THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #184

LOVE:

Snatched:

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The reviews for Snatched are absolutely awful. It’s called a cheap comedy, a travesty, an insult to humor, a failure like any other. So, since the reviews were vile, I could rest assured that I would absolutely love it. I wasn’t wrong, reader, and I don’t know what that says about me. I didn’t go for Amy Schumer. I don’t find her very amusing. I love Goldie Hawn, though, so I was delighted to go see her on the silver screen.

Jessica and I went Friday night and cackled our way through the film. It wasn’t just funny, reader; the similarities between the characters and ourselves were shocking. It was like watching a slightly exaggerated version of every trip we have ever taken together. “You!” I squawked when Goldie’s character said that you need to spend at least two years planning a trip. “You!” Jessica cried when Amy’s character drunkenly crawled into bed. I thought that was going too far. The likeliness was uncannily reminiscent of us, so that is why I enjoyed it so much more. But the film itself still managed to be hilarious. Amy and Goldie go on vacation in Ecuador and manage to get kidnapped and kill a couple gang members. That’s an overly simplified version of what happened, reader, but I don’t want to give it away. (Well, it was the kind of comedy that writes itself, so you can guess the plot yourselves with relative ease.) Everything was funny, and some bits were disgusting, and I had a good time. This is not going to win an Academy Award, but I don’t think it deserves to win a Razzie. Go to the theatre, grab a bunch of popcorn, order a lemonade, pour whiskey in it from your flask, and laugh the night away.

Jewish Huevos Rancheros:

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Reader, a friend and I recently had a gathering to celebrate the results of our DNA. The minority percentages were compelling, and I relished in being a North African-Spanish-Balkan-Jew. The results were intriguing enough to delve into the culinary traditions of these groups, so we cooked up a bunch of food and had a party. It was excellent, and all the food exceeded my expectations. I was inordinately happy with my heritages, and I was glad that I was barely Jewish so that I could celebrate Hanukkah guilt free, gossip with the old lady at Schwartz Deli in LA even more, and eat my body weight in latkes. I’ve never made latkes before, but I have always wanted to, so I was glad to finally have an excuse. They came together quite easily, and I was delighted by how they tasted. I will add them to my regular rotation for sure. I had plenty of latkes left over, so I froze them. The other morning, desperate for something for breakfast, I decided to make Huevos Rancheros using a bed of latkes instead of the traditional tortilla. I covered the latkes with sour cream, tossed a couple eggs on top, covered this with wonderful homemade salsa, and then crumbled some fresh mozzarella on top. This was all sat under the broiler and allowed to come together. It smelled divine. It looked fabulous. The picture I took doesn’t do it a modicum of justice. All that mattered, though, was how it tasted. Reader, those food orgasms that food bloggers write too much about are very real. This is one of the finest concoctions I have ever come up with in my entire life. I am going to eat it endlessly in a rhapsody of joy and bliss until my last day. It’s so simple. And it’s so damn good.

Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Season 5:

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I don’t know what I’ve done to be on the zeitgeist of everything. It’s tiring. I feel that if I were in the proper location — LA or London or New York — I’d be the toast of the town. In Hollywood, I know that I could write scripts that would have a market. We’ve talked constantly about how Ryan Murphy mines me for ideas, right? It’s getting bizarre at this point. I’ve come to the conclusion that we just have the same interests, similar tastes, and likely bizarrely similar personalities. I’d like to meet him one of these days for a chat. I think the both of us would benefit tremendously. I’ve softened, clearly, but or awhile I was growing paranoid that his team or he himself had hacked my documents folder and gained access to my years of laborious research on Joan Crawford, crumbling southern plantations, the poisonous qualities of lily of the valley, and grande dame guignol. Then he went to see Sunset Boulevard on Broadway the other week and I had to take a deep breath instead of screaming into the void. But enough about Ryan. Another entity that I am assured stalks me and mines me for ideas is Martha Stewart. She likes to tease me, like when she sent her dogs down when I was at her cafe. Or when she herself was at Sunset Boulevard. Or when she just does something that I do. It’s bizarre. Her most recent season of Cooking School, which is honestly the best cooking show on television right now — along with anything Ina Garten does — is all about the dishes of the Arabian Gulf. Did you gasp? Did you scream? Did you clutch your pearls in shock? I did all of these things. For the past few years, I have been intensively researching the culinary traditions of the Middle East, particularly the regions around Egypt and Israel and the Gulf. My shakshuka is out of this world. My tabbouleh is a masterpiece. My pita is on point. Now Martha opens up the first episode with shakshuka. I sat with my floor on the ground as I watched. I couldn’t believe.

Here it was happening again. My interests being projected onto the big screen. If only I could manifest this into reality like Martha and Ryan. I could be so successful with a house in the Hollywood hills, an apartment in Paris, and a villa in Luxor. That’s all I want, that blissful freedom to bop between properties in my favorite places. One day my dreams will come true, and I WILL BE ON MARTHA’S SHOW and then I will go home to my Paris apartment to scream at the latest Ryan Murphy television show and wonder how the hell my love of Snoop Dog and Martha Stewart came together in a show called Martha and Snoop’s Potluck Dinner. I’m still having a hard time believing this is a real thing that really happened. Aren’t you? Call me, Hollywood. You need me.

Harry Styles:

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So many people doubted my dear and darling Harry Styles. For reasons I have never understood, the boys that once made up One Direction aren’t allowed to be seen as the talented men they have blossomed into. Those of us in the know knew that Harry was an immensely gifted vocalist and worlds away from the womanizer that the press depicts him as. He is a kindly goofball who skips and waves rainbow flags. I mean, reader, he’s the love of my life for an obvious reason. I was thrilled to my very core when his album debuted, and I was so overwhelmed by the content that it took me days to process. Now, a week later, I am inordinately proud of the album and love all of the songs. ALL OF THEM. I fully expect that you, as devoted fans yourself, have already devoured the album, so I need not ramble on endlessly about the quality, the production, the lyricism, the hooks, or the swoons I went through. I will discuss my favorites though because I can’t get them out of my head. The best song on the album, I venture to say, is “Only Angel.” Here Harry sings about having splinters in his knuckles from crawling across the floor, and I find that the most alluring phrase in music since Beyoncé sang, “I woke up like this. Flawless.” “Woman” is another delicious confection. The inexplicably named “Kiwi” talks about having his baby. And all of it is great and good and oddly heterosexual. I’ve seen Harry many times with my own two eyes, reader, in concerts. I have read every interview, watched every behind the scene clip. That’s not a straight man. I mean, reader…let’s be real. I know you know and you know that I know. We know. So, to hear Harry singing about ladies is odd, but I don’t give two bothers, because the music is so good! The last song, “From the Dining Table” is a slow burning jam that reminds of a weird tribute to Feist and Chairlift. I squealed in glee when I first heard the guitar strumming in that song. I still haven’t determined where I have heard something so similar before, but it haunts me. Do you remember when I thought I was being stalked by a muted trumpet in Paris? That still creeps me out, and I still feel like an idiot when I think about it. Let’s not think about it now. Whatever this song reminds me of is driving me out of my mind, so I’m not going to think about it right now. I’m just going to think about Harry. Is that really any different from before the album, though? No.

Summer Plans:

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Reader…WE’RE GOING TO MEXICO! You may know because I have told you a hundred million times, but having a vacation coming up gives me a reason to live. I have been floundering because I didn’t have any adventures lined up. That induces terror and depression in me. Another thing that creates depression is people being round me all the time. I’m quite social, and I like to hang out, and I like to talk, and I like to do things, but I desperately need alone time. I’m an ambivert, I guess. I’m definitely not an introvert — ordering a pizza doesn’t give me a thrill of terror, and I’m not an extrovert – I don’t crave to hold fourteen conversations at once. I just like to have my time when I need it. And I need it desperately. Being in education and being a kindly person means that my free time is considerably limited. I often tell you about becoming a Romanian hay farmer, or a hermit in the deserts of Egypt. Both of these thighs would be wonderful for me, because at heart, I really am a hermit. So when I go on my grand adventures across the world, they aren’t solely to embrace a new culture or have fabulous experiences, they are to have a moment to recharge where nobody needs a thing from me. I can do whatever I like, whenever I like, and how I like. I need that more in my everyday existence. So, that was a lengthy introduction to tell you that the trip to Mexico City has been booked and that I will be spending two long weeks in that beautiful place. I’ve never been, but I have been researching nonstop, which has given me a reason to live again. There are so many wonderful things to see and to do. I will go to every museum, I will eat street tacos, I will sit in the squares and listen to music, I will walk through dimly lit streets and think of danger, I will go to Aztec ruins and climb pyramids, I will sit in my cozy apartment and write, I will shop for local goods, I will figure out what Mezcal is, I will find favorite bakeries and tortilla shops, I will listen to mariachi bands, I will gorge myself on chocolates, I will poison myself with the water, I will have the time of my life. It’ll be great and good and I just cannot wait to hop on the plane and discover a new world. It’s not far from me, and it’s not expensive, and I don’t know why I’ve never gone. Have I been a fool all these years, always going to Africa and Europe, when culture lay just across the border? Perhaps. We shall see.

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