Sunday, January 20, 2008

too damn cold (and the WIRE!!! --> AT LAST!!!!!)

it was just too damn cold to contemplate leaving the house last night, so i had the foresight on my brief mission during the day, to go to rogers video and snap up all the dvds for season 1 of the wire. before i begin the now de riguer, pop culture, viral, critic rhapsodizing about how the wire is the best show on television, let's get the food talk out of the way. the chilaquiles turned out crazysexycool good. my dining companions have already put in a request that it be put into the rotation on a more frequent basis (considering i have a rotation of about 3 years' worth of dishes before i have to repeat, this means they want it within the next year or so). instead of simmering the corn chips in the chorizo salsa mixture, i just crumbled them into the bottom of the bowl and spooned the sauce (with the 3/4 cooked egg) on top so that they stayed fairly crisp. i ended up using up these bananas that were on the verge for dessert. i made a banana pudding and topped it with sugared and bruleed banana slices. so on the bottom of the ramekin are nilla wafers, topped with a vanilla-speckled custard, then slices of banana that i dusted with sugar and went at with a torch.

sunday breakkie this morning was based on a clean-out-the-fridge scenario. we had a red pepper, spinach, zucchini, and cheese curd frittata with peameal and toast. and a beet, apple, carrot, ginger, and cucumber juice.

today is homework, dodgeball (where i'm sure everyone is going to be playing extra gingerly) then we're visiting the chief (chris) at his gf's where he's recuperating, then bwong and dr. rei are coming over for dinnie. we're having milk braised pork, mustard spaetzle, oven-roasted broccoli and apple crisp with vanilla custard sauce. on to business. the wire is FLIPPIN' AWESOME. i know, i know, you've heard it before. everyone is saying the same g-d thing. but it's true! the gestalt is true! (and by true, i mean, i agree with it, as opposed to the gestalt over say, "csi: poughkeepsie") the characters are so rich, and the paralleling between the legal apparatus and the criminal apparatus is captivating and sociologically dense. it manages to be bleak and instructive at the same time and disperses the audience's sympathies evenly around almost every character (who all rock). current favorites (we're at episode 4 of season 1) are: bubbles (the crackhead), mcnulty, lester, d'angelo, the little drug runner kid in the pit with the braids, avon barksdale, kima...gah!!! there are too many to name! i want to write a paper on surveillance and the show. (according to the dotytron, i'm always just looking for ways to write papers about whatever i'm currently watching on tv - the other contender for my rapier-analysis is a dissection of male machismo and colonial travelogue dialogs in anthony bourdain's show, no reservations).

anyway, the writing on the the wire is just top flight. it shows the cyclical nature of the american war on drugs, the losing battle against entrenched poverty and ghettoization in the states, the co-construction and co-dependence and the diffuseness of power between law enforcement and the elements they're trying to keep in check. everyone has vices, the whole game is deeply political and tied to economic, technological, social and cultural forces beyond the scope of their immediate task. it's also great because i have family working various levels of law enforcement in the states, so it gives us a better idea of the jobs that they do. like, right now, mcnulty is having some kind of torrid fling with rhonda, the baltimore d.a. since there are so many characters, it's hard for us to keep track of names, so it helps us to say stuff like: "mcnulty is the one who's sleeping with ___ (insert my outlaw bro's name here)" or, "see, the fbi, that's where ___ (insert my sister's name here) would come in".

it's also hella revealing about the nature of us, the people watching it. in the first episode, the gang ordered the death of someone who snitched on a dealer. this is how the post-show commentary went down:

dotytron: "i need a beer and i have to go pee"

the roomie: "i really think d'angelo is going to be redeemed and get a conscience and straighten his life out"

me: "if i were avon barksdale i wouldn't kill every snitch. i'd keep it random - let some live and some die - it would be a more effective deterrent because you'd always be living in fear"

i also find that i'm the most likely out of the three of us to sympathize with the way the gang leaders think/operate. i admire their level of organization and their industrious can-do attitude, and lines like this (uttered by avon barksdale) really resonate with me: "if we killed him, we had a reason. and if we didn't kill him, we had a reason, and it's not for you to know" i love the simplicity of the logic!

in less light news, this poor guy who works in one of the grocery stores in chinatown east (just west of where we live) got shot at 6pm, in broad daylight, caught in the crossfire of some stupid shiz. a hard-working chinese man, going about his business. it breaks my heart. ESPECIALLY when it's chinese people, because i have a soft spot for my own people, and like to transpose my experiences onto theirs...somehow, the fact that they're chinese somehow makes it easier to do that (though no less an irrational and impossible attempt to bridge the experiential divide). it's always one of those "there but for the grace of ___" moments. i don't know what's wrong with people, when innocent bystanders get caught at one of the busiest times of day and a highly trafficked corner. if i were in charge of the justice system, when i found the shooter, i'd make them LIVE with the bereaved family and let them stew in that guilt and walk a mile in that poor victim's shoes. we were talking about it the other night, and the roomie suggested that a more fitting punishment would be to make the shooter live with me. I'D PUT HIM TO WORK ALL RIGHT. that guy would be so busy being productive, he wouldn't have time to get himself into that kind of nonsense. he'd be harangued into a state of good behaviour.


1 comment:

dr.rei said...

yay! so glad you guys are watching the wire! it really does evoke hilarious discussions and comments from viewing compadres. my pops says the funniest stuff about omar (who i'm not sure you guys have met yet, but who is the most charismatic, hard as nails gangster with a heart of gold. and HELLA quotable)

anyway, that banana brulee looks effing amazing and i'm delighted at the recent fried egg motif.