June 1st, 2004

Tom Lehrer is Smug

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01. I require food. I require a hearty meal. I don't want anything spicy, I don't want anything junky. I demand starch, though -- mashed potatoes is key. I also demand meat, yes, meat, enough protein to keep me going. At this point the thing I want most in this world, right now, other than 40 hours a week at $10-$12/hr, is pot roast. Oh, yes. Delicious pot roast with mashed potatoes and gravy and probably some carrots on the side, carrots are good with a dish like that. Bring on the salad, I'll eat the salad too. Bleu cheese if you have it, otherwise the house Italian will do. Rolls? Yes please thank you. I won't need dessert.

If you know of a place in Boston that can serve me this around noonish, and can do it for reasonably cheap (I have some cash from Mom that I'm willing to put up for "recuperative and restorative expenses") then please, by all means, let me know. I shall take another nap and wake up in a few hours and when I do, I will be ready to take on the world, or at least the fold-out menu.

10. I also spent yesterday alternating between two books -- Catch-22 in the bathroom, so the madness could at least be contained to one room, and James Thurber's My World, and Welcome to It at the bedside for the twilight periods right before another fitful nap. I've really grown to appreciate Thurber's stuff. He strikes me as a slightly more accessible S.J. Perelman, equally as entertaining but less reliant on highfalutin' booklarned three-dollar words. While Thurber was a staunch proponent of maintaining the purity of the English language (and detested such corruptions as the use of "spectacular" as a noun, for instance) you can read his work without a concordance.

Both men wrote about their homelife (Perelman's slightly more metropolitan than Thurber, who lived in a Connecticut suburb) and both wrote about traveling abroad. The second half of My World... involves Thurber's stays in Paris, and in reading I was nostalgically grasped by my own memories of staying in France for a while (well, okay, it was two weeks total, but when you're twenty years old and you have four days in Paris by yourself, it feels like a magical lifetime.) I am no Francophobe, I feel no need to jingoistically bash another country for their political beliefs. I still love the country and most of its people (really, outside Paris, everybody's cool. In Paris itself, you just have to simply remember to, oh, I dunno, speak the language.) While enjoying a wonderful morning at a farmhouse somewhere near Poitiers in 1995, I wrote this to my girlfriend at the time:
Come run away with me to France and we can grow old together in a small town. You can befriend all the neighborhood cats, and I shall write angry letters to the local newspaper...
Can't say a high percentage of that flight of fancy doesn't still appeal to me.
Tom Lehrer is Smug


Excellent in-depth piece on Christopher Walken. A very nice character study with the added bonus of instantly quotable lines and, as you can well guess, stuff that you can just hear him saying. Reminds me a lot of the old Onion piece "Walken in LA" though this thing here is real. Shamelessly ganked from the New York Times Magazine (blah blah standard disclaimer blah blah free registration required blah blah is there anybody reading who still gets their panties in a twist over this?)

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