December 2007 Archives
If it’s the second half of December, it must be time for every site and periodical on the planet to publish its best-of-the-year roundups. I’ve participated in a few of them, and here we go:
Some 2007 graphic novels & other comics-related projects I really enjoyed. (At Salon; gotta watch an ad first.) Note that it’s not my “best-of-the-year-in-order” list, just a lot of books I thought were good.
PItchfork’s top 100 tracks of 2007. I wrote up three of them. I particularly like the “download or stream almost everything” feature.
And… Pitchfork’s top 50 albums of 2007. I wrote up a couple of these, too.
Meanwhile, Paper Thin Walls’ 2007 mixtape is up; I wrote about Farah’s “Law of Life” for it.
I’ve been doing so much rounding up I feel like a cowboy or an accountant or something, but I did still manage to get my hands on this cookbook and make seitan piccata with green bean and mashed potatoes last night. Came out really well, I thought.
Specifically, the party today: for 100 years of our house and 1000 days of this guy. I really do have some fantastic friends, you know. And, as a hundredth birthday present, we gave our house a name: it’s now known as the Mint. (Why? Because Lisa, Sterling and Douglas live there—and that abbreviation leads, conceptually, straight back to a name we love. Also, mint goes really well with fruit, and there are some serious fructivores in the house. And a mint can be a symbol of hospitality. And so on.)
For the party, I attempted to make latkes from a recipe which I will not link here, since it failed utterly. Attempt #1, admittedly, used frozen shredded potatoes from Costco. Nix. Attempt #2 used baking potatoes that I shredded with the food processor instead of by hand. Didn’t cohere either, despite using twice the amount of eggs the recipe called for. Attempt #3 used the rest of batch #2, minced up further in the food-processor bowl. Still no coherency. At this point, I decided the hell with it, I had perfectly good hash browns, stuck them in a bowl and called them “deconstructed latkes,” inspired by the “postmodern pancakes” at this excellent joint.
Getting out a bit more at last—I went to see Robyn Hitchcock and the 3/5 of R.E.M.s or whatever they’re called at Doug Fir last week (I wouldn’t have expected an encore at a Hitchcock show to be a 20-minute medley of “Heroin” and “The End,” but there you go), and returned to Doug Fir Friday night to see Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings tear the roof off the place for two hours.
“To make Smiley Smile”: not a reference to putting on a happy face, but to having the good sense to scrap a project that has gotten out of hand, and salvage its best ideas—possibly but not at all necessarily including some of the work that’s been produced around those ideas—for a project that’s much smaller in scope but better because it actually exists.
Note to self: when friends who want to start cooking ask for recipes, give them a short knife-skills tutorial too.
Erika is awesome, btw.