Posts from 25th May 2005

May 05

Tomato sauce 2005

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 528 views

Somewhere in the archives last year I talked about the trials and errors I was doing in making my own tomato sauce — another year and I’ve returned to it with a vengeance, and happily so. I’ve got the basic sauce preparation down to a science and can’t wait to try further experiments (and I’m hoping the visit to Italy in July will give me yet more ideas).

Yesterday for the first time I found myself with some pasta and prepared sauce by me in the freezer, so I went ahead and cooked it all up. The sheer richness of the sauce — not in terms of, say, creaminess or anything, but in terms of the overload of delicious tomato I had overseen creating was simply a pure, wonderful treat. Eaten out on my balcony in a warm afternoon with the dying sunlight and some wine to drink — pure bliss. What a great summer this should be!

More on the frog.

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 1,887 views

I think Tom is probably right when he says on ILX that if it starts a trend of ringtone-themed hits it won’t be a great thing. However, isn’t this the wrong way round to look at things? I’m sure I went on ages ago (probably in a comments box so lost in the ether now) about how the consumption of pop is changing very rapidly, blah blah blah, but in particular because of the market in ringtones. I’m sure there must be tracks that will have sold more ‘copies’ as a ringtone than as a CDS. It can really only be a matter of time before people start writing tracks which will sound a bit lame on the radio, but totally fucking shred on a polyphonic phone. (Of course the ‘real’ ringtones screw this slightly, if they are what I think they are, but even then the limits of the speakers on a phone must mean, for example, that putting arse-quaking bass on your track is a waste of time.) Now the download and singles charts have merged, how long before the ringtone charts are merged in as well? At which point a Crazy Frog single (and there’s another coming out in a couple of weeks I think, so this could go on all summer, but more likely will dry up overnight and we’ll all be wondering what the fuss was about) will look like a quaint anachronism.

Who needs Dr. Spock when there is Dr. Fegg?

The Brown WedgePost a comment • 723 views

A recent bout of Pythonism — it happens every so often — prompted me to break out the apparently out of print Dr. Fegg’s Encyclopedia of All World Knowledge, as written by Messers Jones and Palin of said troupe. Much like good ol’ Hitchhiker’s this is inextricably a nostalgia fix (and in comparison to Adams nowhere near as strong, being by definition a bunch of scattershot one-off bits, from Famous Five parodies to a five page newspaper story about Miss Ireland) but I liked the fact that it wasn’t much to do with Python outside of a sentence or two and more to the point was mostly about blood and gore. Well, sort of.

An uneven book but it has its moments — the Gilbert and Sullivan/pantomime parody Aladdin and His Terrible Problem contains a showstopping bit by one Depravo the Rat, there’s a board game included called Plaguo! (goal: to catch the Black Death and die), while buried near the back is a joke that my dear friend Brian loves to this day, provided as part of a series of camping tips:

Select your camping spot very carefully. Very often, you will find people in tents and caravans blocking your view and generally getting in the way. These can usually be dispersed by naming your dog ‘Cholera’ and calling him in loudly last thing at night.

Not a Star Wars post

Do You SeePost a comment • 416 views

I refer you to this thread instead, where you will find love and hate of an epic proportion. I am on the love side and I care not what you think. (Not entirely true, but you’re not going to change my mind!)

Instead I wish to talk to you about the two absolutely horrific as hell trailers we had to suffer through first on the way to said film. The first was for Stealth, and while the actual trailer you see on the website was a bit different, the net effect was the same: “ARGH! DIE DIE DIE AND ROT!” The hearty boos directed towards it were so satisfying. To my mind it was just astounding because after the glory that was Team America, seeing something that was trying to do this kind of thing seriously was so wrong; all that was missing was the “IN A WORLD…” dude. Top Gun meets Broken Arrow meets D.A.R.Y.L., apparently, but without the charm.

Then there was Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the existence of which I had been blissfully unaware of until that moment. Oh dear dear dear dear. This says more about my relative unfamiliarity with the actresses but it wasn’t until the end of the trailer that I realized it was supposed to be Angelina Jolie instead of J. Lo. Brad Pitt, meanwhile, looks like he’s been through a pressed meat plant and extruded via a tanning bed. The plot revolves around secret identities and guns, which I’m normally more than fine with, crossed with The War of the Roses, which I probably liked more at the time than I do at present (there’s an advantage in not having seen things for fifteen years). I want to assume the intent of the filmmakers is satiric, for their sakes. I suspect it isn’t. The chorus of boos was even louder.

But then the Batman Begins trailer ran. OH HAPPY DAY! (Just so long as Bale’s not sticking post-its to himself.)

An American considers the Crazy Frog

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 577 views

…huh. I admit to the same disappointment Jess feels here — surely the whole point of a frog doing a cover of “Axel F,” aka the world’s greatest example of form following function (we have a synth, we shall play on the synth, it is a synth smash!), would be to have the frog croak, gargle, gasp etc. whatever the riff, much like, say, those dogs who sing “Jingle Bells.” Instead it’s just the same riff but somehow sounding even flatter and not as grippingly modern — it did sound modern one time, you know — and said frog, whose cell phone noise I’d not yet heard before and who just makes some noise over it like the hamster in the Cuban Boys song. The hamster admittedly hadn’t been dancing around with his wang hanging out, so clearly the UK populace is driven by little more than sex (this might perhaps be an incorrect assumption).

But yeah, it’s keeping Coldplay from a number one, so while I understand Alex’s frustration at the paucity of choice, to us here in America it’s more like “Those nutty British, they like novelty songs like that Mr. Blobby thing.” (But then Coldplay tops the album charts here too and I have to strangle myself in fear and loathing.)

Paul Bearer And The Hearsemen – I’ve Been Thinking

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Paul Bearer And The Hearsemen – I’ve Been Thinking

After last week’s festival of Europop something a little more atavistic. I don’t listen to a lot of garage rock, but this jumped out at me when I first heard it a few years ago (care, I think, of Mike Daddino), and it’s been an effective palate cleanser ever since. Biographical info on Paul Bearer is hard to come by due to his puntastic name also being thought of my some wrestling guy.

kitchen nightmare ex-poh-zay??

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 405 views

in which g.ramsay by the magickal technique of shoutin a lot w.a purple face turned a beardy no-mark no-cookin cowboy into a chef in six weeks

ok so far so didn’t-we-already-do-this? except this time the cut to the chase made no sense: the restaurant was TERRIBLE and FILTHY and DEEPLY IN DEBT, and GR yelled “fuck” a lot and everyone suddenly got good at what they were bad at, esp.the owner and chief cook, who went from givin the punters burnt stuff out of cans to perfect fresh italian cuisine with no in-between stages (and all debts paid off) (and he didn’t even have to sell his swanky car)

ok there was a funny bit when he got three of the staff to swfitcook a pizza and test it on a passsersby, anbd the best pizza wz cooked by the sullen little polish girl who never cooked one before, and it wz fed to a passing anarcho-crustie vegetarian with a comedy-punk haircut and he said “it’s nice” and GR said “erm sorry she’s polish and a polish vegetatarian pizza has HAM in it” and the veggie said “that was MEAN” and ran away

but this little episode had nuthin to do with the main story “arc”