Posts from 22nd November 2005

Nov 05

Sarabeth–Rascall Flatts

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 810 views

The woman (child) this song is named for, is dying. Nothing makes people feel sadder faster then a child dying (this time of leukemia) and people like Martina McBride have made whole careers out of it (download God’s Will for a rather awful example.

So having this song starting with diagnosis and ending with her dancing at the prom–one is reminded about Wilde on Dickens (One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.) But they pull it off, its not mawkish at all.

The song features plain detail, common speech, little detail, and a touch of clinicism (actually mentioning blood flow and surrival rates) The plainness, the lack of hand wringing, the complete and pure rigor moves away (in fact refutes) domestic melodrama.

I am shocked Rascal Flatts had it in them.

You’re Only Hurting The Kurds

Blog 7Post a comment • 212 views

Stories like this are very funny as Ananova quirkies: the Swiss boycotting kebabs because of violence after the football with Turkey. But they do highlight the stupidity of knee jerk cultural assumptions. The entire British public as far as I remember boyciotted Corned Beef in the Falklands War (Look out, hint to potentially topical satire), actually just harming the Brazillian beef market. And just look at the US with their Freedom Fries nonsense.

Makes you wonder why we aren’t all boycotting oil from Iraq*.

*Except of course
a) not all oil comes from Iraq
b) infact very little at the moment
c) it is hard to distinguish one oil from another
d) and we have won the war
e) this is more annoying than the thing I was annoyed by now.


Blog 7Post a comment • 798 views

is there any possible reason why a HOLE PUNCHER — or BODGER as my mum wd have called it — has a LOCK on it, to keep it in the shut position?

except so as to cause ensuent hilarity from afar when it clicks shut by itself and no one in the office even imagines to open it and BREAKS THE BODGER before they discover it

(luckily we spotted it) (well my boss did)

Food Science Special: MY BIG POT

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 370 views

MY BIG POT is an experiment in stewing. The primary objects of this experiment is myself and MY BIG POT. I do not have a photo of MY BIG POT but will endeavor to supply soon. Suffice to say MY BIG POT is very big and holds about 15 litres of stew, if you were ever to stew that much.

Well I am. Sort of. You see I have always loves casseroles and stews, and always been impressed by big pots bubblin’ away on the hob. Reading a Bigos recipe a few weeks ago it suggested that part of the joy was adding new ingredients every day so that you may have some quite crunchy cabbage, and some which has been stewed to nothing three days ago in the same pot. Equally I love a cassoulet, and have become much more confident in flinging in beans to whatever I am stewing. So what will I do with MY BIG POT? Well it all started on Sunday…

And, in an ignomous fashion, it started with some reduced for a quick sale priced cocktail sausages. I suddenly though, weeny sausage casserole + cheaters cassoulet + bigos = surely all of these things can be mixed. So returning home with some pinto and butter beans, and a savoy cabbage I started to stew.

Fry the meat in batches (this is a cassoulet trick). So Chorizo first (oil goes nummy red), followed by morcilla and then the cocktail sausages. Remove sausages and marvel at all the fat. Should have used lard though.

Fry the veggies: in this case garlic, 2 red onions, a carrot, some of the cabbage (see fried cabbage before) – and because I was sausaging I also luzzed in an apple and some thyme. Also added some smoked paprika cos it don’t hurt. Cans of pinto and butter beans also went in now.

The juice. Luckily flatmate had left half a bottle of white which was slowly vinegarising in the fridge so in that went. Then the whole thing was topped up with marigold stock to just under the level of the stew. Simmer for about twenty minutes.


Not quite sure why I did this bit, but suddenly I thought it would be nice to HotPoterise my stew. So out came some Charlotte potatoes, sliced to £1 thickness laid over the entire stew, dotted with butter BECAUSE IT DOESN’T HURT. In the oven for an hour at gas mark 3.

After I got out of my bath, I ran down with baited breath: the potatoes were just browning and I slopped about a quarter of the food into a bowl. Mopped up with crusty bread it was absolutely gorgeous. The cocktail sausages were blander than I thought, but the rest was really, really tasty. And there was loads left in MY BIG POT.

Which gets to the rub of the experiment. How long can I keep adding to MY BIG POT new ingredients and this stay a) nummy, b) safely edible. Understand that I allow the pot to cool and then put in the fridge between sessions. But this leads to

DAY 2:
Rolled in from the pub, wanted MY BIG POT action. Out came pot. Threw in half a glass of winethatt someone in thehouseshadd not finished. Added a well sliced handful of cabbage. Knocked another quarter of the potatoes into the juice to make sure they would cook quicker. Simmer/boil for about fifteen minutes. Serve with now hard crusty bread. As expected the flavours had developed, but the addition of crispy cabbage was nice. Conclusion: Day 2: nicer than Day 1.

MY BIG POT is happy to take advice on things to throw in. Possible Turkish sausage action tonight.

Los Bros Grimm

Do You SeePost a comment • 170 views

For much of its screening time The Brothers Grimm is incoherent, out of focus, edited by a pair of garden shears and played through some overpowered i-Pod speakers. None of these elements on its own are enough to make it great, though in combination they add to what is a bizarre viewing experience. It is only when you think about his career a bit closer you realise that Terry Gilliam developed as a director when actually being technically any good as a director did not matter.

The idea that there is a base line of production values in any Hollywood movie now which means that they will be technically better than most films twenty years ago seems almost a given. (Along with the suggestion that in most other aspects they will be worse.) But the last time I saw jarring scene transitions, over compels sets and lack of sense in a film like this was Jabberwocky. Oh. I see.

Matt Damon & Heath Ledger seem to be in very different films to the rest of the cast, and act their little hearts out for very little return. The history of the real actual Brothers Grimm is pissed upon from a great height for very little return. The over-intricate dovetailing of well over fifteen fairytales into one massively incoherent whole seems to be done by someone who did not see how bad the league Of Extraordinary Gentlemen film was. Jonathon Pryce’s accent, Peter Stormaire’s accent, the dodgy special effects, the stance machinery, the overall flob of this picture is astounding: and is also what makes it great. Indeed whilst the project is riddled with rubbish, I only really have one problem with it.

The premise: that The Brothers Grimm, rather than collectors and writers of fairytales, were in fact adventuring conmen made good. You trying to tell me that a scholarly and authorial life is less exciting than one involving catapaults and mirrored armour and toad licking? Now you are telling tales.

numb3RS-W4TCH: the s3x issue!!

Do You SeePost a comment • 606 views

i. actual real plot some vacuous guff about derailing trains and codes and a disgruntled employee zzz
ii. sub plot the UNSPOKEN SMOULDERIN HOTS of math-bro for his girly sidekick and vice versa
iii. as expressed via the comedy shenanigans of this fatuously aggravatin fellow* and someone we never saw:
iv. viz that having had steamy bones-jumpin w.same, is now insisting that “statistically” the SBJ will never be as good again, so WHY RETURN HER PHONECALLS EH?
v. = he is hiding from her in the MATHS DEPT bcz historically it is the least libidinal dept in the university — cue IRONIC CLOSE-UP of MATH-BRO a-YEARNIN ect ect super-obv ect


The Weber Cup (Bowling Week)

TMFDPost a comment • 1,204 views

Two weekends ago anyone in the know was not watching the cricket, nor the various codes of Rugby. Even the England Argentina footie game lacked the requisite drama provided by the only sporting choice of the congniscenti.

That’s right. The Weber Cup.

The easiest way to describe it is the Ryder Cup of Ten Pin Bowling. Pretty much because that is exactly what it is. Oh, some of the rules are different but basically it is a team of Europeans vs a team from the US, competing til 18 games are won, in mano e mano ten-pin bowling. Sound dull? That is what we thought when incredulously the pub we were in (Mabel’s Tavern) chose it as the Friday night sport of choice over the Under 21 international. We assumed that everyone would play pretty much perfect 300 games and wipe the floor with concept of entertainment. Sure people just get very, very good at bowling like they get very good at pool or darts.

The answer is yes, they do, but perfect games are less common than perfect check-outs in darts and more common than perfect breaks in snooker. And watching the strikes suddenly go awry made it a fascinating competition. Like snooker, each frame was the perfect length for you to “just watch one more”. Friday night saw us cheering the Europeans and boo-ing the Yanks, and at the end of the night Europe was 4-2 up. But there was a long way to go…