Mandy Patinkin was seen slapping himself in the face today. He cited “creative differences” as the reason for this action.
Meatloaf log, August 12, 2007 (transcribed the night after).
Two tubes of turkey
A full load of rice, made the night before for a dinner that turned out not to need it, because we ended up getting the rotisserie chicken deal that comes with french bread and two packaged salads.
Carrot raisin salad, because it had come with the chicken and I was the only one willing to eat it the night before. Shredded carrots, raisins, and some bits of pineapple, soaked in a vinegary dressing.
Powdered seasoning for white chili chicken – which we actually used once and was pretty good. I really should have kept this to use again in that way.
A small amount of bread crumbs (to empty out a nearly-empty canister of Italian bread crumbs.)
Classico tomato & basil spaghetti sauce on top.
One large egg.
Result: medium quality. Quite edible, not a “wow”. Could’ve used a little less rice, but more importantly, a some cereal or bread matter to film it up just a little more. Not a little problem (it wasn’t sloppy, and actually it was nicely moist without being drippy), just would’ve improved the texture a bit. And I wish that there’d been more pineapple in the carrot salad; that may sound odd, but the little sweet bits of things like that or raisins that pop up in the meat actually work surprisingly nicely.
This one stands up pretty well as second-day cold meatloaf.
So the missuz, Dr. Lara Gertler, suggests that I keep a meatloaf log.
Lemme ‘splain. I cook the dinners ’round here. Mostly, they’re pretty simple. Chicken on the Foreman grill. Fish on the Foreman grill. Frozen vegan blintzes, microwaved. Sometimes I create a simple recipe — “lavash thingies” are scrambled egg (generally, actually egg substitute), Velveeta (or generic equivalent) and fat-free refried beans, wrapped in a lavash (either burrito-style or sliced lavashes, taquito-style) and grilled on the Foreman. “Flatbread thingies” are Foreman-grilled chicken, shredded cheese, and a sweet salsa (strawberry, if available) wrapped in a flatbread and thrown back on the Foreman.
And then there’s the meatloaf. That’s when I get relatively fancy, in a lazy way. The base of the meatloaf is the cheapest possible mallable meat — those tubes of mechanically-separated turkey from the freezer section. Two of ‘em. And then, added to that, is whatever’s around that strikes my fancy at the moment. Each one is an experiment, although I tend to repeat elements that work. Leftover rice is big. Raisin bran — the bran adds bulk to the meat, the raisins actually make nice sweet surprise. Frozen sweet corn. Usually some form of seasoning – unused packets of taco seasoning (from when it’s cheaper to buy a taco kit than just taco shells… we use a vegan taco mix, so we don’t need to add seasoning) are common. Usually some sauce (most often spaghetti, because the missuz proved not so fond of teriyaki) at the top. I’m sure the real food fans who read this are flinching, but it sometimes turns out quite good, and generally is a fun experiment for a cooking incompetent like me.
But I have nothing but vague mental records of what I’ve used and how well it’s worked. So that’s the goal.
From time to time, I wonder what’s happened to some quality creator or entertainer of my past. It’s been a fair while since John Hughes made a film, for example; is he quietly retired? Struggling to get work? Possibly just ill? No idea. None of my business. But nonetheless curious.
And so it was with Buck Henry, a man who was known in the 1970s for guest-hosting more Saturday Night Lives than anyone (a record which was eventually surpassed) without the audience actually knowing who the heck this guy was. Been 6 years since he had a new movie out as screenwriter, and 6 years before that for another one (neither of them the sequel to The Graduate he talked about in The Player.) He hasn’t been creating TV shows like Get Smart and Quark lately. And you have to pay close attention to see his acting roles.
And then I heard reports that he was on last night’s The Daily Show. Even though I’m about a week-and-a-half behind watching that, I skipped ahead. There he was… a little physically shaky, perhaps, but purely Buck Henry, smart and wry. And once again I’m impressed by who The Daily Show thinks to reach out for. I hope that his piece is recurring, as it appears likely to be.
- Disappointment is realizing that one of your favorite bands hasn’t appeared anywhere in years, and that their one album is likely to be the only album
- Surprise is finding out that your band has regrouped to do the soundtrack for a video game
- Frustration is realizing that the game isn’t going to be released for any machine you own, and besides, playing a game is not the best way to listen to music.
- Joy is discovering, years later, that in order to promote the game, they offered free downloads of the entire soundtrack. Hey, it may not be as good as a new album that was designed to be an album, but it’s great to have anything and hard to complain about the price.
There has been a lot of criticism leveled at the now-defunct Studio 60, most of it earned. A lot had to do with how unrealistic its portrayal of the backstage-at-SNL antics was, and most of that criticism was earned (especially since a more realistic take would actually have had better opportunities for drama). But one commenter I read recently – and at the moment I cannot recall who it was – thought that the ultimate proof of the failure was that one of the characters was making a Juliette Lewis impersonation her big thing, as if JL was a current big thing. I’ve seen this criticism elsewhere. And all I gotta say is… have these people really paid attention to Saturday Night Live?
Whether you’re going back to Billy Crystal doing Joe Franklin and Fernando Lamas, or you zoom up to Jimmy Fallon doing Barry Gibb, whose career peaked when Fallon was about three, it’s never been a matter of how current or ultra-hot the person being satirized — it’s how funny they can make the character.
I’ll bet many of those guys wearing More Cowbell t-shirts couldn’t have told you who Blue Oyster Cult was before Will Ferrell feigned being a member.
Unsurprisingly, various candidates are choosing to go on The Daily Show… and for the back-of-the-packers (particularly of a more liberal bent), it’s an easy decision; putting up with a little derision can get you a lot of exposure, and the chance to make it positive. But yes, I’m glad to see that they got Obama lined up.
I just watched an episode of The Bill Engvall Show, a sitcom on TBS, and I really don’t have to watch another one. It’s a generic family sitcom – the wacky dad, the zinging, long-suffering wife, the shiny kids of various quarks. The lead is outshone comedically by his adult supporting actors, but that’s not saying that much (nor that surprising, considering their pedigree.)
And yet, there’s something comfortable about the fact that this exists. In these days when sitcoms are disappearing off of the major broadcast networks, and even those are often one camera fanciness, it’s kinda nice to know that the generic show, the thing that will fill the 4:30 rerun slot on channel 63 for a couple years, are still being produced
Sets by Garvin Eddy, the set designer for Roseanne and plenty of other three/four camera shows, generic and otherwise. It’s right.
At the beginning of Damages, the new Glenn Close dark-underbelly-of-the-law-firms miniseries, it is made specifically clear that our young female lawyer protagonist is going to get damaged. Not that she’s much to cheer for as a protagonist; she’s pretty much a generic sweet-young-thing-out-of-law-school type, existing only to have innocence to lose. She finds herself in the midst of a major legal action against a sleazy businessman (played by Ted Danson in the only smile-inducing performance in the piece, as he casually places his solid charm behind his dubious dealings) and a high-powered attorney (Close). So all is darkness, and murkiness, and damage, and this makes it a journey into the unpleasant. Smoothly made in some fronts, over the top in some, but hard to endorse as an entertainment.