THINGS I LOVED / HATED THIS WEEK #80

I’ve been in an irrationally good mood this week, so I didn’t hate anything. I don’t get it either.

LOVE:

Angela Lansbury on TOUR!

article-2515283-19B366B700000578-936_634x606

Angela Lansbury is one of my queens. I grew up watching her play Ms. Price in Bedknobs & Broomsticks. I watched the movie so many times that to this day I could put on a one man show version with full choreography and singing. When I finally had the opportunity to visit London’s Portobello Road, I was heartily disappointed that there wasn’t a kettle drum band, even though it would have fit right in. The area around the market feels oddly tropical. I love watching Murder She Wrote when I stay up too late. I love watching her in Sweeney Todd, and hers is my preferred version of the soundtrack. She is just one of the big icons in my life, but I’ve never had the chance to meet or see her. She’s getting up there in years, so I need to! I was so excited to read yesterday that she is going on a North American tour of Blithe Spirit. Of all the plays she could do, I’m so glad it’s this one! Blithe Spirit is a comedy about a psychic medium set in the early last century. It’s perfect. I am going to do my best to attend one of her performances. She’ll be in LA, San Francisco, Toronto, and Washington DC. Too bad she’s not coming to Chicago or New York, but no matter. It’ll be amazing to see her if I get to.

Passion Fruit PUREE!

Losing my shit…PASSION FRUIT. I've been looking for it for years here in America. I'm so happy. You don't understand.

A post shared by Benjamin Phillips (@bdphillips) on

Reader, I’m so excited that I can hardly find the words to express my overwhelming emotions. From the first moment I experienced the beautiful flavor of PASSION FRUIT, I have been overwhelmed by how much I love it and how hard it is to get. I have only seen it for sale once, and I spent a ridiculous sum of money on four fruits that gave me a meager amount of juice. They became delicious macarons, though! Whenever I see passion fruit on menus, I immediately order it — whatever it is. I’ve had delicious smoothies and tarts and sorbet. But, I have never been able to do my own cooking with this nectar of the gods. It’s impossible to find, it’s just not available. I found that you can order fruits on Amazon, but they were so expensive to ship. So, I decided that I was just going to have to suffer in a world without passion fruit, which lets be honest, is not the kind of world I want to live in. Now, though, there is a reason for my existence. On Friday night, I went to the food festival in Des Moines. I go every year and it’s always a good time. They moved locations, which I’m not crazy about, but this is an unimportant detail. Every market I go to, there is this woman selling tarts. I have held an unreasonable disdain for her for years because she insists on combining chocolate and caramel. I think caramel is awful and should never ever be used, but I seem to be in the minority. We bought one of her lime tarts, though, and she warned us that she had used lemons and passion fruit instead of lime. THAT WAS FINE BY ME. I immediately asked her where she got her passion fruit. I was told La Tapatia, an awesome Mexican grocery store that I don’t get to nearly enough. I immediately took off and nearly wept when I stood in the frozen food aisle and dozens of packets of passion fruit purée sat smiling up at me. I lovingly took it to the counter and paid an unreasonably small amount, under four dollars, and rushed home to make macarons. I made Mogador macarons, which is one of my favorite recipes from Pierre Hermé. I get one or two or a dozen when I find myself at one of his shops. They’re flawless and so good. I’m going to happily eat all my macarons when I get home from work and pretend I’m in Paris. It’ll be divine.

Using my CHIP Card!

Using my chip card for the first time! I'm very emotional. I've been waiting for seven years for this moment.

A post shared by Benjamin Phillips (@bdphillips) on

Last week or the week before, I can’t remember, I told you that I finally have a chip card of my very own! Oh, it’s been thrilling, but I haven’t had the occasion to use it, yet, which has been devastating. I’m on a budget for a little while, so I’m not letting myself shop as I used to, besides that, I normally shop online anyway. And besides that, I prefer my Discover card because it gives me money for using it, which I adore. The other night, though, I made a quick trip to Walmart for a gallon of paint and to use my card. It was a glorious moment, reader. I slid the card in the slot (giggle) like I’d seen all those Europeans do so many times and waited for approval. It came. Gods wept. I collapsed with joy. It was one of the most emotional moments of all my life. Like, if they ever turn my life into a film, this will be the pivotal scene at the end with dramatic music playing. Meryl Streep will smile down upon the card reader (Meryl Streep is playing me, obvi) and with her inimitable talent she will render the audience mush. Anyway, it was just as exciting as I had hoped it would be and my life is forever better with a chip card in my wallet. I just can’t wait until all of my cards are compatible. HURRY UP, DISCOVER!

Des Moines Is Like a REAL CITY!

dsm skyline

Growing up, Des Moines wasn’t cool. It wasn’t a place to go nor a destination. We went to the Walmart in Windsor Heights, the library in Urbandale, and the Olive Garden. That was the extent of my voyages to Iowa’s capital. Recently, though, the city has had a renaissance of sorts and is actually oddly fun. I’d happily move downtown. There are great restaurants and the skywalk has always charmed me. I was actually rather flabbergasted, though a few nights ago when I was walking around after the Food Festival. There were quaint shops, the kind you see in Chelsea in New York City. There were bicycles you could rent, like the Vélib in Paris. You can call an Uber if you want. There’s renowned restaurants. There is even a vegetarian restaurant with actual hipster baristas. That one really threw me, reader. He had a beanie and a flannel shirt and a scruffy beard and everything. I never thought that I could like Des Moines as anything more than a place to shop, but it’s really quite neat. Maybe I should spend the summer in Des Moines? Wouldn’t that be something…

My STALKER!

tumblr_mbtnua9Z8P1rtgzofo1_500-1

A few months ago, I was the recipient of some very rude comments because I had visited Olivia de Havilland’s home in Paris. The people were just jealous, clearly. I’d never been spoken down to in that manner, and for the first time I discovered what all the kids were talking about: HATERS GONNA HATE.

I love my haters, though. I find strength in them. Actually, I don’t care about them, but I am flattered that they spend so much time researching my life and reading my works to have such a virulent response. Still, a reader is a reader! Somebody was commenting on here, and you’re probably reading this, so, I suppose I should say thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. It’s awfully sweet. Also, whenever you comment, I see your email address and your ISP number. Your ISP number can be broken down into coordinates and I know exactly where you are. So, stop being a douche. CHEERS!

tumblr_nc0648P7KX1ql5yr7o1_500

SIDECARS!

Sidecar-003-de1

Lately, I’ve been revisiting my favorite cocktails and perfecting the proportions so that I can write them down and recreate perfectly. I have been wanting to do a series of posts on fancy drinks for you, so I thought I’d better have them down pat. My new recipe for the sidecar is perfection, reader, and I’ve been very seriously studying each one that I shake up. I DO THIS FOR YOU. I don’t want to spend my weekend sipping delicious cocktails, but I want you all to have better lives, so I SACRIFICE. Here’s what to do! Chill a martini glass in the freezer while you make the cocktail. In a shaker, add: 2 ounces of brandy, 1 ounce of lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed), and 1.5 ounces of triple sec. Add ice and shake until the outside is frosted. (Sometimes I add a pinch of salt, too, but that’s up to you.) Pour into the chilled glass and sip to your heart’s delight. You are welcome.

Mr. Clean MAGIC ERASER!

0003700082027_500X500

Guys, I am obsessed with the Magic Eraser. It has done miraculous things and made my life a better one. A couple days ago, I was mowing the lawn right after work and I just wanted to get it out of the way, so I didn’t change my clothes or anything. I forgot all about how grass can turn your shoes green. I was so annoyed. They weren’t my favorite shoes, but I had worn them inside the Great Pyramid, so I thought I should take better care of them. They’re also half a size too small, which is infuriating, but there are just some days when you need shoes you slip on instead of tying — some mornings I can’t be bothered to tie my shoes. What? Don’t judge me. I tried washing them with vinegar and then scrubbing them with baking soda and then rubbing them with rubbing alcohol. All of these solutions were somewhat effective, but I still had lemongrass colored shoes. This wasn’t a huge issue. I love lemongrass, but it wasn’t the look I was going for with my grey shoes. I was rummaging about the cupboard and found a box of these erasers. I had never used them before, but I had heard excellent things regarding them, so I pulled one out, ran it under some water, and wiped my shoes. THEY TURNED WHITE IN AN INSTANT. I freaked out, reader. I’m slightly terrified of whatever is in that eraser, but I’m so happy. #blessed

Greyson Chance’s “Thrilla In Manilla”!

 

I don’t remember when I first heard Greyson Chance. It was probably on Ellen! She had him on to sing a cover of a Lady Gaga song, and we all fell in love with his talent. I followed him on Twitter and then he followed me back, so we’re clearly close friends. I can’t say that I’m awfully familiar with his previous work — it was that soulful Justin Bieber kind of thing and I’m not really here for that. Between then and now, he’s become almost unbelievably popular in Asia and has developed a new sound. A pop sound. Y’all know how I love me some pop music. This new single of his is perfection. You know I like a song if I’ll actually run to it, and I ran a lot yesterday. I exhausted myself. It’s so damn catchy. I don’t have a clue what it’s about, but that doesn’t matter. Give it a listen, reader.

Short Sleeps:

Man-Sleeping

I’ve long known that the less I sleep, the more energetic I feel. Surely that can’t be right. I’ve been so tired lately, so I find myself going to bed earlier and earlier. I’ve been ridiculously busy the past few nights, so I haven’t been able to do that. My body was aching to, though. Last night, after a stupidly long evening of baking, I was only able to sleep for about four hours. I woke up more refreshed than ever. It doesn’t make sense. I feel energetic and happy and fine. I’ve experienced this in the past, too, but it’s very hard to maintain a four hour a night sleep schedule. I’ve long been fascinated with sleep. Karl Lagerfeld sleeps for seven. Martha Stewart sleeps for five. Other great thinkers in the past have had different schedules. There’s one method where you sleep in twenty minute intervals over the course of the day. I think that’d be crazy. Your whole life would just blend into itself. It’s important to have a schedule, but it’d be hard to maintain one like that! I’m going to do some more experiments with short sleeps next week and I shall certainly report back.

Ping Pong Summer:

When I was in Paris, I saw my friend Amy Sedaris on a poster plastered on the wall of the Metro. I wondered what she was doing there. Remember that time I met her and we discussed hobocomps and homosexuality? I’ll never forget that glorious evening. Anyway, she was in a new film called Ping Pong Summer, so I wrote it down in my Moleskine and promptly forgot all about it. A few weeks ago, I was refreshing my Netflix queue and saw that the movie was now available, so I put it on my list and procrastinated a bit and then finally sat down to watch the other night. It was so cute. The film is set in the 1970s on the resort town in New England and is all about a young man named Rad who is trying his hardest to be cool. He tries to do this in a myriad of ways. He listens to rap and tries to break dance. He tries to become a ping pong champion and I won’t give the ending of the film away, but Susan Sarandon trains him while sipping beer and looking insane. Amy plays a crazy aunt to the main character and she’s perfection as always. The casting was perfection and the teen that plays Rad should have a good future in Hollywood. This was his first film and there’s next to no information about him online, which seems weird. John Hannah(!!!!) played the dad, which thrilled me because he was one of the stars of THE MUMMY, one of the more formative films of my life. You should all see it. It’s a sweet movie. Not sweet like cool, sweet like charming.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s