Tuesday, March 20, 2007

dispatches from abroad v.2

yesterday's post was un petit peu triste, so i'm going to make up for it by posting this pic from the weekend with the family of us in happier times. the boy is wearing a xxxl "china" basketball jersey from this place called steve & barry's, which according to the boy is like winners for men. that jersey cost $5 or something. he's also wearing a plastic yellow construction hat, and he managed to artfully style this entire ensemble around his pajamas. we expect to hear andre leon talley from vogue knocking on our door any time now.

we also got to eat my beloved dinosaur! just look at those ribs! they were juicy, tender, falling off the bone, with a lovely pink "smoke-ring" around the meat. the picture is a little blurry because my hands were shaky in anticipation of CHOWING down. on the left, that's a little cup of the BEST macaroni salad i've ever had. and some corn bread. the corn bread i'm not as big a fan of, they glaze it with honey, which makes it a little too sweet for me, and i really love my cornbread to have a crispy, cast-iron derived crust for some crunchy texture. in the background you can see my draft root beer. one of the things i'm a connoisseur of, is root beer. this one was a little too sweet and not root-y enough, but it was a nice palate cleanser.

we recently watched the movie "stranger than fiction". now, i love my charlie-kauffman meta-films as much as the next person. "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" is probably my most beloved movie of the past 5 years. no question. this was not anywhere near as imaginative or clever or well-executed or endearing as a kauffman flick. it took an interesting concept, and turned it into something boring and plodding, that was neither funny enough to be comedy, or poignant enough to be an affecting drama. they also gussied up the film with these weird little directorial animation interventions that were meaningless and distracting aesthetic flourishes. none of the actors really seemed to commit to their roles (save maggie gyllenhaal) and it didn't go anywhere, and ended with an oprah-y, pat little banal observation on the meaning of life.

we also recently watched most of a documentary called "darwin's nightmare". about a species of fish that was introduced into the largest lake (lake victoria) in africa, and how it has subsequently decimated native fish populations. it also looks at the interweaving of the economic dependency on this fish as a source of income, supporting entire villages and populations, and how this economy might be implicated in the shipment of arms from european countries into africa, to fuel the ongoing civil strife. sounds pretty interesting, right? well, unfortunately, the documentary isn't very compelling and not terribly insightful. we stopped 3/4 of the way through, because we could tell where it was going, and it just wasn't very well executed. you can infer all you need to from my synopsis above.

today we're going to visit the boy's grandpa in the hospital and have dinner with his uncle who's visiting from the west coast. i've never met this particular uncle before. i have no idea what we're having for dinner, but barrie seems to be of the big box-franchise persuasion in terms of dining options.

last night's dinner was really yummy. i made a mulligatawny. mulligatawny is usually a spicy broth, rich with tomatoes, spices like fennel, cinnamon, cloves, tumeric, cumin and coriander, and coconut milk. i made the addition of adding red lentils to the soup, which cooked down and gave it a further element of rich thickness. then we deep fried some chicken and beef samosas the boy had picked up from "the sultan of samosas". they were delicious! calling oneself the "sultan" of samosas wasn't meaningless hyperbole in this case.


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