New El Paso Black Bean Chili
Serves: 6-8 (but double the recipie if you're expecting lots of company, or if you'd like some leftovers to take in to the office on Tuesday)
Prep time: 1 hour
Hey, it's me, your Labor Day Weekend guest blogger Clint Eastwood, Sexual Cowboy, with some suggestions for spicing up you and your family's holiday.
We all know how unstructured time tends to spread out over a long weekend. Now luckily it's supposed to be nice tomorrow and Monday, but just in case you ended up cooped up inside with the kids, here's a terrific crafts project that they're sure to love. It's easy, and doesn't require any supplies you aren't likely to have on hand. And with school about to start up again, this will get the tykes back into the collaborative, art-class spirit!
Make a Construction Paper Cowboy Hat
(Instructions borrowed with thanks from this fine site, where you can also find the template.)
"Cut out the front of a cowboy hat from brown paper using a template, and cut out a long paper strip from a heavier weight paper from a headband to attach the hat to. Attach the cowboy hat to the center of the headband and decorate it. Once it is decorated fit the headband to your head and secure the length of it in place with tape. Now you are ready to ride the range!"
Hi, it's me, Clint Eastwood, Sexual Cowboy, here to take you through the holiday weekend. You know, one aspect of my life that I wish more people knew about is my love of jazz. In fact, I even dabble in it myself. (Though you won't catch me playing a brunch set at B.B. King's to a half-full room of bovine out-of-towners, like some actor-musician manques I could name!) I do so love to sing, and was so happy to work with the Broadway great Joshua Logan in Paint Your Wagon. Is that my sheet music in there?
This coming Sunday, 8coupons is teaming up with Snackalicious Falafel in the East Village to offer 8-cent falafel sandwiches from 5-9 pm. A falafel includes pita, chickpeas molded carefully into a falafel ball, fresh tomatoes, diced onions, shredded lettuce and that precious sauce. A lot of love and labor goes into a falafel. Something so good should cost far more than eight cents, but not this Sunday! How they do it, the world many never knowâ¦so, just, stop wondering. And eat. A lot. Because you may win the Snackalicious' falafel-eating contest. In addition to the gustative satisfaction and glory of consuming as many falafels as possible, you'll also prove yourself worthy of receiving one 8-cent falafel sandwich every day for an entire year.
Oh, and there's 8-cent yogurt at the nearby and newly opened 16 Handles as well, just in case you haven't whipped yourself into a food coma by then. Not surprisingly, the 888th person will get 8-cent fro-yo on the 8th of every month for the next 365 days. It's almost too much to comprehend on an empty stomach.
Hi, I'm Clint Eastwood, Sexual Cowboy, and I'll be blogging here this weekend while Mark and Sharon take the holiday off. I'll mostly be posting some of my favorite videos, pictures, articles, crafts projects and other things of that nature, so stop on by, why dontcha, in between your holiday celebrations. Go ahead, I'll make your day!
"Short of dressing up as a leprechaun or lighting yourself on fire, you'd have to work super hard to stand out as the best- OR worst-dressed person in the room. When there's a woman in a bedazzled fur turban making the rounds, your skirt is beside the point, so just relax and ogle."Somehow this seems to ring true not just for Fashion Week, but for the New York fashion scene in general--particularly when you're little more than just an anonymous pawn in a someone else's Very Important Game (as in the case of the lawyer lady who wrote in and is terribly stressed about how to blend in and impress). So, hurrah for Forever 21 tops and H&M bags. Because nobody cares about you unless you're Anna or have a stuffed toy created in your likeness. Goddamn, those skinny lacquered pants are skinny. Teddy bears should not appear to have eating disorders. Disturbing, that.
Dahlia Lithwick, who touchingly continues to believe that things like Constitutional rights and stuff are winning issues for liberals (yesterday), wrote recently about why aren't Democrats hammering McCain on abortion? As in: in this election that will decide the makeup of the Supreme Court for the next generation or so, why aren't we saying that, despite being branded a "maverick" because once upon a time he ran a contentious primary campaign against George W. Bush, McCain is actually to the right of most of America on women's issues? Well, because as her colleague wrote once in his really good book, the left long ago let the right set the terms (and, crucially, the language) of the abortion debate, and it's kind of of a losing issue for us.
Now, John McCain has selected an honest-to-goodness lady as his Vice Presidential nominee, presumably because of all those (mythical?) Hillary holdouts really want to vote for change but can't stand Obama. Now they have a new tough broad to vote for. Is this the logic? Probably. Well, said lady also happens to be stridently anti-abortion (the above-linked Times article includes a ringing endorsement from Ralph Reed, not exactly a champ of women's issues in any forum). So perhaps now, in an effort to prove their credentials, the ticket with two dudes on it will actually have to talk aggressively about, like, protecting Roe v. Wade and stuff? I can haz frank and un-coded political debates about the importance of the right to abortion and government support of sex ed, birth control and family planning, plz?
Seriously, though, picking a lady so that ladies will vote for you... is progress?
"I would love to secretly do some work on a metal band's album," she said, adding that Underoath would be her first choice for a collaboration. "I wish I could just secretly do vocals, and nobody would know it's me. I would love to just do a couple of screams. One time I was at soundcheck and I told my musical director that I really want to pig squeal, and he said, 'Go ahead — I don't care.' I didn't want to, because I could see there were fans nearby, and he said, 'Just do it.' And I did, and these fans reacted. They were like, 'Wow, that's awesome — I don't even know what that is, but it's cool,'" Demi told MTV News.The Disney brass likely already knows that Demi has Maylene, the Sons of Disaster, Abigail Williams, Lamb of God, Dr. Acula on her iPod. Which explains why she's been so reluctant to make such things public. It's no Vanity Fair cover, although it does offer some decent bad-girl foreshadowing. Ten years from now, Demi, this could be you. Prepare to make your crossover.
The title, it would seem, is more a declaration of simplicity than authoritativeness — this is a pleasantly scattershot dip into the contents of one guy's bookshelves, and an attempt at edifying pattern-making from there. The usually withheld critical "I" is here in abundance, exclamation points are unusually frequent and examples are given liberally, or made up in a spirit of fun. And, as you might expect, close readings of short passages are instructive — the "How" of the title is the key word here, this is an instructive book for people who'd like to ground readings of literary product in an understanding of literary process.
Wood is essentially talking about stuff that Does It For Him; I like listening to him talk about this stuff. Less so the stuff that Doesn't Do It For Him, because I like a lot of it. (Especially his frequent bugbear DeLillo, who's barely mentioned here and just as well for our purposes.) Wood wants fiction to be anchored (via a fresh style), to some sense of "lifeness" — he's stringent about fiction's responsibilities if not stodgy about its methods. Still, when he talks about Updike and Nabokov sometimes "freez[ing] detail into a cult of itself", and "metafictional trivialities", and "the cost to final seriousness" in Pynchon — these are all incidental references, little spurs sticking out from the course of the book — I go on red alert, because I find great value in the perhaps frivolous aesthetic or perhaps esoteric critical-theoretical purposes that fall outside the workings of fiction as they're presented here.
Having read this book, I went back to Walter Kirn's review — I still think it's an interesting and worthwhile one, for attempting to take Wood's tastes (what this book does is foreground that "I"), as demonstrated here and in his long paper trail, and arrange them more formally. The better to object to them — but still, I agree with some of them. Even if it is ultimately an overheated critique, and it overshoots in trying to make Wood's prizing for "the real" into an association with a particular genre, when it's more a matter of sensibility. But taste is a difference I can put aside here, even more so than I thought was going to be the case.
"I want to give a shout out to all my Saudi Arabian brothers and sisters and all my brothers and sisters from all the countries that have oil, if you could all please send me some oil for my jet I would truly appreciate it." - P. DiddyBringing the bitchassedness to the Middle East and beyond.
The gruff Brass Face is one half of Beijing rap duo Phoenix Cry. Here, he raps over an Alphaville song sped up to sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.
(If that doesn't work, try here.)
When I am elected president, rappers will only ever be allowed to rap over Alphaville's "Forever Young."
And occasionally "Take Me Home Tonight," by Eddie Money.
When news broke yesterday that Steve Foley, who played drums in the Replacements toward the end of the band's run, had died of an apparently accidental overdose on prescription meds, I followed a Brooklyn Vegan link to the "When It Began" video, and wound up watching about an hour's worth of live footage and interviews with the band. This is my favorite. Seriously, it gets better and better as it goes on.
This is a public service announcement... with guitars!
Janet Frame is a dead writer from New Zealand who rather famously struggled with mental illness; this story, "found among her papers," as such things often are, is about a dwarf and ward of the state celebrating her 21st birthday celebration (and competency exam). We've previously dealt with Frame, earlier this year, with another previously unpublished story about mental illness — that one was narrated by an institutionalized woman, but her narration was vague and almost impersonal; while the narrator here identifies herself as "I" once, early on, and then proceeds to tell the story of poor, poor Naida.
As this "I", again nebulously defined, Frame dips into and out of the stunted (mentally as she is physically) perspective of Naida, essentially making us pity her (and the state's clumsy treatment of her) by juxtaposing her perceptions against the objective world (for instance, we hear about her grand romances, while mentions of the brand names of Naida's runny lipstick strike us as cheap), and by offering no explanations for her behavior better than she can come up with herself.
The "I", though, is again mysterious, and curiously forceful:
This Thursday list was inspired by this post, which pointed to a clip from the original theatrical release of the only movie ever made, Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express, in which star Faye Wong's Cantonese-language cover of the Cranberries' "Dreams" (also featured later in the movie) plays over a scene accompanied only by ambient sound in the DVD version available in this country from Kino. I had no idea. (I'm not sold on the repetition, honestly; I think it loses some of its power.) Wong, of course, likes all kinds of music, and frequently casts pop stars in his movies, but I like his taste in American music best, baby. So no bossa nova or anything here, let's just focus on, for instance, the talismanic use of the original Mamas and the Papas version of "California Dreaming," also in Chungking Express, and the Cantonese-language version (like "Dreams" seemingly recorded over the original instrumental track) of "Take My Breath Away", in his first film As Tears Go By. And of course his Happy Together takes its name from the Turtles song, an English-language cover of which (by Cantopop singer Danny Chung) plays over that movie's fucking great ending.
But what other Asian movies feature English-language pop songs? A rundown of other cross-cultural, pure-pop moments:
Gossip Girl Fever Is Totally In The Air, OMFG!!! It smells like the Hamptons, or what we think the Hamptons smells like, because, really, why go when you can live vicariously through a well-written show about heinously wealthy and beautiful city-living teenagers? Some veteran editorial staffers here at the L have even claimed the principal cast members of Gossip Girl as their iChat icons/possible alter-egos. Who is who? I'll never tell, xoxo, etc., etc. But you can guess. (Shockingly, nobody has claimed Chuck Bass.) UPDATE: He's taken. I mean, he's Chuck Bass, so, d'uh.
After you've exhausted all the exciting, very bad for you possibilities, perhaps you'd like to settle down with the new, five-minute-plus season two trailer the CW leaked today. It's a mix of old stuff and a few new teasing scenes, including a good look at Lonely Boy's new love interest--a/k/a the chick that's been sending Blake Lively into an insecurity shame spiral. Watch and judge.
I wasn't going to post about The Hills, its cast members, or their bastard cousins until next week's episode, but, well, sorry, Heidi Montag has a new single, "Overdosin'" making the rounds, and here it is. I opened it in several different browser windows because I was really confused by the, er, slow-mo thing. It appears to have been a purposeful directorial decision by Spencer Pratt: Mr. Heidi, Hollywood Machiavelli, and filmmaking wonder-man.
Who is the poor gentleman in the cerulean blue gym shorts, headband, and mustache? He looks so lost, like he meant to go to the 205 Club and doesn't understand how he wound up on the set for this. I would love to know exactly how much these backup dancers were paid, whether they were given outfit selections or ordered to wear what they have on, and how many of them will drink themselves into oblivion tonight after everyone sends them this link.
Please feel free to offer your own interpretations after watching, preferably in Haiku form. "Overdosin'" deserves that much.
Eight gold medals, a bunch of broken records, and a boatload of free swim trunks later, Michael Phelps isn't stopping until he's the winningest Olympian of them all. And that means a book deal! With a reported $1.6 million advance, according to the New York Post. Simon & Schuster's Free Press imprint is the lucky publisher, and the deal itself was brokered by the Waxman Literary Agency, which set a $1 million minimum floor price just to bid:
In the book, which is being called an "inspirational memoir," the publisher said that Phleps will reveal the secrets of his success, and give a behind-the-scenes look at his approach to training, competition and winning.Yes, but will it also include a primer on how to engage in public Olympic Village make-out sessions with newly rebounding swimmer hotties? Or how to cope when the whole thing backfires after said hottie calls you "nasty" and takes it back because it makes her sound shallow? And shouldn't we still be hyper-focusing on the fact that the Chinese women's gymnastic team are, like, fetuses?! Somewhere, Bela Karolyi is all weepy and sad and wondering WHY?
The narrative thread is expected to be the eight final swims of the 2008 games.
The frightening popularity of websites like Facebook and Myspace proves that the internet is the main tool in the Gen-Y social skill-set. But increasingly the web is about more than communication: it's the TV, the radio and the bible all rolled into one. During the recent Writers Guild strike, YouTube replaced the boob tube and webisodes looked like the way of the future, as primetime dried up and high-profile, network-approved talent headed for the web. And why wouldn't they want to swim toward warmer waters? After all, the internet is a venue that allows quirky projects to find their audience — without fear of mid-season cancellation. (Virginia Heffernan perfectly explains the appeal, as well as the challenges, of creating a series for the web, in this week's Times Magazine.) The fact that so many web shows center on socially awkward, web-dependent hipsters is just evidence that content creators are keenly aware of their core audience.
Quarterlife, an online series by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick of My So-Called Life fame, seems to understand that web 2.0 is essential to slacker social lives. These veteran producers also understand that the internet is becoming indispensable to the distribution of episodic programming.
facebook? did I miss something?
I never got a facebook site because I don't want to spend my free time…
"Welcome to the Machine . . . Where have you been? It's alright we know…