Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Glamorous Life, Food Frenzy and Killing Culture

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

Someone on my Producer Yahoo list was looking for a trained walrus. I’m glad I’m not in that project. Thus far, no one has come up with such an animal. That’s odd for that list. For us, it’s the end of one of those quiet weeks. Jon was been working on the trailer footage using some program that corrects color timing and erases boom mikes (it has a function for eliminating boom mikes, go figure). We’re waiting for Vic to give us an ETA on the sound mix. My partner Ralph and I are doing logistical things for bringing a shoot to an area that doesn’t have them often. This is really glamorous stuff like calculating whether or not we’ll need a water tanker truck for the trailers (we will because we also have to make rain; will we need a gas tanker to run the trailers and the very important question: how many port-a-potties are needed for the crew and extras and how often they’re emptied. There are formulas for that calculation that you just don’t want to know about. That’s show-biz, dah-lings. Oh, yes, I have to make sure there are plungers. I’ve needed them on two of the three shoots. Guess who gets to be the plung-ee? Don’t feel sorry for me though, I get to see those cute boys shirtless and sometimes even less dressed than that (as shoots wear on, actors get really comfortable and they don’t bother with robes). It’s a fair trade off. What was I talking about? Oh, yes. There’s not much happening this week. I’m saving the most provocative pics for the release of the trailer. Stay tuned.

Food Frenzy

We were mercifully free from the day job an extra day last week. Thus, I had some time to work on more recipes. Making more veal stock was thwarted by the elusiveness of the requisite bones. They were nowhere to be found. However, I tried some spreads I’d long wanted to try as replacements for cream cheese or mayonnaise in some cases. Thus I made a roasted eggplant spread that’s sort of like Baba ghanouj and a green olive Tapenade. My lovely French friends sent me a jar once, and I tried to spread it on everything. Jon had been getting nervous. I finally worked up the courage to make one on my own. It tasted great. And for the cream cheese substitute, I made a Chevre (goat cheese) and roasted red bell pepper spread. There’s a chocolate mousse I’d like to try later today. I’ve made them a few times, but never quite to my satisfaction. I’m ready to give it another whirl.

Speaking of food, I’d been seeing a lot of news stories on the squeeze that Food Banks are trying to get through (not enough donations and sharply increased demand). I found out from one of the food shows I watch that Barilla Pasta was offering to donate one dollar to Second Harvest Food Bank for every Celebrity cookbook downloaded. The cookbook is by Mario Batali and a number of big actors and is free to download. The campaign has raised over 100k so far. Go to Barilla Helps. This campaign ends on the 31st.

Make It Stop!

CSI: Miami is back in all of its goofy glory. But the beginning of the show brought up a subject that has been bothering me for some time – the pervasive hip-hopization of pop culture. The opening was a wedding montage that ended with the lovely bride being shot in the head. All through this montage, some hip-hop music was blaring making the participants appear even more white than they already were. The music just didn’t fit. It really doesn’t fit over the montages of lab activity. I’ll get back to that shortly. This episode essentially was about the attempted murder of a blackmailing stripper. The bride moved after the shot was fired and hit her instead. The idiocy this week was that the killer used and gun mounted to an arm attached to the underside of a Rolls Royce and triggered by a cell phone. I’m not sure how he aimed the thing (that’s probably why he whacked the Bride instead). For Pete’s sake, she was a stripper, not a ninja. Bash her in the head in the parking lot. Next weeks double episodes involve a murder suspect getting Horatio Cain extradited to face charges in Brazil. Didn’t know a regular citizen had that power even while a murder suspect. Meanwhile, our favorite gun girl, Calleigh gets kidnapped by a stalker. TV police can’t help but get kidnapped now and then. We saw an original episode of Burke’s Law that featured the kidnapping of a seasoned detective. Over 40 years and nothing changes. Sigh.

Back to the infection of hip hop. It’s gone on for too long and it has spread too far. I’m not going to get into the content issues. The poverty and anger that is said to have spawned the music has long given way to marketing. And this marketing seems to be aimed at making the performers and their fans look ridiculous. Now, I came of age in the 70s, so I know from what looks ridiculous. I’m seeing well to do young men – UCLA students --who’ve only seen the hood in films and on TV wearing the saggy look and trying to represent outside of their well-appointed frat houses. I won’t even talk about the dancing or attempted dancing by these wanna-be gangstas. It’s ridiculous and it’s spreading to other cultures. During our last visit to France, we were appalled not only to find a lot of French rap (native and imported) on their music shows but also to find wanna-bees on Paris Streets. My favorite was a quartet of teens trying to be big and bad, nodding their heads to the bass beat blasting from a vehicle not much bigger than a smart car. When they nodded at me, I gave them the universal look from a Black American woman for oh-pul-eez. In researching this for the blog, I found even more to cause me chagrin. One of the biggest music stars in France is a rapper named Booba. He seems to have a website called DaddyThePimp.com (oh dear) and a big hit called Pit Bull. I’m not sure why it was set in Moscow or where they found all of those people of color to be extras, and I understood all the French. This must stop before more cultures are harmed!

Aaron McGruder has made a fine start by pointing out just how ridiculous this has become. Our favorite is an episode of The Boondocks on a character called Thugnificent. there is a wonderful excerpt from Youtube on his rise from poverty.

I’m off my soapbox and back to inputting A Soldier’s Fate.

No comments: