My Emu Is Emo

I cook. I listen to music. Mayhem ensues.

January issued a smackdown


Giant Guy Cat chiaroscuroSmugness is not a danger in recounting January’s progress on the Life List. In fact, that’s why I decided to do a recap at the end of each month of 2012. When I read about the latest and greatest in approaches to self-actualization, I envision cheery, well-balanced people striding systematically toward their goals, possibly while sporting toothy grins and bouncy, shiny hair.

January 2012 sucked. Also, my teeth are not my best feature, and the hair fights back.

January 2012. My favorite coworker bounced between the ICU and the nursing home for the entire month and may never recover enough to come back to work. It seems almost selfish to notice how picking up his workload affected me. Then the external review that was supposed to be routine and painless turned into a visit from the Men In Black, only they didn’t bring the neuralyzers.
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Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins tour Athens (Georgia) indie bands

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Peanut butter and jelly muffinGeorgia is not just about peaches and pecan pie. Georgia is also about peanuts (though, disappointingly, not pistachios, peppermint, or pistols).

Peanut butter requires jelly, which leads us inexorably to the peanut-butter-and-jelly muffin (recipe from Eat At Home Cook).

Georgia music leads us inexorably to Athens, where I was sucked down the rabbit hole of local music mavens Athens Soundies (main youtube page). I’m going to select a few videos to highlight, but… man, every local music scene should be champing and drooling to put together a site like this. To whet your appetite, let’s start with the pitter-patter of Quiet Hooves (Bandcamp page).
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Tamale Pie is delicious, easy, and culturally problematic

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Tamale PieA sudden urge to make tamale pie is not a source of pride. Tamale pie is among the most Americanized of pseudo-Mexican foods, with the bonus onus of lacking the hipster cred that’s been accrued by giant corporate burritos.

Your mom probably made tamale pie. Mine didn’t. Mine made the similar recipe that involved Fritos.

However, tamale pie links two ideas that had been on my plate. One is the monthly Top 10 Workout Songs from Run Hundred (site so you can vote!), which reliably includes something musically provocative. This month, the ear-catcher was a punk remix of Nicki Minaj’s mega-hit “Super Bass.” Meanwhile, Maura Johnston’s 11 Most Infuriating Trends of 2011 had called out white people revamping urban radio hits. In general, I value trend-watchers’ insights because my bent is for short, intense projects, not for longer-term absorption of the zeitgeist. This one, though… we gotta talk. Let’s start with the Nicki Minaj original. Read the rest of this entry »

Emily Reo presides over lime efforts going sour (Florida)


key limes and auxiliary limesAt top left are the key limes.

Below them are the auxiliary back-up limes.

It’s time to tackle Florida in the 50 states / 50 dishes / 50 bands project.

Florida started off as a problem child, not due to any difficulties with the Boston Phoenix’s state pick, as runner-up Emily Reo (Bandcamp) is soothingly moody, with implied yanking of chains and rattling of bones.

No, the problem with Florida was that the iconic state dish is key lime pie, and the holidays had already involved more than their fair share of dessert, including the (unblogged) cinnamon cheesecake with a brownie crust.

My Plan B was alligator, even though alligator should properly be Plan A, and bison should be Plan B, working our way gradually toward Plan W for wildebeest. However, frozen alligator filet at stalwart butcher shop Hobe is $19 per pound.

“But I only pay that much for fresh gator!” would be the proper cry of the foodie. All the alligator recipes I could find were identical to chicken, anyway, so we can guess what alligator tastes like.

Back to limes. And that’s when everything went sour. Read the rest of this entry »

  • Published: Jan 9th, 2012
  • Category: Movies
  • Comments: None

Smash Wants a Snuggle

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Smash playbillSmash is cute. Smash is cuddly. Smash will curl up on your lap and lick strawberry ice cream from your spoon. Smash has big, winsome eyes, only two of which belong to Katharine McPhee.

Smash is coming to your local NBC station on February 6, after the Super Bowl. As the aptly adorable takeaway to the left implies, I’ve already seen the pilot episode.

Smash is what would happen if a brightly colored 1940s musical were to be remade by a team who’d gotten giddy from the fumes of spray-painting 19 gold top hats for the finale of A Chorus Line. There’s the odd feint at gritty realism, but our heroine is written as a wide-eyed naïf from the sticks, trying to get her lucky break in the Big Apple.

When she turned out to literally be from Iowa, I decided the writers must know perfectly well every cliché and trope that they’re trotting out, and they’re having fun with it. The result is great fun and may well deconstruct itself into something more complicated than “brown-eyed Mary Sue takes Broadway by storm.” But let’s talk about why it’s fun. Read the rest of this entry »

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