Thursday, June 08, 2006


Jeff and I are off (again)! This time to Kiawah Island for a huge family-style vacation. Lots of biking, playing with the niece and nephews, sitting on the beach, swimming, drinking gin and tonics, playing bingo and yahtzee... and of course, cooking!

Jeff and I are responsible for two meals while we're there. It's quite an experience cooking for 13 people instead of 2!!!! Here are the menus we have planned:

Night One
Cold Sesame Noodles

Main Course:
General Tso's (Imitation) "Chicken"
Buddha's Delight
Broccoli and Tofu in Black Bean Sauce
Jasmine Rice

Coffee ice Cream with Maple Rum Raisin Sauce and Sesame Candy

Night Two
Appetizer: Nachos Supreme

Main Course:
Vegetarian Gumbo
Southern Style Cornbread
Macaroni and Cheese
Salad with Floating Cloud Dressing

Berry Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream

I can't wait! Til we get back... Happy cooking, happy blogging, and happy film-viewing!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dufus Ain't Right

I have to admit I have mixed feelings about Rufus Wainwright's up-coming tribute to Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall. In case you don't know: On June 10 or therabouts, singer Wainwright will recreate Judy Garland's legendary performance at Carnegie Hall in 1961. There was a lengthy article on Wainwright's tribute to Judy published in the Sunday "Style" section (ironic, considering his outfit in the accompanying pic) of the New York Times.

While I think it's great that people remember and honor on that day Miss Garland, one of the truly great performers of the 20th century, captured in that performance at Carnegie Hall as an artist at the height of her powers. If you're unfamiliar with the album, you live a sad, sorry existence unconnected with the best that life has to offer. It's mostly not, but in some ways it is a shame that Garland is so powerfully associated with gay culture. I think a lot of straight people--and a lot of gay people, too--avoid listening to her stuff because they think it's "too gay" or something... or that if they listen to it they'll turn gay or people will think they're way gay. That's too bad. (It'd be as if people didn't want to look at a Picasso for fear people would think they were Spanish.) It's a weird association, and one people should just get over. Breathe deep. Conquer it. (In the end, it's their loss, anyway.)

I think Wainwright is the wrong, wrong, wrong person to do this. (I guess he's just the one who thought of it). And he's a singer I've always wanted to like, felt I SHOULD like. Wainwright's voice is sooooo boring, unable to convey even the slightest hint of emotion (contrast that to Garland who was--sometimes spookily--able to go inside herself, surprise the audience with what came out, a journey that was always fascinating for those who are willing to take it with her: her concerts were collaborative in that way, a cooperation between artist and audience). And his confessional style seems totally phony and trying so hard to be soulful it's ultimately pretty soulless. He has a pleasant, but undistinguished, tenor voice and that's it. It's the Ken doll of voices. It could be worse, I suppose. Rod Stewart might be taking it on. Or Bette Midler. But still. I think it's worse than fool-hardy to try and recreate the concert. It's like sitting down to rewrite "Anna Karenina" as a tribute to Tolstoy. Dude, like, someone already wrote it?

It's a project that's doomed to failure. You can't re-sing Judy at Carnegie Hall. Why bother?

Plus he shamelessly ripped off her poster art, adding some words above his head that might have been more appropriately used to describe someone (anyone) else. World's greatest entertainer? Really? Is that what entertainment's come to? Remind me to bring a book.

Judy's poster

The NYT article says that Wainwright's outfits for the show will be made by designers Viktor & Rolf. At least he'll look good.