April 12th, 2007

Sea dragon

Reviews: The Caretaker at the Tricycle and Buka

Dinner last night at Buka was not as good as forgettable because it was actively bad. This came down to three things: tough/burnt meat, overly spiced food (with no actual flavor), and the nauseating smell of fish paste. I ate half of it and felt the rest of it burning a hole in my stomach through the rest of the evening. It was actually at the second level of really hot, the one where my ears ring, and while I can make it through to the third level, I will only do this for food that actually tastes good. Perhaps I will try Nigerian food again, but, frankly, I'd rather pick Somali/Ethiopian/Eritrean after this horrifying experience. And it was overpriced to boot. Bah.

Pinter's The Caretaker was mis-described as "comic." Me, well, I think watching a messed up homeless old man try to find a safe place to live isn't intrinsically humorous, nor is listening to someone try to process the horror of being incarcerated in a mental hospital (though that soliloquy was the highlight of the play). We both found it ... overdesigned, or something - careful spotlights, overly polished music cues, a set that was 100% realistic and all built out. Where was the room for the imagination? That said, the character of the caretaker was utterly believable, and I found myself trying to figure out just what his childhood would have been like to have got him to this point ... fantastically acted and obviously written to perfection. That said, I wasn't compelled by the show, and figured I'd get just as much out of the second act if I'd bought the script and read it at home - I was emotionally checked out. And I didn't get home until 11:45 to boot, which has, in respect, made me resentful. Give this one a pass.

John Gabriel Borkman tonight at the Donmar: here's hoping it will be time better spent.
reading is fun-damental

Update on Proust

I am still working my way through Remembrance of Things Past, which suffered a bit as I raced my way through Charlie Stross's Singularlity Sky. I'm now at page 886, and Our Hero is deep in the throes of adolescence. Much like Harry Potter, I'm finding that the character is becoming insufferable. Who cares about baby's first hangover, anyway, no matter how floridly you describe it? And I'm feeling like Proust is falling prey to exactly the critique levelled in the book against, I think, a fictional author, in that later in his writing he becomes almost a caricature of himself, at least in terms of his writing style. At any rate, I'm heading well toward the finish line, page 1018, and I'll decide at that time if I will read the rest of this book and learn about his great romance with Albertine.

For the rest of you, something far more interesting: an article about brownies from the New York Times. I've attached the recipe for the "best" brownies, as defined by the author. You know I'll be cooking them soon.Collapse )