Thursday, May 05, 2016

#Views

The other night I had a really hilarious dream about Drake.  I'm not generally into his music.  I've been unmoved by most of what I've heard.

In the dream, I was supposed to be arranging pick up of an item I had purchased off one of those Facebook buy and sell groups.  Then when I finally meet the guy, it's DRAKE.  And in my dream, him being Drake means the same thing as it would IRL, except it's strangely not a big deal, but he's still very famous and very sought after and kind of a beta male.  Anyway, we're talking and I notice he's wearing like, 5 t-shirts layered on top of each other, and I'm gently chiding him about it, and it comes out that he's super self-conscious about his body?!  So the next time I come over, he's wearing a sleeveless t-shirt, and he's very self conscious about it, and his body is okay...like it's fine...he's not overweight or anything but everything is kind of lacking definition in a way that I now know (after a quick - and satisfying! - Google image search) it is not IRL, and in the dream I was trying to be supportive and comforting him and then it turned into FULL MAKE-OUT TIMES AT UNLIKELY PAIRINGS HIGH.  Like, I basically woke up out of making out with Drake.

Maybe this means I'm softening my stance a bit?  Dr. Rei basically curated a list of (two) recent Drake tunes that she said I should listen to and the ones she recommended ARE the ones I'm the most likely to be into...but I didn't think it was enough to send me headlong into Drake apologist mode.

Whereas, listening to The Life of Pablo put me right back into Kanye apologist mode and I was ready to fight anyone who says he's not a musical genius.  The Life of Pablo is so so so good, you guys.  So good.  Singing 'Ye is the best 'Ye.

I've seen two great documentaries this week.


On Monday the Dotytron and I went to see When Two Worlds Collide.  This was a documentary that took 9 years to make.  It follows indigenous Peruvian people living in the Peruvian Amazon who call for the repeal of laws that threaten the land they have traditionally used and occupied.  The laws were introduced by a government that is courting progress in the form of allowing transnational oil and gas interests to set up camp in the Amazon rainforest.  The indigenous people form a coalition and their coalition has a president, Alberto Pizango who is their spokesperson and leader.  The indigenous people start a protest that sees them blocking roads and surrounding oil infrastructure.  The protests are peaceful, but after a sham legislative debate that sees the government refuse to consider repealing the laws, the government sends armed police in to break up the protests and things turn violent.  Indigenous people and police die.  I came away from this doc feeling really bad about capitalism and how capitalism is so relentless - forcing people to submit, whether they want to or not.  

It also made me check my own assumptions and terrible biases and ignorance on indigenous Canadian issues and how we're doing the same thing, here.  I sometimes find myself thinking, "well, why do you even want to live in Attiwapiskat anyway?" and then I realize that this has been their home and that part of living in a just and liberal society is allowing people to live how they choose and honoring those agreements and histories.  It's not for us to decide what's the best way for people to live.  And they predate the f**k out of us.  So how can we make this work?  How can we bridge capitalism and indigenous ways of life?  


I also went to see Sour Grapes with JJ.  This was about the rise of wine auctions during the dot-com boom and this mysterious figure, Rudy Kurniawan who becomes a player in the wine scene and is known for his palate.  He ends up making $35 million from auctioning rare wines from his collection and it turns out that he might have been counterfeiting them.  He basically would bid on wines, drive up the price, and then a month later, auction the same wines at an even more inflated price (parallels to Wall Street malfeasance!)  Well, poor Bill Koch (of the Koch brothers) suspects that some of his wine might be counterfeit and hires a private investigator and things start to close in around Rudy.  Rudy ends up going to jail for 10 years, and his defense attorneys are like, this is ridiculous.  We've seen mobsters with bodies in the ground not serve time like that.  After the lights came on, I turned to JJ and said, "I'm on team Rudy!  I like his entrepreneurial spirit! And are we REALLY supposed to feel bad for one of the Koch brothers?"  

Rudy made friends with Hollywood producers and got invited to these exclusive wine parties that were all white and male and super in the dick-measuring vein.  Anyway, there were interesting parallels with class and race that this film illustrated, as well as the corrupting power of money and these types of interests.  Some of Rudy's friends stay loyal to him to this day and the movie talks about the collusion between the grifter and the mark, but I found the loyalty of these doofus Hollywood, Michael Bay-types to be kind of endearing.  This was really good - I highly recommend it.

I've got two more documentaries this week and then Hot Docs 2016 will be done.  There are so many things going on!  Our May calendar is like a solid block of colour but I'm enjoying every minute of it.  I love all the cultural things we're getting to do and the people I'm seeing.  A talk, raving, Hot Docs, dinners out, the Comic Arts Festival all in the same month?!  That's soul satisfying stuff, my friends.


We watched Beyoncé's "visual album" (aka music videos strung together), Lemonade last night and...well...I have thoughts.  I will say that I'm not a member of the Beyhive - BUT! - I know that people are going crazy for it because as she matures in her career, we're seeing Bey start to take ownership and exercise creative control and try stuff in a way she hasn't before.  So yeah, that's cool.  But also, at the end of the day, it's not THAT cool?  I mean, it's a bunch of music videos strung together and there are some arresting images, but it's not like, high art.  Also, the songs are almost all pretty bad, but I just don't like her music, so fine, I get that.  I like that she goes in different directions and there was maybe 2 or 3 songs that I enjoyed. 

The most important element was how she's using her platform to shine a spotlight on black women artists and black artists in general.  That's incredible and that in an of itself is laudable.  I'm so glad that Warsan Shire is in my life now.  I wish I had watched Lemonade first, in a way.  But Bey is NO Warsan Shire and once you hear Warsan Shire recite her own poetry, then Beyoncé's affected, almost Miss Universe delivery just falls real short.  You can see how hard Bey is trying to be something great and I applaud her, but you can also see the effort and true greatness - you don't see the effort, mang.  So yeah, it did the thing it was supposed to do, which is cause a big hubub on the internet, inspire a lot of gossipy speculation, result in lots of think pieces, and then made Bey and Jigga s boatload of money.  Cool story, bruh.  

I almost think the brouhaha about the who "Becky with the good hair" is was a misstep and a silly distraction.  If Bey wanted to be taken seriously as an artist, fanning those flames was unnecessary and really takes away from her central message - which is that she's too awesome to be trifled with.  Ultimately, that's a message I can get behind, but it's delivered in a forgettable manner.  This ain't no Purple Rain, sons.









Last weekend we went on this amazing nature walk that really made you feel removed from the city.  I loved it.

We also went out dancing and it was incredible, though we barely made it through Sunday by the skin of our teeth.  We were cranky AF and the poor kids suffered.  It was worth the one day's aftermath of hell for the pleasure of feeling like a person again.


Of course our recovery day was rainy and miserable so we took the kids to Pacific Mall and ate a million of those puffy pancake things and some overcooked, hand-pulled noodles.  

Here are things we've eaten lately:

The aforementioned hand-pulled, overcooked noodles

Quickie weeknight freezer meal: meatballs from the freezer, tomato sauce from the freezer, garlic bread and green beans.  Basically the Dotytron-Lagerfeld tots' Platonic ideal.

A rhubarb browned butter pie that I pretty much ended up eating all to myself?  

Squash soup and cheddar sage biscuits

Bacon, squash, and kale risotto with a poached egg

Leftover risotto turned into fresh mozzarella stuffed arancini with tomato sauce, German onion sausages, and zucchini fritters

Banana chocolate chip pancakes and English bacon for a Sunday breakkie

This AMAZING poundcake with the most delectable browned butter glaze.  From this recipe here: Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Browned Butter Glaze. The only thing I think I would change is to omit the cinnamon swirl.  I thought it detracted from the overall butteriness.  I think what I"m after is a basic, bundt or pound cake and that delicious glaze.

Orzo made Spanish rice style with chicken thighs and peas.

Chai-spiced creme brulee.  A throwback dessert.  It's so delicious though!  Why don't people make creme brulee anymore?


Fin.

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Peanut Butter Mousse Pie
Serves 10-12

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, or chocolate wafer crumbs, or pretzel crumbs
3 T. sugar
1/2 cup of melted butter
- mix all together, press onto bottom and slightly up sides of a 9" springform pan.  Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 10-12 minutes until lightly golden.

Filling:
3/4 cup sugar 
3 eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups of creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 cups of heavy cream, whipped

- mix the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of  sugar on top of a double boiler until warm to the touch (keep whisking so the eggs don't cook)
- remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter until smooth.  Set aside to cool.
- meanwhile, whisk the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until it forms stiff peaks.  Fold into peanut mixture.
- fold whipped cream into the peanut mixture and pour into prepared crust.  Refrigerate at least overnight. 
- serve with hot fudge sauce.






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