. I am going to list my favorite rock and roll movies, along with my favorite scenes in each, and then you can so the same. I will limit myself to a mere five, that's right, only FIVE rock and roll movies, so as to leave plenty of material for you guys. If you have any knowledge of me whatsoever, you will realize that this is a huge sacrifice on my part.

5) Great Balls of Fire, about Jerry Lee Lewis. With Dennis Quaid and Winona Ryder. My favorite scene is when Myra brings all her little friends over to see Cousin Jerry, and he terrorizes them and does something funny to her by trapping them in a corner with his piano while playing. In my head he is playing the Wild One, but I think he's actually just fooling around with a boogie woogie. Anybody able to clear this up definitively? I can't find a clip of this.

4)The Buddy Holly Story with Gary Busey. They go onstage at the Apollo Theater, the first white act to perform there ever, and they do a medley that includes Oh, Boy! and my favorite Buddy Holly tune, Rave On.

3) Walk the Line, about Johnny Cash. With Joaquin Phoenix. When he goes onstage to sing Get Rhythm. He looks out at the sea of faces and chokes out, "Hello. I'm Johnny Cash." There's a smattering of applause, and then they launch into the song. I am almost positive the bass player is actually play the bass in this clip.

2) Rock and Roll High School. Not a biopic, but I wish it was. With P.J. Soles and the Ramones. My favorite scene is when they sing I Want you Around in the dream sequence - actually a drug sequence, since she's toking when it happens - and DeeDee is playing the bass in the shower, with the water running. He's totally soaked and appears not to care. It's at the very end of the clip - watch it all the way through.

1) Jailhouse Rock. With Elvis. Obviously, the only scene worth focusing on in the movie is Jailhouse Rock. It's iconic, and he's electric. It's worth noting though, that his character in the movie is jailed for killing a man by punching him. Damn. That's rock and roll.

As a bonus, my favorite scene from a music movie that is not rock and roll: in Coal Miner's Daughter, Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn is too scared to sing in the studio until Doo goes and gets their kids and lines them up in front of her. He says, "Just sing to the babies, Loretta." And she does.

You'll note the conspicuous absences, my friends. Fill in the blanks!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mixtape 2.0

Here we go, kiddies.

La Fab made a comment last time that reminded me that playing mixtape is a lot like planning a radio show, without having to read the weather. That has nothing to do with anything, but I thought I'd pass that along.

My new idea is this: a playlist/mixtape/radio show in which all the songs are about music. It might be about making music, listening to music, or musicians, but it has to be pretty blatantly about the M word. Just the usual restrictions: nothing too obscure, and I'll probbably end up making a playlist out of this, so give LOTS of suggestions so if I cut one or two, it won't hurt your feelings.

I will, of course, go first.

Beck: Where It's At
Madonna: Music (um, duh?)
Chuck Berry: Rock and Roll Music
Joan Jett: I Love Rock and Roll
AC/DC: It's a Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)
Johnny Burnette Trio: Rock-a-Billy Boogie

Okay.... GO!

Friday, January 11, 2008

In which our heroine consumes delicacies and muses on many tangential thoughts.

So I was thinking of all the stuff I wanted to say with this post. I was basically going to whine about what amounts to nothing but whining, and I was going to explain about going to the store for chocolate milk and potato chips, and realizing that I was too hungry for that, and buying a bunch of stuff I'm too tired to cook, and then wishing I had a GBF (gay best friend or gay boyfriend) to surprise me by swinging by my house with some wonton soup and a bunch of rom-coms we both swear to hate but really secretly love, and then thinking about how much I love dim sum and other assorted weird things, and then realizing that I already wrote that post and had to conjure up something else to write about, which led to me thinking about how I am for all intents and purposes white, even though I have a healthy portion of SO NOT A WHITE CHICK running through my veins and then I got on a little kick about how people always assume wherever I live that I am a member of the closest ethnic group of dark-haired, brown-skinned people, and how once for fun on a bus in Denver when a pimply Aryan type called me a greaser, I shouted, "I'm Cuban, asshole!" even though I'm not, and how not funny my friend thought it was. Oh yeah, and I was thinking that I really want to go to that great newsstand in Pikes Place Market and buy a copy of French Vogue and read it in the patisserie while eating apricot-filled croissants. But that of course is just a normal, unremarkable desire for me.

The comestibles this evening are: baked tofu basted with hoisin sauce and five spice powder, steamed vegetables, and rice, accompanied by lumpia I bought for Christmas dinner and never cooked. Don't worry, they were frozen. Oh, and instead of chocolate milk, Cherry Coke because why the hell not? It's Friday!

By the way, anyone interested in another round of mixtape? PLEASE? I promise it won't be about stupid boys this time.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Almost as sad as the Iowa caucus results

I was trying, I really was. But the whole 3 way tie, Huckabee in the lead thing made me click this link:

Cold Snap Causes Frozen Iguana Shower

It is simultaneously horrifyingly sad, and also comfortingly funny.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's NOT a uniform!

My sartorial update for the day is this: someone commented on the fact that I was dressed as a stereotypical hipster today. I was wearing the following: ironic icon tee-shirt, slate-blue trousers, a navy blue hoodie, Converse sneakers, a black peacoat, a skinny scarf, a beret. I was going to offer a singeing retort when I realized that they were right. I was dressed like an extra from a Zach Braff movie. I blocked out the sound of their taunting by shoving my iPod earbuds in and marching smartly away.

Converse were a poor choice of footwear for the weather.